Following the phenomenal success of online film streaming and rental services by Netflix and LoveFilm, Sky is determined to get a slice of the action.
Due to launch early this year, Sky’s latest TV service will allow customers to download films without a contract or a satellite dish.
Despite several other similar services already on offer, Sky chief executive Jeremy Darroch said he was not worried about an increasingly crowded marketplace.”I don’t see it threatening our business at all”, he said. “It’s further evidence that this is an exciting market and lots of people see opportunities in it.”
The streaming and download service will be aimed at the 13 million UK households not currently subscribing to pay TV and will allow users to purchase monthly subscriptions or watch films and TV on a pay-as-you-go basis. Films and downloaded shows will be available to view via internet-connected TVs, PCs, laptops, games consoles and mobile devices such as smartphones.
This development comes hot on the heels of Sky’s announcement that it will add BBC iPlayer and ITV catch-up services to its Sky Anytime+ package.
I’ve checked the calendar and it’s not April 1st, so what is Harmony Korine up to? The director of Trash Humpers and Kids has already cast High School Musical‘s Vanessa Hudgens and Wizards Of Waverly Place‘s Selena Gomez in his new project Spring Break and now he’s nabbed Ashley Benson, best known for the teen mystery series Pretty Little Liars.
I suppose it could be a good move if the leads are planning to leave their squeaky clean images far far behind them. The plot sees four girls who are planning a big spring break vacation and end up robbing a fast food restaurant to pay for it. Things don’t go according to plan and they end up in jail only to be bailed out by a rapping drug deal (the omnipresent James Franco) on the condition that they assassinate his competition.
The fourth girl was going to be Emma Roberts but she’s pulled out (perhaps she wasn’t quite ready to ruin her rep just yet), so Korine’s going to be on the lookout for more teen stars. Someone from Hannah Montana perhaps?
Shooting begins next month. Screams will probably follow shortly.
Bloody vampires, they’re everywhere. With everyone seemingly out to stake out their own version of a vampire story, Jim Jarmusch has assembled an all-star cast for his next project – a vampire romantic drama called Only Loves Left Alive and he’s just nailed War Horse/Thor star Tom Hiddleston down for a lead role.
Already on board are Tilda Swinton (last seen in the brilliant We Need To Talk About Kevin for which she was stunningly denied an Oscar nom and with whom Jarmusch collaborated with on The Limits Of Control), screen veteran John Hurt and Mia Wasikowska. Hiddleston joins following Michael Fassbender’s departure – shame really (ba dum tish), as The Fass would have made a perfect vamp.
There’s very little known about the plot save that it involves two vampires (Wasikowska and Hiddlestone presumably) who have been in love for centuries. With Jarmusch’s characteristic minimalist style (and awesome hair), it sounds to me like it could be a winner.
It’s not exactly a big surprise but Matthew Vaguhn has signed on the dotted line with 20th Century Fox for the sequel to X-Men First Class.
It seems that largely the same team will be kept for the second instalment with Simon Kinberg, the producer of First Class and writer of X3 taking a crack at the script. There’s no word yet on whether Jane Goldman will have a hand in the writing but that news wouldn’t be in the least bit surprising, nor would some script work from Vaughn himself. It’s still early days though, so watch this space.
It seems that the biggest problem concerning a sequel will be in the scheduling. Everyone’s a tad busy of late, particular a certain Michael Fassbender whose star has understandably exploded since last year. Vaughn’s also not short of a few projects, so slotting the next X-Men film in will be a bit of a squeeze.
Watch this space for more info.
Sarah Jessica Parker is running low on handbags/ shoes and has decided that the time has come to take on a new movie role.
The Sex And The City star has swooped in to take the part of Gloria Steinem in a biopic about Linda Lovelace, the star of legendary porn flick, Deep Throat.
Amanda Seyfried is already starring as the titular Linda Lovelace (formerly Linda Boreman), who leapt to infamy when she was thrust into the porn limelight by Chuck Traynor (Peter Sarsgaard) as his leading lady in the aforementioned gag-fest.
Despite becoming infamous through the film, Linda’s life was filled with pain and suffering as a result of her fame. She went on to write a caustic memoir about her time, before becoming an anti-porn campaigner.
Moore was originally cast as MS Magazine founder Gloria Steinem, who wrote articles about Lovelace’s life. But now she’s dropped out citing personal issues and “exhaustion”.
Chloe Sevigny has also managed to bag herself a role in Lovelace, playing a feminist journo who is tasked with finding out about the real Linda.
Following the Demi kerfuffle, directors Epstein and Friedman shuffled things about and whether SJP’s role will survive (given that Sevigny’s sounds suspiciously similar) remains to be seen.
She joins a cast that also includes Hank Azaria, Adam Brody, Bobby Carnavale, Sharon Stone, Chris Noth, Juno Temple, Wes Bentley, Romeo Brown, Robert Patrick, Eric Roberts and one James Franco, who is popping in to make a cameo as Playboy founder Hugh Hefner.
Impressive, non? Now word on when we can legitimately watch porn in our local cinema but we will, of course, keep you updated.
