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Tag: Chiwetel Ejiofor (1-10 of 16)

Casting Net: Chiwetel Ejiofor could be the next Bond villain; Plus, Ryan Reynolds, more

• Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) is reportedly the front-runner to antagonize James Bond in the next film in the series. According to the report, no offer has been made yet. Daniel Craig will return to star as 007, and Sam Mendes, who directed him in Skyfall, is returning to direct. Production is supposed to begin this summer on Bond 24, scheduled for a Nov. 6, 2015, release date. [The Wrap] READ FULL STORY

The Best Actor race is the hottest ever. And yes, Leonardo could win

In decades of tracking the Academy Awards, I honestly can’t recall any category, in any year, when a race was as fiercely, thrillingly white-hot competitive as this year’s Best Actor race. Just think about it: Not one, not two, not three, but four of the nominees each stands a very real chance of winning. Consider each scenario, and you’ll realize it’s true. When Jennifer Lawrence gets up to present the Best Actor award and tears open that envelope, if she ends up saying, “And the Oscar goes to…Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave,” it will not be a shock, because Ejiofor, playing a man who endures the torments of the damned, and must hold in his emotions (even as he shows them to us), and must somehow, on top of all that, figure out a way to keep his faith burning, has been justly acclaimed for being incredible beyond words in that movie. If Lawrence says, “And the Oscar goes to…Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club,” it will not be a shock, because McConaughey, this year, is the official front-runner, and has been justly coronated for giving a tough, sinewy, moving, and anger-singed performance that is widely viewed as the culminating act of his 20-year career in Hollywood. READ FULL STORY

'12 Years a Slave' marks MLK Day re-release with 'I Have a Dream' ad -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

How do you plan to spend Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year? Fox Searchlight has a suggestion: Go see 12 Years a Slave, which the studio will re-release into 700 theaters nationwide on Friday. To mark the occasion, the studio made a recut 12 Years promo that combines footage of the film and audio from King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during 1963’s March on Washington. King gave his speech not far from where the real-life Solomon Northup was drugged, kidnapped, and sold into slavery in 1841.

Check out the stirring ad below.
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'12 Years a Slave' posters with Brad Pitt were unauthorized, studio says

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12 Years a Slave… the story of one man’s journey from Canada to the Deep South to rescue a poor man from slavery.

If you lived in Italy and stubbornly refused to read movie reviews, that might be the impression formed by a quick glimpse at the movie’s poster. The artwork features the oversized head of Brad Pitt, while Chiwetel Ejiofor’s running Solomon Northup — the primary visual in the American marketing campaign — is shoved into a lower corner. Another similar poster makes use of Michael Fassbender’s face in the same way as Pitt’s. (It would be even more difficult to conjure up a log-line for 12 Years that tells the story from his despicable character’s point of view.)

Major movie stars like Pitt are especially crucial to the selling of Hollywood movies in international markets, but the main character of Steve McQueen’s movie is undoubtedly Ejiofor’s Solomon, whose ordeal of being kidnapped and trafficked into Southern slavery is the sole heart-wrenching narrative. Fassbender plays one of Solomon’s cruel taskmasters, and Pitt, who produced the film, has an extremely minor — but crucial — role as a sympathetic Canadian carpenter who frowns upon the Southern system of slavery. Pitt might sell better than Ejiofor, but the poster’s misrepresentation is especially egregious considering the nature of the tale.
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Casting Net: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael B. Jordan in talks for 'Triple Nine'; Plus James Franco, more

• 12 Years a Slave‘s Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station), and Casey Affleck (Out of the Furnace) are in talks to star in Triple Nine, a crime drama from director John Hillcoat (The Road). Oscar-winners Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) and Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine) have also been circling the long-gestating project, which follows a group of corrupt police officers looking to plan a heist. Affleck would be replacing Charlie Hunnam in the pic. [The Wrap]

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Golden Globes: Double nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor speaks out on '12 Years' (and two big snubs)

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12 Years a Slave covers a lot of ground, from the quiet New York town of Saratoga Springs to the humid plantations of rural Louisiana. And right now, the film’s celebrated cast and director are even more far-flung: “I think Steve McQueen’s on a plane at the moment, and Michael [Fassbender]‘s in New Zealand or something, and Lupita [Nyong'o]‘s in Paris,” 12 Years star Chiwetel Ejiofor tells EW. (The actor himself is currently in London, where he landed today after 12 Years‘ French premiere.)

But though they’re spread across the world, each one has something to celebrate: They’ve all been nominated for Golden Globes for their work in McQueen’s devastating movie, based on the true story of Solomon Northup — a free New York resident who was captured and enslaved in 1841. Ejiofor received a Best Actor in a Drama nod for his work as the stoic Northup. And that’s not his only reason to celebrate today: the British star was also recognized for his work in Dancing on the Edge, a BBC period drama about a black jazz band in the 1930s that aired on Starz in the U.S.

