Production on Marvel’s Shang-Chi suspended over coronavirus fears

Production on Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has been suspended as director Destin Daniel Cretton has isolated himself amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The Just Mercy director was in the middle of filming the movie, starring …

Production on Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has been suspended as director Destin Daniel Cretton has isolated himself amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Just Mercy director was in the middle of filming the movie, starring Simu Liu as Marvel’s first superhero of Asian descent, in Australia when he decided to get tested for Covid-19 as a precaution. He has been advised to step away from the production and self-isolate while he awaits the results.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the movie is not shutting down entirely, and second unit and other production elements will continue working.

“As many of you know, Destin, our director, has a newborn baby. He wanted to exercise additional caution given the current environment and decided to get tested for Covid-19 today. He is currently self-isolating under the recommendation of his doctor,” a note sent to the crew on set reads. “While he waits for the results of the test, we are suspending first unit production in an abundance of caution until he gets the results this coming week. Second unit and off production will continue as normal. We will reach out to everyone by Tuesday for the latest update… This is an unprecedented time. We appreciate everyone’s understanding as we work through this.”

Liu addressed the news on social media, telling his followers, “Grateful to work for a company that is proactive, cautious and empathetic during this difficult time. Everyone is in good spirits as we continue to work towards making an incredible film.”

The coronavirus, which has infected more than 135,000 people and resulted in over 4,900 deaths, has affected a number of film productions, such as Tom Hanks’s Elvis Presley biopic, which was also shooting in Australia. The production was shut down after Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this week.

On Thursday, production on Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas’s movie Official Competition was halted in Spain in accordance with new measures put in place by the Spanish authorities to curb the spread of the virus.

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Antonio Banderas joining Tom Holland in Uncharted

Antonio Banderas is joining Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg in upcoming action movie Uncharted.The big-screen adaptation of the popular PlayStation video game has been hit by delays since it was first announced back in 2016, but now the project not only …

Antonio Banderas is joining Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg in upcoming action movie Uncharted.

The big-screen adaptation of the popular PlayStation video game has been hit by delays since it was first announced back in 2016, but now the project not only has the Oscar-nominated actor onboard, but director Ruben Fleischer has been confirmed to helm the project, according to editors at Variety.

Details on who Banderas will play have not yet been revealed, but he isn’t the only new addition to the cast – Grey’s Anatomy actress Sophia Ali and The 100’s Tati Gabrielle have also landed roles in the action/adventure film.

In January, the movie was rocked when filmmaker Travis Knight announced that he was stepping away from directing duties after production clashed with Holland’s busy Marvel schedule.

Filming on Uncharted was set to begin this year, but delays on the as-yet-unannounced sequel to 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home pushed back the start date.

Holland will play treasure hunter Nathan Drake in the project, with Wahlberg cast as fellow treasure hunter Victor ‘Sully’ Sullivan.

Venom director Fleischer is the sixth filmmaker to take charge of the long-gestating movie, following the previous departures of David O. Russell, Neil Burger, Dan Trachtenberg, and Shawn Levy.

Art Marcum and Matt Holloway have penned the script, with Playstation Productions’ Asad Qizilbash and Carter Swan serving as executive producers.

Uncharted is set to hit cinemas in March 2021.

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Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas teaming on Spanish comedy

Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas are gearing up to appear in a new comedy.The two biggest stars of Spanish cinema will headline Competencia Oficial (Official Competition), with Argentine filmmakers Mariano Cohn and Gaston Duprat at the helm. The stor…

Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas are gearing up to appear in a new comedy.

The two biggest stars of Spanish cinema will headline Competencia Oficial (Official Competition), with Argentine filmmakers Mariano Cohn and Gaston Duprat at the helm.

The story follows two actors, played by Banderas and Oscar Martinez, who clash on the set of a movie directed by an eccentric filmmaker, portrayed by Cruz.

The duo recently starred in Pedro Almodovar’s Oscar-nominated drama, Pain and Glory, with Banderas up for Best Actor at the ceremony next month.

