Glee star Harry Shum, Jr. has been cast in the upcoming Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon prequel.
The actor/dancer is set to play Tie-Fang, one of the four heroes of the martial arts world, alongside Donnie Yen as Silent Wolf and Michelle Yeoh, who will reprise her role as Yu Shu-Lien.
The next instalment will centre around the foursome as they fight to keep the legendary sword Green Destiny from the hands of villainous Hades Dai.
Shum, Jr. is best known as Glee's Mike Chang. He also recently wrapped filming on a drama with Ray Liotta, called Revenge of the Green Dragons.
Cult TV series Veronica Mars was given the top prize at the inaugural mtvU Fandom Awards on Thursday (24Jul14). The teen detective drama was given new life last year (13) after fans donated $5.7 million (£3.5 million) via a Kickstarter.com campaign to reunite the cast for a feature film, seven years after the show was abruptly cancelled.
The Veronica Mars movie was released in March (14), and fans of the series have continued supporting the franchise by voting for the show in the first-ever mtvU prizegiving, beating out 31 nominees, including The Hunger Games, The Hobbit, Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad for Fandom of the Year.
Also taking home trophies were Game of Thrones for OMG Moment of the Year for the Purple Wedding episode, Harry Potter for Best Fandom Forever, TV series Hannibal for Breakout Fandom of the Year, and The Vampire Diaries' Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev for Ship of the Year (Favourite onscreen relationship).
Special prizes also went to Teen Wolf for Fandom Feat of the Year, as the programme's fans raised funds to build a wolf sanctuary, and The Fault in Our Stars author John Green for the Visionary Award.
The ceremony was held at the Petco Park baseball stadium on 24 July (14) as part of the annual Comic-Con festival in San Diego, California, and broadcast in the U.S. on Sunday (27Jul14).
British actor Dave Legeno has died at the age of 50. The Harry Potter star passed away while hiking in Death Valley National Park in California.
His body was found in a remote area by a pair of hikers last Sunday (06Jul14) and local police believe he may have died from heat related issues, according to TMZ.com.
Legeno began his career as a boxer and mixed martial arts fighter under the name Lone Wolf.
He landed his first movie role in 2000's Snatch and went on to appear in Batman Begins. He also featured as werewolf Fenrir Greyback in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Parts 1 and 2.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
Jonah Hill is the most unlikely movie star. He isn't particularly "handsome" like those who came before him, such as Rudolph Valentino, Cary Grant, or even George Clooney. Hollywood producers don't develop movies for him, and he is rarely given the leading role. In another time, Hill might have been a consistently reliable character actor like Harry Dean Stanton whose presence elevates certain films but whose name is largely unrecognized by the general moviegoing audience. Today, however, Hill is a household name, and his appearance in more films signifies a change in both industry and audience practices.
Unlike most character actors who express their versatility in diverse supporting roles, Hill presents a star persona that is specific to his skills as a performer. In his scene-stealing cameo in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, for example, Hill creates humor out of an awkward encounter. Hill's deadpan delivery forces the audience to laugh at his character's cringeworthy interactions. The character is painful to watch, and the audience is embarrassed for him, but Hill's ability to own the absurdity of the situation turns the scene into comedy gold.
The same can be said about Hill's supporting turn in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Hill plays a different character in the film and is given more screen time, but he similarly finds humor in awkwardness. He approaches the scene as a serious actor would, but the combination of his intention (to promote his music) and the situation (intruding upon an intimate conversation between two characters) creates an embarrassing moment that is so absurd the audience can't help but laugh.
Hill would push this persona to the extreme in Cyrus, a hilarious comedy in which he plays a young man who still lives with his mother Molly (Marisa Tomei). John C. Reilly's character begins dating Molly and must deal with Hill's abnormalities. In the scene below, Hill threatens Reilly to back off, and as usual, he turns an awkward situation into comedy. Hill plays the scene intensely as if it were a drama, but the absurd premise of the film and Hill's association with it triggers the audience to laugh.
Hill would continue to develop and expand this persona in other films, including his Oscar nominated turns in both Moneyball and The Wolf of Wall Street. In the former, Hill is as subdued as he's ever been, but there's always an element of humor in even the simplest line readings. By contrast, his work in the latter is over-the-top, and although he shows a side of himself moviegoers have never seen, he still manages to sneak in his awkward screen persona. Consider, for instance, the scene below in which Hill explains to Leonardo DiCaprio's character his abnormal relationship with his cousin. The combination of Hill's physical appearance (those teeth!) and his earnest delivery once again force the audience to laugh at the absurdity of the situation.
This is not to say that Hill lacks talent, because I personally think that he's one of cinema's most exciting performers. However, with each film appearance, Hill cultivates a unique star persona that is unlike anything we've seen before. He lacks the traditional handsomeness of other male movie stars and he isn't expected or required to play the leading role. Yet his signature is always stamped on each film he's in, and all of his performances adhere to his persona while simultaneously expanding it. Like some of Hill's more famous co-stars such as Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, Hill has become a beloved household name. Unlike them, Hill is carving a new path for movie stars of a different kind, and it will be exciting to see where he goes next.
