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Clint Eastwood takes on the role of the world’s oldest drug trafficker in first ‘The Mule’ trailer

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The Mule
WARNER BROS.

Following last week’s surprise announcement that Clint Eastwood’s latest directorial effort, The Mule, had been finished early and would be entering this year’s awards race with its December release date, Warner Bros. has released the first trailer for the film, which also finds the 88-year-old back in front of the camera for the first time since 2012.

Building upon his recent streak of biographical thrillers, The Mule follows 80-something-year-old Earl Stone (Eastwood), who takes a job as a drug courier for a Mexican cartel. Little does he know, though, that hard-charging DEA agent named Colin Bates (Bradley Cooper) is hot on his tail, and it’ll only be a matter of time before law enforcement, or the cartel’s enforcers, catch up to him.

Believe it or not, the script, which was written by Nick Schenk, is actually based on the true story of 87-year-old Leo Sharp, the world’s oldest and most prolific drug mule for the international Sinaloa Cartel, who was tracked down and arrested by DEA Special Agent Jeff Moore in 2011.

With a cast that includes the likes of Laurence Fishburne, Michael Peña, Dianne Wiest and Andy Garcia, as well as Alison Eastwood, Taissa Farmiga, Ignacio Serricchio and Loren Dean, Eugene Cordero, it’s hard not to be at least a little excited for this one, even if you’re not a huge fan of Eastwood’s work.

Eastwood’s previous effort, The 15:17 to Paris, earns him a lot of flack, and rightfully so—it was really underwhelming—but it looks like he’s done some truly incredible work here and I’m really curious to see how this entire story plays out. Consider me sold!

The Mule will open in theaters on December 14. You can check out the newly released trailer below.

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New photo teases Tom Hanks and Matthew Rhys in Marielle Heller’s Mister Rogers biopic

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A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
TRISTAR PICTURES

Tristar Pictures has released a new image from A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, the upcoming Mister Rogers biopic starring Tom Hanks in the role of the beloved children’s television show host. The film comes courtesy of Can You Ever Forgive Me? director Marielle Heller.

Per the film’s official synopsis, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is “a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod,” who you may have seen featured in the documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? last year.

Written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster, the story begins when a jaded magazine writer (Matthew Rhys) accepts an assignment to write a profile piece on Mister Rogers, following him as he overcomes his skepticism about Rogers and learning about empathy, kindness, and decency from America’s most beloved neighbor in the process.

Marc Turtletaub, Peter Saraf, and Youree Henley are producing the film, which also stars Chris Cooper, Susan Kelechi Watson, Enrico Colatoni, Maryann Plunkett, Tammy Blanchard, Wendy Makkena, Sakina Jaffrey, Carmen Cusack, Noah Harpster, and Maddie Corman.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood will open in theaters just in time for awards season on November 22, 2019.

You can check out the newly released image above.

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Amid an intense wave of backlash, the Academy has decided to air all Oscar categories live

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Oscars
MATT SAYLES/INVISION

In the wake of an intense wave of backlash, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Friday that they will be reversing their controversial decision to present four technical categories their awards during commercial breaks at the 91st Oscars ceremony next Sunday.

“The Academy has heard the feedback from its membership regarding the Oscar presentation of four awards – Cinematography, Film Editing, Live Action Short, and Makeup and Hairstyling,” the AMPAS board of governors said in a statement. “All Academy Awards will be presented without edits, in our traditional format.”

Sources familiar with the matter tell Silver Screen Beat that the Academy’s change of heart came after AMPAS president John Bailey and CEO Dawn Hudson met with members of the group’s cinematography branch Thursday evening to discuss the decision, which did not go over well with many Hollywood filmmakers and craftspeople.

“Relegating these essential cinematic crafts to lesser status in this 91st Academy Awards ceremony is nothing less than an insult to those of us who have devoted our lives and passions to our chosen profession,” read an open letter to the Academy signed by dozens of industry figures, including directors Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee and cinematographers Roger Deakins and Rachel Morrison.

The letter ends with a quote from Academy member Seth Rogen, who tweeted earlier this week, “What better way to celebrate achievements in film than to NOT publicly honour the people whose job it is to film things.”

The 91st Oscars will air live from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 24 on ABC.

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‘Star Wars: Episode IX’ officially wraps principal photography with an emotional cast photo

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Star Wars: Episode IX
LUCASFILM LTD.

Star Wars: Episode IX director J.J. Abrams announced today via Twitter that the highly anticipated final chapter in the Skywalker saga has officially wrapped principal photography, leading us to believe that our first look at the film could be just around the corner.

“It feels impossible, but today wrapped photography on Episode IX. There is no adequate way to thank this truly magical crew and cast. I’m forever indebted to you all,” Abrams wrote in his tweet this afternoon.

Abrams’ tweet also includes an emotional set photo featuring cast members Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey, John Boyega, who plays Finn, and Oscar Isaac, who plays Poe Dameron, embracing on their final day of shooting.

“That’s a wrap on Star Wars episode 9 and the end to a chapter of my life that I couldn’t be more thankful for,” Boyega wrote in a tweet of is own. “What a process! It really has been a joy to be in these movies surrounded by amazing people. JJ, thank you for making my dreams come true.”

Abrams, who launched a new era of Star Wars with The Force Awakens in 2015, will now take Episode IX to the editing bay, where it will remain in post-production for the next 10 months or so until its December 20 release date.

You can check out the tweets from Abrams and Boyega below.

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