Karyn Kusama to direct new Dracula movie

Karyn Kusama is attached to direct a new Dracula movie. The Jennifer’s Body director is reportedly set to work with producer Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Productions company to develop a new movie featuring Bram Stoker’s classic vampire, who has appea…

Karyn Kusama is attached to direct a new Dracula movie.

The Jennifer’s Body director is reportedly set to work with producer Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Productions company to develop a new movie featuring Bram Stoker’s classic vampire, who has appeared in film more than 200 times.

Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay, who Kusama worked with on Destroyer and The Invitation, are writing the script for the updated version, which will reportedly take place in modern times, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The news comes hot on the heels of Blumhouse’s recent box office hit, The Invisible Man, a modern take on H.G. Wells’s novel, which previously inspired Universal’s classic monster movie.

The Dracula film is not yet set at a studio, but it is highly likely it will end up with Universal since Blumhouse has a first-look deal with the company.

Universal executives have also been trying to revive its classic monster stories from the 1920s and 1950s, which also include Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, and Creature from the Black Lagoon. They were initially hoping to create an interconnected movie universe, but after the failure of 2017’s The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise, they decided to pursue standalone, moderately budgeted films.

As part of this push, they are already working with Aquaman director James Wan on a horror/thriller inspired by their monster legacy, Bridesmaids’ Paul Feig is writing and directing a monster movie titled Dark Army from his own pitch, and Rocketman’s Dexter Fletcher is helming Renfield, a new take on Dracula’s henchman.

Elizabeth Banks is also set to direct and produce Invisible Woman, based on her own original pitch to Universal. The film, which is completely separate from Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man, will also star Banks as the title character.

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Elizabeth Banks to direct and star in Invisible Woman

Elizabeth Banks has signed on to direct and star in Invisible Woman. The actress and moviemaker is following up Charlie’s Angels, her recent directorial effort, by directing, starring and producing Invisible Woman, which is based on her own original p…

Elizabeth Banks has signed on to direct and star in Invisible Woman.

The actress and moviemaker is following up Charlie’s Angels, her recent directorial effort, by directing, starring and producing Invisible Woman, which is based on her own original pitch to executives at Universal Pictures, according to Deadline.

Banks will produce alongside her husband Max Handelman for their Brownstone Productions banner from a script written by The Girl on the Train’s Erin Cressida Wilson. She will also reportedly play the character who turns invisible.

The project is completely different and separate from the upcoming psychological horror The Invisible Man, which stars Elisabeth Moss as a widow of an abusive husband who fears he might still be around. That film, directed by Leigh Whannell, is set for release in February.

Universal was known for its monster movies between the 1920s and 1950s, with films such as Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, and Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Studio executives hoped to reboot these films and create a shared universe similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but they abandoned that idea after 2017’s The Mummy was a box office failure. They subsequently decided to focus on individual, original monster stories that have less connection between films.

As such, Last Christmas’ Paul Feig is writing and directing a monster movie titled Dark Army from his own pitch and Rocketman’s Dexter Fletcher is helming Renfield, a new take on Dracula’s henchman.

Banks made her directorial debut with Pitch Perfect 2 in 2015 and followed it up with the recent Charlie’s Angels, starring Kristen Stewart, Ella Balinska and Naomi Scott. She is also attached to direct TV movie The Greater Good.

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Emilia Clarke annoyed by Last Christmas spoilers

Emilia Clarke was left frustrated when social media users guessed the twist in her new movie Last Christmas months before its release.In the new festive film, the Game of Thrones actress plays Kate, a young woman who finally realises she needs to buck …

Emilia Clarke was left frustrated when social media users guessed the twist in her new movie Last Christmas months before its release.

In the new festive film, the Game of Thrones actress plays Kate, a young woman who finally realises she needs to buck up her ideas and look after herself after meeting a stranger named Tom, played by Henry Golding.

After a trailer for the film was released in August, social media users and journalists came up with theories about a possible twist and some guessed correctly. Accordingly, the movie’s lead actress was not pleased that it was spoiled in advance.

“It’s b**ody annoying. Frustrating… It’s more complicated than people are guessing,” she told IndieWire, adding that Emma Thompson and her husband Greg Wise worked on the script for years to make sure viewers didn’t see the twist coming.

