For some time now, there has been talk of an upcoming biographical drama surrounding the legendary rock band Queen, though no such film has shown up anywhere on the Hollywood film circuit. Now, however, it looks like fans will finally be able to enjoy a new biopic surrounding the events leading up to and including the band’s legendary rebirth at the Live Aid Festival in 1985. The performance was not expected to be anything special: Queen had lost a good deal of momentum by the early 1980s, and the band was just another group of performers scheduled alongside acts like Elton John, The Who, Dire Straights, Phil Collins, and Paul McCartney. But when Queen finally took the stage in-between U2 and David Bowie, the crowd had no idea they were about to witness rock-history in the making.
Lead singer Freddie Mercury, who later died of complications with AIDS, took command of the stage and delivered an awe-inspiring set that even his band mates had never imagined. Through 25 minutes, Mercury jumped from the piano, to the guitar, to front stage with his sawed-off mic-stand, leading the band through a suite of their musical catalogue that included older classics like “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions” to recent singles like “Hammer to Fall”. It was all backing members Brian May, John Deacon, and Roger Taylor could do to try and keep up with Mercury, whose passionate and energetic performance ignited the crowd and which is remembered as the definitive highlight of the Live Aid festival. Continue reading →
There are few interesting indie releases opening in local theaters this weekend, alongside Jordan Peele’s directorial horror debut Get Out. The first is a war-drama titled Bitter Harvest, starring Max Irons (The Host, Woman in Gold) and Samantha Barks (Les Miserables, The Christmas Candle) as lovers facing the oncoming Ukraine Genocide of 1932-1933 under Joseph Stalin. The film comes from director George Mendeluk and follows a young artists (Irons) as he works to save his love, Natalka (Barks), from being rounded up and executed as part of the death-by-starvation camps that would be made all the more famous during Hitler’s time in Nazi Germany during World War II. The script comes from writer Richard Bachynsky Hoover and co-stars Terence Stamp (Superman, Young Guns) and Barry Pepper (Saving Private Ryan, The Green Mile). Continue reading →
Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brockovich, Ocean’s Eleven) surprised everyone when he announced that he would be stepping away from big-screen features after 2013’s Side Effects. Recent news, however, has him coming out of retirement after spending the last few years on his work in television, like HBO’s Behind the Candelabra. Soderbergh will supposedly come back to direct his long-time friend and collaborator Channing Tatum (Magic Mike, 21 Jump Street) in a new film called Lucky Logan. No information is yet available regarding the script, and Tatum is the only confirmed cast member, although Matt Damon (The Bourne Supremacy, The Martian) was initially rumored to be starring in Tatum’s role. With a script, lead actor, and director already in place, pre-production should get underway fairly quickly, but we’ll keep you updated on further announcements.
Reactions by fans to the news that there would be a second Zoolander was pretty mixed, although it didn’t necessarily come with any real surprise considering Hollywood insists on banking on 20-year-old franchises these days. Nevertheless the rumors were true and production has been underway for sometime now, with the upcoming release for Zoolander 2 scheduled for February 12, 2016. Ben Stiller (Meet the Parents, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story) and Owen Wilson (Wedding Crashers, Midnight in Paris) are reprising their roles as fashion models Derek and Hansel, whose careers are now threatened by a new company attempting to put them out of business. Ben Stiller is once again behind the director’s chair, working from a script by himself and original Zoolander screenwriter John Hamburg (Along Came Polly, I Love You Man), along with Justin Theroux (Tropic Thunder, Iron Man 2) and Nicholas Stoller (Yes Man, Get Him To The Greek). Continue reading →
A new comedy from writing/directing duo Andrew Mogel (Yes Man, Allen Gregory) and Jarrad Paul (Liar Liar, 40 Days and 40 Nights) is opening in theaters this May 8th. Starring Jack Black (Shallow Hal, School of Rock) and James Marsden (X-Men, Zoolander), the film follows unpopular Dan Landsman (Black), who embarks on a mission from Pennsylvania to California in order to bring the most popular student from his high school graduating class (Marsden) back with him to their high school reunion in order to finally be popular. Kathryn Hahn (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, We’re The Millers), Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development, The Hangover), and Mike White (The Good Girl, Orange County) also star in the film.
