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Chris Rock (yes, that one) will reboot the ‘Saw’ franchise with his ‘intense’ and ‘twisted’ new take

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Well, here’s something we certainly didn’t see coming: Lionsgate revealed today that they’re partnering up with comedian Chris Rock to “spin-off and expand the world surrounding the hit billion-dollar Saw franchise,” with a new entry in the franchise scheduled to hit theaters next October.

Darren Lynn Bousman, who helmed the three most successful films in the Saw franchise, is set to return to the director’s chair and will work from a script written by Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg, based on a story conceived by Rock.

“I’ve been a fan of Saw since the first film in 2004,” Rock said in a statement. “I am excited by the opportunity to take this to a really intense and twisted new place.”

Now, I know what you’re probably thinking; the news threw me off a bit at first too. However, when you consider Jordan Peele with Get Out and Us, Josh Krasinski with A Quiet Place, Danny McBride with Halloween, or, hell, even Bill Hader with Barry, a funnyman like Chris Rock wanting to dive into the world of horror/thriller doesn’t seem all that strange anymore.

Mark Burg and Oren Koules, who have produced each and every installment in the Saw trilogy to date, are also returning along with franchise creators James Wan and Leigh Whannell, who are executive producing with Daniel Heffner and Rock.

“Chris wants to put his own spin on the Saw franchise in the way Eddie Murphy put a completely fresh perspective on buddy-cop films with 48 Hours,” Burg and Koules said. This new Saw is going to be an event film in the making for horror fans. It will have all of the twists and turns and hardcore layers that our fans expect directed by one of the masters of the craft: Darren Lynn Bousman. We can’t wait to get started.”

Chris Rock’s Saw movie will hit theaters just in time for Halloween next year on October 23, 2020.

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Paul Thomas Anderson’s new film, a high school drama set in the 1970s, will begin shooting next year

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Paul Thomas Anderson’s untitled next project — a high school movie set in the 1970s — is expected to begin shooting in the director’s hometown of the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles early next year, Silver Screen Beat has learned.

Anderson is writing and directing the film, which centers on a high school student who is also a successful child actor and “features a multitude of roles and could be ensemble in nature or have intersecting storylines,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The director is currently in the process of casting the film’s lead ahead of a scheduled February 2020 production start. The project is one of 13 films that were selected to receive the latest round of tax credits from the California Film Commission this month.

Anderson, who grew up in the San Fernando Valley, has shot three of his films in the Los Angeles County region, including 1997’s Boogie Nights, 1999’s Magnolia, and 2002’s Punch-Drunk Love.

Anderson’s last film, Phantom Thread starring Paul Thomas Anderson and Vicky Krieps, was lauded as one of the best films of 2017, earning several Oscar nominations and winning for Best Costume Design.

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Phoenix: Sony Pictures invites you to a screening of ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’

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A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
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Sony Pictures will release A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, the new Mister Rogers biopic starring Tom Hanks, on November 15 and it’s giving Silver Screen Beat readers in Phoenix a chance to attend an advance screening of the film before it officially opens in theaters.

Our readers in Phoenix can click this link right now to claim their free passes — good for you and one guest — to attend an advance screening of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood happening Wednesday, November 13 at Harkins Camelview at 7:00 p.m.

(Those who attend tomorrow evening’s screening are encouraged to bring with them a sweater or coat to donate as the studio will be hosting a coat drive on-site). 

Keep in mind that these free passes are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, so be sure to claim yours as soon as possible before they run out. Below is the official trailer for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood as well as some additional details about the film.

Directed by: Marielle Heller

Cast: Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys, Susan Kelechi Watson, and Chris Cooper

Opens: Friday, November 22

Rating: PG for some strong thematic material, a brief fight, and some mild language

Synopsis: Tom Hanks portrays Mister Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer (Matthew Rhys) is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about empathy, kindness, and decency from America’s most beloved neighbor.

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Brad Pitt, Emma Stone in talks to join ‘Babylon’ as Damien Chazelle’s latest lands at Paramount

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After months-long negotiations, Paramount has finally reached a deal to acquire Damien Chazelle’s Babylon, the Oscar-winning La La Land director’s eagerly awaited new project set in the Golden Age of Hollywood.

While specific plot details are being kept tightly under wraps, sources tell Silver Screen Beat that the film is a Roaring Twenties-era drama that examines Hollywood’s transition from silent films to talkies and features characters both fictional and not.

Emma Stone — who has been attached to the project ever since Chazelle began shopping it to studios this past summer — is expected to play iconic Hollywood “It” girl Clara Bow in the film, while Brad Pitt is in talks to join as a fictional character said to be inspired by silent film star John Gilbert.

Despite quickly garnering attention upon arriving on the market, studios were hesitant to move on Babylon due to the film’s rather lengthy 180-page script and estimated $80-$100 million budget.

However, sources say Paramount execs were able to convince Chazelle to rework and cut more than 30 pages of the script, which significantly reduced the budget of the project and made it feel like a less risky investment for the studio.

Babylon is scheduled for a December 25, 2021 limited release and will expand wide January 7, 2022.

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