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Guillermo Del Toro, YouTube, Legendary to host Halloween film contest

Impress Guillermo Del Toro and one YouTuber might have a shot at a development deal with Legendary Entertainment.

Legendary and Del Toro are collaborating with YouTube in creating a short horror film contest in which YouTubers can make a film using sets provided by YouTube, with the ultimate prize of winning a development deal with Legendary. Variety was the first to report the news. READ FULL STORY

'Magic Mike XXL' begins filming, non-director Steven Soderbergh tweets

For a man who’s retired from directing movies, Steven Soderbergh keeps finding increasingly creative ways to circumvent his vow. Behind the Candelabra was technically a TV movie (though it played in theaters in many foreign territories) and The Knick is a Cinemax TV series, but clearly, he has no intention to stop working.

The Oscar winner recently tweeted an image of a clapperboard indicating that production had begun on the Magic Mike sequel, a project he handed off to his long-time collaborator Gregory Jacobs. But Soderbergh hasn’t exactly stepped off the stage—his pseudonym as a cinematographer is Peter Andrews. So technically, he’s not directing Channing Tatum in Magix Mike XXL, but he’ll be behind the camera, as well as serving as the film’s camera operator and editor. “I want to be there, but I don’t want to be the director,” Soderbergh told GQ in June. “I want to be a part of it. I want to be in the band, but I just don’t want to be the frontman this time.” READ FULL STORY

The Toronto Film Festival accidentally oversold its Bill Murray day

Thanks to the Toronto International Film Festival, Sept. 5 will no longer just be known as, well, Sept. 5. Instead, the festival has declared something of a Bill Murray holiday, during which it will premiere Murray’s new film, St. Vincent, following free screenings of Stripes, Groundhog Day, and Ghostbusters. Only, there’s one tiny problem: The festival oversold the world premiere of St. Vincent.

Due to what the festival has called a “computer error,” it oversold both the premiere of St. Vincent and the world premiere of The Drop starring Tom Hardy and James Gandolfini.
READ FULL STORY

Sam Claflin chugs a horrifying cocktail in new 'Riot Club' clip

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Hazing is part of any secret college society experience, and it looks like the titular group of Universal Pictures’ The Riot Club is no exception in a new clip released from the film.

In the clip—which, fair warning, may churn a few stomachs—a new initiate of the Riot Club is kidnapped from a quiet study session in the library by a group of club members. Blindfolded and surrounded by the gleeful Rioters, the group forces Alistair Ryle, played by The Hunger Games‘ Sam Claflin, to both gulp down a glass of wine filled with a mixture of bodily fluids and maggots, and then correctly identify the wine’s make and year.

The Riot Club tells the story of two new students at Oxford University with dreams of joining the school’s most exclusive society, the Riot Club, which is modeled after Oxford’s Bullingdon Club. The film is based on Posh, the 2010 play which the film’s screenwriter Laura Wade also wrote.

From An Education director Lone Scherfig, The Riot Club will make its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival before releasing on Sept. 19.

See Jon Cryer mix love and murder in 'Hit by Lightning' trailer

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Jon Cryer is a two-time Emmy winner who now pulls down $620,000 per episode after 12 seasons on TV’s Two and a Half Men. But to another generation, he’s Duckie, the BFF Molly Ringwald should’ve ended up with at the end of Pretty in Pink.

Fair or unfair, those two characters, combined, make it reasonably easy to believe Cryer as a middle-aged man who’s yet to meet his soulmate. In Hit by Lightning, he plays a sad-sack restaurant employee who falls head over heels in love with a beauty (Stephanie Szostak) he meets via an online dating service. They quickly hit it off: “I’ve never seen a man weep and climax at the same time,” she says. She is most definitely the one for him—or a callous harpy who just wants him to kill her husband.  READ FULL STORY

Kevin Costner on 'Black and White,' race, and great movie speeches

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When we first meet Kevin Costner’s character, Elliott, in Black and White, he’s alone at the hospital after a car accident has killed his wife (Jennifer Ehle). Shattered, he finally says, “I feel so sh-tty,” before going home and crawling inside a bottle of booze. The themes of loss and alcohol will evoke memories of the last time Costner worked with writer/director Mike Binder, 2005’s The Upside of Anger. In that film, Costner got to play a lighter soul, with Joan Allen’s abandoned wife shouldering the darker demons. In Black and White, however, Costner is put through the emotional wringer, and the ambitious film adds a much more complicated issue: race.

Elliott’s life has already been marked by tragedy. His teenage daughter died during childbirth, and Elliott and his wife have raised their mixed-race grandchild (Jillian Estell) in their white-collar neighborhood. But when he’s left alone to raise her—while juggling his L.A. legal practice and a mushrooming drinking problem—her paternal grandmother, Rowena (Octavia Spencer), decides the child would be better off with her family in Compton. She takes Elliott to court, cleaning up her ne’er-do-well son, Reggie (Andre Holland), in order to win custody.