Comedians Eddie Murphy (left) and Richard Pryor (right).
Director Lee Daniels (Precious, The Butler) is currently working on getting a biographical drama focusing on Richard Pryor underway, and some news regarding the supporting cast has now surfaced from THR. Comedy-veteran Eddie Murphy (Beverly Hills Cop, Coming To America) is now set to portray Pryor’s abusive, alcoholic father, a period that proved incredibly influential on the comedian’s work and only added to his comedic-legacy. Also included on the cast list is comedic-actor Mike Epps (Next Friday, The Hangover) and Oscar-nominee Kate Hudson (Almost Famous, Something Borrowed). Thus far there is no scheduled release date and Daniels has yet to develop a script or find a screenwriter, but with the cast filling out we should see that get underway relatively quickly. Stay tuned for more news.
Fans of the hit series Breaking Bad on AMC can now tune in for the new spin-off drama Better Call Saul from writing partners and Breaking Bad creators Vince Gilligan (The X-Files, Hancock) and Peter Gould (Double Dragon, Too Big To Fail). The series stars Emmy-winner Bob Odenkirk (Saturday Night Live, Nebraska) back in his role of Saul Goodman in the time before the character was Saul Goodman. Instead we see him as Jimmy McGill, a young lawyer trying to make ends meet but lacking in the confidence and self-assurance of Saul Goodman. Also back from Breaking Bad is Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut, the former cop-turned-muscle-man under the employee of Gus, plus new-comers Rhea Seehorn (Whitney, Franklin & Bash), Patrick Fabian (General Hospital, The Last Exorcism), Michael McKean (Clue, Planes Trains & Automobiles), and Michael Mando (The Far Cry Experience, Orphan Black). The series is already three episodes in, so you should check out On-Demand if you need to catch up, then tune into AMC on Monday nights at 9pm/central.
Actor/rapper Tyrese Gibson will be seen in theaters this April in Furious 7, but news of the actor’s future projects has recently come from Deadline by way of an action script written by himself and Mike Le titled Desert Eagle. Universal Pictures has now agreed to cast Gibson in the lead role and has brought on writing duo Mike Stuecken (The Tower of Babble, Valencia) and Josh Campbell (Snabba Cash-in development) to re-write Gibson and Le’s original script, following a pair of border patrol agents as they investigate a Native American casino believed to be a front/headquarters for a drug cartel. Universal will have to wait for the script before they can take the project much further into development, but considering a director needs to be found and the cast filled out, producer Scott Stuber (Ted, Identity Thief) will have plenty on his plate in the months to come. Stay tuned.
Writer/director Mike Binder (The Upside of Anger, Reign Over Me) has a new project in theaters this week titled Black or White with Academy Award winners Kevin Kostner (The Untouchables, Dances With Wolves) and Octavia Spencer (The Help, Fruitvale Station). The film follows a grandfather who receives custody of his granddaughter and ensues in a custody battle with her paternal grandmother (Spencer) and her father after her mother dies. What follows is an interesting look of culture-clash and understanding as the two families come to work together in their child’s best interest. Also making up the supporting cast are actors Jillian Estell (Chase, So This Is Christmas), Bill Burr (Date Night, The Heat), Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker, Gangster Squad), and Gillian Jacobs (Walk of Shame, Community). Check out the trailer here on MADE.
Director Shane Black is still filling out the remaining cast spots for his upcoming LA-crime thriller The Nice Guys, which already has Ryan Gosling (The Ides of March, The Place Beyond The Pines) and Russell Crowe (Gladiator, Man of Steel) attached to star in the film. The story follows a private detective and his muscle-head partner (both practicing alcoholics by-the-way) in 1970s Los Angeles who investigates the suicide of a porn-star only to discover her death will uncover a massive conspiracy leading all the way back to the American automotive industry. The script comes from screenwriter Anthony Bagarozzi and director Shane Black, who has also recently added actor Matt Bomer (Flightplan, Magic Mike) to the cast list, according to Deadline. Other names currently attached to the project are Margaret Qualley, Daniel Lee, Angourie Rice, Cayla Brady, and David Born. The movie is currently scheduled for release in June 2016, so we’ve got some waiting time before we actually see a trailer or set-pics, but stay tuned for more news!