First three films will play in theaters in advance of fourth film opening
Summit Entertainment has made their name thanks to the massive success of their film adaptations of Stephenie Meyer's "The Twilight Saga." The films themselves have been worldwide hits, but that's not the only reason that Summit has done so well with their vampire franchise, much of their success is owed to the consistent fan outreach that the studio has made a part of their business model. Premiere events for "Twilight" films become destinations for fans, and Summit has worked out a system that places fan experience at a premium, even if that experience essentially boils down to packs of fans waiting on sidewalks for red carpets to roll out so that they can sneak a peek at their favorite star in the flesh.
But for fans that can't make the star-studded events, Summit still makes sure that they get their own treat in the form of re-releases of the past franchise films in advance of the latest opening. Summit has re-released all of the "Twilight" films in one way or another over the years (for instance, "Twilight" was re-released for a special event before "New Moon" opened, which was followed by the first two films popping up in theaters the night before "Eclipse" opened, and "Eclipse" hit theaters first in June of last year and then in September to mark the birthday of main character Bella Swan). In advance of the next "Twilight" film opening (that would be "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1"), Summit has teamed with Fathom Events for "Twilight Saga Tuesdays."
Summit and Fathom will re-release the first three "Twilight" films on consecutive Tuesdays in November, all leading up to the big opening of "Breaking Dawn" on November 18. "Twilight" will play on November 1, followed by "New Moon" on November 8, and "Eclipse" on November 15. All of the films will show at 7:30 in their respective time zones, and you can check out the full list of theaters where the events will be taking place, along with how to get tickets HERE. Each event will also open with special cast introductions, new interviews, and clips from other fan events.
Check out a special trailer for the event after the break.
On boxing robots and fisticuffs with actors
One of the most legendary -- and beloved -- figures in boxing, Sugar Ray Leonard won world championships in five separate weight divisions. Long retired from the field, he served as a consultant and coach for "Real Steel." Hired to help shape the films boxing scenes -- not just for the performance-capture actors but also for star Hugh Jackman -- Leonard spoke with us in L.A. about getting the shot, landing the punch and the greatest boxing movies ever made.
When you're approached by Hollywood, and they say, 'Want to do a boxing movie? It's going to be gigantic robots,' do you roll your eyes a little bit before you realize how real they want to make it?
Leonard: It was hard to grasp. I couldn't really see that, but when I got on set and I worked with Hugh Jackman, my main objective was first to make sure that we threw the punch and when he executed the punch, that he felt the punch. Hugh is all about facial expression, because when we throw the punch, it has to be a thing of conviction. I said, 'Now to you as a trainer, and a fighter, then it has to be E.S.P. That trainer and that fighter, they can talk to each other without talking. It's all them.' He pulled that off. That's when the emotional content, the emotional flavor, pours into the audience. The viewers now see that, they start feeling for a robot. Then the kid, Max, is an amazing part of this story.
"Rght now .. I'm pretty toxically cynical about politics.'
It's hard to convey exactly how Paul Giamatti speaks in print -- the staccato sounds of agreement; the slide-whistle vowel of disbelief he makes at a pause. In fact, that's a big part of why you hire him -- whether you need an exasperated foil to a radio DJ, a highly-wound crime professional in an unwinding world or -- as in this year's excellent "win Win," a regular guy with dreams and a paunch. In "The Ides of March" -- director George Clooney's fourth effort in his fallback career in case the acting thing doesn't work out -- Giamatti is the player on the other side (in the words of G.K. Chesterton) who faces down the campaign run by senior man Phillip Seymour Hoffman and junior partner Ryan Gosling. It's the stuff Best Supporting Actor Oscars used to be made of -- a blast across the screen, a human life written in lightning for a few seconds. We spoke with Giamatti in Toronto.
Was your favorite part of the film the high powered dialogue, acting with Ryan Gosling, working with a director who clearly understood the craft of acting ... or the fact that it was a five-day shoot for you?
Giamatti: Five-day shoot. None of the above; five-day shoot. In a funny way, part of the appeal was that he's this guy who pops in and out, but everybody talks about him a lot. He's on the TV in the background, so he's this great sinister presence all the time. I like doing that kind of thing; it's really fun.
When you do show up, you can snap your cape and appear out of the mist.
Giamatti: Exactly. Everybody gets really freaked when you show up, because everybody built you up as this menacing presence. You don't have to do much; you just show up.
They say, 'Oh, it's him!'
