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Tag: Theater (1-10 of 15)

Kenneth Branagh on his long-lost 'Magic Flute' opera film finally coming to U.S. theaters

“It’s almost incomprehensible to me that I’m talking to you seven years after we made this film,” says Kenneth Branagh. In 2006 the Oscar-nominated director was approached by Sir Peter Moors — “an extraordinary artistic patron” — to make a film version of Mozart’s famed The Magic Flute. “It was an entire surprise to me to be asked to do it,” Branagh says. “I’m by no means an opera buff.”

Actor/writer/performer Stephen Fry (whom Branagh refers to as “a very funny and brilliant man”) came aboard and took charge of the libretto, which transports the opera to the first World War. “This was a profound and tragic conflict, which killed young men and scarred a landscape across an entire continent. A historical event in which the conflict between good and evil, the light and the dark, really resonates, I think, with the thematic values of The Magic Flute.

The film (see trailer below) was released in Europe in 2006-07, but now American audiences will finally get to see it: the film opens in 150 theaters tomorrow, June 9, with encore screenings on Tuesday, June 11. (For individual theaters and showtimes, click here.)

Even if you are unfamiliar with The Magic Flute, you may be surprised as to how much you’d actually recognize from the opera. “I came to [direct this] not really knowing much about opera. I played a recording of The Magic Flute, and thought, ‘I know these tunes.’ I’m very familiar with these in the same way as one is surprised, as I am still surprised, when I go and see a Shakespeare play. I went to a production of Othello the other evening and I found myself stupidly coming away going, ‘God, that play is full of quotes,'” Branagh says with a laugh. “And The Magic Flute is full of phrases and tunes where you go, I know that tune. Mozart had a tremendously fertile and creative ear for a catchy tune. In his case, ‘catchy’ meant not only one you could hum along with but one that genuinely gets under your skin.”

Hailee Steinfeld begins 'Romeo and Juliet' in Italy

Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth (The Pillars of the Earth) are now officially star-crossed lovers. The young actors began shooting Romeo and Juliet in Italy, it was announced today. The new cinematic adaptation of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedy, written by Downton Abbey‘s Julian Fellowes and directed by Carlo Carlei (Fluke), features a menagerie of familiar faces, including Homeland‘s Damian Lewis (Lord Capulet), Californication‘s Natascha McElhone (Lady Capulet), Another Year‘s Lesley Manville (Nurse), Ed Westwick (Tybalt), Let Me In‘s Kodi Smit-McPhee (Benvolio), Paul Giamatti (Friar Laurence), and Stellan Skarsgard (Prince of Verona).

“Every generation is interested in love,” said Fellowes, in a statement. “I mean, there is something about young love that is heartbreaking, and I think every teenager in the world would agree. All of that is very powerful. The point about teenage love is it’s before cynicism comes in to reshape one’s attitudes. You love when you’re young in a way that you’ll probably never love again.”

Read more:
No nude scene for Hailee Steinfeld’s Juliet

Joss Whedon on his secret film of 'Much Ado About Nothing': 'This is the best vacation I've ever taken' -- EXCLUSIVE

After wrapping production on Marvel Studios’ gargantuan summer tent-pole The Avengers, writer-director Joss Whedon was supposed to go on a monthlong vacation with his wife, Kai Cole. Instead, Whedon tells EW exclusively that his wife suggested he finally make the feature film version of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing he’d been ruminating over for years.

And so he did — adapting the script, casting the film with Whedonverse alums like Nathan Fillion, Amy Acker (Angel), Alexis Denisof (BuffyAngel), and Sean Maher (Firefly), and shooting the self-funded, black-and-white indie in secret over 12 days at his Santa Monica, Calif., home. (Production wrapped on Sunday, and Whedon says it will be ready for spring 2012 film festivals.) How did Whedon pull all this off? What was it about this particular Shakespeare comedy that drew him in? And what did stars Sean Maher — who plays the fiendish villain Don John — and Amy Acker — who co-stars with Denisof as the sarcastic, talky couple at the center of the play — make of all of this ado about Much Ado? Check out EW’s exclusive Q&As with Whedon, Maher, and Acker below, as well as exclusive shots of Maher, Denisof and Acker from the film:  READ FULL STORY

Joss Whedon announces secret film of 'Much Ado About Nothing,' ability to warp time and space at will

Just kidding about the second thing. And yet it seems that as far as Joss Whedon is concerned, writing and directing the massive comic book tentpole blockbuster The Avengers; writing and overseeing the Buffy Season 9 and Angel & Faith comics for Dark Horse; readying the long-in-limbo The Cabin in the Woods (which he co-wrote and produced) for an April 13, 2012 release by Lionsgate; and developing a post-apocalyptic web series with Warren Ellis is just not busy enough. Earlier today, actor Nathan Fillion, among others, tweeted out a link to, announcing that Whedon had finished principal photography on a film presumably based on William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About NothingREAD FULL STORY

Smartphones in the movies? How advancing technology is changing the moviegoer experience

Apple’s big announcement yesterday about their new iPhone, the 4S, was about as eagerly anticipated — and scrutinized — as any blockbuster movie. And that’s fitting, really, considering how intertwined the smartphone and movie-going experience has become. How we buy tickets for films (future generations may ponder what that mysterious “waiting in line” business was all about) and talk about them (texting and tweeting might silence movie theater chatter, but is it any less annoying?) has changed rapidly in the past few years, further proving our dependence on — and addiction to — today’s newest technology.

