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Dunkirk outguns blockbuster competition at UK box office

Christopher Nolan’s intelligent war movie does refreshingly well at multiplexes and arthouse cinemas, while Despicable Me 3 breaks the £30m barrier

While summer is traditionally a strong season for multiplex cinemas, it can prove a tough challenge for venues trying to offer an alternative to Hollywood blockbusters, since the most commercially potent arthouse fare tends to cluster into autumn and winter for awards season. Which means the arrival of Dunkirk was greeted by the indie-cinema bookers with a combination of relief and joy: an intelligent mainstream film they could programme without fear of embarrassment, and with appeal that cuts across the demographics. Related: War for the Planet of the Apes shows its simian strength at UK box office Continue reading...

Published 2017-07-25 13:59:07


Ed Sheeran fever helps drive rise of more than 10% in UK music sales

Singer’s Divide album is bestselling entertainment product this year, shifting more than Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

The popularity of Ed Sheeran, elevated by the launch of his latest album, Divide, and his headline Glastonbury spot, helped drive total UK music sales 11.2% higher to £564m in the first half of 2017. Sheeran continues to divide critical opinion, not least with his recent cameo in hit TV series Game of Thrones, but there is no denying the fillip the Suffolk-raised artist has given to the UK music industry, entertainment retailers and services. Continue reading...

Published 2017-07-25 16:24:38


Brad Pitt acts out scene for live Frank Ocean performance

The actor, who has called the R&B singer ‘so special’, was reportedly filmed by director Spike Jonze during a concert in Los Angeles

Brad Pitt has appeared in R&B singer Frank Ocean’s live show, filmed having a phone conversation just off-stage as Ocean sang an interpretation, originally sung by Stevie Wonder, of the Carpenters’ Close to You and the Jackson 5’s Never Can Say Goodbye. Continue reading...

Published 2017-07-24 10:04:30


Face/Off? Nic Cage seems more Moonstruck at Kazakh film festival

Actor’s bizarre garb and expression in photograph inspires internet meme

It’s not always easy being Nicolas Cage. One minute you are donning traditional dress at a film festival, the next a meme mocking your expression has quickly spread across the internet. The Hollywood star was pictured in Kazakhstan, where he is reportedly attending the 13th Eurasia international film festival, and Twitter went into meltdown.He looks like he was just teleported into this body a la Quantum Leap and is figuring out who and where he is https://t.co/1fBbgBvYKMIs no one gonna address the fact that he's wearing trainers with this suit? #NicholasCage pic.twitter.com/A5Z7Yzc82aNic Cage in Kazakhstan added to the photo of "People who don't know WTH they're doing there". ...

Published 2017-07-24 12:09:38


Star Wars fans pay tribute to Carrie Fisher at Comic-Con

Members of costume clubs dress up as Princess Leia to remember starOne fan says: ‘You put on a pair of buns, and you’re unstoppable’Four Star Wars costuming clubs came together at on Sunday, to stage a tribute to their favorite fallen princess.

Related: Ben Affleck says he will be The Batman despite report he would relinquish role Continue reading...

Published 2017-07-23 20:20:46


Lipstick Under My Burkha's release hailed as victory for Indian women

Film banned from cinemas for its ‘contagious sex scenes’, makes its debut after lengthy battle with censors

An award-winning Hindi film initially banned from cinemas for being too “lady-oriented” has made its debut across India in what its director hailed as a major victory for women. Lipstick Under My Burkha, which depicts the secret world, including the sex lives, of four small-town Indian women, was released at the weekend after months of wrangling with the country’s notoriously prudish censors. Related: I’m fighting the ban on my film Lipstick Under My Burkha. Ordinary Indian women need a voice | Alankrita Shrivastava Thank you for all your support for #LipstickUnderMyBurkha against this ridiculous regressiveness. We won't be silenced. #CensorTheCensors ...

