Author Archives: Jeff Sneider

Tracking Board’s Launch Pad Manuscript Competition Unveils Top 10

2017LPMC & LPPC Announcement 200X133This year’s finalists come from a wide range of genres, from heart-wrenching period dramas to pulse-pounding thrillers, and feature teen sleuths, charming sociopaths, very real magicians, 19th Century gold miners, and everything in between.

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Mark Hamill Joins Guillermo del Toro’s Animated Netflix Series “Trollhunters”

Mark Hamill TrollhuntersPremiering later this year, season two picks up with Jim (the late Anton Yelchin) entering the Darklands by himself, leaving behind his best friends and fellow Trollhunters, Toby and Claire.

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Mark Wahlberg to Star in Paramount Comedy “Instant Family” From “Daddy’s Home” Director

Mark Wahlberg Instant FamilySean Anders will direct the film, which follows a couple who decide to start a family and adopt through the foster-care system, only to find themselves raising three wild kids who have no interest in being parented.

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Gal Gadot to Join Bradley Cooper in MGM’s Max Landis-Scripted Thriller “Deeper”

Gal Gadot DeeperCooper will play a former astronaut who’s hired to lead an expedition to the deepest part of the ocean, where supernatural activity lurks.

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Toronto: 13 More Memorable Performances From the Festival, Including James Franco as Tommy Wiseau

James FrancoPeople will be talking about Sally Hawkins’ turn as a mute cleaning lady in Guillermo del Toro’s adult fairy tale The Shape of Water, but don’t forget about Richard Jenkins, who nearly steals the show.

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“Thor: Ragnarok’s” Taika Waititi in Talks to Direct Live-Action “Akira” Movie for Warner Bros.

Taika Waititi BubblesWaititi may be a blessing in disguise for Akira, as he values diversity when it comes to casting, and I don’t see him embracing the idea of an all-white cast playing Japanese characters.

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Joe Cornish Eyes Patrick Stewart, Rebecca Ferguson for “The Kid Who Would Be King” (Exclusive)

The Kid Who Would Be King20th Century Fox’s family-friendly fantasy film will be Cornish’s first since his acclaimed 2011 debut Attack the Block, which launched John Boyega as a major star.

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“All You Can Eat Buddha” Director Ian Lagarde Signs With Lee Stobby Following TIFF Premiere (Exclusive)

Ian LagardeThe film, which will make its U.S. debut at Fantastic Fest, follows a mysterious man who begins performing miracles at an all-inclusive resort, leading curious onlookers to believe he may be connected to a higher power.

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“The Purge” Prequel Sets Two Leads, Including “Insecure” Star Y’lan Noel (Exclusive)

The Purge 4Lex Scott Davis, who starred in the Lifetime movie Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart, will co-star in the genre film from Universal, Blumhouse and Platinum Dunes.

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Toronto: Jeff and Ed’s Top 10 Movies of the Festival, From “Novitiate” to “Call Me by Your Name”

CMBYNTrue stories such as Battle of the Sexes, Darkest Hour and The Disaster Artist reigned supreme at TIFF, where The Killing of a Sacred Deer also made a strong impression.

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“Meet the Movie Press”: J.J. Abrams’ Return to “Star Wars,” the Merits of “It” and a Toronto Recap (Video)

The guys also talk about Daniel Dae Kim replacing Ed Skrein in “Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Army.”

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Jamie Lee Curtis to Return for New “Halloween” Movie From Blumhouse and EP John Carpenter

Halloween 2018The new Halloween is billed as her “final” confrontation with the boogeyman known as Michael Myers, but isn’t that a pretty big spoiler? We’re just surprised the filmmakers are going back to that old well…

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“John Wick” Franchise Graduates to Summer Movie Season as “Chapter Three” Lands Release Date

john wick excerptDirector Chad Stahelski is expected to return, but a lot can change over the next two years, so if he’s lured away by an even bigger action movie, I’d like to see either Gareth Evans (The Raid), Ilya Naishuller (Hardcore) or Jeong Byeong-Gil (The Villainess) take the reins of the hit action franchise.

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James Wan to Produce Horror Movie “Sweet Tooth” for New Line

James Wan Smart HouseNico van den Brink’s short follows a woman who learns that her neighbors — a mother and her two kids — have been killed. That would be enough to freak out anyone, but when she continues to hear the children running around and laughing, she really starts to get the creeps.

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Toronto: James Franco’s “The Disaster Artist” Is the Year’s Funniest Film and the Best Movie of Its Kind Since “Ed Wood”

The Disaster ArtistWith his droopy eye, gaunt face, long hair and an unplaceable accent, Franco is perfect as Tommy Wiseau, nd I wouldn’t be surprised if he earns a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy.

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J.J. Abrams to Direct “Star Wars: Episode IX” as Lucasfilm Plays It Safe Following Director Drama

abrams-excerptAbrams hasn’t directed a movie since Star Wars: The Force Awakens, nor was he developing any projects that appeared ready to go, but just because he was available doesn’t mean that Lucasfilm didn’t have to back up the Brinks truck and pay him a ton of money.

