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Updated: 2 hours 57 min ago

'Assassin's Creed' film recruits 'Exodus' writers

Tue, 04/08/2014 - 10:37am

The scriptwriting pair behind Ridley Scott's upcoming epic "Exodus: Gods and Kings" is now part of the effort to get Ubisoft's "Assassin's Creed" franchise onto the big screen. Adam Cooper and Bill Collage, who have worked together on "Tower Heist," "Accepted" and a pre-production "Transporter 4," have their plates full with "The Maccabee" for Darren Aronofsky ("Noah," "The Fountain"), having completed writing duties on his George Washington biopic "The General." In addition, Cooper and Collage are already attached to an adaptation of Gilbert King's Pulitzer-winning civil rights thriller "Devil in the Grove," as Deadline reports. But Ubisoft and New Regency have put "Assassin's Creed" on a fast track schedule, with an August 2015 debut planned, and the writing pair could yet reunite with "Tower Heist" helmer Daniel Espinosa should his rumored participation come to pass.


Canada's IMAX sells 20 percent of China subsidiary; eyes IPO

Tue, 04/08/2014 - 7:35am
By Adam Jourdan SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Canada-based cinema chain IMAX Corp said it planned to sell a fifth of its Chinese subsidiary to local investors, in a move that could help it eventually list the unit in Hong Kong. The company, known for 3D projection, will sell 20 percent of IMAX China Holding Inc to investment fund China Media Capital and private equity firm FountainVest Partners as it looks to expand its theatre network in China and strengthen ties with local industry and government. IMAX issued a statement late on Tuesday that confirmed a report from the Wall Street Journal earlier in the day. The two Chinese investors will each pay around $40 million for stakes of 10 percent, with the first of two equal installments due on Tuesday and the second installment by early 2015, the statement said.

'Karate Kid 2' picks Breck Eisner of 'Sahara,' 'The Crazies'

Tue, 04/08/2014 - 7:35am

With Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith reinstated in lead roles, a sequel to 2010's "The Karate Kid" reboot is in the works with Breck Eisner in the director's chair. Eisner's first theatrical feature bombed, with Matthew McConaughey, Penelope Cruz and William H. Macy taking lead roles in 2005's "Sahara."


'Draft Day' film tackles the NFL with insider minutiae, family drama

Tue, 04/08/2014 - 7:29am

By Eric Kelsey LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - As the NFL readies for its annual draft of college football players, new film "Draft Day" pulls back the curtain on the high stakes of the offseason that has helped turn the United States' most popular sport into a year-round addiction. The film, which opens in U.S. and Canadian theaters on Friday ahead of the NFL's three-day draft from May 8-10, stars Kevin Costner and dramatizes the backroom wheeling and dealing of football's general managers as they jockey for the best players and try to fleece one another while trading draft picks. But in an age of 24-hour sports networks like ESPN and HBO's behind-the-scenes NFL reality show "Hard Knocks," Costner said authenticity is crucial to hook a viewer who has seen countless locker-room speeches and front-office interviews. People take it really personally," said the 59-year-old Oscar winner, who built his heartland reputation with baseball films "Bull Durham" and "Field of Dreams," and golf comedy "Tin Cup." Costner plays fictional Cleveland Browns team general manager Sonny Weaver Jr, who has to manage upheaval in his personal life and the dueling pressures of which player to draft from the team's owner and its coach.


'Spider-Man' spin-off nets 'Cabin in the Woods' director

Tue, 04/08/2014 - 7:25am

"The Sinister Six," a feature-length look at some of Spider-Man's notable villains, looks like it'll be not just written but also directed by "Cabin in the Woods" man Drew Goddard. Goddard wrote nine episodes of "Lost" over its first four seasons and also had writing credits on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Angel," and "Alias" (including its 100th and final episodes) before making the jump to movies. Having scripted Matt Reeves's "Cloverfield," he then directed and co-wrote the acclaimed satirical horror "Cabin in the Woods" with Joss Whedon, who produced, and provided a reshaped script for Brad Pitt hit "World War Z" before applying his penmanship to "The Sinister Six." Goddard's directorial appointment comes after the formation of a specialist "Spider-Man" cabal of writers and producers within Sony Pictures, according to The Hollywood Reporter.


U.S. movie studios sue Megaupload, founder Dotcom

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 11:26pm

By Bernard Vaughan NEW YORK (Reuters) - Several major U.S. studios filed a copyright infringement lawsuit on Monday against the file-sharing website Megaupload and its ebullient founder, Kim Dotcom. Megaupload, which U.S. authorities shuttered in 2012, facilitated a "massive copyright infringement of movies and television shows," according to a statement issued by the Motion Picture Association of America on Monday. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, all MPAA members, are Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp, Disney Enterprises Inc, Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios Productions, Columbia Pictures and Warner Bros Entertainment Inc. "Megaupload wasn't a cloud storage service at all, it was an unlawful hub for mass distribution," Steven Fabrizio, an attorney for the MPAA, said in the statement.


Accused Colorado movie theater gunman seeks change of venue

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 6:14pm

By Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - Lawyers for the man charged with mass murder in a 2012 shooting frenzy that left 12 people dead at a Colorado movie theater have asked that his upcoming trial be moved out of the suburban Denver county where the case has been prosecuted. Defense attorneys argued in their motion for a change of venue that James Holmes' right to a fair trial in Arapahoe County has been compromised by "pervasive media coverage" of the case locally and "the undeniable impact of the tragedy on the community itself." Holmes, 26, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to murder and attempted murder charges stemming from the July 2012 massacre at an Aurora, Colorado, cinema during a midnight screening of the Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises." Twelve moviegoers were killed and 70 others hurt in one of the deadliest outbursts of U.S. gun violence in decades. Holmes' public defenders argued that the glare of publicity, including voluminous commentary and reporting on evidence ruled inadmissible at trial, would make it impossible to seat an impartial jury in Arapahoe County.


