Guillermo del Toro faces many challenges filming Nightmare Alley amid global pandemic

Guillermo del Toro has opened up about the unique challenges facing him as he prepares to resume production on his upcoming horror movie Nightmare Alley.The Oscar-winning director is currently trying to create a safe environment amid the global pandemi…

Guillermo del Toro has opened up about the unique challenges facing him as he prepares to resume production on his upcoming horror movie Nightmare Alley.

The Oscar-winning director is currently trying to create a safe environment amid the global pandemic to accommodate his stars, including Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, and Toni Collette, so he can resume production on the highly-anticipated project.

During a live panel at the Comic-Con@Home event, Guillermo explained how difficult it has been to reschedule his cast, with them having other filming commitments.

“The blessing of having this cast is amazing, but the difficulties of rescheduling with all this are enormous,” he shared. “Because everybody is on the mend, everybody is going everywhere. You have to work around everybody’s schedule.”

He went on to compare the shoot to a hospital operating theatre and revealed he has had to completely transform how he approaches movie-making as he prepares to shoot the carnival-set horror flick.

“You have to be sterile, you have to have everybody in conditions that are almost clinical, but you have to reenact the carnival with the extras and everything. The way you approach it is different,” Guillermo stated, noting that he’s now unable to hire extras by the day in order to avoid a possible Covid-19 outbreak on the set.

“You want them exclusively because you don’t want them to go from your set to a comedy in space, and then they come back and they didn’t quarantine. So you’re basically buying them for a period and saying, ‘You’re going to be monogamous with our movie. You’re not going to go on shoot three and come back on Wednesday,'” he said. “There’s dozens and dozens of pages of caution that we had to really consider. I’ll tell you on the other end.”

© Cover Media

Rian Johnson confirms plans for Knives Out sequel

Rian Johnson is planning to film a sequel to his hit murder mystery movie Knives Out in 2020.The comic thriller, which stars an ensemble cast including Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Toni Collette, grossed nearly $250 million (£190 m…

Rian Johnson is planning to film a sequel to his hit murder mystery movie Knives Out in 2020.

The comic thriller, which stars an ensemble cast including Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Toni Collette, grossed nearly $250 million (£190 million) worldwide on a $40 million (£30.4 million) budget when it was released in November.

And according to editors at The Hollywood Reporter, Johnson revealed plans for a quick follow-up at a pre-Golden Globes party on the weekend, claiming he already has a script in development.

Johnson’s producing partner Ram Bergman also shared that Craig was eager to reprise the central role of private detective Benoit Blanc in the sequel.

“Daniel had so much fun doing it, and he wants to do more,” Bergman said.

The Looper filmmaker previously revealed that he enjoyed working with the 007 actor so much, he’d love him to return to the role.

“He was very excited to do it,” Johnson told Variety. “I never write with any actors in mind. You just get your heart broken. I just wrote the character very straight. I gave him a Southern (U.S.) accent to make him a fish out of water. Daniel was top of my list, but I didn’t think he was available.”

Craig is set to wrap up his stint portraying James Bond in No Time to Die, his fifth outing as the spy. The film, which also features his Knives Out co-star Ana de Armas, debuts in April.

© Cover Media

Willem Dafoe signs up for Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley

Willem Dafoe has joined the likes of Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett in Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley.The upcoming project, the second movie adaptation of William Lindsay Gresham’s 1946 novel of the same name, is set in a world of carnival hus…

Willem Dafoe has joined the likes of Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett in Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley.

The upcoming project, the second movie adaptation of William Lindsay Gresham’s 1946 novel of the same name, is set in a world of carnival hustlers, and tells the story of a con man named Stanton ‘Stan’ Carlisle, portrayed by Cooper, who teams up with psychologist Lilith, to be played by Blanchett, to swindle the rich before she turns the tables on him.

The Oscar nominee has been cast as Clem Hoately, a head barker at a travelling carnival who gives Carlisle a job, according to Variety.

He joins a cast which also includes Toni Collette, who will portray a mentalist named Zeena who mentors Carlisle, and Rooney Mara, who will be playing Carlisle’s love interest, Molly.

