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Ridley Scott moves forward with development on a ‘Gladiator’ sequel, which he plans to direct

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Gladiator
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Say what now? According to Deadline, Ridley Scott is moving forward with development on a sequel to his Oscar-winning 2000 film Gladiator, which he plans to direct from a script that is to be written by The Town scribe Peter Craig. The sequel will, of course, be sans Russell Crowe.

That’s not because Crowe doesn’t want to a return for a sequel, it’s just that, well, spoiler alert for those of you who haven’t seen this 18-year-old movie by now, his Maximus Decimus Meridius bites the dust in the previous film. So who will be taking the lead this time around?

The report notes that “Gladiator 2 will follow the continuing story of Lucius,” who was the son of Lucilla (Connie Nielsen) and the nephew of Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), the villainous son of Marcus Aurelius who ends up facing off against Maximus in the gladiator ring.

Apparently, Maximus “left a strong impression on the young Lucius” after defeating Commodus at the end of the original Gladiator, and so he’ll be picking up a sword and shield himself in the sequel to follow in the footsteps of the late commander-turned-gladiator.

Frankly, these days, sword-and-sandal movies, which once prospered during the golden age of Hollywood, have had a tough time winning over the interest of modern-day audiences and pretty much flop at the box office every time a studio tries to push one out. However, a sequel to a film as beloved as Gladiator could turn that around for the genre.

Scott has a lot on his plate at the moment, including his first ever TV series for TNT, which he’s currently shooting in South Africa, and a drama about photojournalist Lyndsey Addario starring Scarlett Johansson, so it’s currently unclear as to when he’ll get around to doing this Gladiator sequel.

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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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Final trailer for ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ teases a bittersweet ending to a beloved saga

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Rise of Skywalker
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Disney has released the final trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the latest chapter in the intergalactic franchise from writer-director J.J. Abrams that will — supposedly — mark the conclusion of the long-running Skywalker saga that began in 1977.

The Rise of Skywalker will see the return of much of the principal cast, including Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Mark Hamill, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Anthony Daniels, as well as the late Carrie Fisher, who will appear in the film by way of unused footage from the 2015 film Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

“You can’t recast that part and you can’t suddenly have her disappear,” Abrams said at the Star Wars Celebration event in April. “The weird miracle of having a number of scenes from The Force Awakens that had got unused, looking at those scenes and starting to understand that there was actually a way to use those scenes and continue her story so that it would be her. The idea of having a CG character was off the table.”

The film will also see Ian McDiarmid reprise his role as the villainous Emperor Palpatine and Billy Dee Williams as the iconic scoundrel Lando Calrissian.

“In addition to being the end of three trilogies, it also has to work as its own movie,” Abrams also said. “It’s about this new generation and what they’ve inherited the light and the dark, and asking the question as they face the greatest evil, are they prepared? Are they ready?”

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens December 20.

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Sam Raimi reteaming with Columbia Pictures to direct, produce new untitled horror project

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Sam Raimi
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Columbia Pictures confirmed Friday that it has acquired the rights to an untitled horror project that is set to be directed and produced by Sam Raimi, making it the genre maestro’s first directorial effort on a horror film 2009’s Drag Me to Hell.

“I am thrilled to be reunited with Columbia Pictures and re-teaming with Sanford [Panitch] and Ange [Giannetti],” Raimi said in a statement. “I have been a fan of Shannon and Swift and we have found the perfect adventure to share with the world.”

While details about the project are being kept tightly under wraps, the film — which was written by Mark Swift and Damian Shannon, based on an original idea they conceived — is comparable to Misery and Cast Away in terms of its tone, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Raimi and Zainab Azizi are producing the film via their Raimi Productions label, while Giannetti is overseeing the production for Columbia Pictures, which moved quickly to acquire the rights to the project before other studios even had a chance to make a bid on it.

Production on the film is expected to get underway in 2020.

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