Paul Greengrass agent storm

Paul Greengrass has been linked to an adaptation of the book Agent Storm: My Life Inside Al Qaeda and the CIA. The book is about Morten Storm, a one-time Islamic radical who became a double agent for the CIA and British and Danish intelligence. Sony has picked up rights to the book, and Scott Rudin will produce with Greengrass reportedly developing the adaptation, and potentially directing. Read More »

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Vampire romances and fairy tale retellings may come and go, but spy stories never really seem to go out of style. The latest to get picked up is The Director, based on a forthcoming novel by Body of Lies author David Ignatius. Scott Rudin is attached to produce, and he already has a director in mind: Paul Greengrass. Hit the jump for plot details and more.

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12-Years-a-Slave-Steve-McQueen

Who will be nominated for the Best Director Oscar this year? We’ve got a pretty good idea now that the nominations for the Directors Guild of America’s own awards have been handed down. Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity), David O. Russell (American Hustle), Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street) and Paul Greengrass (Captain Philips) have been honored with nominations for the 66th DGA award. Three of those (McQueen, Cuaron, Greengrass) are first-time DGA nominations.

Historically, this nomination set is a very good predictor of where the Oscars will go, but last year was a bit of a tradition breaker, as only two of the five DGA nominees got Oscar nominations, and the DGA winner, Ben Affleck, was not among them. (Ang Lee won the Oscar.)

Meanwhile, this is another major guild that has looked past Joel and Ethan Coen and Inside Llewyn Davis; Spike Jonze is another director of significant achievement in 2013 who didn’t get a nomination. 

The full list of feature directorial nominations is below, with accompanying notes from the DGA. Read More »

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 »

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Briefly: The new feature film adaptation of Stephen King novel The Stand has been a difficult thing for Warner Bros. to get off the ground. Filmmakers such as Harry Potter duo David Yates and Steve Kloves; Ben Affleck; and Crazy Heart and Out of the Furnace director Scott Cooper have all been attached to versions of the adaptation in the past couple years.

Now Badass Digest reports that the top choice at WB to take over the project is Paul Greengrass, who hit big this year with Captain Phillips. Read More »

THR-directors

As we mentioned a few days ago, one of the great pleasures of the award season, which does arrive each year with a grand set of problems and irritants, is that filmmakers are given more opportunities than usual to discuss their work, and some of those opportunities are more extensive than others. THR has created a series of “creative roundtables” over the past few years, in which likely Oscar candidates talk with each other about their work.

Below you’ll find the new directors roundtable, in which Steve McQueen, Paul Greengrass, David O. Russell, Ben Stiller, Alfonso Cuaron and Lee Daniels discuss all manner of topics related to filmmaking. Make time for the 50-minute talk; it’s very much worth it. Read More »

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If you haven’t seen Captain Phillips yet, buy a ticket for this weekend right now (we can wait). Aside from it being one of this year’s best films, its also becoming one of this year’s controversial movies.

Captain Phillips tells the true story of the hijacking of the ship Maersk Alabama, and how Captain Phillips heroically sacrificed himself to save his crew.

Of course like any Hollywood movie, the events are dramatized to make them more cinematic, but most of the facts in the film stay true to Phillips’ account of the story. The only problem is, Phillips wasn’t the only one there, and now his ship’s crew has come out publicly to dispute the events and even blame Phillips for the whole mess. Of course, the crew is currently in a lawsuit with  Maersk Line and the Waterman Steamship Corp. for almost $50 million, alleging “willful, wanton and conscious disregard for their safety.” And yes, Phillips is a witness for the defense. So there may be other motives in these comments.

Yesterday director Paul Greengrass was on Reddit doing an AMA (Ask Me Anything) when he was confronted with the recent reports. What did Greengrass say in response? Find out after the jump.

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At this point, there probably aren’t many people who expect a feature film to be a 100% accurate depiction of events, even when it proclaims that it is based on a true story. The idea of dramatic license is well-understood, but there’s always a related question: when does dramatic license steer a project too far away from reality?

It’s one thing to make a film based on disputed story accounts, as is the case with The Fifth Estate, which subject Julian Assange has disowned as “based on a deceitful book by someone who has a vendetta against me and my organisation [sic].” But is it another to remap events so broadly that they deviate wildly from fact, even if the intent behind the changes is good?

In Captain Phillips, Paul Greengrass and screenwriter Billy Ray, along with the cast and crew, use the story of the hijacking of the ship Maersk Alabama to tell a story about two men who represent different lives and cultures. It’s a great story, and it uses the story of Captain Phillips and the Maersk Alabama to raise very specific points and questions. But there’s one problem: some of the ship’s crew says the film doesn’t represent Phillips properly, and it paints a very incorrect picture of events.  Read More »

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