SOURCE: Deadline.com | Dino-Ray Ramos
January 24, 2021
In Judas and the Black Messiah filmmaker Shaka King dives deep into the story of Fred Hampton, chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, and William O’Neal, who served as an FBI informant to help silence Hampton and the BPP. King, who co-wrote the movie with Will Berson, tells the overlooked story of the iconic revolutionary, the conflicted man who brought him down and how it reflects the current landscape when it comes to the country’s treatment of the Black community and activism. Not only that, it also makes people realize that there is a part of Hampton and O’Neal in all of us.
SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter | Tatiana Siegel
January 22, 2021
Ashley Levinson, Marc Platt and Eric Roth also discuss adapting to a year of seismic changes in the film industry: “We started rethinking everything.”
Shepherding a film from a nebulous idea to a locked print is fraught with interruptions and surprises. As such, no profession in Hollywood requires greater dexterity than that of a producer. And unlike any other time in cinematic history, 2020 was a year of overnight transformation amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, leaving producers with no choice but to adapt fast.
Two producers from this year’s roundtable — Judas and the Black Messiah‘s Charles D. King and The Trial of the Chicago 7‘s Marc Platt — saw their theater-bound films take a detour to a streaming platform (HBO Max and Netflix, respectively). Although Eric Roth, who produced David Fincher’s Mank, was always poised for a streamer release via Netflix for that film, he also experienced the great sweep to HBO Max with the upcoming tentpole Dune, which he wrote. Ashley Levinson, whose Pieces of a Woman and Malcolm & Marie are both in the awards season conversation, oversaw the writing and production of the latter during the COVID-19 lockdown. Minari‘s Dede Gardner, the only female producer with two best picture Oscar wins (for 12 Years a Slave and Moonlight), and Palm Springs‘ Andy Samberg were the lone two of the group lucky enough to see their films premiere in a packed, mask-less theater (both films made their debuts at Sundance in January 2020).
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter | Maya Tribbitt
January 22, 2021
In Warner Bros.’ Judas and the Black Messiah, Daniel Kaluuya plays Fred Hampton, the former chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party and a co-founder of the Rainbow Coalition, whose killing in a 1969 raid was the result of an FBI counterintelligence operation. That government plot placed a petty thief named William O’Neal (played in the film by LaKeith Stanfield) undercover to infiltrate the party’s dealings and undermine its community organizing. Speaking with THR, Kaluuya reveals the extensive research he did to prepare for the role, working with rising-star director Shaka King and how Hampton’s philosophy can be applied in our current political moment.
SOURCE: IndieWire | Chris Lindahl
January 22, 2021
From falling in love and fighting a war to plunging into the depths of addiction and robbing a bank, the Apple TV+ drama “Cherry” puts Tom Holland’s titular character through an emotional wringer. The film is split into six different chapters, and cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel says it was his task to create six unique looks for each section — the challenge was making sure they all worked together to form a cohesive whole.
SOURCE: The Cinemaholic | Deepra Sarkar
January 21, 2021
‘The Marksman’ is a 2021 action thriller film directed by Robert Lorenz. The film boasts of a diverse cast with Liam Neeson in the lead playing the character of Jim Hanson. The plot of the film revolves around a rancher and former Marine residing in an Arizona border town. He is burdened with the unusual responsibility of delivering a young boy (Jacob Perez) safely to his family while escaping the clutches of a Mexican drug cartel. It takes the audience on a ride through deserts and country roads dotted with several action-packed scenes. We were intrigued by the places the film was shot in, and here’s what we could find out about the locations.
KALUUYA: PHOTOGRAPH BY WILLIAMS + HIRAKAWA; HOLLAND: MICHAEL SCHWARTZ/TRUNK ARCHIVE
SOURCE: Variety | Ramin Setoodeh
January 20, 2021
Tom Holland (“Cherry”) and Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”) sat down for a virtual chat for Variety‘s Actors on Actors, presented by Amazon Studios. For more, click here.
In “Cherry,” Tom Holland transforms into a war veteran-turned-bank robber, broken by PTSD and drug addiction. The role is intentional counter-programming from Holland’s heroic Peter Parker, although it comes from the same team that brought you several Marvel movies, including “Avengers: Endgame.” The Russo brothers — directors Anthony and Joe — recruited Holland for this Apple TV Plus indie, which unspools in vignettes.
It was a Marvel connection, too, that brought Daniel Kaluuya his next great role. While shooting “Black Panther” — in which Kaluuya plays warrior W’Kabi — director Ryan Coogler approached him about a movie he was producing. The project became “Judas and the Black Messiah” (soon to launch in theaters and on HBO Max), a film about Fred Hampton, a leader of the Black Panther movement during the civil rights era. Two days before Christmas, both in lockdown in London, Holland and Kaluuya spoke to each other about their past superhero adventures and the gritty departures they recently took.
Liam Neeson stars in “The Marksman.” Ryan Sweeney, courtesy the studios
SOURCE: Lake Geneva Regional News | Steve Targo
January 19, 2021
As new film “The Marksman” was taking over the box office last weekend, one of its writers screened it privately with some friends at a Lake Geneva theater.
On Saturday night, Jan. 16, Danny Kravitz held a private screening for the new Liam Neeson film at the Geneva Theater, 244 Broad St.
Last weekend, “The Marksman” became the highest-grossing film in the country. Kravitz wrote the film with Chris Charles.
It was directed by Robert Lorenz, a three-time Oscar nominee as a producer of “Mystic River,” “Letters from Iwo Jima” and “American Sniper.” Lorenz also has a co-writing credit on “The Marksman.”
SOURCE: Deadline.com | Anthony D’Alessandro
January 17, 2021
Sunday Final AM: In a continuing pandemic marketplace such as this, with 57% of all movie theaters still closed, whether you’re a distributor or an exhibitor, you have to be thankful for any amount of money you can get your hands on. Open Road has released the second Liam Neeson movie during the pandemic, The Marksman, over the MLK 4-day holiday, and it’s opening to $3.7M. It’s the third Neeson movie to hit No. 1 for Open Road after October’s Honest Thief and their first wide entry ever, The Grey.
Dan Doperalski for Variety
SOURCE: Variety | Clayton Davis
January 15, 2021
For Anthony and Joe Russo, choosing their next project after making the all-time highest-grossing film “Avengers: Endgame,” was not easy. But after reading the novel “Cherry” by Nico Walker, the filmmaking duo saw a personal connection to the opioid epidemic that they witnessed first-hand within their community and their own family.
From a script by their younger sister Angela Russo-Otstot, which she co-wrote with Jessica Goldberg, it’s a dramatic departure from their other work. The same goes for Tom Holland’s performance, after his portrayal of Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In an interview with Variety, the brothers discuss their origins and the personal connection to the story of “Cherry.” They also open up about some of their cinematic influences, such as Steven Soderbergh and the Coen brothers, and if solo projects could be in their future.
Liam Neeson as Jim Hanson and Jacob Perez as Miguel act out a scene from “The Marksman.”
SOURCE: Cleveland Jewish News | McKenna Corson
January 15, 2021
About a decade ago, Chris Charles went to writing partner Danny Kravitz with a bare bones idea for a movie.
Charles, who’d always been interested in the U.S./Mexico border area, told Pepper Pike native Kravitz that the border area was rich with interesting stories and people waiting to be depicted on the big screen.
Dreaming of seeing a screenplay of his turned into a film, Kravitz told the CJN he immediately agreed, and the two set about crafting the screenplay and script.