Celebrated British actor Sir Derek Jacobi has become the latest star to get involved with the crowdsourcing movement as his latest film project is reliant on public donations. The King's Speech actor has agreed to appear in a new sci-fi movie, Sun Never Sets, along with Harry Potter star Katie Leung, who will play his onscreen adopted daughter.
A statement from producers posted on the film's fundraising page on Kickstarter.com reads, "Our film is set in the near future where China has become the undisputed world power and the West is in disarray. Now, the tired and hungry people of Europe are fleeing to the great cities of China to seek a new life as economic migrants."
Leung is urging fans to make donations to the project, writing in a post on her Twitter.com page, "We need all the help we can get for this super cool project! If you like the sound of it please share and like etc."
The page had raised just $887 (£591) of a $37,500 (£25,000) goal as WENN went to press.
The right-to-die issue blew up in Britain on Thursday (16Aug12) after Tony Nicklinson, who is almost completely paralysed, lost his legal battle for an assisted suicide.
The decision has reignited the emotionally-charged debate over whether paralysed or terminally-ill patients should be allowed to decide when and how to die - and Leung has come out in support of Nicklinson.
In a post on Twitter.com, she writes, "Anyone living in such a clearly insufferable and rare circumstance like Tony should have the right to choose what to do with their life."
The British actress landed the role of Jung Chang in a stage version of the book Wild Swans, in which Chang details her family's life under a sparse Chinese regime.
To give her performance maximum authenticity, Leung agreed to forgo Western luxuries and spa treatments - and she celebrated the end of her run in the show with a manicure on Thursday (17May12).
Taking to her Twitter.com blog, the actress posted a photo of her newly-polished nails alongside the message, "Applying nail polish after 5 months of living under communist regime feels very strange... And a nude colour at that. We are so privileged it's insane how much one still whines. Now let's all MAN UP and apply some nail polish!"
Leung shot to fame playing the boy wizard's love interest Cho Chang, but she took time out from the film industry to enrol in a course at the University of the Arts London to build on her creative talents.
The actress, who is preparing to star in a London stage adaptation of bestselling novel Wild Swans, is convinced her most famous role has left her pigeon-holed and she is worried her ethnicity may also be affecting her ability to land roles.
She tells Britain's Daily Telegraph, "Potter was such a safe environment. You knew the next film would be round the corner and you would just go back to it. But afterwards I started to wonder if I was picked because I fitted the role physically; and was concerned that the character I played for the film wasn't particularly difficult.
"In general, the auditions I go up for are very sparse, I guess because of my ethnicity. And the characters are very similar: shy, innocent and naive; the connotations that come from the way that I look."
Leung, who portrayed Daniel Radcliffe's girlfriend Cho Chang in the hit wizard movie franchise, will lead the cast in the production when it debuts at the American Repertory Theatre in Massachusetts in February (12). The play is also scheduled for a U.K. run in April (12).
The book, which was released in 1992, chronicles the true story of three female generations growing up in China. Leung will play the lead role of author Jung Chang.
Speaking about the project, she tells BBC News, "I look forward to performing this truly inspirational story on stage."
Author Chang is thrilled by the casting and the production as a whole, stating, "To see Wild Swans on stage - transferred into another art form - will be fantastic. It feels great to know that my book is in such good hands."
Leung, who shot to fame playing the boy wizard's love interest Cho Chang, considered pursuing an alternative career path after the final Potter movie was released this summer (11).
She tells Britain's Evening Standard, "Harry Potter was an amazing experience but I didn't know whether I was chosen on my acting ability or because I fitted the character at the time."
The 24 year old enrolled in an intensive drama course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland over the summer (11) and admits the classes reignited her desire to act.
Now she's set to make her stage debut in Wild Swans, an adaptation of Jung Chang's historical epic, (11) at London's Young Vic theatre in April (12).
She adds, "Going to drama college reconfirmed my passion for acting and then this stage work popped up. I'm really excited to be making my theatre debut. It's just an amazing opportunity and I couldn't have asked for anything better than this after Potter. I look forward to representing this truly inspirational story on stage."
Previously on Harry Potter: Big bad Voldemort steals the Elder Wand from Dumbledore's grave while Harry mourns the loss of his wee elf friend Dobby and begins his search for the remaining Horcruxes.
If that recap leaves you with hazy memories of last year's Deathly Hallows - Part 1 you may want to pop in the DVD before taking on the Harry Potter franchise's grand finale Deathly Hallows - Part 2. The eighth film in the series doesn't pull any punches demanding your knowledge of the saga's previous events and crescendoing off a foundation of character and connection built over a decade of cinematic excursions. That's not a fault -- Deathly Hallows - Part 2 serves hardcore fans and dedicated patrons of the franchise alike bouncing elegantly back and forth between explosive action and emotional conclusions. At this point that's what matters.