Richard Jenkins and Michael Shannon, who previously starred in del Toro’s previous film, the Oscar-winning The Shape of Water, are also reportedly circling the project, while his Hellboy collaborator Ron Perlman is rumoured to have a role.

Del Toro will direct the film for Fox Searchlight from a script he co-wrote with Kim Morgan, with production set to begin at the start of 2020. Nightmare Alley was previously brought to the screen in 1947, with Tyrone Power taking on the role of Carlisle.

Dafoe is enjoying an impressive run of projects of late. He has been receiving critical praise for his performance alongside Robert Pattinson in David Eggers’s The Lighthouse and will soon be seen in Edward Norton’s directorial effort, Motherless Brooklyn, as well as political thriller The Last Thing He Wanted.

© Cover Media

Chris Evans: ‘Knives Out felt right from the beginning’

Chris Evans knew Knives Out was going to be a special movie from the moment the cast and crew got together.The Captain America actor stars alongside Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, and Toni Collette, among others, …

Chris Evans knew Knives Out was going to be a special movie from the moment the cast and crew got together.

The Captain America actor stars alongside Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, and Toni Collette, among others, in Rian Johnson’s Agatha Christie-inspired murder mystery, which earned rave reviews when it debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month.

In an interview with Deadline, Evans shared that he knew he had signed up to a winning project when he first met the rest of the ensemble cast.

“Film is really a collaboration of a lot of really creative people. You’re all trying to make the same dish, and you don’t always have the right ingredients, and it doesn’t always taste good. This movie, it just felt right from the jump, from the second we all got together,” he explained. Collette added that she knew it was special as soon as she read the plot twists in Johnson’s script.

“It was all in the writing,” the Hereditary star gushed. “In reading it, it just kept opening up and changing, and it was so swift, and so smooth, and so surprising. It’s all in the script.”

In Johnson’s modern take on the classic whodunnit, Plummer plays crime novelist Harlan Thrombey, who is murdered on during his 85th birthday party and everyone in the family becomes a suspect in the eyes of Craig’s Detective Benoit Blanc, who is called to investigate the case.

And The Star Wars: The Last Jedi director shared that he was inspired by the way Christie’s plot twists seemed so effortless.

“The best authors, like Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers and the people that did it really well, make the plotting look kind of effortless,” Johnson noted. “And that’s kind of the tricky thing, especially when you have folks like this in front of the camera – to make all the machinations of the plot seem like they’re well-oiled and moving smoothly, so you’re really drawn through the characters.”

Knives Out is set to hit cinemas in November after a film festival run.

© Cover Media

Ethan Hawke and Toni Collette win big at Gotham Awards

Ethan Hawke and Toni Collette won the top acting prizes at the 2018 Gotham Awards on Monday night (27Nov18). The Before Sunset actor beat the likes of Adam Driver, Ben Foster, Richard E. Grant and Lakeith Stanfield to take home the Best Actor prize fo…

Ethan Hawke and Toni Collette won the top acting prizes at the 2018 Gotham Awards on Monday night (27Nov18).

The Before Sunset actor beat the likes of Adam Driver, Ben Foster, Richard E. Grant and Lakeith Stanfield to take home the Best Actor prize for his role as a troubled priest in First Reformed, which also won Best Screenplay for director Paul Schrader.

In his acceptance speech, Hawke made a political statement, telling the audience at New York’s Cipriani Wall Street, “We are living in a time when there’s a void of political and spiritual leadership. In that kind of time period, a heavy burden falls upon the arts. … We must not give in to tribal thinking, we are the great generators of empathy and compassion.”

Collette was a surprise Best Actress winner, beating the likes of Kathryn Hahn, Regina Hall, Michelle Pfeiffer and major Oscar contender Glenn Close to secure the prize for her role in indie horror Hereditary.

The only other project to win multiple accolades was Eighth Grade, as Bo Burnham took home the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award and newcomer Elsie Fisher was given the Breakthrough Actor award.

The Best Feature category went to The Rider, while the Audience Award was bestowed upon Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, a documentary about beloved children’s TV host Fred Rogers. Hale County This Morning, This Evening was named Best Documentary and TV shows Killing Eve and 195 Lewis won the Breakthrough Series prizes.

The cast of The Favourite, which includes Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone and Olivia Colman, received the previously announced Special Jury Award For Ensemble Performance.