Published 2017-07-23 10:37:22


John Heard, star of Home Alone, Cutter's Way and The Sopranos, dies at 71

Actor dies during recovery from back surgery, Variety reportsJeff Bridges leads tributes to ‘wonderful actor’ in TV and film hitsJohn Heard, the actor who was best known for his role as the father in the movies, has . He was 71.

Related: Cutter's Way is a cinematic masterpiece Related: My favourite Christmas film: Home Alone Continue reading...

Published 2017-07-22 17:57:29


Ready Player One: first trailer for Steven Spielberg's virtual reality game thriller

The BFG director debuted the footage from his new film at a Comic Con event, showcasing elaborate VR and special effects

The first footage from Steven Spielberg’s forthcoming thriller Ready Player One has been released onto the internet. Continue reading...

Published 2017-07-22 20:22:44


Ben Affleck says he will be The Batman despite report he would relinquish role

Justice League star will not direct forthcoming standalone Batman movie DC Extended Universe panel trails new film and first Aquaman footageBen Affleck has dismissed rumors that he will hang up his cape before the next Batman film, for which he recently ceded directing responsibilities.

Related: Ready Player One: first trailer for Steven Spielberg's virtual reality game thriller Continue reading...

Published 2017-07-22 22:19:17


La La Land meets Isle of Wight in Minghella Jr’s debut as a director

Max Minghella follows in father Anthony’s footsteps as a screenwriter and director

The late Anthony Minghella was one of Britain’s most admired film-makers, winning nine Oscars for The English Patient, the war drama he wrote and directed, inspired by Michael Ondaatje’s novel. A decade after his death, his son is following in his footsteps as a writer and director, working with the producer of La La Land, the musical that won six Oscars this year. Actor Max Minghella is making his directorial debut with a British feature film set on the Isle of Wight, where his father’s family ran an ice-cream business. The new film, Teen Spirit, is a coming-of-age drama about a shy girl who has dreams of becoming a pop star and enters an international music competition. Continue ...

Published 2017-07-22 23:05:00


Vladimir Putin: 'I may not leave Russian presidency'

A question-and-answer session at a Sochi school was designed to make Putin seem youth-friendly after recent youth demonstrations

Asked what he plans to do when he leaves the presidency, Vladimir Putin paused and smiled. “But I haven’t decided yet if I will leave the presidency,” the Russian leader replied, to laughter and applause from an audience made up almost entirely of Russians who were born after he first became president in 2000. Related: Russian courts sentence protesters arrested at anti-corruption rallies Continue reading...

Published 2017-07-21 17:03:51


Big-budget films receive increase in tax relief to almost £600m

Treasury also paid £150m to TV shows that pass ‘cultural test’ to qualify as British in scheme to encourage creative enterprises

The government paid out almost £600m in tax relief last year to the makers of blockbusters including Baby Driver, Star Wars and T2: Trainspotting, as well as big-budget TV dramas including The Crown. The payouts were part of £751m that the Treasury awarded in tax relief to films, high-end dramas, video games, animations, children’s TV shows and theatre productions that passed a “cultural test” that qualified them as British. Continue reading...

Published 2017-07-20 21:42:01


Jane Campion: my Top of the Lake research involved sneaking into brothels

Director says she adopted a disguise to get access to the stories of sex workers in Sydney for second series of drama

The acclaimed director Jane Campion has revealed that her research for the new series of Top of the Lake involved sneaking into Sydney brothels in disguise in order to hear the real stories of sex workers in the city. Campion, who directed The Piano, made her move into television writing and directing with Top of the Lake in 2013, and the show is to return for a long-awaited second season at the end of July. The crime drama will once again centre around detective Robin Griffin, played by Elisabeth Moss, but this series will move from wild backdrop of New Zealand to Sydney, delving into the world of legalised prostitution. Related: ‘Nicole Kidman asked for a part. Then it was fun to ...

