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This Week in Movie History…

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On September 30, 1948, actor Robert Mitchum (Story of G.I. Joe, Cape Fear) was released from prison following his charge of marijuana possession. Mitchum was an up-and-coming star in Hollywood. He had received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor two years earlier for his role in Story of G.I. Joe, and appeared in four feature films in 1947, including Pursued, Crossfire, Desire Me, and Out of the Past. He also worked with director Robert Wise (The Day the Earth Stood Still, West Side Story) in a western film earlier in 1948 called Blood on the Moon. His recent string of success, however, only made his bust on September 1st that much worse.

Mitchum was found with actress Lila Leeds (Lady in the Lake, Wild Weed) and dancer Vicki Evans. With the 60s still more than a decade out, and public opinion towards marijuana still very much in the light of propaganda films like Reefer Madness (1936), the young actor feared the very public arrest would effectively end his acting career. It didn’t help that industry names like Howard Hughes (Scarface, The Outlaw), David O. Selznick (King Kong, Gone with the Wind), and the press constantly berated him during this period. But his famous bust that could have completely ended his career ended up doing just the opposite. Continue reading

Weinstein Company Drama ‘Tulip Fever’ Pushed Back to 2017

Producer Harvey Weinstein of the Weinstein Company has pushed back national release of his long anticipated drama Tulip Fever, based on the popular novel by Deborah Moggach, to a February 2017 release. The film has already seen several release delays; it was filmed back in 2014 and has since made no debuts at any of the film festival circuits or limited releases here in the States or elsewhere. Now, however, Weinstein seems to have settled on a post-Valentine’s Day release, going up against God Particle from producer J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Sleepless with Jaimie Fox (Ray, Collateral) and Michelle Monaghan (Gone Baby Gone, True Detective). Starring Oscar winners Alicia Vikander (El Machina, The Danish Girl) and Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds, Django Unchained), the film follows an artist who falls for a married woman he is hired to paint in portrait in the midst of the tulip frenzy of 17th century Amsterdam. Continue reading

New Dramatic War-Thriller ‘Eye in the Sky’ Opening In Theaters This Friday

A new war drama from director Gavin Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Ender’s Game) titled Eye in the Sky is opening in theaters nationwide this Friday, March 11th. The film is led by Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren (The Queen, The Hundred-Foot Journey) and features an ensemble of stars including Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad, Exodus: Gods and Kings), Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips, Hawaii Five-O) and Phoebe Fox (One Day, A Poet in New York), as well as the late Alan Rickman (Die Hard, Love Actually), who died just last month. Screenwriter Guy Hibbert (Five Minutes of Heaven, A United Kingdom) wrote the script about a military colonel commanding a drone operation to capture terrorists in Kenya, who becomes enthralled in an international debate over the morality, and the implications of modern warfare when a young girl enters the Kenyan kill zone where the operation is taking place. Although this will be his last full-length feature appearing in the flesh, Alan Rickman’s last official film will be the upcoming sequel to Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, titled Alice Through the Looking Glass, expected in theaters this coming May. The trailer for Eye in the Sky is available here on MADE. Check it out in theaters this Friday.

New Drama ‘Joy’ With Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper Now Playing In Theaters

A new drama featuring recurring co-stars Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games, X-Men: Days of Future Past) and Bradley Cooper (The Hangover, American Sniper) titled Joy is now playing in theaters nationwide. The two stars are again directed by writer/director David O. Russell (American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook), in the story of Joy Mangano, the woman who invented the Miracle Mop and became the matriarch of her family business and dynasty, but not before she encounters betrayal and treachery on her way to success. Also joining the two co-stars is their third recurring co-star Robert DeNiro (Goodfellas, Casino), with actors Edgar Ramirez (Vantage Point, The Liberator), Diane Ladd (Chinatown, Christmas Vacation), Virginia Madsen (Sideways, Firewall), and Isabella Rossellini (Fearless, Enemy). This is the fourth consecutive film in four years that Lawrence and Cooper have starred in together, and the third that also features DeNiro in the supporting cast. Lawrence and Cooper first appeared together in Silver Linings Playbook (which featured DeNiro) in 2012, and then American Hustle (DeNiro had a small part in this feature) in 2013, followed by Serena in 2014, and now Joy for 2015, which once again features DeNiro. This is also the third outing for director Russell with all three actors appearing in the featured cast, and according to the stars, we can expect even more to be forthcoming! Some may be frowning at the fact that these actors continue to appear in the same films, but their on-screen chemistry is excellent and all of these features have been Oscar and/or Golden Globe contenders, with the exception of Serena. Coupled with the fact that Russell is an original storyteller, I personally am hoping to see more features from this team of talented filmmakers, but we’ll have to wait for further updates to know for sure. Stay tuned!

Writer/Director Kevin Smith Confirms Production On ‘Mallrats 2’ While ‘Clerks 3’ Films In May


Comedy veteran Kevin Smith seems to be caught up in the sequel-binge that’s happening in Hollywood right now. The director is not only preparing to begin filming Clerks 3 in Philadelphia this May, but now he has also confirmed he is working on a sequel to his 1995 comedy flop Mallrats. Clerks 3 will bring back Smith and Jason Mewes as Jay and Silent Bob, as well as Brian O’Halloran and Jeff Anderson as clerks Dante and Randal, plus Clerks 2 star Rosario Dawson, and Marilyn Ghigliotti (Clerks, Starship:Rising) as Veronica. While fans of Smith and his View-Askewniverse characters will be probably welcome the Clerks crew back to the big screen, many are surprised to hear that he is returning to Mallrats. The movie virtually flopped at the box office when it was released in ’95 (it was Smith’s first release since Clerks a year earlier), but Smith has said he will make the movie in a long-delayed honor of Mallrats producer Jim Jack, who always supported Smith over the years and died with an unrelenting desire to see Mallrats 2 on the big screen. Whatever the reason, Smith already has half of the script completed and if all goes well principle photography should begin as early as May 2016. In the meantime, check out this 1995 trailer for Mallrats, and if you haven’t seen it you should definitely make a point to.

