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1. New “Fantastic Beasts” Interview with David Yates, More from SDCC 2016

David Yates sat down with the Los Angeles Times to talk about his first Comic-Con experience (San Diego is hosting this years International Comic Con this weekend) and Fantastic Beasts.

David Yates, David Heyman, and most of the Fantastic Beasts cast are taking San Diego and the 2016 International Comic Con by storm. As a part of Warner Bros most anticipated fall film release, many eyes are on the magical events and activities Fantastic Beasts is hosting at SDCC 2016.

For those of you who have never been to a Comic Con, it is quite an experience–and David Yates is learning this too. Yates is enjoying his first Comic Con, a little sad he’s missed out on other opportunities like this. The LA Times reports on his experience at SDCC and taking the Potter Universe into new, unchartered territory with the more adult Fantastic Beasts films.

It’s kind of hard to believe that you’ve never been to Comic-Con before.

I have so missed that opportunity because everyone — actors, directors, producers — they always tell me what an amazing experience it is. We were always in the thick of one of the “Potter” movies, so I was never able to make the trip. I’m really looking forward to it. It’s such a sort of touchstone of what’s ticking in popular culture. I’m really thrilled. 

The Potter books and the movies got more mature as the characters got older. “Fantastic Beasts” looks like it’s the continuation of that.

“Beasts” hasn’t got any kids in it. Well, it’s actually got one lovely kid called Faith [Wood-Blagrove], who plays a character called Modesty, but generally it’s a film with grown-ups. So it’s a more adult development of what Jo has done before but still with lots of magic, still with lots of fun. It’s the best of both worlds, I think.

I think that what’s interesting is it speaks to Jo’s curiosity about the world and her observation of the world that we see around us. It speaks to themes that are important now, as well as all the lovely magical stuff and her genius for character. Even though it’s set in New York in 1926, she’s interested in themes that resonate now about a divided world and a polarized world and how important it is to recognize otherness and embrace it and not to be afraid of it. That’s always been an aspect of her work, and it becomes more so now.

For all the kids who grew up watching these films — and as I grow old making some of these films — and for everyone who loved the books and grew up with them, I think this will feel like a really interesting return to her universe.

This is the first time people will go into a movie set in that universe and not have a sense of what the characters look like or where the story will go. How do you approach that as a filmmaker?

In a way, it’s quite liberating. Coming at it from a completely blank canvas, to me, is an advantage. People aren’t bringing any sort of baggage with them.

There aren’t bits that are going to be left out. There isn’t the same frustration that can happen if a favorite chapter has been left out of the movie. This is a story from Jo’s imagination, and people are going to hear it first in the theater. And I think that is tremendously exciting.

 

The entire interview can be read here.

 

Fantastic Beasts’ official Facebook page and Twitter is promising more chances to view and be a part of Fantastic Beast SDCC 2016 events. After today’s open Q&A at 5:30 pm EST, which Leaky will be attending, Fantastic Beasts’ Facebook page will continue live coverage of the panel and cast discussion. See below:

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2. The Leaky Cauldron at San Diego Comic-Con’s ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Q&A!

Tomorrow, The Leaky Cauldron will join the Fantastic Beasts team at San Diego Comic-Con and Warner Bros’ special event at Leavesden Studios in London. Leaky will be involved with an exclusive Q&A with the cast and crew of the film, so listen out for us!

The Fantastic Beasts Facebook page also shared some new movie art celebrating their appearance at Comic-Con, and gave the username of the new Harry Potter Snapshat account (wizarding_world), which will be shared by Pottermore, Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts teams. A special message will be delivered via the app tomorrow, so be sure to add them and check it!

Be sure to add wizarding_world on snapchat and watch the Q&A at 10:10pm BST/ 2:10pm PT/5:10pm ET tomorrow via the Fantastic Beasts Facebook page (here) and Twitter (here), and listen out for Leaky’s question!

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3. “Fantastic Beasts” Round Up: Comic Con, Test-Screening and More

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is coming around the corner this November! Being one of Warner Bro.’s most anticipated films, the film and its cast and crew will be making an appearance (multiple appearances) at this years San Diego (International) Comic Con, SDCC 2016.

Time Magazine included Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as one of the most anticipated Comic Con films from Warner Bros, along side Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman. Time wrote:

“San Diego Comic-Con isn’t just about comics. The convention plays host to trailers, teasers and panels from Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters…

“This year, Wonder Woman (celebrating her 75th birthday) will vie for first lady of the convention as star Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins preview next year’s much-anticipated film; Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will usher in the next era of J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world…

“…Between the onstage and on-shelf debut of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the opening of a Harry Potter theme park at Universal Studios in Los Angeles and the upcoming trilogy Fantastic Beasts, the wizarding world is staging a comeback. Eddie Redmayne and Colin Farrell are among the actors that will join director David Yates (who helmed four of the Harry Potterfilms) to give the Comic-Con audience a deeper look at what J.K. Rowling’s vision of a magical, 1920s-era New York.

