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Box Office: ‘Atomic Blonde’ Explodes With $1.5 Million, Topping ‘Emoji Movie,’ on Thursday
Focus Features and Sierra/Affinity’s spy thriller has been projected for an opening weekend in the low $20 million range from 3,304 sites. “Atomic Blonde,” which has a $30 million price tag, is set in 1989 Germany during the fall of the Berlin Wall. »
- Dave McNary
Priyanka Chopra Developing Comedy Series About Bollywood Star at ABC (Exclusive)
ABC is developing a comedy series about a former Bollywood star executive produced by Priyanka Chopra, Variety has learned exclusively.
The currently untitled single-camera series would follow a former Bollywood star who settles down in the suburbs of America with her bi-cultural family and tries to bring her colorful lifestyle to an otherwise dull town. The series is based on the real life of Madhuri Dixit, who will also executive produce. »
- Joe Otterson
Leonard Landy, ‘Our Gang’ Actor, Dies at 84
Often recognized for his freckled face and big ears, Landy (second from left in the photo) appeared in 21 “Our Gang” comedy shorts, debuting in “Feed ‘Em and Weep” in 1938 and culminating with “Fightin’ Fools” in 1941.
“Our Gang,” a series of comedy short films about a group of poor neighborhood children and their adventures, began in 1922 as a series of silent shorts. When it was converted to sound in 1929, Landy was known for watching the action with an occasional one liner.
- Rebecca Rubin
‘It’ Producer Says Tilda Swinton Was Eyed to Play Pennywise the Clown
Bill Skarsgard is going to be your biggest nightmare come September, when he appears as Pennywise the Clown in the highly anticipated Stephen King adaptation “It.” But a producer on the film said Tilda Swinton was in the running to play the iconic monster. “I swear to God,” producer Barbara Muschietti told Playlist. “We had a slot to shoot the movie and she wasn’t available, so she didn’t even audition. But of course, we all thought about her.” Skarsgard came in and was eventually cast in the role, and he has since said that he’s scared the child actors on set. »
- Beatrice Verhoeven
Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston Team Up to Star in TV Series
“House of Cards” producer Jay Carson is attached to write the script, with Steve Kloves executive producing. Witherspoon and Aniston will also executive produce, with Witherspoon producing through her Hello Sunshine production banner along with her film and television head Lauren Levy Neustadter. The project hails from HBO alum Michael Ellenberg’s newly-launched Media Res banner.
The series is expected to be shopped to networks and streaming services in the coming weeks, industry sources say.
Aniston and Witherspoon previously worked together when Witherspoon guest starred on “Friends” as Aniston’s sister. Witherspoon recently made the jump to TV with the HBO drama “Big Little Lies,” which earned her an Emmy nomination. For Aniston, it would mark her first regular TV role since the end of “Friends” in 2004.
More to come… »
- Joe Otterson
Can 'Dunkirk' Hold Off 'Emoji Movie' and 'Atomic Blonde' For Second Weekend at #1?
Not since Wonder Woman seven weeks ago has a film repeat atop the weekend box office. This weekend, Dunkirk is looking to do just that. Christopher Nolan's war drama faces incoming challenges in the form of Sony's animated feature The Emoji Movie and Focus's actioner Atomic Blonde starring Charlize Theron. Both Sony and Focus are anticipating openings around $20 million for their new releases, which wouldn't likely be enough to top Dunkirk's sophomore session, though both could over perform against those expectations making this a weekend to watch closely. Both the new releases and holdovers alike could provide some fireworks, including Universal's Girls Trip, which returns to the fray following its $31 million opening weekend and "A+" CinemaScore. After debuting with $50.5 million last weekend, Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk delivered a #1 opening and is hoping to do the same this weekend. In 2014, following a $47.5 million debut, Nolan's own Interstellar dropped »
- Brad Brevet <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Marty Sklar Dies: Longtime Imagineer, Theme Park Designer & Walt Disney’s “Right-Hand Man” Was 83
Marty Sklar, the man who supervised the design and construction of Tokyo Disneyland, the Disney-MGM Studios, Disneyland Paris and other theme park attractions, has died at his home, Disney said tonight. He was 83 and had made an appearance at Disney’s D23 two weeks ago.
