Barack and Michelle Obama teaming with Russo brothers on new movie – report

Barack Obama and Michelle Obama have reportedly teamed up with the Russo brothers on a new Netflix movie.Back in 2017, Joe and Anthony Russo acquired the rights to Mohsin Hamid’s bestselling novel Exit West, and later that same year, the former U.S Pre…

Barack Obama and Michelle Obama have reportedly teamed up with the Russo brothers on a new Netflix movie.

Back in 2017, Joe and Anthony Russo acquired the rights to Mohsin Hamid’s bestselling novel Exit West, and later that same year, the former U.S President included the fantasy drama on his list of best books.

The fourth novel from Pakistani writer Hamid tackles the global refugee crisis as it follows a young couple, Saeed and Nadia, who are forced to flee an unidentified war-torn city in the Middle East following violent clashes between guerrillas and the government.

The duo then joins a group of migrants and travel to safe havens around the world, including Greece and California, using a system of guarded magical doors.

According to editors at Collider, the Obamas’ company Higher Ground Productions is teaming up with the Avengers: Endgame directors’ AGBO banner to produce the feature adaption for the streaming giant.

Riz Ahmed is reportedly attached to star, with Yann Demange helming the project.

A rep for the Russo Brothers has yet to comment on the report.

The Imitation Game director Morten Tyldum was originally tapped to direct in a first-look deal, but duties have since been passed to White Boy Rick filmmaker Demange.

Mike Larocca will produce alongside Tonia Davis and Priya Swaminathan, while a new writer is expected to be hired to work on the adaptation in the near future.

The Russo brothers recently wrapped production on crime-drama Cherry, starring Tom Holland, while the Obamas’ Higher Ground Productions was behind the Oscar-winning documentary American Factory.

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Katherine Langford: ‘Cutting my scenes from Avengers: Endgame made sense’

Katherine Langford has no issue with her scenes in Avengers: Endgame ending up on the cutting room floor because she can still treasure the memory of working with Robert Downey Jr..The 13 Reasons Why star was recruited to portray Iron Man/Tony Stark’s …

Katherine Langford has no issue with her scenes in Avengers: Endgame ending up on the cutting room floor because she can still treasure the memory of working with Robert Downey Jr..

The 13 Reasons Why star was recruited to portray Iron Man/Tony Stark’s grown-up daughter Morgan in the 2019 movie, but when the film hit theatres in April, she was nowhere to be seen.

Opening up about being cut from the highest-grossing film of all time, the Australian actress said on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon that the decision made sense and doesn’t take away from her “amazing” experience on set.

“I’m such a huge fan of the Marvel films and the Russo brothers so when Marvel reached out to me to play Iron Man’s daughter that was such an honour,” she said. “Ultimately it didn’t make it into the film and creatively that makes sense and that’s totally fine. I was just content with having the memory in my head. To play with Robert Downey Jr on the last scene he was Iron Man, on the last day that he was Iron Man, that was just amazing… He was amazing, it’s the biggest franchise in the world and it was the biggest set I’d ever walked on to. He was just so cool and so elegant.”

The 23-year-old is thrilled that Disney bosses put their deleted scene on the Disney+ streaming service because fans demanded to see it.

“That’s what I was told, it was out because people wanted to see it,” Katherine added. “Which is just really cool.”

Avengers: Endgame director Joe and Anthony Russo previously explained that the scene, in which Tony and a now-teenage Morgan briefly reconnect in the Soul World after he dies, got cut because test audiences found it too confusing and “we didn’t feel an emotional association with the adult version of his daughter.”

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Avengers: Endgame directors set for cinematography honour

Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo will be celebrated by the Cinematographers Guild for their work on the blockbuster.The film became the highest-grossing film of all time earlier this year and now its makers will receive the Internation…

Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo will be celebrated by the Cinematographers Guild for their work on the blockbuster.

The film became the highest-grossing film of all time earlier this year and now its makers will receive the International Cinematographers Guild Publicists Motion Picture Showman of the Year Award at the 57th Annual Publicists Awards on 22 February.

“Anthony and Joe Russo have made a huge impact in cinema with the record-breaking Avengers and Captain America films,” Lewis Rothenberg, national president of the ICG, said in a statement.

“They have taken audiences around the world on a wild journey with their unique and imaginative brand of storytelling and are two of the most exciting innovators in our industry today. We are thrilled to celebrate their cinematic showmanship and commitment to nurturing new talent.”

