The Batman shut down for two weeks over coronavirus pandemic

Robert Pattinson’s The Batman is the latest movie to have production shut down over the growing coronavirus pandemic.Warner Bros. producers have temporarily halted filming on the comic book adaptation, directed by Matt Reeves and also starring Zoe Krav…

Robert Pattinson’s The Batman is the latest movie to have production shut down over the growing coronavirus pandemic.

Warner Bros. producers have temporarily halted filming on the comic book adaptation, directed by Matt Reeves and also starring Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano, Colin Farrell, and Jeremy Irons.

According to editors at Deadline, production on the superhero blockbuster was originally being moved from London to Liverpool amidst the Covid-19 outbreak, but movie bosses later decided to pull the plug on filming for two weeks.

“The studio will continue to monitor the situation closely,” a Warner Bros. spokesperson said in a statement.

Jeffrey Wright, who plays James Gordon in the DC Comics film, took to Twitter to confirm the news.

“Gotham, out. Back at the earliest. Keep safe until,” he wrote, alongside an article from Variety about the shutdown of production.

More than 170,000 people have been affected in 158 countries since the outbreak began in Wuhan, China back in December. Italy, Spain, and some parts of the U.S. have gone into lockdown to contain the spread of the virus, as more than 6,500 people have died.

Another Warner Bros. feature also having filming suspended is the third instalment of the Fantastic Beasts franchise, starring Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne.

The fantasy drama, from Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, was due to begin production next week in London, but is now on hiatus, while sports biopic King Richard, starring Will Smith as Serena and Venus Williams’ father Richard, is also temporarily ceasing filming.

In addition, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s upcoming historical drama The Last Duel has been put on “indefinite hiatus” days before shooting was due to begin in Ireland.

The country is on lockdown to control the spread of Covid-19, with schools, colleges and universities closed, and public gatherings banned.

The Ridley Scott-directed movie, also starring Adam Driver and Jodie Comer, has been filming in France, and it’s not yet known when production will recommence.

Sony’s comedy The Man from Toronto, featuring Kevin Hart and Woody Harrelson, and Sylvester Stallone’s superhero thriller Samaritan have also been put on hold.

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David Heyman: ‘J. K. Rowling isn’t cashing in with five Fantastic Beasts films’

J. K. Rowling isn’t milking her wizarding world, according to producer David Heyman.The Oscar nominee has worked closely with author Rowling across the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beats film franchises, with the second film of the latter, The Crimes o…

J. K. Rowling isn’t milking her wizarding world, according to producer David Heyman.

The Oscar nominee has worked closely with author Rowling across the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beats film franchises, with the second film of the latter, The Crimes of Grindelwald, hitting cinemas last month (Nov18).

Fantastic Beasts, which stars Eddie Redmayne as Magizoologist Newt Scamander, is a prequel to the Harry Potter story, and was originally intended to span three films – before Rowling changed it to five.

“It wasn’t a difficult conversation to have at the studio,” Heyman told Collider of the extra two movies. “But it didn’t go from anybody speaking to Jo (Rowling) and saying, ‘You know what? Let’s milk this’. Both in fairness to the studio, but also to Jo.

“While it may look like it to some people, there is nothing cynical about this. This is all from her head. So she begins with three films, because she thinks that’s the story she wants to tell, and then as she digs deeper… and she hadn’t written anything when she said three.

“Then she wrote the first, and as she was writing the second, actually just before then, but as she says we working on the first, she began to realise there was a whole lot more.”

He added that while he’s sure the celebrated author knew the big plot moments, she thought up lots more storylines as she began writing.

The third instalment is slated for a 2020 release, though Heyman warns that’s not set in stone.

“My sense is, if I were a betting man, that we would probably be doing the next one in two years. But let’s see, you know? It’s early days. The hope would be two years later,” he said.

The cast of the new film has yet to be confirmed.

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Jude Law given confidence boost by J.K. Rowling’s casting approval

Jude Law was relieved to receive the “blessing” of J.K. Rowling to portray a young Dumbledore in the new Fantastic Beasts sequel because it put his nerves at ease. The Sherlock Holmes star makes his debut as Professor Albus Dumbledore in Fantastic Bea…

Jude Law was relieved to receive the “blessing” of J.K. Rowling to portray a young Dumbledore in the new Fantastic Beasts sequel because it put his nerves at ease.

The Sherlock Holmes star makes his debut as Professor Albus Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the second film in the Harry Potter prequel franchise, but he was only able to breathe easy once he knew creator Rowling was on board with his appointment.