Giamatti: Right, 'It's that guy!' But all the other stuff, yes.
The late founder of Apple Computers put the mega-successful Pixar on the map
In addition to Steve Jobs’ undeniable impact on our daily lives (I find it amazing that so many people learned of his death via one of the devices that he helped create), he also made a big impact on the movie business.
In 1986, Jobs purchased the digital division of Lucasfilms and founded Pixar with John Lasseter and Ed Catmull. At that time computer animation was not seen as something that could sustain a feature-length film much less be used to create living breathing characters that people cared about. But Steve Jobs believed in the vision and he personally invested millions into the company. When “Toy Story” was released in 1995, it was a ground-breaking phenomenon that forever changed the world of animation. Today, Pixar has only 12 films under its belt (with two more recently announced), but the company has enjoyed a success that other film studios can only dream of. Pixar’s critically acclaimed films have grossed billions of dollars and won 29 Academy Awards. They are known and loved around the world.
In 2006, Steve Jobs sold Pixar to The Walt Disney Company for $7.4 billion in stock. This made him the largest individual shareholder at Disney. Today, Lasseter and Catmull, now the CEO and President of Walt Disney Pixar Animation Studios, are grieving the loss of their friend:
“Steve Jobs was an extraordinary visionary, our very dear friend, and the guiding light of the Pixar family. He saw the potential of what Pixar could be before the rest of us, and beyond what anyone ever imagined. Steve took a chance on us and believed in our crazy dream of making computer-animated films. The one thing he always said was to simply ‘make it great.’ He is why Pixar turned out the way we did and his strength, integrity, and love of life has made us all better people.”
The Motion Picture Association of America will showcase some of the former President's films
Former President Ronald Reagan would have turned 100 years old this year. There have been many tributes and celebrations to honor him in his centennial year but few have focused on his almost 30-year movie career. According to a Deadline exclusive, that is about to change. On November 14, the Motional Picture Association of America, as part of the official centennial celebration, will host a gala in Washington, D.C. that will pay tribute to the films of Ronald Reagan.
Before entering politics, Ronald Reagan made 53 movies. All of the big studios are gathering footage from these films for a series of clips that show the actor at his best. Deadline’s Nikki Finke suggests an ulterior motive for the event: “I suspect the real reason behind this Reagan tribute is to remind the Republican Party going into this election that Reagan was part of Hollywood. After all, the GOP and showbiz are barely on speaking terms these days.” She goes on to suggest that the MPAA needs to be on good terms with Republicans to get government help for fighting piracy overseas as well as for getting tax breaks for the big players in the entertainment industry.
Although I wasn’t a fan of Reagan’s politics, I thought he was a much better actor than he was given credit for. Sure, he made the ridiculous “Bedtime for Bonzo” which practically became the symbol of his acting career when he was President—at least among the late-night talk show hosts. But he also made many excellent films, from his small but effective part in the Bette Davis classic, “Dark Victory” and his more well known turn as the Gipper in “Knute Rockne, All American” to the blistering period piece, “King’s Row,” and the terrifying “Storm Warning” with Doris Day.
To be honest, I also enjoyed Reagan’s performances in lesser films such as “Million Dollar Baby,” “That Hagen Girl,” opposite a 17-year-old Shirley Temple, and “She’s Working Her Way Through College,” starring Virginia Mayo as a burlesque dancer names Hot Garters Gertie! True, his one film with wife Nancy, “Hellcats of the Navy,” was an abomination, but one of his last films, “The Killers,” was riveting. It’s a bit chilling to watch him in that film, looking just like he looked during his political career, being such a monster and beating up poor Angie Dickinson. Was that payback for Angie’s alleged dalliance with John Kennedy?
Stephen Evans will produce the first big-budget feature about the late princess
Fourteen years after her death, plans are underway for a feature film about Diana, the Princess of Wales. A bunch of mediocre TV-movies have been made about the woman who would never be queen, but no theatrical films have dared touch the story. But now, as reported in the British newspaper, The Guardian, producer Stephen Evans (“The Madness of King George,” “The Wings of the Dove”) is moving forward with his plans to make a major film about Diana (with a $50 million budget). Surprisingly, Evans has nabbed crime novelist Philip Kerr to write the screenplay, and he’s brought on two consultants with impeccable credentials: Ken Wharfe, Diana’s former head of security, and Commander Patrick Jephson, her private secretary.
