Rebecca Ferguson praises Denis Villeneuve for expanding Dune character’s role

Rebecca Ferguson has praised her Dune director Denis Villeneuve for improving the female characters’ storylines in the sci-fi epic.The Mission: Impossible – Fallout actress plays Lady Jessica, the mother of Timothee Chalamet’s young royal Paul At…

Rebecca Ferguson has praised her Dune director Denis Villeneuve for improving the female characters’ storylines in the sci-fi epic.

The Mission: Impossible – Fallout actress plays Lady Jessica, the mother of Timothee Chalamet’s young royal Paul Atreides and concubine to Oscar Isaac’s Duke Leto, in the Arrival filmmaker’s new two-movie adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel.

Lady Jessica is a member of the Bene Gesserit, a sect of women who can read minds, control people with their voices, and manipulate the balance of power in the universe, and her duty is to deliver a saviour to the universe. In the new film, she is a “warrior priestess”, more fearsome than ever, and accordingly, Ferguson was thrilled with the expansion of her character.

“She’s a mother, she’s a concubine, she’s a soldier,” she told Vanity Fair magazine. “Denis was very respectful of Frank’s work in the book, (but) the quality of the arcs for much of the women have been brought up to a new level. There were some shifts he did, and they are beautifully portrayed now.”

The Blade Runner 2049 director wasn’t satisfied with just improving Lady Jessica’s story and wanted more female characters in the ensemble cast, so he made Dr. Liet-Kynes, a leading ecologist and peacekeeper, a woman and cast British actress Sharon Duncan-Brewster in the role.

“What Denis had stated to me was there was a lack of female characters in his cast, and he had always been very feminist, pro-women, and wanted to write the role for a woman,” said the Rogue One star. “This human being manages to basically keep the peace amongst many people. Women are very good at that, so why can’t Kynes be a woman? Why shouldn’t Kynes be a woman?”

The first half of Dune will be released in cinemas in December.

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Ana de Armas wore brother’s hand-me-downs while growing up in Cuba

Ana de Armas has recalled how she grew up wearing her brother’s hand-me-downs.The actress was raised in Havana, Cuba and has since gone on to carve out a successful career in Spain and Hollywood, having landed roles in films such as Blade Runner 2049, …

Ana de Armas has recalled how she grew up wearing her brother’s hand-me-downs.

The actress was raised in Havana, Cuba and has since gone on to carve out a successful career in Spain and Hollywood, having landed roles in films such as Blade Runner 2049, Knives Out, and the upcoming James Bond movie, No Time to Die.

However, in a cover interview with Porter magazine, Ana explained that her early years were very humble, and she would often sport garments made from her sibling’s school uniform.

“His old school uniform pants (were) cut into play shorts,” she remembered.

Ana went on to share that she enjoys wearing costumes for movies and getting dressed up for red carpet events. But when she’s off-duty, her outfits are all about comfort.

“In the morning, I get up so early to go to set. I see the cute boots or the sneakers when I’m deciding what to wear, and I always choose the sneakers,” the 31-year-old laughed.

Elsewhere in the chat, Ana opened up about how she made the difficult decision to pursue an acting career at the age of 18. Yet, her determination soon paid off, and shortly after arriving in Spain, she was hired for her first TV gig.

“I always knew what to expect. I knew the limitations of the country (Cuba), in terms of production I had to go,” she commented. “So, before I even turned 18, I told my parents that was going to happen. They’ve been so supportive, I was lucky. But it was me going into the unknown. I was just like, ‘This is what I’m going to do with my life.’ I put myself in their shoes and realise now what they were thinking, and how terrifying it must have been.”

No Time to Die hits cinemas in April.

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Denis Villeneuve wants to make another Blade Runner movie

Denis Villeneuve would like to make another film set in the Blade Runner universe.In the 2017, 35 years after the release of the original Blade Runner, the Arrival filmmaker released Blade Runner 2049, starring Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, and Ana de A…

Denis Villeneuve would like to make another film set in the Blade Runner universe.

In the 2017, 35 years after the release of the original Blade Runner, the Arrival filmmaker released Blade Runner 2049, starring Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, and Ana de Armas.

While the sci-fi sequel was a hit with the critics, it was a box office disappointment and fell much shorter than projections.

However, Villeneuve hasn’t been put off by the experience and would be keen to explore that universe further, although he would prefer to make an “unconnected” film rather than a direct follow-up.

“It’s such an inspiring place, the Blade Runner world,” he told Empire magazine. “The problem I have is the word ‘sequel’. I think cinema needs original stories. But if you ask me if I’d like to revisit this universe in a different way, I can say yes. It would need to be a project on its own. Something disconnected from both other movies. A detective noir story set in the future… I wake up sometimes in the night dreaming about it.”

The French-Canadian director, who is currently finishing up his remake of Dune, previously shared that he was confused about why the positive reviews didn’t translate to better box offices sales with Blade Runner 2049, which had a running time of two hours and 44 minutes.

“We had the best (critics’ reviews). I’ve never had a movie welcomed like that. At the same time, the box office in the United States was a disappointment, that’s true, because those movies are expensive. It will still make tonnes of money, but not enough,” the 52-year-old told Yahoo. “I think because maybe people were not familiar enough with the universe. And the fact that the movie’s long. I don’t know. It’s still a mystery to me. I make movies – I don’t sell them.”

