“The audience is real and the business scales to the quality of the entertainment,” “Borderlands” executive producer Randy Pitchford says Video games have come a long way since “Super Mario Bros.” More than 30 years since its release, a game like “The Last of Us” doesn’t look or feel a thing like the 8-bit adventures of an Italian plumber in the Mushroom Kingdom. So how come the movies based off video games are still stuck in the 8-bit era? Despite the genre’s rough reputation and mixed box office results, Hollywood is now looking to adapt the biggest gaming franchises as well as artful indie games and more serious, critical darlings. The hope is that the industry’s attitude toward video game movies and shows is changing, and that critics and audiences will be more receptive. “Hollywood is definitely taking video games more seriously than they ever have before,” Randy Pitchford, executive producer of the “Borderlands” franchise at The Gearbox Entertainment Company and the executive producer of the “Borderlands” film, told TheWrap. “The audience is real and the business scales to the quality of the entertainment. The most successful people in the film and television business understand this and are taking video...Read original story Does ‘Mortal Kombat’ Signal New Life for Video Game Movies in Hollywood? At TheWrap
Fewer than one in 10 executives working across the international TV industry wants to go back to full-time office work following the pandemic, and 60% think in-person industry events should require COVID-19 testing, a new survey has found. The inaugural Content Industry Monitor from podcast TellyCast and fledgling agency WorkShare Consulting surveyed around 500 people […]
For those who still think the glass is half-empty, I see it filling up I remember the first time I met Chloé Zhao. She was this tiny thing who showed up to a private Wrap dinner for directors and writers at the Sundance Film Festival on Main Street in 2015, tucked under the protective arm of Forest Whitaker. She was in competition at the festival with her first feature, “Songs My Brothers Taught Me,” which Whitaker produced. I remember her and the film especially because it was an unusual combination. Zhao, a Chinese-born filmmaker, telling the story of a Native American family on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, a place I had happened to visit as a reporter and knew to be one of the poorest places on Earth. Of all places, she chose this one to set her story. And of all stories, she chose to focus on Johnny and his sister Jashuan, young Native Americans struggling in a family fractured by a tragic legacy of the Lakota nation. Writer-director Chloe Zhao with producer Nina Yang and a friend at TheWrap’s Sundance dinner in 2015. (Photo by Patrick Fraser for TheWrap) I thought that this writer-director must be a person of uncommon empathy. The film wound up grossing $147,000 worldwide. So it is quite a wonder to consider Zhao’s journey from then until now, nominated for a stunning four Academy Awards and poised to become the first Asian woman in history to win Best Director on Sunday night for her film “Nomadland.” She is also nominated for Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Editing. It almost takes your breath away. Also Read: From Chadwick Boseman to Chloe Zhao – 19 People Who Could Make History on Oscar Night But if that trajectory makes your pulse race (as it does mine), consider the other firsts that are happening at this year’s Academy Awards: • The first time two women are nominated for Best Director, Chloé Zhao and Emerald Fennell. • The first time an Asian woman is nominated for Best Director. • The first time any woman of color is nominated for Best Director. • The first time a British woman is nominated by Best Director. (Fennell is also nominated for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.) * The first time an all-Black team of producers is nominated for Best Picture (“Judas and the Black Messiah”). * The most Black nominees for a single film in Oscar history (10 for “Judas and the Black Messiah”). And with the votes in and expectations already set, most people anticipate another first on Sunday night: that three nonwhite actors may take the top acting prizes, namely, Yuh-Jung Youn for Best Supporting Actress (“Minari”), Chadwick Boseman for Best Actor (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) and Daniel Kaluuya for Best Supporting Actor (“Judas and the Black Messiah”). That list could expand if Viola Davis, beloved but in a tough competition, manages to snag Best Actress for playing “Ma Rainey.” Also Read: Oscar Predictions: In a Weird Year, Will We See Weird Winners? In a world where diversity has sometimes become a slogan rather than a meaningful goal, it is worth taking a moment to appreciate where we are here in Hollywood, on the cusp of setting new standards and embracing change that we hope may become a new normal. Many may look at the Oscar race this year and see a glass half-empty. Some important projects about and by filmmakers of color, did not make Best Picture — namely, Spike Lee’s “Da Five Bloods,” and notably the missing nomination for Delroy Lindo’s masterful lead performance. As an observer of this process for more than two decades, I choose to see this moment as a glass that is steadily filling up. The process of choosing to make diversity a goal of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences membership has played a role. And public pressure about the lack of inclusion in our industry, the lack of gender equity and the need to finally open the gates wider has forced more diverse projects to be given a chance. Also Read: Louise Fletcher Explains Why She Accepted Her Oscar in Sign Language 45 Years Ago That said, Zhao’s journey is even more remarkable than most. She was born and raised in Beijing, China. Her stepmother was an actress, Song DaDan, but