Regina King kicks off production on One Night in Miami

Regina King has officially begun production on her directorial debut in New Orleans, Louisiana.The Oscar-winning actress announced last July that she would be stepping behind the camera for One Night in Miami, an adaptation of Kemp Powers’s 2013 play o…

Regina King has officially begun production on her directorial debut in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The Oscar-winning actress announced last July that she would be stepping behind the camera for One Night in Miami, an adaptation of Kemp Powers’s 2013 play of the same name.

King’s film will be set in February 1964, on the night boxer Cassius Clay became world heavyweight champion following a shock victory over Sonny Liston.

The fictional narrative will be focused on the aftermath of the fight, with Clay, civil rights activist Malcolm X, soul singer Sam Cooke, and American football player Jim Brown meeting for hours at a Miami motel.

Kingsley Ben-Adir will portray Malcolm X, Riverdale star Eli Goree will play boxing great Clay before he became known as Muhammad Ali, Leslie Odom, Jr. will feature as Sam Cooke, while Aldis Hodge will take on the part of Jim Brown.

“One Night in Miami is a love letter to black manhood that powerfully explores themes of race, identity and friendship,” King told Deadline. “We’re so excited to have Kingsley, Eli, Aldis, and Leslie in the lead roles showing a different side of these iconic men.”

Powers penned the screenplay for the project. His original play explored the possibility of what the successful men of colour may have discussed as they fought for equality in the face of racism and white supremacy during the 1960s civil rights movement.

In the past, If Beale Street Could Talk star King has directed episodes of TV shows such as Scandal, Shameless, The Good Doctor, and This Is Us, but One Night in Miami marks her first time helming a feature film.

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Bob Iger fires back at criticism of Marvel movies

Disney boss Bob Iger has hit back at Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola over their criticism of Marvel movies.Iger, who serves as chairman and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company, which owns Marvel Studios, made an appearance at Th…

Disney boss Bob Iger has hit back at Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola over their criticism of Marvel movies.

Iger, who serves as chairman and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company, which owns Marvel Studios, made an appearance at The Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live conference in California on Tuesday night, and during an interview, was asked what he thought of Scorsese’s view that the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) flicks are “not cinema”, and Coppola’s opinion that such blockbusters are “despicable”.

“Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese are people I hold in the highest regard in terms of the films they’ve made, the films I’ve liked, the films we’ve all watched,” he stated, according to reporters at Fast Company. “But when Francis uses the words ‘those films are despicable,’ I’d reserve the word ‘despicable’ for someone who had committed mass murder.

“I don’t get what they’re criticising us for when we’re making films that people are obviously enjoying going to and they’re doing so by the millions.”

Iger then insisted that Marvel films actually support the wider movie industry because they draw in viewers and allow cinema executives to show more independent films. He also compared Ryan Coogler’s box office smash, Black Panther, to Scorsese and Coppola’s movies.

“Are you telling me that Ryan Coogler making Black Panther is doing something that somehow or another is less than anything Marty Scorsese or Francis Ford Coppola have ever done on any one of their movies? Come on,” the 68-year-old asked.

Following Scorsese and Coppola’s criticism, the likes of Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, Robert Downey, Jr., Natalie Portman, and Sebastian Stan have all defended the MCU. However, Doctor Strange star Benedict Cumberbatch expressed support for both sides of the argument during a chat on SiriusXM’s The Jenny McCarthy Show on Tuesday.

“I know there’s been a lot of debate recently with some very fine filmmakers coming to the fore saying these film franchises are taking over everything,” he explained. “But, lucky us actors who get to do both kinds of variety, at either polarity (in terms) of budgeting.

“I agree, we don’t want one king to rule it all and have a monopoly and all that, and it’s hopefully not the case and we should really look into continuing to support auteur filmmakers at every level.”

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Jon Favreau addresses criticism of Marvel movies

Iron Man director Jon Favreau isn’t offended by Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola’s scathing stance on Marvel films, insisting the directors have “earned the right to express their opinions”.Scorsese’s recent comment that superhero blockbusters …

Iron Man director Jon Favreau isn’t offended by Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola’s scathing stance on Marvel films, insisting the directors have “earned the right to express their opinions”.

Scorsese’s recent comment that superhero blockbusters are “not cinema” has sparked a fierce debate in filmmaking circles, with Coppola later weighing in and calling them “despicable”.

Now, Favreau, who directed Iron Man and Iron Man 2 and starred as Happy Hogan in six different Marvel films, has weighed in on the controversy.

“These two guys are my heroes, and they have earned the right to express their opinions. I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing if they didn’t carve the way,” he said in an interview with CNBC. “They served as a source of inspiration, you can go all the way back to (1996 film) Swingers… They can express whatever opinion they like.”

