Somali Oscar nominee Barkhad Abdi, Paul Dano and Michael Fassbender are among the 271 artists and executives who have been invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Actors Ben Foster, Sally Hawkins, Josh Hutcherson, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Mads Mikkelsen, Lupita Nyong'o and Jason Statham and directors Gavin O'Connor, Paolo Sorrentino and Jean-Marc Vallee are also on the membership list with Hollywood's top casting directors, cinematographers, costume designers, make-up artists, animators, producers, moguls and documentary makers.
Musicians Eddie Vedder and Pharrell Williams have also been invited to join the Academy.
New members will be welcomed into the Academy at an invitation-only reception in September (14).
The new N.W.A. biopic appears to have cost the planned sequel to Jeremy Renner's The Bourne Legacy a 2015 release. Sources close to the productions tell The Hollywood Reporter that director Justin Lin's Bourne sequel, starring Renner as Aaron Cross, has been pushed back to the summer of 2016 to make way for Straight Outta Compton.
The news comes just hours after movie executives confirmed the cast for the N.W.A. film, announcing Ice Cube's son O'Shea Jackson, Jr. will portray his father in the rags to riches story, alongside Corey Hawkins and Jason Mitchell as Dr. Dre and the late Eazy-E, respectively.
The biopic will now be released in August, 2015, taking over the Bourne film's release date.
Bosses at Universal movie studios have confirmed Corey Hawkins, O'shea Jackson, Jr. and Jason Mitchell will lead the cast of the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton.
Reports suggesting newcomer Marcus Callender had been cast as rapper Dr. Dre in the film surfaced earlier this week (begs16Jun14), but on Wednesday (18Jun14), movie executives revealed Non-Stop star Hawkins would take on the role.
As previously reported, Mitchell and Ice Cube's son Jackson, Jr. will portray the late Eazy-E and Ice Cube, respectively. F. Gary Gray will direct the film about the Compton, California rappers Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, the late Eazy-E, MC Ren and DJ Yella's rise to fame in the late 1980s and their subsequent split in 1991.
The movie is scheduled to hit theatres in August, 2015.
Actor Jake Gyllenhaal is set to make his Broadway debut in Nick Payne's Constellations. The Brokeback Mountain star will appear in the Manhattan Theater Club's production of the hit West End play at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre for a limited run, beginning in December (14).
The award-winning play reunites Gyllenhaal with director Payne, who he worked with in his off-Broadway, New York stage debut in 2012, If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet.
Constellations premiered in 2012 at London's Royal Court Theatre, and starred Sally Hawkins and Rafe Spall.
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
With only a week and change having passed since the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, we no doubt feel the question living fresh in our minds: can we ever judge a remake without considering its predecessors? The conversation about the stark contrast in critical favor between Marc Webb's release and Sam Raimi's trilogy (the second installment of his franchise in particular) buzzed loudly, and we imagine the volume will keep in regards to Gareth Edwards' Godzilla. But it'll be a different sound altogether.
The original Godzilla, a Japanese film released in 1954, reinvented the identity of the monster movie, launched a 30-film legacy, and spoke legions about the political climate of its era. The most recent of these films — Roland Emmerich's 1998 American production — is universally bemoaned as a bigger disaster than anything to befall Tokyo at the hands of the giant reptile. With these two entries likely standing out as the most prominent in the minds of contemporary audiences, Edwards' Godzilla has some long shadows cast before it. And in approaching the new movie, one might not be able to avoid comparisons to either. It's fair — by taking on an existing property, a filmmaker knowingly takes on the connotations of that property. But the 2014 installment's great success is that it isn't much like any Godzilla movie we've seen before. In a great, great way.