otherwise she had no entry into entertainment. As an adolescent, she reportedly was rebellious and drawn to Western cultural influences. Zhao went to boarding school in London, but finished high school in Los Angeles. She studied political science at Mount Holyoke College, and later went on to study film production at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She made a bunch of shorts before directing her first feature in 2015, and the rest is history. And her next movie will be “The Eternals,” a megabudget Marvel tentpole with Anglelina Jolie that’s due out this November. I have not once had the pleasure of talking to her during this extra-long awards season, which I regret. But I have watched her gather accolades and statues with wonder. And I’m going to stick with this feeling of hope that I get from the nominees at this year’s Academy Awards. The Decade When Hollywood Cracked Open – In Praise of the 2010s Read original story The Incredible Journey of Chloé Zhao and Other Reasons to Celebrate Diversity at the Oscars At TheWrap
As 12-time Oscar nominee Diane Warren is in the midst of preparations for the 93rd Academy Awards, she has also found time to release her latest songwriting project, “Somehow You Do,” sung by Reba McEntire. The song is in the Warren tradition of movie-based ballads. “Somehow You Do” is taken from the upcoming film, “Four Good […]
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The Hindi-language film industry, popularly known as Bollywood, is displaying its resilience after being hit by yet another COVID-enforced pause. India is currently in the throes of the pandemic with 330,000 new COVID-19 cases everyday, with upward of 2,200 daily deaths. The western Indian state of Maharashtra, home to Mumbai and Bollywood, is amongst the […]
The MCU’s newest superpowered person in a costume faces an uncertain future (This article contains spoilers for the finale of Marvel’s “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” on Disney+) In a show full of interesting things, John Walker — now going by the title U.S. Agent — is of particular interest. A large part of that is because his story is very disjointed — he goes from sounding pretty much exactly like Steve Rogers at the beginning of the second episode to being a petty, jealous goober who executes his foes while a crowd of people watches without much of a transition. But this week, John has a moment of reflection while he’s fighting with the Flag Smashers, and he then briefly fights alongside Bucky to help take them down. It was a weird thing. Why Bucky would suddenly be OK with him aside, it’s the kind of thing that makes you wonder, “Wait, is he a good guy now?” John Walker is definitely in an ambiguous place right now. He’s clearly not the best guy in the world, and he’s overly emotional and susceptible to people telling him what he wants to hear. And he’s now apparently working for Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ mysterious Valentina, who we figure will play a major part in the MCU from here. Also Read: ‘Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Season 2? Kevin Feige Says ‘There’s Certainly Ideas’ Valentina is certainly not the best person either, and judging by her comic book history we should expect her to become either a major villain, or a more morally grey Nick Fury type. If it’s the latter, then John fits in naturally with her, because that’s how he is in the comics as well. A guy who sometimes does good stuff, and sometimes does bad stuff, and has a tumultuous relationship with actual heroes. The way that he was portrayed throughout “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” follows that characterization almost to a T, so it would make sense for him to be the same way as U.S. Agent. Let’s talk about the comic book version of this guy for a second. While it’s not clear whether U.S. Agent is an actual government role in the MCU, that’s exactly what it was in the comics. The idea was basically “What if Captain America was comfortable with black ops.” Among his other jobs, he was for a time put in charge of supervising the West Coast Avengers, where he really found his groove fighting alongside the team and proving himself on multiple occasions. After the West Coast Avengers disbanded, he joined up with other teams, including The Invaders, Omega Flight, and a later incarnation of the main Avengers team. Also Read: How Anthony Mackie Reacted When Falcon Became the Comic Captain America Back in 2014 He never becomes a straight-up villain again, but he remains something of an egomaniac and jingoist dick who clearly wishes he was Captain America even years after he accepted he isn’t up to the job. Like many comic book heroes, U.S. Agent had a bunch of other adventures and went in and out of retirement. He even became warden of The Raft at one point. And most importantly for what might happen in future Marvel shows and movies, he even ends up recruited by a group of US government jerks who don’t like Sam Wilson’s version of being Captain America — though even then he basically ends up siding with Sam anyway. The gist here is that John Walker is the sort of person who wants to do the right thing, but is OK with doing war crimes on America’s behalf to accomplish it. He’s the sort of person for whom determining whether he’s a hero or villain or something else will likely depend on the the situation. Think of it this way. Captain America is supposed to represent America’s stated ideals — but U.S. Agent much more closely resembles what America actually is. How that will play whenever John Walker emerges into the greater MCU is anyone’s guess. Read original story ‘Falcon and the Winter Soldier': Is US Agent a Bad Guy or Good Guy? At TheWrap
Japanese car giant Honda said Friday it would aim to have electric and fuel cell vehicles account for 100 percent of all sales by 2040 to promote climate goals.
