Cary Fukunaga & Nicole Kassell Adapting Last of the Mohicans Into TV Show

Filmmakers Cary Fukunaga and Nicole Kassell will adapt The Last of the Mohicans for Paramount TV. In Michael Mann’s 1992 feature film adaptation, Daniel Day-Lewis starred in the main role. In recent years, Kassell has directed episodes of Westworld and Castle Rock, along with the upcoming Watchmen pilot, and Fukunaga is currently filming Bond 25.

Mann’s The Last of the Mohicans is well-known in pop culture, but it’s based on James Fenimore Cooper’s 1826 novel of the same name. The story is set in 1757, and examines the French and Indian War, otherwise known as the Seven Years’ War. In Mann’s version – which is also based on Philip Dunne’s screenplay for George B. Seitz’s 1936 film The Last of the Mohicans – the aforementioned Day-Lewis portrays Hawkeye aka Nathan Poe, a fictional interpretation of the Natty Bumppo character from Cooper’s original “Leatherstocking Tales” series, which includes The Last of the Mohicans. Produced for $40 million, Mann’s big screen adaption earned over $75 at the box office, and received mostly positive reviews. Alongside Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe co-stars as Cora Munro, Russell Means portrays Chingachgook, and Eric Schweig appears as Uncas.

Related: Cary Fukunaga Is The Answer To Bond 25’s Many Problems

Per Variety, Fukunaga and Kassell will collaborate for a new take on The Last of the Mohicans story. Their television series will be faithful to Cooper’s original narrative, which centers on the characters Cora – the mixed-race daughter of a British colonel – and the Mohican Uncas. Kassell will direct the pilot episode, and Fukunaga co-wrote the screenplay with Nicholas Osborne. All three will co-produce The Last of the Mohicans.

As for Kassell, her official statement touches upon the series’ potential to retell the original story, but with more character perspectives:

I am profoundly excited to be a part of this extraordinary team and to be bringing a new light and perspective to this period in our history. While the James Fenimore Cooper book and original film leave large shoes to fill, Nick and Cary’s script is a riveting read and fresh take. They embrace this incredible opportunity to show and explore characters so often marginalized.

While The Last of the Mohicans marks Osborne’s first filmmaking credit, Fukunaga has accumulated a vast resume over the past decade. In 2015, Fukunaga released the feature film Beasts of No Nation, a war drama that he wrote, directed, co-produced, and even filmed. In 2017, Fukunaga wrote the screenplay for the Stephen King adaptation It, and he also directed the first season of HBO’s True Detective. For Netflix’s 2018 limited series Maniac, Fukunaga served as the writer, director, and executive producer. Last September, Fukunaga was hired for Bond 25 after Danny Boyle left the film due to creative differences.

For the new spin on The Last of the Mohicans, Kassell’s inclusion as director is especially intriguing. She’s directed episodes of high-profile television shows like The Americans, and she’s helmed many shows with supernatural themes, so it will be thrilling to see how she addresses the spiritual elements of Cooper’s story. And with Fukunaga writing, The Last of the Mohicans could be a real mind-trip – a series that will undoubtedly be violent, but also viscerally entertaining and diverse.

More: James Bond 25: Everything You Need To Know

Source: Variety

2019-04-12 12:04:46

Q.V. Hough

Disney’s Cruella Movie: Nicole Kidman Tops Shortlist For Villain Role

Nicole Kidman is reportedly the top pick to play the villain in Disney’s Cruella, a live-action movie starring Emma Stone as a young Cruella De Vil. The Mouse House’s live-action remakes of films like The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast have been extremely profitable at the box office, and the studio has no plans to stop re-imagining its animated classics anytime soon. In fact, there are three such films planned for 2019 alone, starting with Tim Burton’s Dumbo at the end of the month.

While Burton’s Alice in Wonderland kicked off this modern trend of remakes in 2010, Disney had already re-imagined 101 Dalmatians in live-action fourteen years earlier, with Glenn Close starring as the fur coat-loving villainess Cruella De Vil. The upcoming Cruella winds the clock back to the 1970s, when Cruella was a kindly Londoner known as simply Estella. As such, the movie will need a different character to serve as its villain.

