Alice Braga to Star in Robert Rodriguez’s Thriller “Hypnotic”

Alice Braga has landed a hypnotic role…

The 38-year-old Brazilian actress has joined the cast of Robert Rodriguez’s thriller Hypnotic, starring Ben Affleck.

Alice Braga

Cameras are set to roll starting on September 20, in Austin, Texas, after the film’s original start date in April 2020 was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and then insurance issues.

Hypnotic will follow a detective who becomes entangled in a mystery involving his missing daughter and a secret government program while investigating a string of high-end crimes.  

The film is written by Sin City and Alita: Battle Angel filmmaker Rodriguez and Max Borenstein. Rodriguez, Studio 8 CEO Jeff Robinov and Studio8’s Guy Danella and John Graham are producing with Solstice.

Solstice has already sold the film well into international markets and is due to release Hypnotic in the U.S.

Braga will next be seen in The Suicide Squad, alongside Margo Robbie, Idris Elba and Viola Davis. She’s known for her starring role in the long-running USA Network series Queen Of The South, Luca Guadagnino’s limited series We Are Who We Are, and was one of the lead voices in Oscar-winning Pixar film Soul.

Javier Bardem In Talks to Portray Desi Arnaz in Amazon & Aaron Sorkin’s “Being the Ricardos”

Javier Bardem may soon be saying, “Lucy, I’m Home!”

The 51-year-old Spanish Oscar-winning actor is in talks to play Desi Arnaz opposite Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball in Amazon and Aaron Sorkin’s Being the Ricardos.

Javier Bardem

The film centers on the relationship between the I Love Lucy stars. Having penned the screenplay, Academy Award winner Sorkin also will direct the film from Amazon Studios and Escape Artists.

The film is set during one production week of I Love Lucy — Monday table read through Friday audience filming— when Lucy and Desi face a crisis that could end their careers and another that could end their marriage.

Sorkin originally was going to pen the script only, when Cate Blanchett was circling, but after enjoying himself on the drama The Trial of the Chicago 7, he decided to attach himself as a director as well over the summer.

After The Trial of the Chicago 7 bowed on Netflix in October, Being the Ricardos began to gain momentum with Kidman and Bardem quickly interested in the couple behind television’s first family. Deals still need to close for both actors, but even if and when they do, when production will start is still up in the air as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to push productions throughout the country.

After years as one of Hollywood’s most prolific screenwriters with such classics as A Few Good Men, Moneyball and his Oscar-winning The Social NetworkSorkin has found himself more and more behind the camera as well. His directing debut was the drama Molly’s Game starring Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba, and he followed that up with The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Bardem most recently starred in The Roads Not Taken and can next be seen in Legendary’s DuneHe also is set to play King Triton in Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid.

Roku Acquires Quibi’s Programming, Including Nicole Richie’s “Nikki Fre$h” Series

Nicole Richie is freshening up Roku

Roku has acquired the exclusive global distribution rights to the portfolio of Quibi’s programs, including the 39-year-old part-Mexican American actress & television personality’s series Nikki Fre$h.

Nicole Richie

In its biggest original programming foray to date, Roku’s acquisition covers most of the recently shuttered mobile-only streaming venture’s library, while some daily news shows aren’t part of the package.

A key draw for Roku is the talent, a roster including Richie, Idris Elba, Kevin Hart, Liam Hemsworth, Anna Kendrick, Chrissy Teigen and Lena Waithe.

The lineup includes titles like Most Dangerous Game, Dummy, Murder House Flip and the Reno 911 reboot, starring Carlos Alazraqui.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed, though the valuation is said to be less than $100 million, according to insiders. Roku shares rose 5% to $398.60 on the news. At one point early in the trading day, they reached $402.81, an all-time high.

The programming will be available for free starting later this year. Shows will have advertising, as they did on the $5-a-month Quibi service, and they’ll be housed on the Roku Channel. The hub for free and premium streaming channels, including 150-plus free live, linear offerings, has become a mainstay of the company’s strategy since Roku launched it in 2017. By the fourth quarter of 2020, it was being viewed by households representing an estimated 61.8 million people, the company said, double its reach at the end of 2019.

“The most creative and imaginative minds in Hollywood created groundbreaking content for Quibi that exceeded our expectations,” said Quibi Founder Jeffrey Katzenberg. “We are thrilled that these stories, from the surreal to the sublime, have found a new home on The Roku Channel.”

Oscar Isaac to Lend Voice to HBO Max’s “A World of Calm” Series

Oscar Isaac is helping bring the calm…

HBO Max has ordered A World of Calm, featuring the 41-year-old Guatemalan & Cuban actor’s voice.

Oscar Isaac

The series is based on Calm, a popular sleep and meditation app, and will be narrated by several big names like Isaac.