‘Exodus: Gods And Kings’ In Theaters December 12th

The new Biblical epic from director Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, Gladiator) is scheduled to open in theaters on December 12th. Featuring an all-star cast lead by Christian Bale (The Dark Knight Rises, Terminator: Salvation), Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad, Need For Speed), Joel Edgerton (Warrior, The Great Gatsby), Sigourney Weaver (Alien, Avatar), Ben Kinglsey (Schindler’s List, Shutter Island), and John Turturro (O Brother Where Art Thou, Transformers), the film chronicles the story of Moses and his plight to lead the enslaved Jewish people against the cruel Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses. Check out the trailer here on MADE.

Lakeith Lee Stanfield Set To Star As Snoop Dogg In Upcoming N.W.A Biopic ‘Straight Outta Compton’

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We first reported that last month that a biopic about iconic rap group NWA titled Straight Outta Compton (in reference to their first album) was in the works at Universal and that O’Shea Jackson Jr. would potentially be cast to portray Ice Cube in the movie. As far as we can tell that still appears to be accurate, but now we also have news that Lakeith Lee Stanfield (Memoria, The Purge: Anarchy) has been chosen to play the role of Calvin Broadus Jr., otherwise known as Snoop Dog (or Snoop Lion as of last year), who first appeared on the rap-scene around the same time as NWA. That means he and Jackson Jr. will be joining a cast of relatively unknown actors, including Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre, Jason Mitchell as Easy-E, Aldis Hodge as MC Ren, and Neil Brown Jr. as DJ Yella. Other cast members include Paul Giamatti as Jerry Heller, NWA’s manager, and Carra Patterson as Tomica Woods. The film will be directed by F. Gary Gray (Friday, The Italian Job), but this is just another project on Stanfield’s list of upcoming movies. The actor is also scheduled to appear in the upcoming Miles Davis biopic with Don Cheadle, Miles Ahead, and Oprah Winfrey’s upcoming Civil Rights drama Selma, which centers on the marches between Selma and Montgomery, Alabama in 1965. Now that the cast is pretty much all in place, filming on this new biopic should begin soon, but we’ll keep an eye out for an official start and potential release date.

Martin Lawrence Confirms ‘Bad Boys 3’ Is In Development On Conan

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Actor/comedian Martin Lawrence appeared as a guest on Conan O’Brien’s late night series this week and when asked by the enigmatic host whether or not we can expect Bad Boys 3 anytime soon, Lawrence replied, “I believe so, yes!” Word about a possible third installment in the series from Michael Bay and producer Jerry Bruckheimer was announced by Variety last September, and now it seems that producer Bruckheimer is really working on getting the project going. According to Lawrence, Bruckheimer is currently waiting for a finished script, which is apparently not very far away. The actor was not able to say for sure if costar Will Smith would be returning for the third movie or not, and we don’t have any word from Michael Bay that he is returning either, so everything is pretty much still to-be-determined, but it looks as though there is light at the end of the tunnel! We’ll keep you posted.

‘Trumbo’ Producers Hoping To Secure John Goodman For A SupPorting Role With Bryan Cranston

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With Oscar-winner Helen Mirren already attached to star as Hedda Hopper, director Jay Roach is filling in the cast for his upcoming Cold War-drama Trumbo. The film tells the story of Dalton Trumbo, who was blacklisted in Hollywood after being found in contempt to Congress in a hearing with HUAC after refusing to give any information about Communist influence in Hollywood. When the 1960s came around and blacklisting was ended, Trumbo came back to the public eye and it was revealed that he was behind the screenplays for popular films like Spartacus (1960) and Exodus (1960) while he was working under pseudonyms and false names. Roach is now looking to add John Goodman (Argo, O Brother! Where Art Thou) and Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Godzilla) to his roster, but deals have yet to be officially sealed with either actors. This should turn out to be a pretty great movie, but we’ll have to wait and see how Roach approaches the story content. We’ll keep an eye out for an official cast list.

O’Shea Jackson Jr. To Play His Father Ice Cube In ‘Straight Outta Compton’

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Iconic rapper-turned-actor Ice Cube has convinced Universal Pictures to cast his son, O’Shea Jackson Jr., in the role of his father in an upcoming film about the rap group N.W.A called Straight Outta Compton (named after the group’s debut album). N.W.A. was formed in Compton, California, a city south of Los Angeles, in 1986 by original members Ice Cube, Arabian Prince, DJ Yella, Dr. Dre, and Eazy-E. Viewed by many as pioneers of the ‘gangsta rap’ genre, the group became the subject of much controversy due to their explicit lyrics, leading the group to be accused of praising and encouraging violent crime and drug use/distribution. Ice Cube is working with Dr. Dre and Tomica Woods-Wright as producers for the upcoming film, which will apparently be a heavy drama encompassing everything from the emergence of Parental Advisory stickers to the LAPD and feuds within the group itself. More information should be coming out soon, so be sure to keep an eye out.