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.
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.”
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.”
Although it just recently wrapped shooting in New York, the first teaser trailer for John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place debuted yesterday. The footage fortunately doesn’t give away too much, and the concept looks quite original and intriguing. There’s still no official synopsis for the film, but more details will no doubt emerge very soon. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the trailer below.
BACKSTAGE – Talk about a power couple. Husband and wife duo Emily Blunt and John Krasinski will team up onscreen for the first time in the feature film, “A Quiet Place.” But the collaboration is not just one in front of the camera.
In addition to starring, Krasinski will also write and direct the horror-suspense film. Though “The Office” alum has directed two films previously, “A Quiet Place,” from Paramount/Platinum Dunes, will mark his first directorial gig with a major studio.
Details about the project’s plot are scant so far, however, we do know production is slated to begin this September in upstate New York. We also know that Blunt and Krasinski will play parents, while “Suburbicon” actor Noah Jupe has signed on for the role of their son.
Laura Rosenthal and Maribeth Fox are splitting duties as casting directors.
Krasinski will executive produce along with Allyson Seeger and Scott Beck & Bryan Woods. Michael Bay, Andrew Form, and Brad Fuller, meanwhile, will produce.
Courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, I’ve updated the gallery with some great new photos from Mary Poppins Returns–including stills and images from rehearsals.