According to the Comic Con website and schedule, Warner Bros will showcase their highly anticipated releases (Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad, The LEGO Batman Movie, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, etc.) including Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The showcase is scheduled for Saturday, July 23, 11:30 am. Comic Con has posted that David Yates, Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, and Colin Farrell will be in attendance for the panel. Basically the whole gang will be there.

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Entertainment Weekly‘s coverage of this weekend’s SDCC events, states that fans will have signing opportunities from the Fantastic Beasts group:

 

“In addition to the panels, there will signing appearances in three distinct areas: the Warner Bros. Booth (Fantastic Beasts, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword), the DC Booth (Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman), and the LEGO Booth (The LEGO Batman Movie).”

 

So far at SDCC 2016, WB and Fantastic Beasts have hosted a wand-training workshop! We’ll keep you updated on more WB and Fantastic Beasts events at SDCC 2016 as the weekend unfolds!

 

 

In addition, MuggleNet reported on test-screenings of Fantastic Beasts that occurred in Chicago this week. They gave a spoiler-free report of how the movie was received by the audience. MuggleNet reports:

  • It is more adult-oriented and interesting to see how adult wizards exist and live in society.
  • That said, this may also be the funniest movie of all the Wizarding World films. The humor worked for the most part and the audience really enjoyed most of the jokes. There may have even been some hidden adult jokes.
  • The Wizarding World in the USA is much stricter and scarier than Britain’s Wizarding World.
  • Beasts will not disappoint, but they do not steal the show.
  • Dan Fogler (Jacob Kowalski) and Alison Sudol (Queenie Goldstein) steal the movie with brilliant performances.
  • It was HIGHLY recommended that viewers know the Wizarding World laws and magical nuances before seeing this film. Muggles (sorry…”No-Maj’s”) will not get any explanations to the magical world.
  • Newt is fighting a good fight, which makes the fans appreciate the magical beasts.
  • Finally, our team was not disappointed and said the fans should look forward to a fantastic new film this fall.

Read more about the discussion focus groups with David Yates, David Heyman and the audience in the full report from MuggleNet, here.

As reported previously, Warner Bros and J.K. Rowling will be publishing the Fantastic Beasts screen play in book form (pre-order here). It was also announced last March that Warner Bros had gathered Publishing Partners, which will work to release Fantastic Beasts merchandise, interactive film-to-page books (particularly children’s books), and more. Warner Bros also formed a Harry Potter production team called the Harry Potter Global Franchise Development Team (HPGFD), and more of that can be read here. The Bookseller reported recently that Walker Books is a part of these publishing partners and production teams, and will be releasing a Fantastic Beasts interactive series. The Bookseller reports:

 

“Walker Books UK will publish a series of interactive children’s books based on the upcoming Harry Potter spin-off film “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”.

“The film, written by J K Rowling, was inspired by her “Hogwarts textbook”, also entitled Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which was published by Bloomsbury Children’s in 2001. It follows the adventures of Newt Scamander as several of his magical creatures escape in New York, and will be released in the UK in November.

“Walker Books UK signed a sublicence agreement with Insight Editions, which has the rights to a global publishing program based on J K Rowling’s Wizarding World, and Warner Bros Consumer Products. The agreement is for “several” titles in novelty and interactive formats that go behind the scenes of the film, and publication will start this October.

“Walker Books UK will publish the books simultaneously with Walker Books Australia. In the US, the same titles will be released by Walker’s sister company Candlewick Press.”

 

The full report can be read here.

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4. A First Look at “Fantastic Beasts” LEGOs and T-Shirt!

With the first Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie due to roll into theaters this November, first looks at film merchandise are beginning to surface.

LEGO website, Bricks Fans recently released images of the packaging of Fantastic Beasts LEGO sets. The new LEGO sets were advertised in the Argos catalogue in the U.K. The images show Newt Scamander, a LEGO Niffler, and MACUSA. The pictures can be seen below. Bricks Fans reports:

“The [LEGO Dimensions Story Pack based on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them] will be available in November and will feature a Magical Congress of the United States of America-themed Gateway to add to the LEGO Toy Pad along with a Newt Scamander Minifigure and Niffler gadget. The book also reveals that [the] Story Packs will retail for £39.99 and will feature a 6 level story campaign to enjoyed based on their relevant movies.”

 

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Warner Bros. recently released the first official Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them t-shirt. This is the first official piece of film merchandise added to the Harry Potter franchise. It is a simple black t-shirt sporting the official Fantastic Beasts logo fans have seen in the Fantastic Beasts trailers. Warner Bros. described the tshirt, saying:

“This is our very first printing of our very first official shirt for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the upcoming film based on J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World! Orders placed by Friday, July 22nd will ship on Friday, July 29th. After this, the next batch will ship in mid-August.”

 

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 11.45.11 PM

 

 

This t-shirt can be preordered here.

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5. Warwick Davis’ ‘Star Wars’ Career Continues

Throughout the years, Warwick Davis has appeared in three different Star Wars installments as five different characters. He has become a familiar face to those who follow the movies and is due to return this December in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as a new character, rumored to be called Bistan.

The actor appeared as different characters in 'Return of the Jedi,' 'The Phantom Menace' and 'The Force Awakens.'