Related: Maleficent Sequel Gets an Official Title & 2019 Release Date

According to THS, Kidman is the top choice to play Cruella‘s antagonist. Details on the role are scarce to be found, but the character is said to be essential to Estella’s transformation into Cruella. Other big names that are being eyed for the part include Emma Thompson, Charlize Theron, Demi Moore, and Julianne Moore.

The Oscar-winning Kidman would be a great choice to play an older Cruella, but a role as the villain in the character’s origin story will have to suffice instead. Kidman has several big projects arriving this year, including HBO’s Big Little Lies season 2, The Goldfinch, and the untitled Roger Ailes biopic (where she plays Gretchen Carlson). THS reports that Disney wants to get Cruella into production by July or August for a 2020 release. Kidman should be taking a break from promoting her other films and TV shows by then, so scheduling is unlikely to be an obstacle here.

Cruella is currently getting a script rewrite by Tony McNamara (who worked with Stone on The Favourite), with I, Tonya director Craig Gillespie set to call the shots. Both McNamara and Gillespie have experience at telling captivating stories about complicated and sometimes downright terrible women, so their involvement on this film is promising. By the sound of it, Cruella smartly won’t try to emulate Maleficent and portray its namesake as being something other than a villain, either. Estella might not start off bad but, by the time the movie’s antagonist is through with her, it appears that she’ll have become the fur coat-loving menace that everyone knows all too well.

MORE: All the Live-Action Disney Remakes in Development

Source: THS

2019-03-08 11:03:05

Sandy Schaefer

Nicole Kidman Is The Current Queen of 2019

Nicole Kidman is currently rocking 2019 with multiple box office hits and chances to win some of the year’s biggest awards. While she is generally considered one of the best actresses of her generation, Kidman is a public figure and talent whose work is often heavily underestimated.

While she has been in the business for over 35 years, won an Oscar and an Emmy, and worked with some of the best directors on the planet, it’s all too easy to find articles dedicated to discerning whether she’s still relevant. According to the media, she’s had multiple comebacks, although the reality of the situation is that she’s always done good work but not always been respected for it.

Related: Is The Upside Based On A True Story? The New Remake Is… Complicated

Interestingly, that’s what makes her sudden domination of the box office at the beginning of 2019 so intriguing. Sure, she’s always had critical favor in her corner, but bona fide commercial success is another thing entirely, and even more so when it’s tied to popularity with the public.

Nicole Kidman’s Movies Are Killing It At The Box Office

Kidman started off the year on top of the box office thanks to DC’s Aquaman. While Kidman’s role as Arthur’s mother Atlanna is small and she’s not front and center in the marketing for it, it’s still a point in her corner to be a key cast member in one of only five 2018 films that made over $1 billion at the worldwide box office. An Aquaman sequel is all but guaranteed, as is Kidman’s return to the franchise, and it never hurts to have a solid commercial series under your belt in-between more independent fare. On top of that, the film that toppled Aquaman from the number one spot of the domestic box office was another Kidman film: The Upside.

Related: Aquaman’s Box Office Success Was Better Than Anybody (Even DC) Expected

Despite premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2017 to mixed reviews, The Upside, a remake of the 2011 French film The Intouchables, saw its release shelved following the sexual abuse allegations made against Harvey Weinstein, due to the film being distributed by The Weinstein Company. It was eventually bought by STX Entertainment and Lantern Entertainment (the successor of The Weinstein Company) and given a release during a dry month. Many predicted it would sink without a trace, but the star power of its central trio helped power it to a $20.4 million opening weekend.

Nicole Kidman Has Two Serious Shots At The 2019 Oscars

Kidman has been busy recently, with no fewer than 17 film credits under her belt over the last five years, as well as two acclaimed TV shows. Last year alone saw her with two major awards contenders in play this Oscar season: Destroyer and Boy Erased. Both films have garnered Kidman immense acclaim and each role could not be more different from the other. In the former, Kidman is a traumatized cop investigating a murder, while in the latter, she is the conflicted mother of a young man who is sent to a gay conversion camp.

