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Mar 2

Here's your first look at Tron: Ares, premiering in 2025

Publicity image for "Tron: Ares" (courtesy Disney)

by Andrew Webster

The third Tron movie is nearing release. Disney announced that production on Tron: Ares - a follow-up to Tron: Legacy, which itself was a sequel to the 1982 original - began in January and that the plan is for the film to premiere in 2025. As part of the announcement, the first image for the film was also released. It definitely has Tron vibes but also wouldn’t be out of place as a skin in a shooter like Destiny or Fortnite.

Here’s the full thing:

According to Disney, the new film is about "a highly sophisticated Program, Ares, who is sent from the digital world into the real world on a dangerous mission, marking humankind's first encounter with AI beings." It's being directed by Joachim Rønning, who previously worked on the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and the sequel to Maleficent. And while we don't know much about the characters, the cast includes Jared Leto, Greta Lee, Evan Peters, Hasan Minhaj, Jodie Turner-Smith, Arturo Castro, Cameron Monaghan, and Gillian Anderson.

Continue Reading at: The Verge

Mar 1

Coyote vs. Acme Actor Will Forte Sends Heartfelt Message After Finally Seeing Lost Film: 'It's Incredible'

A screenshot from the film we will never see: "Coyote vs. Acme" (image courtesy Warner Bros.)

by Taylor Lyles

With Coyote vs. Acme being very unlikely to see a release, actor Will Forte published a heartfelt open letter to the cast and crew of the film after he finally had a chance to see it.

Forte took to his X/Twitter account to publish an open letter to those who worked on the film. The actor did not mince his words and was open about how after it was announced the film was getting deleted, he, like "everyone else," thought the movie was a "hunk of junk." But then he had a chance to see the film, describing it as incredible."

"Super funny throughout, visually stunning, sweet, sincere, and emotionally resonant in a very earned way," Forte wrote. "As the credits rolled, I just sat there thinking how lucky I was to be a part of something so special. That quickly turned to confusion and frustration. This was a movie they're not going to release?" Forte would end the letter by addressing the cast and crew that had yet to see it and saying they would all be "so proud of it," explaining that their hard work was displayed in every frame.

Forte's comments echo similar ones made by filmmakers who have seen the film. Including Scott Pilgrim Takes Of co-creator BenDavid Grabinski, who said the film was "The best of its kind since ROGER RABBIT."

Coyote vs. Acme was announced in 2022, with Forte cast as Wile E. Coyote's lawyer. The film focuses on Wile E. Coyote, who is suing the Acme Corporation over its defective products. It was supposed to be released last year, but Warner Bros. ultimately decided to shelve the film for a tax break despite having already completed filming, similar to what the studio did with its other canceled projects, Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt.

Forte's open letter comes weeks after a report suggested that Warner Bros. was planning to delete Coyote vs. Acme after the studio rejected offers from Amazon, Netflix, and Paramount. Additionally, four Warner Bros. executives were claimed to have made the decision, including CEO and president David Zaslav, despite having not watched the film's final cut. After publishing the report, several individuals, including actor Eric Bauza, reignited the internet campaign "#SaveCoyotevsAcme" and "#ReleaseCoyotevsAcme."

However, it seems that Warner Bos. brushed aside the"cries and pleas from the public, as the studio did not even mention the film's status in its most recent earnings call last week.

Continue Reading at: IGN

Feb 28

Original 'Road House' Screenwriter Sues Amazon/MGM Over Copyright - and Doubles Down on A.I. Allegations

Jake Gyllenhaal in a screen shot from the 2024 remake of "Road House" (image courtesy Prime Video)

by Samantha Bergeson

The original "Road House" screenwriter is entering the octagon with Amazon Studios and MGM - in a legal battle, at least. Screenwriter R. Lance Hill, who uses the pen name David Lee Henry, has filed a lawsuit against Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and parent company Amazon Studios for copyright infringement, as first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

Hill wrote the screenplay for the original "Road House" film in 1986; the movie was released in 1989. Hill says the copyright for "Road House" was set to revert back from United Artists to him in November 2023, and that he notified United Artists and its successor companies in November 2021 about his plans to recover the copyright for the "Road House" screenplay. He says he provided a "statutory notice of termination" that fits within the Copyright Act.