The news of Warwick’s addition to the Rogue One lineup comes just weeks after it was confirmed that Darth Vader himself would be making an appearance in the film, which is set immediately prior to the events in the franchise’s first outing, A New Hope.

With his first Star Wars appearance as Wicket the Ewok in 1983’s Return of the Jedi, and his latest appearance as Wollivan in last year’s The Force Awakens, fans are excited to see what he will bring to the screen this time around. See more about his new role here.

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6. Fantastic Beasts Sequel to Take Series in A Different Direction

We still have several months of waiting until the Fantastic Beasts comes to theaters but J.K. Rowling and David Yates have already started talking about the sequel. Jo has already finished the script for the second Fantastic Beasts movie and passed it on to Yates to read. In this Entertainment Weekly article, Yates talks about how different the sequel will be to the first Fantastic Beasts movie.

Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 10.44.43 PM

“We’ve seen the script for Part 2, for the second movie, which takes the story in a whole new direction – as you should, you don’t want to repeat yourself,” says Yates, who also helmed the final four Potter films. “The second movie introduces new characters as she builds this part of the Harry Potter universe further. It’s a very interesting development from where we start out. The work is pouring out of her.”

Although Yates shared this much with us, when asked if the sequel would also be set in America, he was not yet ready to disclose this information. Can we assume that this means we will see Newt Scamander travel back to his home in London, or perhaps somewhere new?

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

See more on the subject here. And be sure to catch Fantastic Beasts in theaters November 18!

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7. Emma Watson Unveils “Beauty and the Beast” Poster!

Earlier this week, Emma Watson had the privilege of revealing the first movie poster for her much-anticipated film, Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast.

The poster features the film’s iconic red rose in it’s frosted protective glass. The beautiful flower is alive and healthy, without a single petal dropped. The surrounding castle is dark, cold, and gloomy.

 

She revealed the teaser on her Facebook page, posting:

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, also starring Dan Stevens (the Beast) Ian McKellen (Cogsworth), Harry Potter’s Emma Thompson (Mrs. Potts), Josh Gad (Le Fou), Ewan McGregor (Lumiere), Kevin Kline (Maurice), Stanley Tucci (Cadenza) andLuke Evans (Gaston), is set to premiere March 17, 2017.

beautyandbeast-718x1063

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8. David Yates and David Baron talk “Tarzan”

Harry Potter direct David Yates, and Harry Potter producer David Baron, sat down for a an interview about their most recent collaboration, The Legend of Tarzan. The new live-action take on the classic tale (made famous among younger generations by Disney’s animated feature film) hits theaters this week (already in theaters in the USA)–introducing audiences to Tarzan’s life after he and Jane have married and moved away from the jungle. When trouble arises and new enemies emerge, Tarzan must return to the jungle.

The two Davids sat down with Den of Geek to discuss the film, why they chose the legend of Tarzan, their take on the well-known tale, and more. Den of Geek reports:

 

Let’s start with something obvious: why Tarzan?

David Yates: Well, I was reading dozens and dozens of scripts, and trying to find something after [Harry] Potter that felt really fun, immersive, and had lots and lots of colours. Potter was a big arena experience, and in terms of storytelling it always had a funny bit, it always had a dramatic bit, always had something that was very emotional, always had something that was very beautifully thematic. It always took you to four or five different places, and as an experience that was always very enjoyable. And I read all these Hollywood scripts that they kept sending me, and none of them did that. They were all very one-note, it was one colour all the way through, whether they were blowing up cities or whatever, and then this script turned up and it said Tarzan on the front, and I said ‘I don’t think I’m going to read that, because I know what that is.’

Then someone who’d read it in my office said ‘I really think you ought to read this, because it’s not what you think.’ Reluctantly, I opened the page, and then I couldn’t stop turning the pages, and there was something about this human being who didn’t really know where home was. He didn’t know if it was in the jungle, or in his country estate in England, and he was stuck between the two, which I found really compelling. And there was something about the themes in the movie, that were beautiful, about reconnecting with the environment, reconnecting with animals, understanding animals, understanding that the environment was being threatened. This old-fashioned, iconic character was somehow connecting with present-day values that were very relevant and very important, and very ‘now.’ But more than anything, it was fun, it was moving, it was romantic, it was exciting, it had all the colours that the Potter movies, for me, would have. I thought ‘fuck, this is the first time I’ve read a script that I really want to go see this movie.’

David Baron: It’s also a very different Tarzan to all the other movies that we’ve seen in the past. For a start, it’s not the story of the foundling in the forest who gets taken back to England by the end, it’s quite the reverse. The character starts in England and goes back to Africa, which is a very refreshing point of view for Tarzan.

That’s something that I’m very curious about. Everything now is an origin story, even things that aren’t really origin stories. Was there pressure to push in? In the clip we saw, there was the beginning of that – was there pressure to make more of that?

DY: There is a bit of origin story in the movie, and there was no pressure from the studio, but when we showed it to the audience, the origins bit that was in there, they loved. When we put a bit more in, they loved it even more, and when we put a bit more in they loved it even more. But the origin story isn’t straightforward origin story, it refracts. There’s a foreground story, and that story of how Jane and Tarzan met, that refracts against the present time. It’s an element. Is it an origin story? Not really.

