An interview with 'Instant Family' director Sean Anders - Silver Screen Beat
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For ‘Instant Family’ director Sean Anders, family will always be a part of everything he does



Sean Anders

Sean Anders knows how to make a family comedy an absolute success. With films like We’re the Millers, Daddy’s Home, and Daddy’s Home 2 under his belt, he understands that in order to make movies like these memorable, a perfect balance of sharp, original writing and creative humor needs to be present in order to keep the audience engaged.

Anders nails that in his sweet, touching new movie Instant Family, which follows Pete (Mark Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne) and their struggles adapting to their three adopted children. Among other topics, Anders explores the ins and outs of raising various different ages of children without the self-proclaimed troubles of the dreaded infant and toddler years throughout the film.

What makes the film even more special is the fact it’s based almost entirely on Anders and his wife’s experience with their own adopted children. But how does a mildly bawdy comedy writer transition from a film like Sex Drive into crafting this love letter to his kids? And what other kinds of projects is he taking on that revolves around this central theme of family?

We discuss all that and more in our discussion with Anders, which picks up below:

How did the dynamic of creating a movie inspired by your own life work?

Well, it’s not only inspired by my family and my experience but also the experiences of a lot of other families that I’ve met along the way, so I never felt like Mark Wahlberg was playing me and I never felt like this was my life on the screen and that made it easier. We’re telling a fictional story that was inspired by my life.

But, on the other hand, virtually every emotion that they go through along the way, as well as several specific situations, were taken directly from my life. It was very emotional and kind of embarrassing because I would be behind the monitors just completely in tears.

Could you talk a little about the scene near the beginning of the film when we see the faces and the ages of the kids up for adoption on the screen?

That’s a very real moment because my story started the exact same way the family’s does in the movie. I made the joke that Mark Wahlberg makes in the movie and my wife thought it was kind of interesting and then we wound up looking at a website and you see the real faces of real kids. In that scene, when you see those pictures, those are pictures of real kids that were adopted from foster care, including my own.

How much of Pete and Ellie’s struggles relate to you and your wife’s experiences as a couple going through the process of adopting?

Almost all of it! It was tricky. Like I said before, there’s that transitional time that’s really hard and it can turn you against each other and it can just wear your patience thin and it makes you really question the choices that you’ve made. But then, once it starts to change and once the family starts to really fall in love with one another, it all becomes worth it. That stuff is all very real.

What is it about family that interests you so much as a filmmaker?

It’s just the most basic thing in the world. My writing partner John Morris and I both have families—he has two kids, I have three kids—and being dads is just such a huge part of our lives. I also think my own family that I come from has always influenced me, even going back to the Adam Sandler movie That’s My Boy that I did. When we got involved with that, the thing that appealed to me was the father-son story, which is something I really wanted to do. There’s some element of family in almost everything that we do and there probably always will be.

Do you plan on tackling any other genres of film in the near future?

We’re producing a horror movie right now that we’re hoping is going to start production soon. We’ve also been working on a thriller that is almost like one of those 90s thrillers and it’s something that we’ve been talking about for a while and I’ve been wanting to do a big adventure movie for a long time. We’re looking to branch out into a lot of different areas.

How do you think your experiences as a comedic filmmaker will influence your work on something like a thriller?

I think that there will be an element of humor to everything that I will ever probably do. There’s an element of humor in every aspect of my life. It’s interesting because we’ve done a lot of big, physical comedy—a lot of broad, crazy things—and I think a lot of people tend to write that stuff off as just silliness or whatever. But it’s actually really fun to construct a big, physical comedic set piece and I think of it as kind of like a fight scene from a kung-fu movie because it has to have a premise and it has to build from a place and it has to lead to some kind of a punchline and it usually has a twist in it and you’re incorporating visual effects and special effects. Putting all of that stuff together is really fun. I believe that doing some more serious action or adventure movies would incorporate a lot of the same building blocks.

Editor’s note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.


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Emma Watson shares candid behind the scenes photo of the all-star ‘Little Women’ cast



Little Women

With just a little more than a year to go until Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Little Women opens in theaters, Emma Watson, just one of many stars a part of the film’s impressive ensemble, has taken to social media to share the first official image from the set of the film.

From left to right, the candid behind the scenes photo shows Watson’s Meg March, Gerwig, Saoirse Ronan’s Jo March, Florence Pugh’s Amy March, Eliza Scanlen’s Beth March, and Timothée Chalamet’s Theodore Laurence.

