Viggo Mortensen tipped for reunion with Green Book director Peter Farrelly

Viggo Mortensen is planning to team up with director Peter Farrelly for a film about beer buddies.The pair, who previously worked together on 2018 Oscar-winning movie Green Book, are collaborating on a new project based on the book The Greatest Beer Ru…

Viggo Mortensen is planning to team up with director Peter Farrelly for a film about beer buddies.

The pair, who previously worked together on 2018 Oscar-winning movie Green Book, are collaborating on a new project based on the book The Greatest Beer Run Ever: A True Story of Friendship Stronger Than War. Mortensen has been lined up for a supporting role in the currently untitled film, reports Entertainment Weekly.

The Greatest Beer Run Ever: A True Story of Friendship Stronger Than War was written by John “Chick” Donohue and J.T. Molloy. It follows the unlikely tale of Donohue, who left New York with a backpack of beer in 1967 and travelled to Vietnam on a cargo ship.

The 26-year-old merchant seaman had accepted the challenge of sneaking into the hostile country to find his army friends and deliver morale-boosting messages of support from home, as well as a drink.

During the trip, the Marine Corps veteran becomes entangled in the Tet Offensive, which was a string of attacks organised by North Vietnam on South Vietnam in a bid to force the U.S. to scale back its involvement in the Vietnam War.

Farrelly will co-write the script alongside Brian Currie and Pete Jones. David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Don Granger, and Andrew Muscato will produce the hotly-anticipated project.

Farrelly and Mortensen will be hoping to replicate the success of their previous collaboration, which was also set during the ’60s. Green Book, inspired by the true tale of friendship between bouncer-turned-driver Frank “Tony Lip” Vallelonga (Mortensen) and classical and jazz pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), took home an impressive three Oscars at the 2019 ceremony – including Best Picture and Best Screenplay for Farrelly.

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Parasite enjoys record-breaking box office boost after Oscars success

Bong Joon Ho’s thriller Parasite is enjoying a record-breaking boost at the box office after its surprise success at the Oscars.The South Korean movie scooped the ceremony’s top honours at the star-studded bash earlier this month, with the film winning…

Bong Joon Ho’s thriller Parasite is enjoying a record-breaking boost at the box office after its surprise success at the Oscars.

The South Korean movie scooped the ceremony’s top honours at the star-studded bash earlier this month, with the film winning Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film, before making history by becoming the first non-English language movie to win Best Picture, beating off stiff competition from the likes of 1917, The Irishman, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Last weekend, Parasite raked in more than $5.5 million (£4.2 million) in the U.S. – a whopping 234 per cent increase in ticket sales – the biggest post-Oscars boost for a Best Picture winner in more than 10 years.

Since the Academy Awards on 9 February, the South Korean thriller has made more than $8.8 million (£6.8 million) at the U.S. box office.

It also added another $12.7 million (£9.8 million) to its worldwide total, with Parasite’s total worldwide cinema takings standing at a huge $204 million (£157 million).

The movie has been available on home entertainment services in the U.S. since January, yet the film’s distributor Neon has expanded Parasite to more than 2,000 cinemas in North America since its Oscars success. In the U.K., Parasite’s distributor Curzon Artificial Eye expanded the film from 136 cinemas to more than 400 following the awards show.

Last year’s Best Picture winner Green Book, starring Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen, experienced a 121 per cent increase in revenue the weekend after its victory and was the biggest post-Oscar boost at the time.

Moonlight, The Artist, Slumdog Millionaire, and Million Dollar Baby have also seen lifts in ticket sales following their Best Picture victory at the Academy Awards.

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Mahershala Ali eyes hard-hitting prison drama

Mahershala Ali is in talks to executive produce and star in a hard-hitting prison drama. The two-time Oscar winner plans to front Solitary, which is based on the memoir of Albert Woodfox, who spent more than 40 years in solitary confinement in Louisia…

Mahershala Ali is in talks to executive produce and star in a hard-hitting prison drama.

The two-time Oscar winner plans to front Solitary, which is based on the memoir of Albert Woodfox, who spent more than 40 years in solitary confinement in Louisiana’s Angola Prison. The actor reportedly met Woodfox in New Orleans recently after reading the book, which was released earlier this year.

Executives at movie studio Fox Searchlight have bought the movie rights to the book, Solitary: Unbroken by Four Decades In Solitary Confinement, My Story of Transformation and Hope, according to Variety.

The project is in the early stages of development without a director or screenwriter attached. The film will be produced by Jamie Patricof, who previously worked with Ali on The Place Beyond The Pines in 2012.