The 59-year-old scooped the Best Actor gong at the Cannes Film Festival last year, as well as a Spanish Academy Goya Award for his critically-acclaimed portrayal of fictional film director Salvador Mallo, which is reportedly inspired by Almodovar.

Banderas recently opened up on filming Pain and Glory in a chat with Interview magazine, and revealed he was given permission by the filmmaker to impersonate him.

“It was deliberate. Pedro told me, ‘If you want to incorporate any of my mannerisms, feel free.’ But I wanted to try to create the character inside out. To imitate him would have been dangerous,” he explained.

The last time Cruz and Banderas shared a scene was in Almodovar’s comedy I’m So Excited in 2013.

Filming for Competencia Oficial is expected to begin at the end of February in Spain. A release date has yet to be announced.

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Antonio Banderas won’t repeat Oscars footwear fail

Antonio Banderas will ensure his shoes are broken in properly before attending the 2020 Academy Awards next month.The Spanish actor is nominated in the Best Actor category for his performance in Pedro Almodovar’s Pain and Glory, alongside Leonardo DiCa…

Antonio Banderas will ensure his shoes are broken in properly before attending the 2020 Academy Awards next month.

The Spanish actor is nominated in the Best Actor category for his performance in Pedro Almodovar’s Pain and Glory, alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, Adam Driver, Joaquin Phoenix, and Jonathan Pryce.

However, in a recent interview on Live with Kelly and Ryan, Antonio admitted that he has little recollection of the very first time he was a presenter at the Oscars back in 1992, because his feet were killing him.

“I bought new shoes,” he said, noting that his footwear was simply “too tight”.

“And it was dramatic because 15 minutes into the show, it (pain) was unbearable. It was impossible.”

Antonio was so uncomfortable he nearly walked onstage to make the big presentation in his socks.

“I remember my wife at the time (Ana Leza) said, ‘Take the shoes off’, but it was impossible because my feet were swollen big time,” the 59-year-old remembered. “So, I went on the stage in absolute pain and I overcame the situation.”

But it wasn’t until Antonio was back at his hotel watching the prizegiving’s highlights on TV that he realised his discomfort was plain for all to see.

“I didn’t have a neck (because of the pain),” he joked. “You couldn’t even see the bow tie.”

The Academy Awards will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on 9 February.

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BAFTA officials ‘disappointed’ by lack of diversity in nominations

BAFTA officials have admitted they are “disappointed” by the lack of diversity in the nominations for the 2020 British Academy Film Awards. The nominations for the 2020 ceremony were unveiled on Tuesday morning, revealing that Todd Phillips’s Joker ca…

BAFTA officials have admitted they are “disappointed” by the lack of diversity in the nominations for the 2020 British Academy Film Awards.

The nominations for the 2020 ceremony were unveiled on Tuesday morning, revealing that Todd Phillips’s Joker came top with 11 nods, closely followed by Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Martin Scorsese’s gangster epic The Irishman with 10.

Social media users swiftly went online to express their outrage at the all-white acting nominees, with them using the hashtag #BAFTASSoWhite. They blasted BAFTA voters for snubbing the likes of Awkwafina, Jennifer Lopez, Antonio Banderas, and Cynthia Erivo and opting to give Margot Robbie and Scarlett Johansson two nods each.

BAFTA executives have now admitted they are also disappointed about the all-white shortlist.

“Being totally honest, we are disappointed and that is not to take anything away from the people who have been nominated,” said BAFTA chief executive Amanda Berry, according to Press Association. She added that although no female filmmaker made the Best Director shortlist, they were recognised across other categories and this “gives me joy and hope”.

“But we are going to do more, we are not going to stop pushing,” she insisted.

While Marc Samuelson, chairman of BAFTA’s film committee, commented: “Clearly everybody knows that everybody in the four acting groups of nominees are white, it’s infuriating, we can’t make the industry do something, all we can do is encourage and push and inspire and try to help people coming in at the bottom end.”

Samuelson also noted that diversity is improving in other ways, as the percentage of female nominees has risen. However, he did concede, “It doesn’t take anything away from the issue in the acting categories but, nonetheless, it’s something and things are moving.”

