Elton John: ‘Taron Egerton deserves an Oscar for Rocketman’

Elton John has called on Academy Awards voters to give the Best Actor prize to Taron Egerton for his performance in Rocketman.Taron has earned critical acclaim for his role as the music icon in the biopic and was a surprise winner in the Best Actor in …

Elton John has called on Academy Awards voters to give the Best Actor prize to Taron Egerton for his performance in Rocketman.

Taron has earned critical acclaim for his role as the music icon in the biopic and was a surprise winner in the Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical category at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast, Elton expressed his hope that members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will reward him with an Oscar.

“Taron – I mean, when I was looking at him, I was thinking, ‘That’s me! That’s me!'” he said. “I just think it’s phenomenal, and I really think he deserves the Oscar above anyone I’ve seen this year.”

The Welsh actor performed all of the Your Song star’s hits in the film, which gave a candid depiction of Elton’s career and his battles with alcohol and drug abuse.

Expressing his pride that the movie was a huge box office success, earning almost $200 million (£152 million) worldwide, the 72-year-old gushed: “I wanted to show the whole journey and the perils of it and the redemption.

“And, (impressively) for an R-rated film, it did $100 million (£76 million) in America. I actually can honestly say I wouldn’t change a thing about it.”

Meanwhile, Taron’s vocal coach Michael Dore said he was “really proud” of the “down to earth” star’s success.

“He’s a good guy, a very sweet guy… so amazing in the film,” he told the BBC.

The nominees for the 2020 Academy Awards will be announced on 13 January.

© Cover Media

Anna Paquin ‘incredibly happy’ with seven-word role in The Irishman

Anna Paquin has shut down “endearing” criticism over her seven-word role in The Irishman, insisting she is “incredibly happy” with how the movie turned out.The Oscar winner plays Robert De Niro’s adult daughter Peggy in Martin Scorsese’s Netflix mob dr…

Anna Paquin has shut down “endearing” criticism over her seven-word role in The Irishman, insisting she is “incredibly happy” with how the movie turned out.

The Oscar winner plays Robert De Niro’s adult daughter Peggy in Martin Scorsese’s Netflix mob drama, which attracted criticism from furious fans online over her limited use in the flick.

“I had more lines in the Nativity play I was in when I was seven than Anna Paquin has in The Irishman,” wrote one disgruntled viewer, while another joked, “Teacher says every time Anna Paquin talks in The Irishman, Cats gets a good review.”

However, speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, the True Blood actress dismissed the backlash, explaining: “It’s very endearing when people think they are fighting a fight on your behalf, but not really necessary. I’m incredibly happy.

“I have such a tiny little role in the film, and I was so excited to get to be a part of it in the first place, and all of this (awards recognition) is just the icing on the cake.”

The 37-year-old went on to admit that, even though she knew the role was small, she had no doubts about signing up for the project.

“I just can’t picture any actor on the planet going, ‘Yeah, I don’t want to work with Martin Scorsese and every single living legend in our field’, ” Paquin quipped.

De Niro previously insisted that he thought his co-star’s portrayal of Peggy was perfect for the film.

“She was very powerful and that’s what it was,” he told USA Today. “Maybe in other scenes, there could’ve been some interaction between Frank and her possibly, but that’s how it was done. She’s terrific and it resonates.”

© Cover Media

Todd Phillips: ‘I understand Martin Scorsese’s comic book movie criticism’

Todd Phillips understands Martin Scorsese’s disparaging comments about comic book blockbusters.Last month, The Irishman director was criticised for describing Marvel and DC Comics’ big-screen superhero movies as “not cinema” and likening them to theme …

Todd Phillips understands Martin Scorsese’s disparaging comments about comic book blockbusters.

Last month, The Irishman director was criticised for describing Marvel and DC Comics’ big-screen superhero movies as “not cinema” and likening them to theme parks.

Marvel stars such as Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, and Karen Gillan defended the genre in light of the Oscar-winning filmmaker’s comments, but Joker director Phillips has now said that he believes Scorsese was making a fair point.

“Marty got a lot of heat for that (what he said), but I understand it fully. We were struggling to get Joker made, which sounds funny because it exists in the superhero world, but it’s really not one of those movies,” he commented during The Hollywood Reporter’s roundtable chat with Scorsese, Greta Gerwig, Noah Baumbach, Fernando Meirelles, and Lulu Wang.