In an exclusive scene from the film, which debuts Sept. 6 at the Toronto Film Festival, Elliott and Rowena passive-aggressively make nice at the funeral and plot the course for the conflict that follows. Costner, who financed the film himself, talked to EW about working with Binder, the delicate issue of race in film, and his affinity for a good speech. READ FULL STORY

'Guardians of the Galaxy' defends its box-office roost over Labor Day weekend

Labor Day weekend, 2014: that time when a movie featuring an anthropomorphized raccoon and a talking tree became the highest-grossing release of the year. In its fifth weekend, Guardians of the Galaxy continued to stay in pole position thanks to weak holiday competition, taking in an estimated total of $22.2 million over the four days ($16.5 million for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) and bringing its grand domestic take up to $280.5 million. That number would have only made it the fourth highest-grossing movie at the same time in 2013 (after Iron Man 3, Despicable Me 2, and Man of Steel), but in a relatively slow year for blockbusters, it’s more than enough to grab the current brass ring from Captain America: The Winter Soldier. And now that even Marvel’s long-shots are paying off big-time, we can look forward to movies featuring ever-increasingly recondite and niche comic-book characters and storylines. Oh, you thought that Howard the Duck teaser was just a joke? READ FULL STORY

Internet grinds to halt as nude pics of Jennifer Lawrence, others surface

While the rest of the nation enjoyed a long, leisurely Labor Day weekend, basking in those fleeting final days of summer, life on the Internet ground to a halt because: Jennifer Lawrence naked. The Oscar-winning actress was the highest profile target of a massive hacking campaign, which the Telegraph reports accessed her Apple iCloud account, where pics from her phone were presumably backed up. (Somewhere, the producers of Sex Tape are shouting, “We tried to warn you! The public ignored us!”)

Various reports say nearly 60 photos of Lawrence in various stages of undress circulated after a hacker posted them to 4chan, the Internet’s screaming id, alongside similarly racy leaked photos of Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kate Upton, Victoria Justice, Ariana Grande, and allegedly many others—all of them women. Winstead confirmed in dispiriting tweets that her pics were real, but Justice and Grande have denied it. (TMZ quotes a Grande tweet, “My petite ass is much cuter than that,” though it’s not on her Twitter page anymore.)

Lawrence’s representatives also confirmed the pics’ authenticity by calling their revelation a “flagrant violation of privacy” and vowing legal action against anyone who posts the images.

Meanwhile, the presumed stockpile of penis photos taken by Hollywood actors remains curiously untouched.

'Draft Day' deleted scene: See how Jennifer Garner's football exec made it in a man's world

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In a case of life imitating art, the Cleveland Browns made some ambitious draft-day trades in May to land a college football star who they hope can turn around their franchise. Heisman trophy winner Johnny Manziel will be holding a clipboard when the real Browns open their season next week, but he’s already been anointed a savior by a city that hasn’t won an NFL title since 1964. In Ivan Reitman’s movie, Draft Day, Kevin Costner stars as Sonny Weaver Jr., the Browns’ embattled general manager faced with a make-or-break draft to reverse the team’s losing fortunes and save his job. His billionaire boss (Frank Langella) wants a big name who can sell seats, his own mother (Ellen Burstyn) is leaking inside scoops on Twitter, and his salary-cap guru (Jennifer Garner) is pregnant … with his baby. No pressure.

While the film is Sonny’s story—and Costner successfully adds another credit to his sports-movie Hall of Fame career—Garner’s character, Ali, is a beguiling mix of beauty and smarts. As a woman who’s risen to the upper echelon of an NFL team’s braintrust, she’s every bit Sonny’s equal, but the film only hints at her fascinating background. In one of the deleted scenes on the new Blu-ray, which comes out on Tuesday, she explains to the team’s head coach (Denis Leary) how she got connected to the Browns in the first place.

“It’s kind of my character’s backstory,” Garner says in one of the Blu-ray extras, “With backstory scenes, as you’re shooting them, you know that the chances of a backstory scene making it in the film are very small because you just don’t have time to delve into everyone’s story. But it was really fun to shoot.” READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' becomes the top-grossing movie of 2014

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Marvel’s ragtag crew of C-level comic stars beat out the studio’s A-listers on Friday as Guardians of the Galaxy took its place as the top-grossing movie of the 2014 domestic box office, surpassing the valiant efforts of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. That’s enough to make anyone go “ooga-chaka.” Four weeks after its release, the space-adventure blockbuster held onto the top spot on the first day of the holiday weekend, adding $3.8 million to its coffers and bringing its domestic total up to $262.1 million, $2.4 million more than Cap 2‘s high-water mark. READ FULL STORY

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