Hill further states that Amazon/MGM, aware of the copyright timeline, worked to complete the film during the SAG-AFTRA strike by using artificial intelligence. The suit says Amazon "went so far as to take extreme measures to try to meet this November 10, 2023 deadline, at considerable additional cost, including by resorting to the use of AI (artificial intelligence)" to "replicate the voices" of the actors in the 2024 remake. The film was completed in January 2024, two months after Hill's stated copyright deadline in November 2023.

Amazon is holding its ground.

"The lawsuit filed by R. Lance Hill regarding 'Road House' today is completely without merit and numerous allegations are categorically false," a spokesperson for Amazon MGM Studios told IndieWire. "The film does not use any AI in place of actors' voices. We look forward to defending ourselves against these claims."

Amazon/MGM has previously denied to IndieWire using AI to wrap up "Road House" production. That denial came after Joel Silver, who produced the original 1989 film, says he was fired from the new "Road House" after "raising concerns" about the use of artificial intelligence.

A source close to the "Road House" (2024) production said that if AI was utilized at any time during the production (or post-production), it would have been by the filmmakers during their early cuts; they had control of the editorial, not the studio. The source went so far as to say that Amazon MGM Studios expressly instructed the filmmakers to not use AI in the movie, and advised the filmmakers to remove any AI or non-SAG-AFTRA actors that were used to complete the film.

Continue Reading at: IndieWire

Feb 27

The Watched Trailer: Dakota Fanning's Trapped In The M Night Shyamalan-Produced Thriller

by James White

With M. Night long established and now daughter Ishana stepping up her own career, the Shyamalan family filmmaking business is trundling ahead nicely. Having served as second unit director on Old and being a key member of the Servant creative team, Ishana Night Shyamalan is making her feature directorial debut with The Watched, which stars Dakota Fanning, Georgina Campbell and Olwen Fouéré. Check out the first trailer for the horror thriller below.

Fanning here plays Mina, an artist who becomes stranded in a giant, untouched forest somewhere in Ireland. Stumbling on a mysterious glass-walled home, she thinks she might have found safe shelter.

But no! As it turns out, she's soon trapped alongside three strangers who are watched all night by unseen, peculiar creatures. What's really going on? It's a Shyamalan film, so we're expecting some surprises.

Adapted from AM Shine's novel by Ishana Night Shyamalan and produced by M. Night, Ashwin Rajan and Nimitt Mankad, The Watched (which for some reason – we're guessing a name clash with some other copyrighted moniker – was renamed from the Stateside version The Watchers), will be out in the UK on 7 June.

Continue Reading at: Empire

Feb 27

Kevin Costner Unveils 'Horizon' Trailer and Explains Why Making the Western Epic Was His 'Biggest Struggle' Yet

by Angelique Jackson

When Kevin Costner revealed the trailer for "Horizon: An American Saga," the first of his planned four-part epic about the American West, the two-time Academy Award winner looked positively giddy - at least over Zoom.

"Trailers have always been kind of a favorite part for me, even as a boy going to the movies," Costner said, grinning as he unveiled the first footage in a virtual conversation with journalists. "You're obviously there to see the movie you want, but isn't it kind of cool when you see what’s coming? ... And with that in mind, I did my very best to expose what's going to be a four-part saga."

"Horizon" chapters 1 and 2 will have a dual theatrical release from Warner Bros., with the first film hitting theaters on June 28 and the second debuting August 16. Costner's goal in crafting the trailer was to find the moments in the film that would translate as sense of the ride audiences will take in these grand films, which focus on 15-year span of pre-and post-Civil War expansion and settlement of the American West.

"Can they, in a sense, feel themselves in this movie? Because that's what I want people to feel in the dark, that [it] suddenly just absorbs them," Costner teased. "We all know what happens when the lights go out - either something good, something average or something great. What I hope is that this is something that stays with them forever."

