Actor Anthony Mackie is set to develop and star in a film about Olympic gold medallist Jesse Owens. The Captain America: The Winter Soldier star has teamed up with his producing partner Jason Spire and screenwriter Jamie Linden and they are hoping to shoot the film in Germany later this year (14), according to Deadline.com.
The untitled movie will centre on the lead-up to the 1936 Berlin Olympics, where the sprinter took home four gold medals, much to the disgust of Germany's Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
Mackie's project is not the only movie about the American track and field star in the works - bosses at Disney are working on a film based on on the Jeremy Schaap book Triumph, while Stephan James has reportedly been cast as Owens in a film to be directed by Predator 2's Stephen Hopkins.
The Owens film might help explain why Mackie has dropped out of playing jazz musician Buddy Bolden in a biopic, due to scheduling issues.
He began filming Bolden in 2007, but in 2009 director Dan Pritzker ordered extensive re-shoots involving Mackie's scenes.
Pritzker is now planning to finish the movie by filming half of it over again and has cast Downton Abbey's Gary Carr to replace Mackie.
Despite the rest of the 2014 BAFTA Award nominees not being announced until later this week, the five actors who will be competing for the annual Rising Star Award have been revealed. The list includes:
-Dane DeHaan, who played the murderous beatnik Lucien Carr in Kill Your Darlings-Lupita Nyong'o, who gave a devastating and unforgettable performance as Patsey in 12 Years A Slave -Lea Seydoux, who romanced Adèle Exarchopoulos in Blue is the Warmest Color-Will Poulter, who costarred in the high-grossing comedy We're The Millers-George MacKay, who starred as a recently-discharged soldier in the British musical Sunshine on Leith
The winner will be determined by the public, and fans can vote for their favorite actor on the BAFTA website.
With all of the end-of-year lists, award nominations, and "breakthrough performance" articles that have been published lately, it's very likely that thesse Rising Star nods will get lost in the shuffle. However, if there's one award that film fans should really be paying attention to, its the Rising Star Award. Why? Well, it's the most exciting award that will be handed out in the coming months. That's right: more exciting than the Best Picture race or the possibility of your favorite, underappreciated television show winning a Golden Globe. And here's why:
Everything About Them Will Surprise YouFrom the moment it premiered at Cannes, Blue Is the Warmest Color has been one of the biggest and most critically acclaimed films of the year, resulting a steady stream of awards and accolades for its leading lady, Exarchopoulos. Despite making every single "breakout performance" list of the year and being a strong contender for an Oscar nomination, she was passed over in this category for her co-star, Seydoux. While Seydoux may have started off as the film's more recognizable name, with years of modeling and acting credits under her belt, she has been all but forgotten in the wake of Exarchopoulos' performance. As such, it was a surprise to see BAFTA name Seydoux on its Rising Star list, when everyone expected Exarchopoulos to be a lock. Perhaps they plan on nominating her for one of the main acting categories, perhaps they feel she has plenty more time to be nominated, or perhaps the panel of judges just wasn't that impressed with her work; whatever it is, it just goes to show that the Rising Star Award is the most unpredictable major film award around. Besides, if you can't even predict the nominees, just imagine what that will do for your awards bracket.
The Winners and Nominees Go on to Lead Huge CareersSince the award's inception in 2006, almost all of the winners have gone on to become blockbuster stars and acclaimed power players. James McAvoy, the first winner, took home the prize amidst awards buzz for his role in The Last King of Scotland, and then went on to star in major films like Atonement and X-Men: First Class. Other winners have included Eva Green, Tom Hardy, Kristen Stewart, and Shia LaBeouf, all of whom have enjoyed a great deal of fame and success. But it's not just the winners who are able to make the transition from breakout to bankable movie star; all of the nominees have also seen their star power rise as a result of being placed on the shortlist. With actors like Emma Stone, Andrew Garfield, Carey Mulligan, Michelle Williams, Cillian Murphy, Michael Fassbender, and Jesse Eisenberg all among the many nominees, the Rising Star Award may just be the most accurate indicator of who really is the next big thing in Hollywood. And considering that one of the actors McAvoy beat for the prize is 12 Years a Slave star Chiwetel Ejiofor, there's no doubt that everyone on this list will go on to do big things, and you can now say that you discovered them first.