The 10-episode order, co-produced by Calm and Nutopia, is HBO Max’s first brush with the health and wellness space and 

From the creators of the Calm app and Nutopia, the series combines mesmeric imagery with narration by A-list stars like Isaac, Mahershala AliIdris ElbaNicole Kidman, Zoë KravitzLucy LiuCillian Murphy and Keanu Reeves.

Here’s the logline: A timely antidote for our modern lives, each half-hour episode takes audiences on an immersive visual journey into another world. Building on Calm’s Sleep Stories– bedtime stories for grown-ups – each relaxing tale is designed to transform how you feel. Viewers will be transported into tranquility through scientifically engineered narratives, enchanting music and astounding footage to naturally calm the body and soothe the mind.

“With the considerable amount of stress and chaos we are all experiencing at this particularly challenging time, we could all use a bit of guided relaxation, and A World of Calmis here to help,” said Jennifer O’Connell, EVP Non-fiction and Kids Programming at HBO Max.

“Although this collaboration has been in the works for many months,” said Nutopia CEO and founder Jane Root, “this series has been entirely created during quarantine using Nutopia’s worldwide network of award-winning cinematographers and filmmakers. We hope this series of serene stories will bring a sense of much needed calm to audiences.”

Added Calm co-founder and co-CEO Michael Acton Smith: “Calm started life as a meditation app, but the brand has evolved far beyond that. We are delighted to bring the magic behind our audio Sleep Stories to the screen for the first time. These experiences are visual Valium and will help people relax and unwind during these stressful times.”

Nicolás Pereda’s Narco Culture-Themed Film “Fauna” to Premiere at This Year’s Reimagined Toronto Film Festival

Nicolás Pereda is bringing the faunato this year’s reimagined Toronto Film Festival.

The 38-year-old Mexican filmmaker’s latest film Fauna will be among the film’s screened at the festival, which is North America’s largest festival.

Nicolás Pereda

The film is an exploration of the impact of “narco” culture on Mexican society.

It’ll be Fauna’s official global premiere. An excerpt from the film was screened as part of the “Works in Progress” section of the Los Cabos International Film Festival in 2019,and won the Cinecolor Mexico Award.

This year’s edition will run from September 10–19. As expected, the festival will look different due to the coronavirus.

Organizers say the 45th TIFF will be “tailored to fit the moment,” with a combination of physical screenings and drive-ins, digital screenings, virtual red carpets, press conferences and industry talks. 

There’ll be considerably fewer movies — a selection comprising 50 new features — and the festival isn’t expecting large numbers of international press or industry to attend in person.

In addition to Pereda’s Fauna, this year’s strong crop of early movies confirmed to screen at the festival are the Kate Winslet-starrer AmmoniteThomas Vinterberg’s Another RoundConcrete Cowboy with Idris ElbaGood Joe Bell starring Mark WahlbergSuzanne Lindon’s Spring BlossomTrue Mothers by Naomi Kawase and Halle Berry’s directorial debut BruisedMore titles will be announced over the summer.

The movies will play over the event’s first five days as physical, socially distanced screenings. There will also be five programs of short films, interactive talks, film cast reunions, and Q&As with cast and filmmakers.

However, the festival has acknowledged that its plans for an in-person festival will be contingent on the local government’s “reopening framework to ensure that festival venues and workplaces practice, meet and exceed public health guidelines.” Large gatherings still aren’t permitted in Toronto.

TIFF temporarily closed its year-round offices and cinemas at TIFF Bell Lightbox in March due to the pandemic. The organization is now taking steps to prepare for reopening and working with medical advisors and public health officials to ensure safe conditions.

Meanwhile, TIFF is launching a bespoke digital platform for the festival. The organization has partnered with Shift72 on the platform, which will host digital screenings, talks and special events.

The Industry Conference will be online-only this year, with screenings for press and industry taking place on the digital platform only. The fest says there will be “advanced security and anti-piracy measures, access to buyers, and opportunities for networking.”

For 2020, TIFF says it will welcome 50 filmmakers and actors as TIFF Ambassadors to help the festival deliver its program. They will include Ava DuVernayTaika Waititi, Anurag KashyapNicole KidmanMartin ScorseseNadine LabakiAlfonso CuarónTantoo CardinalRiz Ahmed, Isabelle HuppertClaire DenisAtom EgoyanPriyanka Chopra, Viggo MortensenZhang ZiyiDavid OyelowoLulu Wang, Rosamund PikeSarah Gadon and Denis Villeneuve.

TIFF will also present its annual TIFF Tribute Awards, acknowledging and celebrating outstanding contributors to the film industry. 

Now in its third year, TIFF’s Media Inclusion Initiative will continue to accredit eligible black, indigenous, people of color, LGBTQ+ and female emerging film critics. New this year, TIFF is also offering companies and individuals the opportunity to gift industry access to 250 underrepresented emerging filmmakers from around the world.

