Elton John has criticised Russia following claims scenes featuring homosexuality were edited out of biopic Rocketman.
According to reports, a Russian media company is believed to have removed around five minutes of footage due to laws which ban homosexual propaganda in cinema since 2013.
A Russian film critic, Anton Dolin, detailed on Facebook how all scenes with kissing, sex and oral sex between men have been cut out, and claimed they changed a line at the end of the film where Elton discusses raising kids with his husband.
Elton John and the filmmakers behind Rocketman have since issued a joint statement regarding the edited scenes, which reads: We reject in the strongest possible terms the decision to pander to local news and censor Rocketman for the Russian market, a move we were unaware of until today.
Paramount Pictures have been brave and bold partners in allowing us to create a film which is a true representation of Eltons extraordinary life, warts and all.
That the local distributor has edited out certain scenes, denying the audience the opportunity to see the film as it was intended is a sad reflection of the divided world we still live in and how it can still be so cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people.
June 1, 2019 marks the official 10-year anniversary of the William Morris Agency–Endeavor merger. As part of Deadlines coverage of the milestone, we reached out to John Ferriter, former WMA EVP/Worldwide Head of Non-Scripted TV, who was the only board member in either company who voted against the merger. He was let go from WME, triggering a $25 million lawsuit against the agency, which was eventually settled. He now runs managing and production company The Alternative, which he launched in 2015.
Here is Ferriters first-person account in vivid detail — some of it never before revealed — of the events leading to and immediately following the merger, as well as his take on it 10 years later. He chronicles the internal discord at WMA and the maneuvering by the Endeavor leadership that allowed the storied, 111-year-old agency to be taken over by a scrappy and aggressive upstart. He also addresses his WME ouster and how the events 10 years ago may have foreshadowed some of the issues with which the industry grapples today.
[Deadline also reached out to a couple of other former WMA board members who declined comment, as did a rep for WME on behalf of players on the Endeavor side because WME is in a quiet period amid plans for an IPO.]
“The following is based upon my personal observations and opinions developed at and since the times discussed in this column” – John Ferriter
To truly understand the reasons for the merger you have to go back to the discord that existed back in 2004 and 2005 at WMA when board members Sam Haskell, Richard Rosenberg and Steve Kram left the company after a power struggle, and to more discord in the summer of 2008. It was no secret that Chairman Jim Wiatt and Motion Picture Head John Fogelman were feuding, and it came to a head when Jim decided he wanted John out of the company. Lawyers intervened and a compromise was reached between the two. In both cases individuals outside of the agency intervened or this merger never would have happened. Suffice it to say, power vacuums get filled, and not always by the wise or thoughtful. But the Fogelman/Wiatt rift was going to be a problem for Jim down the road. It was all very “Game of Thrones” and ripe to be exploited.
Its also important to go back and analyze the financial structures of where WMA was at the time of the merger (valued at about $230M) and Endeavors finances (valued at about $110M). WMA had money and heritage commissions, but Endeavor didnt — and needed money.
Ten years ago on April 27th, 2009, I sat in the last official board meeting of The William Morris Agency as a member of the board. We were upstairs in a conference room at the Regent Beverly Wilshire as I watched my WMA board member colleagues vote 18 to 1 to merge with Endeavor and give the control of the company over to people who I knew were going to disrupt it. I predicted the WGA/ATA conflict then as it was clear to me that the Endeavor board members only cared about money and turning the company away from being a traditional talent agency and into an entertainment conglomerate as well as a studio. When I asked how they were going to be a studio and start producing as it was my understanding that could be a violation of the California Talent Agency Act, they laughed. It was glaringly obvious to me that an inside deal had already been agreed to (months before I as a board member even knew about any merger conversations) and members on both sides told me to go along with the merger pact because “it would be really good for me personally.” After meeting secretly at the Bel Air Hotel with Ariel Emanuel and Rick Rosen the week before we took the vote, I realized that a deal had already been agreed to in principle (even before the date of the merger vote) and that WMA was about to be shuttered in favor of a very different company. I learned then that many of my colleagues had already been designated for termination even though publicly everyone was told that their jobs were safe. Ive never gotten over the fact that people were lied to about about such an important life-changing issue.
Members of Actors Equity, which represents more than 51,000 stage actors and managers, have approved a series of changes to Equitys constitution designed “to build a modern national union,” including the creation of a national convention. The union said the referendum was approved by 79% of the 11,479 members who cast ballots.
The first convention will be held in early 2021 and will include 211 elected delegates from across the country “who can come together to share common challenges, agree on a way to move forward, and take up resolutions that help set policy for the union,” Equity said in a statement.
“With delegates from across the country, a national convention will allow more members to have a voice in their union,” said Equity executive director Mary McColl. “I am thrilled that Equity members have voted to create a more inclusive and forward-looking union.”
Other reforms approved as part of the referendum include the establishment of “At-Large” Council seats, assuring a voRead More – Source
While Godzilla: King Of The Monsters is expected to dominate the global and international box office this weekend, Bong Joon-hos Cannes Palme dOr winner Parasite is coming on strong in its home market. The Thursday Korea opening was a No. 1 $3.93M (including previews), according to local reporting service Kobiz. That topped all comers and holdovers with about 76% of the market on 1,783 screens (more than double those reserved for the likes of Godzilla and Aladdin).
