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Rick Gates Pleads Guilty in Special Counsel’s Russia Probe

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 21:06
WASHINGTON — Rick Gates, former deputy manager of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, pleaded guilty to two charges and will cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller as he investigates Russian interference in the 2016 election. Gates appeared at U.S. District Court in Washington on Friday to make the plea, one day after Mueller added new charges against […]

Film Movement Takes U.S. Rights to ‘Egon Schiele,’ ‘Welcome to Germany’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 20:51
Film Movement has taken U.S. rights to “Egon Schiele — Death and the Maiden” and “Welcome to Germany.” Sales for both pics are being handled by Berlin-based Picture Tree Intl. Dieter Berner’s biopic of Austrian artist Egon Schiele, whose paintings scandalized Viennese society, is based on a novel by Hilde Berger, and stars rising young […]

‘This Is Us’ EP Talks Pearson Life Post-Jack, Planning Kate’s Wedding and Deja’s Return

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 20:32
Jack Pearson may be gone on “This Is Us,” but he certainly is not forgotten. And his portrayer, Milo Ventimiglia, will not be gone at all. The first episode for NBC’s hit family drama after its break during the Olympics is a Jack and Rebecca (Mandy Moore)-heavy one, featuring flashbacks of a key anniversary for […]

Thunder Road Acquires Film Rights to Novel ‘Overwatch’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 19:59
Thunder Road Pictures has acquired film rights to Matthew Betley’s novel “Overwatch.” J.P. Davis is set to adapt the thriller. Basil Iwanyk, Erica Lee, and Braden Aftergood are attached to produce the upcoming movie. The novel was published by Emily Bester Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, and was nominated for a Barry Award. […]

Berlin Film Review: ‘In the Aisles’

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 19:56
In the opening moments of Thomas Stuber’s third feature, the amiable romance “In the Aisles,” the camera noses around the empty warehouse supermarket in which it’s set. All is quiet in Gourmet Foodstuffs. Nothing stirs in Beverages. But then the strip lights flicker on high above the silent stacks, illuminating row after row of crated […]

‘Vida’ Showrunner Tanya Saracho Sets Overall Deal With Starz

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 19:38
Tanya Saracho, creator and showrunner of the upcoming Starz drama “Vida,” has set a three-year overall deal with the Lionsgate-owned pay cabler. “Tanya Saracho’s unique voice brings a fresh and real perspective to Latinx programming,” said Carmi Zlotnik, Starz’s president of programming. “We’re thrilled to have an overall deal with this tenacious playwright-turned-TV writer/executive producer […]

Can ‘Black Panther’s’ Box Office Success Translate to Merchandise, Toy Sales?

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 19:35
The “Black Panther” cultural juggernaut has shown it can sell movie tickets, but will it sell merchandise? Disney has launched the largest product line ever for a Marvel non-sequel, including expanded categories, such as performance wear and high-fashion collaborations. But some toy industry analysts say that box office success is not always a harbinger for […]

Usher Lists Modern-Minded Spanish Above the Sunset Strip (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 19:07
The urbane, art-filled Los Angeles home of mononymic eight-time Grammy winning R&B superstar Usher and his manager/wife Grace Miguel has come to market at $4.2 million. Tucked up behind the iconic Chateau Marmont Hotel just above the Sunset Strip and privately secured behind gates atop a street-level garage and an imposing stucco rampart topped by […]

Cinemark Shares Surge on Strong Earnings Report

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 19:07
Shares of the theater chain Cinemark Holdings Inc. jumped 6% after the company delivered a fourth-quarter earnings report that was well above Wall Street estimates and raised its dividend. Shares were up $2.47 to $42.19 in mid-session trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares have not traded in that range since last May. In […]

TV Review: ‘McMafia’ on AMC

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 19:00
In what is overall an exceptionally well-executed series, the most impressive element of “McMafia” is just how fully realized it is. The eight-part miniseries was filmed on location around the world, breathing vivacious detail into its cross-country story of organized crime and money laundering. The glossy opening credits depict a red line tracing the contours […]