This isn't 1954's Godzilla, a dire and occasionally dreary allegory that uses the supernatural to tell an important story about nuclear holocaust. A complete reversal, in fact, first and foremost Edwards' Godzilla is about its monsters. Any grand themes strewn throughout — the perseverence of nature, the follies of mankind, fatherhood, madness, faith — are all in service to the very simple mission to give us some cool, weighty, articulate sci-fi disaster. Elements of gravity are plotted all over the film's surface, with scientists, military men (kudos to Edwards for not going the typical "scientists = good/smart, military = bad/dumb" route in this film — everybody here is at least open to suggestion), doctors, police officers, and a compassionate bus driver all wrestling with options in the face of behemoth danger. The humanity is everpresent, but never especially intrusive. To reiterate, this isn't a film about any of these people, or what they do.
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
The closest thing to a helping of thematic (or human) significance comes with Ken Watanabe's Dr. Serizawa, who spouts awe-stricken maxims about cryptozoology, the Earth, and the inevitable powerlessness of man. He might not be supplying anything more substantial than our central heroes (soft-hearted soldier Aaron Taylor-Johnson, dutiful medic and mom Elizabeth Olsen, right-all-along conspiracy theorist Bryan Cranston), but Watanabe's bonkers performance as the harried scientist is so bizarrely good that you might actually believe, for a scene or two, that it all does mean something.
Ultimately, the beauty of our latest taste of Godzilla lies not in the commitment to a message that made the original so important nor in the commitment to levity that made Emmerich's so pointless, but in its commitment to imagination. Edwards' creature design is dazzling, his deus ex machina are riveting, and the ultimate payoff to which he treats his audience is the sort of gangbusters crowd-pleaser that your average contemporary monster movie is too afraid to consider.
In fairness, this year's Godzilla might not be considered an adequate remake, not quite reciprocating the ideals, tone, or importance of the original. Sure, anyone looking for a 2014 answer to 1954's game-changing paragon will find sincere philosophy traded for pulsing adventure... but they'd have a hard time ignoring the emphatic charm of this new lens for the 60-year-old lizard, both a highly original composition and a tribute in its way to the very history of monster movies (a history that owes so much to the creature in question). So does Godzilla '14 successfully fill the shoes of Godzilla '54? No — it rips them apart and dons a totally new pair... though it still has a lot of nice things to say about the first kicks.
Oh, and the '98 Godzilla? Yeah, it's better than that.
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"I was very happy I voted for Lupita. It’s beautiful when you watch something good happen to somebody when it’s well deserved." Jennifer Lawrence admits she voted for the 12 Years a Slave star to win a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in March (14). Lawrence was also up for the award, alongside Sally Hawkins, Julia Roberts and June Squibb.
Blue Jasmine star Sally Hawkins has been cast as artist Maud Lewis in a new biopic. The Oscar-nominated actress will lead the cast of director Aisling Walsh's new film Maudie, which chronicles the Canadian painter's life and battle with rheumatoid arthritis.
Hawkins tells The Hollywood Reporter, "This is a wonderful opportunity to play such an extraordinary and inspiring artist. It is a beautiful script."
Filming is set to begin in Lewis' native Newfoundland in August (14).
Executors of Notorious B.I.G.'s estate have filed a preemptive lawsuit to protect the late rapper from allegations of copyright infringement over a song he released 20 years ago. Estate officials decided to take the first legal step on Monday (31Mar14) after allegedly receiving threats of court action from publishing bosses in charge of soul singer Leroy Hutson's songs.
The label executives claim Biggie's Ready to Die track, The What, featured parts of Hutson's 1974 tune Can't Say Enough About Mom, which he wrote with Michael Hawkins.
The hip-hop icon's representatives accept the track was sampled, but insist it equates to 'fair use', as only "two nonsequential tones" were featured in The What, a collaboration with rapper Method Man and producer Easy Mo Bee.
The plaintiffs are asking a California judge to bar Hutson's publishers from taking their own legal action against the estate over the song, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Biggie's estate is managed by his mother, Voletta Wallace, and his widow, singer Faith Evans.
The legendary rapper was killed in 1997.