In addition to the Marvel releases like Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Civil War, as well as Avengers: Infinity War, the pair recently joined forces for the Arabic drama Mosul and are also set to direct Cherry, starring Tom Holland.

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Joe Russo: ‘Removing Spider-Man from Marvel Cinematic Universe is a tragic mistake’

Director Joe Russo believes Sony executives have made a “tragic mistake” in pulling Spider-Man out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). In August, it was revealed that bosses at Sony Pictures and Disney, the parent company of Marvel Studios, couldn…

Director Joe Russo believes Sony executives have made a “tragic mistake” in pulling Spider-Man out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

In August, it was revealed that bosses at Sony Pictures and Disney, the parent company of Marvel Studios, couldn’t agree on new co-financing and profit-sharing terms, so the deal they made in 2015 to share the film rights to Spider-Man was off. This meant that the web-slinging superhero, played by Tom Holland, would no longer be a part of the MCU.

Yet, during an interview with the Toronto Sun, Russo, who directed Holland as Spider-Man in three MCU films with his brother Anthony, said Sony leaders were making a mistake if they thought they could replicate the genius of Marvel boss Kevin Feige.

“It was a tenuous, fraught union throughout the whole process,” he said. “But, I will say, stepping back and trying to be objective as possible, that I think it’s a tragic mistake on Sony’s part to think that they can replicate Kevin’s penchant for telling incredible stories and the amazing success he has had over the years. I think it’s a big mistake.”

The Russo brothers directed Holland’s first appearance in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War as well as Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, and Anthony admitted they weren’t surprised that the deal fell apart.

“It was so difficult to get him into Civil War. It was an extremely long and hard process,” the filmmaker added. “But we were driven to help make it happen. But Kevin Feige pulled it off, somehow. Disney and all the good people at Sony found a way to make it work and it lasted a few films. We had a wonderful experience with that, and I think audiences really appreciated that marriage. But we know how hard that marriage was to make in the first place, so the fact that the marriage fell apart isn’t really that surprising to me and Joe.”

Holland has assured fans that he will still be playing the superhero in Sony’s movies.

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Russo Brothers were determined to make Arabic-language movie Mosul ‘authentic’

The Russo Brothers faced big challenges in making their new Arabic-language movie Mosul as authentic as possible.The movie, directed by Matthew Michael Carnahan, is based on a 2017 article in The New Yorker titled The Avengers of Mosul, which chronicle…

The Russo Brothers faced big challenges in making their new Arabic-language movie Mosul as authentic as possible.

The movie, directed by Matthew Michael Carnahan, is based on a 2017 article in The New Yorker titled The Avengers of Mosul, which chronicles the members of an elite Iraqi SWAT team who are battling members of ISIS in the Iraqi city.

It premiered at the Venice Film Festival on Monday, with Joe and Anthony Russo serving as producers on the passion project, which stars Suhail Dabbach and Adam Bessa.

Speaking to Deadline, Anthony admitted it was director Matthew’s idea to make the film entirely in Arabic.

“I think that was part of his process of trying to make it as authentic to the actual experience as possible,” he explained. “We are not Iraqis, so we are quite removed from that experience. So, any opportunity we can find on a creative level – any creative technique that we can employ to get us closer to that authentic story – was really valuable.”

“The second (Matthew) brought up doing the movie in Arabic, Joe and I were like, ‘That’s genius. We have to do it,'” Anthony added.

Mosul is Matthew’s directorial debut, and the World War Z writer was keen to get the tone right for the fact-based drama.

“If we’re going to tell the story of these guys, then we’re in for a penny, and in for a pound. We have to do it in their mother tongue because there’s something to hearing that same humanity in a completely foreign language,” the filmmaker explained.

Elsewhere in the interview, Anthony noted it will be difficult for an Arabic movie to find an audience – an issue he and his brother Joe did not have to anticipate with Avengers: Endgame, which has become the highest-grossing film ever.

“I think it’s the story behind the film that’s going to draw a lot of people in. The fact that you feel like this movie is important and that people should see it, I think is probably the most important factor in whether or not people are going to see this movie,” he stated.

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Avengers: Endgame passes Avatar to become biggest film of all time

Avengers: Endgame has topped Avatar to become the highest-grossing film of all time.Marvel boss Kevin Feige made the news official at the studio’s Comic-Con panel in San Diego, California on Saturday, announcing the blockbuster would pass Avatar’s $2.7…

Avengers: Endgame has topped Avatar to become the highest-grossing film of all time.