The 2020 British Academy Film Awards will be hosted by Graham Norton at London’s Royal Albert Hall on 2 February.

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Joaquin Phoenix honours fellow Golden Globes nominees with expletive-laden speech

Joaquin Phoenix honoured his fellow 2020 Golden Globes nominees with an expletive-laden speech on Sunday night.The 45-year-old won the Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama gong at the ceremony for his stellar turn in Joker and used his acceptance spe…

Joaquin Phoenix honoured his fellow 2020 Golden Globes nominees with an expletive-laden speech on Sunday night.

The 45-year-old won the Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama gong at the ceremony for his stellar turn in Joker and used his acceptance speech to pay tribute to Christian Bale, Antonio Banderas, Adam Driver, and Jonathan Pryce – who were also up for the prize.

“There is no f**king best actor,” Joaquin began. “We all know there’s no f**king competition between us. I’m your f**king student. I can’t believe the beautiful mesmerising, unique work that you’ve all done this year.

“But I really do feel honoured to be mentioned with you,” he continued. “Contrary to popular belief, I don’t want to rock the boat, but the boat is f**king rocked.”

Joaquin, who went public with partner Rooney Mara on the red carpet, also thanked Joker director Todd Phillips and apologised for his behaviour while filming the comic-book villain origin story.

“I’m such a pain in the a*s. I cannot believe you put up with me,” the star quipped.

Joaquin also used his speech to draw attention to the devastating bushfires that are currently ravaging Australia and told the audience that they had to do more to help.

“It’s really nice that so many people have come up and sent their well-wishes to Australia, but we have to do more than that, right? Such a beautiful gesture, and… I have not always been a virtuous man. I’m learning so much so many of you in this room have given me multiple opportunities to get it right,” he explained.

Joaquin then told the crowd that they need to do “more” than simply express their support for Australia amid the deadly wildfires and “make some changes”.

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Antonio Banderas honoured to be part of ‘revolutionary’ Pedro Almodovar movie

Antonio Banderas was honoured to be a part of Pedro Almodovar’s “revolutionary” movie, Labyrinth of Passion.The actor has worked on numerous films with the writer/director, and in a new interview with Variety, discussed the transformation that was made…

Antonio Banderas was honoured to be a part of Pedro Almodovar’s “revolutionary” movie, Labyrinth of Passion.

The actor has worked on numerous films with the writer/director, and in a new interview with Variety, discussed the transformation that was made in Spanish cinema following the release of the screwball comedy back in 1982.

Banderas insisted Almodovar’s movie had a major effect on audiences in his native Spain, as they were still recovering from the effects of dictator Francisco Franco, who died in 1975.

“The film was unthinkable at the time, when we were still feeling the results of Franco,” Banderas commented of his film debut. “Some thought Almodovar couldn’t last. They didn’t realise how persistent he is and how faithful he has been to his own style and personality.

“It was a revolution that shook the foundation of Spanish cinema and Spanish morality. And it was amazing for me to actually be a part of that.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Banderas recalled how he felt like a rock star when with his co-stars, including Cecilia Roth and Imanol Arias, at the premiere of Labyrinth of Passion at the San Sebastian Film Festival.

“We looked like the Sex Pistols!” the 59-year-old laughed. “Some people in the audience reacted violently to the film, while others were applauding wildly. I remember thinking, ‘It’s so amazing what is happening here tonight.’ I realised Almodovar was more than a movie director; there was a social movement attached to the way he was expressing himself.”

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Pedro Almodovar turned home into film set for new movie

Pedro Almodovar used his own furniture, art, and clothing in pivotal scenes for his new movie. In Pain and Glory, Antonio Banderas plays a version of his director friend, and Spanish filmmaker Almodovar decided to help him get into character by using …

Pedro Almodovar used his own furniture, art, and clothing in pivotal scenes for his new movie.

In Pain and Glory, Antonio Banderas plays a version of his director friend, and Spanish filmmaker Almodovar decided to help him get into character by using furnishings from his own home and packing them into his leading man’s house in the film.