Last Saturday, Bongs multi-genre comedy-thriller became the first Korean film ever to scoop the top prize in Cannes and has been hailed at home as a triumph by an eager audience. Pre-sales were already at a high throughout this past week and a full weekend take of $15M+ is likely, with some estimates in the $20M range. If that happens, Parasite will enter the Top 20 openings ever in Korea. Warner Bros/Legendarys monster mash Godzilla bowed on Wednesday and through two days has taken about $752K per Kobiz. To be fair to the latter, and as we noted in our global preview, Korea doesnt typically rank in the top markets for Hollywood creature features — 2014s Godzilla did just $6M there — and Parasite has a lot of heat on it.
Korea has sophisticated audiences and a strong 100-year-old homegrown industry which in 2018 accounted for 50% of the $1.6B total box office there. The markets movies are often remade with Universals planned re-do of Extreme Job one of the latest in the offing. Next month, an update of 2014s Ode To My Father will hit Bollywood screens starring mega icon Salman Khan.
Curiously, however, no Korean film has ever even been nominated for a Foreign Language Film Oscar (a category that is henceforth to be known as International Feature Film). Last years Burning from Lee Chang-dong did make the shortlist, though.
Parasite is Bongs first fully Korean project since 2009s Mother. In the intervening years, he directed 2013s Snowpiercer starring Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, John Hurt, Ed Harris and Octavia Spencer. In 2017, his Okja was a Netflix movie also with Swinton that stoked controversy in Cannes for bringing the streaming service to the competition. Bongs other credits include 2006s monster movie The Host and 2003s crime drama Memories Of Murder.
Parasite is striking a chord with local audiences, cheered by the recognition from Cannes and as it deals with a number of themes occurring in our world, from class struggle to global warming. On Monday, Bong and star Song Kang-ho received a heroes welcome at Seouls Incheon Airport (see video below).
South Koreas President Moon Jae-in also congratulated Bong, saying the win had brought a sense of national pride. Per AFP, his tweet (in Korean) read in part, “I extend my gratitude on behalf of the Korean people. I am very proud of Bong Joon-ho who has risen to the top as one of the worlds best directors.” He also called the film a “meaningful gift.” Thats in contrast to last years Palme dOr winner Shoplifters, which had a greatRead More – Source
Pattinson has been considered a front runner because the filmmaker liked him, but the studio was torn between him and Nicholas Hoult, and wanted both of the actors on tape because this is such a big decision on a cornerstone Warner Bros DC franchise. Those meetings happened yesterday, Im told, and the decision was made. Hoult, who starred in Tolkien and is about to reprise in X-Men: First Class, was impressive, but Pattinson will be the guy and negotiations will get underway any moment. The film is produced by Dylan Clark, who produced Reeves Planet of the Apes films. Expect an announcement imminently.
Pattinson is a strong choice. He certainly has been at the center of a zeitgest franchise before in Twilight Saga, and he has used the time after to show his chops as an actor. He has shown those chops in films like High Life, and is starring for Warner Bros in Christopher Nolans next film, and just debuted in the Robert Eggers-directed The Lighthouse at Cannes.
Disney clearly got the Go hard or go home memo when it came to creating their new Star Wars theme park.
Newly released snaps have revealed just how epic the 14-acre attractions based on the iconic space saga really is.
Spread across two states, Star Wars: Galaxys Edge is basically a game-changer for the company with Disneys chairman of parks, experience and products, Bob Chapek, calling it the most immersive land theyve ever built.
Disney had previously confirmed that this is not somewhere fans will recognise, as they are bringing to life the new planet Batuu, which is apparently located in the Outer Rim of the galaxy.
But the attraction will boast features from all ten films including the two spin-offs and promises to cater to every Star Wars fan.
Youve got the food and beverage all in-story,” Bob explained to CNN.The cast members are in-story. Of course, all the merchandise in the shops. It doesnt feel like a gift shop. It feels like youre actually in Batuu. Thats unique.
EXCLUSIVE: Shout! Studios and Unique Features have teamed on a deal for the multi-platform distribution of Ambition, the suspense thriller directed by New Line Cinema and Unique Features founder Bob Shaye that will now hit select U.S. theaters day-and-date in the fall.
As part of a multi-year team-up between Shout! and Unique Features, Shout! Studios has acquired North American distribution rights to the pic including digital, VOD, broadcast and home entertainment.
Ambition, a modernist version of Douglas Sirks 1950s melodrama thrillers, stars Katherine Hughes as Jude Hunter, and intensely driven musician preparing for the biggest audition of her life. As a series of deaths surround her, she recognizes the pattern that seems to connect her with the deaths and her ambition. One night, her suspicions are confirmed: She becomes the target of a murderer fueled by the jealousy of her success.
Giles Matthey, Sonoya Mizuno and Bryan Batt also star in the pic, which includes a special appearance by horror maven (and Shayes sister) Lin Shaye. John Rocco and Jenna Wright penned the script.
Producers are Shaye and his longtime New Line and Unique Features partner Michael Lynne, who died in March, as well as Sarah Victor and Unique Features. Phillip B. Goldfine, Benjamin Sacks and Yuli Masinovsky are executive producers.
“I am tremendously enthused to have Shout! Studios bring our latest film Ambition to its intended audience,” Shaye said. “Shout! has the creativity, understanding, and sensitivity that reminds me of the most successful period of independent distribution at New Line. They arent just sales people. They are a new creative connection for movie goers looking for excitement, surprises, and Read More – Source