Andrew Lincoln returning as Rick Grimes in “The Walking Dead” film

Andrew Lincoln will reprise his role as Rick Grimes in an untitled Universal Pictures theatrical release after playing the character for nine seasons on AMC’s The Walking Dead (2010-), according to BuzzFeed News. A short video teaser premiered at a 2019 San Diego Comic-Con panel for The Walking Dead and AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead (2015-), with a helicopter rescuing a half-dead Rick at the end of his final episode. Executive producer Scott M. Gimple, chief content officer for The Walking Dead universe, is writing a series of films revolving around the character, which were initially expected to air on cable until Universal, in search of a new hit franchise, became involved.

Independent California filmmaker wants public to know about his PI flick

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When McDick won Best Comedy and Audience Award at local festivals, one of the attendees brought the trailer to Danny Trejo’s attention, and he agreed to shoot his scenes in Malibu. (Photo Courtesy: The Santa Monica Daily Press).

Santa Monica-based comedy actor Chris McDonnell’s McDick (2017) is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video with around a thousand views so far, according to the Santa Monica Daily Press. The film stars McDonnell, Mo Collins, and Danny Trejo, with the director playing a detective who gets himself fired and becomes an incompetent private investigator in the tradition of Blake Edwards’s The Pink Panther (1963). The movie was something of a years-long passion project for the New Jersey-born McDonnell, who called in favors from his friends in the Los Angeles filmmaking community and raised a budget of $150,000 after moving there in 2002.

The “Titanic” survivor who made a movie about it a month later

A silent film star named Dorothy Gibson co-wrote and acted in Etienne Arnaud’s one-reeler, Saved from the Titanic (1912), twenty-nine days after surviving the sinking herself, according to The A.V. Club. Gibson’s character in the film wears the same clothes the actress wore the night of the disaster, and even though the picture was an international hit, the only known prints were lost in a fire two years into its release, in one of the worst cinematic tragedies of the era. Gibson had been part of movie history since “Hollywood” was located in Fort Lee, New Jersey – indeed, she was one of the first performers to reach stardom – and only one of her flicks still exists.

Film school founder discusses former student Chadwick Boseman

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Chadwick Boseman at the June 6, 2019, American Film Institute’s Forty-Seventh Lifetime Achievement Award Gala Tribute to Denzel Washington in Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre. (Image Courtesy: Forbes).

Digital Film Academy founder Patrick DiRenna sat down with reporter Travis Bean to discuss the success of alumnus Chadwick Boseman, star of Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther (2018), according to Forbes. DiRenna says Boseman is as chameleonic as Gary Oldman and as charismatic as Keanu Reeves, citing his performances as diverse historical figures like Jackie Robinson, James Brown, and Thurgood Marshall in Brian Helgeland’s 42 (2013), Tate Taylor’s Get On Up (2014), and Reginald Hudlin’s Marshall (2017), respectively. The Digital Film Academy operates under the thesis that great film performances are the result of great filmmaking, and DiRenna says Boseman’s student mentality equipped him to succeed in the collaborative medium that is the cinematic arts.

UK independent filmmakers could be casualty of US streaming wars

Insiders say the United Kingdom could lose its independent film industry in the war between American streaming services like Netflix, Disney, and other competing studios launching their own subscription platforms, according to The Guardian. Indeed, Netflix is opening a permanent production base in Shepperton Studios worth more than ten billion pounds, compared to the eleven million-pound budget at BBC Films and the British Film Institute’s fifteen million pounds. Andy Paterson, co-producer of Jonathan Teplitzky’s The Railway Man (2013), predicts that the streamers will act as something of a new classical Hollywood studio system, conquering world cinema from the United States.

“Midsommar” actor says cast was speechless at first screening

Leading man Jack Reynor is quoted as saying the cast of Ari Aster’s Midsommar (2019) sat thunderstruck through their first viewing of the horror film in New York earlier this month, despite knowing everything about the narrative, according to Entertainment Weekly. Reynor says the first two acts of the follow-up to Hereditary (2018) are brimming with gallows humor, but the final third is artfully crafted to overwhelm the audience a la Nagisa Oshima’s In the Realm of the Senses (1976). Reynor co-stars alongside Florence Pugh as an American couple who visit a secluded Swedish commune while travelling across Scandinavia, where a cult awaits them.

The making of Danny Boyle’s “Yesterday” (2019)

Danny Boyle’s Beatles jukebox musical, Yesterday (2019), originally began as a screenplay titled Cover Version by Jack Barth and Mackenzie Crook, with Crook slated to direct, according to The New York Times. After approaching executive producer Nick Angel for his connections in the music industry, Angel asked Richard Curtis, writer of Mike Newell’s Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) and his own Love Actually (2003), to rewrite the script, sharing a story credit with Barth. Curtis’s production deal at Working Title and Universal got Boyle involved, and Apple Corps and Sony/ATV Music Publishing, the copyright holders behind most of the band’s discography, were persuaded the film would be prestigious and lucrative enough to share the rights.