Apple Nabs Ed Sheeran Documentary

By Creative Media Times

Murray Pictures

Following its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, new Ed Sheeran documentary “Songwriter” has been bought by Apple, Deadline is reporting.

The deal is said to be in the “low to mid-seven figures” which would involve global rights to the doc including release on Apple’s multiple platforms. No specific release date was announced.

The documentary is currently screening at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City where it premiered in the US this week. This followed the world premiere at the 68th Berlinale International Film Festival last February.

According to initial reviews, the documentary is an intimate look at the hit-maker as he carve out his career including his writing and musical process during tours.

The film is directed by his Sheeran’s own cousin Murray Cummings, who is apparently video-documenting the musician’s career the past few years, from his beginnings as well as during his tours around the globe and recording sessions, leading up to the release of Sheeran’s third studio album “Divide.”

For the tech giant, the acquisition is another addition to its growing exclusive content which includes similar docs such as Taylor Swift’s 189 World Tour and a behind the scenes look at the production of Pink’s “Beautiful Trauma”.

“Crazy Rich Asians” Trailer Debut

By Creative Media Times

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. Pictures has debuted the first full trailer for “Crazy Rich Asians,” giving us a first look at all the luxury, romance and socialites. The film is an adaptation of the novel from Kevin Kwan of the same name.

The first trailer, which comes on the heels of a teaser released last Thursday, premiered on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”

The film focuses on an ordinary American-born Chinese economics professor Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) who travels to Singapore with her boyfriend Nick Young ( Henry Golding) for a wedding. “We’ve been dating for over a year now, and I think it’s about time people met my beautiful girlfriend,” he says.

But when she arrives there, she finds out that her boyfriend is, as the title says, crazy rich, thrusting her in the life of the wealthy and ridiculously wealthy where every woman wants her man.

Also in the film are Gemma Chan, Lisa Lu, Awkwafina and Michelle Yeoh. The film is directed by Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Now You See Me 2), from the script by Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim.

“Crazy Rich Asians” is set for release on August 17.

Taron Egerton To Play Elton John

By Creative Media Times

The Welsh actor is going from Kingsman to Rocketman as the star is set to play Elton John in new biopic, Variety reports. “Rocketman” will be financed by Paramount Pictures with English actor and director Dexter Fletcher attached to direct.

The film will reportedly examine Elton John’s beginnings as a child prodigy, his rise to stardom and his partnership with songwriter Bernie Taupin.

Fletcher recently directed Egerton in the 2016 biographical sports comedy-drama “Eddie the Eagle” which co-starred Hugh Jackman. “Rocketman” will be Fletcher’s second consecutive film about a legendary pop musician after replacing Bryan Singer as director of the Freddie Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Egerton seem like a good fit for the role. He recently lent his voice to Illumination Entertainment’s musical comedy “Sing” (2016), where he sang some of his character’s tunes including Elton John’s own classic hit “I’m Still Standing.” He also performed on the soundtrack of “Eddie the Eagle”.

Egerton will next be seen in this November’s action-adventure “Robin Hood” playing the titular role opposite Jamie Foxx.

As for the film’s subject, Elton John is set to begin his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, a three-year farewell tour that begins this September and will being him around the world.

SKD Acquires U.S. Rights To The Blanc/Biehn Productions’ Psychological Thriller Altered Perception

From the Creator of USA Network’s “White Collar,” Cinedigm Will Release the Film to Theaters and Leading Digital and TV VOD Platforms on May 4, Followed by a Home Entertainment Release in June. Jon Huertas (“This is Us”), Jade Tailor (“The Magicians”), Nichola Fynn (“Transparent”) and Jennifer Blanc-Biehn (She Rises) Star.

SKD has acquired all U.S. distribution rights to the psychological thriller ALTERED PERCEPTION, directed by Kate Rees Davies in her feature-length debut, and written by Travis Romero, creator of the USA series White Collar. Cinedigm will release the picture theatrically and on Digital and TV VOD on May 4, 2018, with a DVD Release to follow in June 2018.

When the government attempts to produce a designer drug aimed at correcting the false perceptions that people develop during trauma and stress, the implications are deadly. Advertised as a cure for socio-political tensions, four couples volunteer, but end up with far more than they bargained for as their past and present are examined while taking variations of the new drug. However, this causes them to doubt their own memory, perceptions – and even their own sanity in this thriller in the vein of Disturbing Behavior and The Faculty.