Gravity director Alfonso Cuaron picked up two major prizes at the Jameson Empire Awards 2014 in London on Sunday (30Mar14), including trophies for Best Director and Best Film. The Mexican filmmaker added even more statues to his awards haul during the star-studded ceremony at Grosvenor House, just weeks after earning his first Best Director prize at the Academy Awards.
Cuaron was unable to attend the event, but accepted his awards via video messages.
The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug also tied for two wins, including Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy and Best Male Newcomer for Aidan Turner.
Meanwhile, other acting honours went to Margot Robbie in Best Female Newcomer (The Wolf of Wall Street), Emma Thompson for Best Actress (Saving Mr. Banks), James McAvoy for Best Actor (Filth), and Michael Fassbender (12 Years A Slave) and Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine) for Best Supporting Actor and Actress, respectively.
Earning top genre prizes were Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (Best Comedy), The Conjuring (Best Horror), The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Best Thriller), and The World's End (Best British Film).
Special honours were also handed out to a number of Hollywood A-listers, including Tom Cruise (Legend of Our Lifetime), Arnold Schwarzenegger (Action Hero of Our Lifetime), Hugh Jackman (Empire Icon), Simon Pegg (Empire Hero) and Captain Phillips director Paul Greengrass (Empire Inspiration).
Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
Here's a feat: taking what is likely the oldest, most well-known story in the world, and making a retelling feel inventive. Over the course of its two-and-a-half-hour runtime, Darren Aronofsky's Noah takes many forms — Tolkien-esque fantasy, trippy psychological thriller, merciless dissection of the dark points of abject faith — never feeling too rigidly confined to the parameters of the familiar tale that we've all experienced in the form of bedtime stories, religious education lessons, and vegetable-laden cartoons. As many forms as the parable has taken over the past few thousand years, Aronofsky manages to find a few new takes.
The director's thumbprint is branded boldly on Russell Crowe's Noah, a man who begins his journey as a simple pawn of God and evolves into a dimensional human as tortured as Natalie Portman's ballerina or Jared Leto's smack head. Noah's obsession and crisis: his faith. The peak of the righteous descendant of Seth (that's Adam and Eve's third son — the one who didn't die or bash his brother's head in with a rock), Noah is determined to carry out the heavenly mission imparted upon him via ambiguous, psychedelic visions. God wants him to do something — spoilers: build an ark — and he will do it. No matter what.
No matter what it means to his family, to his lineage, to his fellow man, to the world. He's going to do it. No matter what. The depths to which Aronofsky explores this simple concept — the nature of unmitigated devotion — makes what we all knew as a simplistic A-to-B children's story so gripping. While the throughline is not a far cry from the themes explored in his previous works, the application of his Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler, and Black Swan ideas in this movie does not feel like a rehashing. Experiencing such modern, humane ideas in biblical epic is, in fact, a thrill-ride.
Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
Although Aronofsky accesses some highly guttural stuff inside of his title character, he lets whimsy and imagination take hold of the world outside of him. Jumping headfirst into the fantastical, the director lines his magical realm with rock monsters — "Watcher" angels encased in Earth-anchored prisons as punishment for their betrayal of God — and a variety of fauna that range in innovation from your traditional white dove to some kind of horned, scaled dog bastardization.
But the most winning elements of Noah, and easily the most surprising, come when Aronofsky goes cosmic. He jumps beyond the literal to send us coursing through eons to watch the creation of God's universe, matter exploding from oblivion, a line of creatures evolving (in earnest) into one another as the planet progresses to the point at which we meet our tortured seafarer. Aronofsky's imagination, his aptitude as a cinematic magician, peak (not just in terms of the film, but in terms of his career) in these scenes.
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With all this propped against the stark humanity of his story — not just in terms of Crowe's existential spiral, but in character beats like grandfather Methuselah's relationship with the youngsters, in little Ham's playful teasing of his new rock monster pet — Aronofsky manages something we never could have anticipated from Noah. It's scientific, cathartic, humane. Impressively, this age-old tale, here, is new. And beyond that feat, it's a pretty winning spin.
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