“Emma and Greg wrote this script together, but they sent the script to all of their friends and it was only ready when their friends didn’t see the twist coming and couldn’t guess until it happens, so that’s where it comes from… It’s just frustrating.”

The 33-year-old shared that, given the state of the world, she’s not surprised about people trying to spoil twists to films and petition for the final season of Game of Thrones, which was not well received, to be reshot.

“I’m careful with what the way that I’m wording this, but it’s no surprise, it’s common knowledge that the state of our world at the moment is scared and confused and there’s a lot of stuff going on that’s completely out of our control,” the star stated. “So, when it comes to signing petitions to reshoot the last season of a very popular TV show, or whether it’s spoiling a goddamn Christmas romcom, people are able to do something about that.”

Last Christmas, directed by Paul Feig, is in cinemas now.

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Last Christmas took Emma Thompson eight years to make

Emma Thompson has been working on Last Christmas for eight years.The two-time Oscar winner was first approached to develop the story, based on the 1986 holiday hit George Michael recorded as a member of Wham!, back in 2011, but she initially struggled …

Emma Thompson has been working on Last Christmas for eight years.

The two-time Oscar winner was first approached to develop the story, based on the 1986 holiday hit George Michael recorded as a member of Wham!, back in 2011, but she initially struggled to turn the simple premise into a full feature.

She ended up recruiting her husband, Greg Wise, to help with the task, but it took a few more years before the project was picked up for production.

“We started writing this movie, me and my old man…, eight years ago, just on a walk… and we were talking about the story because it was supposed to be based on Last Christmas (the song)…,” Emma recalled on U.S. morning show Live with Kelly and Ryan.

“But if you think about the lyrics to that song, it’s not a lot of story… and I thought, ‘I don’t know how much interest I’m going to pull out of that.’ So then I had this idea about it, which I mentioned to my old man, and then we built it, but it took so long to get it made, because it always does.”

Emma is saddened the romantic comedy wasn’t completed before the 2016 death of pop icon George, who had given his blessing to the premise, but she’s glad they didn’t rush the film because they would never have landed Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke and Crazy Rich Asians hunk Henry Golding as the leads.

“In the meantime, I met George, and he was the most amazingly wonderful person,” she continued. “Then of course, sadly, in 2016, he died, so we lost him, but we would not have had Emilia, who, as it turns out, can really sing… and is brilliant, and Henry Golding, who we didn’t know could ice skate – he’s a great ice skater! We needed all of those things (for the movie).”

Emma also stars in Last Christmas, which is directed by Paul Feig.

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Emma Thompson wrote Last Christmas screenplay with George Michael’s blessing

Emma Thompson penned the Last Christmas screenplay after receiving George Michael’s blessing.The actress, who has a supporting role in Paul Feig’s upcoming romantic comedy, was tasked with developing a story based on the 1986 holiday hit George recorde…

Emma Thompson penned the Last Christmas screenplay after receiving George Michael’s blessing.

The actress, who has a supporting role in Paul Feig’s upcoming romantic comedy, was tasked with developing a story based on the 1986 holiday hit George recorded when he was a member of pop duo Wham!

However, she revealed during an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon that she was originally reluctant to take on the project as Last Christmas wasn’t her favourite festive song, but later began writing the story with her husband Greg Wise, and eventually sent it to George to get his approval.

“He was just the loveliest guy you could imagine,” Emma told host Jimmy Fallon. “(He loved) all of these themes in the movie, he was passionate about homelessness, and he had this great social conscience.”

Sadly, George passed away at the age of 53 on Christmas Day in 2016.

“I got really enthused and we started to write, and then of course he had that tragic early death…” the two-time Oscar winner explained. “So we lost him and I miss him so much.

“I wish he was here because I know he’d love it, because the film’s like being hugged, and all of his music – we’ve got 15 of his songs, including a new one at the end – is so cool. Heal the Pain, which is my favourite of his songs, it’s like it was written for the movie.”

Last Christmas, which stars Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding, will hit cinemas on 15 November.

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Paul Feig to write and direct monster movie Dark Army

Paul Feig is to write and direct a new monster movie for Universal.The Bridesmaids director is stepping away from his comedy roots to create Dark Army, a monster movie which is based on his own original idea and will reportedly feature original charact…

Paul Feig is to write and direct a new monster movie for Universal.

