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Damien Chazelle shops new project ‘Babylon’ to studios as Emma Stone circles lead role

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Damien Chazelle Babylon
LIONSGATE

Damien Chazelle, the Oscar-winning writer-director of the 2016 musical La La Land, has begun shopping around the script for his next project titled Babylon, which is yet another story set in Los Angeles that will this time focus on the film industry in the 1920s.

While multiple studios have shown interest in the project — including Paramount and Netflix — Chazelle is most likely to bring Babylon to Lionsgate, the same studio that distributed La La Land and ran its extensive awards season campaign that earned the film a whopping 14 Oscar nominations.

Although specific plot details are being kept tightly under wraps for the time being, the film is said to be a drama set during the Roaring Twenties that examines Hollywood’s transition from silent films to talkies and will feature characters both fictional and not.

Emma Stone, who an Oscar for performance opposite Ryan Gosling in La La Land, is circling the lead role in the film — which is rumored to be iconic Hollywood “It” girl Clara Bow — though talks are still preliminary and any type of formal negotiations have yet to get underway.

Despite the attention that Babylon has caught, though, studios are hesitant to move on the project given its rather lengthy 180-page-long script and estimated $80 million to $100 million production budget, which some execs feel might be too big of a risky investment for their studios.

Chazelle, who last directed the Neil Armstrong biopic First Man starring Gosling, is currently working on two other projects in addition to Babylon, including the musical drama series The Eddy for Netflix and an untitled drama series for Apple’s forthcoming service service.

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Phoenix: Warner Bros. invites you to a screening of Edward Norton’s ‘Motherless Brooklyn’

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Motherless Brooklyn
WARNER BROS.

Warner Bros. will release Motherless Brooklyn, the new crime drama from writer, director, and star Edward Norton, on October 19 and its 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 on this link right now to claim their free passes — good for you and one guest — to attend an advance screening of Motherless Brooklyn happening at Harkins Scottsdale 101 on Monday, October 28 at 6:30 p.m.

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 Motherless Brooklyn as well as some additional details about the film.

Directed by: Edward Norton

Cast: Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Alec Baldwin, and Willem Dafoe

Opens: Friday, November 1

Rating: R for language throughout, including some sexual references, brief drug use, and violence

Synopsis: Set against the backdrop of 1950s New York, Motherless Brooklyn follows Lionel Essrog (Edward Norton), a lonely private detective living with Tourette Syndrome, as he ventures to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend, Frank Minna (Bruce Willis). Armed only with a few clues and the engine of his obsessive mind, Lionel unravels closely-guarded secrets that hold the fate of the whole city in the balance. In a mystery that carries him from gin-soaked jazz clubs in Harlem to the hard-edged slums of Brooklyn and, finally, into the gilded halls of New York’s power brokers, Lionel contends with thugs, corruption and the most dangerous man in the city to honor his friend and save the woman who might be his own salvation.

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Paul Dano in talks to play the Riddler in ‘The Batman’ as Jonah Hill passes on the role

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Paul Dano
JOHN SCIULLI/GETTY IMAGES

Paul Dano is headed to Gotham City as the actor is in talks to play the classic comic book villain the Riddler in Matt Reeves’ upcoming The Batman, Silver Screen Beat has learned.

Dano joins a star-studded cast that already includes the likes of Robert Pattinson as the titular Caped Crusader, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, and Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon. Reeves is expected to round out the rest of the cast before the year’s end in anticipation of an early 2020 production start.

The news of Dano’s casting comes less than a day after reports surfaced about Jonah Hill turning down the role after he and his team failed to reach an agreement with Warner Bros. after spending weeks at the negotiating table.

Sources tell Silver Screen Beat that Hill’s camp was trying to broker a $10 million deal for the actor, which is more than half of what Pattinson — the star of the film — is reportedly making.

Reeves, who first boarded The Batman in early 2017 following the unsurprising departure of Ben Affleck, is directing the film from a script he wrote, in addition to producing along with his Planet of the Apes collaborator Dylan Clark.

The Batman is scheduled to be released June 25, 2021.

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Oscars: Disney not submitting ‘The Lion King’ for consideration in Animated Feature Film

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The Lion King Oscars
DISNEY

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences released Wednesday a list of the 32 features that have been submitted for consideration in the Animated Feature Film category for the upcoming 92nd Academy Awards.

Among the many titles that appear on the list are Pixar’s Toy Story 4, Walt Disney Animation’s Frozen II, Blue Sky Studios’ Spies in Disguise, Illumination’s The Secret Life of Pets 2, Laika’s Missing Link, and Warner Animation’s The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.

Notably absent from the list, however, is Disney’s photorealistic CGI remake of The Lion King, which — despite being billed by the studio as “live-action” in its marketing — was the textbook definition of an animated film and certainly would’ve qualified in the Animated Feature category had Disney submitted it.

The nominations for the 92nd Oscars will be announced Monday, January 13, while the ceremony itself will be held Sunday, February 9.

The complete list of submitted animated features are:

“Abominable”
“The Addams Family”
“The Angry Birds Movie 2”
“Another Day of Life”
“Away”
“Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles”
“Children of the Sea”
“Dilili in Paris”
“Frozen II”
“Funan”
“Genndy Tartakovsky’s ‘Primal’ – Tales of Savagery”
“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”
“I Lost My Body”
“Klaus”
“The Last Fiction”
“The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part”
“Marona’s Fantastic Tale”
“Missing Link”
“Ne Zha”
“Okko’s Inn”
“Pachamama”
“Promare”
“Rezo”
“The Secret Life of Pets 2”
“Spies in Disguise”
“The Swallows of Kabul”
“This Magnificent Cake!”
“The Tower”
“Toy Story 4”
“Upin & Ipin: The Lone Gibbon Kris”
“Weathering with You”
“White Snake”

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