Published 2017-07-18 15:45:40


Martin Landau, star of Ed Wood and Crimes and Misdemeanors, dies aged 89

Veteran actor won a best supporting actor Oscar playing horror icon Bela Lugosi after a late-life career revival

•Peter Bradshaw: a great actor who grew into his gravitas•A life in pictures Martin Landau, the actor whose gaunt, hangdog features graced films by film-makers as varied as Alfred Hitchcock, Woody Allen and Tim Burton has died. He was 89, and his death was confirmed by his publicist “following a short hospitalisation”. Arguably Landau’s career high point arrived in 1995, when he won the best supporting actor Oscar for his role as Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood, the Burton-directed biopic of the infamous director of Plan 9 From Outer Space and other notorious films. In Lugosi, the washed-up former star of 1930s horror films such as Count Dracula, Landau found a forerunner he could ...

Published 2017-07-17 06:20:34


Deadpool tops 2016 list of most complained about films

Superhero romp’s bloody violence, strong language and sex references generated 51 complaints, outgunning 40 received by Spectre in 2015

Deadpool, the horribly violent, disgustingly crude and, for many people, very funny superhero romp, was the film which last year generated the most complaints to Britain’s film censors. The 2016 annual report of the British Board of Film Classification reveals that the Marvel movie received 51 complaints. That was followed by Suicide Squad with 30 and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children with 20. Continue reading...

Published 2017-07-18 08:00:01


War for the Planet of the Apes shows its simian strength at UK box office

Despicable Me and Spider-Man franchises fight for second place, while indie darling The Beguiled shows big ambition at cinemas

For the fourth weekend in a row, a film with blockbuster ambition has arrived at the top of the UK box office, with War for the Planet of the Apes landing in the wake of Spider-Man: Homecoming (5 July), Despicable Me 3 (30 June) and Transformers: The Last Knight (22 June). The latest Apes film has begun with a solid £5.22m, and £7.20m including previews for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Related: The Godfather – but with chimpanzees: on set with War for the Planet of the Apes Continue reading...

Published 2017-07-18 11:46:13


George A Romero, Night of the Living Dead director, dies aged 77

The writer and director, pioneer of zombie horror, died after a brief battle with lung cancer, his producing partner said

George A Romero, director of horror classic Night of the Living Dead, has died. He was 77. In a statement to the Los Angeles Times, Romero’s producing partner Peter Grunwald said the director died in his sleep after a “brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer”. Related: George A Romero dies, aged 77 Sad to hear my favorite collaborator--and good old friend--George Romero has died. George, there will never be another like you.Night of the Living Dead was a cornerstone of the genre. Massively influential. He was bright and very sweet to me. Safe journey, George. https://t.co/my8OJg8wLj Continue reading...

Published 2017-07-16 22:50:50


Martin Landau, star of Ed Wood and Crimes and Misdemeanors, dies at 89

Veteran actor won a best supporting actor Oscar playing horror icon Bela Lugosi after a late-life career revival

Martin Landau, the actor whose gaunt, hangdog features graced films by film-makers as varied as Alfred Hitchcock, Woody Allen and Tim Burton has died. He was 89, and his death was confirmed by his publicist “following a short hospitalisation”. Arguably Landau’s career high point arrived in 1995, when he won the best supporting actor Oscar for his role as Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood, the Burton-directed biopic of the infamous director of Plan 9 From Outer Space and other notorious films. In Lugosi, the washed-up former star of 1930s horror films such as Count Dracula, Landau found a forerunner he could relate to. “Lugosi ... had a palpable intensity and a presence that you can’t ...

Published 2017-07-17 00:47:37


Gary Oldman as Churchill: first trailer for Darkest Hour released

First footage revealed of Oldman’s much-hyped performance as Britain’s wartime prime minister, set during the early years of his premiership

The first trailer for the forthcoming Winston Churchill biopic Darkest Hour has been released onto the internet. Directed by Joe Wright (Pride and Prejudice, Atonement, Hanna), Darkest Hour follows Churchill immediately after his appointment as Prime Minister, as he agonises over whether or not to explore a negotiated peace treaty with the looming force of Nazi Germany. Gary Oldman stars as Churchill, with Kristin Scott Thomas playing his wife Clementine, and Ben Mendelsohn appearing as King George VI. Continue reading...

