MOVIES: Watch 1st Trailer for Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time”

by Seth Kelley via variety.com

The first footage from Ava DuVernay’s highly-anticipated “A Wrinkle in Time” is finally here. Disney did the honors during its D23 Expo on Saturday.

DuVernay, the director of “Selma” and the documentary “13th,” among other projects, joined “A Wrinkle in Time” in February 2016. The story follows a group of children as they travel through time and visit strange worlds in order to find their missing father. Storm Reid plays the oldest daughter, Meg Murray, in the movie.

The cast includes Oprah Winfrey as Mrs. Which, Reese Witherspoon as Mrs. Whatsit, Mindy Kaling as Mrs. Who, and Chris Pine, who all joined the stage to present “Wrinkle” alongside DuVernay and Reid. Zach Galifianakis and Gugu Mbatha-Raw also star, but were not in attendance.

Jennifer Lee, who wrote and co-directed “Frozen” with Chris Buck, is responsible for the film adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic children’s book for Disney.

Earlier in the weekend, Winfrey was honored as a Disney Legend. During her acceptance speech, the legendary actress spoke about the studio’s impact on her life. “Disney, ABC 7 let me be me,” she said of her long-running “Oprah Winfrey Show.”

“A Wrinkle in Time” is expected to hit theaters March 9, 2018. The teaser can be seen above.

To read full article, go to: http://variety.com/2017/film/news/a-wrinkle-in-time-trailer-disney-ava-duvernay-watch-video-1202496728/

“Belle” Director Amma Asante’s New Film “A United Kingdom” to Open BFI London Film Festival

A UNITED KINGDOM Movie

“A United Kingdom” starring David Oyewolo and Rosamund Pike, directed by Amma Asante (COURTESY OF PATHE)

article by Leo Barraclough via Variety.com

Director Amma Asante’s third feature “A United Kingdom,” which stars “Selma’s” David Oyelowo and “Gone Girl’s” Rosamund Pike, will open the 60th BFI London Film Festival on Oct. 5.

Asante won the BAFTA for most promising newcomer for her debut “A Way of Life,” and followed that with “Belle,” which won best actress for Gugu Mbatha-Raw at the British Independent Film Awards.

“A United Kingdom” tells the true story of Seretse Khama, King of Bechuanaland (modern-day Botswana), and Ruth Williams, the London office worker he married in 1947 in the face of fierce opposition from their families and the British and South African governments.

The LFF gala screening, which will be the film’s European premiere, will be attended by Asante, Oyelowo and Pike. There will be a live cinecast from the London event and simultaneous screenings in movie theaters across the U.K.

The film’s screenplay is penned by Guy Hibbert (“Eye in the Sky”), based on the book “Color Bar” by Susan Williams. Oyelowo plays Khama, with Pike as his future wife, Williams. Other cast members include Jack Davenport (“Pirates of the Caribbean”), Terry Pheto (“Mandela”), Tom Felton (“Harry Potter”), Arnold Oceng (“Adulthood”), Jack Lowden (“’71”) and Laura Carmichael (“Downton Abbey”).

Clare Stewart, London Film Festival director, said: “Amma Asante’s ‘A United Kingdom’ is testament to a defiant and enduring love story that also reveals a complex, painful chapter in British history. We are proud to be opening the 60th BFI London Film Festival with a film of such contemporary relevance, one that celebrates the triumph of love and intelligence over intolerance and oppression, and that confirms Asante as a distinctive and important British filmmaker.”

Asante commented: “It’s a great privilege that ‘A United Kingdom’ has been selected as the opening night film of the BFI London Film Festival. The festival means a lot to me personally, having showcased my first film, ‘A Way of Life,’ here and been honored with the U.K. Film Talent Award. I’m a proud Londoner, and in ‘A United Kingdom’ we’ve been able to film in some of the most beautiful parts of the city as well as in the wonderful landscapes of Botswana.”

The film is produced by Rick McCallum (“Star Wars”), Oyelowo, Justin Moore-Lewy, Brunson Green (“The Help”) and Charlie Mason. The film is executive produced by Pathé’s Cameron McCracken, BBC Films’ Christine Langan, the BFI’s Ben Roberts, Ingenious Media’s Eleanor Clark Windo and Guy Hibbert.