Weisz was also honoured with a career tribute alongside Willem Dafoe and director Paul Greengrass.

According to Deadline, Dafoe got choked up when he paid tribute to Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci, who had passed away earlier that day.

“I knew him a little bit. He was not only influential for other filmmakers but he was very generous to other filmmakers. It’s important to remember when people pass,” he said.

The list of winners is as follows:

Best Feature: The Rider

Audience Award: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Best Actor: Ethan Hawke, First Reformed

Best Actress: Toni Collette, Hereditary

Breakthrough Actor: Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade

Special Jury Award For Ensemble Performance – The cast of The Favourite

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award: Bo Burnham, Eighth Grade

Best Screenplay: Paul Schrader, First Reformed

Best Documentary: Hale County This Morning, This Evening

Breakthrough Series – Long Form: Killing Eve

Breakthrough Series – Short Form: 195 Lewis

© Cover Media

Toni Collette hates scary movies

Toni Collette’s new film Hereditary might be a horror, but the Australian actress is not a fan of the scary genre.In Hereditary, Toni plays Annie, a mother dealing with supernatural goings-on in the wake of her own mum’s death.Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff…

Toni Collette’s new film Hereditary might be a horror, but the Australian actress is not a fan of the scary genre.

In Hereditary, Toni plays Annie, a mother dealing with supernatural goings-on in the wake of her own mum’s death.

Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff and newcomer Milly Shapiro co-star as her family, who all encounter various gruesome scenarios, with Toni admitting in an interview with British newspaper Metro that given a choice, she wouldn’t watch a horror movie.

“It’s not something I really seek out,” she confessed. “I don’t like watching them! My mind is already too fertile! I just don’t need those images. I have enough worries in life. If I’m trying to get to sleep at night, that’s when something will pop into my brain from some film and then there’s no hope.

“When I was a teenager, going to slumber parties, there was a phase of people watching films like Nightmare On Elm Street. I just wasn’t interested; I wanted to watch John Hughes films.”

Over the course of her nearly 30-year career, 45-year-old Toni has starred in everything from indie favourite Little Miss Sunshine to box office smash The Sixth Sense, which earned her an Oscar nomination.

But it was her breakout role in Australian comedy Muriel’s Wedding that she’s still synonymous with.

“Yeah (people still reference it). I was 20 when I did that and I’m 45 now, so it was 25 years ago,” she said. “Closer to the time when the film came out, I got so sick of people saying, ‘You’re terrible, Muriel!’ But people still say it to this day. I’ve realised there are so many films and so many stories told but for one film to stick with people and remain so heartfelt, and for them to feel so fond of the character, is really incredible. So it’s a good thing.”

© Cover Media

Toni Collette broke “heavy” film boycott after reading Hereditary script

Toni Collette accepted a role on horror movie Hereditary, even though she vowed to only shoot “funny films.”The Australian actress plays Annie Graham in Ari Aster’s feature directorial debut, which follows a family who is haunted following the de…

Toni Collette accepted a role on horror movie Hereditary, even though she vowed to only shoot “funny films.”

The Australian actress plays Annie Graham in Ari Aster’s feature directorial debut, which follows a family who is haunted following the death of their grandmother. And in an interview with Britain’s Total Film magazine, Toni admitted that the high calibre of the project forced her to overturn a rule she’d once set herself.

“I said to my agent, ‘I’ve done enough crying. I’m tired. I don’t want to do emotionally heavy films anymore. I just want to do funny films that are light and make everyone feel wonderful,’” she recalled. “I thought, I’ll humour him (her agent, who sent her the Hereditary script). But it was so f**king brilliant that I ended up saying to him, ‘F**K YOU for even sending it to me, because NOW I HAVE TO DO IT!!!’ There was no way in the world I could read that script and not do it.”

Hereditary also stars theatre actress Millie Shapiro and Emmy winner Ann Dowd, who both praised co-star Toni for her breathtaking performance as the lead character.

However, the 45-year-old insisted it was “just my job” to deliver a convincing portrayal of a bleak and helpless situation.

