Freddie Mercury Biopic Needs a New Director

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Mercury, the planned film biopic of the late Queen singer Freddie Mercury, has hit another snag. Despite having the full backing of the three surviving members of the band, the film has taken a lot of time to get to the screen. Or perhaps the long road has been precisely because of the involvement of Queen, as it seems the band wants a version of the movie that is different from what others want.

So while Dexter Fletcher was hired last year to direct, with Ben Whishaw attached to play Mercury, the film is now in need of a new director as Fletcher has parted ways with the production. Read More »

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Get On Up trailer

Hot on the heels of this morning’s first-look image, Universal has released the first Get On Up trailer. The Tate Taylor-directed biopic stars Chadwick Boseman – last seen playing another American icon, Jackie Robinson, in 42 – as James Brown, tracing his journey from poor street kid to the Godfather of Soul.

Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Nelsan Ellis, Lennie James, Tika Sumpter, Jill Scott, and Dan Aykroyd also star. Watch the video, and check out a big bunch of high-res images, after the jump.

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Chadwick Boseman as James Brown

That’s 42 star Chadwick Boseman above, and below you’ll see Boseman as James Brown in the first shot from the Brown biopic Get on Up. The film also stars Dan Aykroyd as Ben Bart, who presided over Brown’s agency Universal Attractions. The film, which spans much of the singer’s life, also features  Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, and Lennie James.

Check out the shot below, and get a bit of new info about the movie courtesy of director Tate Taylor. Read More »

Authorized Jimi Hendrix Biopic

Just as John Ridley’s unauthorized Jimi Hendrix biopic Jimi: All Is By My Side is playing SXSW, the late musician’s estate has moved to develop a new authorized Jimi Hendrix biopic. This isn’t the first time there has been a move to make a film with the blessing of the estate. At one point Legendary founder Thomas Tull nearly had Anthony Mackie set to star and Paul Greengrass to direct on a project that would have featured the full suite of Hendrix songs. But the estate balked and the movie died on the vine. Read More »

whiplash-teller-simmons

Damien Chazelle, who wrote Grand Piano and wrote and directed Whiplash, certainly has a musical bent. While both of his films so far have had thriller elements, they have also had significant musical influence. Grand Piano follows a concert pianist, played by Elijah Wood, who is warned that any missed note in one particular performance will have violent consequences. Whiplash (above) follows a student jazz drummer who seeks greatness under the tutelage of an unusually stern taskmaster. (Read my review here.)

Now Chazelle will make a film called La La Land,  which keeps the musical element, still with a jazz inclination, and sounds like it could even edge into thriller territory. Read More »

Giant fake head Michael Fassbender

Frank is a really great and strange movie, and you should watch the trailer right now.

Actually, let me rephrase: Frank is a great movie about a strange guy, but the movie itself isn’t all that weird. Sure, it features Michael Fassbender as the title character, a poet/musician who wears a giant fake head. Like, always wears a giant fake head. But the entry point to the story is a wannabe songwriter played by Domhnall Gleeson, who guides us into Frank’s hyper-artistic world. Through him we see both the appeal and deep oddity of Frank’s life, and the movie deploys some unique comedy along the way. Read More »

Annie trailer

Quvenzhané Wallis was an unknown when she was cast in the offbeat indie Beasts of the Southern Wild, but her winning personality and natural talent won her fans and earned her accolades in no time. Now she’s applying those qualities to a more conventional project, Will Gluck‘s updated adaptation of the hit Broadway musical Annie.

The first =trailer offers plenty of chances to see Wallis in action, singing and dancing her way through modern-day Harlem. Not even the mean Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz) can keep Wallis’s Annie down, and in seemingly no time at all she’s charmed her way into the life of kindly billionaire Benjamin Stacks (Jamie Foxx). Watch the first trailer after the jump.

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West side story remake

A West Side Story remake? It’s possible and it might be made by Steven Spielberg. The legendary director has yet to settle on his next project, and while there are several possibilities, he’s just come up with a new one. Spielberg has reportedly expressed interest in remaking the Best Picture-winning 1961 musical, so 20th Century Fox has made those rights available to him if he wants to take up the task. Read More »

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