In response to Scorsese and Coppola’s criticism, a host of Marvel alumni have also defended the movies, including stars like Robert Downey, Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Natalie Portman, and Sebastian Stan.

Elsewhere in the chat, Favreau spoke about how he avoids “superhero fatigue”, as he is not only involved in Marvel movies but is also the executive producer of upcoming Star Wars series, The Mandalorian.

“There’s a lot of forces at work here, as a filmmaker I see it from a different perspective, which is now for big movies with big budgets to help justify the theatregoing experience – going to a movie theatre and paying for that experience – you’re delivering a much different product than you had been, even when I began 20 years ago,” the 53-year-old shared. “You’re selling to a global market, these are stories that the budget demands that they perform on a global scale.

“Two-thirds of most box office returns are coming from Non-North American markets, so it changes the calculus that studios have to consider when they’re greenlighting a film. But on the flip side, you have this fluidity between platforms and so there are films that would have been studios releases that are now being done for streaming services. If you look at it from the perspective of what is available to the consumer, there is a much richer assortment and selection.”

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Ken Loach joins filmmakers slamming Marvel movies

Veteran British director Ken Loach has joined Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola in slamming Marvel movies.Scorsese’s comment that superhero blockbusters are “not cinema” has sparked a fierce debate in filmmaking circles over their merits, with a…

Veteran British director Ken Loach has joined Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola in slamming Marvel movies.

Scorsese’s comment that superhero blockbusters are “not cinema” has sparked a fierce debate in filmmaking circles over their merits, with a host of Marvel alumni defending the movies, and Coppola calling them “despicable”.

Now, the two-time winner of the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or prize has told British broadcaster Sky News he finds the Marvel superhero movies “boring” and “nothing to do with the art of cinema”.

The director, whose films Kes, and I, Daniel Blake focus on working-class lives, and once directed an advert for McDonald’s, compared Marvel films to fast food and said they were all about profit rather than art.

“They’re made as commodities like hamburgers, and it’s not about communicating and it’s not about sharing our imagination,” he raged. “It’s about making a commodity which will make a profit for a big corporation – they’re a cynical exercise.

“They’re market exercise and it has nothing to do with the art of cinema. William Blake said, ‘When money is discussed – art is impossible.'”

The 83-year-old’s latest movie Sorry We Missed You deals with the struggles of life in Britain’s low wage economy.

Explaining why he thinks more naturalistic cinema is important, he added: “It can laugh with us, it can cry with us, it can learn about our deepest feelings and what it is to be human – you find that in the everyday.”

Following Scorsese and Coppola’s criticism, the likes of Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, Robert Downey, Jr., Natalie Portman, and Sebastian Stan have all defended the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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Robert Downey Jr. responds to Martin Scorsese’s Marvel criticism

Robert Downey, Jr. has responded to Martin Scorsese’s criticism of the Marvel franchise.The Goodfellas director has been criticised by a number of Marvel alumni, including Samuel L. Jackson, Karen Gillan and Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn,…

Robert Downey, Jr. has responded to Martin Scorsese’s criticism of the Marvel franchise.

The Goodfellas director has been criticised by a number of Marvel alumni, including Samuel L. Jackson, Karen Gillan and Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, for saying the superhero films aren’t cinema and are more like “theme parks”.

However, Downey Jr., who played Tony Stark/Iron Man in the films, isn’t angered by the remarks, as he told SiriusXM radio host Howard Stern that even he struggles to comprehend how huge Marvel movies have become.

“I’ll tell you the truth, I didn’t expect (the Marvel Cinematic Universe) to become what it became and it is this very large, multi-headed Hydra at this point,” he said. “I’ve always had other interests, and according to Scorsese, it’s not cinema so I have to take a look at that, you know?”

The 54-year-old actor disagreed with The Irishman filmmaker saying Marvel blockbusters play well “in theatres” but admitted there may be something to the idea that the runaway success of comic book movies had crowded out some more artful films.

“By the way, there’s a lot to be said about how these genre movies – and I was happy to be a part of the ‘problem’, if there is one – denigrated the art form of cinema,” he added. “When you come in like a stomping beast and you eliminate the competition in such a demonstrative way, it’s phenomenal.”

Although he disagrees with Scorsese, saying he thinks his comment “makes no sense”, Downey, Jr. explained: “I appreciate his opinion because I think, it’s like anything, we need all of the different perspectives so we can come to centre and move on.”

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Robert Downey, Jr. shares scenes from final day on Avengers set

Robert Downey, Jr. has shared video from his last day on the Avengers: Endgame set online. The original Marvel comic book movie star, who led the 22-film series with Iron Man back in 2008, waited for director Joe Russo to lift his spoiler ban to give …

Robert Downey, Jr. has shared video from his last day on the Avengers: Endgame set online.