Whereas Deathly Hallows - Part 1 took Harry Hermione and Ron on a gritty race through the real world Part 2 brings the trio back to their home base Hogwarts School of Magic and Child Death where their colleagues and professors find themselves defending it against the empowered Voldemort and his band of Death Eaters. Similarly to Transformers: Dark of the Moon Deathly Hallows - Part 2 spends most of its run time following various established characters as they navigate the epic battle. Unlike the clunky erratic action of TF3 director David Yates manages to execute the sequences in Potter with bravado making sure we give a damn every time Potter discovers a secret from the past blows a Death Eater out a window or glances upon one of his closest friends lying dead on the floor.
For all its otherworldliness Potter is and always has been a human story one that puts its characters before spectacle. But when Yates and his team of FX wizards do unleash their bag of spells on the screen they do it with a very BIG bang. Deathly Hallows - Part 2's scope is on par with the Lord of the Rings trilogy bringing everything from trolls to spiders to animate statues into the wizards' massive assault. The franchise hasn't seen action on this scale before but Yates never misses a beat or opportunity to dazzle with visual eye candy. Turning the crumbling of Hogwarts castle into a riveting poignant experience -- true magic.
Once again Daniel Radcliffe Emma Watson Rupert Grint and a cast of veteran British thespians deliver the necessary gravitas to anchor Potter's fantastical elements in reality. With everything finally on the line in Deathly Hallows - Part 2 each performance is at its best and Radcliffe steps up to the plate to make his final showdown with Voldemort one to remember. He spends most of the movie covered in dirt encrusted blood on his face and a harrowing sense of death behind his eyes. Heavy material but Radcliffe pulls it off.
Few franchises have the chance that Harry Potter has been fortunate enough to receive to follow the same familiar faces through years of ever-complicating story. Thankfully Deathly Hallows - Part 2 doesn't squander the opportunity. The saga swells with a triumphant final act one that never forgets why people love the movies in the first place. The adventure the awe the comedy the thrills the people the places the things -- those are the elements that make Harry Potter grand and they return in perfect form once more to say good-bye.
Just days before the penultimate Potter film hits cinemas, the actress has beaten Keira Knightley to the top of a new Fandango.com poll.
Watson's Potter pals Katie Leung and Bonnie Wright also make the top list, as does Knightley's Never Let Me Go co-star Carey Mulligan, Emily Blunt and Clash of the Titans star Gemma Arterton.
Over 4,000 film fans were polled for the online survey.
The top 10 list is:
1. Emma Watson
2. Keira Knightley
3. Emily Blunt
4. Sienna Miller
5. Gemma Arterton
6. Bonnie Wright
7. Rebecca Hall
8. Carey Mulligan
9. Katie Leung
10. Hayley Atwell.
Teen comedy Superbad is leading the nominations for the 2008 MTV Movie Awards after picking up five nods, including Best Movie.
The high school comedy, directed by Greg Mottola, also scooped nominations for the film's stars Jonah Hill and Michael Cera, who will compete in the Breakthrough Performance category along with their co-star Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Hill is also up for Best Comedic Performance.
But Superbad will be going up against Oscar-winning Juno--which Cera also stars in--for the Best Movie prize, while the actor is also recognized for his efforts in the teen pregnancy film with a nomination for Best Male Performance.
Meanwhile, the big-screen adaptation of Transformers is nominated for three gongs: Best Movie, Best Male Performance for Shia LaBeouf and Breakthrough Performance for Megan Fox. And Enchanted star Amy Adams also received a trio of nods for the Disney film--Best Female Performance, Best Comedic Performance and Best Kiss for her smooch with Patrick Dempsey.
The winners for the 17th Annual MTV Movie Awards will be unveiled on June 1 at the Gibson Amphitheater in Universal City, California.
