THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – SXSW has announced the feature film lineup for the 25th edition of the Austin-based festival, which will open with the world premiere of horror thriller A Quiet Place from director John Krasinski.
Other headliner screenings include the Kay Cannon comedy Blockers, starring John Cena and Leslie Mann, and Geoffrey Rush-led The Final Portrait from director Stanley Tucci. Christopher Plummer’s family dramedy Boundaries and Daryl Hannah’s Paradox will also debut.
Comedy Write When You Get Work, Jim Cummings’ Thunder Road and Melanie Lynskey starrer Sadie are among the films in the narrative feature competition, while the doc competition will see screenings of titles that tackle everything from Nicaragua’s 1979 Sandinista revolution to transgender persons in the military.
The full lineup will include 43 films from first-time filmmakers, along with 82 world premieres. New this year is an independent episodic section, an expansion of the fest’s episodic section that, this year, will feature the premiere of Barry, directed by Bill Hader, and Jordan Peele’s The Last O.G., starring Tracey Morgan.
“2018 marks the 25th edition of the SXSW Film Festival and my tenth year at the helm,” said Janet Pierson, SXSW’s director of film. “As we look back on the body of work of talent discovered, careers launched and wonderful films we’ve enjoyed, we couldn’t be more excited about the future. This year’s slate, while peppered with works from many of our alumni, remains focused on new voices, new directors and a range of films that entertain and enlighten.”
As previously announced, the festival’s speakers series will include Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, Girls creator Lena Dunham, actor Ethan Hawke and director Spike Lee.
The 25th edition of SXSW will run March 9-18 in Austin, Texas.
Well, I kind of love this news. I’m a huge Disney fan–both movies and parks, and the Jungle Cruise attraction is no exception. Here’s to hoping this film turns out to be great, it’s certainly a step closer to achieving that now!
VARIETY – Emily Blunt is set to star alongside Dwayne Johnson in Disney’s “Jungle Cruise,” sources tell Variety.
Jaume Collet-Serra is on board to direct the film based on the Walt Disney World ride. Oscar nominee Michael Green (“Logan”) penned the most recent draft of the script. He rewrote a screenplay by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay. The film is based on the classic theme park attraction, which operates in several Disney Parks across the globe and takes guests on a guided tour through the rivers of the world.
Disney sees the film as another major franchise in the vein of its billion dollar “Pirates of the Caribbean” series and Johnson and Collet-Serra have found time in the stars busy schedule to map out how they see this film going.
Johnson and the team see the film inspired by “The African Queen” starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn and hope to see the similar kind of chemistry with this pairing. Sources say Disney has been over the moon with early footage of Blunt in “Mary Poppins” returns and was looking for a way to keep her in the family with another potential franchise.
Johnson is coming off his monster hit “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” which just crossed the $800 million world wide box office milestone which includes $337 million at the domestic box office. The star has busy 2018 ahead of him with his tentpoles “Rampage” and “Skyscraper” both bowing this year.
John Davis and John Fox will produce via Davis Entertainment; Beau Flynn will produce with his FlynnPictureCo. banner; and Johnson, Dany Garcia, and Hiram Garcia will produce through Seven Bucks Productions. Scott Sheldon is co-producing.
“Jungle Cruise” is currently slated to go into production in May.
The film marks Blunt’s third collaboration with Disney, having previously worked on the musical “Into the Woods” and the upcoming “Mary Poppins Returns,” where she will star as the title character opposite Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Blunt can be seen next in Paramount’s supernatural horror film “A Quiet Place” opposite husband John Krasinski, who is also directing. She is repped by CAA and Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern.
Looking beautiful as ever, Emily made her first appearance of 2018 at the Christian Dior show held at Paris Fashion Week. I’ve uploaded a small batch of images, courtesy of my friend Emily. Enjoy! More photos will follow soon.
METRO – The casting of Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins Returns was met with universal approval. That was hardly a surprise, as not only does the 34-year-old bear a striking resemblance to Julie Andrews but she possesses the same spirit and presence, too.
Ben Whishaw, who is playing Michael Banks in “Mary Poppins Returns,” has now opened up about his original reaction to Blunt’s casting, while also explaining how the actress has somehow managed the impossible by both “honoring the folk memory of Julie Andrews” and making the character “her own.”
“I just thought it was a brilliant piece of casting. I think she’s going to be incredible in the film. She’s a brilliant actress full-stop, but she’s also a brilliant comedian and a brilliant singer.”
“From what I have seen, and what I can gather, she is doing that very difficult thing of honoring the folk memory of Julie Andrews that is in everyone’s childhood, and also really making it her own role. That’s going back to the P.L. Travers books.”
“I think she has found something really original. I’m really excited to see it.”
What a way to start the year! Emily is at last, after a relatively quiet 2017, back on the newsstands. She’s the cover star of the February issue of Vanity Fair, and is featured in a gorgeous new photoshoot. You can find the full interview below as well as photos from the shoot in the gallery. I’ll do my best to provide further coverage as soon as its available.
VANITY FAIR – Emily Blunt has sparred with Meryl Streep (twice), out-action-starred Tom Cruise, and ruled the British Empire on-screen. But on this blustery Brooklyn afternoon in November, the 34-year-old English-born actress—surprisingly delicate in person, given the strength she projects on film—is perched on a window seat in a Cobble Hill café, laughing about her first professional heartbreak.
Blunt was 18 and playing Judi Dench’s granddaughter in the 2001 West End production of The Royal Family. If this scenario sounds ludicrously heaven-sent, know that Blunt is the first to admit it. She never intended to act professionally (the hobby was an antidote to a childhood stutter), but there she was. Blunt, who was still living with her parents in London, had no formal training. And Dench—fresh off her Shakespeare in Love Oscar win—had kindly taken her under her wing.
“I was a kid and could have meant nothing to her, but every day after work she invited me to her dressing room,” says Blunt, giddily recalling backstage visits from Johnny Depp and Pierce Brosnan. “It was crazy to me. I was drinking champagne and pretending I knew what anyone was talking about.”
USA TODAY – Emily Blunt acknowledges that it’s hard to put in words what it’s like to play author P.L. Travers’ iconic nanny, though “joyful” and “utterly magical” do come up in conversation. Julie Andrews played the role in 1964 and the flying umbrella passes to Blunt for a sequel set in 1930s Depression-era London, where Poppins revisits a now-grown Michael (Ben Whishaw) and Jane Banks (Emily Mortimer) when their family needs her again. Back in the day, a spoonful of sugar helped the medicine go down, but Blunt’s Poppins hews more to Travers’ literary character. “I just loved how eccentric and wacky she is in the books — incredibly vain and rude to the children,” Blunt says. “As a British person, I really responded to that lack of saccharine relationships. I find it comforting the idea of someone just sweeping in who’s no-nonsense and cleaning everything up and making everything right again in a magical way that’s not sentimental.”