Carnahan has been hired to write and direct a new take on Michael Winner’s 1974 video nasty.
Winner’s film saw Charles Bronson as Paul Kersey, a Taxi Driver type who goes a bit nuts with his gun when he finds his wife and daughter have been brutally attacked by a stranger. Criminal scum (and potentially innocent bystanders) beware, this man stalks the streets of New York taking out his victims without fear of consequences.
This highly influential gore-fest sparked a wave of on-screen copycats, including (sadly) its own set of sequel bloodbaths ending with Death Wish V: The Face Of Death.
MGM and Paramount now have the rights to the franchise and Carnahan is the man tasked with giving this rather tried format a noughties overhaul to be proud of.
No idea when this will be coming to a cinema near you yet, the man has only just been handed the clapperboard for heaven’s sake. But you can catch Carnahan’s most recent screenplay for wolf-based action thriller, The Grey, at cinemas everywhere with Liam Neeson heading the pack.
With Pixar and Disney perching proudly at the top of the animation heap, wings spread like omnipotent birds of prey, is there any room left for the little guy? Certainly – smaller films like Persepolis, The Illusionist and the recently Oscar-nominated Chico & Rita have conclusively proved that you don’t need big studio backing to deliver the goods, you just need imagination.
That might be harder to achieve in a production aimed at younger viewers where the emphasis is on spectacular visuals rather than creative subtlety. A Monster In Paris is a charming French animation re-dubbed in English, which is lavishly animated and designed, but falls some way short in the story department.
Set in flooded Paris in 1910, brash delivery truck driver Raoul (Adam Goldberg) and his nervous projectionist friend Emile (Jay Harrington) accidently create a giant flea while messing around with potions in a professor’s empty laboratory. Read more
He’s played small/large parts in almost every film since the Lumiere brothers filmed that train (he was the conductor!), and news is now emerging of his next project. Director Carlo Carlei has managed to lock the Sideways actor into the role of Friar Lawrence for his new adaptation of Romeo and Juliet.
Hailee Steinfeld of True Grit fame is set to star as the ill-fated Juliet while Douglas Booth (see the BBC version of Great Expectations for more of him) will play her star-cross’d lover. *SPOILER ALERT FOR ANYONE WHO DIDN’T DO GCSE ENGLISH* Both characters end up taking their lives with the unwitting help of Friar Lawrence, Giamatti’s character. So his role is rather an important one and living up to Pete Postlethwaite’s charismatic Friar figure in Luhnrman’s 1997 remake will be a tough job. But we reckon he can do it.
With a script by Downton Abbey supremo Julian Fellowes, Carlei is set to film in Mantua, which just so happens to be the city Romeo is banished to in the play.
There’ll also be some set work done at Rome’s famous Cinecitta Studios.
No word on when the Shakespearean rom-trag will hit screens but Giamatti will have abusy time working on this alongside Prey and upcoming TV movie, K Blows Top.
It is easy enough to look on the bright side of life when it is Friday, but here’s a snippet of news which will make being positive just that little bit easier.
The Monty Python gang are soon to be reuniting for a further screen outing together…using only their voices. Terry Gilliam, John Cleese and Michael Palin will be lending their unmistakeable vocal talents to a bunch of extra-terrestrial jokers.
New animated sci-fi farce, Absolutely Anything, will be directed by Terry Jones and will follow the (mis)adventures of the alien gang as they give humans the power to do “absolutely anything”…just for jokes. Sure, they know said human will mess everything up but that is the point. A whole heap of madness and a dog named Dennis (with the voice of Robin Williams later) and you have a worthy MP reunion.
Eric Idle has been approached, but has yet to sign on the dotted. “Terry and Gavin have crafted a classic farce – something I feel I know a little bit about after all the Pink Panther pictures we did with Blake Edwards at United Artists,” producer Mike Medavoy says.
“In fact, the movie even has a pompous Frenchman reminiscent of Inspector Clouseau – but there the similarity ends. Like all projects originated by any of the Monty Python guys, Absolutely Anything delightfully defies a logline.”
But MP fans should not get too excited. Producers are keen to stress that this is not a Monty Python film.
“It’s not a Monty Python picture,” stresses Jones, “but it certainly has that sensibility”.
Martin Freeman’s already done one Christmas movie and it was the surprisingly decent Nativity! way back in 2009. But now he’s going to be working on an animated movie which sounds suspiciously like the plot to Aardman’s recent Arthur Christmas.
It’ll see Freeman as a accident-prone elf desperately trying to save Santa’s when a villain discovers his grotto at the North Pole. Saving Santa will feature the voices of Freeman but also Noel Clarke, Joan Collins, Tim Curry, Pam Ferris, Chris Barrie and Craig Fairbrass – so an all UK cast it seems.
It’ll be produced by the team behind Shank and Adulthood which doesn’t really inspire us with much confidence…
It’s from a script by newcomer Ricky Roxburgh and will be directed by Leon Joosen, who’s work in the animation department of a number of titles including The Little Mermaid, Space Jam and Aliens In The Attic.
It’s currently looking for a major studio home at the moment, so if and when it finds it, we’ll be able to offer more details on a possible release date.