DB: There’s enough to explain, to people who don’t know the story, it gives them something to hang on to.

DY: It gives you context, and it’s kinda fun.

 

When he was fighting the monkey, what was he doing really?

DB: You mean physically?

Was it a puppet, or was there a stand-in? How did you do that?

DY: We had a stunt stand-in who would be the gorilla.

DB: In a big suit, for the physical interaction, so Alex’s arms weren’t here, they were sort of here.

DY: Then Alex would fight with him, and then when he couldn’t fight with him because he had to throw a punch, he’d literally be fighting with thin air.

DB: Or a ball on the end of a stick. We didn’t do any motion capture, the apes are completely CG.

DY: You just get the best animators, which we did. And it’s partly about the characters within our story, and you deliver story. Our animals, we made them as photorealistically as we could.

DB: Even though they don’t exist, because they’re giant apes.

They were pretty bloody scary.

DB: They don’t actually exist, they’re drawn from something that was a mixture of a chimpanzee and a gorilla, but they’re bigger. You wouldn’t find anything quite as big as Tarzan’s brother in the wild.

DY: You don’t really look at what other people are doing, you kind of just concentrate on your own story and your own world.

DB: In Planet Of The Apes, they’re pretty much just chimpanzees that ride horses and stand on their back legs.

DY: You look critically at some other work, and you go ‘they did that bit really well, but that bit wasn’t as good.’ You’re aware of it, and you try and learn from other people’s mistakes. And you’ll do something that you think is really good, a stand-out piece of animation, and you do something else and think ‘I’m not sure we nailed that.’

There’s a scene in the trailer where Margot has to scream and she says ‘oh, like a damsel.’ I gather that Jane is quite modern.

DY: She’s feisty. She’s quite modern and feisty, she’s quite punchy.

Where did she punch [Alex], in the face?

DB: No, the arm.

This strategy of finding your own voice, how does it relate to the previous Tarzan movies and what kind of man he is? We know him as being young, and you have to define what kind of man he is becoming.

DY: He’s a man stuck between two worlds. He’s afraid of going back to where he grew up, he’s afraid primarily because he wants to protect Jane, there’s a score that he has to figure out how to settle with an extraordinary character called Chief Mbonga. He actually killed Chief Mbonga’s son at one point in his past, so he’s reticent to go back to Africa. He’s a deeply troubled human being, who is trying to figure everything out, and he has the expectation from his father and his family of staying in England, of keeping the family home, being a proper English lord. He’s quite conflicted. But he finds real peace, and completeness, when he goes back to Africa. He has two families in Africa; he has the Manjani, the gorillas, who found him as a baby, and he has the Kuba tribe, who are this very peaceful group of agrarian tribespeople who saved him and brought him into their community.

DB: Which is where he met Jane.

DY: The Kuba are great, and they bring them into his bigger family. Ultimately, it’s a celebration of family. The thing about Christoph Waltz’s character is, he doesn’t know anything about community, or love, or what it is to feel interconnected, he just wants to take and build for the ambitions of his king. Whereas Tarzan and Jane have this huge family in Africa.

DB: Also Tarzan has, although he didn’t grow up with it, this history of his aristocratic lineage, and Christoph Waltz comes from very humble origins, and thinks that by serving his king well he will be promoted in the annals of history and celebrated as a character who saved his country.

Where does Samuel L. Jackson come into it?

DY: He’s a real character. Sam’s character is based on this extraordinary man, George Washington Williams, a preacher-lawyer-soldier, and one of the first people to draw people’s attention to what was happening in the Congo. There’s a level of politics in the movie, with a very small P, we didn’t want to dwell on it too much but it does give context for what’s happening in our story. So George Washington Williams, played by Sam, wants to try and get to the bottom of what King Leopold is up to in the Congo, which is basically enslaving a good portion of the population. So Sam persuades John, Tarzan, to take him back to the Congo, where they can work together to uncover what Leopold’s up to.

DB: Which was genocide on a massive scale.

DY: It was the first great genocide. Actually, that’s a really heavy part of it, and if one percent of the audience gets intrigued by that, they can learn about the first great genocide.

Will we be hearing the famous Tarzan yell?

DB: Of course you will!

DY: We were mixing it this morning.

 

To read more of this extensive interview with David Yates and David Baren, learn more about the animation of the film, casting choices, and how Jane saves Tarzan, read here.

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9. Entertainment Weekly reveals new SUICIDE SQUAD plot details

EW SUICIDE SQUAD 2Also take a look at the latest set of covers featuring the cast

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10. Review: THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS treads old ground

It's a premise I perhaps expected too much from: What do pets get up to when their owners are at work all day? Turns out the answer is "pretty much the same thing as the toys in Toy Story."

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11. Harry Potter Adult Cast Acting Round Up #2

All of the Harry Potter actors, or alums, have been keeping busy doing what they do best–acting! In a series of “round ups” we will be doing our best to summarize the acting projects of all the Harry Potter star alums, many movies, plays and other projects–many of which sound amazing and may peak different Harry Potter fans’ interests.