The full list of nominees is as follows:
I Am Legend
National Treasure: Book of Secrets
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Best Comedic Performance:
Amy Adams - Enchanted
Johnny Depp - Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Jonah Hill - Superbad
Seth Rogen - Knocked Up
Adam Sandler - I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
Best Male Performance:
Michael Cera - Juno
Matt Damon - The Bourne Ultimatum
Shia LaBeouf - Transformers
Will Smith - I Am Legend
Denzel Washington - American Gangster
Best Female Performance:
Amy Adams - Enchanted
Jessica Biel - I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
Katherine Heigl - Knocked Up
Keira Knightley - Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Ellen Page - Juno
Nikki Blonsky - Hairspray
Chris Brown - This Christmas
Michael Cera - Superbad
Zac Efron - Hairspray
Megan Fox - Transformers
Jonah Hill - Superbad
Christopher Mintz-Plasse - Superbad
Seth Rogen - Knocked Up
Alien vs. Predator - Alien vs. Predator: Requiem
Hayden Christensen vs. Jamie Bell - Jumper
Matt Damon vs. Joey Ansah - The Bourne Ultimatum
Sean Faris vs. Cam Gigandet - Never Back Down
Tobey Maguire vs. James Franco - Spider-Man 3
Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan vs. Sun Ming Ming - Rush Hour 3
Javier Bardem - No Country for Old Men
Johnny Depp - Sweeney Todd
Topher Grace - Spider-Man 3
Angelina Jolie - Beowulf
Denzel Washington - American Gangster
Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey - Enchanted
Briana Evigan and Robert Hoffman - Step Up 2 the Streets
Shia LaBeouf and Sarah Roemer - Disturbia
Ellen Page and Michael Cera - Juno
Daniel Radcliffe and Katie Leung - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Best Summer Movie So Far:
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Sex and the City
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
COPYRIGHT 2008 WORLD ENTERTAINMENT NEWS NETWORK LTD. All Global Rights Reserved.
As the fifth year at Hogwarts begins most of the wizardry world is having a hard time believing Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) has returned further propagated by the Ministry of Magic who refuses to recognize anything evil is brewing and blames all the hullabaloo on Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and Dumbledore (Michael Gambon). The Ministry even interferes with Hogwarts business by making Ministry employee Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor whose outwardly sweet demeanor hides a sadistic streak a mile wide. She thinks the children should only learn about the Dark Arts “theoretically” and tortures all those who disagree. But the Voldemort threat is a reality and Dumbledore has re-formed the Order of the Phoenix a group of witches and wizards that prepares to battle the Dark Lord. Harry is unfortunately being kept in the dark for his protection of course even as his connection to Voldemort grows stronger and he’s royally peeved at being ignored. Urged on by Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) he forms his own order of Hogwarts students called Dumbledore’s Army to teach them what defenses against the Dark Arts he has already learned. Oh yeah Harry also shares his first kiss but make no bones about it—love is the furthest thing on Harry’s mind when the crap hits the fan. War is imminent. Everyone steps up their game in Order of the Phoenix. Radcliffe Watson and Grint have shed their adolescent whininess and aw-shucks goofiness to give their characters the greatest depth so far. They are forced to grow up pretty quickly in Order with little time for any playfulness and the three actors handle the seriousness with aplomb. Of course both Radcliffe and Grint have already ventured out of the Potter world—Radcliffe shed more than just adolescence on stage in a production of Equus while Grint lost his virginity in the indie Driving Lessons--and their extra experience shows in Order. Also good are Matthew Lewis as the usually clumsy Neville Longbottom who shows his mettle in more ways than one and newcomer Evanna Lynch as the slightly off-kilter Luna Lovegood who proves to be a loyal member of Dumbledore’s Army. But the kids have to keep up with the talented adult cast especially Oscar-nominated Staunton (Vera Drake) as Umbridge. The veteran actress’ interpretation of one of J.K. Rowling’s nastiest characters so far in the Potter lore is spot-on down to the pink wool suits and irritating twitter “ahem” she uses when she wants your undivided attention. Helena Bonham Carter also makes an impression however over the top it is as the evil Voldemort follower Bellatrix Lestrange. Does she ever want to look pretty onscreen? Then there’s the laundry list of Brits whose time onscreen may be short but is nonetheless memorable including Alan Rickman as the sneering Prof. Snape; Gambon as the wise but flawed Dumbledore; Gary Oldman as the kindly Sirius Black Harry’s only real family; and of course Fiennes as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. His late-in-the-game appearance once again throws you for a loop. It stands to reason that at five movies in moviegoers would have a favorite Harry Potter flick by now. Those who love those Triwizard Tournament special effects might feel The Goblet of Fire was the best; or Prisoner of Azkaban for its time-bending action. Yet The Order of the Phoenix may be the one movie that speaks directly to the fans of the books. Without as much wide-eyed wonderment or wizardry flash the story is still chockfull of compelling details that are absolutely pivotal to the continuing Harry Potter saga. Screenwriter Michael Goldenberg (Peter Pan) and director David Yates (HBO’s The Girl in the Café) manage to wade through this volume of information and cut successfully to the chase with great effect. Yates who has signed on to do the sixth movie Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince even shows an affinity for action in the final dramatic confrontation between good witches and wizards and bad ones. But overall Order of the Phoenix may leave audiences not as well-versed in the novels a little itchy for some good old-fashioned wand-waving and Disney special effects. Thing is it’s just going to keep getting darker and darker for Harry and his crew. The days of happy fun playtime are over.