The original Marvel comic book movie star, who led the 22-film series with Iron Man back in 2008, waited for director Joe Russo to lift his spoiler ban to give fans a taste of his emotional farewell to the film franchise.

In one scene before his character’s demise, he meets up with Iron Man’s protege, Spider-Man, on the green-screen battlefield and shares a hug with the web slinger, played by Tom Holland, while in another he says farewell to the crew, joking, “I got a lot of feelings, but I’m gonna take Chris’ (co-star Evans) lead. I’m gonna save them for Instagram.”

He then embraces directors Joe and Anthony Russo and their crew members as Steely Dan’s Reelin’ in the Years plays in the background.

Joe Russo lifted his spoiler ban on 6 May (19), telling fans who had avoided revealing how the film ends they could talk about the blockbuster’s pivotal scenes after that date.

The moviemaker and his brother released a statement ahead of the Marvel movie’s release at the end of April urging fans not to spoil the ending of the feature 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 told Good Morning America he’s been happy with the way fans have responded to his wishes, but he announced all bets were off from 6 May, because Avengers devotees made it clear they wanted to hit chat rooms and social media to discuss the final film in the current Marvel franchise.

“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,” Russo said on 3 May.

The film has become the second highest-grossing movie of all time, behind Avatar.

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Katherine Heigl and Harry Connick, Jr. to star in important schizophrenia film

Katherine Heigl and Harry Connick, Jr. have teamed up to make a new movie they hope will shed a light on the plight of young schizophrenics. The two stars will lead the cast of writer/director Castille Landon’s new psychological thriller I Saw a Man W…

Katherine Heigl and Harry Connick, Jr. have teamed up to make a new movie they hope will shed a light on the plight of young schizophrenics.

The two stars will lead the cast of writer/director Castille Landon’s new psychological thriller I Saw a Man With Yellow Eyes, and both admit they jumped at the chance to be a part of such an important film.

“I was truly taken by the heartbreaking story of I Saw A Man With Yellow Eyes,” Harry tells WENN. “Castille Landon has written a tremendous script and has proven to be a fabulous director, tirelessly searching for the most truthful and artful ways to tell this tale of mental illness.

“Castille and the incredible cast and crew have gone all-in to make the often-misunderstood world of schizophrenia a bit more familiar. It’s an honour to be a part of such a noble and artistic film.”

Knocked Up star Heigl adds, “When this unique and thought-provoking project came my way I knew it was a story I desperately wanted to be a part of telling. Not only am I proud to be collaborating with a talented female director, a beautiful and talented young actress, and one of my all-time favourite male leads, but I get to be a part of telling a story that touches on themes I believe to be incredibly relevant and meaningful like mental illness, tragedy, grief, unconditional love and hope.

“I am honoured and privileged to be a part of this film.”

The film, which starts shooting in Tampa and St. Petersburg in Florida later this week (ends26Apr19), centres around a teenage girl with schizophrenia struggles and terrifying hallucinations as she begins to suspect her neighbour has kidnapped a child.

Madison Iseman portrays the young girl.

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Robert Downey, Jr. got Jude Law excited about Captain Marvel role

Jude Law knew he’d have a “great time” filming Captain Marvel after discussing his plans to join the superhero film with his old pal, Avengers star Robert Downey, Jr. The two actors previously teamed up onscreen for the Sherlock Holmes movie franchise…

Jude Law knew he’d have a “great time” filming Captain Marvel after discussing his plans to join the superhero film with his old pal, Avengers star Robert Downey, Jr.

The two actors previously teamed up onscreen for the Sherlock Holmes movie franchise, so the Brit knew exactly who he should talk to when the script for the upcoming comic book blockbuster landed on his desk.

“He had just done the first Iron Man when we first worked together,” Jude tells Entertainment Weekly. “So I’ve sort of followed his journey and relationship with Marvel throughout, really.”

Downey, Jr. is one of the veterans in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, having portrayed Tony Stark/Iron Man since the original 2008 film release, and most recently reprising the role in Avengers: Infinity War, so he was more than happy to offer Jude a little insight on what to expect.

“I don’t know that he ever gave me any advice, but he obviously had a great time making these (Marvel films),” Jude explains. “He talked a little bit about how (making a Marvel movie is like) fitting this one piece into a bigger picture that someone else has got their eyes on, and giving yourself over to that. It’s not about trying to understand everything. Just do your piece.”

That guidance came in handy as Jude joined Captain Marvel as the warrior leader of a special military team, known as Starforce, of which lead character Carol Danvers, played by Brie Larson, is a member.

It marks Jude’s first superhero project, but Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige admits he’s been keen to cast the 45 year old in the franchise for years.

“He’s somebody we have admired for a long time and have wanted to find a role for in our movies, and as fate works in your favour, his part in this is extraordinary,” Feige teases. “He really came to play.”