Featuring a story by Jon Huertas and Jennifer Blanc-Biehn (Havenhurst, “Dark Angel”), the ensemble cast features Huertas (“This is Us,” “Generation Kill,” “Castle”), Jade Tailor (“The Magicians,” “Aquarius,” “Murder in the First”), Nichola Fynn (“Hot in Cleveland,”, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) and Matthew Ziff (Kickboxer: Vengeance, Trafficked).

“In a world where truth is questioned every day, ALTERED PERCEPTION raises the stakes in unforeseen ways,” says CEO Alex Cohen. “Taut and thrilling, with smart writing, a director with a fresh voice and a truly terrific ensemble cast, we’re certain it’s a film that will resonate with moviegoers everywhere.”

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Spielberg Joining DCEU With “Blackhawk”

By Creative Media Times

Steven Spielberg

Hot on the heels of last month’s “Ready Player One,” Steven Spielberg is re-teaming with Warner Bro for DC Comics’ “Blackhawk” film.

This may be Spielberg’s first foray into comic book superhero genre, but the story, set in World War II, is familiar turf for the influential filmmaker.

First published by Quality Comics in 1941 and then later by DC Comics in 1956 after the former was purchased by DC, Blackhawk centers on a team of ace pilots of varied nationality, led by the titular character, who battle Nazis and one-off supervillains.

“It was wonderful working with the team at Warner Bros. to bring Ready Player One to the screen. They bring a blend of passion and professionalism to everything they do and have a tremendous history in this genre. I am excited to reunite with them on Blackhawk,” Spielberg said in a statement.

The director’s Amblin Entertainment will produce the film for WB along with Kristie Macosko Krieger and Sue Kroll. Long-time Spielberg collaborator David Koepp (Jurassic Park, War of the Worlds, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) will write the script.

The acclaimed director is currently riding high with the success of the film adaptation of “Ready Player One” which has so far made almost 500 million worldwide since its release on March 29. He is currently working on the fifth installment of the Indiana Jones franchise and plans to direct a remake of “West Side Story.”

Elle Fanning Embodies Author “Mary Shelley” In New Trailer

By Creative Media Times

IFC Films

“Her greatest love inspired her darkest creation,” says the tagline of “Mary Shelley”. The intriguing new film chronicles the passionate yet tumultuous love affair of trailblazing writer Mary Shelley which inspired the creation her Gothic masterwork Frankenstein. Elle Fanning stars as the eponymous author.

The trailer gives us a look at the English novelist’s meeting with her husband, English romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (played by Douglas Booth) and the relationship that followed. Fellow poet Lord Byron also appears in the film (played by Tom Sturridge).

From distributor IFC Films, the film is directed by Haifaa al-Mansour. She also penned the script alongside Emma Jensen. The film had its world premiere last year September at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Also in the film are Bel Powley (Detour) as Claire Clairmont, Ben Hardy (X-Men: Apocalypse) as John William Polidori, Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) as Isabel Baxter and Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey) as Mary Jane Clairmont.

“Mary Shelley” is set for release on Friday, May 25, 2018 (NY & LA) and On-Demand starting Friday, June 1, 2018

Oscar Winning director Miloš Forman Dies At 86

By Armando

United Artists

Legendary film director Milos Forman, known for his work in Academy Award winning films “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Amadeus,” has died. The news was confirmed by his manager to NPR. Forman was 86.

Forman won an Oscar for helming “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” considered by many film critics, historians and film buffs as one of the best films ever made. The film won the so-called “Big Five” categories at academy awards in 1976, winning best director, best picture, best actor for Jack Nicholson, best actress for Louise Fletcher, and best adapter screenplay for Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman.

The film joins “It Happened One Night” (1934) and “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991) as the only three films to achieve such feat. “Cuckoo’s Nest” was later selected by the United States Library of Congress in 1993 for preservation in the National Film Registry.

Nine years after ‘Cuckoo’s Nest’, Forman collected his second best director Oscar award for Amadeus, a fictionalized biography of prolific and influential composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

In 1997, Milos Forman had another shot at Academy Award best director trophy when he was nominated for “The People vs. Larry Flynt,” a biographicl drama chronicling 35 years of the life of adult magazine publisher and editor Larry Flynt. Though Forman did not win, the film was critically acclaimed and won numerous awards and nominations.

In spite of all his international acclaim throughout those years, Forman’s biography was not an easy journey. Born in Čáslav, Czechoslovakia (currently known as Czech Republic), the director was an orphan of Nazi Holocaust victims. After living with relatives, he later discovered that his biological father was in fact a survivor of the Holocaust and living in Peru.

