A portion of the proceeds of DVD sales of Fast & Furious 6 will be donated to tragic star Paul Walker's Reach Out WorldWide charity. The movie star was getting ready to promote the release next week (10Dec13) when he was killed in a car accident on Saturday (30Nov13) in California.
He had just wrapped up a Reach Out WorldWide charity event in Santa Clarita when the crash took place.
The non-profit supports professionals with first responder skills who leap into action when natural disasters strike.
Walker founded the charity after the Haiti earthquake in 2010.
Announcing the cash injection on Tuesday (03Dec13), Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley says, "With the passing of Paul, the world has lost a man who spent a great deal of his life in service to others. We share in the deep grief of his family, friends and the countless fans who love him.
"We keep Paul’s memory alive and honor his legacy through continued support of Reach Out WorldWide, the non-profit he founded to give hope to those who must rebuild after they have experienced natural disasters."
Meanwhile, Walker's Fast & Furious 6 co-star Dwayne Johnson has poured out his heart about his friend's death in a new EW.com interview.
The former wrestler reveals he and Walker bonded over their connections as fathers to daughters on the set.
He says, "He was motivated by work that allowed him to take care of his family, number one, and that also allowed him the power and the leverage to help people in need and in crisis.
"When I first met Paul, I think in our late 20s, we were young kids in the business. Then, years later, when I did Fast Five, we had an opportunity to spend a lot of time together and become reacquainted. At that time, we had both been in the business... for over a decade, and the most important thing that we had in common was the importance of family time and being a great father to our daughters. We bonded over that."
Walker leaves behind his 15-year-old daughter and Johnson has a 12 year old, called Simone, with ex-wife Dany Garcia.
The actor adds, "It was always the number one topic we would talk about. We would talk about silly guy things, his fast cars and my pickup trucks, or we would talk about the beautiful energy of Hawaii - but it always ultimately came back to family, and very specifically, the beautiful and important bond between a father and his daughter, and how we both realised that over the years."
As Kathryn Bigelow rakes in accolades for her Oscar-bait film, Zero Dark Thirty another woman director is making headlines for taking on the subject of war on film: Hollywood.com has learned Angelina Jolie is in talks to direct Unbroken for Universal.
The film is based off a 2010 bestselling novel of the same name and is set during World War II. It follows Olympian and war hero Louis Zamperini, who after a plane crash survived in a life raft with two other survivors for 47 days, was captured by the Japanese military, and became a prisoner of war. The book, which was the winner of the Los Angeles Book of the Year Award for Nonfiction, was a best seller for more than 108 consecutive weeks, no doubt thanks to the unbelievable nature of the true story.
With such a traumatic tale in her hands, and after taking on the dark love story set during the Bosnian War with In the Land of Blood and Honey in 2011, could Jolie be making moves to align herself with the Hurt Locker director? Bigelow is making strides for the community of criminally underrepresented female directors in Hollywood with the critical success of Zero Dark Thirty (and all before its Dec. 19 release), so it’s hard not to connect Jolie’s second turn as a director of a war-themed story to the Oscar-winning filmmaker’s works. Of course, while both directors have an affinity for bringing trying tales to the big screen, Jolie hasn’t garnered nearly the same level of respect as Bigelow, who’s been directing full-length features since 1982 while Jolie’s career behind the camera only stretches back to 2011.
Still, while In the Land of Blood and Honey debuted to mixed reviews, Jolie’s popularity certainly aids the charge of bringing equality to directing big budget films by providing greater visibility while Bigelow’s work brings the requisite dose of credibility.
In a statement announcing Jolie’s potential involvement in the film, Universal Pictures Chairman Adam Fogelson and Co-Chairman Donna Langley said, “In her life and in her work, Angelina has embraced stories and causes involving great struggle and triumph over tremendous odds and the basic human condition … She has a real ability to illustrate the strength in human spirit which will be essential in telling Lou’s story of survival and great heroism.”
In response to the opportunity, Jolie also offered comment. “I read [author] Laura Hillenbrand’s brilliant book, and I was so moved by Louie Zamperini’s heroic story, I immediately began to fight for the opportunity to make this film,” she says. “Louie is a true hero and a man of immense humanity, faith and courage. I am deeply honored to have the chance to tell his inspiring story.”
It’s highly unlikely that with just two films under her belt, Jolie can attain Bigelow status, but her entrance into the fold of successful, well-known women directors whose specialty isn’t the Rom-Com or supernatural teen romance certainly can’t hurt.
Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler
[Photo Credit: Film District]
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UPDATE: An official statement from Universal Co-Chairman Donna Langley denies any rumors that Stewart has been dropped from the sequel, explaining: "We are extremely proud of Snow White And The Huntsman and we’re currently exploring all options to continue the franchise. Any reports that Kristen Stewart has been dropped are false."
PREVIOUSLY: The folks over at The Hollywood Reporter are reporting that the rumors of the past few months are true: a Snow White and the Huntsman sequel is in the works, but perhaps not with the main star (Kristen Stewart) on board. We reported on this news earlier in the year, but THR believes that the executives in charge are ready to act.