The film will focus on Diana’s troubled marriage to Prince Charles leading up to the couple’s controversial 1996 divorce. Mercifully, there are no plans to cover her grisly death in a Parisian tunnel on August 31, 1997.
Obviously, the casting of the lead role will be the biggest challenge for the filmmakers and there is no word yet on any candidates for this plum but difficult assignment. A bunch of women have portrayed the Princess in various TV movies, from Catherine Oxenberg in “Charles and Diana: Unhappily Ever After” to Emily Mortimer in “Jeffrey Archer: The Truth” but no one has been able to capture the spirit, appeal, beauty, or vulnerability of the beloved figure.
Despite the difficulties inherent in such a biopic, Stephen Evans is very optimistiic. “What is quite clear is that her life was an amazing life…you don’t often get a movie like this where you know that if you can make it work, it is bomb proof.” Really? The producer described Diana as “a wagonload of monkeys but she was also an amazing, fascinating, ballsy woman.”
In my opinion, Evans should bypass the Diana look-alikes and go straight to the best actresses in Great Britain. If it were up to me, I’d offer Kate Winslet the Crown Jewels to take the part. Today is Winslet’s 36th birthday, which is the same age Princess Diana was when she died. I can’t think of a better choice. While we’re casting, how about Colin Firth as Prince Charles and Emma Thompson as Camilla Parker Bowles? I can dream, can’t I? And I have no problem plopping that royal wig back onto Dame Helen Mirren's brilliant head for the Queen.
What do you think? Who would you cast as the People’s Princess?
New holiday animated feature looks to rate high on the 'nice' scale
Sony Pictures Animation has something to prove, and that’s that Pixar and Disney don’t have the monopoly on amusing animated features that appeal to both kids and adults. The animation branch of Sony has turned out seven features since 2006 – some have been straight up flops (“Monster House,” the “Open Season” franchise), some have made money but not earned a lot of praise (“The Smurfs”), some have almost hit the big time (“Surf’s Up”), and just one has been perfect (“Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs”). With the added oomph of “Meatballs” under their belt, and a new three-year deal with Aardman Animations (the producer behind the wildly popular “Wallace & Gromit” franchise) in place, Sony just might be making their move into the big time animation leagues.
Their first feature with Aardman? “Arthur Christmas.” The holiday tale rips the fluffy white beard right off the Christmas myth, exposing just how Santa Claus delivers all his presents in just one night. Turns out, Santa has got a seriously technologically advanced operation up at the North Pole (including a sleigh like you’ve never seen), but all the tech tricks in the world can’t hide the fact that the man has also got some major family dysfunction going down at the top of the world (let’s just say, the Claus genealogy is not too kind to the second-born son). When the younger son of Santa discovers that one present has not been delivered on Christmas Eve, Arthur Christmas takes it upon himself to get that present to the good little girl who deserves it – even if it means doing things the old-fashioned way. James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, and Will Sasso all provide voices for the project.
Sony recently showed off some footage from “Arthur Christmas” to some members of the press, and the response was universally positive. The film is already being noted for its fun use of animation (the type that looks nice and familiar to fans of “Wallace & Gromit”) and its clever mix of jokes that will appeal to the whole family.
"Arthur Christmas" opens on November 23. Check out the trailer, thanks to Deadline, after the break.
Christmas is apparently now just about openly sobbing in theaters
On the heels of Disney and Dreamworks' announcement that Steven Spielberg's "War Horse" adaptation would now open on Christmas Day (moving off its previous December 28 release date), the studios have released a full-length trailer for the film. Based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo, Lee Hall and Richard Curtis have penned the screenplay for the film. The young adult novel has already gotten a stage treatment, thanks to an ambitious and very well-received theatrical production.
The story of "War Horse" is one built for maximum cinematic impact. It follows young Albert (relative newcomer Jeremy Irvine) and his horse, Joey. The two have an intense bond, one that is nearly shattered when Joey is sold into the calvary to serve in the trenches during World War I. Though Albert is not old enough to join the army himself, he sets out on a journey to get his horse back. That's right - "War Horse" is a film that centers on both the horrors of war and the bond between a boy and his horse. To say that I am unprepared when it comes to seeing this film is the film-related understatement of the year. The first teaser trailer for the film choked me up, but this full-length take on the material has basically turned me into a sobbing, broken shell of a human being. Merry Christmas.
The film also stars Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Toby Kebbell, and Eddie Marsan. Check out the full-length trailer for the film after the break. And, beware, if you're an animal-lover, you will need tissues.