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Cory Monteith's 'All the Wrong Reasons' director: 'I'm going to miss that grin'

Gia Milani directed Cory Monteith in All the Wrong Reasons before his untimely death Saturday. Below, she remembers Monteith as an artist and a friend.

In All the Wrong Reasons, Cory plays James Ascher, an ambitious store manager. His character tries to keep his marriage together and remain supportive while his wife struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder. Of course I knew him well from Glee, but I originally wanted him because of an interview I saw of him on a CBC talk show in Canada. He seemed like the salt of the earth in that interview. Then we spoke on the phone and I knew he was perfect [for the role]; he had all of this knowledge of being a store manager because he worked at Walmart when he was younger. He was excited to be able to play a really complex character, and someone his age, which he hadn’t done in a long time.

Cory saw the film a few weeks ago. He said he loved how layered it was and he thought it was intense. He loved Finn and always talked about how blessed he felt to have been cast in Glee, but like any artist, he wanted to play other roles too. I think he wanted to prove to himself he could do more. And he did prove it. When I last saw him at the screening, he looked super fit, had a lot of energy. I think that’s why this is such a tremendous shock. He seemed to be doing so well.
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Chris Colfer blogs about his new film, 'Struck by Lightning' -- EXCLUSIVE

Glee star Chris Colfer, who wrote and stars in the new film Struck by Lightning, out in theaters Friday, shared his experience about the movie’s road from concept to release in an exclusive guest post for EW. Also check out an exclusive clip featuring Colfer and Modern Family star Sarah Hyland, from the film, below.

Struck by Struck by Lightning
by Chris Colfer

To say the idea for Struck By Lightning hit me like a bolt of lightning would be an incredibly convenient way to start this piece but also the most accurate comparison I could make.

There I was, Chris Colfer, a 16-year-old, 200-pound overachieving-but-underappreciated high school sophomore — you could light a match off my acne and construct a steam engine with the metal in my mouth. School had been out for hours and I had just finished organizing a literary magazine for the Writer’s Club (of which I was president). It was a Friday afternoon and besides the janitors and the teachers staying late to avoid their spouses, I was the last person at school.

As I walked to my car I remember thinking about how little I was appreciated in comparison to how hard I worked. I was so frustrated my social ranking was so low because my passions weren’t “relevant” to my peers. I looked up at the cloudy sky and thought to myself “What if I was struck by lightning? Would anyone care about the magazine I had just spent hours compiling? If I died right now and never accomplished any of my life-long goals, would my existence be a total waste?” READ FULL STORY

Dianna Agron's 'Glee'-ful casting confirmation

Dianna Agron, A.K.A. Glee’s Quinn Fabray, has confirmed via her Twitter feed that she is in talks to play Robert De Niro’s daughter in the Luc Besson movie Malavita. The comedy thriller will follow an American mobster (De Niro) who moves to France under a Witness Protection Program but finds it hard to let go of his domineering ways, ultimately attracting the attention of the people he’s hiding from. Michelle Pfeiffer will play De Niro’s wife (and mother to Agron).

The casting news, broken by the Hollywood Reporter, also noted that Tommy Lee Jones is also in negotiations to come aboard.

Based on a novel by Tonino Benacquista, the script is being co-written by Besson who is also attached to direct. This could well be Agron’s road to a big-screen future after last year’s poorly received I Am Number Four.

Read more:
Entire ‘Glee’ cast expected to return next season
‘The Power of Six’ trailer

SXSW: A British 'Glee'? The charming 'Hunky Dory' defies easy comparison

The delightful Hunky Dory, which premiered this week at the SXSW Film Festival, is set in a high school, stars a cast of unknowns singing contemporary pop songs as they put together a musical production, and features an established star (Minnie Driver) as their big-hearted-but-flawed teacher. So even though the film is set in 1976 in a small seaside community in Wales — and has been in development for the past eight years —  the filmmakers know that comparisons to Glee are all but inevitable.

“The beautiful thing is that all you have to do is look at our movie and watch an episode of Glee to see just how diametrically opposed they are,” says Driver, and she’s not wrong. Hunky Dory feels much more akin to easy-going, slice-of-life films like Dazed and Confused and American Graffiti. With Glee, says Driver, “You’ve got this highly produced, highly polished, brilliant, clean version of the musical. There is nothing in Glee that isn’t micro-managed. It’s a very big machine. Whereas ours was the daisies growing up between the pavement. There’s room for both things.”

Read more:
EW’s 2012 SXSW film festival coverage

Tribeca: Morgan Spurlock, Michelle Williams, and Chris Colfer join festival

The Tribeca Film Festival announced its Spotlight and Cinemania programs today, including Morgan Spurlock’s latest documentary, Mansome, period drama Cheerful Weather for the Wedding with Like Crazy‘s Felicity Jones (right), and Struck By Lightning, written by Glee‘s Chris Colfer. “It was important that we head into Tribeca’s second decade highlighting projects that were attuned to the pulse of our cultural climate,” said director of programming Genna Terranova, in a release. “That said, both consciousness and levity play a prominent role in this year’s selection. We are also eager to introduce audiences to a group of films that are reworking genres and testing traditional modes of storytelling.”

