British director Kevin Macdonald is bringing Elvis Presley back from the dead for a new biopic produced by Sir Mick Jagger. The Last King of Scotland filmmaker has signed up to take charge of Last Train to Memphis, based on Peter Guralnick's 1995 biography of the same name, which documents the King's early years.
Jagger, who is also working on a new James Brown movie with The Help director Tate Taylor, will co-produce with Victoria Pearman through their Jagged Films company, while Crossroads screenwriter John Fusco has been hired to adapt the script, according to industry publication Variety.
Bosses at Fox 2000, the studio behind the new movie, have issued an open casting call for actors between the ages of 18 and 22 to portray a young Elvis, who was most recently played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers in 2005 TV movie Elvis.
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Whoever said that the best things in life are free must've been jamming to a mixtape. The joy of trying to save cassette tape from being eaten up by a 1988 stereo may have passed us by, but digital mixtapes still have the best components of their predecessors: free samples of new music from our favorite artists. There’s only a few months left of the year and artists releasing new mixtapes will have a lot to live up to, since 2013 saw the release of tons of great new music in the hip hop world. The latest mixtape to hit the web waves is Lil Wayne’s Dedication 5, finally released on September 1 after a 36-hour delay. Though it’s too soon to say how well Lil Wayne’s newest effort will hold up against other releases slated to come out this year, here’s a rundown of some of 2013’s best mixtapes thus far.
Yelawolf: Trunk Muzik Returns After his 2011 debut album Radioactive, Yelawolf came back with a vengeance (and a killer beard). Produced entirely by WillPower, Trunk Muzik Returns features Yelawolf’s trademark polished, 100mph flow set against some of the most refreshing beats that have been heard in rap lately. With contributions from A$AP Rocky, Raekwon, Paul Wall, and more, it’s safe to say Trunk Muzik has most definitely made its return.
Standouts: “Firestarter,” “F.A.S.T. Ride,” “Catfish Billy”
Harry Fraud: Adrift After working with French Montana for the infectious “New York Minute,” wonderboy producer Harry Fraud quickly rose to become one of the most sought-after producers in the hip hop scene. He released Adrift in March 2013 as a prequel to his High Tide EP, which was released a month later. The mixtape is a diverse compilation of songs that Fraud produced over the last year, showing his prowess as a producer and his knack for putting a NYC stamp on everything he does. Adrift features unreleased tracks from numerous rappers, including Chinx Drugz, Danny Brown, Action Bronson, and tons more.
Standouts: French Montana – “Lay Low,” Young Roddy – “4 The Money,” Adrian Lau – “Sunday”
Big K.R.I.T.: King Remembered In Time Who knew electric guitars and crying babies could make for a kickass album intro? Big K.R.I.T., that’s who. The Southern rapper dropped King Remembered In Time earlier this year to rave reviews and is continuing to carve out place for himself in the rap world. Big K.R.I.T. has already proven that he’s rather ambitious when it comes to sampling and King Remembered In Time is no different: the mixtape has samples from everyone from James Blake to Cody ChestnuTT working seamlessly against his skillful spits. King Remembered In Time features the likes of Wiz Khalifa, Trinidad Jame$, Ashton Jones, and Future.
Standouts: “REM,” “Serve This Royalty,” “Life Is A Gamble”
Chance the Rapper: Acid Rap At only 20 years old, Chance the Rapper has already made an impressive mark in the rap world. The former suspended-from-high-school student turned Chi-town rapper has a uniquely chameleon vocal delivery that changes as quickly as a teenager’s mood. Chance sounds like a nervous first-timer at open mic night, a Tiny Toons character with an overabundant helium supply, and a matter-of-fact raconteur all within the thirteen-song mixtape. Including kickass collabs with Action Bronson, Nate Fox, and Noname Gypsy, Acid Rap is definitely one of the mixtapes of the year.
Standouts: “Juice,” “Acid Rain”
The Underachievers: Indigoism Repping the Beast Coast movement strong is Issa Dash and AK, aka The Underachievers. The Brooklyn duo started to drop tracks in 2012 on YouTube and signed with Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder record label not too long after. Their debut mixtape, Indigoism, was released in February of this year and firmly put The Underachievers on map of new NYC talent to look out for. The lauded Indigoism is full of conscious, spiritual, and hard rhymes, all spat out at 500 words per minute (because really, who needs breathing?).
