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Critics groups disqualify Disney from year-end awards consideration due to LA Times ban

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Disney disqualified from awards.

Disney has lifted its ban on The Los Angeles Times and will continue to give the paper access to press screenings, interviews, and more. The studio issued following the statement via The New York Times on Tuesday afternoon: “We’ve had productive discussions with the newly installed leadership at The Los Angeles Times regarding our specific concerns, and as a result, we’ve agreed to restore access to advance screenings for their film critics.”

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Earlier this month, The Los Angeles Times revealed that they had been blacklisted from attending press screenings of Disney films due to what the company called “unfair coverage of its business ties with Anaheim.” Since then, multiple outlets, including The A.V. Club and Flavorwire, have come forward and announced that they will no longer give Disney films advance coverage until the LA Times can too.

Fast forward to this morning, and Disney’s attempt to blackout the press has backfired even further as four major critics groups from across the nation, including the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the New York Film Critics Circle, the Boston Society of Film Critics, and the National Society of Film Critics, have voted to disqualify all Disney films from year-end awards consideration.

“It is admittedly extraordinary for a critics’ group, let alone four critics’ groups, to take any action that might penalize film artists for decisions beyond their control,” the organizations said in a joint statement. “But Disney brought forth this action when it chose to punish The Times’ journalists rather than express its disagreement with a business story via ongoing public discussion. Disney’s response should gravely concern all who believe in the importance of a free press, artists included.”

Even filmmakers such as Ava DuVernay, whose A Wrinkle in Time is scheduled to be released by Disney on March 9, took to Twitter on Monday to express her support for “the film journalists standing up for one another” and says she is standing with them. Jake Tapper of CNN called Disney’s boycott of the LA Times “unprofessional and journalistic,” saying that it makes the company “look small.”

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‘Dunkirk’ will be returning to select theaters in 70MM and IMAX just in time for awards season

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Dunkirk

Warner Bros. is giving you one last chance to experience Christopher Nolan’s sweeping epic Dunkirk on the big screen as the studio has announced that the film, which stars Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Harry Styles, Kenneth Branagh, and Cillian Murphy, will be re-released in select limited engagement in 50 IMAX and 70mm locations in 34 cities.

“With Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan broke new ground in the use of large-format cameras to create a theatrical event that demands to be seen on the largest possible canvas,” said Sue Kroll, president of worldwide marketing and distribution at Warner Bros. “As we head into the holiday season, we are excited to offer audiences another opportunity to be swept up in this truly immersive movie-going experience, whether for the first time or again.”

The Dunkirk re-release will begin on December 1 in markets such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Dallas, Atlanta, and Toronto, among others, and will expand to more than 250 additional locations on January 4.

Dunkirk tells the true story of one of the most monumental events in history—the evacuation of more than 400,000 soldiers from the beaches and harbor of Dunkirk in 1940—and immediately won the hearts of both critics and audiences alike, earning more than $524 million at the worldwide box office.

The film’s cast also includes Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy, and Barry Keoghan.

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‘Wonder Woman 2’ changes its release date to November 2019 to distance itself from ‘Star Wars’

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Wonder Woman 2

In an effort to distance Patty Jenkins’ highly anticipated Wonder Woman sequel from the Star Wars: Episode IX craze in December 2019, it appears Warner Bros. has opted to push the film forward by an entire month from December 13, 2019 to November 1, 2019.

The follow-up to Star Wars: The Last Jedi was originally expected to open in theaters in May 2019 but was delayed after Colin Trevorrow was fired by Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and replaced with J.J. Abrams, who is currently re-writing the sequel.

The news of the Wonder Woman sequel’s release date shift comes on the heels of a Page Six report claiming that Gal Gadot, who plays the title character, will refuse to reprise her role as the iconic DC superhero unless Warner Bros. cuts ties with accused sexual harasser Brett Ratner, though the studio claims the story is “false.”

Earlier this month, Wonder Woman crossed the $821.74 million mark at the box office, becoming the highest-grossing superhero origin movie of all time—a record previously held by Sam Raimi’s critically acclaimed 2002 Spider-Man starring Toby Maguire.

Wonder Woman is expected to be submitted to the 90th Academy Awards in 15 categories later this year including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Cinematography, and Best Original Score.

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Denis Villeneuve says he is too busy with his ‘Dune’ adaptation to direct ‘James Bond 25’

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Denis Villeneuve James Bond

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer announced this past summer that the world’s most favorite MI6 agent, James Bond, would be returning to the big screen in 2019 with Daniel Craig reprising his role one last time before officially calling it quits.

However, there has been plenty of speculation as to who will direct Craig in his final outing. Yann Demange, David Mackenzie, and Denis Villeneuve are said to be the top three frontrunners for the gig, but the latter doesn’t think the timing is quite right for him.

“The thing is, I don’t know about that,” Villeneuve said when asked if he is going to direct James Bond 25. “Daniel Craig is a very inspiring actor, and I had some contact, and the thing is that I’m busy right now doing Dune. But, I will say to have the privilege to work with him, would be a dream. I would love to work with Daniel and a Bond movie, for me, would be a treat. It’s a matter of timing I guess.”

Dune is, of course, a novel that Hollywood has had a tough time bringing to the big screen in the past, with the exception of David Lynch’s 1984 adaptation, so it would only make sense that Villeneuve, one of the busiest directors working today, would be devoting all of his time to making sure he gets his own adaptation done correctly.

As for Bond 25, which is being written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, it should be safe to say that we can cross Villeneuve off the list of frontrunners and expect either Demange or Mackenzie to take the directing gig. Either way, MGM will have to make a decision soon, as the film is scheduled to open in theaters on November 8, 2019.

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