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Roger Deakins experienced anxiety shooting 1917

Famed cinematographer Roger Deakins experienced anxiety trying to shoot long takes in one go while making war film 1917.The Oscar-winning director of photography teamed up with Sam Mendes for the fourth time to shoot the war movie, which follows two so…

Famed cinematographer Roger Deakins experienced anxiety trying to shoot long takes in one go while making war film 1917.

The Oscar-winning director of photography teamed up with Sam Mendes for the fourth time to shoot the war movie, which follows two soldiers as they cross into enemy territory to deliver an important message which could save hundreds of lives. The film is presented to the audience in a single continuous shot, when in fact it was made of several long takes subtly stitched together.

During a press conference for the film in London, Deakins admitted he thought there was a mistake when he read about Mendes’s “single shot” idea on the screenplay, and he experienced anxiety during the challenging shoot.

“We did a lot of rehearsals and a lot of testing… I don’t think I’ve ever had as much anxiety as I did doing some of the shots on this,” he said. “Also, the thrill, because after some of the shots, which are seven or eight minutes, everybody’s got to be on the ball, at the end, everyone would look at each other and high five. It was a real high.”

Deakins, who won the Best Cinematography Oscar for Blade Runner 2049 in 2018 after being nominated 14 times, explained that the longest shot lasted around nine minutes and the shoot lasted around 65 days. The most challenging aspect of the film was trying to get over the uneven terrain and to make the footage look like one seamless take despite different locations and cameras.

“The major difficulty was getting across the terrain and doing some of those really intense, sensitive scenes and making it all seem like a piece,” the 70-year-old added. “I think for me the trick was to make it feel like one camera all the time, I think that was the biggest challenge really. That and the weather.”

1917 hits cinemas from 10 January.

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Jason Momoa joins Dune remake

Jason Momoa is in talks to join the star-studded cast of the Dune remake. The Aquaman actor is reportedly in negotiations to play swordmaster Duncan Idaho in Denis Villeneuve’s reboot of David Lynch’s 1984 cult sci-fi epic. If he cuts a deal, Momoa …

Jason Momoa is in talks to join the star-studded cast of the Dune remake.

The Aquaman actor is reportedly in negotiations to play swordmaster Duncan Idaho in Denis Villeneuve’s reboot of David Lynch’s 1984 cult sci-fi epic.

If he cuts a deal, Momoa will join an impressive cast list which currently includes Timothee Chalamet, Stellan Skarsgard, Javier Bardem, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Dave Bautista and Josh Brolin.

Set in the distant future, Dune tells the story of Chalamet’s character Paul Atreides whose family assumes control of the desert planet Arrakis which is the only source of a drug known as “the spice”, a highly valuable commodity. This sparks a fight for control among competing noble families, and after Atreides is betrayed, he leads a rebellion to restore his family’s reign over the planet.

Momoa’s character Duncan belongs to the house of Atreides and serves as the right-hand man to Paul’s father Duke Leto Atreides, played by Oscar Isaac.

Villeneuve, who helmed films such as Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, is directing and producing from a script he co-wrote with A Star is Born’s current Oscar nominee Eric Roth and Prometheus’ Jon Spaihts. Brian Herbert, the son of Dune author Frank Herbert, will serve also a producer with his daughter Kim, while Kevin J. Anderson, who co-wrote the Dune prequel book series with Brian, will act as creative consultant.

The 1984 movie, based on Herbert’s 1965 novel, starred Kyle MacLachlan and was a critical and commercial failure that went on to become a cult hit and spawn TV shows and video games.

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Harrison Ford heeding The Call of the Wild – report

Harrison Ford is reportedly eyeing the chance to hunt for gold in a new film adaptation of classic novel The Call of the Wild. The Blade Runner 2049 star is in talks to star as prospector John Thornton, one of the main characters in Jack London’s lite…

Harrison Ford is reportedly eyeing the chance to hunt for gold in a new film adaptation of classic novel The Call of the Wild.

The Blade Runner 2049 star is in talks to star as prospector John Thornton, one of the main characters in Jack London’s literary adventure, which was first published in 1903. The story, which focuses on a sled dog named Buck, is set in Yukon, Canada during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush.

Logan screenwriter Michael Green penned the script for the movie, which will be directed by The Croods filmmaker Chris Sanders, reports Variety.com.

Production is expected to begin in September (18), with Sanders and his team relying heavily on computer-generated imagery.

If Harrison signs on to the project, he won’t be the first to portray Thornton onscreen – Clark Gable took on the part in a 1935 movie, while Charlton Heston tackled the role in a 1972 adaptation.

The veteran actor, who turned 76 on Friday (13Jul18), will be able to squeeze the potential project into his schedule as his next outing as explorer Indiana Jones was recently delayed by a year.

Ford had been expected to start work on the fifth film in the George Lucas-created franchise in the coming months ahead of a 2020 release, but last week, producers at Walt Disney Studios announced the as-yet-untitled project will now hit movie theatres in July, 2021.

No official reason was given for the postponement, but Jonathan Kasdan, the son of original Raiders of the Lost Ark writer Lawrence Kasdan, was brought on board to revamp the script previously penned by David Koepp, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Harrison will reunite with franchise director Steven Spielberg for the new sequel.

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