Monthly Archives: March 2014

Sharknado - 2013Production has wrapped in New York City on Sharknado 2 and SyFy has announced a premiere date. Sharknado 2: The Second One, will debut a day earlier than expected on Wednesday, July 30 at 9/8c.

Set in New York City, Sharknado 2 will feature a freak weather system that turns its deadly fury on the Big Apple and unleashes a Sharknado on the population and its most beloved landmarks. The Statue of Liberty, for instance, gets destroyed in the new poster for the movie.

As previously announced, original stars Ian Ziering and Tara Reid will be joined by Kelly Osbourne, Mark McGrath, Vivica A. Fox, Andy Dick, 30 Rock alum Judah Friedlander, Taxi vet Judd Hirsch, Perez Hilton, Biz Markie, professional wrestler Kurt Angle, Robert Klein and Sandra Denton, aka Salt-N-Pepa’s Pepa, have also joined the cast.

nicolas-cage-left-behindVariety Exclusive: Apparently Kirk Cameron just didn’t have the chops. He is now being replaced by Nicholas Cage in the Christian drama “Left Behind.” It’s been set for an Oct. 3 release in the U.S. via Stoney Lake Entertainment.

The film, centered on the well-known Biblical-themed books by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, will come into the market at a time when faith-based movies are proliferating.

“We’re seeing a number of big, biblical movies on the calendar this year, particularly ‘Son of God,’ ‘Noah’ and ‘Exodus,’” said “Left Behind” producer Paul Lalonde, chairman of Stoney Lake. “What makes ‘Left Behind’ different is that it is a contemporary story that could actually happen at any moment. It’s also a historical account in a sense, because it’s based on a true story, it just hasn’t happened yet. So it’s very important to us that the core story not be changed.”

“Left Behind,” which carries Cage a $16 million budget, was shot in Louisiana last summer in six weeks with Vic Armstrong directing from a script by Lalonde and John Patus. Chad Michael Murray, Cassi Thomson, Nicky Whelan, Lea Thompson and Jordin Sparks also star.

Cage admits that the film is unlike anything he’s done before.

“My greatest hope for the film ‘Left Behind’ is that it works as something that people will be entertained and thrilled by, but they’ll also go home and they’ll have conversations with their family and they’ll ask ‘do you think this could happen or couldn’t happen’ and it’ll inspire discussions and closeness.”

Cage added of the role, “I wanted to do it because it was so challenging and unusual to me.”

Story is set on a commercial airliner just hours after the Rapture when millions of people around the globe simply vanish. Cage’s character is faced with a damaged plane, terrified passengers, and a desperate desire to get back to his family. Thomson (“Big Love”) portrays his daughter, forced to navigate a world of madness as she searches for her lost mother and brother.

Frozen - AnnaDisney’s animated tentpole “Frozen” has continued its wildly successful run in international markets to become to biggest animated pic ever, bringing its total to $1.072 billion this weekend after opening in its final market, Japan.

The competition to beat was another Disney/Pixar title, “Toy Story 3,” which grossed $1.063 billion in 2010. “Frozen” earned $398.4 million domestically and $674 million internationally to take the title.

In its run overseas, “Frozen” has become the top Disney or Pixar film in 27 territories. It has grossed $50.5 million in Japan thus far, and also broke into the top ten films of all time globally at the box office this weekend.

Source: Variety

Satya Nadella - Microsoft CEOMicrosoft CEO Satya Nadella to begin a series of regular updates from the company in an attempt increase revenue and give Microsoft an image makeover to increase demand for its products. Nadella announced during his first public presentation as CEO the availability of Microsoft’s Office software designed specifically for Apple’s iPad tablets.

As a result, Nadella told the small gathering of press in San Francisco that Microsoft must embrace the “magical coming together of the cloud and mobile,” which includes making its products available on all platforms, especially the subscription based Office 365, an online version of Office.

With product launches like Office for iPad, the focus is on “what we as a company can uniquely do to serve our customers better,” Nadella said during the press event webcast to millions. His first major public appearance was a more zen-like approach to promoting Microsoft than his predecessor Steve Ballmer, who preferred to loudly hype new launches.

“Everything we do going forward is grounded in this world view of ubiquitous computing,” Nadella said. “The future is not dictated by the form factors we know today. Everything we do will be digitized. Every interaction we have with other humans … and machines (will be digital).”