Fiona Shaw (Aunt Petunia Dursley) joined the cast of the SyFy channel’s upcoming horror series Channel Zero: Candle Cove. The mini-series, set to premiere this fall, is based off Kris Straub’s online short story of the same title. Channel Zero: Candle Cove will be a mini-series made up of two 6-episode seasons. Season two is scheduled to be released in 2017. Variety Media describes the story, saying:

“[Channel Zero: Candle Cove] centers on [protagonist Mike Painter’s] obsessive recollection of a mysterious children’s television program from the 1980s – and his ever-growing suspicions about the role it might have played in a series of nightmarish and deadly events from his childhood…Mike Painter, a child psychologist who was a child himself when he witnessed the mysterious disappearance of his twin brother, Eddie, and four other children from their small town, Iron Hill, in 1988. Decades later, he is compelled to return to his hometown to investigate what really happened all those years ago, only to find that it – whatever it was – may be happening all over again. 

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“Shaw also stars as Marla Painter, Mike’s mother and a widow. Marla is shocked when Mike returns home and is reluctant to relive the events of the long-ago disappearance of her son and the other children of Iron Hill.”

 

Bill Nighy (Minister of Magic Rufus Scrimgeour) will be gracing the stage of London’s National Theatre as he joins the production of “Stuff Happens.” The production will be a rehearsed reading, with Bill Nighy set to play the Narrator. The production will only take place for one night, July 6, on the publication day of the Chilcot Inquiry report. The play’s author, David Hare describes the play (which was first performed in 2004):

“In 2004 Nicholas Hytner said the National Theatre could not call itself by that name if it did not have a play about the invasion of Iraq in that calendar year. He was right. And now, 12 years later, when the inquiry into those events is to be published, it seems appropriate to mark the event by presenting the play which first laid out the diplomatic process leading to the most controversial foreign policy decision of my life time.”

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Julie Walters (who played the beloved Molly Weasley in the Harry Potter films) has joined the cast of a film adaption of Peter Turner’s memoir Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool. The Hollywood Reporter describes the film, saying:

“The story follows the playful but passionate relationship between Turner (Bell) and the eccentric Oscar-winning actress Gloria Grahame (Bening). What starts as a vibrant affair between a legendary femme fatale and her young lover quickly grows into a deeper relationship, with Turner being the one person she allows herself to turn to for comfort and strength. When Grahame — known for roles in films like The Big Heat, Oklahoma and The Bad and the Beautiful — collapses and refuses medical attention, Turner is forced to take her into his chaotic and often eccentric family home in Liverpool.”

Julie Walters will play the role of Peter’s mother. Production on the film began today.

9781509818211Film Stars Don-t Die in Liverpool

 

Next on the list, Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy) has joined the cast of the up coming film, The Death of Stalin. It is currently unknown what role Jason Isaacs will play within the film, which is based off of a graphic novel of the same title. Variety reported:

“‘The Death of Stalin’ has everything: comedy, tragedy, truth, lies, life, death, bravery and cowardice. All under the shadow of Stalin’s Terror. So I’m really pleased we have an amazingly multifaceted cast who can give us all these things and more. It’s an unbelievable ensemble — great actors, brilliant comedians, fantastic personalities — and together they give us all the horrific drama and base absurdity of the crazy last days of Stalin and the power struggle to succeed him.”

“’The Death of Stalin’ is based on true events and set in the days following Stalin’s collapse as his core team of ministers tussle for control; some want positive change in the Soviet Union, others have more sinister motives. Their one common trait? They’re all just desperately trying to remain alive,” according to the press statement.”

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Along the lines of the comedic, Emma Thompson will making an appearance as an OBGYN in the Bridget Jones’s Diary sequel, Bridget Jones’s Baby. It is absolutely hilarious. Her character was debuted on the newest trailer for the film, which was just recently released. It can be seen below! The synopsis of the film states:

“After breaking up with Mark Darcy (Firth), Bridget Jones’s (Zellweger) “happily ever after” hasn’t quite gone according to plan.  Fortysomething and single again, she decides to focus on her job as top news producer and surround herself with old friends and new.  For once, Bridget has everything completely under control.  What could possibly go wrong?

Then her love life takes a turn and Bridget meets a dashing American named Jack (Dempsey), the suitor who is everything Mr. Darcy is not.  In an unlikely twist she finds herself pregnant, but with one hitch…she can only be fifty percent sure of the identity of her baby’s father.”

Bridget Jones’ Baby hits theaters September 16.

Unfortunately, after facing healthy complications and taking the advice to lay off working, Harry Potter’s John Hurt (Mr. Ollivander) announced he had to withdraw from his involvement in the newest production of The Entertainer. Mr. Hurt said in his statement:

“I have recently been in hospital with an intestinal complaint and although I am much improved and on the road to a full recovery, my doctors have advised that it is too soon for me to undertake a lengthy and arduous stage role.

“It is therefore with great sadness and disappointment that I must withdraw from The Entertainer.”

The play is a Kenneth Branagh (Gilderoy Lockhart) production. The Telegraph reports:

It is not yet clear who will replace Hurt in the role, though an announcement is expected soon.