“When the boss says, ‘I like you,’ it gives you a little bit of comfort,” he told The Associated Press. ″You can’t help but step into something like this, playing a part like this without feeling a sense of responsibility, a fear of letting someone down. But when the creator gives you the thumbs up, it’s a blessing.”

Jude follows in the footsteps of Richard Harris and Michael Gambon, who previously portrayed the beloved wizard in the Potter films, and his co-star Eddie Redmayne, who leads the Fantastic Beasts cast as Newt Scamander, insists his fellow Brit was perfectly cast.

“(He is) a formidable, formidable actor with great gravitas and weight and yet at the same time, he has this kind of playful quality,” the Oscar winner said. “And I’ll never forget our first scene, which was the first time we see each other in the film. I just saw his back, basically. And the way he turned around, it was instant. It was like, in one look, he had managed to inhabit that. I hadn’t had any expectations about Dumbledore. But somehow it was solidified in one look.”

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, directed by David Yates, also features Ezra Miller, Zoe Kravitz, and Johnny Depp. It opens in theatres this week (ends16Nov18).

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Eddie Redmayne went free diving for Fantastic Beasts sequel

Eddie Redmayne has mastered the ability to hold his breath underwater for long periods of time after receiving a free diving crash course for the new Fantastic Beasts sequel. The Oscar winner, who portrays Newt Scamander in the Harry Potter prequel fr…

Eddie Redmayne has mastered the ability to hold his breath underwater for long periods of time after receiving a free diving crash course for the new Fantastic Beasts sequel.

The Oscar winner, who portrays Newt Scamander in the Harry Potter prequel franchise, admits one of the perks of starring in big blockbusters is learning new skills he wouldn’t have normally picked up, and this time around, he had to train his lungs to take in as big a breath as possible to shoot scenes underwater.

“I’d never dived before but the amazing thing about these films is you literally get the best experts in the world,” he smiled.

“So I was sent to a free diver to learn how to kind of take incredibly long (breaths) (and) hold my breath for hours, in preparation for the film, and those are the kind of random extra skills you get to learn being an actor on these (movies).”

Just like the 2016 release Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the follow-up, The Crimes of Grindelwald, was shot at the Warner Bros. Studios in Leavesden, England, where fans of the J.K. Rowling stories can also take a tour behind the scenes and view authentic sets, costumes and props used in the franchise.

But Eddie admits he often forgets just how “passionate” devotees of the boy wizard stories are until it comes to promoting the films.

“Where we make the films in Britain is right next to the Wizarding World, the Potter World, and it (filming) is so shrouded in secrecy – they don’t allow you to print scripts, even when you pull up the script onscreen, it kind of disappears if you look at it too long – that we make it in this kinda vacuum, really,” he shared, “and when we begin to take it out into the world and kinda see people dressed as Newt, people dressed as Grindlewald, you begin to get a sniff of how passionate the fans are.”

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald hits theatres later this week (ends16Nov18).

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Eddie Redmayne tries to ‘piece together’ J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts secrets

Eddie Redmayne desperately tries to “piece together” snippets of character information J.K. Rowling shares with his Fantastic Beasts co-stars to gather hints about future storylines. The Oscar winner leads the cast in the Harry Potter prequel movies, …

Eddie Redmayne desperately tries to “piece together” snippets of character information J.K. Rowling shares with his Fantastic Beasts co-stars to gather hints about future storylines.

The Oscar winner leads the cast in the Harry Potter prequel movies, which are inspired by the magical creatures detailed in Rowling’s 2001 book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a textbook brought to life from the franchise’s Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The British author adapted the work for the 2016 movie of the same name and wrote the screenplay for its new sequel, The Crimes of Grindelwald, the first of four planned follow-ups.

However, as there have been no further Fantastic Beasts books to read up on, Potter fan Eddie has been trying to figure out what Rowling has in store for each character by gathering intel whenever she’s onset.

Eddie reveals she will sometimes watch from the sidelines during filming, and offer castmembers bits of information to draw inspiration from as they act out their scenes.

“Occasionally, she’ll come and lean into your ear and give you a snippet of where the character may be going,” he explained, “and you see it happening to other actors, and then you kinda call them over and go, ‘What did you learn?’, kind of trying to piece together, as fans ourselves, what the plot’s going to be (for future installments).”

