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The first wave of Fantastic Fest 2017 titles have finally been announced and they’re great

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With the lineup for international film festivals such as TIFF and Venice already announced, the Alamo Drafthouse has unveiled the first wave of titles for its upcoming thirteenth edition of Fantastic Fest, the largest genre film festival in the United States, which will return to Austin next month with quite an impressive selection of programming to choose from.

According to a press release issued this morning, Fantastic Fest will kick off the week-long film festival with the U.S. premiere of writer-director Martin McDonagh’s darkly comic drama Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri starring Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson. Other notable titles include The Killing of a Sacred Deer and The Square, which won Best Screenplay and the Palme d’Or at the 70th Festival de Cannes, respectively.

“I’m proud to say that this is truly lucky thirteen for us,” said Tim League, festival founder and Alamo Drafthouse CEO. “We have another ferocious slate celebrating new and returning filmmakers from all over the world. It’s again an honor and privilege to welcome them and their brilliant, brave work.”

Fantastic Fest 2017 will begin on September 21 and runs until September 28 in Austin, Texas. You can check out the complete list of first wave titles playing at this year’s festival below:

1922

USA, 2017

World Premiere, 101 mins

Director – Zak Hilditch

1922 is based on Stephen King’s 131-page story telling of a man’s confession of his wife’s murder. The tale is told from from the perspective of Wilfred James, the story’s unreliable narrator who admits to killing his wife, Arlette, in Nebraska. But after he buries her body, he finds himself terrorized by rats and, as his life begins to unravel, he becomes convinced his wife is haunting him.

78/52

USA, 2017

Regional Premiere, 91 min

Director – Alexandre O. Philippe

This masterful documentary focuses on a single aspect of Hitchcock’s PSYCHO to demonstrate the master’s technical ability in storytelling. With expert interviews and rollicking analysis, 78/52 sets a new bar in how to examine film overall.

ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE

Scotland, 2017

World Premiere, 107 min

Director – John McPhail

Anna’s life is dominated by the typical concerns of her youthful peers until the Christmas season in her small town brings not Santa, but an outbreak of the undead in this genre-mashing holiday horror musical. Yep. Musical.

ANYAB

Egypt, 1981

Repertory, 100 min

Director – Mohammed Shebl

ANYAB (FANGS) is an oddity worth rediscovering! An Egyptian take on THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, this eye-popping musical of madness manages to cram horror, science fiction and even social commentary together while charming with its outrageous costumes and action.

BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL

Japan, 2017

US Premiere, 141 min

Director – Takashi Miike

Takashi Miike’s 100th journey is an adaptation of the BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL manga. Manji, a samurai who cannot die, crosses paths with Rin Asano, a young girl whose parents were killed. Manji swears to help Rin Asano avenge her parents’ deaths.

BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99

USA, 2017

US Premiere, 132 min

Director – S. Craig Zahler

S. Craig Zahler (BONE TOMAHAWK) returns with his sophomore feature, BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99. An exhilarating exercise in analog violence, CELL BLOCK follows the brutal exploits of a former boxer who finds himself incarcerated after a drug deal goes wrong. Trapped in a maximum security facility, he must fight to stay alive and to protect those he loves.

COLD HELL

Germany, 2017

US Premiere, 91 min

Director – Stefan Ruzowitzsky

A young Turkish woman living in Vienna feels increasingly lonely after she witnesses a murder and finds herself next on the killer’s agenda in this smart and gritty thriller from the director of ANATOMY and the Oscar-winning THE COUNTERFEITERS.

DAN DREAM

Denmark, 2017

US Premiere, 97 min

Director – Jesper Rofelt

KLOWN duo Casper Christensen and Frank Hvam reunite for a true-life tale of epic failure. Witness the non-arrival of the Danish electric car!

THE ENDLESS

USA, 2017

Texas Premiere, 111 min

Directors – Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead

When brothers Justin and Aaron return to the cult that they escaped from ten years ago, they encounter a web of secrets and mysteries that threatens to tear them apart.

GENERATION B (GENERATIE B)

Belgium, 2017

ep. 1-4 = North American Premiere; ep. 5-6 = World Premiere, 210 min

Director – Pieter Van Hees

The generation gap has never been wider than it is in Pieter Van Hees’ deliriously absurd satire, pitting old generation money against Millennial apathy — and the occasional naked anarchist — following Belgium’s economic collapse.