Related: Oscars 2019: Best Actress Predictions

Kidman’s versatility and ability to physically transform herself for the part is well-known, but 2018 was the most potent example of that, with two attention-grabbing parts that could have sunk into melodrama or camp if not handled properly. While Kidman’s chances at an Oscar aren’t as strong this year as they have been in others, it’s notable in and of itself that she’s been so present in awards conversations these past few months. We now expect her to be in that Oscars narrative because she’s that good and her work is consistently that interesting. There aren’t many other major stars of Kidman’s level in Hollywood that can lay stake to that claim.

Big Little Lies Season 2 Is On The Way

Kidman’s appearance in Top of the Lake season 2 marked her first real transition onto the modern small screen, but it was Big Little Lies that let her truly shine. The series, which she also executive produced with co-star Reese Witherspoon, became a legitimate cultural phenomenon, garnering rapturous reviews as well as a dedicated fan-base. For that role alone, Kidman won an Emmy, Golden Globe, Critics Choice Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award, thus making her easily the most rewarded of the ensemble. Big Little Lies was such a success that HBO renewed the series for season 2, based on entirely new material written by the author of the original book, Liane Moriarty.

That won’t be the last time Kidman is on screen this year, either. Audiences will also see her star in the adaptation of Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Goldfinch, and she’s also playing former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson in the already controversial biographical drama of the network, Fair and Balanced. So much has already happened, but there’s still a lot on the horizon for her.

More: Every Movie Releasing In 2019

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2019-01-20 02:01:22

DESTROYER Trailer # 2 (NEW 2018) Nicole Kidman Action Movie HD

DESTROYER Trailer # 2 (NEW 2018) Nicole Kidman Action Movie HD
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Destroyer Review: Nicole Kidman is a True Detective

Powered by Kidman’s fierce performance and Kusama’s deliberate filmmaking, Destroyer makes for an effectively pulpy work of high-art storytelling.

Having already appeared in one major awards season contender this year (Joel Edgerton’s Boy Erased), Nicole Kidman returns with a dramatic starring vehicle of her own in the form of Karyn Kusama’s grim crime drama, Destroyer. Kusama is perhaps best known for her work in the horror genre, with films like the cult horror-comedy Jennifer’s Body, the “Her Only Living Son” segment of the all-female horror anthology XX, and the Hollywood Hills suspense-thriller The Invitation under her belt. It’s perhaps no surprise then that Destroyer is a moody detective noir drama that feels like a horror movie at its core, and in a good way. Powered by Kidman’s fierce performance and Kusama’s deliberate filmmaking, Destroyer makes for an effectively pulpy work of high-art storytelling.

Kidman stars in Destroyer as Erin Bell, an LAPD detective who – along with a federal agent named Chris (Sebastian Stan) – went undercover with a gang in the California desert several years earlier, but to terrible results. Erin’s struggle to make peace with her personal demons since then have left her wrecked both physically and mentally, and had a similar effect on her relationships with her daughter Shelby (Jade Pettyjohn) and now ex-husband Ethan (Scott McNairy). Barely able to keep herself together, Erin now spends most of her time at work… when she’s not trying to drink herself to death at a bar, that is.

Everything changes when Erin learns that Silas (Toby Kebbell), the cruel leader of the gang she infiltrated all those years ago, has emerged from hiding and resumed his criminal ways. Searching for some payback, Erin begins to work through the remaining members of Silas’ old crew one by one in an effort to find him, even as (often, painful) memories from her past begin to resurface along the way. But what will Erin do once she actually finds Silas… and is there even a future (much less, a happy one) for her, after all of this is over?

Written by Phil Hay (who’s also married to Kusama) and his writing partner Matt Manfredi, Destroyer is comparable to something like HBO’s True Detective; not only in terms of its brooding atmosphere, but also in the way its storyline unfolds across multiple timelines. Like that anthology series, Destroyer continuously goes back in time in order to examine the corrosive effect that Erin’s previous mistakes have had on her well-being over the years – in turn, offering more insight into her actions and choices in the present along the way. This also allows the film to work as a character study conducted through the lens of a hard-boiled crime narrative, with Erin’s character arc serving to simultaneously ground and elevate Destroyer‘s pulpier elements into something more substantial. The movie still hits a number of familiar beats for this type of crime noir story, but (as always) it’s the execution and fresh ingredients that make the tried and true formula really work.