Published 2017-07-13 14:01:03


Censors order bleeping of 'cow' in film on Indian economist Amartya Sen

Director of documentary about Nobel laureate says he is shocked by list of words that must be bleeped out

India’s film censors have ordered that a documentary about the economist and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen be altered to remove words including “Hindu” “India” and “cow”, the director has said. Suman Ghosh said he was told by censor board officials on Monday that his one-hour documentary about Sen, a Harvard professor and essayist, could be released only if certain words were bleeped out. Related: India's censorship board in disarray amid claims of political interference If somebody of his stature cannot express himself freely, what hope does the common citizen have 2/2 Continue reading...

Published 2017-07-12 14:30:45


Shia LaBeouf 'deeply ashamed' of his racial outburst following arrest

The actor apologised and said he is struggling with addiction, after video emerged of him using racially charged language toward a black officer

Shia LaBeouf has apologised after a video emerged of him using racially charged language toward a black police officer when he was arrested for being drunk in public over the weekend. The Transformers star said that he was “deeply ashamed” of his behaviour and that he has been “struggling with addiction publicly for far too long”, after the arrest that took place in Savannah, Georgia, on Saturday.pic.twitter.com/OoUpBpr9vg Continue reading...

Published 2017-07-13 01:00:17


Indian censors demand removal of 'Hindu' and 'cow' from film about Nobel laureate

Director of documentary about Nobel laureate Amartya Sen says he is shocked by list of words that must be bleeped out

India’s film censors have ordered that a documentary about the economist and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen be altered to remove words including “Hindu” “India” and “cow”, the director has said. Suman Ghosh said he was told by censor board officials on Monday that his one-hour documentary about Sen, a Harvard professor and essayist, could be released only if certain words were bleeped out. Related: India's censorship board in disarray amid claims of political interference If somebody of his stature cannot express himself freely, what hope does the common citizen have 2/2 Continue reading...

Published 2017-07-12 14:30:45


Radiohead's Thom Yorke responds as Ken Loach criticises Israel gig

Radiohead frontman argues ‘we don’t endorse Netanyahu any more than Trump, but we still play in America’, after film director encourages them to support cultural boycott of Israel

Radiohead’s lead singer Thom Yorke has responded to criticism by film director Ken Loach over the band’s upcoming performance in Tel Aviv. Loach wrote in a comment piece in the Independent: “[Radiohead’s] stubborn refusal to engage with the many critics of their ill-advised concert in Tel Aviv suggests to me that they only want to hear one side – the one that supports apartheid... Radiohead need to decide if they stand with the oppressed or with the oppressor.” pic.twitter.com/GV95qCcYoI Related: Radiohead are wrong to play in Israel. Here’s why | Dave Randall Continue reading...

Published 2017-07-12 07:29:24


Quentin Tarantino to make Manson murders film

Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt among star names linked to story of brutal hippie-cult killings of Sharon Tate and friends

Quentin Tarantino is developing a film about the Manson family murders. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Pulp Fiction and Hateful Eight director will write and direct the as-yet untitled film, which concerns the notorious killings of five people, including pregnant actor Sharon Tate – wife of director Roman Polanski – carried out by followers of Charles Manson in 1969. Manson and four followers later received life imprisonment – and his group were also responsible for a number of other killings during the 1960s. Continue reading...

