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Interview: A conversation with Jacob Staudenmaier, the kid who invited Emma Stone to his high school prom

Prepare to begin questioning the accomplishments of your own life after you read about Jacob Staudenmaier, a 17-year-old high school student…

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Prepare to begin questioning the accomplishments of your own life after you read about Jacob Staudenmaier, a 17-year-old high school student from Phoenix, Arizona who loves making and watching movies, aspires to go to film school after he graduates and recently asked Oscar-winning actress Emma Stone to his prom later this month. This kid is definitely going places.

“It only took 2 hours to film it, but it required about two weeks of intense planning on my part,” Staudenmaier told me during a late-night interview on Tuesday. He’s talking about his recreation of the opening scene of Damien Chazelle’s jazz-infused musical La La Land where he re-wrote the lyrics of Justin Hurwitz’s “Another Day of Sun” to ask the film’s star, Stone, to his upcoming high school prom. “I don’t think it was easy, but all the planning I did helped make the filming go smoothly. I really enjoyed getting to recreate that scene because it’s one of my favorites of recent memory.”

At press time, Staudenmaier’s unique prom proposal has nearly 6,000 likes and 3,000 retweets, with interview requests from major networks such as ABC and FOX pouring in by the dozens. “I did not expect the reaction would be so intense and amazing when I released the video,” he said. “La La Land was one of my favorite films of the year and I’ve always loved Emma Stone as an actress. A student at my high school had also asked Miley Cirus to prom several years back which gave me the inspiration for this, but I decided if I was doing it I needed to make it big and ambitious. I didn’t want it to just be me standing with a prom sign.”

We reached out to Stone’s reps for comment but haven’t heard back just yet. As for Staudenmaier, he has a backup plan just in case Stone doesn’t respond or, unfortunately, decides to decline the invitation. However, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that Stone, a Phoenician herself, decides to make Staudenmaier one lucky teenager.

A lover of cinema, Staudenmaier says one of his favorite films is Whiplash, Chazelle’s first big hit before La La Land made waves around the world last year with its impressive musical numbers and ensemble cast that also included Ryan Gosling, John Legend, and J.K. Simmons. “A few of my other favorite films would be Pulp Fiction, The Departed, Inception, Memento, and No Country for Old Men. I love watching anything and everything.” Staudenmaier, who loves to make films whether they are “getting lots of attention or none,” admires the work of Edgar Wright, Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, “and of course, Damien Chazelle.”

When I asked Staudenmaier for his thoughts on the Best Picture frenzy at the 89th Oscars back in February, he said that the situation was “absolutely wild” but thought both films were amazing and equally deserving of Hollywood’s top honor. “I was glad Moonlight got a little bit more attention since La La Land had received numerous other awards.”

Best of luck to you, Jacob. Here’s to hoping you make every other guy at your school jealous.

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Paramount Players taps ‘Good Time’ directors Josh and Benny Safdie for ’48 Hours’ remake

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Safdie Brothers
ROB KIM/GETTY IMAGES

Hot on the heels of the success of their Robert Pattinson-led crime-thriller Good Time earlier this year, directors Josh and Benny Safdie have been tapped to write and direct a remake of the buddy-cop film 48 Hours for Paramount Players.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Josh Safdie and Ronald Bronstein, who co-wrote Good Time together, will be on scripting duties, along with comedian Jerrod Carmichael, while Chernin Entertainment will produce with Oscar Boyson and Sebastian Bear-McClard under their Elara Pictures banner.

The original 48 Hours was directed by Walter Hill and starred Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy as a grizzled detective and fast-talking hustler who form an unlikely partnership to track down two vicious cop-killers before they strike again.

The Safdie brothers, who were recently nominated for Best Directors at the Film Independent Spirit Awards, are also in development on A24’s thriller Uncut Gems, an original story set in the New York City Diamond District starring Jonah Hill as the film’s main character.

A release date for either film has not been announced.

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Meet the protector of Wakanda in this action-packed new TV spot for ‘Black Panther’

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Black Panther

With just two more months to go until Ryan Coogler’s long-awaited Black Panther finally hits the big screen, Marvel Studios has unleashed a new TV spot featuring plenty of action-packed new footage from the upcoming superhero film starring Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, and Andy Serkis.

Set just after the events of last year’s Captain America: Civil WarBlack Panther follows T’Challa as he returns home to Wakanda to succeed to the throne and taking his rightful place as king after the death of his father. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king—and Black Panther—is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk.

Black Panther, which Coogler co-wrote alongside Joe Robert Cole, also stars Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, and Forest Whitaker. The film will open in theaters on February 16, 2018. You can check out the newly released TV spot in the embedded tweet below.

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The Walt Disney Co. will acquire most of 21st Century Fox in a historic $52.4 billion deal

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Disney acquiring 21st Century Fox

It’s official: The Walt Disney Company and 21st Century Fox announced this morning that they have entered into a definitive agreement for Disney to acquire the vast majority of Fox, including the 20th Century Fox film and television studios, for a whopping $52.4 billion in stock.

“The acquisition of this stellar collection of businesses from 21st Century Fox reflects the increasing consumer demand for a rich diversity of entertainment experiences that are more compelling, accessible and convenient than ever before,” Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said in a statement on Thursday. Iger has also extended his contract with the company through the end of 2021 to help oversee the acquisition process.

“When considering this strategic acquisition, it was important to the Board that Bob remain as Chairman and CEO through 2021 to provide the vision and proven leadership required to successfully complete and integrate such a massive, complex undertaking,” said Orin C. Smith, lead independent director of the Disney board.

Iger says Disney is “honored and grateful that Rupert Murdoch has entrusted us with the future of businesses he spent a lifetime building, and we’re excited about this extraordinary opportunity to significantly increase our portfolio of well-loved franchises and branded content to greatly enhance our growing direct-to-consumer offerings.”

The newly announced deal will place the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool under Marvel control, meaning that they are bound to show up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in one way or another over the course of the next few Marvel films. Disney claims the control of these properties will allow them to “create richer, more complex worlds of inter-related characters and stories that audiences have shown they love.”

In addition, Disney will also now have control over Fox Searchlight, 20th Century Fox’s sister company specializing in the financing and distribution of independent, art-house, and foreign films. The studio has introduced audiences to films such as Little Miss Sunshine and 12 Years a Slave over the years and is already having an exceptional awards season with The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Though, as Disney continues to integrate the assets it has acquired into its company, the future of Fox Searchlight will remain uncertain.

“We are extremely proud of all that we have built at 21st Century Fox, and I firmly believe that this combination with Disney will unlock even more value for shareholders as the new Disney continues to set the pace in what is an exciting and dynamic industry,” Murdoch said.

He continued, “I’m convinced that this combination, under Bob Iger’s leadership, will be one of the greatest companies in the world. I’m grateful and encouraged that Bob has agreed to stay on, and is committed to succeeding with a combined team that is second to none.”

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