Ang Lee Confirmed to Next Direct Iraq War Satire BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK

by     Posted 95 days ago


Last week, a report surfaced that Ang Lee might possibly direct an adaptation of the Iraq War novel Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk as his next film instead of his 3D boxing movie that he’s been developing since last year.  Today, that news has been confirmed, as Deadline reports that Lee will indeed be directing the Iraq War satire as his Life of Pi follow-up.  This will be Lee’s first film after winning the Best Director Oscar, and it marks a fitting genre change for the versatile filmmaker.  Lee has excelled at martial arts films (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), love stories (Brokeback Mountain), and even costume dramas (Sense and Sensibility), so why not tackle a satirical picture about Iraq war veterans?  Based on the novel by Ben Fountain, the story takes place in Texas and follows the surviving members of a squad of soldiers as they embark on a media-intensive “Victory Tour” at Texas Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

More on the film and what this means for Lee’s boxing movie after the jump.

Ang Lee Could Direct Iraq War Satire BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK

by     Posted 101 days ago


It’s been a couple of years now since Ang Lee won the Best Director Oscar for his ambitious 2012 drama Life of Pi.  The filmmaker initially signed on to quickly follow it up with the FX pilot Tyrant, but subsequently dropped out due to exhaustion over the awards campaign for his VFX-heavy adaptation.  Just over a year ago, Lee committed to next directing a 3D boxing film for Universal which would depict classic fights—including the Thrilla in Manila—using cutting-edge technology, but word on that film has been very quiet in the ensuing months.  Now another project appears to be vying for Lee’s attention, as the filmmaker is reportedly being eyed to helm an adaptation of the Iraq War novel Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.  More after the jump.

Vin Diesel Wants Ang Lee to Direct KOJAK Because of Course He Does

by     Posted 1 year, 26 days ago


Vin Diesel loves his fans, and he has no hesitation about teasing them regarding future projects.  His relentless self-promotion is kind of grating if you’re not a Diesel devotee, but hustling is part of Hollywood.  He’s supposedly voicing Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy, and has talked about “merging brands” with Marvel (whatever the hell that means).  Diesel may be content to be part of ensemble films, but since the most successful thing about Riddick is that it got made, he could be looking for another solo franchise.

About a year ago, Diesel signed on to play the lead in a film adaptation of the TV show Kojak.  The series ran from 1973-1978, and starred Telly Savalas as New York City Police Department Detective Lieutenant Theo Kojak.  The tough but good-hearted cop was a colorful character and returned to TV in 2005 as a short-lived series starting Ving Rhames.   So what are Diesel’s thoughts on the film adaptation?  When asked by a fan on Facebook “what director would you like to work soon?” he replied, “Kojak… New York… Ang Lee…”  Hit the jump for more.

RUSH Screenwriter Peter Morgan to Pen Ang Lee’s 3D Boxing Film; Reveals Plot Details

by     Posted 1 year, 81 days ago


Having just tackled a classic Formula 1 rivalry in Ron Howard’s Rush, screenwriter Peter Morgan is now set to craft a film around the historic boxing matches between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.  A few months ago, we learned that Ang Lee had settled on an untitled 3D film about the boxing world of the 1960s and 1970s as his Life of Pi follow-up, and now Morgan has revealed that he will be penning the screenplay for the Universal pic.  Morgan, who also wrote The Queen, Frost/Nixon, and Howard’s upcoming sea epic In the Heart of the Sea, went on to reveal a bit about what we can expect from the film, in which Lee intends to digitally incorporate actors into existing fight footage of Ali and Frazier.  Hit the jump to read on.

Ang Lee to Next Direct 3D Boxing Film for Universal; Will Depict Classic Fights in Cutting-Edge 3D

by     Posted 1 year, 136 days ago


Ang Lee has settled on his next directorial project after winning the Best Director Oscar for last year’s Life of Pi.  Deadline reports that Lee will next helm an untitled 3D film for Universal that’s described as “an epic look at the boxing world of the 1960s and 1970s, as seen through the prism of its biggest rivalries and greatest fights.”  The film will include 3D depictions of classic fights, including Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier’s Thrilla in Manila, but it will also have a narrative that connects the sequences.  It’s unclear exactly what this narrative is, but Lee is not really one to repeat himself so I imagine we’re in for something wholly unique.  Life of Pi showcased some of the best use of 3D ever, so visually this new film should be pretty exciting.