The three minute trailer introduces "Horizon's" ensemble cast - led by Costner's Hayes Elllison, who rides into the frame with the stunning landscapes of Utah on full display - and tees up the action as the film explores the triumphs and tragedies brought on by the ideology of Manifest Destiny. The clip shares a first look at his co-stars Sienna Miller, Sam Worthington, Jena Malone, Abbey Lee, Michael Rooker, Danny Huston, Luke Wilson, Isabelle Fuhrman, Jeff Fahey, Will Patton, Tantanka Means, Owen Crow Shoe, Ella Hunt and Jamie Campbell Bower.

Check out the trailer below and then click the Continue Reading at link to go to the full article and read about Costner's struggles.

Continue Reading at: Variety

Feb 25

Box Office: Bob Marley's 'One Love' Jams Past $120M Globally, 'Madame Web' and 'Drive-Away Dolls' Spin Out

Kingsley Ben-Adir as the titular character in "Bob Marley: One Love" (image courtesy Paramount Pictures)

by Pamela McClintock

Hollywood's latest music biopic, Bob Marley: One Love, continues to jam at the global box office, where it crossed the $100 million mark on Friday, including $61.4 million domestically and $39.7 million overseas after only 10 days in theaters.

The Paramount movie easily stayed atop this weekend's domestic box office chart with an estimated $13.5 million from 3,597 locations, pushing its domestic tally to $72.2 million. Marley's star also continues to shine brightly overseas, where it has amassed $49.4 million for global cume of $120.6 million.

One Love first starting making headlines last week, when it snagged a six-day launch of $51.1 million over the Valentine's Day-Presidents Day corridor, one of the best openings ever for a music biopic (Straight Outta Compton remains top of the list), and remained well ahead of the dismal $26 million debut of Sony's doomed Madame Web.

Madame Web continues to spin out of control. The female-led superhero pic grossed a mere $5.6 million from from 4,013 theaters in its sophomore outing, possibly only good enough for a fifth-place finish. The news is just as bad overseas, where the film has earned $42 million for a worldwide gross of $87.3 million.

The latest installment in the Japanese anime series, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba - to the Hashira Training, from Crunchyroll and Sony, placed No. 2 with an impressive $11.7 million from 1,949 locations.

Ordinary Angels, a faith-based film from Lionsgate starring Hillary Swank, followed with estimated $6.5 million from 3,020 cinemas after earning a coveted A+ CinemaScore from audiences. If that holds, Madame Web will fall to No. 5.

Focus Features and Working Title's specialty film Drive-Away Dolls, which Ethan Coen of the Coen brothers fame directed on his own from a script he wrote with his wife Tricia Cooke, is also spinning out. The lesbian road-trip comedy - slapped with a C CinemaScore - pened to an estimated $2.4 million from 2,280 locations despite a star-studded cast that includes Margaret Qualley, Geraldine Viswanathan, Beanie Feldstein, Pedro Pascal and Matt Damon.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

Feb 24

Tyler Perry Puts $800M Studio Expansion on Hold After Seeing OpenAI's Sora: "Jobs Are Going to Be Lost"

Director/producer Tyler Perry has halted plans to expand his studio in Atlanta (image courtesy Getty)

by Katie Kilkenny

Over the past four years, Tyler Perry had been planning an $800 million expansion of his studio in Atlanta, which would have added 12 soundstages to the 330-acre property. Now, however, those ambitions are on hold - thanks to the rapid developments he's seeing in the realm of artificial intelligence, including OpenAI's text-to-video model Sora, which debuted Feb. 15 and stunned observers with its cinematic video outputs.

"Being told that it can do all of these things is one thing, but actually seeing the capabilities, it was mind-blowing," he said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday, noting that his productions might not have to travel to locations or build sets with the assistance of the technology.

As a business owner, Perry sees the opportunity in these developments, but as an employer, fellow actor and filmmaker, he also wants to raise the alarm. In an interview between shoots Thursday, Perry explained his concerns about the technology's impact on labor and why he wants the industry to come together to tackle AI: "There's got to be some sort of regulations in order to protect us. If not, I just don’t see how we survive."

Click the Continue Reading at link to go to THR's article and read the interview with Tyler Perry.

Continue Reading at: The Hollywood Reporter

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