Natalie Portmanhas signed on director Brady Corbet’s (The Childhood of a Leader) next project Vox Lux. The storyline, featuring songs penned by Grammy nominated artist Sia, centers on Celeste (Portman), a woman who overcomes a major tragedy to become a pop superstar. Jude Law co-stars in the feature which starts shooting February 1 in New York City. The project, which begins in 1999 and follows Celeste’s evolution to the present day, will be produced by Bold Films and Andrew Lauren Productions.
“We are thrilled to welcome such a stellar actress as Natalie Portmanto the cast,” said Bold Films Chairman Michel Litvak.
Corbet initially carved out a career as an actor, working on such first rate pictures as thirteen, Simon Killer, and Force Majeure. Portman, who directed and starred in the 2016 feature A Tale of Love and Darkness, will next be seen in the Alex Garland sci-fi thriller Annihilation (opening February 23).
One of this year’s most underrated flicks was director Guy Ritchie’sKing Arthur: Legend of the Sword, and hopefully this film will reach a wider audience when it hits Blu-ray and DVD August 8 via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.
The narrative traces Arthur’s (Charlie Hunnam) journey from a street wise hustler (he was raised by prostitutes) to an initially reluctant leader. Heir to the throne, Arthur simply wants to exist away from the spotlight, but he must do the right thing after his uncle Vortigern’s (Jude Law) evil influence spreads across the land. The epic co-stars Eric Bana as Arthur’s father and Djimon Hounsou as one of Arthur’s fellow knights.
The Blu-ray version comes with the featurettes “Arthur with Swagger,” “Sword from the Stone,” “Parry and Bleed,” “Building on the Past,” and “Inside the Cut: The Action of King Arthur,” “Camelot in 93 Days,” “Legend of Excalibur,” and “Scenic Scotland.” The DVD version’s sole special feature is “Arthur with Swagger.”
After names such as Michael Shannon, Brad Pitt, Russell Crowe and David Harbour were bandied about, the coveted role of Cable in Deadpool 2 has been cast with Josh Brolin landing the part. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Brolin inked a deal for four films. The original film featured an add-on scene during the final credits that teased the arrival of the popular character. Production is expected to start in June.
Jude Law will star as the younger version of a beloved film character, as he’ll appear as young Albus Dumbledore in the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Deadline reports that in the film, we get to see more of what the character’s life was like before he became the headmaster at Hogwart’s.
Don Cheadle has found his next passion project. The actor will star in and produce Prince of Darkness, a biopic of 19th Century millionaire Jeremiah G. Hamilton, Wall Street’s first black millionaire. Variety reports the film is being adapted from Shane White’s book of the same name, which follows Hamilton’s life as a larger-than-life businessman who purchased a mansion in New Jersey and owned railroad stock though he was not legally allowed to ride the train.
According to Tracking Board, a sequel to Eddie Murphy’s 1988 comedy Coming to America is in the works at Paramount. Original writers Barry Blaustein and David Sheffield have reportedly inked deal to pen the new film as well.
The Manny is ready to hang out with some bad moms. Justin Hartley, star of NBC’s breakout hit This Is Us, has joined the cast for the Bad Moms sequel, Bad Moms Christmas. Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn all return, and in the sequel Hartley plays a firefighter by day and erotic dancer by night who bonds with Hahn’s character.
Sly Stallone will return for a third Escape Plan film. The actor starred in the original film in 2013, while the second film is currently wrapping production.
Brett Ratner will reportedly oversee a film on the life of Playboy magnate Hugh Hefner. Deadline reports that RatPac Entertainment recently optioned the rights and Ratner will produce, while Hefner himself will be an executive producer.
According to Deadline, Robert Duvall has joined the cast of the Steve McQueen-directed film Widows. The heist-themed thriller also stars Viola Davis, Colin Farrell, Liam Neeson, Michelle Rodriguez and others. The film centers on the widows for four armed bank robbers who were killed while robbing a bank. The widows unite after their deaths with the idea of finishing the job.
Filmmaker James Gray and Ethan Ross have reportedly co-written a film called Ad Astra that has attracted Brad Pitt as its potential star. Collider reports that the film centers on a slightly autistic engineer whose father left 20 years ago on a mission to Neptune in his youth in an attempt to find signs of extra-terrestrial life. Now, as an adult, the engineer sets out to travel the solar system trying to track down his father and learn why the system failed.
Melissa Leo has signed on to star in Always on My Mind. Deadline reports the movie from writer/director Chris D’Arienzo finds Leo as the wife of an Alzheimer’s-stricken music legend, who starts to uncover his shocking secret as he begins to deteriorate. The role of the rock star has yet to be cast.
The news is not good for the long gestating film Triple Frontier. Deadline reports that Paramount has backed off the film, while stars Channing Tatum and Tom Hardy have exited as well. The film was also set to star Moonlight Oscar winner Mahershala Ali and Adria Arjona.
Spy, the action comedy featuring Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, and Jude Law hits Blu-ray and DVD September 29 via Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. With a worldwide box office take of over $232 million, the film was one of this year’s biggest hits. This is director Paul Feig’s third successful collaboration with McCarthy, as the pair previously teamed up on The Heat and Bridesmaids.
The story centers on Susan Cooper (McCarthy), a humble CIA analyst who is thurst into a deadly operation after her partner (Law) ends up missing and another agent (Statham) is compromised. With two agents down for the count, it’s up to Cooper to go undercover and infiltrate a dangerous arms dealer’s operation.
The Spy unrated Blu-ray comes with a slew of bonus features, including an unrated cut that features an extra 10 minutes and fifteen alternate scenes.
Both the Blu-ray and DVD versions come with audio commentary from members of the film’s crew (director Feig, producer Jessie Henderson, fight coordinator Walter Garcia, gaffer John Vecchio, and cinematographer Robert Yeoman). The Unrated Cut, as well as eight-part behind the scenes segment “How Spy Was Was Made” are only available on Blu-ray
Bobby Cannavale, who also starred with Byrne in Adult Beginners, Allison Janney, Miranda Hart, and 50 Cent also star in the feature.
Although director Steven Soderbergh claims he is stepping down from making movies after Side Effects and Behind the Candelabra, an artist of his caliber is bound to return to the cinema within several years.
Soderbergh experienced a similar creative cross in the road after his disappointment over the 1995 feature The Underneath. During this period, the filmmaker penned the book Getting Away With It and shot the indie films Schizopolis and Gray’s Anatomy.
During the Side Effects press conference, Mr. Soderbergh was asked if there was any direct link between his first project (Sex, Lies, And Videotape), and Beyond the Candelabra, which stars Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as his companion Scott Thorson. Although most of the director’s films are cerebral in tone, Soderbergh couldn’t help but give a witty answer to the reporter.
“I felt very fortunate that Candelabra ended up falling where it did, not only because I worked with Michael and Matt before, but it seemed to me to exist in a continuum with the first film,” said Soderbergh. “At the end of the day it was a relationship movie, and the core of it was two people in a room. The difference in this case was they were in a hot tub. I look at that as quite a progression.”
Click on the media bar and hear Soderbergh talk about Side Effects as a progression of the thriller genre that goes all the way back to Billy Wilder’s classic flick Double Indemnity. Screenwriter Scott Z. Burns is also heard in the clip: