What do Drew Barrymore, Jodi Foster, and Ron Howard all have in common? They all began their acting careers as child actors. Is being a child actor good or bad? How were some of these actors affected by their status? This article takes a look at the world of child actors.
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Furious 7 is fastest ever film to zoom past US$1 billion mark at box office
By Lee Min Kok
Teen wizards, blue-skinned aliens and even Marvel's team of superheroes, it seems, are no match for fast cars.
Smash sequel Furious 7 has become the quickest ever film to earn US$1 billion (S$1.35 billion) at the box office, just 17 days following its worldwide release.
The seventh instalment in The Fast And Furious franchise was a full two days ahead of heavyweights such as Avatar (2009), Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011) and The Avengers (2012) to achieve the feat, reported Forbes.com.
Its current total of US$1.009 billion - US$735.2 million overseas and US$273.7 million domestically - as of Friday puts it in 18th place on the list of top grossing movies of all time.
Batman v Superman trailer: watch the official Dawn of Justice teaser
Director Zack Snyder has released the first official trailer for his 2016 film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The trailer has arrived earlier than planned, after an illegal Portuguese subtitled version appeared online on Friday.
Snyder had previously announced that the trailer would be screened in select US Imax cinemas on Monday, before being attached to the release of The Avengers: the Age of Ultron. The leaked trailer prompted a mixed reaction from fans, with many declaring the gloomy, doom-laden footage "too dark".
The film, based on the DC Comics characters, stars Henry Cavill as Superman, Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Jesse Eisenberg as villain Lex Luthor, Jeremy Irons as Wayne's butler Alfred, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and Jason Momoa as Aquaman. Only Batman and Superman, who will do battle in the film, can be seen in the trailer.
Han Solo revs up 'Star Wars' fans in new 'Force Awakens' trailer
By Piya Sinha-Roy
"Chewie, we're home."
So declares Harrison Ford's Han Solo in a new trailer released on Thursday for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," the much anticipated return of one the most celebrated movie franchises of all time.
The trailer was the highlight of the annual "Star Wars Celebration" fan convention, where thousands of fans flocked to see old and new cast members discuss the movie set for release on Dec 18.
Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) and Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) joined Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, the lead actors of "The Force Awakens," director J.J. Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy to answer questions.
Ford, who first played Han Solo in the original 1977 movie, was unable to attend after being injured when he crash-landed a small plane on a golf course last month. Abrams said the actor was well and resting.
The first look at Ford in the new film prompted wild cheers in the convention hall from fans dressed in costume and wielding glowing lightsabers.
The new trailer opens with a vehicle racing along a desert-like planet called Jakku, as Luke Skywalker's voice says, "The Force is strong with my family. My father has it. I have it. My sister has it. You have it too."
Other glimpses in the roughly 90-second clip show Isaac's Poe Dameron in his X-wing, John Boyega's Finn in a Stormtrooper suit, Daisy Ridley's Rey running from a big explosion and new droid BB-8.
Why It Matters That A Woman Is Still Directing 'Wonder Woman'
Actress Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman (image courtesy Warner Bros.)
by Dorothy Pomerantz
Warner Bros. has moved quickly to fill the Wonder Woman void left by director Michelle MacLaren who left the project last week due to that age-old Hollywood problem: "creative differences." Director Patty Jenkins is coming on board to helm the film which is slated for release in 2017. Jenkins is best know for the movie Monster which starred Charlize Theron as real-life killer Aileen Wuornos. Theron won an Oscar for her performance. Jenkins also has experience in TV. She's directed episodes of Arrested Development and Entourage.
If that sounds like a thin resume to handle a major franchise film keep in mind that these days, male indie directors are being handed super hero movies left and right. James Gunn, who directed Guardians of the Galaxy, was previously best known for the tiny movie Slither. The Russo brothers, who directed Captain America: Winter Soldier and are now taking over The Avengers franchise from Joss Whedon, were TV directors and even Whedon himself had never tackled a big-budget film before he took The Avengers to $1.5 billion in 2012.
It's great that independent female directors are being given the same chances. According to the 2014 Hollywood Diversity Report, only 4.1% of films last year were directed by women. That's a shameful statistic. Hollywood needs to be working harder to give female directors the same opportunities that are being given to male directors.
Even if that is an opportunity to fail. While it's exciting that there will finally be a female-led superhero movie that is going to be directed by a woman, there's no question that this project is troubled. Bringing in a new director this late in the game is bad news on any movie. It's especially bad news when the studio has already laid out the path for its high-stakes franchise universe that includes releases for the next five years. Wonder Woman is going to be an important spin-off movie for the new DC comic world that Warner Bros. is kicking off with next year's Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Wonder Woman will appear in that movie and, theoretically, future Justice League films. So there's a lot riding on Wonder Woman and it has to be done in time for a June 2017 release.
Sarah Polley talks 'Little Women' and 'Alias Grace'
Actress/Director Sarah Polley is pictured here at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival (image courtesy AP)
by Victoria Ahearn
Actress-turned-director Sarah Polley has confirmed reports that she's working on a new big-screen adaptation of "Little Women."
"I'm writing 'Little Women' and I'm writing my own film as well," Polley told The Canadian Press.
"And then I'm producing 'Alias Grace' as a miniseries, which I've been writing for a long time, and it's now written in six, one-hours and hopefully will go into production either this year or next year," she added, referring to an adaptation of Margaret Atwood's novel.
Polley, who got a 2008 Oscar nomination for best adapted screenplay for "Away from Her," said she's "always writing."
"But writing is something you can do while a baby naps, so it's perfect," added the mother of two.
"But the idea of going back out into the world and making my own stuff, it's not immediate. My youngest is still seven months, so I'm not jumping back on a film set right away. But it's something that I'm excited to do."
Michelle MacLaren, director, quits Wonder Woman over 'creative differences'
Director Michelle MacLaren attends Variety Studio Actors on Actors in March (image courtesy Getty / Variety)
by The Associated Press
Wonder Woman is down a director.
Michelle MacLaren, the prolific Canadian-born television director known for her work on Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, and Game of Thrones, has departed the comic book film and its development due to creative differences, Warner Bros. announced Monday.
"Given creative differences, Warner Bros. and Michelle MacLaren have decided not to move forward with plans to develop and direct Wonder Woman together," the studio said in a statement reported in a number of industry publications.
MacLaren would have been the first woman to direct a major comic book adaptation in recent years. Patty Jenkins was originally scheduled to direct Thor: The Dark World, but also departed for creative differences.
Gal Gadot is set to star in the film as the titular character, who will be introduced to audiences first in director Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which bows on March 25, 2016.
Captain Marvel to Appear in 'Avengers 2: Age of Ultron'?
Marvel fans who are expecting a Captain Marvel cameo in the upcoming film "Avengers 2: Age of Ultron" will have to wait longer.
Captain Marvel will not be appearing in the Avengers sequel, although she was initially supposed to. Kevin Feige, Marvel chief, told MTV News that the superhero was included in the early part of the script. The team had to withdraw the character to make her introduction in the Marvel Cinematic Universe more natural. The film writers are actually working on Captain Marvel's solo film in 2018.
Feige said in the same report by MTV News, "It didn't feel like the time. We didn't want to introduce her fully formed, flying in a costume before you knew who she was or how she came to be."
ComicBook reported that "Avengers 2: Age of Ultron" is the follow-up of third highest-grossing film in the United States. In the story, Tony Stark, also known as Iron Man, played by Robert Downey, Jr. attempted to create a super robot to protect planet Earth. However, the experiment fails and Ultron, played by James Spader, is born, with evil plans to end the human race. The group of superheroes consisting of Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, Captain America, played by Chris Evans, The Hulk, played by Mark Ruffalo, Hawkeye, played by Jeremy Renner and Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson, teams up again to battle the new villain. Nick Fury, played by Samuel L. Jackson and Agent Maria Hill, played by Cobie Smulders, will also be appearing in the movie.
Eddie Redmayne Reportedly Leading Cast Of 'Harry Potter' Spinoff 'Fantastic Beasts'
Eddie Redmayne is at the top of the list to have a starring role in the new entry into the world of J.K. Rowling (image courtesy Hot Gossip Italia / Flickr)
By Nicole Arce
Multi-awarded British actor Eddie Redmayne is said to be the top candidate to play the role of Newton Artemis Fido Scamander, the lead character in Warner Bros' upcoming trilogy of Harry Potter spinoffs Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Variety cites an individual familiar with the studio's thinking who says that Redmayne, who just bagged an Oscar, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, and BAFTA award for his portrayal of physicist Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, is in the running to star in J.K. Rowling's screenplay debut.