Having started as an intern for Walt Disney, Sklar finished his 54-year career at Disney as the International Ambassador for Walt Disney Imagineering. That role meant traveling to art and design colleges… »
The Emoji Movie Didn’t Deserve Christina Aguilera
Making sense of how Xtina ended up in a post-language harbinger of the apocalypse. »
- Hunter Harris
Meet: The ShortList Film Festival Jurors! Matt Ross, Misha Green, Lisa Bunnell and More!
TheWrap is pleased to announce the jury for the 2017 ShortList Film Festival, which kicks off August 8th and streams on TheWrap’s ShortlistFilmFestival.com for two weeks. This year’s jurors include: Lisa Bunnell, President of Distribution, Focus Features; Lesley Chilcott, Director (“CodeGirl”); Misha Green, Writer and Showrunner (“Underground”); Ryan Heller, VP Acquisitions, First Look Media; Matt Ross, Actor (“Silicon Valley”), Director, Producer (“Captain Fantastic”); Alec Shankman, Senior VP & Head of Alternative Programming, Digital Media and Licensing, Abrams Artists Agency; and Stephen Ujlaki Dean, Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television. Jurors will deliberate and select a top short »
- Kathy Selim
The Pfeffermans Head to Israel in ‘Transparent’ Season 4 Trailer
The upcoming season of Amazon’s “Transparent,” begins with the Pfeffermans taking a spiritual and political journey to the Holy Land.
The newly released Season 4 trailer shows the family heading to Israel as they dig deeper into their family’s history. In the clip, Jeffrey Tambor’s character Maura speaks at a conference and makes a startling discovery. The reveal prompts the rest of her family to join her, where they embark on many quintessential Israeli experiences, including visits to the Western Wall, Dead Sea, and camel rides through the desert.
The ensemble cast features Judith Light, Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass, and Gaby Hoffman. From creator Jill Soloway, the upcoming season continues to tackle themes of identity, sexuality, acceptance, love, and family.
Amazon released the trailer two days after President Donald Trump announced his plans to roll back policies allowing transgender men and women to serve in the military. In an interview Tuesday with Variety, Light »
- Rebecca Rubin
Your Very British Streaming Guide to Elizabethan Period Dramas
From the silliness of Blackadder to the seriousness of Elizabeth I. »
- Devon Ivie
‘UnREAL’ Renewed for Season 4 at Lifetime, ‘Mary Kills People’ Renewed for Season 2
The renewal for “UnREAL” comes ahead of the show’s Season 3 premiere in early 2018. The scripted series offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the chaos surrounding the production of a hit dating competition program. THe series is led by Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer. It also stars Caitlin FitzGerald, Craig Bierko, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, Josh Kelly, Brennan Elliott, and Genevieve Buechner.
Co-created by Marti Noxon and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro and produced by A+E Studios, Seasons 3 and 4 are helmed by showrunner and executive producer Stacy Rukeyser. Season 3 is also executive produced by Shapiro, Robert M. Sertner, Sally DeSipio, Peter O’Fallon and David Solomon.
“Mary Kills People,” which also returns in early 2018, follows single mother Mary Harris (Caroline Dhavernas), an ER doctor by day, but by night, she and her partner Des (Richard Short), a former plastic »
- Joe Otterson
Bryce Dallas Howard to Make Directorial Debut on ‘Sorta Like a Rock Star’ (Exclusive)
Howard has directed a handful of short films as well as an M-80 music video starring Lily Collins but this would mark her full-length debut.
The film is currently in early development and without a distributor but sources say if the film moves forward she would direct.
