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Thurs. March 11

‘The Flash’: Kiersey Clemons Will Reprise her role as Iris West

Variety has confirmed that Kiersey Clemons will reprise her role as Iris West in “The Flash.”

Production on the movie begins next month with Andy Muschietti set to direct. Ezra Miller who debuted as Barry Allen/The Flash in Zack Snyder’s “Batman vs. Superman” with roles in “Suicide Squad and “Justice League” will star. Both Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck are set to reprise their performances as Batman.

Clemons was cast in the role for “Justice League,” but her part was cut in the theatrical version after Zack Snyder left the production. It has since been restored in “Zack Snyder’s Justice League.”

In the comics, West has traditionally been the love interest for Barry Allen.
The film is expected to be released in November 2022.

Chief Marketing Officer Damon Wolf Exits Lionsgate Film Group

Damon Wolf, Head of Worldwide Marketing at Lionsgate Film Group will be exiting his role.

Damon Wolf, Head of Worldwide Marketing at Lionsgate Film Group will be exiting his role. The announcement was made via a note from group chairman Joe Drake. There’s no word on a replacement for him.

Wolf was hired in June 2018 and named head of worldwide marketing for Lionsgate’s motion picture group. Prior to joining Lionsgate, Wolf was an EVP of marketing at TriStar Pictures, Screen Gems, and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions.

In December 2020, Wolf was tasked to grow his marketing division to include all platforms and digital content releases along with theatrical and digital releases through the home entertainment window.

93rd Academy Awards Campaign Art Revealed

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has revealed the campaign art for the 93rd Oscars. The 2021 campaign illustrates this year’s tagline, “Bring Your Movie Love,” celebrating a global appreciation for the power of film to foster connection, to educate, and to inspire us to tell our own stories.

Temi Coker, Petra Eriksson, Magnus Voll Mathiassen, Michelle Robinson, Karan Singh, Victoria Villasana and Shawna X are the artists behind the design.

Coker said, “Movies mean a lot of things to a lot of people, but to me it’s about creativity, inspiration and the art of storytelling. As a Nigerian-American, I love watching movies that have people that look like me who tell our stories from our perspectives. It gives me hope knowing that Black actors, directors, writers have been given a chance to tell our stories on the big screens. I have been so inspired by Hattie McDaniel’s story and her perseverance to be the first Black woman to win an Oscar.”

Swedish artist Erikkson said movies to her provide “an escape from my reality into a different world. Through that, I get to experience
another kind of life for a while, with the colors and the emotions that this different story entails. With my image, I wanted to create the feeling of being in a state where you’re surrounded by notes of this other world, whether that’s a specific visual style, a photo so vivid you can imagine the scent of the scenery or a song that brings out a certain emotion in you by reminding you of a forgotten memory.”

Added Singh, “My explorations were inspired by the ideas of harmony and unity. Although it’s been a tough year for us all to be together, film has helped entertain, distract, console and inspire.”

AMPAS

Production Designer Stuart Wurtzel set to Receive the ADG Lifetime Achievement Award

Academy Award® and Emmy®-winning Production Designer Stuart Wurtzel, best known for his work on “Hannah and Her Sisters” and “Angels in America,” will receive the Art Directors Guild (ADG, IATSE Local 800) Lifetime Achievement Award at the 25th Annual ADG Awards.

“From his Oscar nominated design for Hannah and Her Sisters to his iconic evocation of New York during the AIDS crisis of the 1980s in Angels in America, Stuart Wurtzel’s contribution to the art of Production Design stands alone,” said Mark Worthington, Art Directors Council Chair.

Stuart Wurtzel has worked as a prolific production designer with some of the industry’s greatest directors during his long career. He received his Oscar® for his work on Woody Allen’s classic “Hannah and Her Sisters” following his design of Allen’s “Purple Rose of Cairo.” He was the production designer on three Peter Yates films: “Suspect,” “The House on Carroll Street” and “An Innocent Man.”

Wurtzel has been a go-to designer at HBO, winning numerous awards for his work there. These include Mike Nichols’ “Wit,” starring Emma Thompson, and “Angels in America,” which garnered him both an Emmy and an Art Directors Guild Award in 2004. More recently he was nominated for an Emmy and an ADG Award for “Empire Falls,” directed by Fred Schepisi and starring Paul Newman and Ed Harris. He received another Emmy nomination for “Little Gloria…Happy at Last.” His most recent work on “The Loudest Voice” can be seen on Showtime.

The Awards ceremony, set for Saturday, April 10, 2021, will be presented on a virtual platform.

‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ Writers to Receive WGAW’s 2021 Paul Selvin Award

“Judas and the Black Messiah” writers Will Berson, Shaka King, and the Lucas Bros. have been named recipients of the Writers Guild of America West’s 2021 Paul Selvin Award.

The film, directed by Shaka King, takes a bold look at the commanding and lasting impact of Illinois Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton as a revolutionary voice of the people and the Black Power Movement, and at the lengths, J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI went to in order to silence the Chairman.

Berson, King, and the Lucas Bros. will be honored at the 2021 Writers Guild Awards joint virtual ceremony on Sunday, March 21.

