“Fantastic Beasts 3” coming to Rio

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(Image Courtesy: Vulture).

Fantastic Beasts 3, the working title at Warner Bros. for the third installment in their Harry Potter spinoff franchise, will eschew France in favor of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, according to Vulture. The film was announced a year after the release of David Yates’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) and will begin production in spring 2020, with J.K. Rowling slated to write the script for this entry as well. Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Johnny Depp, Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller, Alison Sudol, and Dan Fogler are all scheduled to reprise their roles, with Jessica Williams’s part as Professor Eulalie “Lally” Hicks expanded.

Elaine May to direct new Dakota Johnson film

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Elaine May recently won the Tony Award for Best Actress as a dementia patient in Kenneth Lonergan’s The Waverly Gallery alongside Lucas Hedges, Michael Cera, as well as Joan Allen. (Image Courtesy: Vanity Fair).

At the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’s Governors Awards, Dakota Johnson told a journalist she would star in eighty-seven-year-old Elaine May’s upcoming project, Crackpot, according to Vanity Fair. Little is known about the film, but if May’s improv partnership with Mike Nichols, “Nichols and May,” is any indication, it is apt to be a comedy on par with her A New Leaf (1971) and The Heartbreak Kid (1972), though it could be a drama like Mikey and Nicky (1976). May hasn’t sat in the director’s chair since her fourth movie, Ishtar (1987), starring Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman.

“Harriet” consultant says movie is historically accurate

Kasi Lemmons’s Harriet (2019) was released Friday, and Kate Larson, the expert consulted for the film, says the fictionalized Harriet Tubman biopic is still a faithful retelling of the Maryland-born historical figure’s life, according to WBALTV. Larson, who has studied Tubman for the last twenty-five years, says she grew up a slave separated from much of her family, until running for freedom on the Underground Railroad with her brothers September 17, 1849, before they could be sold into the Deep South. Larson says she hopes the film will inspire audiences to visit the communities where Tubman became an American hero.

Lady Gaga will star in new Ridley Scott movie

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Lady Gaga was born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. (Image Courtesy: BBC News).

Lady Gaga was cast as convicted murderer Patrizia Reggiani in Sir Ridley Scott’s forthcoming film about the death of Maurizio Gucci, the grandson of the man who founded the Italian fashion house, according to BBC News. Reggiani was a socialite who had two children with Gucci before they divorced in 1985; though she served eighteen years in prison for ordering an assassin to execute her ex-husband outside his Milan office in 1995 as part of a Mafia-style hit, the “Black Widow” proclaims her innocence. Gaga was nominated for the Best Actress Academy Award in Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born (2018).

Rachel Weisz cast as Elizabeth Taylor in new film

It was announced Monday that the forty-nine-year-old Academy Award-winning actress Rachel Weisz has been cast as Elizabeth Taylor in female directing team Bert & Bertie’s upcoming biopic, A Special Relationship, according to People. The film will explore the three-time Oscar winner’s HIV/AIDS activism, which began in the 1980s after she hired a gay man from the South named Roger Wall to be her personal assistant, and took her as far as lobbying for the cause in Washington, D.C., in 1986. Simon Beaufoy, who won Best Adapted Screenplay for Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire (2008), studied hours of interviews and conversations before writing the script, and See-Saw Films as well as trustees of the Elizabeth Taylor Estate/House of Taylor Trust are set to produce.

Honorary Academy Award recipient asks for female Oscar named “Anna”

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In a video tribute, Jodie Foster said Lina Wertmüller taught her women could be directors, too. (Image Courtesy: WTHR).

While accepting her honorary Oscar at the Academy’s Eleventh Annual Governors Awards, ninety-one-year-old Anna Wertmüller, the first female Best Director nominee for her Pasqualino Settebellezze (1975), called for a female Oscar named “Anna,” according to WTHR. Only five women have been up for Best Director in the history of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and two of them, Jane Campion as well as Greta Gerwig, were in attendance at the untelevised dinner event. Cherokee actor Wes Studi also became the first Native American actor to receive an Oscar last night, alongside the prolific David Lynch and Geena Davis.

“Knives Out” and “Marriage Story” to bookend this year’s Denver Film Festival

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The Denver Film Society says the 2018 festival sold $442,701 worth of tickets, compared to $401,000 in 2017; however, attendance dropped to 42,415 in 2018 from 46,912 in 2017. (Image Courtesy: The Know).

From October 30 to November 11, the Forty-Second Denver Film Festival will screen more than two hundred fifty features, documentaries, and shorts at the Sie FilmCenter, UA Pavilions, and the Ellie in between virtual-reality specials at the McNichols Building, according to The Know. Colorado native Rian Johnson, the filmmaker behind Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017), will open the red carpet series with his ensemble murder mystery Knives Out (2019) on Halloween at the Ellie, and Noah Baumbach will close it with his Marriage Story (2019).  Denver Film Society anticipates the same turnout of young people as well as new residents as 2018, which was as successful as the year before that, when Emma Stone and director Damien Chazelle came to town with La La Land (2016).