Published 2017-07-12 08:03:01


Tom Holland's Spider-Man struggles on ascent to top of UK box office

Sony’s Spider-Man: Homecoming battles blue skies in Britain, while Despicable Me 3 tumbles following hefty opening

The narrative around Sony’s latest iteration of Spider-Man has very much been “third time lucky”, with critics acclaiming a creative breakthrough following an initial trio of films directed by Sam Raimi (starring Tobey Maguire) and a pair helmed by Marc Webb (with Andrew Garfield). Now, with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige as producer and 21-year-old Tom Holland in the title role, Sony has finally got the formula right. Related: Forty films to kick off 2017 in UK cinemas Continue reading...

Published 2017-07-11 12:58:58


Barry Jenkins' Moonlight follow-up will be James Baldwin adaptation

The Academy Award-winning director is set to begin work on a version of the author’s 1974 novel If Beale Street Could Talk

The Moonlight director, Barry Jenkins, has announced his next film will be an adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel If Beale Street Could Talk. Related: The fire this time – the legacy of James Baldwin Related: Moonlight's Barry Jenkins on Oscar fiasco: 'It’s messy, but it’s kind of gorgeous' Continue reading...

Published 2017-07-10 21:07:32


Ava DuVernay set to take on Central Park Five series for Netflix

Film-maker who worked with streaming service on documentary 13th will write and direct limited series on the five teenagers wrongfully accused in 1989 attack

Director Ava DuVernay is set to write and direct a limited series about the Central Park Five – a group of teenagers who were wrongfully convicted of assaulting and raping investment banker Trisha Meili in 1989 – for Netflix. Related: Donald Trump and the Central Park Five: the racially charged rise of a demagogue Related: 13th: Ava DuVernay offers up a devastating history of black America Continue reading...

Published 2017-07-6 21:44:36


Emma Stone: male co-stars took pay cuts to earn the same as me

‘We all deserve the same respect and the same rights,’ says Oscar-winning actor on closing Hollywood’s pay gap

Related: Equal Pay Day: a wage gap fact check Emma Stone has revealed that her male co-stars have taken pay cuts in order for her to have parity with them. Continue reading...

Published 2017-07-7 09:54:39


Disability rights group criticizes casting of Alec Baldwin as blind character

The film Blind finds the actor portraying a blind novelist, earning the ire of the Ruderman Family Foundation, a prominent disability organization

The Ruderman Family Foundation, a leading disability rights group, has come out against the new film Blind, starring Alec Baldwin, in which the actor plays a novelist who loses his sight in a car crash. Related: Older characters 'underrepresented and ridiculed in Hollywood' Related: Disabled patients 'relying on crowdfunding' for wheelchairs Continue reading...

Published 2017-07-5 19:14:24


Despicable Me 3 overtakes Transformers and Baby Driver at UK box office

Blockbuster animation sequel easily knocks Transformers: The Last Knight off the top spot, earning the biggest opening for an animation since Minions

With a sturdy debut of £11.15m, Despicable Me 3 had no problem knocking Transformers: The Last Knight off the top spot at the UK box office chart. It scored the third biggest opening of the year, behind Beauty and the Beast (£19.7m) and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (£13.09m), and is the biggest animation debut of the year so far, ahead of Sing (£6.29m plus £4.2m in previews) and The Lego Batman Movie (£5.46m plus £2.45m in previews). It is also bigger than last year’s top animated openings for Finding Dory (£8.12m) and The Secret Life of Pets (£9.58m). The Jungle Book, which was significantly animated, began last year with £9.9m. Continue reading...

Published 2017-07-4 14:04:22


Harriet Walter: I had more fanmail for Star Wars than anything else

Actor says six words in The Force Awakens were ‘strangest experience’ as she tells Radio Times about pressures of playing three Shakespeare roles in one day

Dame Harriet Walter has revealed that she received more fanmail for a blink-and-you-miss-it Star Wars cameo than any other performance in more than 40 years as a stage and screen actor. Walter, an award-winning British stage actor who has featured in TV dramas including The Crown and Downton Abbey, played a doctor tending to Chewbacca in a brief scene from the 2015 Star Wars film The Force Awakens. Continue reading...

