Dune cast heading to Hungary for reshoots in August

Denis Villeneuve and the cast of Dune are heading back to Hungary this summer for a series of reshoots. The Arrival director and the cast, which includes Oscar Isaac, Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, and Zendaya, shot the sci-fi epic at the Origo …

Denis Villeneuve and the cast of Dune are heading back to Hungary this summer for a series of reshoots.

The Arrival director and the cast, which includes Oscar Isaac, Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, and Zendaya, shot the sci-fi epic at the Origo Film Studios in Budapest, Hungary, as well as locations in Jordan and Norway between March and July last year.

And on Thursday, editors at Deadline revealed that additional filming was set to take place in August, with extensive coronavirus measures in place. They report the extra shooting won’t cause a delay to its 18 December release date.

Star Wars actor Isaac confirmed the news to the publication and insisted he’s experienced last-minute reshoots in the past.

“We’re going to do some additional shooting in mid-August… they’re saying in Budapest in Hungary,” he said. “I saw some things cut together and it just looks amazing. Denis is a real artist and it will be exciting to see it come together. It’s kind of wild that we’re doing some additional shooting a few months before it’s supposed to come out, but that happened with Star Wars as well.”

Dune, which is being split into two films, is set in a distant future and follows the complex story of royal houses who battle for control of the desert planet Arrakis, the only source of a drug named “the spice”, which can give people superhuman powers.

Much of it was shot in the desert, and this proved challenging for some cast members who had to wear thick, rubbery costumes in the scorching heat.

“I remember going out of my room at 2am, and it being probably 100 degrees,” Chalamet recalled to Vanity Fair in April. “The shooting temperature was sometimes 120 degrees. They put a cap on it out there, if it gets too hot. I forget what the exact number is, but you can’t keep working.”

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Paul Schrader calls new Covid-19 production restrictions ‘onerous’

Paul Schrader wouldn’t want to make a completely new film with the “onerous” safety protocols that have been implemented as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The First Reformed director, who is best known for writing Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull …

Paul Schrader wouldn’t want to make a completely new film with the “onerous” safety protocols that have been implemented as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The First Reformed director, who is best known for writing Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull and Taxi Driver, was five days away from completing production on The Card Counter, starring Oscar Isaac, Tiffany Haddish, and Willem Dafoe, when an extra in a large crowd scene tested positive for Covid-19 and the set was shut down.

Schrader revealed on Thursday during a virtual discussion between himself, Isaac and a journalist for Deadline that they were cleared to resume filming in Mississippi on 6 July and he is glad he only has to complete five more days under the new safety guidelines.

“We’ve all read the protocols. They are onerous, to say the least,” he stated. “I would not want to start a film from scratch under those conditions, but five days, knowing exactly what you need, exactly what you want, you can work your way through that, or rather limp your way through it, which is what we’ll do. It’ll end up seeming like a kind of adventure, whereas for another production starting from scratch, it would seem like a nightmare.”

Schrader noted that they had already completed scenes involving large crowds and intimacy and he hasn’t had to rewrite any scenes to adjust to the new working conditions, although he made some tweaks to the remaining dialogue scenes after assembling a “90 per cent cut” of the film.

Isaac, who will go on to film the Dune reshoots in August, admitted it’s “really hard to imagine” what filming will be like under the new protocols.

The filmmaker made headlines in March when he expressed his outrage at being forced to stop filming in a Facebook post.

“Production halted five days before wrap by my pussified producers because an LA day player had the coronavirus,” he wrote. “Myself, I would have shot through hellfire rain to complete the film. I’m old and asthmatic, what better way to die than on the job?”

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Robert De Niro and Oscar Isaac join James Gray’s Armageddon Time

Robert De Niro, Oscar Isaac, and Anne Hathaway have signed on to join Cate Blanchett in James Gray’s drama Armageddon Time. The star-studded cast, which also includes Donald Sutherland, will appear in the filmmaker’s next outing, which he is directing…

Robert De Niro, Oscar Isaac, and Anne Hathaway have signed on to join Cate Blanchett in James Gray’s drama Armageddon Time.

The star-studded cast, which also includes Donald Sutherland, will appear in the filmmaker’s next outing, which he is directing from his own script. Based on his own childhood memories, the coming-of-age story explores friendship and loyalty against the backdrop of an America poised to elect Ronald Reagan as president.

Armageddon Time is very different from Gray’s recent projects, such as Ad Astra and The Lost City of Z, and in an interview with Deadline, he explained this was a deliberate decision.