“If you write about a director and your work consists of directing films, it’s impossible not to think of yourself and not take your experiences as a reference. It was the most practical. My house is the house where Antonio Banderas’s character lives, the furniture in the kitchen – and the rest of the furnishings – are mine, or have been reproduced for the occasion, and the paintings that hang on its walls,” he said of the mise-en-scene.

“When there was some corner to fill on the set, the art director sent his assistant to my house to get some of the many objects, with which I live. This is the most autobiographical aspect of the film and it turned out to be very comfortable for the crew.

“We also tried to make Antonio’s image, especially his hair, look like mine. The shoes and many of the clothes also belong to me, and the colours of his clothing.”

Almodovar’s director of photography, Jose Luis Alcaine, was so meticulous, he even studied the light in the filmmaker’s home at different points of the day.

“He came to the house several times to see the light at different hours of the day, so as to reproduce it later in the studio,” the 69-year-old commented.

Pain and Glory, also starring Penelope Cruz, made its international debut at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.

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Pedro Almodovar’s Pain and Glory picked to bid for Oscar

Pedro Almodovar’s film Pain and Glory will represent Spain as its entry in the Best International Feature Film category at the 2020 Oscars.The film is a semi-autobiographical story of an ageing film director, starring Almodovar’s frequent collaborator …

Pedro Almodovar’s film Pain and Glory will represent Spain as its entry in the Best International Feature Film category at the 2020 Oscars.

The film is a semi-autobiographical story of an ageing film director, starring Almodovar’s frequent collaborator Antonio Banderas in the lead role of Salvador Mallo. Banderas, who won the Best Actor honour at the 2019 Cannes festival for his portrayal, is joined by another Almodovar regular, Oscar winner Penelope Cruz, who appears in flashbacks as the main character’s mother.

The 69-year-old said in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter: “I want to thank the members of the Spanish Academy for the support and the chance to once more compete in the best international feature film category at the next Oscars.”

Almodovar took home the award, which was previously known as the Best Foreign Language Film at the 2000 Academy Awards for his critically acclaimed movie All About My Mother. He was also nominated for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for 2002’s Talk to Her, winning the latter award the following year.

The veteran director was recently awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement for directors at the Venice International Film Festival.

The 92nd Academy Awards will be held on 9 February 2020. The nominations will be announced on 13 January.

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Meryl Streep: ‘The Laundromat is a funny way of telling a dark joke that’s being played on all of us’

Meryl Streep has described her new film The Laundromat as a “funny way of telling a black-hearted joke that’s being played on all of us.”Steven Soderbergh’s new film, which also stars Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas, is a comic take on the 2016 Panama…

Meryl Streep has described her new film The Laundromat as a “funny way of telling a black-hearted joke that’s being played on all of us.”

Steven Soderbergh’s new film, which also stars Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas, is a comic take on the 2016 Panama Papers scandal, when powerful individuals across the world were found to have engaged in tax avoidance schemes.

Although The Laundromat is a comedy, Meryl insisted during a press conference at the Venice Film Festival on Sunday that it had a serious message.

“This movie is fun and it’s funny, but it’s really, really, really important,” she said. “We’re living in a moment when the news cycle is racing and we are racing to keep up with current events. This is a funny way to tell a black-hearted joke, a joke that’s been played on all of us.”

The three-time Oscar winner then heaped praise on Daphne Caruana Galizia, the Maltese reporter working on the story, who was killed in a car bombing in 2017.

“People died and people die still to get the word out… It is a crime not without victims and the victims, many of them are journalists. The reason the Panama Papers were exported out to the world was the work of journalists. People died because of this,” she added.

Meryl plays Ellen Martin, a fictional widow whose digging in the film helps journalists expose the scandal, in the film.

Director Soderbergh recently said he was inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s Cold War epic Dr. Strangelove while making The Laundromat, as he and writer Scott Z. Burns thought the only way the subject could be tackled was with dark comedy.

“It also gave us the opportunity to use the complexity of these financial activities almost as a joke,” Soderbergh explained. “Otherwise, people would feel they were being educated instead of entertained.”

The Laundromat will be available on Netflix on 18 October after a limited theatrical release.

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