Woodfox and Herman Wallace were indicted in 1972 for the killing of a prison corrections officer and convicted in 1974. After much campaigning, Woodfox’s conviction was eventually overturned in 2014 and he was released in 2016 after the prosecution accepted his plea of no contest to lesser charges of burglary and manslaughter.

During their time behind bars, Woodfox and Wallace campaigned for prison reform as members of the Black Panther Party.

Wallace was released in 2013 due to having terminal cancer and sadly died three days after his release.

Ali won his first Academy Award for Moonlight, landing the Best Supporting Actor Oscar at the 2017 ceremony. He won the same award again earlier this year for his portrayal of pianist Don Shirley in Green Book.

He recently lead the third season of HBO crime drama True Detective and is gearing up to star in sci-fi movie Sovereign.

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Viggo Mortensen struggled to make Mahershala Ali break character while filming Green Book

Viggo Mortensen tried as hard as he could to make his Green Book co-star Mahershala Ali break character on set.Viggo plays tough New Yorker Tony ‘Lip’ Vallelonga, who starts working with Mahershala’s classical jazz pianist Dr. Don Shirley as his body…

Viggo Mortensen tried as hard as he could to make his Green Book co-star Mahershala Ali break character on set.

Viggo plays tough New Yorker Tony ‘Lip’ Vallelonga, who starts working with Mahershala’s classical jazz pianist Dr. Don Shirley as his bodyguard in Peter Farrelly’s Oscar-winning comedy drama.

In a joint interview for Empire magazine, Mahershala revealed that he’d learned to play the piano and did as much as he could to inhibit his character off set, but Viggo was determined to see how committed the Moonlight star was.

“I tried really hard to crack him up. But he was just unflappable,” he laughed. “He was doing his thing, he was Doc Shirley. But just for fun, I just wanted to make him lose it, at least once. I was just doing what my character does, but going for it. And nothing.”

After a number of failed attempts, Viggo was finally successful during a scene in which Tony introduces Don to fast food chain KFC.

“He said his line, ‘What do we do about the bones?’ And I said my line, and spit the bone out,” he recalled. “He didn’t say what he was supposed to say. Silence. And I turned around and he’s not there, and I’m like ‘Where the f**k?’ And he’s on the floor in a fetal position with tears coming out of his eyes, and I’m like, ‘Yes!’”

The acting duo insisted that they got on remarkably well during the shoot, and Mahershala believes much of this stems from the similarities in their acting styles.

“I think we’re similar,” he considered. “I’m unapologetically specific. I can do the math in my mind as to why something is somewhat problematic, or lesser than what I would like it to be, for very specific reasons. Viggo’s that way, but heightened.”

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Taraji P. Henson hits back at The Best of Enemies language critics

Actress Taraji P. Henson has defended the style of speech she adopts to play civil rights activist Ann Atwater in her new movie The Best of Enemies, insisting it’s all accurate. The Hidden Figures star features opposite Sam Rockwell in the historical …

Actress Taraji P. Henson has defended the style of speech she adopts to play civil rights activist Ann Atwater in her new movie The Best of Enemies, insisting it’s all accurate.

The Hidden Figures star features opposite Sam Rockwell in the historical drama, about the unlikely real-life relationship between Atwater and Ku Klux Klan leader C.P. Ellis back in 1971, when they teamed up to work on the desegregation of schools in Durham, North Carolina.

Trailers for the film have shown Henson speaking in a casual Southern dialect as Atwater, but some people have taken to social media to complain about the portrayal, accusing the actress of dumbing down her character.

“My grand mother (sic) and a lot of my family is from the south and was in this era. None of them talk in that broken lingo that Taraji is doing,” one moaned on Twitter. “It’s so offensive to depict blks (blacks) speaking like this when it’s not true. A lot of blks in that era was educated and spoke normally (sic).”

However, Henson, who has been responding to some of her detractors online, has advised them to do their own research into Atwater’s life before passing comment.

“It’s unfortunate because they’re judging something they have not seen yet, just because this is of the era of civil rights and she talks a certain kind of way,” the actress tells USA Today. “I’ve actually confronted some of those tweets by telling them just to Google her. We didn’t make this up.”

Henson also bristles at the suggestion that the storyline of The Best of Enemies is too similar to that of Oscar-winning biopic Green Book, about celebrated pianist Don Shirley’s real-life tour of the Deep South in 1960s segregated America with his prejudiced Italian-American driver and bodyguard, Tony Lip.

“I did see Green Book and I don’t see the similarities,” she declares.