Kusama’s strong direction is also a big part of why Destroyer thrives as much as it does. In terms of craftsmanship, Kusama has a firm handle on not only the film’s quieter scenes and one-on-one character interactions, but also its white-knuckle action sequences and dramatically horrifying moments of suspense. Destroyer is further buoyed by A Simple Favor composer Theodore Shapiro’s nightmarish and booming score, which can make scenes where Erin is just driving her car a long distance or walking somewhere feel unnerving and keeps audiences on-edges at all times. The film paints an equally desolate and squalid portrait of its California backdrop, with DP Julie Kirkwood (The Monster) photographing the scenery in a fashion that makes Los Angeles and the rest of SoCal feel as lonely, dangerous and worse for wear as, well, Erin herself.

As “destroyed” as Erin looks, it’s the emotional aspects of Kidman’s performance that really sell the character as being a truly grizzled detective, down to their hard-drinking habit and mess of a personal life. Destroyer never strays from Erin’s point of view either, and that forces audiences to really empathize and understand how she came to be as hard-edged and damaged as she is. That also means that every other character in the movie is filtered through Erin’s perspective, be they people she loves (or loved) or the seedy characters that she encounters over the course of her investigation. Fortunately, Kusama provides her impressive supporting cast – which, in addition to Stan, McNairy, and Kebbell, includes Bradley Whitford, Tatiana Maslany, and even Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s Natalia Cordova-Buckley in a small role – with enough room to help fill in the blanks with their performances and really show (not just tell) what these characters represent to Erin.

The fact that Destroyer both stars and was directed by a woman is also important, and certainly impacts the way it tells this particular story. While the film is, in many ways, a pretty by the numbers detective noir drama, it’s also subversive in the way it handles gender and, in the case of certain narrative threads, really explores the genre’s more traditional themes from a feminine perspective. Had Destroyer gone even further with its approach in this respect, it arguably would have resulted in a truly ground-breaking and innovative piece of storytelling. As it stands, however, it’s a well-made crime flick that succeeds in being unconventional in more ways than it doesn’t.

Overall, though, Destroyer is worth checking out just for Kusama’s direction and Kidman’s performance alone. It might not be quite as revolutionary or daring as some of this year’s awards season frontrunners (especially those that are led by women on either or both sides of the camera), but it’s a rewarding piece of pulpy storytelling that deserves to be appreciated on its own terms. Heck, when you really think about, Destroyer is probably a better version of “True Detective starring Nicole Kidman” than the real thing would be.


Destroyer begins playing in U.S. theaters on Tuesday, December 25. It is 123 minutes long and is rated R for language throughout, violence, some sexual content and brief drug use.

Let us know what you thought of the film in the comments section!

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2018-12-08 05:12:19

Nicole Kidman: Prolific actress of challenging, maternal roles

Academy Award and three-time Golden Globe winner Nicole Kidman is an actress known for her versatility and her talent in transferring her feelings to the audience, especially in maternal rolesClick To Continue

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DESTROYER Official Trailer (2018) Nicole Kidman Action Movie HD

DESTROYER Official Trailer (2018) Nicole Kidman Action Movie HD
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2018-10-17 13:08:21

Roger Ailes Movie Dropped By Annapurna Shortly Before Production

Annapurna Pictures drops director Jay Roach’s untitled film about former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, just weeks before it was set to begin production. The studio had been developing the project, which chronicles the sexual harassment allegations against Ailes, for quite some time – recruiting an all-star ensemble cast to boot.

Earlier this year, Charlize Theron signed on to portray former Fox reporter Megyn Kelly, and it was only a couple of months ago John Lithgow was cast as Ailes. Other prominent thespians involved include Margot Robbie and Nicole Kidman, giving the film a tremendous amount of clout and prestige. Particularly in today’s climate, the Ailes movie seemed like the socially relevant film any studio would love to have on their slate, but Annapurna has to pass on it at the last minute.