“Every film you make is different, but I’m trying to do something that is the opposite of the vast, lonely and dark void of the movie I just directed,” Gray said. “I’m anxious to make something that is very much about people, about human emotions and interactions between people, and I want it to be filled with warmth and tenderness. In some sense, yes it’s about my childhood, but an illustration of familial love really on every level.”

He noted the film is influenced by his transition from public school to the private Kew-Forest School, which counts U.S. President Donald Trump as a former student, in the Queens borough of New York in 1980s.

“What happened with me, very simply, I got in big trouble when I was around 11, though the boys are 12 in the movie, and the story is about my movement from the public education that I got into private school and a world of privilege. This film is about what that meant for me and how lucky I was, and how unlucky my friend was and about that break meant for me and what it meant for him,” the director revealed.

Gray hopes to shoot in New York as soon as he can following the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Oscar Isaac to star in Ben Stiller’s thriller London

Oscar Isaac is set to headline Ben Stiller’s upcoming thriller, London.Based on a short story by Norwegian writer Jo Nesbo, editors at Variety have reported that Stiller will produce and direct the project, while Dune screenwriter Eric Roth is penning …

Oscar Isaac is set to headline Ben Stiller’s upcoming thriller, London.

Based on a short story by Norwegian writer Jo Nesbo, editors at Variety have reported that Stiller will produce and direct the project, while Dune screenwriter Eric Roth is penning the script. It is unclear what role Isaac will take on at this stage, though he will also serve as a producer alongside Jason Spire, Nicky Weinstock, and Nesbo, with Niclas Salomonsson to be executive producer.

Bosses at Lionsgate have acquired the rights to London, and in a statement, president Erin Westerman noted that she is excited to see Stiller and Isaac work together for the first time.

“This is an incredible team of filmmaking that has come together for this project. Eric is a master storyteller whose screenplays are canonised in film history; Ben’s work as a filmmaker, including his latest accomplishment, Escape at Dannemora, is astounding; Oscar is a force in all that he does, both behind and in front of the camera,” she commented.

Describing Nesbo’s short story as “evocative and memorable”, Westerman insisted she is confident the duo will create a “compelling story” for audiences.

“As fans, we are thrilled this tour de force of talent came together for such a compelling story, and as a studio, we are honoured they chose Lionsgate,” the executive added.

Isaac is currently in the post-production phases of Dune and Big Gold Brick, and is also filming The Card Counter. Meanwhile, Stiller is gearing up to direct two TV shows – Severance and Super Sad True Love Story. He was most recently seen onscreen in TV series Arrested Development and in 2017 movie Brad’s Status.

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Rebecca Ferguson praises Denis Villeneuve for expanding Dune character’s role

Rebecca Ferguson has praised her Dune director Denis Villeneuve for improving the female characters’ storylines in the sci-fi epic.The Mission: Impossible – Fallout actress plays Lady Jessica, the mother of Timothee Chalamet’s young royal Paul At…

Rebecca Ferguson has praised her Dune director Denis Villeneuve for improving the female characters’ storylines in the sci-fi epic.

The Mission: Impossible – Fallout actress plays Lady Jessica, the mother of Timothee Chalamet’s young royal Paul Atreides and concubine to Oscar Isaac’s Duke Leto, in the Arrival filmmaker’s new two-movie adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel.

Lady Jessica is a member of the Bene Gesserit, a sect of women who can read minds, control people with their voices, and manipulate the balance of power in the universe, and her duty is to deliver a saviour to the universe. In the new film, she is a “warrior priestess”, more fearsome than ever, and accordingly, Ferguson was thrilled with the expansion of her character.

“She’s a mother, she’s a concubine, she’s a soldier,” she told Vanity Fair magazine. “Denis was very respectful of Frank’s work in the book, (but) the quality of the arcs for much of the women have been brought up to a new level. There were some shifts he did, and they are beautifully portrayed now.”

The Blade Runner 2049 director wasn’t satisfied with just improving Lady Jessica’s story and wanted more female characters in the ensemble cast, so he made Dr. Liet-Kynes, a leading ecologist and peacekeeper, a woman and cast British actress Sharon Duncan-Brewster in the role.

“What Denis had stated to me was there was a lack of female characters in his cast, and he had always been very feminist, pro-women, and wanted to write the role for a woman,” said the Rogue One star. “This human being manages to basically keep the peace amongst many people. Women are very good at that, so why can’t Kynes be a woman? Why shouldn’t Kynes be a woman?”