Instead, Henson is just excited to have Atwater’s story play out on the big screen: “She didn’t bite her tongue,” the star says. “She knew what was right and what was wrong, and she fought for justice for people who were being oppressed. It upset her and every breath of her body was to fight against that.”

The Best of Enemies, based on Osha Gray Davidson’s 1996 book of the same name, is written and directed by Robin Bissell, and opens in U.S. theatres this week (05Apr19).

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Steven Spielberg under fire for seeking Netflix ban at Oscars

Steven Spielberg has come under attack amid plans to propose Academy officials block films made for streaming services like Netflix from competing at the Oscars. The celebrated moviemaker has previously made no secret of his preference for films to re…

Steven Spielberg has come under attack amid plans to propose Academy officials block films made for streaming services like Netflix from competing at the Oscars.

The celebrated moviemaker has previously made no secret of his preference for films to receive traditional theatrical releases, instead of having projects backed by services like Netflix debuting online on the same day as it begins a short big screen run to make it eligible for the Oscars.

The topic drew further attention at the 2019 ceremony as Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma was hotly tipped to win Best Picture, and although it ended up losing to Green Book, its entry appears to have reignited the debate about the industry impact of modern filmmaking practices.

Spielberg, who serves as a governor of the Academy’s directors branch, is reportedly set to introduce the idea of a change in eligibility rules at an upcoming board meeting, according to IndieWire.

“Steven feels strongly about the difference between the streaming and theatrical situation,” a spokesperson for his production firm, Amblin Entertainment, told the website. “He’ll be happy if the others will join (his campaign) when that comes up (at the Academy Board of Governors meeting). He will see what happens.”

However, Spielberg’s move has sparked a backlash from others in the Hollywood community, who have taken to social media to push back against the Jaws filmmaker’s proposal.

Director Ava DuVernay, who earned her first Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature in 2017 for her Netflix prison reform film 13th, was among the first to share her comments online.

“Dear Academy, this is a Board of Governors meeting. And regular branch members can’t be there,” she tweeted. “But I hope if this is true, that you’ll have filmmakers in the room or read statements from directors like me who feel differently.”

“Steven Spielberg is gunning to make sure Netflix never has another Oscars contender like Roma,” wrote The Evil Dead star Bruce Campbell as he also pushed back against the idea of a ban.

“Sorry, Mr. Spielberg, Roma ain’t no TV movie (sic) – it’s as impressive as anything out there. Platforms have become irrelevant. Make a movie with Netflix.”

And Insecure actor Jean Elie simply called Spielberg out for trying to narrow the field of contenders: “Why would you want to stop others from shining/sharing the light?” he queried.

Roma, which scored three Academy Awards, wasn’t the only Netflix project to impress Oscars voters when the nominations list was first unveiled – The Ballad of Buster Scruggs was shortlisted for two prizes, and End Game picked up one for Best Short Documentary.

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Spike Lee tried to leave the Oscars after Green Book won Best Picture – report

Spike Lee was reportedly visibly upset and even tried to leave the Oscars ceremony after Green Book was named Best Picture. According to Variety, the BlacKkKlansman director, 61, was seen waving his arms in disgust, and tried to leave the Dolby Theate…

Spike Lee was reportedly visibly upset and even tried to leave the Oscars ceremony after Green Book was named Best Picture.

According to Variety, the BlacKkKlansman director, 61, was seen waving his arms in disgust, and tried to leave the Dolby Theater when presenter Julia Roberts announced that the controversy-hit film had won.

However, he was stopped at the doors and forced to return to his seat once the speeches had stopped.

The film – based on the true story of celebrated pianist Dr. Don Shirley’s friendship with his driver, Tony Vallelonga – has been extensively criticised for its overly simplistic treatment of racial issues.

Lee, who earlier that evening won his first-ever Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for BlacKkKlansman, explained to reporters backstage that he was disappointed by Green Book’s success, and said “the ref made a bad call”.

“I’m snakebit. Every time someone’s driving somebody, I lose,” he added, in reference to his breakout film Do the Right Thing losing the Oscar for Best Screenplay to Driving Miss Daisy in 1990.

“I thought I was court side at the (Madison Square) Garden and the refs made a bad call,” Lee fired.

He had initially shouted “next question” when asked about his reaction to Green Book’s victory, and quipped, “This is my sixth glass, and you know why,” while holding his champagne flute aloft.

Later, chatting to reporters at the Vanity Fair after-party, Lee said: “Are you British? Let me give you a British answer – it wasn’t my cup of tea.”

According to Variety, Get Out filmmaker and comedian Jordan Peele was among the other stars who didn’t applaud Green Book’s win.

