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Ron Howard To Direct Luciano Pavarotti Documentary

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Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment and Nigel Sinclair and Guy East’s White Horse Pictures will team up again following the success of their documentary The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years, to produce a newly authorized documentary based on the life of acclaimed tenor, philanthropist and 20th Century icon, Luciano Pavarotti. The film will be made in collaboration with Polygram Entertainment, a Universal Music Group partner, and STUDIOCANAL, who will co-finance the feature. STUDIOCANAL and White Horse Pictures will also oversee international sales. Additionally, White Horse Pictures will direct North American sales.

The film will be directed by Academy Award®winning director Ron Howard who will produce alongside Nigel Sinclair, Brian Grazer, Michael Rosenberg and Jeanne Elfant Festa. The creative team will be joined by Eight Days A Week award-winning writer Mark Monroe and award-winning editor Paul Crowder. White Horse’s Guy East and Nicholas Ferrall will serve as Executive Producers along with Crowder and Monroe. Cassidy Hartmann will serve as a consulting writer and Co-Executive Producer. Mark McCune will serve as Supervising Producer. Dickon Stainer, President and CEO of Global Classics, UMG, and David Blackman, Head of Polygram Entertainment, along with Didier Lupfer and Ron Halpern for STUDIOCANAL, will also serve as Executive Producers. The feature documentary will be produced with the full cooperation of the Pavarotti Estate, Universal Music Classics and Decca Records.

Ron Howard says of the maestro, “Pavarotti’s life was replete with the highs and lows of great drama and, like any compelling character, he was also a man of considerable contradictions. His artistic ambition, propelled by his massive talent, and his deep love for humanity drove his career and the powerful bond with his audiences, but they also fueled his other life as a world philanthropist.  I am intrigued by the way his emotional passion not only drove his music and his powerful bond with his audiences, but his gift of his other life as a philanthropist.”

Brian Grazer says, “This is a man who spent his life searching for success, searching for his soul, and seeking his own fulfillment, while the rest of us looked on in awe at his talent and enormous, magical personality.”

Nigel Sinclair says, “Pavarotti’s humble beginnings – the son of a baker, who grew up in a small town in Italy, and grew up to be one of the most acclaimed high classical artists in human history – is a truly powerful and life-affirming tale.  It is great to reunite the team to tell the story of this incredible artist.”

Ron Halpern, EVP International Production and Acquisitions, who will be following the project for STUDIOCANAL along with Shana Eddy-Grouf, SVP of International Production and Development, said: “We all had such a great experience working together with Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Nigel and Guy on The Beatles: Eight Days a Week and are excited to begin another film together so quickly. Studiocanal and Universal Music have been working more and more together to find great film stories with Universal Music talent and Pavarotti is one of the most iconic musical figures of the last 50 years.”

Editor-in-Chief of Movie Marker. Likes: Scorsese, Spielberg and Tarantino Dislikes: The film 'Open Water' I mean, what was that all about?

Casting News

Emilia Clarke Joins Paul Feig’s Holiday Comedy Last Christmas

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Game of Thrones’ mother of dragons herself, Emilia Clarke, has joined the cast of Bridesmaids director Paul Feig’s next comedy, Last Christmas.

Clarke will star opposite Crazy Rich Asians’ breakout hunk Henry Golding, in what’s being described as a holiday-themed romance set in London. Little else is known about the project, aside from the fact that national treasure Emma Thompson has written the script with her creative partner Bryony Kimmings.

The film will be financed and distributed by Universal Pictures, following Feig’s public breakaway from Sony over his 2017 flick Ghostbusters.

Emilia Clarke can most recently be seen in Solo: A Star Wars Story as Qi’ra, crime lord and childhood sweetheart to the legendary scoundrel. Solo is due for release on DVD, Blu-Ray and 4K on the 24th of September. Crazy Rich Asians is in UK cinemas now, rated 12A. Last Christmas is eyeing a Winter 2019 debut.

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Ken Jeong Joins Australian Sci-Fi Sequel Occupation: Rainfall

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Crazy Rich Asians actor and stand-up comedian Ken Jeong has joined the cast of Australian director Luke Sparke’s Occupation: Rainfall.

The science fiction sequel to this year’s Occupation, which saw a group of small town civilians fight back against an alien invasion, will pick up two years after the first film – as the band of resistance fighters discovers a plot that could bring the one-sided war to a decisive end.

Occupation starred Temuera Morrison, Dan Ewing and Stephanie Jacobson, who will all return for the sequel.

“We’re building a whole new world with Occupation: Rainfall, and to have Ken join the film alongside our awesome returning cast members is mind-blowing,” Sparke said in a statement, “I’ve admired his work and his successes for years, and can’t wait to see what he brings to the project when he arrives here to shoot in October.”

Ken Jeong is currently lining up to become one of the judges on Fox’s American remake of popular South Korean singing competition Masked Singer. He is also prepping for his first ever Netflix comedy special; entitled First Date, and directed by Crazy Rich Asians‘ Jon M. Chu.

Occupation: Rainfall is eyeing a 2019 release.

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Jack Black Calls Trump A “Piece Of Sh*t” As He Accepts His Walk Of Fame Star

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School of Rock star and human-cannonball-of-energy Jack Black accepted a star on the Hollywood walk of fame in a lavish public ceremony yesterday, and couldn’t resist a cheeky dig at the President whilst he was at it.

In his acceptance speech to the crowd, Jack mused appreciatively on the honour, saying “I’ve wanted one of these things for so long. Since I was a kid I thought ‘Oh man, if you get one of those stars on the sidewalk that means you’ve made it’. And I feel like I’ve finally grasped that sweet brass ring. In the immortal words of Axl Rose; ‘Where do we go now?'”

Black then continued to sing a few bars from Guns ‘N Roses’ 1987 hit Sweet Child O’ Mine in the raspy, hard-rocking affectation he’s famous for, before laughing and asking the crowd “I’ve got the thing! Why continue? I made it!”

The jovial comedic actor and Tenacious D musician assured those gathered that he’d return for a sequel to last year’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and one final entry in the popular Kung Fu Panda franchise, but noted that “It’s time to pass the torch to the Uzi Verts and Lil Peeps and… the Tommy and Sammy Blacks of the world,” he smiled, looking off to his two sons.

“Unless something really cool comes around … I love you all so much. Except for Donald Trump’s a piece of shit! Peace out, love you!”

Jack Black can next be seen in Eli Roth’s The House With A Clock In Its Walls, which releases into UK cinemas this Friday, rated 12A.

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