This morning, Variety reported their findings from Tuesday’s Stradella’s Film Marketing Summit, and one staggering statistic jumped out: According to Fandango, ticket sales on mobile devices, including smartphones, have grown from 1 percent to 20 percent in the past few years. READ FULL STORY

'Coriolanus' trailer: Ralph Fiennes gives Shakespeare the 'Hurt Locker' treatment

I have a deep, abiding, oddly specific love for Shakespeare film adaptations that opt to set their play’s action in an updated, anachronistic time period. And I don’t mean films “inspired” by Shakespeare, like West Side Story or Ten Things I Hate About You. I’m talking films that specifically utilize the Bard’s glorious original dialogue, but recontextualize it in new surroundings. The ’90s had a great run of such movies: Baz Luhrmann’s streets-of-LA revision of Romeo and Juliet, Ethan Hawke’s deeply underrated hipster Hamlet, Ian McKellen’s Hitler-inflected Richard III, and Kenneth Branagh’s four-hour Hamlet, which remade the play as a kind of Tsarist-era Russian epic.

So believe me when I say that the trailer for Ralph Fiennes’ Coriolanus is a genuine treat: READ FULL STORY

Paul Rudd remembers 'Wet Hot American Summer'

Camp comedy spoof Wet Hot American Summer opened on July 27, 2001, garnering a lot of hostile reviews and tepid audience interest. A decade on, David Wain’s debut movie is a widely beloved cult classic while several members of its then-mostly unknown cast have emerged as major stars, including Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, and Amy Poehler. To mark the film’s 10th anniversary, we asked the film’s stars to recall their time at Camp Firewood.

First up? Paul Rudd, who played the lazy, womanizing, and dangerously incompetent counselor, Andy. Below, the actor talks about getting the role, slobbering over Elizabeth Banks, and why a sequel would need to be even weirder.


Roman Polanski's 'Carnage' goes to Sony Pictures Classics

Roman Polanski’s adaptation of the Tony-winning play, God of Carnage, is getting an end of the year release from Sony Pictures Classics, according to the studio. Titled simply Carnage, the movie stars Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly, and Christoph Waltz as two Brooklyn couples whose meeting to resolve their sons’ playground dispute unravels into chaos.

Read more:
‘God of Carnage’ original Broadway cast reunites for six-week L.A. run
John C. Reilly joins Oscar trio in ‘Carnage’

'Rock of Ages': Director Adam Shankman on casting Diego Boneta, putting Tom Cruise through 'rock-star boot camp' -- EXCLUSIVE

Following along while director Adam Shankman casts his Rock of Ages movie has been like seating a dinner party for a who’s who of Hollywood: So far, everyone from Mary J. Blige to Tom Cruise to Alec Baldwin and Julianne Hough have signed on for the hot-hot-hot flick, which begins shooting May 19 in Miami and will hit theaters next year. And now, meet the show’s leading man: Diego Boneta, who you might have seen recently on The CW’s 90210 or ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars. Boneta will play Drew, a budding musician who falls for a small-town girl (Hough) who shows up on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip and expresses his emotions through songs from ’80s hair-metal songs. EW caught up with Ages director Shankman, who talked about casting Boneta, putting Cruise through rock-star boot camp, and why he didn’t choose Constantine Maroulis — who originated the role on Broadway — to be Drew.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What about Diego made him perfect to play Drew?
ADAM SHANKMAN: It’s very difficult to say, but it’s one of those instincts you have when you see somebody. I had the exact same thing about Nikki Blonsky in Hairspray. We had the same thing about Channing Tatum, Zac Efron. You say, “Oh my god, it’s them!” Because there’s an It factor. There’s an honesty about it that you can’t see — you can’t put your finger on. It’s just that they’re behaving — they’re not acting like the character, they just are the character. READ FULL STORY

Josh Brolin set to direct, star in 'Pitz and Joe'

Josh Brolin is set to direct, produce, and star in a film adaptation of the play Pitz and Joe, according to Variety. Maya Forbes (Monsters vs. Aliens) will adapt the script from Dominique Cieri’s play about a recently divorced woman caring for her brother, who is suffering from brain damage after a motorcycle accident. Pitz marks Brolin’s feature directorial debut.

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