A One Direction fan fiction adaptation wins big at People’s Choice Awards

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Australian actress Josephine Langford stars in a movie based on a self-published e-book about a college student who falls in love with Harry Styles. (Image Courtesy: BBC News).

Jenny Gage’s After (2019) beat Jordan Peele’s Us (2019) as well as Dexter Fletcher’s Rocketman (2019) at the People’s Choice Awards in the drama category, despite only seventeen percent of critical reviews aggregated through Rotten Tomatoes being positive, according to BBC News. The film, starring Ralph Fiennes’s nephew, Hero-Fiennes Tiffin, is adapted from a piece of One Direction fan fiction first published by Anna Todd on WattPadd in 2013, which has gone on to be read more than six hundred million times and snagged the thirty-year-old author a book deal. Roger Kumble’s sequel, After We Collided (2020), recently wrapped production.

Philip Pullman defends Chris Weitz’s “The Golden Compass” (2007)

Philip Pullman, the author behind the His Dark Materials young adult fantasy series, took to Twitter this morning to speak up for Chris Weitz’s The Golden Compass (2007), an adaptation of his 1995 novel of the same name, according to The Independent. Only forty-two percent of reviews aggregated through Rotten Tomatoes for the Nicole Kidman vehicle are positive, and its underperformance scrapped the two planned sequels, but Pullman, praising the cast (and singling out star Dakota Blue Johnson), says they had not enough time. The televised interpretation, BBC One’s His Dark Materials (2019-), is a critical as well as popular success.

Sharon Stone recreates iconic “Basic Instinct” scene for “GQ”

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Sharon Stone received a standing ovation for her acceptance speech at the GQ Men of the Year Awards, empowering women to celebrate their own life-changing moments. (Image Courtesy: Entertainment Tonight).

Sharon Stone won the Woman of the Year Award on Thursday at the 2019 GQ Men of the Year Awards in Berlin, asking for a chair to be brought on stage to reenact the moment that changed her life from Paul Verhoeven’s Basic Instinct (1992), according to Entertainment Tonight. The sixty-one-year-old star told the audience to cross and uncross their legs along with her, reconstructing the most iconic (or infamous) part of the performance which earned her a Golden Globe nomination. Stone says she had to fight hard for Woman of the Year after being a joke for so long.

A CGI James Dean has been cast in an upcoming independent film

Using old footage and photos as well as a voice actor, Magic City Films, the production company behind Anton Ernst and Tati Golykh’s Finding Jack, will cast a computer-generated James Dean in their new Vietnam War drama, according to Time. Chris Evans took to Twitter to condemn the digital performance as “shameful,” but Mark Roesler, chairman and chief executive of CMG Worldwide (who licensed Dean’s likeness to the filmmaking team), says CMG represents the Hollywood icon’s family’s interests. Dean starred in Nicholas Ray’s Rebel Without a Cause (1955), Elia Kazan’s East of Eden (1955), and George Stevens’s Giant (1956) before dying in a car accident in 1955 at twenty-four years old.

New Werner Herzog documentary finds American distributor

Werner Herzog’s Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin (2019), a feature-length documentary which premiered at Tribeca before playing at Telluride, will be distributed by Music Box Films in select cities in the United States next spring, according to Variety. The picture represents the artistic as well as personal collaboration between the filmmaker and the adventurer and travel writer who authored In Patagonia, taking audiences from Patagonia to the Black Mountains of Wales to the Australian outback. William Schopf, the president of Music Box Films, says the movie reveals as much about Herzog as it does about Chatwin, and a home entertainment release is planned also.

“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.