First Trailer Released for Bardem & Sean Penn’s Action Thriller “The Gunman”

Javier Bardem is back to his baddie ways…

The 45-year-old Spanish actor and Oscar winner goes head to head against Sean Penn in The Gunman, as witnessed in the film’s first official trailer.

Javier Bardem

In the film helmed by Taken director Pierre Morel, Penn stars as a former Special Forces soldier and military contractor suffering from PTSD. He tries to reconnect with his longtime love, but first must go on the run from London to Barcelona and across Europe in order to clear his name.

Bardem, who won an Academy Award for portraying a psychopathic assassin in No Country for Old Men, stars as Penn’s old associate, who isn’t about to let him walk serenely off into the sunset.

The action thriller is based on the Jean-Patrick Manchette novel The Prone Gunman.

In addition to Penn and Bardem, the film also stars Idris Elba, Ray Winstone and Mark Rylance.

Open Road Films will release The Gunman in theaters on March 20, 2015.

Open Road Films to Release Bardem’s “The Gunman” in February

Javier Bardem’s latest feature film is heading to theaters in early 2015…

Open Road Films has scheduled The Gunman, starring the 45-year-old Spanish actor and Sean Penn, to open in theaters in the Unted States on February 20, 2015.

Javier Bardem in The Gunman

Directed by Pierre Morel, the action thriller stars Penn as a former Special Forces soldier and military contractor suffering from PTSD. He tries to reconnect with his long-time love, but first must go on the run from London to Barcelona and acrossEurope in order to clear his name.

The Gunman was acquired by Open Road earlier this month.

In addition to Penn and Bardem,the film also Idris Elba, Ray Winstone, Mark Rylance and Jasmine Trinca.

Studiocanal, which has the rights to distribute the film in its home territories, will first release The Gunman on February 18 in France, followed by Australia and New Zealand on February 19.

It will time the United Kingdom release to the U.S. on February 20 and open in Germany a week later on February 26.

The Gunman had originally been slated for a December 2014 release in France, but a switch was reportedly made to accommodate a closer day-and-date with the U.S.

Open Road Acquires the U.S. Rights to Bardem’s Action-Thriller “The Gunman”

There’s nothing but open road ahead for Javier Bardem’s latest project.

Open Road Films has closed a deal to acquire the U.S. rights to The Gunman, the action thriller starring the 45-year-old Spanish actor, Sean Penn, Idris Elba, Ray Winstone, Mark Rylance and Jasmine Trinca.

Javier Bardem

Directed by Taken helmer Pierre Morel, the film is based on Jean-Patrick Manchette’s novel The Prone Gunman.

It stars Penn as a former Special Forces soldier and military contractor suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He tries to reconnect with his longtime love, but first must go on the run from London to Barcelona and across Europe in order to clear his name.

No word yet on an expected release date.

Rapace to Star Opposite Idris Elba and Sam Worthington in “Alive Alone”

Noomi Rapace won’t be alive alone for long…

The 34-year-old half-Spanish actress, who was originally announced as the leading lady in Alive Alone at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, has two new co-stars.

Noomi Rapace

Rapace was originally set to star opposite Matthias Schoenaerts in the Thunder Road-produced drama. But Schoenaerts had to pull out of the project for personal reasons.

But Rapace won’t be co-starless for long…

Idris Elba and Sam Worthington have just joined the cast, with filming expected to start this March.

The New York-set drama marks the feature helming debut of Khurram Longi, who will direct the project from his own script.

Elba stars as an ex-detainee of Guantanamo Bay working as a taxi driver, and Rapace plays a prostitute on the run from a feared crime boss (Worthington). When their worlds collide, they unexpectedly find salvation in one another.

Elba and Rapace previously co-starred together in the sort-of prequel to Ridley Scott‘s Alien, Prometheus.

Rapace, who rose to acclaim after starring in the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo film and its sequels in the Millennium trilogy, most recently starred in Brian De Palma’s erotic thriller Passion.

Final Trailer Released for del Toro’s Latest Film “Pacific Rim”

The third time’s the charm for Guillermo del Toro

The 48-year-old Mexican director has released the third and final trailer for his highly anticipated monster movie Pacific Rim.

Pacific Rim

In the new clip, Idris Elba‘s character Stacker Pentecost enlist Charlie Hunnam’s washed-up pilot Raleigh Becket for a last-ditch attempt to save humanity.

Becket will team with rookie Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) to steer the giant Jaeger robots as they go after the relentless Kaiju monsters.

Charlie Day, Clifton Collins Jr., Ron Perlman, Robert Kazinsky and Max Martini also star.

Pacific Rim opens nationwide on July 12.