Will Smith in I Am Legend

A pair of sports film just took significant jumps up the production ladder. First up, superstar Will Smith is in talks to star in a film about head injuries in the NFL produced by Ridley Scott. Peter Landesman (Parkland) is scheduled to direct.

Second, John Lee Hancock – director of the highest grossing sports film of all time, The Blind Side – will direct a film about the life of baseball superstar turned financial criminal, Lenny Dykstra. Read more about the Will Smith NFL movie and Dykstra project below. Read More »

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LAT-director-roundtable

We’ve spoken often of how the best thing about awards season is that filmmakers are given the chance to talk at length about their films, and not merely on their own, but with each other. THR had a long set of video roundtables late last year featuring many people responsible for some of 2013′s best films, and now the LA Times site The Envelope is getting in on the action.

The director’s roundtable from the outlet features   Spike Jonze (Her), Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), John Lee Hancock (Saving Mr. Banks), J.C. Chandor (All Is Lost), Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said) and Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips), with the crew of directors talking about their early inspirations, reacting to criticism, luck, failure, casting, and far more. Read More »

Saving Mr Banks

If all the Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar, animation and theme park coverage weren’t hints enough, we here at /Film are Disney fans. Big time. So a film like Saving Mr. Banks, which is about Walt Disney’s struggle to make one of the studio’s greatest films, Mary Poppins, is right in our wheelhouse. The film opens December 20 and will play the AFI Fest presented by Audi this weekend. Peter Sciretta and I were lucky enough not only to see the film before that festival date, but to see it at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, CA, where about 45% of the movie was shot and actually took place.

So while this film, which stars Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Bradley Whitford, BJ Novak and Jason Schwartzman, might not seem like the typical film for us to do a video blog for, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to give our opinion of a Disney film which the Walt Disney Company made in the place Walt Disney actually had these experiences. Read More »

SAVING MR. BANKS

Disney has three big films coming out this holiday season, but only one is about the company itself. That’s Saving Mr. Banks, the true story of Walt Disney’s courting of author P.L. Travers for the rights to her book, Mary Poppins. Directed by John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side), the film features Tom Hanks as Disney and Emma Thompson as Travers. It opens December 13 in the U.S. but had its world premiere this weekend at the London Film Festival.

So how is it? The first reviews are out and while everyone seems to agree there’s plenty of Disney magic, and some people even smell Oscars, a few don’t necessarily think it works. Read a bunch of reviews below. Read More »

maleficent-logo-2

Saving Mr. Banks helmer John Lee Hancock is going to help rescue another iconic Disney character. Hancock has been brought in to assist first-time director Robert Stromberg in shooting new scenes for Maleficent, intended to strengthen the opening of the film.

While it’s not uncommon for big-budget studio productions like this one to go in for reshoots, it is a bit unusual for a studio to bring in another director to help film new material. Hit the jump for the latest updates on the project.

Update: The header image is now the new logo for Malificent which was found via a Spanish blog.

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Saving-Mr-Banks

Saturday’s live-action panel at D23 closed with the studio’s big awards-season hopeful, the making-of drama Saving Mr. Banks. Directed by John Lee Hancock from a Black List script by Kelly Marcel, the drama depicts Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) in his years-long effort to convince author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) to fork over the rights to her Marry Poppins books.

We’ve already seen bits of footage from the film thanks to the trailer, but three new scenes were shown at the event. Hit the jump to read all about them.

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SAVING MR. BANKS

There’s a certain kind of stress that comes with watching a favorite book get adapted into movies, and I can only imagine that the process must be even more nerve-wracking for the authors of those books. It can’t be easy for them to see their work chopped up and rearranged, or to find that what soars on the page drops with a thud on the screen.

In Saving Mr. Banks, writer P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) tries to save herself that grief by refusing to hand over the film rights to her Mary Poppins books. But Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) doesn’t give up easily, and, well, if you’ve ever tried to wrap your mouth around the nonsense word “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” you can probably guess how that goes. Watch the first trailer for the fact-based drama after the jump.

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IMAGE REMOVED

When filming a major Hollywood movie at one of the busiest locations on the planet, a photo or two is bound to leak out. That’s just happened with Saving Mr. Banks. Tom Hanks, who plays Walt Disney in the film, has been spotted in character during filming at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. The film, which will be released December 20, 2013, tells the story of Disney’s 14-year effort to convince Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers to turn over the rights to her book. Emma Thompson plays Travers, and she’s been spotted by photographers, too.

Directed by John Lee Hancock, Saving Mr. Banks co-stars Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Bradley Whitford and Jason Schwartzman. After the jump, see several images of Hanks, Thompson and the filming and read some of Hanks’ thoughts on the Disney character. Read More »

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