Posts Tagged ‘news’

Our Top Pick Of The Sundance Film Festival 2015 – Z for Zachariah

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Guarantee you’ll be talking about Z for Zachariah next year

The Sundance Film Festival unveiled the 16 feature films competing in the U.S. Dramatic Competition for the 2015 event this week, alongside the documentary lineup. There’s a load of interesting entries in there including the Jack Black starring The D-Train and Kristen Wiig playing a woman whose boyfriend is sleeping with her daughter in The Diary of a Teenage Girl. But our top pick for the renowned festival is Z for Zachariah, we guarantee everyone will be talking about it next year, and here’s why…

The festival has released some official info on each film, so let’s start with the synopsis for Z for Zachariah:

In a post-apocalyptic world, a young woman who believes she is the last human on Earth meets a dying scientist searching for survivors. Their relationship becomes tenuous when another survivor appears. As the two men compete for the woman’s affection, their primal urges begin to reveal their true nature. Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margot Robbie, Chris Pine.

Chris Pine, Margot Robbie and Chiwetel Ejiofor star in Z for Zachariah

The film is based on the novel by Robert C. O’Brien, which was published posthumously in 1974 after the author’s wife Sally M. Conly and daughter Jane Leslie Conly completed the book guided by his notes. O’Brien mainly concentrated on children’s books during his career, with Z for Zachariah winning teen literature awards. And we know how well post-apocalyptic, teen novels do on the big screen. This year’s adaptation of Veronica Roth’s Divergent enjoyed big box office success while Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games series have become mega hits at the cinema thanks to Jennifer Lawrence and co.

Interestingly though, it looks like screenwriter Nissar Modi has altered O’Brien’s book. Fans will know it’s all about Margot Robbie’s character Ann Burden and Chiwetel’s Loomis in the novel. Chris is taking on the role of a second stranger, Caleb, who stumbles into Ann’s life though, and with the trio all in the official still and synopsis it’s safe to say the movie has made some pretty big plot changes, another one being that Ann in the book is just a teenager. Of course the changes mean fans of the book will be in for a twist or two which should help draw in more viewers. Clever.

The film is based on the 1970s teen novel

The cast may be small but it’s pretty stellar, with Brit Chiwetel receiving an Oscar nomination this year for 12 Years a Slave, while Margot Robbie (who replaced Amanda Seyfried after that actress dropped out) starred in the other big 2014 Academy Awards contender from Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street, AND she’s just been cast in DC Comics’ Suicide Squad.  Pine meanwhile is no stranger to blockbusters thanks to his lead role in JJ Abrams’ Star Trek movies and this year’s big Christmas movie Into The Woods.

The other big star is the landscape, with director Craig Zobel choosing the beautiful Banks Peninsula in New Zealand to shoot, and we all know how stunning that country’s landscape looks on screen thanks to Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies. While entirely shot in New Zealand though, the film is set in the USA’s Mid-West, as is the book.

Despite the popularity of the book, the movie plans have been languishing around Hollywood for awhile, with the screenplay appearing on the famous Hollywood Black List, an annual survey of the “most liked” motion picture screenplays not yet produced, based on a survey of studio bigwigs.

Z for Zachariah will screen at Sundance in Utah sometime between January 22 and February 1 2015, and is expected to open on worldwide, general release later in the year.

Source: Entertainment Wise / Joanna Crawley

AFM: Robert De Niro’s ‘Bus 657′ Picks Up Foreign Sales

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Robert DeNiro Criminal Justice

JIM SPELLMAN/WIREIMAGE

OCTOBER 31, 2014 | 06:38AM PT

Heist film “Bus 657″ has sold to a dozen territories with production wrapping in Mobile, Ala.

The Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films production stars Robert De Niro, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kate Bosworth,Dave Bautista, Gina Carano, Morris Chestnut, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, DB Sweeney and Lydia Hull.

Hannibal Classics is handling foreign sales at next week’s American Film Market.

Scott Mann is directing from a script by Stephen Sepher and Max Adams, based on a story by Sepher.Producers are Sepher, Randall Emmett, George Furla and Alexander Tabrizi.

Morgan and Bautista portray characters who partner to rob the casino where they both work – only to end up hijacking a bus and using the hostages as collateral when plans go awry. Chestnut portrays the enforcer for the casino’s owner, played by De Niro.