Originally set up at Fox Searchlight, the story follows an optimistic high school student, Amber Appleton, who secretly lives in her mom’s school bus during her senior year after an altercation at home.
Ol Parker penned the most recent draft of the script.
- Justin Kroll
Emmy episode analysis: Ben Mendelsohn (‘Bloodline’) asks for what he needs in ‘Part 32’
After winning the Emmy for Best Drama Supporting Actor as Danny Rayburn in Netflix’s family drama “Bloodline” last year, Ben Mendelsohn is once again nominated in the role (his third consecutive), but this time as Best Drama Guest Actor. Killed off in Season 1, Mendelsohn’s Danny existed in flashback scenes throughout Season 2 and returned briefly this […] »
Atomic Blonde Has an Incomprehensible Plot, But the Action Is Absolutely Smashing
You don’t see Atomic Blonde for anything but a badass female protagonist crunching bones and pulping faces in gratifyingly long takes. »
- David Edelstein
Why Steve Jobs’ Widow Is the Latest Tech Giant to Purchase a Major Publication
As media outlets continue to emphasize their digital platforms, the tech industry has become increasingly intertwined with the news business. The latest example came earlier today, when Laurene Powell Jobs — widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs — purchased a controlling interest in The Atlantic through her organization, the Emerson Collective. With tech giants from Amazon to Facebook throwing major dollars into what’s been dubbed a dying industry in recent years, the investment from Powell Jobs highlights how and why news outlets are still appealing to billionaires. “This is a real sign of confidence in quality media, because all of [The Atlantic’s. »
- Sean Burch
Remote Controlled: ‘Black Mirror’ Creators Tease Season 4, Episode Sequels
Welcome to “Remote Controlled,” a podcast from Variety featuring the best and brightest in television, both in front of and behind the camera.
In today’s episode, Variety’s executive editor of TV Debra Birnbaum and co-editor-in-chief Andrew Wallenstein talk with “Black Mirror” creators Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones. The British sci-fi anthology series, which features an entirely different plot each episode, earned two Emmy nominations for its “San Junipero” hour from the third season — for outstanding TV movie and for writing for a limited series, movie, or dramatic special.
Brooker explained that to conceive of the futuristic ideas that comprise “Black Mirror” episodes, he and Jones tend to start out with comedic “what-if” scenarios, as well as try and tackle genres they haven’t covered yet. Brooker cited Season 3’s “Hated in the Nation,” which is a police procedural, as an example, and said that Season 4 will try to embrace even more genres.
- Erin Nyren
Twin Peaks: The Return’s Chrysta Bell on David Lynch, Tammy Haters, and ‘Harsh’ Criticism About Her First Acting Role
“I’m deeply triggering for a lot of people and I’ve known this all my life.” »
- Devon Ivie
‘American Horror Story: Cult’ Teaser Will Give You the Hives (Video)
Happy Friday! Allow Ryan Murphy and “American Horror Story” to kick your weekend off on a seriously creepy vibe. The “American Horror Story” Twitter account released a tantalizing new snippet for the upcoming season, “Cult,” on Friday, featuring a woman wandering through a honeycomb-like structure as arms reach out for her from the walls. What the the 15-second clip lacks in length, it makes up for in chills-inducing imagery: At the end, as the woman reaches out in a seeming attempt to escape, her hand is exposed to the camera, revealing a cult-like symbol marking her palm. Also Read: 'American Horror Story:. »
- Tim Kenneally
Millie Bobby Brown Opens Up in Her Fight Against Bullying
Millie Bobby Brown, who plays Eleven on Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” is only 13-years-old, but she has already committed to activist work. On July 17, Brown started a Twitter account, @milliestophate, dedicated to preventing bullying and cyber bullying. In a phone interview with TheWrap, she opened up about how she’s a “victim” of bullying herself. “I was seven when I was bullied by a boy,” Brown said. “No hard feelings, I got over it, but I did have to move schools because it was very hard, and I felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone. I would talk to my parents of. »
- Brian Welk
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