“We spent a year at Warner Bros., and I saw emails back and forth, literally, where they said, ‘Does he realise we sell Joker pyjamas at Target?’ I go, ‘Didn’t movies come first and pyjamas come second? Are the pyjamas dictating the movies?’

“Theme park rides. Pyjamas. Slurpee cups. Whatever it is that you are selling off the back of movies, you can’t make your decisions based on that.”

Elsewhere in the discussion, the Taxi Driver filmmaker insisted he had no problem with the movies and was simply comparing them to the scale of a theme park.

“People go to the movie. Enjoy it. That sort of thing. It’s not bad,” Scorsese stated. “We used to love to go to amusement parks. But now in an amusement park, you have the film.”

© Cover Media

Cats receives scathing reviews

Tom Hooper’s film adaptation of Cats has received overwhelmingly negative reviews from critics.The movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage musical was subject to ridicule when the trailer first dropped in July, with social media users poking fu…

Tom Hooper’s film adaptation of Cats has received overwhelmingly negative reviews from critics.

The movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage musical was subject to ridicule when the trailer first dropped in July, with social media users poking fun at the digital fur technology used to make the actors – including Idris Elba, Jason Derulo, Judi Dench, and Taylor Swift – look more like felines.

Despite Hooper making changes to the film based on the feedback, he didn’t do enough to win over critics, according to reviews published on Thursday morning.

“Nine may not be enough lives for some of the stars to live down their involvement in this poorly conceived and executed adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical,” read Peter Debruge’s review in Variety. “This uneven eyesore turns out to be every bit the Jellicle catastrophe the haters anticipated, a half-digested hairball of a movie in which Hooper spends too much energy worrying about whether the technology is ready to accommodate his vision and not enough focusing on what millions love about the musical in the first place.”

The Hollywood Reporter’s David Rooney called the actors’ appearance “off-putting”, criticised the film’s “aesthetic ugliness”, and said Jennifer Hudson “massacred” her character Grizabella’s key song, Memory.

Tim Robey from Britain’s Daily Telegraph gave it zero stars and described it as “an all-time disaster – a rare and star-spangled calamity which will leave jaws littered across floors and agents unemployed,” adding, “With its nightmare production design and nauseating lurches in scale and perspective, it might be the ugliest big-screen musical sequence ever mounted.”

Peter Bradshaw from Britain’s The Guardian gave it one star and called it “a purr-fectly dreadful hairball of woe” and Johnny Oleksinski at the New York Post wrote that Hooper had “completely abandoned the fundamentals of what made Cats a terrific show: sublime music, captivating dance and an intoxicating atmosphere.”

Cats opens in cinemas on Friday.

© Cover Media

Versace sues Fashion Nova for copying Jennifer Lopez’s iconic green dress

Versace is suing online retailer Fashion Nova for allegedly infringing its copyright by creating a replica of its iconic tropical green gown made famous by Jennifer Lopez.The Italian fashion house has filed the copyright and trademark infringement laws…

Versace is suing online retailer Fashion Nova for allegedly infringing its copyright by creating a replica of its iconic tropical green gown made famous by Jennifer Lopez.

The Italian fashion house has filed the copyright and trademark infringement lawsuit against officials of the fast fashion retailer for their recreation of their acclaimed Jungle Pattern dress as well as its black and gold Barocco print and Pop Hearts evening gown.

Lopez famously wore the green jungle print gown to the 2000 Grammys, with the plunging floor-length dress leading to the launch of Google Images. The 50-year-old rocked a redesign of the iconic dress on the runway in September, closing out Versace’s Spring/Summer 2020 show in Milan.

“Fashion Nova’s Infringing Apparel is plainly a deliberate effort to exploit the popularity and renown of Versace’s signature designs, and to trade on Versace’s valuable goodwill and business reputation… Versace seeks to bring an end to Fashion Nova’s latest brazen attempt at copying the work of yet another famous and world-renowned designer,” the court documents filed by Versace stated, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“Fashion Nova’s ability to churn out new clothing so quickly is due in large part to its willingness to copy the copyrighted designs, trademarks and trade dress elements of well-known designers such as Versace, and trade on their creative efforts in order to bolster Fashion Nova’s bottom line.”