“I could never love anyone as I love my sisters,” reads the photo’s caption, a direct quote from Louisa May Alcott’s beloved 1868 novel of the same name, which the film is based on.

Written and directed by Gerwig, the film’s story is set in post-Civil War America and follows the lives of the four March sisters as they each navigate the journey from childhood to womanhood.

Little Women marks a reunion for Gerwig, Ronan, and Chalamet, who all previously collaborated on Gerwig’s directorial debut Lady Bird last year, which earned several Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director for Gerwig, and Best Actress for Ronan.

The film, which also stars the likes of Meryl Streep, Laura Dern, and Bob Odenkirk, will open in theaters next winter on December 25, 2019.

You can check out the Little Women first look image below.

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2019 SAG Awards nominations revealed: See the complete list of this year’s nominees



A Star Is Born Shallow SAG Screen Actors Guild Awards

Awkwafina and Laverne Cox were on hand to announce nominees for the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards for outstanding individual, cast, and ensemble performances in film and television of 2018 at the Pacific Design Center’s SilverScreen Theater in Hollywood on Tuesday morning.

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s hit remake of A Star Is Born picked up the most film nominations with four nods, including Best Actor for Cooper, Best Actress for Gaga, Best Supporting Actor for Sam Elliott, and Best Ensemble.

The Favourite, BlackKklansman, and Vice also picked up a number of nominations on the film side, while The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Ozark, The Handmaid’s Tale, and The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story dominated the television side.

The 25th Annual SAG Awards ceremony, which does not yet have a confirmed host, will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, January 27 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

The complete list of nominees is below:

Theatrical Motion Picture nominees

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Christian Bale, Vice
Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Viggo Mortensen, Green Book
John David Washington, BlacKkKlansman

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns
Glenn Close, The Wife
Olivia Colman, The Favourite
Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born
Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Timothee Chalamet, Beautiful Boy
Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman
Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born
Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams, Vice
Emily Blunt, A Quiet Place
Margot Robbie, Mary, Queen of Scots
Emma Stone, The Favourite
Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
A Star Is Born
Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
Crazy Rich Asians

Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Avengers: Infinity War
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Black Panther
Mission: Impossible — Fallout

Television nominees

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie
Antonio Banderas, Genius
Darren Criss, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Hugh Grant, A Very English Scandal
Antony Hopkins, King Lear
Bill Pullman, The Sinner

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie
Amy Adams, Sharp Objects
Patricia Arquette, Escape at Dannamora
Patricia Clarkson, Sharp Objects
Penelope Cruz, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Emma Stone, Maniac

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Jason Bateman, Ozark
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Joseph Feinnes, The Handmaid’s Tale
John Krasinski, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Julia Garner, Ozark
Laura Linney, Ozark
Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale
Sandra Oh, Killing Eve
Robin Wright, House of Cards

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Alison Brie, G.L.O.W.
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Jane Fonda, Grace & Frankie
Lily Tomlin, Grace & Frankie

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method
Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
Bill Hader, Barry
Tony Shalhoub, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Henry Winkler, Barry

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
The Americans
Better Call Saul
The Handmaid’s Tale
This Is Us

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
The Kominsky Method
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan
The Walking Dead

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Scott Derrickson set to return to the director’s chair for Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange’ sequel



Doctor Strange Scott Derrickson

With Avengers: Endgame officially on the horizon, Marvel has quietly begun to put the pieces together for what’s to come after the eagerly awaited next chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe hits theaters next April, which means finally getting plans for a Doctor Strange sequel on the drawing board.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Scott Derrickson, who co-wrote and directed the original Doctor Strange film in 2016, has finalized a deal to helm its sequel, which will see Benedict Cumberbatch reprise his role as the titular mystical superhero.

While no writers are attached to the Doctor Strange sequel quite yet, a source with insider knowledge tells Silver Screen Beat that Marvel is eyeing Jon Spaihts and C. Robert Cargill, who co-wrote the original along with Derrickson, to begin working on a script.

THR also reports that Marvel isn’t expected to get production on the Doctor Strange sequel underway until at least early 2020, meaning the film likely won’t hit theaters until around mid-2021 or possibly even later in the year.

Also set to return for the sequel is Benedict Wong, who plays Wong, a master of the mystic arts and Stephen Strange’s right-hand man, and Rachel McAdams, who plays Christine Palmer, an emergency surgeon and Strange’s love interest.

Marvel had no comment on the news.

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