Previews of the play, in which Kenneth Branagh plays Archie Rice, begin at London’s Garrick Theatre on August 20. This is the last play of Branagh’s year-long residency at the theatre.

This was to be the first time Hurt had appeared on the London stage in 10 years. In February, he described himself as “proud and privileged” to be involved in the project.

“I am thrilled to be invited to play Billy Rice in this production of what I believe to be one of the great plays of the 20th century,” he said.

The Entertainer will play at the Garrick Theatre from August 20 until November 12.

 

Helena Bonham Carter sat down for an interview with Market Wired. She discussed loving to dress up in crazy costumes for characters that were vastly different from her–acting as an escape from herself. Helena talked of experimenting with her wardrobe and keeping parts of her past characters’ costumes. Market Wired reported:

“I want to dress up. I don’t want to look like me. I want to feel I have escaped me. Like this one (Alice Through the Looking Glass) is easier to watch because I really don’t look like me. I wish I had special effects in every movie,” the Brit says.

“Oh yes, it’s completely therapeutics,” she says. “I am not naturally very angry. But is quite tiring to be continuously angry, so it took a lot of sugar and caffeine. It’s amazing that you don’t have to pay for the therapy, but you get paid.”

“In daily life, you can use them as costumes, I think. They are a bit magical, and they can have the ability to transform you. Not necessarily just totally from the outside, but it can solicit something else from the inside.”

Bonham-Carter, who has played in over six of her ex-husband´s movies, says she has kept some of the costumes that she wore over the years.

“I should have kept more, because sometimes you do get attached. But you know what I tend to keep?” she laughs. “My character’s underwear. So I have the bloomers and the camisoles. You want to keep something, but it has more to do with letting go of the character.”

More of the interview can be read here and seen below!

Last but certainly not least, Warwick Davis (Griphook, Flitwick) will be a guest on a panel at a Star Wars Celebration Europe in London! The Celebration with take place next week, July 15-17. To learn more about scheduling, visit Collider.

Many thanks to our friends at MuggleNet for the heads up!

 

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12. Does the “Ultimate Cut” make BATMAN v SUPERMAN a better film?

batman-vs-superman-trailer-cap-9.jpgKyle Pinion takes in the new 3 hour cut of the much maligned superhero clash.

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13. New JUSTICE LEAGUE concept art released by WB

justice-league-concept-art-1The studios unveils new concept art featured on the digital release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

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14. If you have a spare $10,000 you can get a cool old superhero costume

Processed By eBay with ImageMagick, z1.1.0. ||BProfiles in History is a huge movie memorabilia house and they’re having a HUGE three day auction that includes some amazing old movie costumes that you would never have thought even still existed. Like Tom Tyler “Captain Marvel” costume from the 1941 Adventures of Captain Marvel serial. Starting bid: $10,000 OR Dick Purcell’s “Captain America” […]

0 Comments on If you have a spare $10,000 you can get a cool old superhero costume as of 7/1/2016 7:17:00 AM
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15. New “Finding the Philosopher’s Stone” Exhibit at Warner Bros. Studio Tour

It’s hard to believe that it’s been fifteen years since the first Harry Potter film lit up our movie screens, but the minds behind the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London certainly haven’t forgotten. Since the beginning of the year, Warner Bros. has been delighting fans with a variety of exhibitions celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and the most recent addition is aptly titled “Finding the Philosopher’s Stone”.

 

The new exhibit will feature life-size Wizard’s Chess pieces, troll snot, unicorn blood, a moving display of the Devil’s Snare, and–naturally–several iterations of the Philosopher’s Stone. Prop makers will also be in attendance to give fans an inside look at the prop-making process.

 

“Finding the Philosopher’s Stone” will run from July 22 through September 5. Tickets to the exhibition cannot be purchased while on the tour, so be sure to book in advance.

 

In addition, the highly popular interior tour of 4 Privet Drive has been extended through September 5.

 

Thanks to Mugglenet for the heads-up!

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16. Meet Newt Scamander and The Bowtruckle in New Fantastic Beasts Teaser!

Yesterday, the Fantastic Beasts Twitter page released an exclusive introduction to the protagonist of the newest film to be set in the wizarding world: Newt Scamander. There are some exclusive new clips in this video, so be sure to watch it below!

The video starts with J.K. Rowling (screenwriter and producer) introducing her concept of a hero:

“My heroes are always people who feel themselves to be set apart, stigmatised, or othered. That’s at the heart of most of what I write, and it’s certainly at the heart of this movie”

We are then shown an intriguing new image of Newt, Tina and Jacob in MACUSA, after what looks to be an arrest:

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Newt then delicately and fondly touches Tina’s face:

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Rowling then tells how a textbook used in Hogwarts in the Potter books and films became its own phenomenon in the muggle world of today – she became increasingly interested in Newt’s story whilst writing the Potter series, leading to the Fantastic Beasts movie!

“He’s been travelling the world studying magical creatures – he calls himself a magizoologist!

“Newt’s creatures live in his magical case – you open it up, you can go down, and it’s an amazing space”

Eddie Redmayne then introduces his character: “He feels more at home with creatures than he does with human beings,” we are told by Redmayne. It is here that the Bowtruckle is introduced.

