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With Danny Boyle Out, Bond 25 Will Likely Miss 2019 Release Date

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With Trainspotting director Danny Boyle exiting Daniel Craig’s final outing as the legendary super-spy James Bond earlier this week, it now looks like the flick will almost certainly miss its 2019 release date, according to a report from Variety.

The latest rumour is that Boyle turned in a screenplay with his co-writer John Hodge that didn’t meet the approval of producers, nor that of star Daniel Craig. Furthermore, Boyle reportedly clashed with the studio on the casting of the film’s primary antagonist. Now it seems the film’s script will also be chucked out, and EON Productions and MGM Studios will be seeking a new screenwriter as urgently, if not more so, than their requirement for a new director. Bond 25 had been slated to begin filming this December, however if the film is in need of a new script, then chances are it will miss that narrow time-frame – thus delaying the entire project.

This delay is virtually inevitable, with the tightly-controlled, expensive, complex set-pieces the Bond films are known for requiring months of pre-production, planning, stunt-rehearsal, and more. With the franchise’s admirable insistence on still shooting on-location for the majority of its major action beats, any delay in filming – and especially any change in script which could potentially nullify the need for certain planned set-pieces – would wildly throw off the feature’s schedule; certain locations would cease to be available, and others may simply no longer be required. All of which would have a domino effect, cascading into one unavoidable scenario: Bond 25 will have to be pushed back.

Rival studios have suggested that to have any hope of still making the film’s November 9th, 2019 release, Bond 25 would have to begin shooting in January. That gives the film just four months to find a script, secure a director, shore up locations and scout replacements for any lost, block out rehearsals, and to solidify a shooting schedule. Not impossible, but highly unlikely.

Director Christopher McQuarrie (Mission: Impossible – Fallout) has had his name reportedly bandied about in recent days within the EON offices, as the auteur made a name for himself working with hurried productions – both the fifth and sixth instalments of the M:I franchise, that he wrote and directed, begun shooting without a completed script. McQuarrie had indicated that he’d hoped his next film would move away from franchise fare, but given that he recently delivered a financial and critical success in the same genre of espionage action-thriller, it’s not hard to imagine EON and MGM already attempting to write the man a very, very large cheque.

Both companies have presently declined to comment.

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Pharrell Williams To Narrate Benedict Cumberbatch’s The Grinch

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Grammy and Oscar award-winning artist Pharrell Williams has joined the cast of Universal Pictures and Illumination’s The Grinch, as the film’s narrator.

Williams scored all three of the entries in the Despicable Me franchise, and his song Happy (from the second film) went 7x platinum in the US. Fellow rapper Tyler the Creator has scored The Grinch along with veteran Batman composer Danny Elfman, and has written a solo track entitled I Am The Grinch for the feature.

Doctor Strange and Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch will voice the film’s title curmudgeonly creature, and Rashida Jones, Keenan Thompson and Angela Lansbury round out the rest of the cast. Scott Mosier and Yarrow Cheney will direct, and the flick is scheduled for an early November release, this year.

Illumination’s animated The Grinch also comes a whole eighteen years after the Jim Carrey-fronted live-action adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ classic children’s book. So yeah, now you feel old, huh?

Pharrell is currently gearing up to release his next collection of Adidas trainers, entitled SOLARHU, which will go live in five days. They are expected to sell out within hours.

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Shortlist Revealed For U.K. Film’s Biggest Bursary

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The BFI and IWC Schaffhausen today revealed the three filmmakers shortlisted for the IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award in association with the BFI. At £50,000, it is the most significant bursary of its kind in the UK film industry, expressly designed to support the future careers of exceptional new British film talent.

Acclaimed directors, Paul Greengrass (Bourne, United 93, Captain Phillips) and Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Baby Driver) will join Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI and Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen, to select the winner, which will be announced at The IWC Gala Dinner in honour of the BFI, on Tuesday 9 October – the eve of the BFI London Film Festival’s Opening Night.

The shortlisted films include:

RICHARD BILLINGHAM – WRITER/Director, RAY & LIZ  

NICOLE TAYLOR – WRITER, WILD ROSE

HARRY WOOTLIFF – WRITER/DIRECTOR, ONLY YOU

Now in its third year, the Bursary is presented in recognition of outstanding British talent at the beginning of their careers and is designed to support a writer and/or director by providing them with the financial stability and time needed to develop their creativity. The Bursary affords them the freedom to focus on future projects without the pressure of deadlines or the distraction of taking paid work – a precious and extremely rare opportunity for a filmmaker. Previous recipient include writer/directors, Hope Dickson Leach (The Levelling) and Daniel Kokotajlo (Apostasy).

Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI comments: This Bursary award does so much to support some of our brightest and best new filmmakers and it’s not just about winning – as we’ve seen in the last two years, being shortlisted can prove hugely valuable in boosting a filmmaker’s profile within the industry and beyond. I want to thank IWC for their continued commitment to helping us support British filmmaking in this dynamic way. Our three filmmakers offer a rich variety of voices formed through a really exciting range of experiences and disciplines, and once again the judging panel faces a very difficult decision.

A panel of senior industry figures – Rose Garnett, Director of BBC Films, Ollie Madden, Head of Creative at Film4, Ben Roberts, Director of the BFI Film Fund, Tricia Tuttle, Acting Artistic Director of the BFI London Film Festival, and Kaleem Aftab, film critic and journalist – selected the shortlist of filmmakers. To be eligible for the Bursary Award a writer, director or writer/director must be UK-based and have their first or second film in Official Selection at the BFI London Film Festival in Partnership with American Express®. Once again, the high calibre of shortlisted applicants is testament to the strength of British independent filmmaking and this year also highlights the intersection of film with other creative disciplines, with the three finalists each demonstrating a unique range of experience and presenting original work with a distinctive tone.

Ben Roberts, Director of the BFI Film Fund said: “The three shortlisted filmmakers are each poised to catch the wave of their current success – but feature development needs time and encouragement. We are so grateful to IWC for highlighting and supporting the work of emerging UK filmmakers – and also to the producers of our three candidates for getting them here”

Tricia Tuttle, Artistic Director of the BFI London Film Festival said: “In the last few years we’ve seen an impressive new generation of film talent emerging from the UK. We’re really proud of the role the Festival plays in championing this talent globally, and this Bursary is a key part of how we do that.“

The final three in contention for the IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award in Association with the BFI are:

In 2017 the IWC Bursary Award in Association with the BFI was won by writer/director, Daniel Kokotajlo whose debut feature Apostasy premiered at the LFF that year. The film was released in the UK in July 2018 to widespread critical acclaim.

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Director James Gray to Serve as President of 2018 Marrakech International Film Festval

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US director James Gray will serve as president of the Competition jury of the 2018 Marrakech International Film Festival, which runs from November 30th -December 8th.

Gray boasts an impressive filmography, having helmed films such as We Own The Night and 2017’s The Lost City of Z. His latest feature Ad Astra, starring Brad Pitt, is set to be released next year.

The festival’s Competition selection will consist of 14 first and second films chosen by a programming committee led by new artistic director Christoph Terhechte.

Following the announcement, Gray said

“The Marrakech Film Festival is truly a very special place where the language of cinema unites people from all over the map. It’s a tremendous honour to be named president of the jury and to be returning to this great festival for a third time.”

The top prize, Golden Star – Grand Prix comes with a cash prize of 50,000 USD. Other prizes include Jury Prize, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Director.

 

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