“For a lot of Black men, Fred Hampton is a real hero because of just how undaunted, unafraid and unstoppable he was, yet people tend to remember the tragic way he died, not the heroic way he lived,” said King. With this film, we wanted to show audiences just how powerful a voice the world lost, so to receive an honor that reflects that is truly rewarding for all of us.”

“Shaka, the Lucases and I acknowledge we had a fifth writer, who was the most talented: Fred Hampton himself,” Berson stated. “He exemplified the vitality and sanctity of free speech—as well its incredible power, which so threatened the status quo. But his words did more than the 19th century labor mantra, ‘Educate, Agitate, Organize.’ Their deepest beauty lay in the capacity to Create: ideals, coalitions and praxis.”

“We first heard about Fred Hampton when my brother and I were taking an African-American studies course together,” Keith Lucas said. “Before that, we hadn’t known anything about him or his story—it’s not really taught where we’re from. We read his story and it just blew us away. And no one was really talking about what an injustice it was.”

Kenny Lucas added, “The Paul Selvin award is so meaningful because Chairman Fred is such an unsung hero—but he absolutely is one. Once we began working in this industry and began to understand how it works, we knew we had to tell his story. It was shocking to us that it had not been made since his death.”

A Warner Bros. Pictures release, “Judas and the Black Messiah” has earned numerous accolades thus far, including a nomination for the Producers Guild of America’s Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures, the Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Awards for Best Supporting Actor for Daniel Kaluuya, as well as a SAG nomination for Kaluuya and nominations for both Kaluuya and Dominique Fishback for Best Supporting Actress from BAFTA.

Tues. March 9

Riz Ahmed, Sacha Baron Cohen, Andra Day and More Named as Writers Guild Presenters

The Writers Guild of America West and East today unveiled a line-up of presenters scheduled to appear at the 2021 Writers Guild Awards joint virtual ceremony on Sunday, March 21.

Among the presenters are Oscar contenders Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”), Sacha Baron Cohen ( “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”) and Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday.”)

Also presenting are Rachel Brosnahan (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”), WGA and Emmy-nominated writer and educator Jelani Cobb, Adweek and Streamy Award-winning author and comedian Sarah Cooper (“How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men’s Feelings”),  Daveed Diggs (“Hamilton”), and Emmy-nominated writer-producer Ava DuVernay (“When They See Us”.)

Late night host Jimmy Fallon (“The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon”),  Dominique Fishback (“Judas and the Black Messiah”), WGA and SAG Award-nominated actor-writer Brett Goldstein (“Ted Lasso”), Ryan O’Connell (“Special”),”One Night in Miami” actor Leslie Odom Jr., television host Amber Ruffin, Lilly Singh and comedian Baratunde Thurston (“How to be Black”) were also named as presenters.

Kaos Production Company begins pre-production on ‘All Operators Are Currently Unavailable’

Croatian filmmaker and producer Ivan Katic has announced the plot and production plans for Kaos Production Company’s next project, “All Operators are Currently Unavailable.”

This announcement comes as Kaos’ latest project “Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus” competes in the 93rd Academy Awards’  Best Picture and Best Animated Feature race.

Kaos’ follow-up, “All Operators are Currently Unavailable,” will be an animated feature film with a pronounced narrative structure. The film will contain elements of science fiction, comedy, drama, and thrillers, exploring the idea that one’s reality could simultaneously be another’s fiction.

The film follows Roman Novotny, a troubled ex-screenwriter, who takes on a writing job at the enigmatic movie-themed resort, “Simula Peninsula,” where everyone and everything plays a part in an immersive fictional experience. But when Roman falls for the movie’s protagonist, Lisa, it becomes increasingly difficult for the writer to separate reality from fantasy.

Production is expected to last six to eight months.

Katic describes the film as a mix of “Fellini’s 8 ½ and Westworld,” originally intended to be a mix of animation and live-action elements. Due to budget constraints, however, the film is now planned to be wholly animated.

The film will also see a reunion between Katic and Accidental Luxuriance creator, Dalibor Barić. Barić has been confirmed as the director for the project. Barić describes his vision for the film’s focus and themes: “The residents of the Simula Peninsula, a closed community, are held captive by their hosts, stripped of their critical response-ability, which is the same as the voluntary suspension of disbelief we experience when engaged in the act of reading a book or watching a movie. Simula Peninsula is a catch 22, a paradise that is concurrently a carnivorous Venus Flytrap, consuming its victims slowly and imperceptibly. It’s the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ with psychology in action.”

ACE Honors Lynzee Klingman, ACE and Sidney Wolinsky with Career Achievement Awards

 

American Cinema Editors (ACE) announced today that film editors Lynzee Klingman, ACE and Sidney Wolinsky, ACE will receive Career Achievement Awards for their outstanding contributions to film editing at the 71st Annual ACE Eddie Awards on April 17.

“Just look at their incredible bodies of work,” stated ACE president Kevin Tent, ACE. “Lynzee and Sidney have cut some of our favorite and most iconic movies and television shows. We’re thrilled to recognize these two extraordinary editors, their hard work and their amazing careers.”

Spike Lee will receive the ACE Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year Award, recognizing a filmmaker who exemplifies distinguished achievement in the art and business of film. The ACE Eddie Awards will be held virtually this year due to the pandemic.