Everything Is Skewing YoungerAt only 20, Poulter is the youngest of the five nominees, and one of the youngest to ever be nominated, but this year, all of the nominees seem to be a lot younger than the usual selection. Because the Rising Star Award prides itself on recognizing great performances, regardless of age, nationality or gender, there has always been a good mix of ages on the list. When Hardy won at 33, his competition ranged from then 21-year-old Aaron Taylor-Johnson to 24-year-old Gemma Arterton to 27-year-old Garfield. However, this year, the oldest nominee is Nyong'o, who is only 30, which seems to recognize that the people who are giving the most incredible film performances are not necessarily the people studios have come to rely on. Sure, there's always a chance that a young performer will be nominated for an Oscar, but the Rising Star Award is the best way to recognize all of the young, talented performers currently working in Hollywood. Need someone to carry your action franchise? Look no further. Want to see a compelling, moving performance from an unexpected source? Consider this award your recommendation list. With so many young nominees this year, it's clear that something is shifting in Hollywood, and its refreshing to see a major film academy recognize that.
It's Anyone's GameWhat makes the Rising Star Award so interesting is that the results are entirely determined by the public, making it almost impossible to predict who will take home this year's prize. While Nyong'o has captured everyone's attention as Patsey, and Lea Seydoux has already won the Palm D'or, their captivating performances might not be enough to guarantee them a win. Often, it helps when an actor has a major film behind them, like with Stewart and the Twilight franchise, or Hardy's work in Inception, which might help sway things in Poulter or DeHaan's favor. While neither of their films have the same kind of following that Stewart and Hardy had, they've both been steadily gaining attention for some time now, and are set to play important roles in big upcoming franchises — The Maze Runner for Poulter and the sequel to The Amazing Spiderman for DeHaan. However, there's still the possibility of a complete surprise, like in 2012, when writer/director/rapper Adam Deacon, best known for his work on Kidulthood and Anuvahood beat out Chris O'Dowd, Eddie Redmayne, Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston, which means that things could end up swinging in MacKay's favor. There's no telling who will walk away with the title this year, which makes it more thrilling than watching the expected front-runner end up with the prize.
Vote for your favorite rising star online, and find out who will win this and all of the other BAFTA awards when the ceremony airs on February 16.
Robert Zemeckis is a blockbuster director at heart. Action has never been an issue for the man behind Back to the Future. When he puts aside the high concept adventures for emotional human stories — think Forrest Gump or Cast Away — he still goes big. His latest Flight continues the trend revolving the story of one man's fight with alcoholism around a terrifying plane crash. Zemeckis expertly crafts his roaring centerpiece and while he finds an agile performer in Denzel Washington the hour-and-a-half of Flight after the shocking moment can't sustain the power. The "big" works. The intimate drowns.
Washington stars as Whip Whitaker a reckless airline pilot who balances his days flying jumbo jets with picking up women snorting lines of cocaine and drinking himself to sleep. Although drunk for the flight that will change his life forever that's not the reason the plane goes down — in fact it may be the reason he thinks up his savvy landing solution in the first place. Writer John Gatins follows Whitaker into the aftermath madness: an investigation of what really happened during the flight Whitaker's battle to cap his addictions and budding relationships that if nurtured could save his life.
Zemeckis tops his own plane crash in Cast Away with the heart-pounding tailspin sequence (if you've ever been scared of flying before Flight will push into phobia territory). In the few scenes after the literal destruction Washington is able to convey an equal amount of power in the moments of mental destruction. Whitaker is obviously crushed by the events the bottle silently calling for him in every down moment. Flight strives for that level of introspection throughout eventually pairing Washington with equally distraught junkie Nicole (Kelly Reilly). Their relationship is barely fleshed out with the script time and time again resorting to obvious over-the-top depictions of substance abuse (a la Nic Cage's Leaving Las Vegas) and the bickering that follows. Washington's Whitaker hits is lowest point early sitting there until the climax of the film.