GERALD’S GAME

USA, 2017

US Premiere, 103 mins

Director – Mike Flanagan

Flanagan unites with master of the macabre Stephen King for his cinematic interpretation of King’s beloved GERALD’S GAME. Starring Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood, GERALD’S GAME delivers pitch-perfect performances in a faithful adaptation where the horrors of the mind are much worse than what’s in front of you.

HAGAZUSSA – A HEATHEN’S CURSE

Germany, 2017

World Premiere, 102 min

Director – Lukas Feigelfeld

Set in the 15th Century in the Austrian Alps, Lukas Feigelfeld’s HAGAZUSSA takes us back to a dark period in which even the remotest parts of Europe suffered from the paranoia and superstition of the time.

JAILBREAK

Cambodia, 2017

US Premiere, 92 min

Director – Jimmy Henderson

Cambodia’s traditional martial art of bokator is unleashed in all its bone crunching fury in this action-packed tale of police trapped in the midst of a raging prison riot.

JUVENILE

USA, 2017

World Premiere, 87 min

Director – Bradley Buecker

The emotionally powerful story of Billy, an angry youth who spends his evenings stealing cars with best friend Mikey while attempting to cultivate a stable relationship with his girlfriend Jules.

THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER

Ireland / United Kingdom, 2017

US Premiere, 120 min

Director – Yorgos Lanthimos

The life of a brilliant surgeon is thrown into disarray when his friendship with a bizarre teenager threatens the lives of his entire family. Faced with a frightening choice, the man will be forced to assess all that he’s ever done.

KING COHEN

USA, 2017

US Premiere, 104 min

Director – Steve Mitchell

Featuring interviews from some of the biggest names in genre cinema including Joe Dante, Robert Forster and Fred Williamson, this documentary tells the story of one of the best and hardest working exploitation filmmakers.

MAUS

Spain, 2017

World Premiere, 90 min

Director – Yayo Herrero

Yayo Herrero’s directorial debut is a couple’s nightmare journey into the heart of darkness. A superlative horror parable, this shocking film is an indictment of modern history, war and the difficulties of reconciliation. It is a story for our times.

MY FRIEND DAHMER

USA, 2017

Texas Premiere, 107 min

Director – Marc Meyers

This is the story of Jeffrey Dahmer, a high school loner whose life would shape up to be something far more frightening than anyone could have imagined.

THE ORIGINALS

Egypt, 2017

International Premiere, 125 mins

Director – Marwan Hamed

Samir works for a bank, provides for his ever-demanding family and dreams of being in an Egyptian talent show. When he’s unexpectedly fired, Samir finds himself recruited to be part of a secret society and finds a darker side to life in Egypt.

RON GOOSSENS: LOW-BUDGET STUNTMAN

The Netherlands, 2017

North American Premiere, 78 min

Directors – Steffen Haars & Flip van der Kuil

The latest from the comedic team behind the NEW KIDS films and BROs BEFORE HOs. Ron Goossens is totally shitfaced. Only by working as a movie stuntman and bedding the hottest actress in the Netherlands can Ron save his marriage.

THE SQUARE

Sweden, 2017

US Premiere, 150 min

Director – Ruben Östlund

An art museum director’s life becomes a comedy of errors when trying to put together his latest exhibit in FORCE MAJEURE director Ruben Ostlund’s latest, which won the Palme D’Or at this year’s Cannes.

SUPER DARK TIMES

USA, 2017

Regional Premiere, 102 min

Director – Kevin Phillips

A split-second act of violence forever changes the lives of two ‘90s kids. Now they must cope with both the fallout of that moment and the pressures of high school in this clever and bloody coming-of-age thriller.

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI

USA, 2017

US PREMIERE, 110 min

Director – Martin McDonagh

A grieving mother takes drastic measures in an attempt to catch her daughter’s killer. Challenging the police to solve the case, she posts a series of billboards that threaten the fabric of rural, Missouri.

TIGER GIRL

Germany, 2017

US Premiere, 90 min

Director – Jakob Lass

Failing to crack the ranks as a would-be cop, Maggie begrudgingly settles for a security guard job until she encounters Tiger, a fierce young woman whose rebellious antics leave Maggie questioning which side of the law she truly belongs on.

TOP KNOT DETECTIVE

Australia, 2016

North American Premiere, 87 min

Directors – Aaron McCann & Dominic Pearce

Aliens! Ninjas! Robots! Enormous egos! Get ready to enter the world of TOP KNOT DETECTIVE! Possibly the greatest cult TV series you’ve never heard of, TOP KNOT DETECTIVE and its creator Takashi Tawagoto come to life in this gonzo documentary.

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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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