Sweeping historical dramas about individuals standing up to oppressive regimes always manage to captivate me. The story of Aung San Suu Kyi — the leader of the pro-democracy opposition in Burma (also called Myanmar), who lived under house arrest from 1989 to 2010, and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 — is particularly riveting, and judging from the newest trailer, director Luc Besson seems to have captured the scope of her efforts nicely. Well, except for this unfortunate line from a member Burmese military junta about her: “Put a lot of pressure on that woman!” But maybe it was simply lost in translation. Check out the trailer below: READ FULL STORY
Tag: Biopics (41-50 of 79)
EW has confirmed that Steve Carell has signed on to star in Foxcatcher, Bennett Miller’s follow-up to Moneyball about paranoid schizophrenic John du Pont, the heir to the du Pont dynasty who was convicted of murdering Olympic wrestler David Schultz. The story of du Pont, who died in prison last year, is shrouded in intrigue as police never discovered a motive for the attack. Miller’s friend and frequent contributor Dan Futterman (Capote) will pen the script with E. Max Frye (Band of Brothers, Amos & Andrew). Production on the film is set to begin in March. Variety initially reported the casting news.
Justin Timberlake has been cast in the Neil Bogart biopic Spinning Gold, EW has confirmed, playing the self-made music producer, whose Casablanca Records was responsible for launching the careers of 1970s icons including KISS, Donna Summer, The Village People, and Parliament. (Deadline first reported the story.)
The film also marks Timberlake’s debut as a feature producer in association with Boardwalk Entertainment Group, which Bogart’s sons co-founded. “From the moment we met Justin, we knew we’d found our Neil Bogart,” said Tim Bogart, who also wrote the screenplay, in a release. “With Justin also a producer on the movie, together we’re crafting this saga about a young dreamer who started with nothing and came of age in the ’60s and ’70s, believing anything was possible and every risk was worth taking.”
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The official post for Jennifer Hudson’s upcoming biopic Winnie has been released. Based on Winnie Mandela: A Life by Bezdrob, the film made its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival Sept. 16 and has already opened in Mandela’s native South Africa. Darrell Roodt (Sarafina!, Cry, the Beloved Country) directed the story that follows the “Mother of the Nation” through her marriage to Nelson Mandela (Terrence Howard). Though Mandela has been a controversial figure, thanks to supposed bouts of infidelity and her endorsement of violent practices, the poster shows a tender side of the couple. Elias Koteas and Wendy Crewson also star in the film, which does not yet have a U.S. release date. See the full poster after the jump. READ FULL STORY
In one of his lesser-known hits, 1985′s “In Neon,” Elton John sang about a woman who dreams of movie stardom and seeing her name on a billboard. If he ever shared that dream, it’s now coming true. Sir Elton and his partner, David Furnish, are prepping Rocketman, a biopic about the rock icon’s life. Written by their Billy Elliot collaborator Lee Hall, the film will document the ups and downs of his life and career, through fantastical musical sequences. “We’ve always thought there was a wonderful cinematic opportunity to tell Elton’s life story,” Furnish tells EW. “But we wanted to wait until the time was exactly right. Elton feels very excited about doing it now — he’s in a very happy place in life right now and thinks it’s a good time to artistically reflect on the past.” READ FULL STORY
From the first glimpse at J. Edgar, Clint Eastwood’s star-studded biopic of the controversial FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover, it’s clear that Leonardo DiCaprio thinks his performance in The Aviator was child’s play. That 2004 movie focused on a few chapters of the life of dynamic entrepreneur Howard Hughes, before eccentricities turned him into a recluse. J. Edgar is much more ambitious, with clips in the trailer capturing Hoover’s childhood, his role in the establishment of the FBI in the 1930s, and his consolidation of power that lasted into the Nixon administration. With the help of make-up, DiCaprio ages from his 30s in to his 70s. It’s certainly an epic undertaking for any actor. Take a look. READ FULL STORY
French director Luc Besson is best known for frenetic action films like his La Femme Nikita and Taken, which he wrote. His latest effort, a devoted biopic of the heroic Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi starring Michelle Yeoh, switches gears entirely. Critics were downright chilly when The Lady premiered in Toronto on Monday night, but less than 48 hours later, the film secured U.S. distribution via the Cohen Media Group (Chasing Madoff). The company intends to give the film a limited Oscar-qualifying release in December before a wider run early in 2012.
The daughter of a patriotic hero and the wife of an English academic (played on screen by David Thewlis), Suu Kyi initially returned to her homeland to care for her ailing mother, but that trip became permanent when the country turned to her for leadership. Now 66, she won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for refusing to yield to the ruling generals in Burma (also known as Myanmar) despite nearly 20 years of house arrest — a period that kept her from her family at crucial moments in their lives. In 2010, while The Lady was in production, she was finally freed from isolation, though severe restrictions remain on her freedom today.
Before his movie landed its deal, Besson sounded off on the film’s heroine, his dabbling in diverse cinematic genres, and the role of video piracy in bringing The Lady back to Burma. Read EW’s interview below: READ FULL STORY
The Anti-Defamation League has officially responded to the news that Mel Gibson and Warner Bros. are cooperating to make a film based on the life of Judah Maccabee, the Jewish religious hero whose revolt against the Seleucid Empire is celebrated each Hannukah. In an official statement, the ADL’s national director Abraham H. Foxman says:
We would have hoped that Warner Bros. could have found someone better than Mel Gibson to direct or perhaps even star in a film on the life of the Jewish historical icon Judah Maccabee. As a hero of the Jewish people and a universal hero in the struggle for religious liberty, Judah Maccabee deserves better. It would be a travesty to have the story of the Maccabees told by one who has no respect and sensitivity for other people’s religious views. READ FULL STORY
Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the controversial FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, will have its world premiere at the opening night of the 25th annual AFI Fest on Nov. 3. The heavily anticipated film, which co-stars Naomi Watts, Armie Hammer, and Judi Dench, skipped this month’s festivals in Venice, Toronto, and New York. The movie opens in select theaters on Nov. 9 before going wide two days later.
Sam Childers was a biker, a brawler, a drug dealer who sought redemption in Sudan, turning his bare-knuckle and bullet-slinging rage on warlords who were turning kids into child soldiers. Have a peek at this action-drama from director Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball, Quantum of Solace), out Sept. 23.
Childers is one of those rare characters who, if he was purely fictional, nobody would buy this story for a second. But he’s a real-life Rambo type, who still runs an orphanage/mission there — but he’s no angel. Screenwriter Jason Keller describes Childers as “reckless,” “wild-eyed,” and “always looking for trouble.” When Keller first met him with plans to adapt his story into a film, the lifelong tough-guy was characteristically hostile.
See below for how their first meeting nearly turned into a fight, and how Childers later dragged the screenwriter along on a few death-defying vigilante missions, and the one thing in the script that made the preacher’s temper flare … READ FULL STORY
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