Roxane Gay Offers to Write ‘Batgirl’ Movie After Joss Whedon’s Departure

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 18:43
Author Roxane Gay has thrown her hat into the ring of potential writers for the upcoming “Batgirl” movie, and DC Comics appears to be interested. After Joss Whedon stepped down as the film’s writer and director on Thursday, Gay tweeted saying, “Hey [DC Comics] I can write your ‘Batgirl’ movie, no prob.” Hey @DCComics I […]

Box Office: ‘Black Panther’ Becomes Highest-Grossing MCU Film in First Week

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 18:20
Disney-Marvel’s “Black Panther” continues its torrid pace, taking in $292 million in North America — the highest first-week haul for a Marvel Cinematic Universe title. That’s $22 million more than “The Avengers” grossed in its first week in 2012. “Black Panther” earned $14.3 million on Thursday, or nearly $2 million more than “The Avengers.” It has […]

Diane Warren on Her Latest Oscar Bid for ‘Marshall,’ #MeToo Movement, Early Career Moves

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 18:15
Ninth time’s the charm, right? There’s no contemporary staple of the Oscars’ best song category like Diane Warren. Her previous near misses for the award include “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” (performed by Aerosmith for “Armageddon”) and “How Do I Live” (a hit for both LeAnn Rimes and Trisha Yearwood, circa “Con Air”), […]

Studiocanal Launches TV Production Company in France

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 18:08
PARIS — Creating a new drama series force in France, Studiocanal, owned by Vivendi’s Canal Plus Group, is launching its own Paris-based TV drama series production company. The move adds to and reinforces its European network of seven productions companies in the U.K., Germany, Spain and Denmark. Arielle Saracco, head of Canal Plus’ Création Originale […]

Remote Controlled: ‘Looming Tower’ Bosses on Their 9/11 Drama: ‘I Don’t Think We Really Know the Story’

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 18:01
Welcome to “Remote Controlled,” a podcast from Variety featuring the best and brightest in television, both in front of and behind the camera. In this week’s episode, Variety‘s executive editor of TV Debra Birnbaum talks with Alex Gibney, Lawrence Wright, and Dan Futterman, the executive producers of Hulu’s new 9/11 drama, “The Looming Tower.” The series is based on […]

Oscars: Breaking Down the Top Five Categories

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 18:00
When it comes to which categories engender the most excitement and buzz, acting, directing, writing, cinematography and song and are the stuff of which Oscar dreams — and anxieties — are made of. Following are analyses on each category: Acting Actress: In the lead and supporting actress categories, the lack of ethnic and cultural diversity […]

Rhode Island: A Tiny State With a Big Tax Incentive for Hollywood

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 18:00
Blue-blood wealth and historic mansions, small-town New England charm, and a picturesque coastline of bays and inlets all blend in this little state – an easy drive or Amtrak ride from the production mega-hub of New York City and a just a short hop from Boston. Further enticing producers, Rhode Island also offers a 25% […]

Google Launches ARCore, Teases ‘Ghostbusters’ Augmented Reality Game

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 17:53
Google officially announced the launch of its ARCore mobile augmented reality (AR) platform ahead of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Friday. Some of the first partners to take advantage of the technology include Snapchat and Sony Pictures, which is set to release a “Ghostbusters”-themed AR game. Variety was first to report about the impending launch […]

‘Darkest Hour,’ ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Production Duo Face Themselves at Oscars

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 17:45
To paraphrase George Orwell, all Oscar races are equally hard, but some are harder than others. The one facing the team of production designer Sarah Greenwood and set decorator Katie Spencer may be the hardest of all, for one simple reason: Not only are they facing stiff competition from the teams behind “Blade Runner 2049,” […]

‘Unsolved’ Stars Point Out Racial Injustice in Biggie and Tupac Murder Cases

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 17:41
The executive producers and cast of the new USA Network series “Unsolved” talked the show’s depiction of Biggie and Tupac’s murder cases and how racial injustice is still present today. The 10-episode true crime anthology is shown through the point-of-view of the officers who were both passionate about the case and those who were disinterested. […]
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