Published 2017-07-3 23:01:25


‘A great critic and a lovely man’: Barry Norman dies aged 83

Journalist who became familiar figure as BBC’s film reviewer for 26 years wins warm tributesThe worlds of film and journalism are mourning Barry Norman, the veteran critic and journalist who became a weekly oracle for British cinemagoers in the era before the internet took off.

Norman, who presented the BBC’s film review show for 26 years before leaving for Sky, and wrote for newspapers including the Observer and the Guardian, died in his sleep on Friday night. He was 83. Continue reading...

Published 2017-07-1 23:05:12


Film critic Barry Norman dies at 83

Journalist who presented BBC Film show for 26 years was known for diplomatic and friendly on-screen approach

• Peter Bradshaw on Barry Norman: ‘His love for film always shone through’• A life in pictures The film critic Barry Norman has died at the age of 83. The journalist and former BBC presenter died in his sleep on Friday night. Related: A delightful and intelligent critic: Barry Norman obituary Very sad to hear that Barry Norman has left us. A great critic and a lovely, lovely man.Sad to hear of Barry Norman’s departure. A film critic and a provider of fine pickled onions. That’s a good life https://t.co/g1fpNIkB0H Related: Barry Norman: 'The people I worked with were terrified of me' Continue reading...

Published 2017-07-1 12:37:59


Andy Serkis directorial debut Breathe to open 61st London film festival

Biopic of disability rights activist Robin Cavendish, starring Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy, will receive its European premiere at October event

Breathe, the directorial debut of Andy Serkis, has been selected as the opening film of this year’s BFI London film festival. Starring Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy, Breathe is based on the true story of Robin Cavendish, who was diagnosed with polio while in Kenya and given months to live, only to survive and become an advocate for the rights of disabled people. Foy plays Diana, Cavendish’s wife, who helped him come to terms with his illness, while Hugh Bonneville appears as scientist Teddy Hall, who aided Cavendish in developing a revolutionary wheelchair. Tom Hollander, Stephen Mangan and Diana Rigg also appear in the film. Related: The best films of 2017 so far Continue reading...

Published 2017-06-29 08:32:53


Researchers find 'culture of nepotism' in British film industry

Report shows striking lack of diversity and ‘significant obstacles’ for outsiders looking to break into industry

Nepotism, word-of-mouth employment practices and the widespread use of unpaid work experience have created a “pandemic lack of inclusion” in the British film industry, a report backed by movie producers Barbara Broccoli and Kathleen Kennedy says. Broccoli, producer of James Bond movies, and Kennedy, president of the Star Wars film-maker Lucasfilm, are throwing their weight behind a plan, backed by £20m of national lottery money, to improve diversity in the sector. Related: With Okja, does Netflix have its first blockbuster movie? Continue reading...

Published 2017-06-28 19:00:24


Academy invites record 744 new members amid effort to increase diversity

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 2017 class includes Gal Gadot and Barry Jenkins, attempting to make good on a promise to diversify

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Wednesday that it had invited a record 744 new members to its governing body, surpassing the 683 invitations issued in 2016. The Academy has been under pressure to diversify its membership for several years, reaching a crescendo in 2015, when all 20 acting nominees were white, prompting the viral hashtag #OscarsSoWhite and a collective push to ensure the awards show’s governing body included more women and people of color. Related: Moonlight's Barry Jenkins on Oscar fiasco: 'It’s messy, but it’s kind of gorgeous' Continue reading...

Published 2017-06-28 20:09:26


Rebel Wilson and Margot Robbie among Australians joining Academy

Thor star Chris Hemsworth, Joel Edgerton and Nick Cave also among Oscars organiser’s membership drive

Chris Hemsworth and Margot Robbie may not have Oscars but they will now be able to help decide who wins them. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has beefed up its Australian membership, with Hemsworth, Robbie, Joel Edgerton, Nick Cave and Rebel Wilson, on the back of her Australian court win, among the new recruits invited to join Hollywood’s most exclusive club. Related: Academy invites record 744 new members amid effort to increase diversity Continue reading...