Personally, I like my movie experience to involve a cohesive storyline. But that isn't possible with a movie like Late Shift.
The new Cap apparently didn’t think it would happen for him 7 years before “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” The finale of “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” finally gave the people what they want: Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) confirmed as the new Captain America. And we know a lot of fans are (understandably) finding the whole thing extremely heartwarming. But even more heartwarming is the time 7 years ago, when the comic book version of Sam Wilson became Captain America, and Mackie celebrated the milestone even though he apparently believed it was never going to happen for him. So quick recap: In the final episode, which we need to just say out loud wrapped up the Flag Smashers and John Walker stuff really uh, uncomfortably quick, Sam debuted the hybrid Falcon/Captain America suit we definitely knew the Wakandans made for him last week. Also Read: ‘Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Season 2? Kevin Feige Says ‘There’s Certainly Ideas’ More importantly, while he was very clearly acting on his own and without the sanction of the US Government, by the end he’s been completely accepted as the new Captain America. Even by Isaiah Bradley, who has extremely good reasons (he’s a victim of systemic racism) to reject the whole premise, and the creepy Ted Cruz-esque senator played by Alphie Hyorth, who has bad reasons (he’s a perpetrator of systemic racism). Back in 2014 we were still years away from the MCU’s Sam Wilson becoming Captain America in the MCU. But in July of that year Marvel comics announced on “The Colbert Report” that Sam would be taking over as he new cap starting in 2015. And Mackie, who at that point had appeared as Sam just one time, in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” was ecstatic.“Dreams do come true!!! It’s only the ComicBook, but it’s still amazing!” he tweeted the next day. Here’s that tweet, which includes a very heartwarming photo. Dreams do come true!!! It's only the ComicBook, but it's still amazing! pic.twitter.com/vOUnx8yaCn— Anthony Mackie (@AnthonyMackie) July 18, 2014 Fortunately for Mackie, and legions of *very* happy Marvel fans, in the end it wasn’t only the comic book. Thanks to “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” Mackie is, we presume, the MCU’s official Captain America for the foreseeable future. And hell yes to that. In the meantime, we don’t know everything there is to know about the MCU’s version of Sam’s new suit yet — is it made of vibranium? Does it include strength enhancing stuff? But we do know it’s extremely close to the suit designed by comics artist Daniel Acuña for the first issue of “Captain America: Sam Wilson” and we’re down. Read original story How Anthony Mackie Reacted When Falcon Became the Comic Captain America Back in 2014 At TheWrap
Copenhagen-based Final Cut for Real CEO Signe Byrge Sørensen might be unassuming and soft-spoken, but her vision, will power and fire for urgent stories have made her a world-class producer. Her documentary credits boast countless festival hits and accolades, including two Oscar-nominated films, “The Act of Killing” (2014) and “The Look of Silence” (2016), to […]
Anything is possible in the new phase of the MCU, but that doesn’t mean there are any guarantees The Marvel Cinematic Universe is back in full swing now that we’ve reached the end of “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” and so much has happened — not the least of which is that Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) is now officially the new Captain America. These new Marvel shows on Disney+ are, unlike “Agents of Shield” and the Netflix ones, full pieces of the MCU that carry as much weight for the big picture of the franchise as most of the movies that aren’t universe-shattering crossover events. So that means sequels are usually going to be a distinct possibility. Or, since we’re talking about TV shows, second seasons. “WandaVision,” though, is the sort of story for which a season 2 wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense — it’s not likely that Wanda is going to make a town live their lives in a TV show again. But “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” is a different story. Also Read: ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier': Are We Honestly Supposed to Sympathize With John Walker? Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige sounded more optimistic about a potential second season of “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” compared to “WandaVision.” But the studio, which until this year had only made movies, views any future seasons of its growing list of Disney+ series in much the same way as it does film sequels. “It’s a funny question and it’s one that we obviously get asked much more in television because people expect it to be like what people know before. We really did approach it like we do the movies: We better make this great, because we won’t be able to do another one,” Feige said back in March during a virtual press conference. “If we were able to do another one, there’s certainly ideas.” And there are some obvious setups, particularly with John Walker (Wyatt Russell) still alive and kicking at the end, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ mysterious character up to no good. And while the Flag Smasher super soldiers are out of the picture now, their cause still lives on. Plus, you know, we’ve got whatever’s going on with Sharon Carter right now. But with all these characters belonging to the greater franchise, stuff that happens in movies or other Disney+ shows could impact whether another season even makes sense. “Falcon and The Winter Soldier” will be followed by two other series that feature returning MCU actors in “Loki” in “Hawkeye,” along with future projects that will debut new heroes including Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, Moon Knight and Ironheart. Feige reiterated the overall plan going forward is for characters and storylines to bounce between Disney+ and the movie theater. Also Read: Incel Captain America Is So Perfect “They really will go back and forth between the Disney+ series and the movies,” he said. “Sometimes will be a Season 2, sometimes will be a feature.” Unlike “WandaVision,” which Feige revealed well before its premiere that it would have a direct tie-in to a future movie — in this case, Elizabeth Olsen will appear in “Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness” next year — there are no announced plans for either Mackie or Stan to reprise their roles in an upcoming project. That doesn’t mean what happens in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” won’t have ramifications on the MCU, Feige said. “The characters of Bucky and Sam are essential to the MCU — whatever they go through could and should have an impact on the MCU,” Feige said. “It is hard to navigate every fan theory that’s going to pop up. Not everything is going to be as world-shattering.” Also Read: Here’s How Much ‘Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Debut Topped ‘WandaVision’ in Viewership He later added: “There can be character shifts that have massive, massive implications for the future.” Those two have gone through a ton across these six episodes. Sam is Captain America. Bucky finally crossed everyone off his apology list. They both worked through a lot of their baggage that they’ve been wrestling with for several movies and seem a lot more emotionally prepared to deal with being superheroes in a world as insane as the MCU. Sam’s sister got the boat situation handled, and maybe Bucky is gonna stick around since he really seems to like her. While we don’t know when we’ll see these guys next, Mackie does at least have an idea for one place he’d like to pop up. “I would really — Kevin — like to spend some time in the ‘Blade’ world,” Mackie said. The finale of “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” dropped on Friday, April 23 on Disney+. Read original story ‘Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Season 2? Kevin Feige Says ‘There’s Certainly Ideas’ At TheWrap
“Quantico” star Tracy Ifeachor (pictured, right), “Star Trek: Discovery’s” James Frain (left) and “Rocks” actor Sharon D. Clarke are set to star in BBC drama “Showtrial” from “Bodyguard” producer World Productions. The five-part series, which will air on flagship channel BBC One, is now in production. Ben Richards (“The Tunnel”) writes, while Zara Hayes (“Poms”) […]
Netflix has another new film to get stuck into, while Russell Crowe gets his crazy on in road rage thriller Unhinged.
Nothing seems to be standing in the way between BTS and world domination. The K-pop mega stars have become the new ambassadors of French luxury brand Louis Vuitton. It marks a new fashion triumph for RM, Jin, Suga, J-hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook, who are known for their casual elegance.