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“Come on, give me a smile.” Newt coaxes. The Bowtruckle responds by blowing a raspberry at him!

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Pottermore says of the creature:

“A small twig-like creature that guards wand-wood trees” 

“Peaceful and shy, unless its tree habitat is threatened. Has long, sharp fingers”

Bowtruckles are found in the West of England, southern Germany and certain Scandinavian forests.

Read more here!

“Newt walks into a society he doesn’t really understand” Rowling continues:

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“Mr Scamander, do you know anything about the wizarding community in America?”, Tina asks Newt.

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“I know that you have rather backward laws about relations with non-magic people” he replies (notice he didn’t say ‘muggle’!), “You’re not meant to befriend them, you can’t marry them, which seems wildly absurd to me”

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We are then told the crux of the Fantastic Beasts storyline:

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“Jacob accidentally opens Newt’s case, full of magical creatures” Rowling says. “It’s something that has implications for the whole wizarding world’.

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Read more at Pottermore here!

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17. Watch the Exclusive ‘Fantastic Beasts’ VidCon Event Here!

A team of worldwide creators set to market Fantastic Beasts over the coming months was introduced this week at VidCon. As this is one of the biggest fan conventions based around the power of online video, (originally conceived by YouTube’s Vlogbrothers, Hank and John Green), it was only fitting that Youtubers led the panel and the new marketing strategy!

The event starts with the amazing trailer of Fantastic Beasts, of course (which you can find here)

The panel is then introduced by Youtubers Tyler Oakley and Ingrid Nilsen, telling us that more teasers are coming up in the next few months, let by ‘worldwide creators’ chosen by Warner Bros to market the film.

These worldwide creators are introduced on the Fantastic Beasts set, and give us a tutorial on correct posture and pronunciation of spells in the Wizarding World.

The panel of creators then introduce their houses, and kick off by answering a question by J.K. Rowling, who asks what it was like to be on set. Of course, most appreciate the level of detail behind the scenes of the film, and say how exciting it was to be on set!

The creators share stories on how they were introduced to the books and films, memories of being a part of the Potter fandom, why Eddie Redmayne is the perfect Newt Scamander, questions they have about the Fantastic Beasts storyline, and answer many more questions surrounding the new, expanded wizarding world we have been introduced to through Fantastic Beasts.

Be sure to watch the panel below to get to know the creators who will be marketing Fantastic Beasts – more teasers are soon to come!

This event came shortly after Warner Bros. release of another Fantastic Beasts poster, which you can find here.

Watch the video of the panel below!

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18. Warner Bros. Showcases Fantastic Beasts Merchandise, Establishes Potter Production Team

Warner Bros. were present at Licensing Expo 2016 in Vegas, with exclusive merchandise from Fantastic Beasts and a statement on further projects:

“As we head into Licensing Expo 2016 and look to the year ahead, we’re focused on forging new and innovative partnerships with premiere licensees and retailers, continuing to build strong franchises, and delivering great product and experiences to our consumers,” said Pam Lifford, president, Warner Bros. Consumer Products.

“By strategically leveraging our world-class franchises, we’ll continue to offer our new and seasoned partners more consumer engagement opportunities, best-in-class product and expanded fan experiences.”

Licensing.biz reports:

“To celebrate the film’s debut, Warner Bros. Consumer Products will roll out an all-new programme including a robust publishing push, apparel, toys and collectables, housewares, stationery and more.”

Warner Bros expand on this with a statement on how Fantastic Beasts will be marketed using ‘themed entertainment initiatives’:

  • Fantastic Beasts Are Coming: The Wizarding World franchise has been captivating fans since the release of Harry Potter and is now expanding to include new characters, creatures and locations with the debut of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, hitting theaters November 18. To celebrate the film’s debut, Warner Bros. Consumer Products will roll out an all-new program that extends the Wizarding World fan experience with best-in-class products and partnerships. These cross-category opportunities will include a robust publishing program, inspired-by apparel, toys and collectibles, housewares, stationery and more.  
  • Harry Potter’s Immersive World:  A global phenomenon, Harry Potter is one of the most beloved franchises around the world.  As J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World expands – from Harry Potter-inspired themed lands in Florida, Japan and Hollywood, to globally touring exhibitions and concert series – WBCP and its partners continue to deliver immersive high quality experiences to extend the journey for the legions of current fans and new generations to come.

Based on these new initiatives, a new Harry Potter Production team has been established by Warner Bros. The new team is called the Harry Potter Global Franchise Development Team (HPGFD), and will be dealing with all future Potter-related projects, including films, Warner Bros Studio Tour in London, theme parks and digital products (i.e. Pottermore).

Polly Cochrane will operate as Chief Marketing Officer of the team, as well as group marketing director for Warner Bros UK and Ireland.

Read more about the team here.

We look forward to seeing the new Fantastic Beasts merchandise!