He was known primarily as a Czech filmmaker until he moved to America in 1968. His first film in the United States “Taking Off” was a flop and critically panned. It wasn’t until he was hired by producers Michael Douglas and Saul Zaentz to direct “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” that he finally found his footing.

Forman was initially apprehensive about his immigrant background not being able to give justice to the story’s very American sentiments.

But it was precisely that background which provided him unique inspiration.

“To me it was not just literature but real life, the life I lived in Czechoslovakia from my birth in 1932 until 1968. The Communist Party was my Nurse Ratched, telling me what I could and could not do; what I was or was not allowed to say; where I was and was not allowed to go; even who I was and was not.”

New “The Incredibles 2” Trailer Features New Villain

Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures

By Creative Media Times

It has been 14 years since the original film, and the much-anticipated sequel is finally here. After a few sneak peaks and short teaser trailer, a new full length action-packed trailer has been released by Pixar.

This is the most extensive look so far at the sequel, showing the family adjusting to family life, with a new masked-villain adding to their headaches. We also get to see fan-favorite characters like Edna Mode and Frozone.

Also getting the spotlight is Holly Hunter’s Elastigirl, who is tasked to save the world. “You know it’s crazy right? To help my family I gotta leave it, to fix the law I gotta break it.”

The 2004 original film grossed $633 million worldwide in 2004 and received the Annie Award for Best Animated Feature. The Incredibles also won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Just like the original, Brad Bird wrote the screenplay and is directing, while John Walker and Nicole Paradis Grindle are the producers. Disney-Pixar’s “Incredibles 2” will hit cinemas on June 15, 2018.

James McAvoy and Bill Hader In Talks For “It” Sequel

By Creative Media Times

Warner Bros. Pictures

It looks like James McAvoy is lining up another sequel to his resume. Variety is reporting today that the X-Men star is in talks to appear in the “It: Chapter 2”, the sequel to last year’s hugely successful supernatural horror film “It” from Warner Bros. Pictures.

Potentially joining McAvoy is Saturday Night Live’s Bill Hader. Already cast in the film is Jessica Chastain with Andy Muschietti returning to helm the film.

Though the script is still “being worked on,” McAvoy is supposedly playing an adult version of the original “It” film’s Bill Denbrough, the stuttering leader of the Losers’ Club. In the 2017 film, the character was played by Jaeden Lieberher. Bill Hader on the other hand will supposedly play Bill’s best friend, Richie Tozier.

With the sequel taking place to years later with the characters as adults, the Variety report that the original cast might come back in the form of flashbacks to the year when they were kids.

The success of “It” (Chapter One) last year somewhat guaranteed the sequel. That film broke boxoffice records and grossed $700 million worldwide against a production budget of $35 million, making the film one of the most profitable films of all time.

McAvoy will next be in seen in “Glass,” the third and final entry to M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable/Split film series. The sequel was announced shortly after the surprising financial and critical success of Split, which featured McAvoy as a man with multiple personalities.

“It: Chapter Two” is currently scheduled for a September 6, 2019 release date.

Netflix Backs Out Of Cannes Film Festival

By Creative Media Times

Well this certainly makes it official. According a report in Variety, streaming giant Netflix will not be screening any of its films at the festival.

“We want our films to be on fair ground with every other filmmaker,” says Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer. “There’s a risk in us going in this way and having our films and filmmakers treated disrespectfully at the festival. They’ve set the tone. I don’t think it would be good for us to be there.”

Though stunning, the decision isn’t surprising as there has been speculation in the past few days that Netflix would not be participating. This comes after last year’s controversy at Cannes where two Netflix films, Bong Joon-ho’s “Okja” and Noah Baumbach’s “The Meyerowitz Stories” played at the festival and competed for the Palme d’Or, but did not play in the cinemas in France, something which French theater exhibitors reportedly protested against.

Shortly after last year’s opening ceremonies, the festival changed its rules which states that that no movies will be play in competition if they’re not committed to be released in French theaters.

Last month, festival director Thierry Fremaux said that Netflix could play their films outside of competition, though effectively ineligible to play in the competition for refusing theatrical distribution in France.

“I don’t think there would be any reason to go out of competition. The rule was implicitly about Netflix, and Thierry made it explicitly about Netflix when he announced the rule,” Sarandos tells Variety.

Cannes Film Festival will run from May 8 to 19, with the competition jury headed by Cate Blanchett. Asghar Farhadi’s psychological thriller “Everybody Knows” starring Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem is scheduled to open the festival.

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