Mahershala Ali scooped the Best Supporting Actor trophy for his portrayal of Dr. Shirley. But Dr. Shirley’s nephew, Edwin Shirley III, and brother, Maurice Shirley, have openly criticised the film and called its portrayal of the musician “a symphony of lies”.

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Green Book crowned Best Picture at 2019 Oscars

Green Book beat Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma to be named Best Picture at the 2019 Oscars on Sunday (24Feb19). Cuaron had widely been tipped as the favourite for the top award of the night, but it was Green Book, about celebrated pianist Don Shirley’s real-li…

Green Book beat Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma to be named Best Picture at the 2019 Oscars on Sunday (24Feb19).

Cuaron had widely been tipped as the favourite for the top award of the night, but it was Green Book, about celebrated pianist Don Shirley’s real-life tour of the Deep South in 1960s segregated America, which was crowned Best Picture, adding to Mahershala Ali’s Best Supporting Actor win and Best Original Screenplay for director Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga, and Brian Hayes Currie.

Cuaron was also triple winner, earning Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Foreign Language Film, giving Mexico its first ever win in that category.

Period comedy/drama The Favourite, which tied Roma with 10 nominations heading into the show, was shut out in all but one category – an emotional Olivia Colman took home the Best Actress prize over her “idol” Glenn Close.

It was a night full of first-time Oscar winners – Rami Malek won Best Actor for his portrayal of the late Freddie Mercury for Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, If Beale Street Could Talk’s Regina King picked up the Best Supporting Actress statuette, and Spike Lee claimed Best Adapted Screenplay for BlackKklansman.

Black Panther’s Ruth E. Carter landed the title for Costume Design, making her the first black woman to win the accolade, while the superhero movie also made history with Hannah Beachler and Jay Hart’s triumph in Production Design, as Beachler is the first black person to lift the gold statuette.

Meanwhile, Lady Gaga scooped Best Original Song for her A Star Is Born hit Shallow, sharing the prize with her fellow songwriters Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, and Andrew Wyatt. She missed out on Best Actress to Colman.

The Los Angeles ceremony, which was without a host following Kevin Hart’s withdrawal over old homophobic tweets, was opened by British music legends Queen, with singer Adam Lambert as frontman. They got Hollywood’s biggest stars at the Dolby Theatre rocking from the very start with renditions of their classics We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions, which are both featured in four-time Oscar winner Bohemian Rhapsody.

The full list of winners at the 91st Academy Awards is:

Best Picture:

Green Book

Best Actor:

Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody

Best Actress:

Olivia Colman – The Favourite

Best Supporting Actress:

Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk

Best Supporting Actor:

Mahershala Ali – Green Book

Best Director:

Alfonso Cuaron – Roma

Best Original Screenplay:

Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie, Peter Farrelly – Green Book

Best Adapted Screenplay:

Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee – BlackKklansman

Original Score:

Black Panther – Ludwig Goransson

Original Song:

Shallow, A Star is Born – Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, and Andrew Wyatt

Foreign Language Film:

Roma (Mexico)

Cinematography:

Roma – Alfonso Cuaron

Visual Effects:

First Man – Paul Lambert, Ian Hunter, Tristan Myles, and J.D. Schwalm

Costume Design:

Black Panther – Ruth E. Carter

Production Design:

Black Panther – Hannah Beachler and Jay Hart

Make-up and Hairstyling:

Vice – Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe, and Patricia Dehaney

Film Editing:

Bohemian Rhapsody – John Ottman

Sound Editing:

Bohemian Rhapsody – John Warhurst, and Nina Hartstone

Sound Mixing:

Bohemian Rhapsody – Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin, and John Casali

Animated Feature:

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Animated Short Film:

Bao

Documentary Feature:

Free Solo

Live-action Short Film:

Skin

Documentary Short Subject:

Period. End of Sentence.

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Green Book crowned Best Picture at 2019 Oscars

Green Book beat Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma to be named Best Picture at the 2019 Oscars on Sunday (24Feb19). Cuaron had widely been tipped as the favourite for the top award of the night, but it was Green Book, about celebrated pianist Don Shirley’s real-li…

Green Book beat Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma to be named Best Picture at the 2019 Oscars on Sunday (24Feb19).

Cuaron had widely been tipped as the favourite for the top award of the night, but it was Green Book, about celebrated pianist Don Shirley’s real-life tour of the Deep South in 1960s segregated America, which was crowned Best Picture, adding to Mahershala Ali’s Best Supporting Actor win and Best Original Screenplay for director Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga, and Brian Hayes Currie.