Sharing screentime with the intimate tale is the surprisingly comical attempt by the pilot's airline union buddy (Bruce Greenwood) and the company lawyer (Don Cheadle) to get Whitaker into shape. Prepping him for inquisitions looking into evidence from the wreckage and calling upon Whitaker's dealer Harling (John Goodman) to jump start their "hero" when the time is right the two men do everything they can to keep any blame being placed upon Whitaker by the National Transportation Safety Board investigators. The thread doesn't feel relevant to Whitaker's plight and in turn feels like unnecessary baggage that pads the runtime.
Everything in Fight shoots for the skies — and on purpose. The music is constantly swelling the photography glossy and unnatural and rarely do we breach Washington's wild exterior for a sense of what Whitaker's really grappling with. For Zemeckis Flight is still a spectacle film with Washington's ability to emote as the magical special effect. Instead of using it sparingly he once again goes big. Too big.
It was the trickle of pee heard around the world. Cannes attendees were aghast and/or amused an infamous scene from The Paperboy that shows Nicole Kidman urinating on Zac Efron; this is apparently a great salve for jellyfish burns which were covering our Ken Doll-like protagonist. (In fact the term protagonist should be used very loosely for Efron's character Jack who is mostly acted upon than active throughout.)
Lurid! Sexy! Perverse! Trashy! Whether or not it's actually effective is overshadowed by all the hubbub that's attached itself to the movie for better or worse. In fact the movie is all of these things — but that's actually not a compliment. What could have become somethingmemorable is jaw-droppingly bad (when it's not hilarious). Director Lee Daniels uses a few different visual styles throughout from a stark black and white palette for a crime scene recreation at the beginning to a '70s porno aesthetic that oscillates between psychedelic and straight-up sweaty with an emphasis on Efron's tighty-whiteys. This only enhances the sloppiness of the script which uses lines like narrator/housekeeper/nanny Anita's (Macy Gray) "You ain't tired enough to be retired " to conjure up the down-home wisdom of the South. Despite Gray's musical talents she is not a good choice for a narrator or an actor for that matter. In a way — insofar as they're perhaps the only female characters given a chunk of screen time — her foil is Charlotte Bless Nicole Kidman's character. Anita is the mother figure who wears as we see in an early scene control-top pantyhose whereas Charlotte is all clam diggers and Barbie doll make-up. Or as Anita puts it "an oversexed Barbie doll."
The slapdash plot is that Jack's older brother Ward (Matthew McConaughey) comes back to town with his colleague Yardley (David Oyelowo) to investigate the case of a death row criminal named Hillary Van Wetter. Yardley is black and British which seems to confuse many of the people he meets in this backwoods town. Hillary (John Cusack) hidden under a mop of greasy black hair) is a slack-jawed yokel who could care less if he's going to be killed for a crime he might or might not have committed. He is way more interested in his bride-to-be Charlotte who has fallen in love with him through letters — this is her thing apparently writing letters and falling in love with inmates — and has rushed to help Ward and Yardley free her man. In the meantime we're subjected to at least one simulated sex scene that will haunt your dreams forever. Besides Hillary's shortcomings as a character that could rustle up any sort of empathy the case itself is so boring it begs the question why a respected journalist would be interested enough to pursue it.
The rest of the movie is filled with longing an attempt to place any the story in some sort of social context via class and race even more Zac Efron's underwear sexual violence alligator innards swamp people in comically ramshackle homes and a glimpse of one glistening McConaughey 'tock. Harmony Korine called and he wants his Gummo back.