Standouts: “So Devilish,” “Herb Shuttles,” “Land of Lords”
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What's old is new on American Idol, it seems. Jennifer Lopez, who left the Fox singing competition after Season 11 will be back for Season 13, and this time she's being joined by new judge Harry Connick, Jr. Aussie country star Keith Urban will round out the judges table in the third spot, with Randy Jackson shifting over to his new role as a "mentor" to the contestants. Idol returns in January but begins auditions today, Sept. 3, in Boston, with subsequent stops scheduled in Atlanta, Austin, Detroit, Omaha, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco. Whether the new judges panel will stop Idol's ratings slide is another matter
“American Idol has always been about discovering the next singing superstar, and next season our judging panel will deliver a most impressive combination of talent, wisdom, and personality to do just that,” said Fox Entertainment Chairman Kevin Reilly in a statement. “Jennifer Lopez, the triple-threat global superstar who loves Idol and whom Idol fans love; Harry Connick, Jr., a bonafide musical genius and fantastic Idol mentor whose honesty and expertise can help turn these hopefuls into stars; Keith Urban, a multi-Grammy-winning artist who was such a positive force on the show last season. We are also very excited to have our friend Randy Jackson now in a new role as mentor, and the captain of our team – the heart and soul of Idol – Ryan Seacrest returning as host.”
Connick released his own statement following up an Fox's announcement, saying, “I have always been a huge fan of American Idol and really enjoyed my time as a mentor on the show. And I am honored that they’ve asked me to be a judge this season. As an entertainer, I am truly excited to bring my perspective to American Idol, and to help emerging performers find their way.”
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After Dark Films
It seems a bit odd to take on a movie review of Courtney Solomon's Getaway, as only in the loosest terms is Getaway actually a movie. We begin without questions — other than a vague and frustrating "What the hell is going on?" — and end without answers, watching Ethan Hawke drive his car into things (and people) for the hour and a half in between. We learn very little along the way, probed to engage in the mystery of the journey. But we don't, because there's no reason to.
There's not a single reason to wonder about any of the things that happen to Hawke's former racecar driver/reformed criminal — forced to carry out a series of felonious commands by a mysterious stranger who is holding his wife hostage — because there doesn't seem to be a single ounce of thought poured into him beyond what he see. We learn, via exposition delivered by him to gun-toting computer whiz Selena Gomez, that he "did some bad things" before meeting the love of his life and deciding to put that all behind him. Then, we stop learning. We stop thinking. We start crashing into police cars and Christmas trees and power plants.
Why is Selena Gomez along for the ride? Well, the beginnings of her involvement are defensible: Hawke is carrying out his slew of vehicular crimes in a stolen car. It's her car. And she's on a rampage to get it back. But unaware of what she's getting herself into, Gomez confronts an idling Hawke with a gun, is yanked into the automobile, and forced to sit shotgun while the rest of the driver's "assignments" are carried out. But her willingness to stick by Hawke after hearing his story is ludicrous. Their immediate bickering falls closer to catty sexual tension than it does to genuine derision and fear (you know, the sort of feelings you'd have for someone who held you up or forced you into accessorizing a buffet of life-threatening crimes).
After Dark Films
The "gradual" reversal of their relationship is treated like something we should root for. But with so little meat packed into either character, the interwoven scenes of Hawke and Gomez warming up to each other and becoming a team in the quest to save the former's wife serve more than anything else as a breather from all the grotesque, impatient, deliberately unappealing scenes of city wreckage.
And as far as consolidating the mystery, the film isn't interested in that either, as evidenced by its final moments. Instead of pressing focus on the answers to whatever questions we may have, the movie's ultimate reveal is so weak, unsubstantial, and entirely disconnected to the story entirely, that it seems almost offensive to whatever semblance of a film might exist here to go out on this note. Offensive to the idea of film and story in general, as a matter of fact. But Getaway isn't concerned with these notions. Not with story, character, logic, or humanity. It just wants to show us a bunch of car crashes and explosions. So you'd think it might have at least made those look a little better.
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Chadwick Boseman is set to play another American great after landing the lead role in a biopic of James Brown. Boseman has been on Hollywood's to-watch list after playing Jackie Robinson, the first African-American professional baseball star in the U.S., in 42, which was a hit at the American box office earlier this year (13).
The actor is now preparing to tackle another superstar - the Godfather of Soul himself.
The Help director Tate Taylor will helm the as-yet-untitled project, which is being produced by rock legend Mick Jagger's film company.
The movie has been in the pipeline for more than a decade, with Eddie Murphy and Wesley Snipes both being linked to play Brown.
Brown, the outlandish performer behind hits including Papa's Got a Brand New Bag and (Get Up I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine, passed away in 2006 aged 73.
Soul legend James Brown's life is to be turned into a new biopic directed by The Help's Tate Taylor. Taylor announced he will be making the film in and around his hometown of Jackson, Mississippi on Monday (26Aug13).