“It’s really amazing,” Ejiofor says.  READ FULL STORY

L.A., New York, and Boston Critics awards roundup: '12 Years a Slave', 'Gravity' dominate

Sunday was a busy day for film critics on both coasts. Boston, New York, and Los Angeles Film Critics announced their annual awards, adding fuel to the Oscar-prediction fire with a strong showing for 12 Years a Slave in the Best Picture arena.

Other repeat honorees include Blue Jasmine’s Cate Blanchett for Best Actress, 12 Years a Slave’s Chiwetel Ejiofor for Best Actor, Dallas Buyers Club’s Jared Leto for Best Supporting Actor, and 12 Years a Slave’s Lupita Nyong’o for Best Supporting Actress. Cinematography awards mostly went to Emmanuel Lubezki for his work on Gravity, and Inside Llewyn Davis picked up a few nods for T Bone Burnett’s score. Some categories were more evenly divided: Alfonso Cuaron and Steve McQueen both got two Best Director acknowledgements for their work on Gravity and 12 Years a Slave.

Take a look at the complete roundup below.

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Prize Fighter: Best Actor shapes up as the Oscars' toughest race

Daniel Day-Lewis spoiled us. Last year, the Best Actor race was an easy call, but this time around, it’s the hardest of the Oscar fields to predict. The race is jam-packed with worthy contenders, each with an equally strong chance of finding his name in that winning envelope on March 2.

With a month to go before voting opens we could still see some shifting. Who could still sneak in?  Forest Whitaker for The Butler or Joaquin Phoenix for Her have the potential to rise in the ranks. So does Oscar Isaac for his musical, downtrodden turn in Inside Llewyn Davis.

Most Academy members haven’t seen the ’70s grifter drama American Hustle yet, but since it began screening for the press earlier this week reactions have been ecstatic. Expect to see that film in as many as eight Oscar categories this year, including each of the acting fields.

Christian Bale’s comically seductive, balding, pot-bellied con artist from that film should soon be joining the list of Best Actor contenders. The question is: Who will he knock out?

Right now, if you ask voters to pick front-runners, they almost always name the five below. Each delivers an impressive performance, but also have a compelling backstory, which can help make the difference in a tough race.
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Critical Mass: Is '12 Years a Slave' as great as the buzz?

Every year’s fall-festival season yields an Oscar front-runner or two, but from the moment that 12 Years a Slave premiered at September’s Telluride Film Festival, the industry has swooned, crowning director Steve McQueen’s epic tale of American slavery as something more than just the film to beat. Think about those wonderful Oscar montages that piece together the greatest moments of our greatest movies of the last 100 years — Cary Grant eluding a biplane in a cornfield, Sundance telling Butch he can’t swim, Henry Fonda telling the Joads he’ll be there. It’s not difficult to imagine the face of Solomon Northup, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, as part of that Oscar tribute 10, 20, or 30 years from now. 12 Years is that kind of cinematic experience.

Solomon Northup was a real person, a free New York musician with a wife and children, who was drugged, chained, and sold into Southern slavery in 1841. That his ordeal is little-known, and that Hollywood has flinched from depicting American slavery in all its evils, is unfortunate but notable, and McQueen’s eye is unsparing as he depicts the corrosive impact of slavery on all that it touches. Solomon’s odyssey south is one humiliating and brutal encounter after another, culminating in his sale to a sadistic plantation owner played by Michael Fassbender.

That’s not to say that 12 Years is something that needs to be endured by audiences. As EW’s Owen Geliberman writes, “It’s a film of such emotion that in telling the story of a life that gets taken away, it lets us touch what life is.”

With 12 Years a Slave expanding to more cities this weekend, click below to see what other critics are saying about McQueen’s Oscar hopeful.
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'12 Years a Slave': Solomon Northup's nightmare begins with a promising offer -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

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At this point — after 12 Years a Slave wowed audiences and critics at the Toronto Film Festival and some Oscar handicappers have pronounced the Best Picture race all but over — it does Steve McQueen’s film no good to pile on additional adulation, which will only raise expectations even higher. Put simply: Based on the 1853 memoir of Solomon Northup, a New York man (Chiwetel Ejiofor) kidnapped and smuggled into Southern slavery, 12 Years is a powerful viewing experience that not only demonstrates the brutality of American slavery like no other Hollywood movie before, but also presents a panorama of the moral tapestry of Southern culture before the Civil War.

Northup was a free man — a talented musician with a wife and children in Saratoga, N.Y. — when two charlatans lured him to Washington, D.C. with the promise of a well-paying series of circus concerts. McQueen has said that Northup’s nightmare reminded him of Pinocchio, and in this exclusive clip from the movie, Scoot McNairy and Taran Killam are practically Honest John and Gideon come to life.

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