'Captain America' largest April opener with $95M

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 5:22pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It took in less than the weekend estimates of $96.2 million, but "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" was still the weekend's box office hero, setting the record for the largest domestic April debut with a solid $95 million.


Disney to release 'Captain America 3' film in May 2016

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 3:10pm

After a record-breaking weekend at the box office, Marvel's "Captain America" series will return for a third installment on May 6, 2016, Walt Disney Co said on Monday. "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," the sequel to 2011's "Captain America: The First Avenger," stormed the U.S. and Canadian box office with $96.2 million in its opening weekend, setting a record for an April film release. The films, based on the Marvel comics, star Chris Evans as a scrawny World War II reject who gains super-powers from an experimental serum and becomes America's first superhero, donning a suit of stars and stripes. The success of "Captain America" follows Disney's long line of recent hits from the Marvel universe, led by Robert Downey Jr.'s "Iron Man," Chris Hemsworth's "Thor" and 2012's superhero ensemble "The Avengers," which became the third-biggest film in Hollywood history with $1.5 billion at the worldwide box office.


5 memorable movie roles of Mickey Rooney

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 3:01pm

NEW YORK (AP) — Mickey Rooney might be best remembered for his ceaseless ups and downs, his dramatic failures and his many comebacks. But Rooney's roller-coaster melodrama — he was married eight times and quickly spent the fortune he amassed — wouldn't have mattered if he hadn't also had genuine, enduring talent.


"12 Years" star Ejiofor named for Bond villain role

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 2:12pm

Oscar-nominated actor Chiwetel Ejiofor is in the frame to become the villain of James Bond film number 24, directed by Sam Mendes. Ejiofor, who received multiple nominations for his performance as Solomon Northrup in "12 Years a Slave," has been named as frontrunner for the position by sources in contact with TheWrap. Sam Mendes directed Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris and Ben Whishaw in the previous Bond film, "Skyfall," and will do so again for the next outing, while Ejiofor is part of the ensemble cast in action movie "Triple Nine," expected 2015;


As theaters struggle, Colorado coalition steps in

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 12:54pm

DENVER (AP) — The Grand Theater in the southeastern Colorado town of Rocky Ford is the only cinema showing 3-D movies in the 150 miles between Pueblo and Kansas — thanks to volunteer fundraising that allowed it to buy an $84,000 state-of-the-art projector to show digital films.


'The Goonies' director talks up sequel chances

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 12:24pm

Richard Donner told a street reporter that a "Goonies" sequel is in the works, though other outlets have cast doubt upon the claim. "We're doing a sequel," he said, in reponse to a number of questions from TMZ, having deflected a few jibes about the creative merits of comic book movies. "'The Goonies' never had the same mass appeal or brand recognition [as 'Ghostbusters']," wrote Jeff Sneider, reminding readers that "talk is a lot cheaper than making an actual movie." And even if, in 2012, Sean Astin told IGN that he was "1000 percent certain there will be a sequel," co-star Corey Feldman responded to the same question with "Oh my god.


Keanu Reeves to headline 'Knock Knock'

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 12:16pm

The actor will star in the forthcoming thriller from Eli Roth. The director known for horror flicks such as "Hostel" and "Cabin Fever" announced the news directly to Deadline.com. "Knock Knock" will focus on a happily married family man who has the house all to himself one weekend. Keanu Reeves will play this family man opposite Lorenza Izzo and Ana de Armas in the roles of the two femmes fatales.


Mickey Rooney, versatile actor and master showman, dies at 93

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 11:34am

Actor Mickey Rooney, who became the United States' biggest movie star while a brash teenager in the 1930s and later a versatile character actor in a career that spanned 10 decades, died on Sunday of natural causes, Los Angeles authorities said. Rooney, who developed a reputation as a hard-partying, off-screen brat in his heyday and married eight times, died at his home in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County coroner's office said, citing information from the Los Angeles Police Department. There was nothing he couldn't do," said actress Margaret O'Brien, who recently worked with Rooney on a film adaption of Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." Actress Rose Marie, a long-time friend of Rooney, said he was one of the greatest talents show business had ever had. Actor William Shatner described him as "one of the greats," and author Anne Rice said he was not only an actor but a legend.


Benicio del Toro to join Emily Blunt in 'Sicario'

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 10:03am

Benicio del Toro will co-star with Emily Blunt in Denis Villeneuve's forthcoming crime thriller, Variety reports.


'Star Wars VII' filming under way, says chairman

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 7:55am

Disney chairman Alan Horn has confirmed that "Star Wars Episode VII" has started filming, even if casting isn't totally complete. Though Horn would not confirm which actors had already been signed for J.J. Abrams's production, plenty have been linked with the seventh "Star Wars" film. Adam Driver ("Girls") and Lupita Nyong'o ("12 Years a Slave") have both been linked to the production, while several names have been mentioned in relation to a leading role: Jesse Plemons ("Breaking Bad"), Ed Speleers ("Downton Abbey"), John Boyega ("Attack the Block"), and theater actors Matthew James Thomas and Ray Fisher.


Malaysia, Indonesia ban biblical epic 'Noah'

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 6:55am

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia and Indonesia have banned the biblical epic "Noah," joining other Muslim nations that forbid the Hollywood movie for its visual depiction of the prophet.


AP PHOTOS: Mickey Rooney, a Hollywood icon

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 6:31am

Mickey Rooney, Hollywood's top box-office draw in the late 1930s to early 1940s, died Sunday at his North Hollywood home at age 93. Over the course of his career, he was nominated for four Academy Awards and received two special Oscars for film achievements, received an Emmy and a Tony nomination.