Source: Variety

disney-logoVariety Exclusive:

Disney is revving up the family action-comedy “The Wheelman,” bringing on the sibling writing team of Jim and Brian Kehoe to script.

“Night at the Museum” writers Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant wrote the original script, in which a Las Vegas limo driver is forced to drive around a mob boss’ bratty son and his friends. The driver gets in a little too deep when the mafioso goes missing.

batman-75th-anniversary

To mark the milestone 75th anniversary of DC Comics’ Batman, Warner Bros. Entertainment and DC Entertainment have revealed plans for a year-long celebration befitting the world’s most popular Super Hero.  Highlights of the anniversary program, which starts today, include a new commemorative 75th anniversary Batman logo and an exclusive “Cape/Cowl/Create” art exhibit, featuring 20 contemporary artists’ interpretation of The Dark Knight’s iconic cowl headpiece and cape from the upcoming Batman: Arkham Knight videogame.  There will also be 75thanniversary-related activities across all of Warner Bros. Entertainment throughout the year.

First appearing in the comic book Detective Comics #27, which hit newsstands on March 30, 1939, featuring artwork by Bob Kane and a script by Bill Finger, Batman emerged from the shadows to become the world’s most popular Super Hero and dominate all media.  In feature films, TV shows, radio, video games, publishing and merchandise, this most human of Super Heroes has battled some of fiction’s greatest villains using his intellect, cunning and an arsenal of gadgets to further his quest for justice.

“Batman is an incredibly important property with multi-generational appeal across all of the Studio’s businesses, and we’re proud to celebrate this milestone anniversary,” said Kevin Tsujihara, Chief Executive Officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment.  “From billion-dollar blockbuster films to TV, home entertainment, video games and consumer products, The Dark Knight continues to resonate with audiences worldwide and rightfully deserves his place as a global pop culture icon for the ages.”

Batman is the single most successful Super Hero film franchise in history and there have been more theatrical movies released based on Batman than any other comic book character.  In video games, the Batman Arkham franchise is also the most successful Super Hero game concept ever.  Batman consistently breaks records in every incarnation of his character and remains the gold standard by which all other comic book sales are measured.

“Batman is one of the greatest characters ever created, in comics or elsewhere, and even after 75 years he continues to wildly fascinate fans.  He is an integral part of pop culture and has successfully captured the imagination of the entire world,” said Diane Nelson, President of DC Entertainment and President & Chief Content Officer, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.  “The origin of Batman, Bruce Wayne and the famous citizens of Gotham are legendary and likely a story you know inside out, even if you’ve never picked up a comic book in your life, and that speaks volumes to the character’s immense popularity and the constructs of the original mythology.”

The first published adventure of The Bat-Man (as he was then known) was in the May 1939 issue of  Detective Comics #27, conceived of and drawn by a 22-year-old Kane with his frequent collaborator, Bill Finger, scripting the story. The character was so successful, that one year later the first comic book devoted exclusively to the Caped Crusader’s adventures,Batman #1, hit newsstands. In that issue, Batman battled The Joker and Catwoman for the first time.

Now, DC Entertainment and the Studio’s various divisions, including Pictures, Television, Animation, Interactive Entertainment, Home Entertainment and Consumer Products, will mark this extraordinary 75th anniversary with a range of highly anticipated events and products.

The new commemorative logo, also released today across social media and websites, takes its cue from the famed Bat symbol, and features block-style lettering of “75 Years.”  The mark will be rolled out on Batman-related promotions, products and initiatives.

Key activities planned for the Batman 75th anniversary celebration include:

  • DC Entertainment – DC Entertainment has an action-packed year filled with new Batman titles, commemorative issues and variant covers, including the recently released special edition of Detective Comics #27 commemorating Batman’s first appearance in the book in 1939, the new weekly series Batman Eternal launching April 9, and upcoming exclusiveBatman variant covers planned for San Diego Comic-Con International in July.
  • Batman Day – DC Entertainment is also partnering with thousands of comic retailers, book stores and libraries for “Batman Day” on Wednesday, July 23. Each location will host a Batman 75th anniversary celebration and offer fans a free, special edition Batman comic.
  • Interactive Entertainment – Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has invited celebrated fashion designer Asher Levine to create a cape and cowl based on the Batsuit of the recently announced Batman: Arkham Knight videogame developed by Rocksteady Studios.  Favorite contemporary artists will have the opportunity to use the replicas as a blank canvas to produce their own, original interpretations of Batman’s iconic attire for an all new “Cape/Cowl/Create” art exhibit that will be showcased at San Diego Comic-Con International in July.
  • Home Entertainment – Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will bring fans an array of new Batman titles throughout the year, including the highly anticipated release of the Batman ’66 TV series for the first time ever. Other new releases include animated films Son of Batman (May 6) and Assault on Arkham (summer 2014). Additionally, a 25th Anniversary Edition of Tim Burton’s Batman feature film will be released in the fall.
  • Animation – Warner Bros. Animation has created two all-new Batman animated shorts set for debut in April, with fan-favorite producers Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series) and Darwyn Cooke (Batman Beyond) each presenting a unique and familiar take on the Batman animated universe. In addition, Timm will participate in a Batman 75th all-star panel at WonderCon in Anaheim on Saturday, April 19, which will also feature an exclusive premiere of Cooke’s animated short based upon Batman Beyond.
  • Television –Warner Bros. Television is in production on the pilot episode of the highly anticipated Gotham, a new one-hour drama for FOX which explores the origin stories of eventual police commissioner James Gordon and the villains that made Gotham City famous. In Gotham, Detective Gordon (Ben McKenzie – Southland) will encounter a familiar cast of characters – including a young Bruce Wayne – as he fights to keep the city safe. Executive producer Bruno Heller (The Mentalist, Rome) wrote the pilot, which is being directed by executive producer Danny Cannon (CSI series, Nikita)
  • Pictures – As Batman’s 75th anniversary is celebrated in 2014, Warner Bros. Pictures will begin production of Zack Snyder’s untitled Superman/Batman film starring Henry Cavill, who reprises his role as Superman/Clark Kent, and Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne. The film, slated for release summer 2016, will bring the two most iconic Super Heroes of all time together for the first time on the big screen.
  • Consumer Products – Warner Bros. Consumer Products has partnered with an array of licensees to celebrate Batman’s 75th Anniversary through special edition and limited-release products. From the classic 1960s TV series to modern day comics, Batman’s presence will be larger than ever in celebration of his legacy through everything from toys to t-shirts.
  • DCComics.com – For the latest information and exclusive content celebrating Batman’s 75th anniversary, visit www.Batman75.com. The dedicated section on DC Comics’ website launches today with the Batman 75 Sweepstakes which offers one lucky fan a one-of-a-kind prize package.

Million Dollar ArmMillionAt CinemaCon, a convention of movie studios presenting their slate of movies to theater owners, theater owners left the near three-hour session really singing the praises of one of the lesser-known films on the slate: the May 16 release Million Dollar Arm. It stars Mad Men’s Jon Hamm, who received the convention’s Excellence In Acting award from studio Chairman Alan Horn just before a full screening of the movie, which Horn told the crowd has scored higher than any movie he has ever tested at Disney, or Warner Bros before that. “And that includes the first Harry Potter,which was so highly anticipated,” he said. Judging from the reaction in the Caesars Palace Colosseum theater and comments afterward, those test scores would seem to be justified. This is the kind of increasingly rare non-animated family film that should play across the board. “It’s comical, it’s emotional, it has great music” was what one exhibitor was heard saying as he walked out. That music, by the way, is from two-time Oscar winner A.R. Rahman, who scored Slumdog Millionaire.

The true story about a fading sports agent who hatches a plot to turn cricket players (Madhur Mittal and Suraj Sharma) from India into Major League Baseball players in America looks to be a summertime sleeper hit. Disney obviously knows it has the goods and so was willing to devote such a large part of its CinemaCon moment to this film written by Tom McCarthy and expertly directed by Craig Gillespie (Lars And The Real Girl). It’s called whetting exhibitor appetites — and from all appearances, it worked. Coming on the heels of yesterday’s Lionsgate/Summit screening of Ivan Reitman’s football-themed Draft Day (April 11), which marks a return to glory for Kevin Costner in the kind of role that made him famous, I would say this has been a very good week so far for sports-related movies that will be hitting theaters this spring.