Cuaron was also triple winner, earning Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Foreign Language Film, giving Mexico its first ever win in that category.

Period comedy/drama The Favourite, which tied Roma with 10 nominations heading into the show, was shut out in all but one category – an emotional Olivia Colman took home the Best Actress prize over her “idol” Glenn Close.

It was a night full of first-time Oscar winners – Rami Malek won Best Actor for his portrayal of the late Freddie Mercury for Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, If Beale Street Could Talk’s Regina King picked up the Best Supporting Actress statuette, and Spike Lee claimed Best Adapted Screenplay for BlackKklansman.

Black Panther’s Ruth E. Carter landed the title for Costume Design, making her the first black woman to win the accolade, while the superhero movie also made history with Hannah Beachler and Jay Hart’s triumph in Production Design, as Beachler is the first black person to lift the gold statuette.

Meanwhile, Lady Gaga scooped Best Original Song for her A Star Is Born hit Shallow, sharing the prize with her fellow songwriters Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, and Andrew Wyatt. She missed out on Best Actress to Colman.

The Los Angeles ceremony, which was without a host following Kevin Hart’s withdrawal over old homophobic tweets, was opened by British music legends Queen, with singer Adam Lambert as frontman. They got Hollywood’s biggest stars at the Dolby Theatre rocking from the very start with renditions of their classics We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions, which are both featured in four-time Oscar winner Bohemian Rhapsody.

The full list of winners at the 91st Academy Awards is:

Best Picture:

Green Book

Best Actor:

Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody

Best Actress:

Olivia Colman – The Favourite

Best Supporting Actress:

Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk

Best Supporting Actor:

Mahershala Ali – Green Book

Best Director:

Alfonso Cuaron – Roma

Best Original Screenplay:

Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie, Peter Farrelly – Green Book

Best Adapted Screenplay:

Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee – BlackKklansman

Original Score:

Black Panther – Ludwig Goransson

Original Song:

Shallow, A Star is Born – Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, and Andrew Wyatt

Foreign Language Film:

Roma (Mexico)

Cinematography:

Roma – Alfonso Cuaron

Visual Effects:

First Man – Paul Lambert, Ian Hunter, Tristan Myles, and J.D. Schwalm

Costume Design:

Black Panther – Ruth E. Carter

Production Design:

Black Panther – Hannah Beachler and Jay Hart

Make-up and Hairstyling:

Vice – Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe, and Patricia Dehaney

Film Editing:

Bohemian Rhapsody – John Ottman

Sound Editing:

Bohemian Rhapsody – John Warhurst, and Nina Hartstone

Sound Mixing:

Bohemian Rhapsody – Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin, and John Casali

Animated Feature:

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Animated Short Film:

Bao

Documentary Feature:

Free Solo

Live-action Short Film:

Skin

Documentary Short Subject:

Period. End of Sentence.

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Mahershala Ali attempts to leave space between roles to ‘avoid character bleed’

Mahershala Ali tries his hardest to create space between projects so he doesn’t inadvertently let his characters bleed into one another.The Moonlight actor has been enjoying another successful awards season with his portrayal of pianist Dr. Don Shirley…

Mahershala Ali tries his hardest to create space between projects so he doesn’t inadvertently let his characters bleed into one another.

The Moonlight actor has been enjoying another successful awards season with his portrayal of pianist Dr. Don Shirley in Peter Farrelly’s Green Book, for which has so far won the Golden Globe and BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor. He’s also the favourite to take home the Oscar on Sunday.

The 45-year-old has now explained that he cares deeply for all his characters and projects and gives “everything I have to give” to each role, so he likes to ensure he has time in between each part to completely shed one character before moving onto the next.

“You just have to shed those characters and in some way, try to create space between projects so that you can avoid character bleed and taking one project and somehow those attributes make it into your next project,” he told reporters at the recent BAFTA Film Awards. “I don’t ever want to (do) that and so as best I can I try to create space or do things that sort of allow each project to live in its own time.”

However, he was unable to do so after Green Book because he only had a week before he began filming the current season of HBO series True Detective, and he admitted that there was a short period of time when those projects “blended together for me”.

He added that he still hasn’t quite been able to let go of his Green Book character due to the press tour and awards circuit but he is determined to carve out some time to let go of him.

He told reporters that the project, about a road trip Shirley takes to the Deep South with his Italian-American driver, played by Viggo Mortensen, was a dream because it was a collaborative effort.

“I think the spirit of it was right, just in how we sit down and approached it and really worked to make these characters three-dimensional and really lift them off the page,” he said.

Green Book is in cinemas now.

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