According to THR, it seems that Universal's alleged plan is to shelf the Snow White sequel and instead focus on a movie about Chris Hemsworth's Huntsman character instead. If the plan moves forward, Stewart will allegedly not be invited to return. But, a conflicting report by the Los Angeles Times says that Stewart's character could still be incorporated in the movie.
And THR also says that Stewart isn't the only one being released from the project, though. David Koepp, the confirmed screenwriter for the sequel, is also reportedly leaving the film, as its current iteration is something other than what he was hired to write. It is expected, however, that director-slash-Stewart-romancer Rupert Sanders is still set to direct.
While the timing is somewhat suspect, it is said that the recent hullabaloo surrounding the affair between Stewart and Sanders that broke up Stewart's relationship with longtime boyfriend Robert Pattinson, had no effect on the decision. Though the current vitriol surrounding Stewart thanks to protective Twilight fans probably doesn't help matters, either. A public reunion between the director and actor will have to be put on ice for now.
According to THR, a Universal rep is quoted as saying only that "the studio is currently exploring options to continue the franchise." Hollywood.com has reached out for comment, but did not hear back at the time of publication.
[Photo Credit: Universal Pictures]
Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes
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Universal is teaming with Syfy in a new film production venture, Syfy Films. The Wall Street Journal reports the aim is to make one or two movies a year across the science-fiction, fantasy, and horror genres. Universal will distribute the pictures beginning in 2012. Budgets will range from $5 million-$25 million, with District 9 serving as the model for the new company.
Studio co-chair, Donna Langley, and Mark Stern, co-head of content for Universal Cable Productions, will oversee the new operation which will be based on the lot. An executive will be named to run the company and spearhead development. The person, says Deadline, will find projects and leverage Syfy's creative relationships developed through the TV network.
Syfy president Dave Howe told the WSJ, "We know that the sci-fi genre is huge when it comes to the Hollywood box office, and we believe there is a real gap in the market when it comes to mid-range budget movies."
"Universal and Syfy have discussed this idea casually over the years but it never quite came to pass," Universal chair Adam Fogelson told the paper. "That seemed ridiculous because there are so many films released every year about the sorts of subjects that Syfy makes their entire business out of."
Howe, Stern, Fogelson and Langley will announce the new venture today.
Source: Deadline, Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Wiretap
The organisation will present Cox with the prestigious Lucy Award at the Crystal + Lucy event this summer (10), a year after her best pal was honoured at the ceremony, which recognises women making a mark in the entertainment industry.
Avatar star Zoe Saldana has been previously announced as the recipient of the MaxMara Face Of The Future Award, while Universal Pictures' co-chairwoman Donna Langley and photography director Cynthia Pusheck will also receive trophies.
The ceremony will take place in June (10) in Los Angeles.
Smash-hit Broadway musical Wicked is set to become the latest stage show to be turned into a major movie.
Hot on the heels of Chicago, Hairspray and Mamma Mia!, the Wizard of Oz-related musical is to be turned a new Universal film, with producers Marc Platt and Stephen Schwartz on board.
But Universal boss Donna Langley insists fans will have to wait some time to see the film--because Platt and Schwartz are determined to take their time to ensure the movie repeats the success of the New York show that inspired the project.
Langley tells Variety, "Our goal now is absolutely to make the Wicked film, but... Marc and Stephen Schwartz are very mindful of the right timing. But we're dying to do it."
Platt is currently working on the movie version of the musical Nine, starring Nicole Kidman, Daniel Day-Lewis and Penelope Cruz.
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Following a trail of bodies FBI agent Peter Novak (Vince Vaughn) tracks down and captures disturbed serial killer Carl Stargher (Vincent D'Onofrio) in The Cell. Before Carl can reveal the whereabouts of his final victim (a woman trapped in a cell on the verge of drowning) he has a seizure and falls into a coma. Enter psychologist Catherine Deane (Lopez) who tries a radical new therapy. Using a chemical link to Carl's brain that could destroy her own sanity Catherine agrees to enter the labyrinthine kingdom that is the mind of this madman. Her mission: Find the cell's location before time runs out and avoid getting trapped inside the killer's head.
Jennifer Lopez looks a bit dazed and confused as she reacts to the wild and weird visuals but manages to keep a straight face with a wardrobe from Mars. Vaughn squeezes as much quirk as possible from his flatly written character and graduates to believable hero status. As the killer D'Onofrio has little to do but shoulder the weight of lavish costumes and numerous prosthetic piercings. Still his oft-altered voice and unpredictable nature make him a quite menacing villain.
The true star of the film commercial and music-video director Tarsem ("Losing My Religion") makes his feature-film debut here. His origins are abundantly clear in the fantastic mind-bending imagery mixed with static acting and minimal dialogue. Inspired by non sequitur dream imagery and artwork from the likes of Hieronymous Bosch and M.C. Escher Tarsem has created some of the most exquisite and phantasmic visuals put on celluloid yet. Come Oscar time keep an eye out for costume and art direction nods.