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Madonna to direct movie based on life of ballerina Michaela DePrince

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MGM announces the singer will direct Taking Flight, the story of DePrinces journey from war orphan in Sierra Leone to world-class ballerina

Madonna is to return to the movies after a seven-year absence to direct Taking Flight, a feature film based on the life of Michaela DePrince, a war orphan from Sierra Leone who became a leading ballerina.

According to Deadline, Hollywood studio MGM has been developing the project since 2015 when it acquired the rights to DePrinces memoir, co-written with her adoptive mother, Elaine.

Michaelas journey resonated with me deeply as both an artist and an activist who understands adversity, Madonna said. We have a unique opportunity to shed light on Sierra Leone, and let Michaela be the voice for all the orphaned children she grew up beside. I am honoured to bring her story to life.

Ballet
Ballet dancer Michaela DePrince in Johannesburg, in 2012. Photograph: Gallo Images/Rex/Shutterstock

DePrince, 23, lost both of her parents in Sierra Leones civil war when she was three years old. The following year, she was adopted by a New Jersey couple and brought to the US, where she developed a passion for ballet. She was one of the stars of 2011 documentary First Position, about young ballet hopefuls, and is a soloist with the Dutch National Ballet and Opera. She also appeared in Beyoncs music video album, Lemonade.

We were immediately awestruck by Michaelas journey and know Madonnas vision and passion for the material will deliver a film that inspires audiences everywhere, said producer Leslie Morgenstein.

No cast or released date has yet been finalised. Camilla Blackett, writer of the comedy series Fresh Off the Boat, will write the screenplay.

Madonna is the bestselling female recording artist of all time but her movie career has been more chequered, especially behind the camera. Her 2008 feature debut, Filth and Wisdom, was described by the Guardians Peter Bradshaw as a dumb and tacky comedy-drama about three people sharing a flat in a quaintly conceived London. Its follow-up, 2011s WE, in which Andrea Riseborough played Wallis Simpson, was also critically panned, with Bradshaw describing it as one long humourless and necrophiliac swoon at the Windsors supposed tragi-romantic glamour.

Madonna wrote, produced and narrated 2008 documentary I Am Because We Are, about children in Malawi orphaned by the Aids epidemic. She has adopted four children from Malawi, including twin girls in 2017.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/mar/14/madonna-to-direct-movie-based-on-life-of-ballerina-michaela-deprince

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‘Too Much, Too Fast’: Disney to scale back production of Star Wars movies

Charmaine Blake

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After the disappointing box office performance of Solo: A Star Wars Story, Disney CEO Bob Iger says fans can expect some slowdown

“After months of rumor and speculation, Disney CEO Bob Iger has confirmed that its production and release of Star Wars movies will be scaled back.

Iger admitted that he had made a mistake, and that there had been too much, too fast in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, after it put him at the top of its list of the most powerful people in the entertainment industry.

He added: You can expect some slowdown were going to be a little bit more careful about volume and timing.

Disney had received considerable criticism after the disappointing box-office performance of Solo: A Star Wars Story, the second of the anthology spinoffs designed to run alongside the core main Episode narratives and to alternate with them in the release schedules. Solo had a troubled production history, during which the directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were replaced by Ron Howard, and was released in May 2018, only six months after Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Solos box office figures were considerably poorer than those of Rogue One, the previous Star Wars anthology spinoff from 2016, and is on course to become the first film in the franchise to lose money. The suggestion is that Disney failed to anticipate franchise fatigue.

Iger did not elaborate on the future of the two spinoffs believed to be in development a Boba Fett film to be directed by James Mangold and an Obi-Wan Kenobi film with Stephen Daldry rumoured to direct but did confirm that Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and DB Weiss are developing [Star Wars] sagas of their own.

However, Igers comments appear to back up the supposition that Disney and Lucasfilm will be concentrating on the main episodes, and he confirmed that JJ Abrams is busy making [Episode] IX. Abrams as yet untitled film is due for release in December 2019…………….”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/sep/21/star-wars-disney-to-scale-back-production-solo

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Peter Dinklage gets yet another Emmy for his role as Tyrion Lannister

Charmaine Blake

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Peter Dinklage wins yet another Emmy for his role in ‘Game of Thrones.’

Image: hbo

Peter Dinklage won his third Emmy for most outstanding supporting actor in a drama series at the Emmys on Monday.

Dinklage, who plays the iconic Tyrion Lannister in HBO’s Game of Thrones, was nominated alongside fellow Game of Thrones actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays his brother Jaime Lannister.

For his work as Tyrion, Dinklage has been nominated in the category seven times, winning in 2011, 2015, and now 2018.

In his acceptance speech, Dinklage thanked Coster-Waldau, who earned his first Emmy nomination for his work on Game of Thrones this year.

Hopefully both actors survive the final season of Game of Thrones coming in 2019, or at least get one more nomination next year if they do meet their demise.

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‘Green Book’ Wins Toronto Film Festival’s People’s Choice Award

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Peter Farrelly’s “Green Book” has won the Grolsch People’s Choice Award at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, TIFF announced at an awards ceremony on Sunday.

The film, which tells the true story of an Italian-American nightclub bouncer (Viggo Mortensen) who serves as the chauffeur for a black pianist (Mahershala Ali) on a tour through the Deep South in the early 1960s, opened at the festival on Tuesday and was an instant hit with audiences and critics, although Bradley Cooper’s “A Star Is Born” had been considered the likely winner of the People’s Choice Award.

Runners-up for the award were Barry Jenkins’ lyrical James Baldwin adaptation “If Beale Street Could Talk” and Alfonso Cuaron’s moving memory piece “Roma.”

In the past, Toronto audience members voted by depositing their ticket stubs in a box at the theater, or by using the TIFF app — festival organizers took into account the size of the theaters in which each film screened — with the films that received votes from the largest percentage of their audience winning the prizes…………………”

Read More Here: https://www.thewrap.com/green-book-wins-toronto-film-festivals-peoples-choice-award/

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