'Downton Abbey' movie to begin production in September with the original cast returning - Silver Screen Beat
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‘Downton Abbey’ movie set to begin production in September with the original cast returning

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Downton Abbey
PBS

Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski announced Friday morning that the long-awaited Downton Abbey movie is set to begin production this September with the original principal cast from the hit television series returning to reprise their respective roles.

According to a press release, Brian Percival, who directed the Downton Abbey pilot, is directing the film from a script written by Julian Fellowes, who created the award-winning series which picked up 15 Emmy Awards over the span of its six-season run.

Downton Abbey follows the lives of the elite Crawley family and the servants who worked for them at the turn of the 20th century in an Edwardian English country home. Michelle Dockery, Maggie Smith, and Hugh Bonneville all starred in the show.

“Since the series ended, fans of Downton have long been waiting for the Crawley family’s next chapter,” said in a statement. Kujawski.  “We’re thrilled to join this incredible group of filmmakers, actors and craftspeople, led by Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame, in bringing back the world of Downton to the big screen.”

The film will be a Carnival Films production, with Focus Features and Universal Pictures International handling distribution.

Adds Carnival’s executive chairman Gareth Neame, who is also producing the film: “When the television series drew to a close it was our dream to bring the millions of global fans a movie and now, after getting many stars aligned, we are shortly to go into production.  Julian’s script charms, thrills and entertains and in Brian Percival’s hands we aim to deliver everything that one would hope for as Downton comes to the big screen.”

A release date for the Downton Abbey movie has not been announced, though it seems likely that we’ll see the film hit the big screen towards the backend of next year if production does, in fact, begin this September.

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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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