And Jude admits he jumped at the opportunity: “It just seemed like an interesting party to join in with at an interesting time in their ascendancy,” he shares. “That to me is an interesting playground to work in because suddenly you’ve got filmmakers who are looking at humour and script work and character, within an infrastructure that is obviously capable of creating enormous universes and worlds and special effects – while also not bogging down the creativity of the director.”

Captain Marvel, co-directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, centres on Danvers, an Air Force pilot who gains superpowers of strength and flight after her DNA is fused with an alien’s following an accident.

It is set in the 1990s, before the current Avengers films, and also features the return of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Lee Pace as Ronan, Djimon Hounsou as Korath from the Guardians of the Galaxy series, while Ben Mendelsohn stars as the main villain.

Meanwhile, Jude will soon have the chance to reunite with Downey, Jr. on the big screen – they are due to reteam for a third Sherlock Holmes film in 2020.

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Avengers: Infinity War easily crushes competition at North American box office

Avengers: Infinity War is continuing to destroy the competition by earning its third week atop the North American box office. The Marvel blockbuster, starring the likes of Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Chadwick Boseman, Scarlett Jo…

Avengers: Infinity War is continuing to destroy the competition by earning its third week atop the North American box office.

The Marvel blockbuster, starring the likes of Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Chadwick Boseman, Scarlett Johansson, and Josh Brolin, added another $61.8 million (£45.6 million) to its haul to maintain pole position on the chart.

It’s now taken $547.8 million (£404.5 million) in North America alone, boosting its current worldwide earnings to $1.6 billion, thanks to a massive $200 million (£147.7 million) opening in China.

The continued success has helped the ensemble action epic become the fifth highest-grossing film in global box office history, and the most popular superhero release to date.

Infinity War replaces 2012’s The Avengers in the all-time top five, as it eyes Jurassic World’s $1.671 billion take in fourth place. Avatar leads the poll with $2.788 billion, ahead of Titanic at two with $2.187 billion, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens at three with $2.068 billion.

Back in the North American chart, Melissa McCarthy’s new Life of the Party comedy, her latest collaboration with her filmmaker husband Ben Falcone, is a distant second with $18.5 million (£13.7 million), while Gabrielle Union’s thriller, Breaking In, places third with $16.5 million (£12.2 million), higher than most industry expectations.

Meanwhile, Anna Faris’ new Overboard remake is at four in its second weekend on release, and John Krasinksi and Emily Blunt’s horror film A Quiet Place continues to draw audiences more than a month after its launch, rounding out the new top five at five.

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Robert Downey, Jr. backs Avengers: Infinity War directors in plea for secrecy

Robert Downey, Jr. has joined directors Joe and Anthony Russo in pleading with fans to help keep spoilers for the new Avengers: Infinity War under wraps. As they prepared to embark on a big press tour for the highly-anticipated superhero blockbuster, …

Robert Downey, Jr. has joined directors Joe and Anthony Russo in pleading with fans to help keep spoilers for the new Avengers: Infinity War under wraps.

As they prepared to embark on a big press tour for the highly-anticipated superhero blockbuster, the Russo brothers took to Twitter on Tuesday (03Apr18) and asked devotees not to ruin the fun for other theatregoers once the Marvel movie opens worldwide on 27 April (18).

Addressed to “the greatest fans in the world”, the note reads: “Everyone involved with the film has worked incredibly hard the past two years maintaining the highest level of secrecy. Only a handful of people know the film’s true plot.

“We’re asking that when you see Infinity War, in the coming months, that you maintain that same level of secrecy so that all fans can have an equal experience when they watch it for the first time. Don’t spoil it for others, the same way you wouldn’t want it spoiled for you. Good luck and happy viewing.”

They signed off with the hashtag, “#ThanosDemandsYourSilence”, referring to the film’s supervillain, portrayed by Josh Brolin.

Robert Downey, Jr. reposted the tweet on his own page on Wednesday (04Apr18), as he turned 53, and issued a birthday wish to his own followers.

“I trust you all can keep a secret…no spoilers please,” added the actor, who plays Iron Man in the film franchise.

Meanwhile, co-star Jeremy Renner, who features as Hawkeye, also had a little fun with the Russo brothers’ plea.

“I say nothing…cause I know nothing…,” he tweeted in response, adding a smiley face with sunglasses emoji.

Avengers: Infinity War will bring together many of Marvel’s big superheroes. In addition to the stars of the Avengers, the movie will also include Black Panther Chadwick Boseman, Doctor Strange Benedict Cumberbatch, Spider-Man Tom Holland, Ant-Man Paul Rudd, and Guardians of the Galaxy members Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, and Bradley Cooper, among many others.

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