Simultaneously, the sixth annual Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival will open with the world premiere of Benji, a documentary about a Chicago high school basketball phenom who was murdered in 1984 before getting an opportunity to fulfill his promise. “This year’s Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival films explore athletes’ diverse challenges on and off the playing fields,” said Terranova. “I’m excited we can share these inspiring stories — from runners training for the Olympics in rural Africa to Tim Wakefield’s ever-elusive and now historic knuckleball — with both our sports and documentary fans alike.”

The 11th edition of Tribeca will take place from April 18 to 29 in New York City. For a complete list of films selected for Spotlight, Cinemania, and Special Screenings, as well as the titles in the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival, click here: READ FULL STORY

'Harry Potter,' 'Glee,' Clint Eastwood receive Costume Designers Guild Awards

The winners of the 14th Annual Costume Designers Guild Awards were announced last night. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and Oscar-nominated W.E. took home the big awards for film. TV honors went to Glee, Boardwalk Empire, and Downton Abbey. Swiffer’s “Country Dirt Cowgirl” took home the sole commercial prize.

Four honorary awards were also presented to Kate Beckinsale, costume designer Marlene Stewart (Real Steel, Tropic Thunder), Glee designer Lou Eyrich, and longtime collaborators Deborah Hooper and Clint Eastwood. Jane Lynch hosted the event. Glee creator Ryan Murphy, actor Columbus Short, Marcia Gay Harden, Ken Watanabe, and supermodel-turned-Revenge star Amber Valletta were on hand to present a few of the night’s awards. See the full winners list below. READ FULL STORY

'New Year's Eve' premiere: Ashton walks alone, flirts with Lea Michele

Warner Bros. did a fantastic job transplanting New Year’s Eve elements onto the black carpet at Monday’s Hollywood celebrity-laden premiere of Garry Marshall’s New Year’s Eve — even if the holiday celebration was a little early. The celebrity component was a glut of stars that rivaled the Valentine’s Day or He’s Just Not That Into You premieres, and a seriously giant silver disco ball with glittery letters spelling out New Year’s Eve that was the centerpiece of the carpet.

Ashton Kutcher came solo and was shy with the press, often tucking his hair behind his ears after saying hello to a multitude of fans. He snuck behind costar Lea Michele while she took pictures, to steal a kiss behind the ear. She gasped loudly. They shared an animated laugh and briefly touched hands.

When asked how they manufactured silliness on set, Michele laughed and said that Kutcher, her costar and love interest in the film, “does that on his own. We worked really hard on this together. What I have learned the most about Ashton is that he has comedy and everything in the back of his pocket. But he constantly never stops working hard. That surprised me the most about him, and it inspired me so much.” READ FULL STORY

'Glee: The 3D Concert Movie' tanked at the box office. What went wrong?

In 2011, only two movies have opened in more than 2,000 theaters, yet finished outside the Top 10. The first was the 1980s throwback Take Me Home Tonight, which started with $3.5 million back in March, and the other was Glee: The 3D Concert Movie, which earned a poor $6 million out of 2,040 theaters over the weekend, landing it way back in 11th place.

The Glee concert picture, made for an estimated $8.5 million, showed a steep drop at the box office for each day of its opening weekend and earned only $6 million. And that’s with 3-D ticket prices!

That’s a far cry from the $31.1 million that Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: The Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour — which kicked off the recent wave of 3-D concert flicks — earned in its debut in 2008. It’s also much less than the opening weekend grosses of this year’s Justin Bieber: Never Say Never ($29.5 million), 2009’s Michael Jackson’s This Is It ($23.2 million), and even 2009’s financially disappointing Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience ($12.5 million). And since concert films are notoriously front-loaded in terms of overall box office performance — Hannah Montana barely doubled what it made in its opening weekend, finishing with $65.1 million — it’s unlikely that the Glee movie will pick up business this weekend.

So what went wrong with Glee‘s release? A few theories: READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'Apes' stays in first with $27.5 mil, and 'The Help' opens strongly to $25.5 mil

In a crowded field that featured four new movies, last week’s winner, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, managed to keep its top spot on the box-office chain by recruiting $27.5 million. Fox’s sci-fi action film dropped 50 percent in its second weekend. That’s a decent hold, as most summer action flicks decline 55 to 60 percent. Apes will cross the $100 million mark today and has already surpassed its relatively modest $90 million production budget. As a result, it’s looking likely that we’ll be seeing more of Caesar the chimpanzee (and less of the human race) in the future. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'Apes' is No. 1 with $8.1 mil on Friday, while 'The Help' surprises with $7.6 mil

Rise-Apes-movie

In spite of four new movies opening this weekend, Caesar and his IQ-boosted buddies held onto their throne as Rise of the Planet of the Apes topped the box office on Friday with $8.1 million, according to early estimates.

That means Fox’s $90 million sci-fi action film is on pace for a second-weekend tally of about $26 million, which would represent a large but respectable drop of 53 percent. (Most summer action films fall somewhere between 55 and 60 percent.) On Sunday, Apes should climb past the $100 million mark. READ FULL STORY

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