The Bridesmaids director is stepping away from his comedy roots to create Dark Army, a monster movie which is based on his own original idea and will reportedly feature original characters as well as ones from Universal Classic Monsters library, according to editors at Deadline. The plot is currently unknown, as well as its connection to other monster films.

Universal was known for its monster movies between the 1920s and 1950s, with films such as Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, and Creature from the Black Lagoon. Studio executives hoped to reboot these films and create a shared universe similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but they abandoned that idea after 2017’s The Mummy was a box office failure. They subsequently decided to focus on individual monster stories that have less connection between films.

“Instead of prescribing a mandated updating of these monster stories and making them all part of a larger scheme, the studio loosened these restrictions and open-sourced to filmmakers who were inspired to create their own unique stories,” a representative for Universal said to Variety.

Feig will also produce Dark Army under his Universal-based Feigco Productions banner alongside Laura Fischer.

He joins Saw and Insidious creator Leigh Whannell, who is currently directing a remake of The Invisible Man for Blumhouse Productions. The film, which stars Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Elisabeth Moss, is set to hit cinemas in February.

Feig, who has directed the likes of Spy, The Heat and the Ghostbusters reboot, is gearing up to release his next movie Last Christmas later this year. The romantic comedy features the songs of George Michael and Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding in the lead roles.

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Fans share excitement over first Last Christmas trailer

Film fans have taken to social media to share their excitement over the first official trailer for Last Christmas. Directed by Paul Feig from a script co-written by Bryony Kimmings and Emma Thompson, the upcoming romantic comedy is loosely inspire…

Film fans have taken to social media to share their excitement over the first official trailer for Last Christmas. 

Directed by Paul Feig from a script co-written by Bryony Kimmings and Emma Thompson, the upcoming romantic comedy is loosely inspired by the music of George Michael, especially his 1984 Wham! hit Last Christmas, and stars Emilia Clarke as Kate and Henry Golding in the role of Tom.  

Producers at Universal Pictures posted the three-minute trailer for Last Christmas online on Tuesday, with the YouTube clip already racking up more than 100,000 views and garnering a largely positive reaction on social media.  

“The Last Christmas movie is a big chunk of fan service ALL FOR ME. It combines all of my favourite things, Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Christmas and GEORGE MICHAEL. It’s just perfect. I’m so excited although I feel like it’ll break my heart,” one user wrote on Twitter, while another commented, “Last Christmas is about to become a classic holiday movie. I’m already excited to watch this every year.” 

And a third added: “I love everything about this already. George Michael’s tunes, Emilia Clark (sic), Henry Golding, the cheesy Christmas romance of it all. Just take my money now, please and thank you!”  

However, one fan was pleased to see that the narrative of the film was different from what they had anticipated.  

“I was worried for a second there that this would be a movie where she’s the only person who remembers George Michael,” they wrote, poking fun at Danny Boyle’s The Beatles-inspired movie Yesterday.

Last Christmas, also starring Thompson and Michelle Yeoh, is set to hit cinemas in November. It will also premiere previously unreleased material by Grammy Award-winning artist Michael, who died at the age of 53 on Christmas Day in 2016.  

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Last Christmas film to close with new George Michael track

An unreleased six-minute song will feature in the closing scene of the upcoming film Last Christmas. George Michael was involved in the early stages of production before his death on Christmas Day 2016, and the romantic comedy’s director, Paul Feig, h…

An unreleased six-minute song will feature in the closing scene of the upcoming film Last Christmas.

George Michael was involved in the early stages of production before his death on Christmas Day 2016, and the romantic comedy’s director, Paul Feig, has revealed a track from an unreleased final album will play as the credits roll.

“One of our tracks is one of those songs, and it’s just an absolutely amazing song that I’m so excited the world is going to get to hear now,” he told BBC News.

Going into more detail about what fans can expect he adds: “It’s a very celebratory song, I would dare say. And we were able to play the entire song, which is almost six minutes long, in the film.

“Because when you get a song that has never been heard, you don’t want to just use, like, 15 seconds of it. The song starts at the end of the film, and then goes into the credits.”