Rowling previously admitted she had already started writing the screenplay for the third Fantastic Beasts film earlier this year (18), and although Eddie, who portrays Newt Scamander, the future author of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them textbook, knows his character will still be alive at the end of the series, he has no idea what will happen next.

“I know I survive because she’s written that Newt and Tina (Goldstein, played by Katherine Waterston) sort of end up happily married in Dorset – very beautiful part of Britain – but we never know what’s coming.”

Eddie and his castmates were also caught off-guard last week (01Nov18) when Rowling appeared to suggest the third Fantastic Beasts movie would be set in 1930s Brazil, following the first two films’ adventures in New York City and Paris, France.

“The other day… we got off the plane and found out that Jo (Rowling) had tweeted that some of the next film’s gonna be set in Rio, and we found out when the rest of the world found out, so it keeps us on our toes.”

Rowling has not actually confirmed the location rumours, which emerged after she changed her Twitter profile header image to a picture of a busy street, and told a follower it was “Rio da Janerio (sic) in the 1930s”.

Asked by another fan if she was preparing something for her Brazilian devotees, she replied, “Let’s just say I really ought to be able to spell Rio de Janeiro properly, given how many times I’ve written/typed it in the last few months.”

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald opens next week (begs12Nov18), while its sequel is set to hit theatres in 2020.

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Jude Law was given permission to recreate Dumbledore for Harry Potter prequel

Jude Law was given the freedom to create his own version of Harry Potter wizard Dumbledore in his youth for the Fantastic Beasts franchise. The British actor makes his debut as a young Professor Albus Dumbledore in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts: The C…

Jude Law was given the freedom to create his own version of Harry Potter wizard Dumbledore in his youth for the Fantastic Beasts franchise.

The British actor makes his debut as a young Professor Albus Dumbledore in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, and Jude was glad he could use his own imagination to conjure up the beloved character, played by Richard Harris and Michael Gambon in the Potter films.

“It’s not often you get to play a character who’s already been portrayed in his old age,” he told U.S. breakfast show Today.

Explaining how he went about developing his take on Dumbledore, the Sherlock Holmes star said, “A lot of his childhood, he’s talked about it in the books. I met with J.K. Rowling, who filled in a lot more of the gaps and gave me details about the inner workings of the man, and they (producers) gave me carte blanche (complete freedom) to start again; I didn’t feel like I had to recreate him.

“I felt like I could go back and layer him up and look at the more inner turmoil, the dramas that were going on in the man before he becomes more serene, more resolved (like in the Harry Potter stories), so you’re seeing the dramas of his inner workings unfold: past relationships, family tragedies…”

Law follows in the footsteps of the late Harris, who portrayed Dumbledore in 2001’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and its sequel, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and Gambon, who stepped in to replace Harris for the six subsequent instalments.

“(They are) big shoes to fill,” said Jude, as he reflected on becoming the latest star to play the wizard, who goes on to become the headmaster of Hogwarts.

Nevertheless, the role is dream come true for Jude, who fell in love with the Potter books and films when his kids were much younger.

“I think, like many households, I read the (original Harry Potter) stories to my children as bedtime stories, we watched the movies together, so… they grew up with Harry and Dumbledore and (Professor) Snape and all those characters…,” he shared.

“They loved it, and I loved it. It started out with me buying a book to read to them, and then it ended up, I think by the last book, I bought four or five copies so I would read my one at night, and they would read their ones in bed, and I think I finished my book before them and had to keep secrets of what happened until they finished it!”

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, written by J.K. Rowling and directed by David Yates, will also star Eddie Redmayne, Ezra Miller, Zoe Kravitz, and Johnny Depp. It opens in theatres next week (ends16Nov18).

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The Flash movie delayed again – report

Actor Ezra Miller’s standalone superhero outing as The Flash has reportedly been delayed until 2021. The Justice League star has been waiting to suit up as the DC Comics character for his own blockbuster film since his casting in 2014, but the project…

Actor Ezra Miller’s standalone superhero outing as The Flash has reportedly been delayed until 2021.

The Justice League star has been waiting to suit up as the DC Comics character for his own blockbuster film since his casting in 2014, but the project has suffered a series of setbacks, with directors Seth Grahame-Smith and his replacement, Rick Famuyiwa, both walking away from the planned movie.

Early this year (Jan18), Spider-Man: Homecoming writers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein were said to have entered talks to take over the filmmaking process, ahead of a potential March (19) production date.