The report notes that Lee has an eye towards taking “the exploration of 3D technology and cutting-edge visual effects further,” so I can’t wait to see him put that to use against the backdrop of boxing’s heyday.  Lee initially signed on to direct the FX pilot Tyrant as his Life of Pi follow-up, but subsequently dropped out.

BOND 24 Director Search Continues; Nicolas Winding Refn, Shane Black, Ang Lee, Tom Hooper, and David Yates Under Consideration [UPDATED]

by     Posted 1 year, 208 days ago


After Sam Mendes opted not to return to helm the upcoming 24th installment of the James Bond franchise, Eon and Sony Pictures have been on the hunt for a new director with an eye towards getting the next film out by 2016.  While rumors swirled recently that Christopher Nolan was considering the job, the notion seemed highly unlikely because A.) he’s busy prepping to shoot Interstellar this summer and B.) he has already stated in the past that he’d like to direct a Bond film when he can reboot the franchise with a new actor.

Following Mendes’ Skyfall will be no small task, but it appears that Eon and Sony are aiming for the cream of the filmmaking crop as directors such as Ang Lee, Nicolas Winding Refn, and Iron Man 3 helmer Shane Black have reportedly been considered for the director’s chair.  Hit the jump for more. [Update: Now Deadline reports that Sam Mendes has changed his mind and is in talks to return to helm Bond 24.  Read the full story here.]

FX Pilots: Director Ang Lee Departs Drama TYRANT, While Guillermo del Toro’s THE STRAIN Finds Its Female Lead in Mia Maestro

by     Posted 1 year, 216 days ago


A couple of updates out of the camp of FX pilots.  Unfortunately, it looks like Oscar-winning director Ang Lee will be tapping out of production on the drama pilot Tyrant, citing exhaustion from filming and promoting Life of Pi.  The story centers on an unassuming American family drawn into the workings of a turbulent Middle East nation; Tyrant’s pilot may be shooting in Morocco.  The search for a replacement is currently underway.

For more on what Lee had to say about his departure from the project and for casting information on Guillermo del Toro’s FX pilot, The Strain, hit the jump.

Steven Spielberg Drops Moses Biopic GODS AND KINGS; Warner Bros. Eyes Ang Lee as Replacement

by     Posted 1 year, 283 days ago

ang lee steven spielberg gods and kings

We have tracked the entire life cycle of Steven Spielberg’s relationship with Gods and Kings, a Moses biopic written by Michael Green (Green Lantern) and Stuart Hazeldine (Exam).  Warner Bros. asked Spielberg in September 2011.  The director entered negotiations in November 2011.  He was reportedly near a deal in January 2012.  And now, according to Deadline, Spielberg has decided to drop the project.  This is sad news for Warner Bros., but now they are free to move on—after all, time is an issue, because ideally the studio would like to beat Ridley Scott‘s competing Moses biopic (now titled Exodus) in the race to the multiplex.  WB has reached out to Ang Lee to direct, now that he’s caught up to Spielberg’s two Best Director Oscars with his Life of Pi win.  Lee is said to be interested, but hasn’t taken a formal meeting yet.

This is sure to be a high profile project once it gets the engine running, so we’ll keep you posted.  In the meantime, hit the jump for a rundown of the major events in Moses’ life.

Ang Lee to Direct and Executive Produce FX Pilot TYRANT

by     Posted 1 year, 283 days ago


“So Ang Lee, you’ve won the Oscar for best director what are ya gonna do now?” “I’m going to direct and executive produce a TV show!”  Once again cluing us all into just how the TV landscape has changed over the last fifteen years from second-tier to top notch storytelling, the Life Of Pi director is set to helm the pilot of Tyrant, a new show that is being set up at FX which will follow an American family caught amidst the inner workings of a Middle Eastern nation.

Hit the jump for the lowdown.

