John Legend wants La La Land sequel

John Legend plans to ask La La Land director Damien Chazelle about the potential for a sequel when he attends his holiday party.The Ordinary People hitmaker had a small but significant role as jazz musician Keith in the acclaimed 2016 musical movie, wh…

John Legend plans to ask La La Land director Damien Chazelle about the potential for a sequel when he attends his holiday party.

The Ordinary People hitmaker had a small but significant role as jazz musician Keith in the acclaimed 2016 musical movie, which landed Damien the Oscar for Best Director.

Speaking to British newspaper The Sun about the film recently, John admitted he’d be interested in a sequel that explored what happened to its two lead characters, played by Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, after the bittersweet ending to their relationship.

“I might see Damien soon because I think we may go to a party that they’re throwing, so I’ll ask him. It was a beautiful film and I was so happy to have a small role in it,” the 40-year-old commented. “I’ve never heard him talk about a sequel, I’ll ask him next time I see him.”

Despite the film’s success, earning $446 million (£345 million) at the global box office, Damien hasn’t indicated any interest in a sequel. Yet, John added that he’s happy to work with him on another project if a follow-up isn’t on the cards.

“Damien, I think, is a brilliant filmmaker and has already made two great music films with Whiplash and La La Land,” he explained. “He has a great ear for music and a great way of portraying music in film. That is a rare ability. If he ever wanted me to do anything else with him, I’d love to.”

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Emma Stone in talks to reunite with Damien Chazelle for Babylon – report

Emma Stone is in talks to reunite with director Damien Chazelle for his next movie Babylon.The new project is set in the 1920s, and will be the filmmaker’s biggest production – and budget – to date, according to Variety. Plot details are scarce, bu…

Emma Stone is in talks to reunite with director Damien Chazelle for his next movie Babylon.

The new project is set in the 1920s, and will be the filmmaker’s biggest production – and budget – to date, according to Variety.

Plot details are scarce, but sources told the outlet that Babylon will take place during the transition in Hollywood from silent films to “talkies”, and similarly to Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, it will feature a mix of real-life and fictional characters.

Stone is in early talks for a starring role in the movie, and Chazelle is said to be on the hunt for an all-star cast to join her, with Deadline reporting that Brad Pitt is circling the project as well.

Seabiscuit actor Tobey Maguire, Chazelle’s wife Olivia Hamilton, Matt Plouffe and Marc Platt are producing the film.

The Oscar-winning director is currently working on his Netflix musical drama series, The Eddy, and is also developing a secret TV project for Apple.

It will be the first time that Stone has reunited with Chazelle since she won an Oscar for her role in his musical La La Land back in 2017, which also landed him the Academy Award for Best Director.

The 30-year-old actress was last seen in Yorgos Lanthimos’ period comedy The Favourite, which earned her another Best Actress Oscar nomination, but she lost out to her co-star, Olivia Colman.

Stone recently completed production on the upcoming Zombieland sequel, which will be released later this year, and has been cast in comedy-horror The Menu and Cruella, in which she will play classic Disney villain Cruella de Vil.

Chazelle reunited with his La La Land leading man Ryan Gosling for last year’s Neil Armstrong biopic, First Man.

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Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese sign open letter calling for reversal of Oscar changes

Filmmakers including Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee have written an open letter to the Academy calling on them to reinstate the Oscars categories they’ve relegated to the ad breaks. On Monday (11Feb19), John Bailey, President of the …

Filmmakers including Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee have written an open letter to the Academy calling on them to reinstate the Oscars categories they’ve relegated to the ad breaks.

On Monday (11Feb19), John Bailey, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS), announced that the winners of the Cinematography, Film Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling and Live Action Short categories would be presented with their Oscars during the commercial breaks and an edited version of their winning moment would be aired later in the broadcast.

The decision sparked outrage from members of the film industry who took to social media to condemn it, and now a group of filmmakers has come together to write a letter stating that “it’s not too late to have this decision reversed”.

“Relegating these essential cinematic crafts to lesser status in this 91st Academy Awards ceremony is nothing less than an insult to those of us who have devoted our lives and passions to our chosen profession,” they wrote in the letter, which was published on film outlets on Wednesday.

“Since its inception, the Academy Awards telecast has been altered over time to keep the format fresh, but never by sacrificing the integrity of the Academy’s original mission,” they continued. “When the recognition of those responsible for the creation of outstanding cinema is being diminished by the very institution whose purpose it is to protect it, then we are no longer upholding the spirit of the Academy’s promise to celebrate film as a collaborative art form.”

The letter was signed by more than 40 filmmakers, with directors such as La La Land’s Damien Chazelle, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Spike Jonze, Ang Lee, Dee Rees, and Seth Rogen, and Oscar-winning cinematographers Roger Deakins and Emmanuel Lubezki adding their names to it.

On Wednesday, a letter was sent from the AMPAS’ board of governors to members in which they cleared up “inaccurate reporting” and insisted that “no award category at the 91st Oscars ceremony will be presented in a manner that depicts the achievements of its nominees and winners as less than any others.”

