A24 debuts first trailer for 'The Farewell' - Silver Screen Beat
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Awkwafina visits her dying grandmother in the first trailer for Lulu Wang’s ‘The Farewell’

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The Farewell
A24

A24 has released the first trailer for Lulu Wang’s Sundance darling The Farewell, the family dramedy starring Awkwafina as a Chinese-American woman who finds out that her grandmother is dying of cancer but is unable to inform her of the diagnosis because of Chinese tradition.

Written and directed by Wang, the film follows headstrong and emotional writer Billi (Awkwafina) as she rebels against her parents’ directive to stay in New York and joins her family as they travel to China for an impromptu wedding-reunion back in China, which only Nai-Nai, the grandmother who is unknowingly suffering from terminal lung cancer, is actually looking forward to.

Once the family arrives in China, they awkwardly attempt to rekindle old bonds, throw together a wedding, and surreptitiously say their goodbyes, all while giving Billi the chance to rediscover the country she left as a child and celebrate her grandmother’s wondrous life.

The film debuted to rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival back in January, earning it an impressive 100% approval rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with many critics praising Wang’s direction and Awkwafina’s wonderfully dramatic performance.

In addition to Awkwafina, the film’s cast also includes Tzi Ma, Diana Lin, Zhao Shuzhen, Lu Hong, and Jiang Yongbo.

The Farewell will hit theaters on July 12.

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

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Sam Raimi
ETHAN MILLER/GETTY IMAGES

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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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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Paul Dano in talks to play the Riddler in ‘The Batman’ as Jonah Hill passes on the role

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Paul Dano
JOHN SCIULLI/GETTY IMAGES

Paul Dano is headed to Gotham City as the actor is in talks to play the classic comic book villain the Riddler in Matt Reeves’ upcoming The Batman, Silver Screen Beat has learned.

Dano joins a star-studded cast that already includes the likes of Robert Pattinson as the titular Caped Crusader, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, and Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon. Reeves is expected to round out the rest of the cast before the year’s end in anticipation of an early 2020 production start.

The news of Dano’s casting comes less than a day after reports surfaced about Jonah Hill turning down the role after he and his team failed to reach an agreement with Warner Bros. after spending weeks at the negotiating table.

Sources tell Silver Screen Beat that Hill’s camp was trying to broker a $10 million deal for the actor, which is more than half of what Pattinson — the star of the film — is reportedly making.

Reeves, who first boarded The Batman in early 2017 following the unsurprising departure of Ben Affleck, is directing the film from a script he wrote, in addition to producing along with his Planet of the Apes collaborator Dylan Clark.

The Batman is scheduled to be released June 25, 2021.

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