Marvel boss Kevin Feige made the news official at the studio’s Comic-Con panel in San Diego, California on Saturday, announcing the blockbuster would pass Avatar’s $2.78 billion global box office mark over the weekend, ending the James Cameron-directed movie’s nine-year reign.

“Thanks to you, Avengers: Endgame is the biggest film of all-time,” Feige told fans in Comic-Con’s fabled Hall H.

While Avengers: Endgame co-directors Anthony and Joe Russo took to Twitter to share a similar sentiment.

“To the greatest fans in the universe, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you…,” they commented.

Avengers: Endgame, featuring an ensemble cast including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, and Brie Larson, follows the surviving members of the Avengers and their allies as they attempt to reverse the damage caused by Thanos, as played by Josh Brolin, in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War.

The blockbuster has passed Avatar’s record in just 13 weeks, and in a statement, Alan Horn, co-chairman and chief creative officer of Marvel’s parent company, The Walt Disney Studios, praised the cast and crew for their achievements.

“A huge congratulations to the Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Studios teams, and thank you to the fans around the world who lifted Avengers: Endgame to these historic heights,” he commented. “Of course, even with the passage of a decade, the impact of James Cameron’s Avatar remains as powerful as ever, and the astonishing achievements of both of these films are ongoing proof of the power of movies to move people and bring them together in a shared experience. The talented filmmakers behind these worlds have much more in store, and we look forward to the future of both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and (Avatar’s setting) Pandora.”

Bosses at Disney are also celebrating another record-breaking weekend in North America, as The Lion King has roared to the top of the box office to become the biggest July opening of all time.

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Avengers: Endgame becomes second biggest movie of all time

Avengers: Endgame has continued to smash box office records worldwide by overtaking Titanic to become the second highest-grossing movie in cinema history. The all-star superhero blockbuster, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, cracked the $2 billion mi…

Avengers: Endgame has continued to smash box office records worldwide by overtaking Titanic to become the second highest-grossing movie in cinema history.

The all-star superhero blockbuster, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, cracked the $2 billion milestone on Saturday (04May19), and continued to sail past James Cameron’s 1997 disaster epic by the end of the weekend, beating Titanic’s $2.187 billion gross by $1.2 million (£912,500).

Director Cameron still holds the top spot on the all-time list with Avatar’s $2.78 billion, but Endgame is widely expected to crush that figure in the near future.

The massive global take not only makes Endgame the fifth film ever to hit $2 billion – it’s also achieved the feat in the shortest amount of time with 11 days, compared to Avatar’s 47 days back in 2009.

The popularity of the Marvel movie easily helped it hold on to the number one spot on the North American box office chart, generating another $145 million (£110.2 million) in its second weekend on release.

Psychological thriller The Intruder, starring Dennis Quaid, claims a distant second place with an $11 million (£8.4 million) debut, while Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen’s romantic comedy, Long Shot, lands at three with a $10 million (£7.6 million) opening.

The animated UglyDolls, which features the voices of Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, and Nick Jonas, fell short of expectations with an $8.5 million (£6.5 million) launch, while Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel climbed to fifth place with an extra $4.3 million (£3.3 million) in its ninth weekend in theatres, likely given a boost by her character’s involvement in Endgame.

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Avengers: Endgame director: ‘Spoiler ban will be over on Monday’

Avengers: Endgame director Joe Russo has urged film fans who have yet to see the blockbuster to get their tickets this weekend, because Monday (06May19) is D-Day on spoilers. The moviemaker and his brother, Anthony, released a statement ahead of the M…

Avengers: Endgame director Joe Russo has urged film fans who have yet to see the blockbuster to get their tickets this weekend, because Monday (06May19) is D-Day on spoilers.

The moviemaker and his brother, Anthony, released a statement ahead of the Marvel film’s release last week (ends26Apr19) urging fans not to spoil the ending of the movie by posting details about who lives and who dies online, and their stars also joined the no spoiler campaign by filming videos as part of a #DontSpoilTheEndgame initiative.

Joe tells Good Morning America that he’s been happy with the way fans have responded to his wishes, but he thinks all bets are off from Monday, because Avengers devotees want to hit chat rooms and social media to discuss the final film in the current Marvel franchise.