They confirmed that all awards would be presented during the Los Angeles ceremony on 24 February, but those four would not be broadcast live to help streamline the show.

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Costume designer Mary Zophres: ‘Damien Chazelle is there whenever you need him’

Director Damien Chazelle collaborates closely with the wardrobe department on his films.Costume designer Mary Zophres has worked with Chazelle twice now; first on his Oscar-winning spectacular La La Land, and then again on new film First Man.And while …

Director Damien Chazelle collaborates closely with the wardrobe department on his films.

Costume designer Mary Zophres has worked with Chazelle twice now; first on his Oscar-winning spectacular La La Land, and then again on new film First Man.

And while the two films dealt with totally different stories, Chazelle’s style remained the same.

“It was very much like La La Land. It was just a different subject matter, but his approach is very much the same,” Zophres said at the Gold Derby Meet the Experts: Costume Designers panel. “He knows exactly what the film is going to look like. He’s very much a collaborator and is very open to ideas and to meetings and discussions and meetings and show and tells. He’ll be there whenever you need him to be there.”

Zophres herself landed an Academy Award nod for 2016’s La La Land, and she was also nominated for True Grit in 2011.

Her other credits include Catch Me If You Can, Fargo and Gangster Squad, among many others.

In First Man, which stars Ryan Gosling as space hero Neil Armstrong and Claire Foy as his wife Janet, Zophres opted for a lot of natural fibres.

“Cottons and wools,” she explained. “And to be able to pull back some of the colour so it would have the effect of a Kodachrome photograph. That’s how we wanted it to look. And I knew we were going to shoot on 16 mm. Some of it’s 16, some of it’s 35 and some of its IMAX. You don’t know what it’s going to look like. That was a little intense and intimidating, but in the end, it really makes the movie make a lot of sense story-wise to me.”

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Jason Clarke struggled with claustrophobic First Man scenes

Jason Clarke has admitted he almost needed a mild sedative to deal with filming the claustrophobic scenes in First Man.Jason stars opposite Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy in Damien Chazelle’s new film, which tells the story of the first man on the moon,…

Jason Clarke has admitted he almost needed a mild sedative to deal with filming the claustrophobic scenes in First Man.

Jason stars opposite Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy in Damien Chazelle’s new film, which tells the story of the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong.

Damien decided on lots of scenes depicting the space man’s chosen career, which meant the cast including Ryan, Corey Stoll, as Buzz Aldrin, and Jason, who plays Ed White the first American to walk in space, all had to shoot in rockets.

“(It was) insanely claustrophobic. It was almost to the point where you needed a mild sedative. I don’t say that lightly,” Jason told British newspaper Metro. “Claustrophobia is not something you can just turn off. Damien really made no exceptions. The camera had to fit the reality and everybody had that mantra.

“The capsules were scaled to real life. It was not fun — we’re not pilots, we’re not used to doing this every day. So I wasn’t used to the fact I’m totally reliant once I was strapped in. I can’t do anything: my oxygen, my communications, my ability to get out, it’s beyond my control.”

The film is in cinemas now, with Kyle Chandler and Claire Foy also starring. And being cast in the La La Land director’s new movie was a dream come true for Australian star Jason.

“It was in my bucket list to do a space movie,” the 49-year-old smiled. “Blade Runner, 2001, they’re a couple of my favourites. To do this story, with this team and the access this team got, was a pleasure. The size and scope of this movie… that’s quite rare.”

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Damien Chazelle explored the ‘uncertainty’ of space with First Man

Damien Chazelle wanted to explore the “uncertainty” of space travel in movie First Man.The director is gearing up to start promoting the biographical drama, which is based on James R. Hansen’s 2005 book First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong an…

Damien Chazelle wanted to explore the “uncertainty” of space travel in movie First Man.

The director is gearing up to start promoting the biographical drama, which is based on James R. Hansen’s 2005 book First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong and looks at the life of the American astronaut and his involvement in the United States space programme.

Chazelle is reuniting with his La La Land star Ryan Gosling on the movie, with the actor taking on the lead role, and the filmmaker has now shared that he wanted to convey a very realistic view of what it was like to be involved with NASA in the late 1960s.

“We don’t think about how dangerous that first era of space travel really was,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “We might know about some of the disasters, but we think largely in a triumphalist way. We hear trumpets blaring and see the flag waving and it all looks noble and dignified in a way that makes it seem easy, like a fait accompli. I wanted to unwind all of that and make it as scary and uncertain as it really was.”

Chazelle went on to explain that he knew very little about Armstrong when he first started researching the film. But he spoke with NASA experts and some surviving astronauts, including Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, in order to get a sense of exactly how risky space travel to the moon would be.

“I remember thinking, if I could somehow get this movie to capture that combination of the utterly mundane and the utterly terrifying and the awe-inspiring (it would be wonderful). But that’s a difficult combo,” the 33-year-old added.

In addition to filming at air force bases, Chazelle also had Gosling and Claire Foy, who portrays Armstrong’s first wife Janet, and their onscreen children improvise some scenes before the shoot began.