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19. Marvel Studios and DOCTOR STRANGE confirmed for SDCC’s Hall H next month

doctor-strange (2)We’re hitting that point where SDCC announcements will start rolling in over the next four to five weeks. Studios will be unveiling their panel schedules and reporters like me will be hoping there’s some secrets to uncover wherever we can find them. Last year, Marvel Studios sat out the festivities in San Diego, opting instead […]

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20. Now You See Me 2 With Daniel Radcliffe – Now In Theaters!

With the first screenings beginning last night, Now You See Me 2 is now in theaters!

Daniel Radcliffe’s face graces our the big screen as he appears in the movie as Walter Mabry, a spoiled billionaire who kidnaps the Horseman (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, and Lizzy Caplan) and tricks then into committing a heist. The Horseman, however, have other plans. They come up with an elaborate stunt to expose Walter Mabry and clear their names.

Coming from a lifetime in the Harry Potter world, you’d think Daniel Radcliffe would know quite a bit about magic. Well, he reveals, in this USA Today article, that he isn’t as good as Harry was with magic tricks.

“The one thing I can kind of do is the bit I screw up in the first scene,” says Radcliffe, 26, flicking an imaginary card from one hand to the other. “I can actually do that, but then the one time I missed, I was like, ‘Ah, that’s definitely going to be the (take) they use.’ Failure is always funnier than success, particularly when it comes to this character.”

Daniel tells that to prepare to play a smart yet bratty young billionaire, he looked to his private school classmates as inspiration. He clarifies that, while a lot of good, perfectly nice people come out of private schools, occasionally there will be those who have a false sense of entitlement which causes them to be quite arrogant. “I saw him as a product of that environment,” says Daniel.

Walter (Daniel Radcliffe, center), has dastardly plans

Playing Walter Mabry in this illusion themed sequel to the 2013 surprise hit gave Daniel Radcliffe a chance to not on play the villain for the first time but also to work with a line-up of A-list actors. Being able to work with Michael Caine was particularly gratifying for Daniel. “A long-held personal goal of mine,” Daniel says of Caine, who plays Walter’s father in the film. “Growing up in England, you hear Michael talked about so much, with such reverence. Knowing that I’d have significant scenes with him was amazing.”

See more about the film here. Be sure to catch the film in theaters everywhere and see the trailer below!

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21. Natalia Tena Animated Film, “Fishwitch” Screening at Edinburgh International Film Festival

Natalia Tena (who played the ever-fabulous Hufflepuff and Auror, Tonks, in the Harry Potter films) stars in an animated short film called Fishwitch, previously titled Once Upon an Iceberg. As Leaky reported previously (read here), the short description of the animated short calls the film “an ugly fairy tale with a lot of heart.” The animated short is currently in production, running at about 8 minutes total.

The plot outline reads:

“When Tootega the Sea Witch catches Derek the Singing Merman in her net, she assumes she can use her powers to get rid of him, just like everyone else. Except Derek is not like everyone else, and Tootega soon finds her heart melting under Derek’s influence – quite literally.”

Natalia Tena will be playing the protagonist, Tootega the Sea Witch. Sam Apley, Tena’s partner from her musical band, Molotov Jukebox, will be taking the role of Derek the Singing Merman.

The short film will be screened at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, in competition with other short films that will be shown. There are tickets still available to see Natalia Tena as Tootega, more information can be found on the film’s Facebook page, here. The new trailer for the short film can be seen below!

FISHWITCH Trailer from adrienne dowling on Vimeo.

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22. Conversation at Electric Literature


The good folks at Electric Literature invited me to converse with Adrian Van Young, perhaps not knowing that Adrian and I had recently discovered we are in many ways lost brothers, and so we could go on and on and on...


We talked about Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Sublime, writing advice, writers we like, Michael Haneke, neoliberalism, The Witch, and all sorts of other things. It was a lot of fun and we could have gone on at twice the length, but eventually we had to return to our lives.

Many thanks to Electric Lit for being so welcoming.

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23. A nation cries out in joy as Donald Glover joins the cast of Spider-Man: Homecoming

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 03:  Donald Glover of Childish Gambino performs at Bud Light stage during 2014 Lollapalooza Day Three at Grant Park on August 3, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)Embed from Getty Images Speaking of Spider-Man, a long time ago, an internet-driven write-in campaign to get Community star Donald Glover to player Spider-Man began. The campaign led to a scene in Community where Glover wore Spider-Man pajamas, and later a more substantive role as the voice of Miles Morales, the Ultimate Universe Spider-Man, on the […]

1 Comments on A nation cries out in joy as Donald Glover joins the cast of Spider-Man: Homecoming, last added: 6/15/2016
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24. A bunch of sites went on JUSTICE LEAGUE set visits, here’s what they learned

justice league conceptA quick summary of some of the high-points being reported today

6 Comments on A bunch of sites went on JUSTICE LEAGUE set visits, here’s what they learned, last added: 6/22/2016
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25. All-out charm offensive for Justice League film reveals details, logo, villains, Zack Snyder’s clothing choices, more

When something is broke, you try to fix it, and following the disastrous critical and fan reception to Batman V Superman, WB pulled out all the stops for a press junket bringing all the top movie scoopers and reporters to the set in London last week, and allowed them to run their stories today. Our […]

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