Bus 657 has sold in Benelux to BBI Films; France to Marco Polo Production SAS; Germany to Elite Film AG; Greece to Hollywood Entertainment; Spain to Fisher Film Distribution Worldwide; the UK to Lionsgate International;  and Australia and New Zealand to Anchor Bay Entertainment Australia Pty.

Source: Variety / Dave McNary

A glimpse inside the multi-talented mind behind ‘Bus 657′

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

MOBILE, Alabama – “Bus 657″ screenwriter and actor Stephen Cyrus Sepher doesn’t have an agent or a manager, yet Robert De Niro, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Dave Bautista are speaking his words and Sepher is acting alongside them.

And as the L.A. native experiences his work being filmed in Mobile, it feels pretty dreamy.

“I sat down at a Starbucks seven years ago and I wrote the script and here we are today,” Sepher said.  ”It’s surreal to me.”

The casino heist thriller started filming in Mobile last week, and so far the cast and crew have made use of locations including The Battle House, Hayley’s Bar and the USS Alabama battleship.

This is Sepher’s second time working in the Port City. He had a bit part in the Bruce Willis movie “Vice,” which was filmed here earlier this year.

We recently caught up with Sepher and talked to him about his career, “Bus 657,” and of course, De Niro.

Q: How did you get started in showbiz?

A: I started acting when I was about 18 years old. I picked up writing because I wanted to showcase my acting. I’ve written probably about 13 screenplays along the way.

Q: How have you reached this level of success without an agent or manager?

A: I’ve done it all through my own contacts. I had a manager tell me, ‘What you’re doing is a miracle.’ And Ray Liotta, who saw a short film of mine called “4 Minutes,” was very supportive. We have a mutual friend. I shot “4 minutes” by myself, directed it, acted in it and produced it. It was a very low budget film. Liotta put his name on the film as producer to get it more publicity. I still don’t have an agent or manager, and at this point I want an agent for the acting part (of my career.)

Q: Please tell us about some of your other previous film projects.

A: There’s a movie that I wrote, directed and acted in called “One More Round.” We had some really great TV actors in it. That was my first (feature film) and it was a good start. I also did a short film called “The Mortgage Guy” that was about the debacle of the mortgage industry. I wrote that about a year before the debacle actually happened.

Q: “Bus 657″ was originally called “Bus 757.” Why was the name changed?

A: The distribution company had ideas about marketing this film. They didn’t want it to sound like an airplane.

Q: How did you end up acting in the movie?

A: When I signed my deal (for the screenplay) with the production company it was contingent upon me being in it as an actor. I negotiated a role as Julian Dante, one of the guys that helps rob this casino.

Q: Before we go any further, tell us the plot of “Bus 657.”

A: The story’s about Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s character Luke Vaughn. He’s in a jam. His daughter needs to get an operation and he’s worked for Robert De Niro’s character The Pope for many years. The Pope owns the casino. Vaughn needs the money and he doesn’t get the money.  He partners up with Dave Bautista, who plays a character named Cox. And I am Cox’s guy that he brings in and the three of us rob the casino…It’s not just a brainless action movie. It really touches on human emotions, survival and instincts.

Q: How does the bus fit into all of this?

A:I don’t want to give away the story, but the bus is used to get away.

Q: What is the character of The Pope like?

A: The Pope is a very established successful man who has done it his way as far as dealing with the underworld, and he wants to retire. This whole heist happens to be at the time when he’s kind of trying to do his thing and living life normally. We pull him back in to this whole crime thing.

Q: Why is De Niro perfect for the role?

A: I’ve been a huge fan for a long time.  He influenced my behavior as an actor and he’s influenced my film-making vision. I grew up watching his movies  and it just so happens to be that it  came full circle. I wrote something that I saw him in. I kind of wrote the role for him very specifically and he’s nailing it. He’s fantastic…I have a small scene with him on the bus. He’s very focused. He’s a focused guy

Q: What are some of your favorite De Niro movies?

A: I love “Midnight Run,” and I  really liked him in “Casino” and “Goodfellas.” And the great thing is he’s playing a gangster in “Bus 657.” It’s a blessing.

Q: How did you manage to snag De Niro for “Bus 657″?

