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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

'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

Casting Net: Jared Leto flirts with 'Brilliance'; Plus, Mamie Gummer may co-star with mom Meryl Streep, more

• Jared Leto, who won an Oscar for his work in Dallas Buyers Club, is in early talks to star in Brilliance for Legendary Pictures. According to Deadline, Leto met with director Julius Onah on Monday. Based on Marcus Sakey‘s novel, the film posits a world where a small number of the population are “brilliants,” which basically means they have extraordinary abilities. The film, adapted by David Koepp, focuses on a federal agent — also a brilliant — who must track down a fellow brilliant who wants to use his powers to start a war. Will Smith was previously attached to the role, but recently exited the project. [Deadline] READ FULL STORY

Critical Mass: Kevin Costner gets back in the game with 'Draft Day'

Judging from the massive television audiences that tune in for college and NFL football, you might think that football movies would be an easy sell at the American box office. They’re not — and making matters worse, fans who pay to see football in the theater often have to settle for fictional teams, like the Miami Sharks and the North Dallas Bulls, because the NFL doesn’t often play ball with Hollywood.

So give Draft Day credit. It not only got league permission — with sports all-star Kevin Costner playing the embattled general-manager of the downtrodden Cleveland Browns — but the NFL endorsed the film wholeheartedly, with game footage, access, and even a cameo from its commissioner. This is a total NFL joint, and it looks as slick as a Steve Sabol production. READ FULL STORY

'Draft Day' Super Bowl clip: Kevin Costner is about to rebuild the Browns -- VIDEO

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The Cleveland Browns have never reached the Super Bowl, but they’ll pop up on television this Sunday during the commercial teaser for Draft Day, the Kevin Costner movie that hopes to be football’s version of Moneyball. The sports-movie icon plays Sonny Weaver Jr., the embattled general manager of the mediocre Browns, who have an opportunity to trade up for the No. 1 pick.

Jennifer Garner plays the team’s salary-cap guru — and Sonny’s girlfriend — Denis Leary is a coach somewhat modeled after Barry Switzer, and Frank Langella is the team’s spotlight-hungry owner. Ivan Reitman directed the movie from a Black List script written by Scott Rothman and Rajiv Joseph.

The movies arrives in theaters April 11. Watch the Super Bowl clip below: READ FULL STORY

Kevin Costner is on the clock in 'Draft Day' trailer -- VIDEO

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In Draft Day, Kevin Costner is the G.M. of the Cleveland Browns, a franchise that has never won a Super Bowl in a town that hasn’t won a major sports championship since 1964. He’s got a passionate fan base that is counting on him to turn around the team’s fortunes, a billionaire owner (Frank Langella) who wants to make a big splash at the NFL Draft, and an arrogant coach (Denis Leary) who thinks he can “shop for the groceries” better than his nominal boss. But Costner’s Sonny Weaver is a Moneyball type — “You see things other people don’t see,” says Jennifer Garner — and he’s about to use all his Jedi mind tricks of negotiation to rebuild the team in his image.

The real star of the trailer, though, and presumably the film, is the NFL. From the ESPN Draft Day television crew to commissioner Roger Goodell to the licensed footage of hard-hitting gridiron action, director Ivan Reitman clearly won over the league, a nice get that spares viewers phony teams and old footage of USFL games. The Cleveland Browns lend this movie, based on a Black List script from Rajiv Joseph and Scott Rothman, legitimacy. As does Costner in a sports movie, where we seem to love him best. Watch it below:
READ FULL STORY

Casting Net: Beastie Boy may team up with Ben Stiller; Plus, Kevin Costner, more

• Director Noah Baumbach (Greenberg) knows how to pour lemon juice in the open wounds of aging Gen X-ers. Who better to cast in his film about a pair of middle-aged marrieds yearning for youth than Ad-Rock, or Adam Horovitz, of the Beastie Boys? If cast, Horovitz would play the guy who has grown up, had a kid, and basically moved on with his life, bringing Naomi Watts and Ben Stiller’s still-childless relationship into harsh perspective. Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried star as the young free spirits who Watts and Stiller befriend. Horovitz is no stranger to acting work, and has appeared in a number of projects over the years including A Kiss Before Dying. [The Wrap]

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Kevin Costner movie 'Three Days to Kill' gets release date

Here’s your alternative programming for Valentine’s Day next year. While romantic comedy remake About Last Night and romantic drama remake Endless Love will draw in the date night crowd (and – let’s face it – all the single ladies), Kevin Costner movie Three Days to Kill will be your dose of thriller action. Relativity announced Tuesday that the film will be released on Feb. 14, 2014. READ FULL STORY

Casting Net: Michael Fassbender for 'Macbeth'; Plus, Jamie Foxx in talks for 'Annie', more

• Michael Fassbender (Shame) is attached to play the title role in a film update of Macbeth, William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy about a scheming nobleman intent on ruling Scotland. The play has been adapted for the big screen a number of times, including Orson Welles’ 1948 version in which he also played the character of Macbeth, and Roman Polanski’s 1971 version which starred Jon Finch. Justin Kurzel (The Snowtown Murders) will direct the Fassbender update which will reportedly use the original language. The part of Lady Macbeth has not been cast yet. [Screen Daily]

• Jamie Foxx is in talks to star in Will Gluck’s (Easy A) film update of Annie, alongside Beasts of the Southern Wild’s Quvenzhané Wallis. The Django Unchained star would play Benjamin Stacks, an update on the Daddy Warbucks character, famously played by Albert Finney in the 1982 John Huston film. Foxx is no stranger to musicals, having appeared in both Dreamgirls and Ray. Will Smith and Jay-Z are producing the film, which is aiming for a 2014 release. [THR]

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Chris Pine learns the secret handshake as 'Jack Ryan' -- PHOTOS

As Tom Clancy’s legendary Jack Ryan, Chris Pine is boldly going where no man has gone before — except Alec Baldwin…and Harrison Ford…and Ben Affleck. (But who remembers The Sum of All Fears anyways?) Thus far, we haven’t seen much from Pine’s Jack Ryan, which is still filming. But in case you’re feeling desperate for your next Ryan fix (he did look good on that motorcycle), here are two new images (courtesy of USA Today) of Pine in character, including one featuring Kevin Costner as Ryan’s mentor. (Irony alert: Costner was initially offered the Ryan role that went to Baldwin for The Hunt for Red October.)

Jack Ryan serves as an origin story of sorts for the CIA analyst, who’s previously appeared in Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, and the lackluster Sum of All Fears. The movie centers on a young Ryan as he uncovers a financial terrorist plot headed up by a Russian oligarch played by none other than Kenneth Branagh (who is also the film’s director). Check out the two new pics below: READ FULL STORY

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