Lawyers for the Italian fashion house claim they warned executives at the e-commerce site about legal action in July, September, October and November.

Versace is seeking a trial by jury, as well as an injunction, recall and payment including “all profits realized by its wrongful acts.”

The West Palms Tropical Maxi Dress is being sold by Fashion Nova for $49.99 (£38.89).

A representative for the brand has yet to comment.

© Cover Media

Charlize Theron was once criticised over gaining weight for film role

Charlize Theron was criticised by a movie financier after she gained weight to play serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster.The 44-year-old underwent a dramatic physical transformation for the 2003 drama, and in a new interview, she revealed that she w…

Charlize Theron was criticised by a movie financier after she gained weight to play serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster.

The 44-year-old underwent a dramatic physical transformation for the 2003 drama, and in a new interview, she revealed that she was sent into a panic when she got a phone call at 3am from a disgruntled financier.

“As soon as I started gaining weight, I had one of the financiers call me up. Actually, his wife saw me, and she was like, ‘Did you see Charlize? Have you seen what she looks like?’ And I got that call, like, ‘What’s going on with that?'” she told The Hollywood Reporter during a producers roundtable discussion.

“He was like, ‘What are you doing? You never smiled. You look so angry, you look horrible,'” Charlize, who also served as producer on the film, recalled. “So, you panic a little bit because you are putting yourself out there, and you are taking a risk, and when you do that, you are not a hundred per cent sure. You are taking a chance.”

The actress also opened up about the fights she and director Patty Jenkins had with the financiers, who thought they were “basically paying for a hot lesbian movie with me and Christina Ricci”.

“And initially when we went in to get our financing, it became very clear to me that there was this need for me to step in. And knowing what Patty wanted to do with it, I knew that we were going to come up against things. There were a lot of fights,” she explained.

Despite the criticism, Charlize scooped a haul of honours her role as serial killer Aileen, including a Golden Globe, Independent Spirit Award, a Critics’ Choice Award, and an Academy Award.

© Cover Media

Todd Phillips shoots down Joker sequel rumours

Todd Phillips has dismissed rumours that he’s working on a Joker sequel.On Wednesday, it was reported that the filmmaker had sat down for talks with Warner Bros. boss Toby Emmerich and explored the idea of a follow-up to his bleak comic book drama, whi…

Todd Phillips has dismissed rumours that he’s working on a Joker sequel.

On Wednesday, it was reported that the filmmaker had sat down for talks with Warner Bros. boss Toby Emmerich and explored the idea of a follow-up to his bleak comic book drama, which starred Joaquin Phoenix as failed comedian-turned-criminal mastermind Arthur Fleck.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, not only was Phillips doing a follow-up to Joker, but had also pitched to create more gritty origin stories for other DC characters.

However, the 48-year-old director has now shot down the reports, insisting that the discussions he’s had haven’t amounted to anything concrete.

“Here’s the real truth about a sequel. While Joaquin and I have talked about it, and while touring the world with Warner Bros. executives – going to Toronto, and Venice, and other places – of course, we’re sitting at dinner and they’re saying, ‘So, have you thought about…?'” he told IndieWire. “But, talking about contracts, there’s not a contract for us to even write a sequel, we’ve never approached Joaquin to be in a sequel. Will that happen? Again, I just think the article was anticipatory at best.”

He also dismissed the rumours that he had approached Emmerich and demanded he explore the back stories of more superheroes and villains in the DC universe, confessing that idea had been “shot down” before Joker was greenlit.

“I’ve been at Warners for 15, 16 years. We have two things in development at all times, not 40 things like some people. I’m not the kind of guy who goes marching in saying I want these 40 titles. I just don’t have the energy,” he shared.

© Cover Media

Director Todd Phillips exploring Joker sequel – report

Director Todd Phillips is reportedly exploring the idea of creating a sequel to Joker.The comic book drama, which follows the bleak origin story of DC’s iconic criminal mastermind, has been a huge success for Warner Bros., and the movie recently became…

Director Todd Phillips is reportedly exploring the idea of creating a sequel to Joker.

The comic book drama, which follows the bleak origin story of DC’s iconic criminal mastermind, has been a huge success for Warner Bros., and the movie recently became the first R-rated movie to pass the $1 billion (£773 million) mark at the worldwide box office.