“Annie is very complicated, and she’s seen by others as unstable, but she’s also quite vulnerable,” she explained. “She’s aware that something in her life is not right, but she’s not quite sure what that is. So, in a way, it’s a film about an awakening. It’s just that most awakenings tend to have a sense of hope and some kind of positive change, and the most frightening part about this story is that the awakening is the realisation that there is no hope. And that’s why it’s horrific.”

Hereditary hits U.S. cinemas on 8 June (18).

© Cover Media

Toni Collette happy to take blame for fans’ Hereditary nightmares

Actress Toni Collette is prepared to take the blame for the nightmares fans are likely to have after watching horror film Hereditary.The leading lady of director Ari Aster’s new scary movie is receiving widespread acclaim for her terrifying turn in the…

Actress Toni Collette is prepared to take the blame for the nightmares fans are likely to have after watching horror film Hereditary.

The leading lady of director Ari Aster’s new scary movie is receiving widespread acclaim for her terrifying turn in the feature, with some of her onscreen facial expressions being dubbed more frightening than the hellish ghost characters themselves.

The film, which has been given a big promotional push, will be officially released on Friday (08Jun18), and Toni won’t be offended if movie-goers hold her fully responsible for their night terrors as a result of the spine-chilling scenes.

“I’ve made so many movies, and the distribution somehow, they drop the ball,” she tells Collider. “It’s just exciting to me to know that people are going to see this f**king film because you know, you give 100 per cent on every job.

“This one was hard, and kind of somewhat perversely satisfying, so it’s exciting that it may have an actual, sizeable audience. I’m happy for people to blame for whatever they’re going to blame me for. I didn’t buy their ticket for them!”

The film has generated such a buzz, it even has its own emoji on Twitter, with users who punch in the hashtag #Hereditary getting a cartoon version of one of Toni’s twisted scream faces in their tweet.

The 45 year old never imagined her face would be a Twitter emoji and she can’t get enough of it.

“How funny is that?,” she laughs. “I love it. I feel sorry for the people who are actually looking at (tweeting) #Hereditary in a serious way.”

Collette admits she is not a horror fan and would probably never watch a movie like Hereditary on her own, but the picture’s script was so good, she couldn’t turn the project down.

“When I read it (script), it felt – it was one of those situations that you hear actors talking about, it always sounds incredibly pretentious, where it feels like it has somehow, I haven’t chosen it, it’s chosen me,” she explains. “I really wasn’t looking to do anything like this, but it was just felt so honest, and for a film that kind of creeps into a genre element to have such brave honesty and a kind of poetic vibe was an incredible combination.”

© Cover Media

John Malkovich joins Jake Gyllenhaal in horror-thriller film

John Malkovich will star alongside Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo in Dan Gilroy’s next movie.Jake, Rene, and Dan previously teamed up on the Academy Award-nominated Nightcrawler, and have reunited for the upcoming horror-thriller, which will stream exc…

John Malkovich will star alongside Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo in Dan Gilroy’s next movie.

Jake, Rene, and Dan previously teamed up on the Academy Award-nominated Nightcrawler, and have reunited for the upcoming horror-thriller, which will stream exclusively on Netflix later this year (18).

The rest of the main cast has now been announced and according to Variety, the Being John Malkovich star will be joined by Stranger Things actress Natalia Dyer and The Sixth Sense’s Toni Collette.

Additional castmembers include Billy Magnussen, Tom Sturridge, Tony Award-winner Daveed Diggs and British actress Zawe Ashton, who previously starred alongside Jake in Nocturnal Animals.

The film, rumoured to be called Velvet Buzzsaw, will follow big-money artists and mega-collectors who pay a high price when art collides with commerce.

“It’s set in the world of contemporary art in Los Angeles, and its got a Robert Altman-like large ensemble cast,” Dan told Business Insider last November. “It’s got a The Player vibe to it. There’s a large cast and we’re moving around from person to person as we move through this world. The story is being told through these different characters.”

The director has also recruited Nightcrawler producer Jennifer Fox and executive producer Betsy Danbury for his latest movie, with production currently underway in Los Angeles.

John was recently cast alongside Sandra Bullock and Sarah Paulson in Netflix’s film adaptation of Josh Malerman’s novel, Bird Box, which is due for release in December. The 64-year-old is also starring in Mile 22 opposite Mark Wahlberg.

© Cover Media