Published 2017-06-28 23:44:34


R2-D2 droid used in Star Wars films sells for $2.76m

Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber and Darth Vader’s helmet prove less popular in California auction

An R2-D2 droid that was used in several Star Wars films has sold for millions at an auction in California. The auction house Profiles in History said the 43-inch (110cm) tall unit that was compiled from parts used throughout filming of the original trilogy sold for $2.76m on Wednesday. Related: World's most prolific Star Wars collector appeals to fans after 'devastating' theft Continue reading...

Published 2017-06-29 00:58:52


Michelle Rodriguez threatens to leave Fast and Furious over limited female roles

Actor hopes studio will ‘show some love to the women of the franchise on the next one... or I just might have to say goodbye’

Actor Michelle Rodriguez has threatened to leave the Fast and Furious film series if the franchise doesn’t improve the roles it creates for female actors. The actor, who stars as the street racer Leticia “Letty” Ortiz in the films, made the comments on Instagram. “F8 is out digitally today, I hope they decide to show some love to the women of the franchise on the next one,” she wrote, “or I just might have to say goodbye to a loved franchise.” F8 is out digitally today, I hope they decide to show some love to the women of the franchise on the next one. Or I just might have to say goodbye to a loved franchise. It's been a good ride & Im grateful for the opportunity the ...

Published 2017-06-28 09:26:12


Paddington Bear author Michael Bond dies aged 91

Creator of marmalade-loving bear from Peru, whose last story was published in April, has died after a short illness

Michael Bond, the creator of the beloved children’s character Paddington Bear, has died aged 91. Bond, who published his first book, A Bear Called Paddington, about the marmalade-loving bear from deepest, darkest Peru, in 1958, died at home after a short illness. Related: Paddington through the ages – in pictures Continue reading...

Published 2017-06-28 13:35:20


Transformers: The Last Knight wreaks metallic mayhem at UK box office

Fifth instalment of the rampaging-robots franchise topples Wonder Woman, while Diane Keaton lights up Hampstead in a kooky romance

Transformers: The Last Knight, the latest in a seemingly endless series of sequels and brand exploitations this summer, had no problem shoving Wonder Woman off the top spot after a three-week stay, nabbing first place with £4.64m, including £734,000 in previews. That’s almost as much as the weekend box office for the rest of the top 10 put together. Continue reading...

Published 2017-06-27 15:13:50


Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist, of Dragon Tattoo and John Wick, dies at 56

The actor, who appeared as Mikael Blomkvist in the Swedish adaptations of the Stieg Larsson novels, has died of lung cancer

Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist has died at the age of 56. He had been battling lung cancer. The Stockholm-born actor was best known for his role as Mikael Blomkvist in the original Swedish Dragon Tattoo trilogy, which included The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. Continue reading...

Published 2017-06-27 21:23:38


What lies beneath the brave new world of feminist dystopian sci-fi?

From the Bailey-prize-winning The Power to the bleakly compelling The Handmaid’s Tale, Leading writers explain why the genre is thriving

On an Earth blasted by the hot winds of a changed climate 200 years from now, who will be in charge? Will men be riding by in Mad Max steam-punk chariots, as their beleaguered wives drag children and sacks of provisions home along dusty tracks? Or will a liberated generation of Lycra-clad superwomen be running the world? Much of the established political order has come under exceptional scrutiny, from the future of Europe to Trump’s America. Now a matching literary revolution is under way: a new breed of women’s “speculative” fiction, positing altered sexual and social hierarchies, is riding the radical tide. Related: Dystopian dreams: how feminist science fiction predicted the ...