Related: The Trailer for Annapurna’s If Beale Street Could Talk

THR reports Annapurna dropped the Ailes film, with the official reasoning unknown. Some sources claim there were budgetary concerns, but that isn’t confirmed. It’s worth mentioning the project hasn’t been scrapped, and is now on the lookout for a new home. Per Variety, Focus Features may wind up distributing it.

The reported budget for the Ailes movie is roughly $35 million, which is a relatively small amount by Hollywood standards. However, Annapurna is going through quite a rough period. A separate Variety report stated Annapurna President of Film Chelsea Barnard is leaving her position as the studio also let go of the upcoming The Hustlers at Scores, which stars Jennifer Lopez as a stripper out for revenge. THR also notes the studio is hurting financially, which would explain their decision to drop two high-profile films. Last year, the indie house got in the business of distributing their own movies – an endeavor that likely hasn’t gone as well as they’d hope. To date, their biggest hit as a distributor is Eli Roth’s Death Wish remake, which earned $41.4 million worldwide.

Hopefully, Annapurna is able to find its footing soon, as it still has plenty of noteworthy films on deck. As of now, they’re distributing two of this year’s biggest Oscar hopefuls in Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk and Adam McKay’s Vice and handling the Stateside release of Bond 25. That’s a fairly tall order, particularly for a studio trying to keep its head above water. It would be a sad day for the film industry if Annapurna ends up going under, so ideally studio founder Megan Ellison will be able to work some magic and get things back on track. In the meantime, they desperately need Vice (receiving a wide release on Christmas) to be a hit this holiday season.

More: Watch The Official Vice Trailer

Source: THR, Variety [2]

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2018-10-09 04:10:51 – Chris Agar

Disney’s Lady and the Tramp Remake Casts Yvette Nicole Brown

Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of Lady and the Tramp has cast Community actress and frequent Talking Dead guest Yvette Nicole Brown. Tessa Thompson was previously named to voice the role of Lady, joining a cast that also includes Justin Theroux, Flatliners’ Kiersey Clemons, Ugly Betty actress Ashley Jensen and Kong: Skull Island‘s Thomas Mann.

Released in 1955, the original Lady and the Tramp told the story of a pampered Cocker Spaniel named Lady who goes on a romantic adventure with a stray mongrel called The Tramp. The Disney classic has grossed $93 million across multiple re-releases, or $516 million when adjusted for inflation. The upcoming remake is one of several planned re-dos of animated Disney classics. The studio will also release new live-action versions of The Lion King, Dumbo, Mulan and Pinocchio.

Related: All The Live-Action Disney Remakes In Development

Variety reports that Lady and the Tramp has once again added to its cast, bringing on Community alum Yvette Nicole Brown. Brown will reportedly play Aunt Sarah, the owner of the trouble-making Siamese cats Si and Am, who in the original movie sing the memorable – but problematic – song “We Are Siamese (If You Please).” Aunt Sarah plays a big role in launching the movie’s plot when her cats trick her into thinking Lady has attacked them, leading their owner to take Lady to the pet store to get a muzzle. Lady then gets away and meets the Tramp, and kicks off their romantic adventure.

Brown is of course best known for playing the devoutly Christian Shirley Bennett for five seasons on the late, lamented NBC sitcom Community. Brown is in fact a TV veteran who has appeared on numerous shows in both guest spots and major roles. Before Community, her biggest part was on the Nickelodeon series Drake & Josh. Post-Community, Brown has made her biggest splashes on the rebooted Odd Couple, the ABC hip-hop sitcom The Mayor, and the CBS series Mom. Brown has also been a frequent guest on AMC’s Walking Dead after show Talking Dead, and was even the fan favorite to replace Chris Hardwick as host, until the network decided to give him back his job after completing an investigation of sexual harassment allegations made against him.

Brown’s role as Aunt Sarah in Lady and the Tramp now brings her into the Disney fold as part of an impressive cast. LEGO Ninjago director Charlie Bean will helm the live-action adaptation, which is set to run on Disney’s new streaming service. No official premiere date has been announced for the film.

More: Every Exclusive Movie & TV Show Coming To Disney’s Streaming Service

Source: Variety

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