“Part of why we make these movies is for conversation…,” he says. “Give it two weekends. Not everyone can get there the first weekend, but I think if you haven’t seen it yet you should get out there and see it, because I think, by Monday, people will be talking about it.”

But people are still buzzing about the Avengers: Infinity War sequel, which shattered box office records around the world last weekend – it has become the most tweeted-about movie ever with Twitter bosses counting over 45 million related posts.

Russo admits those types of figures are staggering.

“It’s a massive part of it,” he adds. “It drives interest in the film.

“I think it was beneficial for us that we shot these movies back to back and they (studio bosses) were able to release them a year apart, because the cliffhanger at the end of Infinity War, I think, was able to drive conversation all year long to build anticipation for the movie.”

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**SPOILER ALERT** Avengers director Joe Russo makes history as first openly-gay Marvel character

Avengers: Endgame co-director Joe Russo has made history in the new blockbuster by becoming the first openly gay character in a Marvel movie. The gay moviemaker and actor’s uncredited “average guy” role appears at the beginning of the film among those…

Avengers: Endgame co-director Joe Russo has made history in the new blockbuster by becoming the first openly gay character in a Marvel movie.

The gay moviemaker and actor’s uncredited “average guy” role appears at the beginning of the film among those offering support and help to people coping with the loss of loved ones killed off at the end of the last Avengers film, Infinity War.

He insisted on making his character homosexual so he could make history and offer an inclusive moment for LGBTQ fans of the Marvel franchise.

“Representation is really important,” he told Deadline. “It was important to us as we did four of these films, we wanted a gay character somewhere in them. We felt it was important that one of us play him, to ensure the integrity and show it is so important to the filmmakers that one of us is representing that.

“It is a perfect time, because one of the things that is compelling about the Marvel Universe moving forward is its focus on diversity.”

But his brother doesn’t want the history-making moment to overshadow the movie, adding, “The fact that the character is gay will get attention but it isn’t where the scene started.

“When you have a story point that includes killing half of all humans on Earth, you’re telling a bigger story than The Avengers. So that scene was important to us in telling the story of the larger world. We wanted to have a voice that was talking about the experience of people that went beyond The Avengers.

“That’s why we felt we really needed it in the movie. Otherwise, it just became too hermetic and insular. That character that Joe is playing really came from that point of view, him being an everyman who has suffered from (Infinity War villain) Thanos’ act (that wiped out most of the inhabitants of earth).”

“We wanted it to be casual, with the fact that the character is gay tied into the fabric of the storytelling and representing what everyday life is,” Joe explained to the outlet. “We’re trying to represent everyone in everyday life. These are global movies that reach a lot of people. They are important to a lot of people and everyone has the right to see themselves on the screen and identify somewhere.”

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Marvel bosses preparing special Stan Lee cameo video

Marvel Studios officials will honour Stan Lee by putting together a special behind-the-scenes video of every single one of the late comic book legend’s movie cameos. The co-creator of superhero characters including Spider-Man, Thor, Iron Man, and Blac…

Marvel Studios officials will honour Stan Lee by putting together a special behind-the-scenes video of every single one of the late comic book legend’s movie cameos.

The co-creator of superhero characters including Spider-Man, Thor, Iron Man, and Black Panther passed away in November (18) at the age of 95, and his final film appearance is featured in the highly-anticipated Avengers: Endgame blockbuster.

However, fans will get to revisit each of his typically humorous cameos – and view previously unseen footage of Lee on set – as part of an upcoming tribute package.

“We’ve put a video together,” Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige tells Entertainment Weekly.

“We’ve never done this before, a behind-the-scenes of every cameo. All the B-roll that was shot and his stand-ups there. His passing was very emotional for all of us, but it suddenly all came back to me just when I watched it.”

The short film will also include an unused Lee cameo from a previous Avengers movie.

It’s not known when the clip is planned to be released, but the news emerges days after Avengers: Endgame co-director Anthony Russo, who, together with his brother Joe, also shot three other Marvel blockbusters, recalled how all the cast and crewmembers would always be in awe of Lee whenever he visited.

“We have all these movie stars on that (Endgame) set, and when Stan came to set, everybody would be like kids again,” he told Mashable.

“It was always a lot of fun shooting these cameos because he was very charming, and he would maybe get the crew going, and everybody would be laughing and having a good time.”

Avengers: Endgame, starring Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and Scarlett Johansson, among many others, opens in theatres this week (ends26Apr19).

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