Phil Lord, Chris Miller ink first-look deal with Universal - Silver Screen Beat
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Phil Lord, Chris Miller ink first-look deal with Universal, marking their first overall film agreement

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Phil Lord and Chris Miller
RODIN ECKENROTH/GETTY IMAGES

Phil Lord and Chris Miller have signed a first-look deal with Universal Pictures, marking the Oscar-winning creative team’s first overall feature film agreement under their Lord Miller banner, which also recently inked a five-year overall deal with Sony Pictures TV.

Under the Universal deal, Lord Miller will develop comedy and drama films based on original content, existing IP, and other media formats, “with an emphasis on championing fresh voices,” according to a press release issued Friday.

“Universal has a history of breaking new ground and championing unexpected voices, so for us it’s a very welcoming environment to make bold, original films that push the medium forward,” Lord and Miller said in a statement. “We also feel a deep obligation to leave something behind for future generations of studio executives to reboot. We’re very grateful to Donna [Langley], Peter [Cramer], and the entire Universal team for inviting us to partner with them in reaching that goal.”

Lord Miller’s team includes newly appointed president of film Aditya Sood — a longtime friend of the pair who previously served as president of Simon Kinberg‘s Genre Film — as well as Will Allegra and Rebecca Karch, who serve as senior vice president and vice president, respectively.

“In this competitive landscape, our ongoing ambition is to partner with visionary filmmakers who have true authorship and a voice that is unmistakable,” said Langley. “Phil and Chris speak to the culture and have their singular, original perspective to every project they’ve touched. We are thrilled to collaborate with them and welcome them to the Universal family.”

Currently on the table for Lord Miller are a number of different projects, including adaptations of Andy Weir’s 2017 sci-fi novel Artemis and Lee Bacon’s upcoming children’s book The Last Human, both of which the pair are expected to direct.

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Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt set sail on an Amazonian adventure in Disney’s ‘Jungle Cruise’ trailer

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Jungle Cruise
DISNEY

Disney has released the first trailer for Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt‘s Jungle Cruise, which finds the beloved Disneyland ride of the same name brought to life in the vein of such films as Indiana Jones and The African Queen.

The film, directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, follows a charismatic riverboat captain (Johnson) and a determined explorer on a research mission (Blunt) as they set sail on an adventure-filled expedition through the Amazon-jungle in hopes of finding a tree that is believed to possess healing powers.

“We were just so moved, so honored to be in a movie like this because we both grew up just madly in love with Indiana Jones and obsessed with those kinds of movies,” Blunt said at the D23 Expo in August. “To be part of something like this, with this same spirit, makes my heart race.”

Added Johnson, “We wanted to make a movie that was big, that was epic, that had romance, big comedy, big action. But most important; it’s got me.”

In addition to Johnson and Blunt, the film’s ensemble cast also includes Jack Whitehall, Edgar Ramirez, Jesse Plemons, and Paul Giamatti.

John Davis, John Fox, Johnson, Hiram Garcia, Dany Garcia, and Beau Flynn produced the film, with Doug Merrifield serving as executive producer.

Jungle Cruise will sail into theaters on July 24, 2020.

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Disney-Pixar’s ‘Onward’ trailer finds Tom Holland, Chris Pratt summoning their dead father’s legs

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Onward
DISNEY/PIXAR

Disney and Pixar have released a new trailer for Onward, the upcoming animated feature starring Tom Holland and Chris Pratt as two teenage elf brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot, who embark on an extraordinary quest to discover if there is still a little magic out there.

And by magic, we’re talking like actual, literal magic. Set in a suburban fantasy world, Onward follows Ian and Barley as they try to summon their dead father back to life. Having never encountered magic before, though, the spell doesn’t completely work and only summons half their father — the bottom half, that is.

So, with their dad’s legs in tow, the boys set out on a road trip to try to find out how to bring the rest of him back to life, encountering all sorts of creatures, magical spells, and mysterious lands along the way.

The film, which was directed by Dan Scanlon and produced by Kori Rae, features a star-studded voice cast that also includes the likes of Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Ian and Barely’s mom, Laurel Lightfoot, and Octavia Spencer as the voice of the Manticore.

Onward will hit theaters on March 6, 2020.

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Phoenix: See Benedict Cumberbatch as Thomas Edison in ‘The Current War’ early and for free

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The Current War
101 STUDIOS

101 Studios will release The Current War, the epic story of the cutthroat competition that literally lit up the modern world, on October 25 and they’re 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 the Phoenix area can click on this link right now to claim their free passes — good for you and one guest — to an advance screening of The Current War happening at Harkins Scottsdale 101 on Tuesday, October 22 at 7:00 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 The Current War as well as some additional details about the film.

Directed by: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon, Katherine Waterston, Tom Holland, Tuppence Middleton, Matthew Macfayden, and Nicholas Hoult

Opens: Friday, October 25

Rating: PG-13 for some disturbing/violent images, and thematic elements

Synopsis: Benedict Cumberbatch is Thomas Edison, the celebrity inventor on the verge of bringing electricity to Manhattan with his radical new DC technology. On the eve of triumph, his plans are upended by charismatic businessman George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon), who believes he and his partner, the upstart genius Nikolai Tesla (Nicholas Hoult), have a superior idea for how to rapidly electrify America: with AC current. As Edison and Westinghouse grapple for who will power the nation, they spark one of the first and greatest corporate feuds in American history, establishing for future Titans of Industry the need to break all the rules.

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