HBO Max to Release the Guillermo del Toro-Co-Penned Film “Roald Dahl’s The Witches” This Month

Guillermo del Toro is 100% that witch (writer)…

Warner Bros. has announced that its adaptation of the beloved 1973 children’s book Roald Dahl’s The Witches, co-written by the 55-year-old Oscar-winning Mexican filmmaker, will premiere on October 22, exclusively on HBO Max.

Guillermo del Toro

The film, which stars Anne Hathaway and Octavia Spencer, was originally scheduled to hit theaters this month but was later postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Oscar-winning director Robert Zemeckis reimagines the tale of a young boy who stumbles upon a secret coven of witches and, with the help of his loving grandmother, must try to foil their evil plan to turn all the world’s children into mice.

The Witches

Hathaway portrays the sly, menacing Grand High Witch, while Spencer is the tough but tender grandma who will fight her to the end. The film also features Stanley Tucci as the hotel manager who unwittingly hosts the witches’ convention, Kristin Chenoweth in an undisclosed role, and Jahzir Bruno as the heart of the story as the young boy (voiced by Chris Rock as an adult), who becomes the hero striving to stop the witches.

In addition to directing, Zemeckis wrote the screenplay with Kenya Barris and del Toro.

The Witches was previously adapted for the screen in 1990 with Anjelica Huston as the Grand High Witch, a version Dahl disavowed because it changed the book’s ending. Zemeckis’ film will reportedly be a more faithful adaptation.

Oscar Isaac to Star in HBO’s Adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s “Scenes From a Marriage”

Oscar Isaac is going to the chapel…

HBO has given a green light to Scenes From a Marriage, a limited series adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s classic miniseries, starring the 41-year-old Guatemalan & Cuban actorand Michelle Williams

Oscar Isaac

The project hails from Hagai LeviMichael Ellenberg’s Media Res and Endeavor Content.

Written and directed by Levi, the series adaptation re-examines the show’s iconic depiction of love, hatred, desire, monogamy, marriage and divorce through the lens of a contemporary American couple, played by Isaac and Williams.

Ingmar Bergman wrote and directed the original 1973 Swedish miniseries Scenes From A Marriage, which starred Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson. Bergman’s teleplay, the story of a disintegration of a marriage, drew on his own experiences, including his relationship with Ullmann.

Isaac, star of the HBO miniseries Show Me A Hero, will next be seen starring in the Dune reboot, an adaption of the bestselling novel of the same name by Frank Herbert. He’s also set to star in James Gray’s period drama Armageddon Time, alongside Robert De NiroDonald SutherlandAnne Hathaway and Cate Blanchett and Paul Schrader’s The Card Counter, with Martin Scorsese executive producing. 

Isaac is set to produce Lionsgate’s upcoming film London,under his Mad Gene Media Banner, with Ben Stiller set to direct. He’s also set to star in and produce the adaptation of Brian K. Vaughn’s Ex Machina comic retitled The Great Machine

Oscar Isaac to Star Opposite Cate Blanchett in Period Drama “Armageddon Time”

It’s Armageddon Time for Oscar Isaac

The 41-year-old Guatemalan & Cuban actor will star alongside Cate Blanchett in Armageddon Time, the period drama to be directed by James Gray for RT Features.

Oscar Isaac

Isaac joins a list of new cast members that includes Robert De NiroDonald Sutherland and Anne Hathaway

Gray wrote and will direct, and re-teams with RT Features following their recent collaboration on Ad Astra, the Brad Pitt space thriller that co-starred Sutherland. RT Features’ Rodrigo Teixeira will produce, with Lourenço Sant’Anna and Rodrigo Gutierrez executive producing.

Gray crafted a drama based on his childhood memories, a big-hearted coming-of-age story that explores friendship and loyalty against the backdrop of an America poised to elect Ronald Reagan as president. It’s very different from his recent pictures, and he hopes to shoot in New York as soon as post-pandemic opportunities make it possible. 

“Every film you make is different, but I’m trying to do something that is the opposite of the vast, lonely and dark void of the movie I just directed,” Gray said. “I’m anxious to make something that is very much about people, about human emotions and interactions between people, and I want it to be filled with warmth and tenderness. In some sense, yes it’s about my childhood, but an illustration of familial love really on every level. I’m of the belief that most people do their best and that they try their best under difficult circumstances and in some sense that’s a beautiful thing and very moving to me.” 

Carlos Leal to Star in Netflix’s Film “The Last Thing He Wanted”

Carlos Leal has found the last thing

The Spanish actor will appear in Dee Rees and Netflix’s The Last Thing He Wanted.