First Man, also features House of Cards actor Corey Stoll and Bloodline star Kyle Chandler, is due to hit cinemas in October (18).

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Ryan Gosling and Damien Chazelle’s new film a big hit at Venice Film Festival

Oscar winner Damien Chazelle’s new Neil Armstrong biopic, First Man, lit up the Venice International Film Festival in Italy on Wednesday (29Aug18). The movie, starring the director’s La La Land leading man Ryan Gosling, earned a three minute standing…

Oscar winner Damien Chazelle’s new Neil Armstrong biopic, First Man, lit up the Venice International Film Festival in Italy on Wednesday (29Aug18).

The movie, starring the director’s La La Land leading man Ryan Gosling, earned a three minute standing ovation after its world premiere on the opening night of this year’s festivities.

Chazelle and Gosling returned to the Italian city just two years after gracing the red carpet to debut their Oscar-winning movie musical La La Land, and the response from critics for their new project has been just as favourable.

The film, in which Gosling portrays the late astronaut who became the first man to walk on the moon in 1969, is already receiving rave reviews, with many critics touting the picture as an early Oscars contender.

Variety’s Owen Gleiberman hails the film as “turbulently spectacular and enthralling”, while The Hollywood Reporter’s David Rooney praises Gosling for a “thoughtfully internalized performance”, and applauds Chazelle for delivering “emotional involvement, visceral tension” and suspense, as well as “stunning technical craft” in First Man.

During a press conference before the screening on Wednesday, Gosling admitted he had his work cut out as he researched Armstrong’s life, as the astronaut and qualified pilot was known for guarding his privacy.

“I’ve never had more help in my life on a film…,” he told reporters. “Whether it was Neil’s sons or his late ex-wife Janet or Neil’s sister, his childhood friends… NASA opened the door to the facilities.

“Neil was a very famously introspective, quiet, humble person, so the challenge was to honour that but also to create windows into what he might be or had been experiencing emotionally at the time.”

The actor even took a flying lesson to try and better understand his character – although he soon abandoned the idea after his instructor encouraged him to take the plane into a controlled stall.

“I thought what I should do was learn how to fly,” he shared, before adding, “I thought in that moment, ‘This is a terrible idea and there was a reason why Neil Armstrong was destined to be one of the greatest pilots and I’m not.’

“In that moment, I realised something about Neil. It’s a certain kind of person that will get into a plane and intentionally push it to its breaking point for the sole purpose of pushing our aeronautics forward.”

First Man, which co-stars Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, and Claire Foy, is among the top contenders for the Venice festival’s prestigious Golden Lion honour. It will compete against Joel and Ethan Coen’s new western, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Paul Greengrass’ 22 July, Luca Guadagnino’s hotly anticipated horror remake Suspiria, Alfonso Cuaron’s Mexican family drama Roma, and The Favourite, a period piece starring Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone.

Director Guillermo del Toro will lead the main jury to decide the winners of the 75th annual event, which runs until 8 September (18).

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Casey Affleck to produce and co-star in Fencer movie

Casey Affleck is to produce and co-star in sports drama Fencer.The Oscar-winning actor has signed on to serve as a producer and take on a supporting role in director Jasmine McGlade’s new film, according to a Collider report. Inspired by McGlade’s own…

Casey Affleck is to produce and co-star in sports drama Fencer.

The Oscar-winning actor has signed on to serve as a producer and take on a supporting role in director Jasmine McGlade’s new film, according to a Collider report.

Inspired by McGlade’s own experiences as a champion fencer, the plot will follow a female athlete who faces personal demons and childhood rivals as she vies for a spot on the U.S. Olympic Fencing Team. The film will explore themes such as dedication, perseverance and the lasting effects of approval seeking.

Affleck, 43, will produce under his Sea Change Media banner alongside Whitaker Lader. It is believed that he will play the central character’s fencing coach.

McGlade will also write and produce the project. The 33-year-old’s previous credits include working as an executive producer on 2016’s La La Land, which was directed by her ex-husband Damien Chazelle, and producing/directing 2011’s Maria My Love.

A potential release date or other casting details have not yet been announced.

News of Affleck’s attachment to Fencer comes several weeks after he spoke out about his behaviour on the set of 2010 film I’m Still Here.

In 2010, two of his former co-workers on the movie filed civil lawsuits against him, with complaints including “sexual harassment” and “breach of oral contract”, with the lawsuits later settled out of court and dismissed, though the allegations re-emerged during his Oscar campaign for Manchester by the Sea in 2016-7, which in turn, led him to bow out of presenting the Academy Award for Best Actress at the 2018 ceremony.

“It was an unprofessional environment … the buck had to stop with me being one of the producers and I have to accept responsibility for that,” Affleck told The Associated Press of the production, which he directed and co-wrote. “I contributed to that unprofessional environment and I tolerated that kind of behaviour from other people and I wish that I hadn’t. I behaved in a way and allowed others to behave in a way that was really unprofessional. And I’m sorry.”

Affleck will next be seen onscreen in The Old Man & the Gun opposite Robert Redford.

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