Published 2017-06-24 21:45:11


Johnny Depp jokes about killing Donald Trump in Glastonbury appearance

‘When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?’ star asks crowd at a drive-in cinema at the festival

Johnny Depp joked about assassinating Donald Trump during an appearance at Glastonbury. The actor received a rock star welcome during the event at Cineramageddon – a drive-in cinema on the Somerset site. Related: Is it time for Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow to walk the plank? Continue reading...

Published 2017-06-23 08:20:47


Johnny Depp jokes about killing Trump in Glastonbury appearance

‘When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?’ star asks crowd at a drive-in cinema at the festival

Johnny Depp joked about assassinating Donald Trump during an appearance at Glastonbury. The actor received a rock star welcome during the event at Cineramageddon – a drive-in cinema on the Somerset site. Related: The Libertine loses by a nose Continue reading...

Published 2017-06-22 23:18:14


George Clooney sells his tequila company for up to $1bn

Casamigos, which star founded with Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman, bought by Smirnoff and Johnnie Walker owner Diageo

A tequila company co-founded by George Clooney has been sold to UK drinks firm Diageo for up to $1bn (£790m). The company behind Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker and Baileys announced it would buy Casamigos, created four years ago by the American actor, together with Cindy Crawford’s husband Rande Gerber and property developer Mike Meldman. Diageo said it was the fastest-growing super-premium tequila brand in the US. Related: Business Today: sign up for a morning shot of financial news Continue reading...

Published 2017-06-22 08:35:37


Ron Howard signed up to direct Star Wars spin-off Han Solo movie

Veteran director takes over after Lego Movie co-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller fired two days ago after clashing with studio heads

The Da Vinci Code’s Ron Howard has replaced The Lego Movie’s Phil Lord and Chris Miller as director of the Han Solo spin-off movie, the much-anticipated new instalment of the Star Wars standalone series. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Howard joined the film two days after Lord and Miller were sensationally fired over “creative differences” with the film’s producers Lucasfilm. Reports have suggested clashes with veteran scriptwriter Lawrence Kasdan were at least partly responsible. Related: Star Wars: Han Solo spin-off directors fired after 'creative differences' Continue reading...

Published 2017-06-22 15:10:22


Diverse casting leads to box office success, study shows

A study released by the Creative Artists Agency showed that, from 2014 to 2016, films with more diverse casts out-performed others at the box office

A new study by the Creative Artists Agency (CAA) says that films with more diverse casts perform better at the box office than less diverse ones, confirming what people and actors of color have been contending for years. The data, which studied 413 films released between January 2014 and December 2016, catalogued the ethnicity of the top 10 actors per film, noting that those with at least a 30% non-white cast have tended to financially outperform films that fail to reach that threshold. Related: Wonder Woman breaks box office record for female director Continue reading...

Published 2017-06-21 21:01:45


Rebel Wilson seeks almost $6m in damages over Bauer Media defamation

Legal team says claim ‘extremely conservative’ as Hollywood agent tells court Wilson could have commanded US$5m to US$6m a film after Pitch Perfect 2’s success

Rebel Wilson should receive A$5.93m in special damages to make up for lost film opportunities after defamatory articles branded her a serial liar, her lawyers say. The “extremely conservative” claim by her defence follows the star’s defamation win against gossip magazine publisher Bauer Media last week. Related: Rebel Wilson has landed a blow on the relentlessly aggressive media | Van Badham Related: Rebel Wilson: the tall poppy with a blade of her own Continue reading...

Published 2017-06-21 05:19:24


Star Wars: Han Solo spin-off directors fired after 'creative differences'

Studio and directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller part ways during production as directors say ‘for once the cliche creative differences is true’

The directors of the forthcoming Star Wars Han Solo spin-off have parted ways with the studio midway through the film’s production. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said that Phil Lord and Christopher Miller had left the production due to “different creative visions” for the film, which stars Alden Ehrenreich as a young version of beloved Star Wars character Han Solo. Continue reading...

Published 2017-06-21 08:25:25


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