Billy Ray directing Breach

After securing an Oscar nomination for his work on Captain Phillips, writer Billy Ray has booked himself another fact-based drama. Ray is teaming with fellow 2014 Academy Award nominees Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill for The Ballad of Richard Jewell, about the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing. Get all the latest details after the jump.

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WGA Rewards ‘Her’ and ‘Captain Phillips’

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By this point in the awards race, it’s usually pretty clear who the frontrunners are. Most of the guilds have already thrown their support behind a few favorite films, which typically then go on to fare well at the Academy Awards. Nevertheless, there were a couple of mild surprises when the WGA announced its 2014 Writers Guild Award winners this weekend.

In the original screenplay category, Spike Jonze beat out the likes of David O. Russell and Woody Allen to pick up a prize for Her. That bodes well for Jonze on Oscar night, as the list of Oscar nominees perfectly matched the list of WGA nominees this year. A more unexpected result is Billy Ray‘s adapted screenplay win for Captain Phillips, but that doesn’t really make him the Oscar favorite. He didn’t have to compete against 12 Years a Slave or Philomena, both of which were deemed ineligible for the WGAs. Hit the jump to see who else won in the film and TV categories.

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Captain Phillips lo

One word comes to mind watching the first trailer for Paul Greengrass‘ latest film Captain Phillips: Intense. Few filmmakers are better at creating incredible tension and drama out of real world situations, and it appears the director of United 93, Bloody Sunday and two Bourne movies has done it again. This time he’s joined by Oscar-winner Tom Hanks, who plays the title character in the true story of an unarmed American freighter ship hijacked by Somali pirates.

The film, which co-stars Catherine Keener, John Magaro and others, will but out October 11. Check out the trailer below. Read More »

Universal really, really wants their The Mummy reboot to work. Last spring, the studio set Prometheus co-writer Jon Spaihts to pen a modern-day reboot of the classic franchise. Now, they’re bringing in some extra help in the form of Hunger Games scribe Billy Ray.

While it’s pretty typical for a high-profile tentpole pic to go through multiple writers, this is a special case. Ray isn’t doing a rewrite of Spaihts’ script. Instead, he’s putting together a totally separate screenplay with an unrelated storyline. You know, just in case the other one totally sucks. Hit the jump to keep reading.

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Like most famous, talented directors, Martin Scorsese always has a bevy of projects at his fingertips. Right now he’s shooting The Wolf of Wall Street with Leonardo DiCaprio but once he finishes that, who knows? Maybe it’ll be Silence, maybe it’ll be The Irishman, or maybe he’ll finally get around to directing the long rumored biopic of legendary singer and actor, Frank Sinatra. That scenario is looking more likely today as Universal has just hired Billy Ray (The Hunger Games, State of Play, Flightplan) to write a new screenplay for Sinatra. Read more after the jump. Read More »

Warrior director Gavin O’Connor could follow up his moving tale of brotherly love and competition in the boxing ring with a story about an eternal man-child in bright green tights. Well, maybe the last part isn’t entirely a fair description of Billy Ray‘s Neverland, but the only hard knowledge we have about the script at this point is that it’s an origin story about the immortal Peter Pan and his archnemesis Captain Hook. Channing Tatum is attached to produce, but does not plan to star. More details after the jump.

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The final episode of 24 was broadcast in May 2010, and not long after we started to hear serious talk about a feature film continuation of the series anchored by Kiefer Sutherland‘s character Jack Bauer. Fox spent a lot of time choosing a screenwriter (Billy Ray eventually scripted, with Mark Bomback polishing) and starting the process of finding a director. A tentative start date was scheduled for the end of this month, timed to coincide with Sutherland’s hiatus from his new series Touch.

But there still is no director — Antoine Fuqua was a recent possible hire — and it now looks like Fox isn’t going to pursue the film until 2013 at least. Read More »

‘The Hunger Games’ Trailer

Here’s the first full trailer for the Gary Ross-directed adaptation of The Hunger Games, the first novel in Suzanne Collins‘ darkly futuristic trilogy of novels about teenagers chosen by lottery to fight to the death as representatives of their local district. Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth are the young leads in the Lionsgate film that could be the studio’s answer to Twilight, but hopefully with a harder edge.

Check out the trailer below. Read More »

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