The first half of Dune will be released in cinemas in December.

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Denis Villeneuve names Dune as ‘most difficult’ project to date

Denis Villeneuve has described making Dune as “the most difficult thing I’ve ever done in my life”. The director, who is known for making critically acclaimed movies such as Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, has admitted adapting Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci…

Denis Villeneuve has described making Dune as “the most difficult thing I’ve ever done in my life”.

The director, who is known for making critically acclaimed movies such as Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, has admitted adapting Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi epic novel for its latest big-screen adaptation has been hard work.

“It’s a book that tackles politics, religion, ecology, spirituality – and with a lot of characters,” Villeneuve told Vanity Fair magazine. “I think that’s why it’s so difficult. Honestly, it’s by far the most difficult thing I’ve done in my life.”

Dune is set in a distant future and follows the complex story of royal houses who battle for control of the desert planet Arrakis, the only source of a drug named “the spice”, which can give people superhuman powers and is, therefore, the most valuable commodity in the universe. The scale and breadth of the story has confounded others, but Villeneuve realised early on that he needed to break the sprawling narrative in half.

“I would not agree to make this adaptation of the book with one single movie,” he explained. “The world is too complex. It’s a world that takes its power in details.”

The Sicario filmmaker wrote the screenplay with Eric Roth and Jon Spaihts and shot the film in desert locations in Jordan and the United Arab Emirates with a vast ensemble cast including Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, and Javier Bardem.

And while the book was written 55 years ago, he believes the story of a planet being mined to death is still very relevant today.

“No matter what you believe, Earth is changing, and we will have to adapt,” the 52-year-old stated. “That’s why I think that Dune, this book, was written in the 20th century. It was a distant portrait of the reality of the oil and the capitalism and the exploitation – the overexploitation – of Earth. Today, things are just worse. It’s a coming-of-age story, but also a call for action for the youth.”

The first part of Dune is set to be released on 18 December.

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Timothee Chalamet struggled with scorching temperatures while filming Dune

Timothee Chalamet struggled to shoot the new Dune movie in scorching desert temperatures.The Oscar-nominated actor stars as young royal Paul Atreides in director Denis Villeneuve’s remake of the sci-fi epic, and in an interview with Vanity Fair magazin…

Timothee Chalamet struggled to shoot the new Dune movie in scorching desert temperatures.

The Oscar-nominated actor stars as young royal Paul Atreides in director Denis Villeneuve’s remake of the sci-fi epic, and in an interview with Vanity Fair magazine accompanying new images from the movie, the Call Me by Your Name star revealed the difficulties of filming in the desert.

“I remember going out of my room at 2am, and it being probably 100 degrees,” he recalled. “The shooting temperature was sometimes 120 degrees. They put a cap on it out there, if it gets too hot. I forget what the exact number is, but you can’t keep working.”

Chalamet and his co-star Rebecca Ferguson wore thick, rubbery armoured costumes, called stillsuits, during filming, and this helped them to realistically portray their characters’ frustration and tiredness while in the desert.

“In a really grounded way, it was helpful to be in the stillsuits and to be at that level of exhaustion,” he shared.

The film was shot in remote desert locations in Jordan and on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the 24-year-old found the shoot to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“It was really surreal. There are these Goliath landscapes, which you may imagine existing on planets in our universe, but not on Earth,” Chalamet explained.

The Vanity Fair images also showed his co-stars Oscar Isaac, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem, and Josh Brolin in costume as their characters.

Dune is set in a distant future and follows the complex story of royal houses who battle for control of the desert planet Arrakis, the only source of a drug named “the spice”, which can give people superhuman powers and is therefore the most valuable commodity in the universe.

The latest adaptation of Frank Herbert’s book is being released in two instalments, the first of which is set to hit cinemas on 18 December.

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Paul Schrader blasts producers for shutting down movie due to coronavirus

Paul Schrader has blasted producers for shutting down filming on The Card Counter after an actor was diagnosed with coronavirus.The director, who wrote Martin Scorsese’s films Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, took to Facebook to complain about the situatio…

Paul Schrader has blasted producers for shutting down filming on The Card Counter after an actor was diagnosed with coronavirus.

The director, who wrote Martin Scorsese’s films Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, took to Facebook to complain about the situation, and revealed that production had been stopped five days before it was due to finish “because an LA day player had the coronavirus”.