The director launched the project in the city with state governor Phil Bryant, and told reporters, "Every frame will be shot in Mississippi. We're even doing Paris, France, in Mississippi... Vietnam, as well, in Mississippi."
Taylor also revealed he hopes to be able to announce who will be cast as Brown in the next few days, revealing, "Those are tough shoes to fill."
Asked if his Godfather of Soul will be a Hollywood star, the director said, "I tend to go toward relative unknowns."
The movie, which will be executive produced by Mick Jagger and Brian Grazer, will be shot later this year (13) and will include scenes shot at the Mississippi Coliseum, where Brown performed a concert in 1969.
Taylor also shot scenes for The Help in his native Mississippi.
Sid Bernstein, the man who is credited with bringing The Beatles to America, has died. The legendary concert promoter, who staged shows for the Fab Four and The Rolling Stones, passed away on Wednesday (21Aug13). He was 95.
Bernstein was the brains behind The Beatles' first New York shows at Carnegie Hall shows in 1964 and their fabled Shea Stadium show in New York in 1965. He also promoted The Rolling Stones' first five U.S. gigs.
He also attempted to persuade the Fab Four to reunite in 1976 and 1979 for charity shows.
Bernstein also worked with Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Liza Minnelli, James Brown and Jimi Hendrix, among others.
Fifty Shades Of Grey writer E.L. James has been named the best paid author of 2013 ahead of industry veterans Stephen King, James Patterson and Dan Brown. The British writer has made a fortune from her 2011 erotic novel and its two sequels, which were originally written as fan fiction based on the Twilight teen vampire franchise.
She has now topped Forbes' magazine's list of the year's (13) best-paid authors with estimated earnings of $95 million (£63.3 million), which includes money from the sale of film rights as movie bosses prepare to adapt her books for the big screen.
James comes in ahead of veteran crime author Patterson, who is at number two with estimated pay of $91 million (£60.7 million) for the period between June, 2012 and June, 2013, and The Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins ($55 million/£36.7 million).
Danielle Steel is at number five on the list, ahead of Dan Brown at nine and Stephen King at 10.
Lucille Ball's signature polka-dot dress and props from Indiana Jones & The Temple Of Doom have smashed expectations at a Hollywood auction. The items went under the hammer at a Profiles in History sale earlier this week (30Jul13) and experts were left staggered as bids sailed past the estimate prices.
Ball's Lucy Ricardo dress was expected to sell for between $40,000 (GBP26,600) and $60,000 (GBP40,000), but it sold for $168,000 (GBP112,000), while a lot of sankara stones and a pyrotechnic bag from the Indiana Jones film went under the hammer for $72,000 (GBP48,000) - $64,000 (GBP42,600) more than the estimate.
Profiles in History bosses also raked in a fortune at a Hollywood sale over the weekend (28Jul13) when a selection of costumes from classic movie The Sound of Music sold for $1.3 million (GBP866,000).
The garments included the main outfit worn by the Julie Andrews' character Maria, which was described in the auction handbook as "a heavy brown homespun Austrian-style dress with a wheat-coloured homespun blouse".
Floral lederhosen worn by cast members who played the Von Trapp children also went under the hammer.
Another highlight was a costume worn by late actor James Gandolfini in his final scene of The Sopranos, which sold for $22,000 (GBP14,600). The outfit was placed under auction before Gandolfini passed away from a heart attack while in Italy last month (Jun13).
Other big sellers included Steve McQueen's signature brown tweed jacket from Bullitt, the original Charlie Chaplin 'Tramp' cane from Modern Times, and Judy Garland's 'Dorothy' dress from The Wizard of Oz, which sold for $360,000 (GBP240,00) - exactly twice its estimate.
A selection of costumes from Julie Andrews' classic movie The Sound Of Music have sold at auction in California for $1.3 million (£866,000). The garments included the main outfit worn by the Hollywood legend's character Maria, which was described in the auction handbook as "a heavy brown homespun Austrian-style dress with a wheat-coloured homespun blouse".
Floral lederhosen worn by cast members who played the Von Trapp children also went under the hammer at the Profiles in History auction over the weekend (27-28Jul13).
Another highlight was a costume worn by late actor James Gandolfini in his final scene of The Sopranos, which sold for $22,000 (£14,600). The outfit was placed under auction before Gandolfini passed away from a heart attack while in Italy last month (Jun13).
A painting of the plantation building Tara from Gone With The Wind, used in the 1939 film's opening sequence, fetched $270,000 (£180,000), and a diving helmet from 1954 movie 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea sold for $75,000 (£50,000).