the Duffer Brothers

Who are the Duffer Brothers? That’s probably a question many people are asking themselves after just having binge-watched their Netflix series Stranger Things. They created the show and directed six out of the eight episodes, yet not many people had ever heard of them before they Netflix’d and chilled. And now that all everyone can seem to talk about Stranger Things, I thought it might be worth taking a look at the guys who made this critically acclaimed series.

Did you know they directed a feature film starring Alexander Skarsgård that you’ve probably never heard of? We have the trailer. Also, I’ve included some of their early short films so you can see how they’ve evolved as storytellers.

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Alexander Skarsgard‘s commitment to True Blood has kept him from being the movie star he might eventually become, but he has been seen on the big screen in a couple roles recently, thanks to Lars von Trier (Melancholia) and Rod Lurie (Straw Dogs, shot a couple years back). He’ll be in Peter Berg’s Battleship later this year, and even gets one of the best face-flapping moments in the trailer for that movie.

Now Warner Bros. is looking to the younger Skarsgard to take on a closed-room thriller called Hidden. Read More »

Each December since 2004, studio executive Franklin Leonard has compiled the best unproduced screenplays of the year, as voted by hundreds of execs, agency guys, and high-level assistants. Titled The Black List, the compendium highlights both established screenwriters and up-and-comers, and has served as a launching pad in the past for projects like Juno, Lars and the Real Girl, and (500) Days of Summer. Last year’s list included Margin Call, Crazy, Stupid, Love, The Hunger Games, and Snow White and the Huntsman.

It should be noted that the headline is somewhat misleading — some of these screenplays have already been acquired and are already in development, though according to Leonard none will have entered principal photography by December 31, 2011. Also worth pointing out is that, as in previous years, there have been rumors that some of the participants have been accused of using the Black List to promote their own clients or friends. Finally, as Leonard reminds us each time, “The Black List is not a ‘best of’ list. It is, at best, a ‘most liked’ list.”

Regardless, we can always rely on the Black List to stir up conversation among both industry insiders and outside spectators alike, so without further ado, hit the jump for the complete 2011 list.

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This is a little nugget of info that’s worth a chuckle but perhaps little more: a Reuters report says that Italy’s health ministry has confiscated a great many 3D glasses — as many as 7,000 — from Italian cinemas. Why? the ministry believes that improperly cleaned glasses could represent a ‘hygiene problem’. I keep wondering how long it will be before we hear of some massive outbreak of pink eye or something that is traced to or blamed on 3D glasses. Italy is right there with me, I guess.

Even better, the confiscated sets failed to carry proof that they will not create short-term vision problems. The story sounds like just slapping a tag on the glasses claiming that they pose no short-term risks would be enough.

Avatar‘s numbers have seemingly not been impacted by the Italian actions; the film is the top-grossing picture in Italy. Meanwhile, the country’s first 3D film, Hidden, will shoot next month. Well, the film is a Canadian/Italian co-production and will shoot in Canada, but Screen Daily is calling it the first Italian 3D film. The horror/thriller plot involves “”an abandoned experimental medical center that harbors a deadly secret.” Don’t they all?