“Myself, I would have shot through hellfire rain to complete the film. I’m old and asthmatic, what better way to die than on the job?” he wrote in a brief post on the social media site.

And when asked by one follower about the safety of the cast and crew on the set of the film in Biloxi, Mississippi, Schrader simply replied: “It’s a good death.”

The crime drama is being produced by LB Entertainment, in association with HanWay Films, and distributed by Front Row Filmed Entertainment.

In addition to directing, the 73-year-old wrote the script for The Card Counter, which stars Oscar Isaac as a professional gambler called William Tell, who takes a young man, played by Tye Sheridan, under his wing to help him get revenge against a mutual enemy on the casino circuit.

Willem Dafoe and Tiffany Haddish are also starring in the movie, and it’s understood that the actor who tested positive is not one of the main cast members.

Schrader’s film is not the only Hollywood production to be affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. Production on Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley movie was halted after its star Tom Hanks, as well as his wife Rita Wilson, contracted the virus, while filming on Marvel movie, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, was postponed as director Destin Daniel Cretton tested for it, although his results came back negative.

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J.J. Abrams ‘respects’ critics of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

J.J. Abrams “totally gets” why some fans didn’t like Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.The latest movie in the science-fiction franchise, which starred Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac, received a mixed reaction from fans and critics alike fol…

J.J. Abrams “totally gets” why some fans didn’t like Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

The latest movie in the science-fiction franchise, which starred Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac, received a mixed reaction from fans and critics alike following its release in December and is now the lowest-rated film in the nine-episode saga, with 52 per cent on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes.

Addressing the reception to the film in a chat with the Press Association, Abrams, who directed the movie, insisted that he respects all opinions, whether positive or negative.

“(Reaction was) good, bad, some people hated it, some people loved it. It was all over the place. To those who didn’t like it, I totally get it, respect it. To those who loved it, I’m grateful,” he said. “Obviously, a lot of people worked a lot of hours to do something that would make people feel good and that they’d love.”

Abrams added that the feedback does sometimes make him consider if he should have done certain aspects differently.

“Anytime someone doesn’t like it you think, ‘Oh, yeah I could’ve done that better, I should’ve done that,'” the filmmaker admitted. “You try to take it in, but for the most part, I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who worked so hard to do it and for the people who saw it and loved it I’m grateful to them too.”

Elsewhere, Abrams was asked on the red carpet at the Oscar Wilde Awards about what projects he had in the pipeline, but he remained tight-lipped.

“There’s a bunch of stuff we’re working on and some things I’m really excited about but it’s obviously too early to talk about. But there are going to be some fun things coming up I look forward to getting out in the world,” he teased.

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Kyle MacLachlan ‘very excited’ for Dune remake

Kyle MacLachlan is “very excited” to see Denis Villeneuve’s remake of sci-fi classic Dune.The original adaptation of Frank Herbert’s science-fiction novel, directed by David Lynch and released in 1984, is set in a distant future and follows the complex…

Kyle MacLachlan is “very excited” to see Denis Villeneuve’s remake of sci-fi classic Dune.

The original adaptation of Frank Herbert’s science-fiction novel, directed by David Lynch and released in 1984, is set in a distant future and follows the complex story of royal houses who battle for control of the desert planet Arrakis, the only source of a drug named “the spice”, which can give people superhuman powers and is therefore the most valuable commodity in the universe.

The sci-fi epic was a critical and commercial flop, but has since gone on to become a cult classic, and has been remade by Blade Runner 2049 director Villeneuve with a star-studded cast including Timothee Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, Dave Bautista, Josh Brolin, and Zendaya.

Twins Peaks star MacLachlan, who played protagonist Paul Atreides in the original, has told IMDb he’s eagerly looking forward to watching the remake.

“I’m very excited to see it,” he shared, before adding that there was “plenty of room” for Lynch and Villeneuve’s versions to exist alongside each other. “I’m very much looking forward to the vision Denis has. David Lynch, of course, it’s a very specific vision, so this will be something completely different, I’m sure. Why not have both stand on their own merits?”

In the upcoming remake, Chalamet will be playing Atreides, and MacLachlan has no problem with the Oscar-nominated star being cast in his old role.

“Timothee I think will do a fantastic job,” he stated.

When asked in a separate interview with IndieWire if he will have a cameo in the new Dune, MacLachlan ruled out the possibility by replying with a direct “no”.

Dune is expected to be released in cinemas on 18 December.

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