A: The producers, Emmett Furla Productions, made that happen. They pitched him the script and he liked it. He liked the writing and that was key. He wanted to be involved in it as The Pope.  And then he worked with the director Scott Mann and they fine-tuned a lot of things.

Q: Why is Mobile a good place to film?

A: Some of the stuff is just like what you see on a Universal Studios back lot. A lot of the buildings and a lot of the streets are very much like the stuff they built in L.A., but its natural. There’s a lot of history here. Scott Mann is really a great director and he’s picked really incredible locations. The look of this movie, from what I’ve seen, is pretty amazing. Everybody from top down has brought their game to this on all levels. It’s looking really fantastic.

Source: Al.com / Tamara Ikenberg

Global’s breakout original drama Remedy starts production on Season 2

Monday, September 15th, 2014
Star-packed Ensemble Cast Returns Featuring Enrico Colantoni, Sara Canning, Sarah Allen and Dillon Casey

Plus, Niall Matter Sets Pulses Racing as Beth-H’s New ER Resident

TORONTO, Sept. 15, 2014 /CNW/ - Shaw Media and Indian Grove Productions announced today that production has begun on Global Television‘s powerhouse drama Remedy. Commissioned by Shaw Media’s original content team and produced by Indian Grove Productions, the series films in Toronto and Hamilton from September 14 until January 2015.

A critically acclaimed, proven performer, the high stakes, prime-time medical drama from creator and showrunnerGreg Spottiswood (King), follows the Conner family’s trials and tribulations, while zeroing in on the distinct “upstairs/downstairs” dynamic of a downtown hospital. Season two kicks off nine months after the finale with each member of the Conner family pulled out of their comfort zones and Bethune Hospital in the midst of a colossal shake up. Griffin Conner (Dillon Casey) seems to finally be getting his life on track with plans to return to medical school and a serious girlfriend, but his dark and troubled past continues to haunt him. Meanwhile, Allen (Enrico Colantoni) must re-adjust following his demotion from Chief-of-Staff, while his daughters –surgeon Mel (Sara Canning) and new mom Sandy (Sarah Allen) – search to balance co-parenting baby Toby with work and play.

New to this season is heartthrob ER resident Dr. Cutler (Niall MatterPrimeval: New WorldWatchmen) who shamelessly ruffles feathers and turns heads throughout the halls of Beth-H.

“Brimming with emotionally charged storylines, stand-out performances by an electric ensemble cast and a dynamic production team, Remedy captured the hearts of viewers last year and kept them on the edge of their seats all season long,” said Barb Williams, SVP Content, Shaw Media. “With the addition of new characters and a top-secret shakeup at Bethune Hospital, Remedy‘s momentum shows no sign of slowing down.”

“I am thrilled that the Remedy family is coming back for a second season. As proud as all of us were of the first season, our plans for this new season will create even more compelling television,” said Bernie Zukerman, Executive Producer of Remedy and President of Indian Grove Productions.

Playing the former Chief of Staff and family patriarch is award-winning actor Enrico Colantoni, (FlashpointGalaxy QuestJust Shoot Me!). Dillon Casey, (NikitaThe VowMVP) stars as the charismatic, med school dropout and prodigal son Griffin, Sara Canning (The Vampire DiariesPrimeval: New World) plays Melissa, a General Surgeon, with her own set of complex issues and Sarah Allen, (Jozi-HMurdoch Mysteries) plays Sandy, the eldest daughter, ICU Nurse and new mom.

Rounding out the stellar cast are Genelle Williams (Warehouse 13Bitten) as Zoe Rivera, Dillon’s girlfriend and a PSA at Beth-H, and Patrick McKenna (Hard Rock MedicalThe Red Green Show) as Frank Kanaskie, Griff’s Supervisor in charge of Transport and Housekeeping. Award-winning actress Martha Burns (Slings and Arrows,Michael: Tuesdays and Thursdays) returns as Rebecca Baker, the absentee mom, high functioning family drunk and power attorney.

Remedy is produced by Indian Grove Productions in association with Shaw Media with the participation of the Canada Media Fund, the Ontario Film & Television Tax Credit and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit. Red Arrow International holds international distribution rights. Bernie Zukerman (KingThis is Wonderland) and Greg Spottiswood (KingShattered) serve as executive producers with Jan Peter Meyboom (Murdoch MysteriesListener) producing.

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