The Wolf Of Wall Street star Margot Robbie has been confirmed to play Jane in a new live-action take on Tarzan. The Australian beauty edged out Emma Stone for the lead female role, and she'll now romance Alexander Skarsgard's Tarzan in the modern remake of the classic Edward Rice Burroughs tale.
The 3D live-action film will focus on Tarzan's efforts to get to grips with life in urban London. It will be directed by Harry Potter director David Yates.
Django Unchained co-stars Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz will also be a part of the Tarzan film, which Warner Bros. producers hope to have swinging into cinemas in July, 2016.
The Yates project isn't the only Tarzan movie in the works - Kellan Lutz voices the jungle orphan in another live action release, which is set to hit theatres in May (14).
British actor Warwick Davis fears a dwarf-throwing scene in The Wolf Of Wall Street will glamorise the bizarre game. The Harry Potter star is concerned over a scene in Martin Scorsese's film about corrupt stockbroker Jordan Belfort in which the trader and his colleagues hurl small people at a cloth target.
Davis, who runs an agency for small actors, has branded the practice "reprehensible" and is concerned its light-hearted use in the Oscar-nominated movie will give viewers the impression the game is fun.
He tells Britain's Daily Mail newspaper, "It is a dehumanising practice, very reprehensible. I have been approached to provide small people for dwarf-throwing and always refuse. I hope the film doesn't make people think it is glamorous to fling small people about."
American author and screenwriter Ned Vizzini has committed suicide, aged 32. The scribe took his own life on Thursday (19Dec13) in New York, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Vizzini was best known for his 2006 novel It's Kind of a Funny Story, a semi-autobiographical tale about a high school student who ends up in a mental hospital after a suicide attempt.
The book was turned into a movie in 2010, which starred Zach Galifianakis.
Vizzini wrote his most recent project, House of Secrets: Battle of the Beast, with Harry Potter director Chris Columbus.
He was also writing for several TV shows, including J.J. Abrams and Alfonso Cuaron's Believe, The Last Resort and Teen Wolf.
Movie-maker Martin Scorsese will be feted by the Art Directors Guild (ADG) next year (14) as he is handed the Cinematic Imagery Award. The Oscar-winning director will be given the prestigious accolade at the 18th annual Art Directors Guild's Excellence in Production Design Awards on 8 February (14) in Los Angeles.
The organisation's council chairman, John Shaffner, lauds Scorsese's work and tells The Hollywood Reporter, "The ADG has always considered his hands-on pursuit of excellence of production design to equal all of the fine craftsmanship that goes into every aspect of all Martin Scorsese films."
In addition to his numerous directing credits, Scorsese is also founder and chair of The Film Foundation and the World Cinema Project, which are non-profit organisations dedicated to the preservation, restoration and protection of film.
Previous recipients of the honour include the production designers on the James Bond franchise, the principal team behind the Harry Potter films, Warren Beatty and Terry Gilliam.
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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The cinematic domination of young adult novels started with one boy wizard. Once upon a time in a Hogwarts far, far away, most young adult novels never made the jump to the small screen. The smash success of properties like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games changed all that. Now a popular young adult franchise can pretty much be guaranteed to get the star treatment.
Katniss Everdeen won’t be the only young adult heroine lighting up the small screen. There are dozens upon dozens of young adult movie adaptations coming down the pipe. Some will be smash hits like The Hunger Games and Twilight. Others will arrive as duds, like this summer’s Mortal Instruments adaptation.
Let’s take a quick peek at four young adult movie adaptations coming soon to a theater near you. How many of these youth-centered properties actually take off might just determine whether the young adult novel-as-movie phase continues or fizzles.
DivergentThis successful book series will soon star Shailene Woodley as the heroine in a dystopian world where your defining trait really matters. The movie is looking to be the next Hunger Games and the buzz is through the roof, with a huge turnout for the film at San Diego Comic Con. This movie looks like it might become a new franchise builder.
The GiverAt this point in the young adult novel revolution, producers are looking way back in order to find books to adapt. Enter The Giver, that book many of us had to read in middle or high school. The movie is set to start filming soon and will feature huge star power from Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep.
The Maze RunnerYoung adult novels seriously love dystopian tales, so it’s unsurprising another bleak future is in store for us at the box office. In this film, boys are dropped into an impossible maze and forced to escape with only their wits. The movie version will feature Teen Wolf star Dylan O’Brien, but whether it will be a huge hit or get lost in the maze of other releases remains to be seen.
Vampire AcademyHey, you like vampires right? Based on a the series about an academy that trains vampires, the studios are hoping this series becomes the next Twilight. With a lot of supernatural action and romantic drama, it does seem in a good position to be embraced by the Twilight crowd.
The movie rights of dozens more high profile young adult novels are being snapped up as we speak, and in the coming years we’ll see more and more movie versions hit the theater. Will these adaptations soar or splat? It’s too soon to tell, but it seems unlikely the YA trend is going anywhere.
More:'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay' Casts Lily Rabe'Divergent' VMA TeaserJeff Bridges To Star In 'The Giver'
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