To read more, go to: http://variety.com/2016/film/global/amma-asante-a-united-kingdom-bfi-london-film-festival-1201800077/

David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw to Star in J.J. Abrams’ ‘God Particle’

David Oyelowo Gugu Mbatha-Raw God Particle

David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw (REX/SHUTTERSTOCK)

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

According to Variety.com, actors David Oyelowo (“Selma”) and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (“Beyond The Lights”) are lined up to star in J.J. Abrams-produced sci-fi thriller “God Particle” for Paramount Pictures.

Julius Onah is directing the film, which takes place in the near future. It centers on a team of astronauts who make a terrifying discovery that challenges all they know about the fabric of reality, as they desperately fight for their survival.  The film will be released in theaters on Feb. 24, 2017.

Oyelowo recently finished production on “A United Kingdom” costarring Rosamund Pike, as well as Disney’s “Queen of Katwe.”   Mbatha-Raw most recently appeared as Will Smith’s wife in “Concussion” and has the Civil War drama “Free State of Jones,” opposite Matthew McConaughey coming out this summer.

Gina Prince-Bythewood to Direct and Gugu Mbatha-Raw to Star in Adaptation of Roxane Gay Novel “An Untamed State”

beyond-the-lights-gina-prince-bythewood-gugu-mbatha-raw

Director Gina Prince-Bythewood and actor Gugu Mbatha-Raw (photo via deadline.com)

article by Mike Fleming Jr. via deadline.com

Gina Prince-Bythewood will direct and Gugu Mbatha-Raw will star in An Untamed State, an adaptation of Roxane Gay‘s debut novel that the director will co-write with the author for Fox Searchlight. Michael De Luca will produce through his Michael De Luca Productions banner with Prince-Bythewood.

an untamed stateThe novel tells the powerful, unflinching story of a Haitian-American woman kidnapped for ransom in front of her husband and child. The novel explores the privilege that made her a target and the strength she must draw on to survive and reclaim her life. Prince-Bythewood is best known for directing Love and BasketballBeyond the Lights, and The Secret Life of Bees, and with husband, Reggie Rock Bythewood, she is executive producing the 10-hour event series Shots Fired for Fox, Imagine Television and Undisputed Cinema. Mbatha-Raw most recently starred in Concussion and Belle, and she teamed with Prince-Bythewood on Beyond the Lights.

To read more, go to: http://deadline.com/2016/03/gugu-mbatha-raw-to-star-gina-prince-bythewood-to-helm-an-untamed-state-1201724469/

Sony Offers Free Admission to ‘Concussion’ for NFL Players, Families

'Concussion' Free Admission Offered to NFL

Will Smith in “Concussion” (PHOTO COURTESY OF SONY)

Sony Pictures Entertainment is offering NFL players and their families free admission at Cinemark Theaters to Will Smith’s “Concussion,” which opens on Christmas Day.

The studio said it has already reached out to current and former NFL players by holding private screenings in each team’s city in advance of its opening.

“This is a movie for the players, so we wanted to give them a chance to see it before its nationwide release and free admission during its run in theaters,” producers Ridley Scott and Giannina Scott said. “The movie is so inspiring. Will Smith gives one of the best performances of his career as Dr. Bennet Omalu, a man who shined a light on the truth.”

Players will receive complimentary admission for themselves and one guest by presenting their NFLPA membership card at any Cinemark theater. Cinemark has almost 500 theaters with about 4,500 screens in the U.S.

Omalu is a forensic pathologist who fought against the NFL’s efforts to suppress his research on the brain damage suffered by professional football players. The film was directed and written by Peter Landesman, based on Jeanne Marie Laskas’ 2009 GQ article “Game Brain.”

“Concussion” also stars Alec Baldwin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Albert Brooks. It’s a Columbia Pictures presentation in association with LStar Capital and Village Roadshow Pictures.

article by Dave McNary via Variety.com

Academy of Motion Pictures Invites Record 322 New Members in Push for More Oscar Diversity

New AMPAS President Cheryl Boone Isaacs

AMPAS President Cheryl Boone Isaacs

According to Variety.com, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has made a concrete push for diversity, sending membership invitations to 322 individuals, including a healthy number of people who, if they accept, can help change the organization’s primarily white male demographics.

