porgy and bess movie

Dee Rees has found her next project. The director, who earned an Oscar nod for her screenplay for 2017’s Mudbound, is set to write and direct a feature film adaptation of Porgy and Bess, the George Gershwin opera set in the slums of Charleston that became a Tony-winning Broadway musical. Rees’ Porgy and Bess movie adaptation comes more than 60 years after Otto Preminger first brought the story to the big screen with Sidney Poitier in the lead.

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downhill trailer

(Welcome to The Streamer’s Guide, a new monthly feature recommending at-home viewing options from filmmakers with new movies arriving in theaters this month.)

If you’ve seen all the /Film coverage from Sundance and gotten eager to sample the year’s first crop of new movies, you’re in luck! A number of them are hitting theaters almost immediately following their Park City debuts (plus a few on Netflix, including Dee Rees’ supposed bust The Last Thing He Wanted), and that’s on top of what looks like a promising crop of new releases on the studio side of things. If you’re looking to prepare for February’s openings, or perhaps just preparing a double feature with one half at home, here are some viewing options for you.

(Of note: I was not able to include a film for February’s biggest release, Birds of Prey, because director Cathy Yan’s debut feature still does not have U.S. distribution. Dead Pigs somehow got enough attention to get her a gig directing a giant movie for DC Comics, yet no distributor wants to put her prior film out there over two years after it premiered at Sundance. Justice for Dead Pigs, Cathy Yan and female filmmakers of color!)

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The Last Thing He Wanted Trailer - Anne Hathaway

The 2020 Sundance Film Festival kicks off today, and one of our most anticipated movies playing up in the mountains of Park City, Utah is the latest directorial effort from Mudbound and Pariah director Dee Rees.

The Last Thing He Wanted, based on Joan Dideon’s novel of the same name, finds Anne Hathaway as journalist Elena McMahon, who ends up caught in the middle of the Iran-Contra scandal. The affair saw weapons being sold to the Khomeini government of the Islamic Republic of Iran in order to fund Contras, various U.S.-backed and funded right-wing rebel groups in Nicaragua, and Elena’s father (Willem Dafoe) just so happens to have dropped some unfinished arms deals in her lap.

Watch The Last Thing He Wanted trailer that was just released by Netflix to get a taste of this thrilling drama. Read More »

casting bits

A whole bunch of casting news happened this week, and we went ahead and rounded it all up for you in one spot. You’re welcome! In this edition of Casting Bits:

  • Ben Affleck and more join Anne Hathaway in Dee Rees new movie The Last Thing He Wanted.
  • Julianne Moore will co-star with Amy Adams in The Woman in the Window.
  • Ralph Fiennes will star in Terry Gilliam‘s Mr. Vertigo.
  • Rosario Dawson takes the lead in USA Network pilot Briarpatch.
  • Michael C. Hall, Cleopatra Coleman, and Bokeem Woodbine will appear in the Netflix drama In The Shadow of the Moon.
  • Quentin Tarantino has added even more people to his never-ending Once Upon a Time in Hollywood cast.

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The Last Thing He Wanted

Mudbound director Dee Rees is headed back to Netflix with her new film. Rees will adapt Joan Didion’s book The Last Thing He Wanted for the streaming platform, with Anne Hathaway set to star.

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walmart oscars commercials

It’s no Super Bowl Sunday, but the Oscars are starting to step their game up in the realm of must-see commercials. The best of the bunch are a series of female-directed Walmart Oscars commercials. And they’re deserving of an Oscar category all of their own.

Dee Rees, Nancy Meyers, and Melissa McCarthy each directed one-minute short films for Walmart that could rival feature films. The most exciting of the bunch came from Mudbound director Dee Rees, who created a big-budget sci-fi short that went viral.

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the last thing he wanted

While all of the attention has gone to socially conscious Oscar front-runners like Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Get Out, Anne Hathaway and Dee Rees both quietly delivered two of the most powerful movies of 2017. Hathaway starred in the clever Colossal, whose themes of domestic violence elevated its quirky sci-fi underpinnings, while Rees directed the racially-charged period drama Mudbound. Now, the two of them will be teaming up for their next project.

Hathaway will be starring in The Last Thing He Wanted, an adaptation of a Joan Didion political thriller directed by Rees.

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Mudbound theatrical release

Netflix has butted heads with theater owners ever since they started producing their own original films. A few of their films, like the Idris Elba drama Beasts of No Nation, have made it to limited theater screens in the past, and now another of their original movies, director Dee Rees‘ southern family epic Mudbound, will get a limited theatrical release next week. But will it also be ignored when the next batch of Oscar nominations roll around, or will this be enough to position the film as a possible awards contender?
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Mudbound streaming

(Welcome to Now Stream This, a column dedicated to the best movies streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and every other streaming service out there.) 

Well, I guess it’s officially the holiday season now. Time to start thinking about family get-togethers, shopping, cold temperatures, and copious amounts of social drinking. Or you could just skip all that and stay home and stream some movies! As we wind down the clock on 2017, and the nights grow longer and colder, it’s probably best to curl up with a blanket, peruse the plethora of streaming services that exist now, and watch some fine films. Luckily, you have me here to help you pick some winners. You’re welcome.

This edition of Now Stream This features yet another great original movie from Netflix, a documentary about time travel, an underrated, brightly lit fever dream of a film, an action-movie take on a 1000-year-old poem, and more! Here are the best movies streaming right now! So let’s get streaming.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

mudbound trailer

Netflix has made headway at the Emmys, but it’s still trying to become a major player at the Oscars. Mudbound feels like the streaming service’s attempt to enter the awards season with a major contender – a period drama stacked with great actors and powered by a story that feels all-too-relevant.

But beyond that, it just looks like a fine film, pure and simple. You can see for yourself in the Mudbound trailer below.

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