The Road to Oscar: Best Director

by     Posted 1 year, 303 days ago


For proof that 2012 was a nutty year for awards contenders, look no further than the Best Director category.  Over the past few days, we’ve been looking back how the ebbs and flows of the past 12 months have shaped the awards race in a number of categories, and one of the most dynamic shifts came with Best Director.  After the jump, we run down how the race for Oscar glory progressed over the past few months to give us the five nominees who will be vying for the gold on Oscar Sunday.  Hit the jump to read on.


by     Posted 1 year, 309 days ago


Before I dive headfirst into what could be considered overselling to the “nth degree”, I have a disclaimer: I’m a total sucker for nostalgia-inducing, high school-centric, coming of age films. With that out of the way, I cannot recommend enough that you watch author/writer/director Stephen Chboksy‘s adaptation of his own novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, as soon as possible. The pic hit Blu-ray/DVD this past week and over the course of 24 hours I rented it, watched it, loved it, returned it (yes, somehow late fees are still a thing…), and purchased it for my own collection. I could go on and on about the emotional note the movie hit for me at every turn but I’ll spare you the fanboy torment. Suffice to say that I’ll be looking back fondly on this one for quite a while.

My “Blu-ray/DVD pick of the week” aside, this week’s installment features a week of Die Hard that includes Matt revisiting the entire franchise and A Good Day to Die Hard interviews with Bruce Willis and more, coverage from Steve’s visit to the set of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, a slew of video interviews from this year’s VES Awards including talks with Ang Lee and Wally Pfister just to name a few, Beautiful Creatures interviews with Emmy Rossum and more, and a healthy amount of images from the floor of Toy Fair 2013. Yep, you guessed it, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found on the other side.

Ang Lee Talks LIFE OF PI, the Believability of a Computer-Generated Tiger, and More at the VES Awards

by     Posted 1 year, 320 days ago


There was a time when everyone said Life of Pi couldn’t be made.  Most said trying to adapt Yann Martel’s novel was a fool’s mission.  And back in May, 2010, after almost reaching the starting gate, the adaptation was put on hold when the studio demanded a lower budget.  But that didn’t stop director Ang Lee, and after some compromise and with a lot of perseverance, he eventually got the green light and the film has now made over $500 million at the worldwide box office and it’s nominated for 11 Academy Awards.  Not bad for an unfilmable movie.

At tonight’s VES Awards I spoke to Lee on the red carpet.  We talked about the awards season experience, the reaction of fans around the world, the believability of the computer-generated tiger, Richard Parker, visual art vs. visual effects and how they contribute to a cinematic story, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

2013 Oscar Nominations Announced; LINCOLN Leads with 12 Nominations, Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck Snubbed for Best Director

by     Posted 1 year, 346 days ago


The nominations for the 85th Academy Awards have been announced, and it’s quite a whirlwind of nominees.  As expected, Lincoln landed the most nominations with 12, followed with Ang Lee’s Life of Pi which nabbed 11.  The big story here, though, is the Best Director category.  Shockingly, only two (two!) of the DGA nominees for Best Director made the Oscar cut: Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg.  The rest of the category was filled out by Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern WildDavid O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook, and Michael Haneke for Amour.  It was almost guaranteed that Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow would be landing nominations for Argo and Zero Dark Thirtyrespectively, but shockingly neither made the cut.  Apparently those films just directed themselves.  Based off today’s nominations, it now looks like it’s (surprisingly) down to Lincoln vs. Silver Linings Playbook for the big win.

Hit the jump to check out the list of nominees, and click here to check them against my predictions (somehow I predicted the Best Picture and Supporting Actor categories perfectly).  The 85th Academy Awards will take place on February 24th.

Ang Lee Interested in Directing CLEOPATRA Starring Angelina Jolie

by     Posted 1 year, 347 days ago


The long-gestating biopic Cleopatra may have finally found a director, and it’s a good ‘un.  The project has been in development for a number of years with Angelina Jolie attached to star as the Egyptian queen.  Both James Cameron and Paul Greengrass flirted with the idea of directing before ultimately moving on, and most recently David Fincher was attached to the project before dropping off last summer.  The pic has a script by Eric Roth (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), based on Stacy Schiff’s book Cleopatra: A Life, and now another top-tier filmmaker is eyeing the gig: Ang Lee.  Hit the jump for more details.

Directors Guild of America Announces Nominations for the 65th Annual DGA Awards, Including Ben Affleck

by     Posted 1 year, 348 days ago


The Directors Guild of America has just announced their nominations for “Outstanding Direction in Feature Film” for the 65th Annual DGA Awards.  The nominees are as follows:

These nominations, as well as the omission of certain other directors, carry certain implications heading into the Academy Awards contest.  Hit the jump for more DGA-related news.

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