Carlos Leal

Leal joins a cast that includes Anne Hathaway, Willem DafoeBen Affleck, Toby Jones, Rosie PerezEdi Gathegi, and Mel Rodriguez.

Based on Joan Didion’s 1996 novel, the film follows journalist Elena McMahon (Hathaway) who finds herself on dangerous ground as the Iran Contra Affair’s arms for drugs plot reaches its tipping point.

Rees and Marco Villalobos adapted the screenplay.

Leal’s credits include the James Bond film, Casino Royale.

Production is currently underway in Puerto Rico.

Miranda to Perform at One-Night Only Broadway Show Benefiting Hillary Clinton’s Hillary Victory Fund

Lin-Manuel Miranda is stumping for Hillary Clinton

The 36-year-old Puerto Rican actor and Hamilton star/creator has joined the list of Broadway and Hollywood stars teaming up for a one-night only Broadway performance benefiting the Hillary Victory Fund.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Miranda joins a lineup that includes Julia Roberts and Hugh Jackman, all appearing in support of Clinton.

The show, “Stronger Together,” features Chelsea Clinton as a special guest and Billy Crystal as host, appearing alongside familiar faces including Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Emily Blunt, Anne Hathaway, Josh Groban, Angela Bassett, Neil Patrick Harris, Helen Mirren, Sienna Miller, Bernadette Peters, Cynthia Erivo, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Sarah Jones, Andrea McArdle and Ayodele Casel.

Organizers of the evening promise new duets and collaborations.

Michael Mayer, the Spring Awakening and Hedwig and the Angry Inch director whose Off-Broadway production of Love, Love, Love is now running, will direct the production, with Diane Paulus on board as special consultant. John Guare serves as script consultant, with Seth Rudetsky as musical director.

The event is set for October 17 at the St. James Theater, the Jujamcyn-owned venue currently occupied by “Something Rotten!,” which is dark on Monday nights.

Tickets are on sale on the Hillary Clinton website.

Armisen’s IFC mockumentray series “Documentary Now!” Premiering in September

It’s anchors aweigh for Fred Armisen

IFC is set to kick off its new season of its mockumentary television series Documentary Now!, starring the 49-year-old half-Venezuelan actor and former Saturday Night Live star, Bill Hader and Seth Meyers, on September 14.

Fred Armisen

Co-created by Armisen, Hader, Meyers and Rhys Thomas, Documentary Now! lovingly parodies some of the world’s best-known documentaries

The new season will being with a send-up of the 1993 political docu The War Room, about Bill Clinton’s campaign for POTUS in ’92. Hader reprises his James Carville, while Armisen, in a memorable wig, portrays Good Morning America anchor and political correspondent George Stephanopoulos.

Hader said they decided to spoof The War Room because it’s a documentray that affected comedy series for years to come, citing The Larry Sanders Show and The Office. “It started with that documentary,” he said.

Plus, Carville and Stephanopoulos “were two characters Fred and I could play,” Hader said. “We could totally play those characters”

Anne Hathaway, Mia Farrow, Peter Bogdanovich and Peter Fonda guest on this season of Documentary Now!

The mocumentary series is produced by Broadway Video.

Trailer Released for Bonham Carter’s “Alice Through The Looking Glass”

Helena Bonham Carter is a glass act…

The first full trailer for Alice Through The Looking Glass – the sequel to Disney’s 2010 blockbuster Alice In Wonderland – has been released, featuring the 49-year-old part-Spanish actress reprising her role as Iracebeth of Crims, the Red Queen.

Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen

For the original film, Bonham Carter’s head was digitally increased to three times its original size on screen.

Along with Bonham Carter, Alice Through The Looking Glass returns most of the cast — among them Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska and the voices of Stephen Fry, Alan Rickman and Michael Sheen — and screenwriter Linda Wolverton but not original director Tim Burton (he’s a producer on this one, with Muppets helmer James Bobin taking over).

Among the newcomers is Sacha Baron Cohen, who portrays a major cog in this new story based on Lewis Carroll’s original: he plays Time, who is part-human, part-clock (and has borrowed some outfits from Brüno’s closet apparently). When Alice returns to a much different Wonderland, she must go on a quest to borrow the Chronosphere, a metallic globe inside the Grand Clock’s chamber. This sends her into the past, where she comes across friends and enemies at different points in their lives, and a race to save Depp’s Hatter (looking quite put out here) before time runs out.

The 3D pic has a May 27, 2016 release date.