“Thank you for not nominating Bryan Cranston for this award,” Hamm said referencing his string of Emmy losses to the Breaking Bad star. “I am intensely proud of this film. Disney is so high on it, they are changing the name to Frozen 2.”  Although he didn’t mention it, Cranston’s big-screen hoped-for blockbuster,Godzilla opens on the same day as Million Dollar Arm, so the friendly rivalry of the AMC network stars continues, I guess. But don’t look for Godzilla to bite off this Arm. Disney could have a surprise monster of its own if those test scores are any indication.

Source: Hollywood Reporter


From the streets of Chicago to far flung galaxies whirling through space, “Jupiter Ascending” is written and directed by the Wachowskis. Award-winning producer Grant Hill, with whom they have collaborated since “The Matrix” Trilogy, is producing, together with Lana Wachowski and Andy Wachowski. Roberto Malerba and Bruce Berman serve as executive producers.

Channing Tatum (“Magic Mike”) and Mila Kunis (“Oz the Great and Powerful”) lead an international cast that also includes Sean Bean (“The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy), Eddie Redmayne (“Les Misérables”), Douglas Booth (“LOL”), Tuppence Middleton (TV’s “The Lady Vanishes”), Doona Bae (“Cloud Atlas”), James D’Arcy (“Hitchcock”) and Tim Pigott-Smith (“Alice in Wonderland”).

Behind the scenes, “Jupiter Ascending” reunites the Wachowskis with their longstanding collaborators, who most recently worked with them on “Cloud Atlas.” They include Oscar®-winning director of photography John Toll (“Braveheart,” “Legends of the Fall”); production designer Hugh Bateup; editor Alexander Berner; costume designer Kym Barrett; and hair and makeup designer Jeremy Woodhead. The music will be composed by Michael Giacchino.

“Jupiter Ascending” will showcase the kind of cutting-edge visual effects that have become the benchmarks of the Wachowskis’ films. Dan Glass (“Batman Begins,” “Cloud Atlas”) is the film’s visual effects supervisor, a post he has occupied for the Wachowskis since “The Matrix” Trilogy. Additionally, John Gaeta, the visual effects Oscar® winner behind “The Matrix,” is contributing to the visual effects design.

Set for release July 18, 2014, “Jupiter Ascending” is a Warner Bros. Pictures presentation, in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, in association with Anarchos Productions. It will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures.

America's Got Talent - Season 9

In an effort to appease Howard Stern’s complaints about the America’s Got Talent travel schedule, NBC #1 reality competition show will hold auditions in New York and Los Angeles only. Rightly so, the show original would film in several locations across the country and air only 30 minutes of footage per city in a two week montage.

NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” ranked the no. 1 summer reality series, continues season 9 with the judges’ auditions in New York and Los Angeles in front of a live audience and hosted by Nick Cannon. The outstanding acts from the open call auditions will be invited back to perform for celebrity judges Howie Mandel, Mel B, Heidi Klum and Howard Stern.

The next round of judges’ auditions will be in New York City (April 3-6) at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. The auditions then move to Los Angeles, California (April 21-26) at the Dolby Theatre. For taping times and ticket information, visit www.nbc.com/tickets. Season 9 opened with auditions in front of the AGT judges in Newark, New Jersey (February 20-22) at New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

The top acts will move on to compete during this summer’s live shows and vie for America’s vote. “America’s Got Talent” will premiere Tuesday, May 27 (8-10 p.m.) on NBC.

Over the past five months, “America’s Got Talent” held its nationwide search across the country for the best acts in America. The auditions are open to any age and any talent, and online auditions will be accepted through March 31. To submit a video audition, please visit www.AGTAuditions.com.

Last season, America crowned innovative dance performer Kenichi Ebina as the million-dollar winner. The eighth season of “America’s Got Talent” averaged a 3.3 rating, 10 share in adults 18-49 and 12.0 million viewers overall, according to Nielsen Media Research, making “Talent” the no. 1 summer reality series in adults 18-49 and total viewers. It’s the eighth year in a row “Talent” has been the no. 1 summer reality series in total viewers. “Talent” grew year to year by 6% in total viewers (12.0 million vs. 11.4 million).

“America’s Got Talent” is produced by Simon Cowell’s Syco Entertainment and FremantleMedia North America. Simon Cowell, Jason Raff, Sam Donnelly, Trish Kinane and Rob Wade are the executive producers.

Please visit the official show site at: http://www.nbc.com/agt