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Toronto: Louis C.K.’s “I Love You, Daddy” Sells to The Orchard as A24 Lands Aussie Crime Thriller “1%”

I Love You DaddyLouis C.K. plays a successful TV writer-producer whose teenage daughter strikes up an unusual friendship with a 68-year-old filmmaker whose past includes unsavory accusations. It’s a controversial premise for C.K., who has dealt with unsavory accusations of his own of late, not that buyers were bothered.

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Woody Allen Casts Diego Luna, Liev Schreiber and Rebecca Hall in His Next Movie

Diego LunaThis is the untitled Amazon film that will star Timothée Chalamet, Elle Fanning, Selena Gomez and Jude Law, while Annaleigh Ashford and Will Rogers will also be joining them.

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Toronto: Netflix Buys Jim Carrey-Andy Kaufman Documentary and Jason Sudeikis Movie “Kodachrome”

JimAndyKodachromeThe streaming plunked down around $4 million for Mark Raso’s Kodachrome, which finds Ed Harris and Jason Sudeikis playing a father and son who embark on a road trip to Kansas to develop some important rolls of film. Joining them along the way is Elizabeth Olsen, a welcome presence in any indie movie.

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Toronto: Margot Robbie’s “I, Tonya” Spurns Big Netflix Offer in Favor of Bigger Theatrical Release From Neon, 30West

I TonyaLed by Tom Quinn and Tim League, Neon is one of the most exciting indie distributors around today, and it’s buying movies that we actually want to see.

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Toronto: 15 of the Festival’s Best Performances So Far, From A-Listers to Newcomers

Tonya 200Keep in mind that the list below is comprised solely of performances that we’ve actually seen at this point, which is why Denzel Washington, Sally Hawkins, Gary Oldman, Emma Stone Saoirse Ronan and Christian Bale aren’t on here… yet. We may post a sequel later in the week, so stay tuned!

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Meet Mrs. Anastasia Grey in Hot Teaser for “Fifty Shades Freed” (Video)

Fifty Shades FreedDakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan are back for the climactic final chapter, and this time, they’re married! Valentine’s Day can’t come soon enough, right?

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Toronto: Midnight Madness Off to a Hot Start With Joseph Kahn’s Battle Rap Movie “Bodied”

Bodied TIFFBodied is the rare satire that works, and in today’s hyper-sensitive, overly-PC culture, it may be exactly what we need right now, especially given the conversation it has inspired about free speech and the consequences of language.

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Toronto: Matt Damon Comes Up Short in Pair of Paramount Pics Thanks to Weak Material

Matt Damon TIFFThere aren’t many true movie stars left these days, though Damon is still one of them. However, if he keeps this up, his career as a leading man may be what gets downsized. Because in Hollywood, like Suburbicon, there’s always some lookalike willing to take your place.

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Toronto: Margot Robbie and Jessica Chastain Shine in Oscar Hopefuls “I, Tonya” and “Molly’s Game,” Which Have Surprising Parallels

Tonya Harding Molly BloomTonya Harding and Molly Bloom may come from very different backgrounds, but they’re both women who picked themselves back up after getting knocked down. The fact that these movies debuted on the same night in Toronto is film festival poetry, folks.

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Gavin O’Connor in Final Negotiations to Direct “Suicide Squad 2” for Warner Bros.

Gavin O'Connor Suicide Squad 2O’Connor will pen a new draft of the script with his writing partner Anthony Tambakis, and if Warners brass is pleased, he’ll likely go on to direct Suicide Squad 2, which has flirted with a handful of directors including Mel Gibson and Jaume Collet-Serra.

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“Star Wars: Episode IX”: The Top 10 Kinds of Directors Lucasfilm Is Likely Considering to Replace Colin Trevorrow

Star Wars: Episode IX DirectorsCan you see Disney turning to one of its Marvel or Pixar directors like Ryan Coogler, Taika Waititi or Brad Bird? What about Ava DuVernay, who just directed A Wrinkle in Time for the studio?

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Radio Silence to Direct Genre Film “Family Ritual” for Fox Searchlight (Exclusive)

Radio Silence Family RitualPlot details remain under wraps, but sources say the script was written by Guy Busick and Ryan Murphy, and describe it as being in the vein of Jordan Peele’s hit Get Out.

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Neal Moritz and His Original Film Banner Heading to Paramount Once Sony Deal Expires in 2019

Neal MoritzThe producer of the Fast and Furious and Jump Street franchises will have a second-look deal with Paramount, effective immediately.

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“Insecure” Star Yvonne Orji Joins Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish in Comedy “Night School”

Yvonne Orji Night SchoolMalcolm D. Lee (Girls Trip) is directing the Universal movie, which follows a group of misfits who are forced to attend adult classes in the longshot chance they’ll pass the GED exam.

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