Saldanha’s “Rio 2” Breaks Animated Film Records in Brazil

Carlos Saldanha has plenty of reason to get animated…

The 49-year-old Brazilian animated film director’s latest project Rio 2, the sequel to 2011’s beloved film Rio, has made history in Brazil.

Carlos Saldanha

The film had the biggest opening ever for an animated film in the South American country.

The Blue Sky Studios project from Saldanha, who hails from the titular town, took off with $7.3 million to edge out the prior record-holder, Madagascar 3.

The film’s voice cast includes Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Leslie Mann, Bruno Mars, George Lopez, will.i.am, Rodrigo Santoro, Jake T. Austin, Bebel Gilberto, Andy Garcia, Rita Moreno, Kristin Chenowith, Natalie Morales and Janelle Monáe.

Rio 2 will be released in the United States on April 11.

Mars Perfoms “Welcome Back” on “Rio 2” Soundtrack

Bruno Mars isn’t just voicing a character in Rio 2… He’s also performing a single on the animated film’s soundtrack.

The 28-year-old part-Puerto Rican singer performs the track “Welcome Back” on Rio: Music From the Motion Picture, which will be released by Atlantic Records.

Bruno MarsBruno Mars

In addition to Mars’ single, the soundtrack to the animated musical comedy will include musical numbers from Grammy winner Janelle Monáe; Barbatuques, Andy Garcia and Rita Moreno; and Carlinhos Brown and Nina De Freitas.

It will also include songs from the voice cast, including Anne Hathaway, Jamie Foxx, Kristin Chenoweth and Jesse Eisenberg

Rio: Music From the Motion Picture will be available March 25.

Rio 2

The family-friendly feature returns to Brazil ahead of this summer’s World Cup, with Hathaway, Eisenberg, Foxx and will.i.am reprising their roles as a few of Rio’s colorful feathered inhabitants.

New additions include The X Factor finalist Rachel Crow and NBC Today show news anchor and South American native Natalie Morales.

The story will follow Blu (Eisenberg), a neurotic blue macaw, and Jewel (Hathaway), his free-spirited mate, as well as their three kids. The conflict of the film arises when Jewel expresses her desire to raise the chicks in the Amazon as “real birds” rather than in their current domesticated environment.

Rio 2 hits theaters April 11.

Here’s the complete track listing:

  1. “What Is Love” by Janelle Monae
  2. “Rio Rio” by Ester Dean feat. B.O.B.
  3. “Beautiful Creatures” by Barbatuques, Andy Garcia and Rita Moreno
  4. “Welcome Back” by Bruno Mars
  5. “O Vida” by Carlinhos Brown and Nina De Freitas
  6. “It’s a Jungle Out Here” [Brazilian] by Philip Lawrence feat. Uakti
  7. “Don’t Go Away” by Anne Hathaway and Falvia Maia feat. Uakti
  8. “Batucada Familia” by Carlinhos Brown, Siedah Garrett, Jamie Foxx, Rachel Crow, Amy Heidemann, Andy Garcia and Rita Moreno
  9. “Poisonous Love” by Kristin Chenoweth and Jemaine Clement
  10. “I Will Survive” by Jemaine Clement and Kristin Chenoweth
  11. “Bola Viva” by Carlinhos Brown
  12.  “Favo De Mel” by Milton Nascimento
  13.  “It’s a Jungle Out Here” by Philip Lawrence
  14. “What is Love” by Janelle Monae, Anne Hathaway, Jessie Eisenberg, Jamie Foxx and Carlinhos Brown

Saldanha to Receive CinemaCon’s International Filmmaker of the Year Award

Carlos Saldanha will be getting plenty of love at this year’s CinemaCon

The 49-year-old Brazilian director of animated films will receive the international filmmaker of the year award at this year’s edition of CinemaCon, the annual gathering of theater owners in Las Vegas.

Carlos Saldanha

This year’s convention will take place March 24-27 at Caesars Palace.

Saldanha, an Academy Award nominated filmmaker who works with Blue Sky Studios, is currently wrapping production on Rio 2, his follow up to 20th Century Fox‘s animated hit Rio.

The sequel opens in theaters April 11 and features the return of voice leads Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Jermaine Clement, Leslie Mann, George Lopez, will.i.am and Jamie Foxx.

New voice additions include Andy Garcia, Bruno Mars, Kristin Chenoweth and Rita Moreno.

The Rio franchise is from Fox Animation Studios and Blue Sky Studios.

Saldanha’s other credits include Ice Age, Ice Age: The Meltdown, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Robots.