Among the invitees are “Selma” actor David Oyelowo, “Belle” and “Beyond the Lights” actor Gugu Mbatha-Raw, actor Kevin Hart, “Set It Off” and “Italian Job” director F. Gary Gray, “Best Man” director Malcolm D. Lee, “Amazing Grace” and “Beat Street” director Stan Lathan, “Selma” casting director Aisha Coley, Dreamworks executive Mellody Hobson, and “Frozen” animator Marlon West. The Academy has been reaching out to women, foreign-born artists and people of various races, ethnic backgrounds and ages.

Accusations of Academy bigotry surfaced yet again in January when the list of Oscar nominees included Caucasians in all 20 acting categories, and few women or racial minorities among the other categories. Director Ava DuVernay and actor Oyelowo of “Selma” had seemed like strong contenders, giving many people hopes of breakthroughs. After initial anger at the Academy, activists began to shift their protests to industry hiring practices.

The Academy last year sent 271 invitations, with 276 in 2013. For the years between 2004 and 2012, the average was 133. There is no guarantee that all will join, but it’s rare for people to decline. The Academy board voted on the list Tuesday, after recommendations from its membership committee.

CEO Dawn Hudson and Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs have been pushing to broaden the organization’s makeup. Last year, Boone Isaacs told Variety that the 2014 new-member list “is a continuation of an initiative to bring in new voices. … The membership is becoming more and more a reflection of the world at large.”

Hudson and Boone Isaacs always stress that the outreach does not means a change in standards. Each branch has strict requirements on eligibility based on industry tenure and credits.  As of the most recent tally for 2014 voting, the Academy had 6,124 voting members. The “new voices” clearly constitute a tiny fraction of the group. But AMPAS officials are hoping that it can help can make a difference.

And as June 24-July 2 balloting is under way for board members, exactly one-third of the board are women: 17 out of 42. But it could get closer to 50-50 parity with the new crop, which includes a number of racial minorities and women among this year’s board contenders.

For a full list of invitees, click here.

original article by Tim Gray; additions by Lori Lakin Hutcherson

‘Get On Up,’ ‘Selma,’ ‘Dear White People’ Score NAACP Image Award Nominations (Full List)

"Dear White People"

NAACP Image Award Best Picture nominee “Dear White People”

“Belle,” “Beyond the Lights,” “Dear White People,” “Get On Up” and “Selma” have grabbed top film nominations for the 46th annual NAACP Image Awards.

The Image Awards will be handed out Feb. 6 in a ceremony telecast live by TV One.

“Get On Up” star Chadwick Boseman, “Selma’s” David Oyelowo, Nate Parker of “Beyond the Lights,” Gugu Mbatha-Raw of “Belle” and Tessa Thompson of “Dear White People” are among the actors who were cited.

Boseman, Oyelowo and Mbatha-Raw are all portraying real-life people.

In the TV heat, ABC freshman “Black-ish” and “How to Get Away with Murder,” Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black,” BET’s “The Game” and “Being Mary Jane” were among the top nominees. ABC did well, earning three of the five drama-series nominations. Also notable was Lifetime’s scoring seven of the 10 nominations in the two lead acting categories for telefilm/miniseries/dramatic special.

Here is a full list of Image Award nominees:

MOTION PICTURE

Motion Picture

  • “Belle” (Fox Searchlight Pictures/ DJ Films)
  • “Beyond The Lights” (Relativity Media)
  • “Dear White People” (Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions)
  • “Get On Up” (Universal Pictures)
  • “Selma” (Paramount Pictures)

Actor in a Motion Picture

  • Chadwick Boseman – “Get On Up” (Universal Pictures)
  • David Oyelowo – “Selma” (Paramount Pictures)
  • Denzel Washington – “The Equalizer” (Columbia Pictures)
  • Idris Elba – “No Good Deed” (Screen Gems)
  • Nate Parker – “Beyond The Lights” (Relativity Media)
 Actress in a Motion Picture
  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw – “Belle” (Fox Searchlight Pictures/ DJ Films)
  • Quvenzhané Wallis – “Annie” (Columbia Pictures)
  • Taraji P. Henson – “No Good Deed” (Screen Gems)
  • Tessa Thompson – “Dear White People” (Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions)
  • Viola Davis – “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby” (The Weinstein Company)

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