Another actor also reportedly being eyed by Warner Bros. is Nicholas Hoult, who plays Nux in George Miller's upcoming Mad Max: Fury Road. Sources say Warner Bros. executives are impressed with Hoult's performance that, if the role of Newt Scamander is handed to Redmayne, Hoult will still get another big-box project from the studio.
Redmayne, however, still has not received an offer, mostly because Warner Bros. has yet to make one. The script, which will be written by Rowling herself, is still in the works, and sources cited by the Hollywood Reporter say Redmayne wants to read the script before committing to anything. He is also said to be the studio's top choice for Scamander.
Other characters in the movie include two American girls and two American boys, all four of which are also open for casting.
'Avengers 2: Age of Ultron' Expected to Open to $200M
'Avengers: Age of Ultron' movie poster (image courtesy Marvel / Disney)
Marvel fans are getting more excited about the upcoming "Avengers 2: Age of Ultron". The movie is expected to rake in over $200 million on its opening day on May 1.
Deadline reported that the latest sequel of the Avengers franchise is expected to do a lot better than its predecessor, which garnered $207.4 million on its first day on May 4, 2012 and then proceeded to earn $1.5 billion from its the world box office sales. "Avengers" is only third to James Cameron's "Titanic" and "Avatar" as the top-grossing films of all time in North America.
Tickets for "Avengers 2" have already been made available early in March 2015 and are reportedly selling significantly more compared to when the tickets were being sold early for the first movie. "Avengers 2" will preview on April 30. The film is currently tracking at the same rate as "Iron Man 3", which subsequently opened at $174.1 million and grossed $1 billion at the world box office.
Joss Whedon Says Avengers: Age of Ultron Will Not Have a Post-Credits Scene, But There Will Be Something...
by Zach Johnson
This time, the end really is the end.
Avengers: Age of Ultron writer-director Joss Whedon says the film won't include a post-credits scene, as he doesn't think there is any way to top the post-battle shawarma scene in 2012's The Avengers. "We all came at it separately—we don't want to chase that," he says. "That was a jewel and a weird little quirk."
"It didn't seem to lend itself in the same way, and we wanted to be true to what felt right. The first rule of making a sequel is take the best moments and do something else. Don't do the Indiana Jones gun trick again differently. Just go somewhere else. Don't try to hit the same highs, because people will sense it."
Even so, audiences might want to stick around after the movie ends. "There will be a tag," Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige tells Entertainment Weekly. "But there's not a post-post-credit scene."
'Star Wars' digital collection coming to online retailers Friday
Logo for the new Star Wars Digital Movie Collection (image courtesy Disney)
By James Rainey
The entire "Star Wars" saga will be available for digital download beginning Friday, April 10 -- a development sure to excite fans of the films and allow filmmakers to rev up anticipation in advance of the Christmas Day release of the seventh installment, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."
All six films in the series and bonus features will be accessible in digital HD for viewing on a variety of devices, according to an announcement by Walt Disney Studios, Lucasfilm Ltd. and 20th Century Fox.
Fans will be able to buy the films -- beginning with "The Phantom Menace" and continuing through "Return of the Jedi" -- either individually or as a set. They will be available through multiple retailers, including iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, VUDU, Amazon, Xbox Video, Playstation Store and Verizon Fios.
After purchase, all of the films, except Episode IV, will be available in customers' accounts at Disney Movies Anywhere. Rights to "A New Hope," the fourth episode, are controlled by 20th Century Fox.
Among the added features that come with the "Star Wars" package are interviews with the creative team, including creator/director George Lucas, design director Doug Chiang and sound designer Ben Burtt and at least five deleted scenes from each of the six episodes.
"It's only fitting that audiences enjoy this legendary saga and its many fascinating behind-the-scenes stories on a wide variety of platforms, and we're very excited to finally bring all six films to digital HD for the first time," said Alan Bergman, president of The Walt Disney Studios.