However, now studio officials at Warner Bros. have allegedly decided to push back the shoot until late 2019 to allow extra time for revisions to Grahame-Smith’s original script, postponing its expected release until 2021, according to Variety.

Reports suggest Ezra’s filming commitments with Harry Potter spin-off franchise Fantastic Beasts is partly to blame for the new scheduling, as he is contracted to begin shooting the third instalment of the prequel series – another Warner Bros. property – in July (19).

The news is sure to come as a disappointment for Ezra, who has tried to remain positive about the constant hurdles in getting The Flash movie to the big screen.

Discussing the project after Famuyiwa’s exit in 2016, he told Nerdist: “(I feel) a little sad. Love Rick, but super grateful for all the work he has done… I think from a distance, observing the processes of a production of the film can seem… interpersonal, or dramatic… but I definitely feel like ultimately things will work out.”

Ezra, who made his debut as Barry Allen, aka The Flash, in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and reprised the role in Justice League, is set to star in the superhero film alongside Billy Crudup and Kiersey Clemons, who will play his love interest, Iris West.

Meanwhile, Ezra will soon be hitting the promotional trail for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which hits theatres next month (Nov18).

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David Yates clarifies comments over Dumbledore’s sexuality

Fantastic Beasts director David Yates has assured fans of the wizarding franchise that Albus Dumbledore’s sexuality won’t be airbrushed out of the new film.Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the second instalment of the Harry Potter prequ…

Fantastic Beasts director David Yates has assured fans of the wizarding franchise that Albus Dumbledore’s sexuality won’t be airbrushed out of the new film.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the second instalment of the Harry Potter prequel series, hits cinemas in November (18), with Jude Law playing a young Dumbledore, and Johnny Depp as his friend, and romantic interest, Gellert Grindelwald.

Earlier this year, Yates, who has worked closely with author J. K. Rowling on numerous films in the franchise, revealed the new movie won’t “explicitly” address Dumbledore’s sexuality, though he’s now clarified that comment in a chat with Empire.

“In that earlier interview, I didn’t say Dumbledore’s not gay. He is,” he stated. “This part of this huge narrative that Jo (Rowling) is creating doesn’t focus on his sexuality, but we’re not airbrushing or hiding it… the story (of the romantic relationship) isn’t there in this particular movie but it’s clear in what you see… that he is gay.

“A couple of scenes we shot are very sensual moments of him and the young Grindelwald.”

Fans were upset by Yates’ original comments, made to Entertainment Weekly, and even took to tweeting Rowling abusive messages.

The writer responded by pointing out Fantastic Beasts will eventually be a five-part cinema series, a sentiment echoed by Yates.

“The story (of this film) is about other things, fundamentally, but the story of Grindelwald and Dumbledore, going forward, that is the story,” he said.

Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston and Dan Fogler are among the stars reprising their roles for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

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Macaulay Culkin wants Fantastic Beasts role

Grown-up Home Alone star Macaulay Culkin is keen to jump aboard another major movie franchise after asking J.K. Rowling to write him a role in the next Fantastic Beasts film. The actor took to social media on Wednesday (26Sep18) to support Rowling aft…

Grown-up Home Alone star Macaulay Culkin is keen to jump aboard another major movie franchise after asking J.K. Rowling to write him a role in the next Fantastic Beasts film.

The actor took to social media on Wednesday (26Sep18) to support Rowling after she defended the casting of South Korean actress Claudia Kim as Nagini in upcoming film Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald, the second film in the Harry Potter prequel series.

Many fans took issue with the casting and claimed it was offensive to have Kim perform in such a submissive role – as the character who becomes the pet snake of movie villain Lord Voldemort.

But hitting back at the claim, Rowling insisted that the casting was entirely appropriate as the fictional character she created has Asian origins.

“The Naga are snake-like mythical creatures of Indonesian mythology, hence the name Nagini,” she wrote. “They are sometimes depicted as winged, sometimes as half-human, half-snake.”

And Culkin had her back, adding: “Hey @jk_rowling I’m with you! Nagini can be whatever she wants to be! She’s a strong woman/snake.”

He then used the tweet to make it clear he’d like to be a part of the next Fantastic Beasts movie, adding: “Also, can you write me into the next movie? I’m Macaulay Culkin (From Home Alone: The Movie) and I was also a Pagemaster (experienced with magic)…”

Now 38, the former child star has also reached out to actor pal Dan Fogler, who plays Jacob Kowalski in the Fantastic Beasts films, in the hope that he can put in a good word for him.

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