It's probably tantalizing for this cast to take on "serious" "edgy" work by an Oscar-nominated director. Cusack ditched his boombox blasting "In Your Eyes" long ago and Efron's been trying to shed his squeaky clean image for so long that he finally dropped a condom on the red carpet for The Lorax so we'd know he's not smooth like a Ken doll despite how he was filmed by Daniels. On the other hand Nicole Kidman has been making interesting and varied career choices for years so it's confounding why she'd be interested in a one-dimensional character like Charlotte. McConaughey's on a roll and like the rest of the cast he's got plenty of interesting projects worth watching so this probably won't slow him down. Even Daniels is already shooting a new film The Butler as we can see from Oprah's dazzling Instagram feed. It's as if they all want to put The Paperboy behind them as soon as possible. It's hard to blame them.
While recent animated blockbusters have aimed to viewers of all ages starting with fantastical concepts and breathtaking visuals but tackling complex emotional issues along the way Ice Age: Continental Drift is crafted especially for the wee ones — and it works. Venturing back to prehistoric times once again the fourth Ice Age film paints broad strokes on the theme of familial relationships throwing in plenty of physical comedy along the way. The movie isn't that far off from one of the many Land Before Time direct-to-video sequels: not particularly innovative or necessary but harmless thrilling fun for anyone with a sense of humor. Unless they have a particular distaste for wooly mammoths the kids will love it.
Ice Age: Continental Drift continues to snowball its cartoon roster bringing back the original film's trio (Ray Romano as Manny the Mammoth Denis Leary as Diego the Sabertooth Tiger and John Leguizamo as Sid the Sloth) new faces acquired over the course of the franchise (Queen Latifah as Manny's wife Ellie) and a handful of new characters to spice things up everyone from Nicki Minaj as Manny's daughter Steffie to Wanda Sykes as Sid's wily grandma. The whole gang is living a pleasant existence as a herd with Manny's biggest problem being playing overbearing dad to the rebellious daughter. Teen mammoths they always want to go out and play by the waterfall! Whippersnappers.
The main thrust of the film comes when Scratch the Rat (whose silent comedy routines in the vein of Tex Avery/WB cartoons continue to be the series highlight) accidentally cracks the singular continent Pangea into the world we know today. Manny Diego and Sid find themselves stranded on an iceberg once again forced on a road trip journey of survival. The rest of the herd embarks to meet them giving Steffie time to realize the true meaning of friendship with help from her mole pal Louis (Josh Gad).
The ham-handed lessons may drag for those who've passed Kindergarten but Ice Age: Continental Drift is a lot of fun when the main gang crosses paths with a group of villainous pirates. (Back then monkeys rabbits and seals were hitting the high seas together pillaging via boat-shaped icebergs. Obviously.) Quickly Ice Age becomes an old school pirate adventure complete with maritime navigation buried treasure and sword fights. Gut (Peter Dinklage) an evil ape with a deadly... fingernail leads the evil-doers who pose an entertaining threat for the familiar bunch. Jennifer Lopez pops by as Gut's second-in-command Shira the White Tiger and the film's two cats have a chase scene that should rouse even the most apathetic adults. Hearing Dinklage (of Game of Thrones fame) belt out a pirate shanty may be worth the price of admission alone.
With solid action (that doesn't need the 3D addition) cartoony animation and gags out the wazoo Ice Age: Continental Drift is entertainment to enjoy with the whole family. Revelatory? Not quite. Until we get a feature length silent film of Scratch's acorn pursuit we may never see a "classic" Ice Age film but Continental Drift keeps it together long enough to tell a simple story with delightful flare that should hold attention spans of any length. Massive amounts of sugar not even required.
[Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox]
The young Brit will portray beat writer Allen Ginsberg in a star-studded new murder mystery.
Radcliffe admits he has been attached to the project for months but was sworn to secrecy.
He says, "I'm thrilled to actually finally be able to talk about it. It's a project that I've kind of been attached to for a long time. It's called Kill Your Darlings and it's a story about a murder that was kind of the catalyst to forming the Beat Generation, so it's a film about Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs and Lucien Carr... who was a really instrumental figure in all of their lives.
"Potentially, I think, it could be a really great film and it's already got a really great cast."
Chris Evans and Jesse Eisenberg are also attached to the movie, but Radcliffe has refused to name names.