The movie stars Emilia Clarke as a young aspiring singer who falls for a kindly charity volunteer, played by Crazy Rich Asians star Henry Golding. It will also feature Emma Thompson and Michelle Yeoh.

Explaining how the Wham! singer’s songs influenced the film, Paul clarified: “It’s not a musical, but George’s music affects the story. There are a couple of sections where the actors are actually interacting with the music and other sections where George’s music is driving, or underscoring the story. So it’s a nice mix of being neither a jukebox movie nor straight up musical.”

The first trailer for Last Christmas, which will debut in cinemas in November, was released on Wednesday. Last year, Sony Music chiefs confirmed that producers are completing a posthumous dance album George was working on before he died aged 53.

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Paul Feig: ‘Last Christmas is my love letter to London’

Paul Feig’s upcoming romantic comedy Last Christmas is his “love letter” to London.The movie, starring Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding and co-written by Oscar winner Emma Thompson, is inspired by Wham!’s festive hit of the same name. Feig put himself…

Paul Feig’s upcoming romantic comedy Last Christmas is his “love letter” to London.

The movie, starring Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding and co-written by Oscar winner Emma Thompson, is inspired by Wham!’s festive hit of the same name.

Feig put himself under pressure to shoot the film in London at Christmas, and packed the movie with some of the city’s famous sights in just three weeks.

“I was hell-bent on (shooting) in London before Christmas so we could use all the lights and the decorations that were naturally here,” the 56-year-old told Entertainment Weekly. “I finally get to make the love letter to London I’ve always wanted to make.”

The cast also spent a week shooting in Covent Garden, which is the location of fictional Christmas shop Yuletide Wonderful, where Clarke’s character Kate works.

“It’s an over-the-top place with more Christmas than you would ever see in one building, but it’s absolutely lovely and classy,” he explained. “But it’s overload, especially if you’re like Emilia’s character in the movie and not entirely in the Christmas spirit.”

Love Actually actress Thompson began writing the romantic comedy with playwright Bryony Kimmings several years ago, when Wham! frontman George Michael was still alive.

Feig revealed that the movie had the music icon’s blessing, and even features new music from the late singer, who died on Christmas Day in 2016.

“The great sadness is that he’s not here to be a part of this,” he said. “But he knew it was going to happen, and that gives me such joy. We feel like he’s here with us.”

Last Christmas is released on 8 November.

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Late Night director Nisha Ganatra wants to be ‘female Paul Feig’

Late Night director Nisha Ganatra wants to be the female version of filmmaker Paul Feig.The new comedy-drama follows late-night talk show host Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson) as she is forced to team up with one of her new writers, Molly Patel (Mindy…

Late Night director Nisha Ganatra wants to be the female version of filmmaker Paul Feig.

The new comedy-drama follows late-night talk show host Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson) as she is forced to team up with one of her new writers, Molly Patel (Mindy Kaling), in an attempt to save the long-running programme.

Late Night was originally set to be helmed by Bridesmaids director Paul Feig, but he had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts, with Ganatra more than happy to follow in the footsteps of one of her Hollywood inspirations.

“I love Paul Feig’s movies, and I’ve always wanted to be the female Paul Feig,” she said in an interview for Collider.com. “When I was reading the script, I was like, ‘Oh, my God, this is my story!’ When do you ever get to read something that you didn’t write, that is so close to your experience and to your story?”

In addition to starring in the feature, Kaling also wrote the screenplay. Accordingly, Ganatra was thrilled to be working alongside someone who had similar experiences.

“I think the two of us realised that we were in a unique position, where the two Indian-American women working in comedy could collaborate together. It’s sadly radical, but the cool thing about it was that I didn’t have to explain anything to her, and she didn’t have to explain anything to me,” the 44-year-old stated.

Elsewhere in the chat, Ganatra praised Thompson’s “collaborative spirit” and deemed it a dream come true to work with the Oscar-winning actress. But she also divulged that a few funny moments in the film were edited out, and she wishes fans could see the deleted scenes.

“I’m bummed that I had to take out all of the very funny jokes that didn’t make it in,” she smiled. “And there were so many improvs from Emma and Mindy, and so many from the cast, that we couldn’t include all of them. I wish there were DVDs, so that we could do DVD extras again.”

Late Night, also featuring Hugh Dancy and John Lithgow, is now showing in cinemas.

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