The filmmaker originally insisted that the movie would be a one-off, but with Joaquin Phoenix’s performance as failed comedian Arthur Fleck generating Oscar buzz, studio boss Toby Emmerich is keen to explore possible ideas for a sequel with Phillips and co-writer Scott Silver, according to editors at Variety.

Sources told the outlet that talks are “very preliminary, no deal is in place, no storyline has been decided upon, and no script is currently being written”, and the 48-year-old director is allegedly adamant that any follow-up sticks to the bleak and offbeat style of the original.

Editors at The Hollywood Reporter report that the filmmaker asked for the rights to develop more gritty films that focused on the backstories of superheroes and villains.

However, an insider at Warner Bros. shot down rumours that Phillips would be creating any more origin stories for other DC characters, and told Variety that any sequel to Joker would “take years” to get off the ground.

In the movie, Phillips teased the possibility that the Joker and Bruce Wayne are related, but he insisted that he wouldn’t be involving the Caped Crusader.

© Cover Media

Nicolas Cage poised to star as himself in new movie

Nicolas Cage is preparing to poke fun at his career by starring as a version of himself in a new film.The Ghost Rider actor is in talks for The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, in which his debt-ridden character is desperate to land a part in Quent…

Nicolas Cage is preparing to poke fun at his career by starring as a version of himself in a new film.

The Ghost Rider actor is in talks for The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, in which his debt-ridden character is desperate to land a part in Quentin Tarantino’s next movie, but finds himself taking on a vastly different role as a real-life informant for the C.I.A. after befriending a Mexican billionaire who is believed to be a drug cartel kingpin.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the project, to be directed by co-writer Tom Gormican, also features the character of Cage talking to an egotistical 1990s version of himself, who constantly ridicules him for being a washed-up leading man taking on low-budget flop after low-budget flop.

Sources reveal Cage was sent a copy of the script by Gormican himself, who included an accompanying letter explaining the film was created as a love letter of sorts to the 55-year-old and not meant to make fun of him.

The star appears to have been won over by the personal plea to have him consider the movie, which has been optioned by Lionsgate studio officials after a fierce bidding war.

If Cage does sign on, he will also serve as a co-producer via his Saturn Films firm.

Aside from a few voice roles in box office hits like The Croods and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Cage hasn’t starred in a big studio blockbuster since Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance in 2011, when he reprised his role as the titular Marvel Comics demon superhero.

© Cover Media

Gal Gadot and Ben Affleck call for release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League cut

Justice League stars Gal Gadot and Ben Affleck have called for Warner Bros. chiefs to release Zack Snyder’s cut of the film.The filmmaker was in charge of the DC Extended Universe, but was forced to pull out of directing Justice League midway through p…

Justice League stars Gal Gadot and Ben Affleck have called for Warner Bros. chiefs to release Zack Snyder’s cut of the film.

The filmmaker was in charge of the DC Extended Universe, but was forced to pull out of directing Justice League midway through production to deal with a family tragedy, leaving Avengers director Joss Whedon to complete the movie, which was panned by critics upon its 2017 release.

A version that stays true to Snyder’s vision still exists, and now several of its stars are calling on studio bosses to make it available to fans.

Both Gadot, who played Amazonian hero Wonder Woman, and Affleck, who portrayed Batman, tweeted the hashtag, “#ReleaseTheSnyderCut,” with Snyder also backing its release.

“This ancient Amazonian can’t be wrong. #releasethesnydercut,” he wrote after quoting Gadot’s post.

Ray Fisher, who played Justice League member Cyborg, also backed the release of the cut, posting a photo of himself in an American football uniform – a scene that did not appear in the original cinematic release.

Aquaman star Jason Momoa claims to have seen Snyder’s version of the movie, telling MTV News earlier this month: “I have seen it. I have seen the Snyder Cut, so… think the public needs to see it.

“I’m obviously indebted to Warner and DC, and I don’t know how they feel about it. As a fan, I’m very, very happy that I got to see it.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. executives have no immediate plans to release Snyder’s cut of Justice League, but other reports have claimed it could debut on WarnerMedia’s planned HBO Max streaming service.

The original Justice League was eviscerated by critics and disappointed at the box office, earning $657 million (£508 million) worldwide against a mammoth $300 million (£232 million) production budget.

© Cover Media