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Warner Bros. Considering ‘Formidable’ Oscar Campaign for Wonder Woman

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Following a flurry of great reviews and a trail of broken box office records in its path, Warner Bros. Pictures is setting their sights on the next goal for their hit film Wonder Woman: an Oscar.

Variety reports that the studio is considering a “formidable awards-season campaign” for the film, targeting both a Best Picture nomination for the film and Best Director nomination for Patty Jenkins. To date, only four women have been nominated for the Best Director Oscar: Lina Wertmüller (Seven Beauties), Jane Campion (The Piano), Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation), and Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty), with Bigelow being the only winner. Jenkins’ first film, Monster, secured Charlize Theron her own Best Actress Academy Award.

This news should come as no surprise, however, as Warner Bros. has put their weight behind many of their superhero films throughout the years, including “For Your Consideration” campaigns for Superman Returns, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, and Man of Steel. These campaigns produced mixed results, with The Dark Knight Rises and Man of Steel securing no nominations, and Superman Returns and Batman Begins both earning one each (Visual Effects and Cinematography, respectively). The Dark Knight went on to land eight total nominations, including Cinematography, Editing, Art Direction, Make-Up, Sound Mixing, and Visual Effects, while winning two awards for Sound Editing and Heath Ledger’s posthumous Best Supporting Actor win.

The visual effects and Make-Up Oscars are par for the course for many comic book based movies with only a few (and specifically, cape free adaptations) gaining more. Notable adaptations to gain Oscar attention include Ghost World, American Splendor, and A History of Violence, which all received Best Adapted Screenplay nominations (in addition to a Best Supporting Actor nomination for William Hurt in the later).

Ever since the Best Picture rules change in 2009 (arguably done in response to The Dark Knight‘s nomination snub), up to ten features are capable of being nominated for the top prize and some blockbuster films have managed to make their way into the race, including District 9, Inception, Gravity, American Sniper, The Martian, and Mad Max: Fury Road.

Would you like to see Wonder Woman become an Oscar nominee next year? Sound off in the comments below!

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Harvey Weinstein ‘doesn’t recall pressuring Salma Hayek’ for an intimate scene in Frida, says statement

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On Wednesday (13 December) Hollywood actress Salma Hayek wrote an op-ed on The New York Times detailing her harrowing experiences with the disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Salma Hayek (left); Harvey Weinstein (right). Images via Facebook

Salma Hayek (left); Harvey Weinstein (right). Images via Facebook

She had alleged that her continuous rebuffing of Weinstein’s sexual advances had brought upon the wrath of the latter on to her, especially during the shoot of the 2002 film Frida. She said Weinstein forced her to do an intimate scene, which was not required at all, with co-actress Ashley Judd. Along with that, she was also subjected to physical assaults, death threats by him.

In a recent statement, Weinstein denied Hayek’s accusations saying all of them were not accurate. He especially refutes Hayek’s claims of having been pressurised by him into doing intimate scenes with Judd in Frida.

Vanity Fair carries a report which contains the whole statement issued by Weinstein’s spokesperson:

Mr Weinstein regards Salma Hayek as a first-class actress and cast her in several of his movies, among them Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Dogma, and Studio 54. He was very proud of her best-actress Academy Award nomination for Frida and continues to support her work.

While Jennifer Lopez was interested in playing Frida and at the time was a bigger star, Mr Weinstein overruled other investors to back Salma as the lead. Miramax put up half of the money and all of the P&A; the budget was over $12 million. As in most collaborative projects, there was creative friction on Frida, but it served to drive the project to perfection. The movie opened in multiple theaters and was supported by a huge advertising campaign and an enormous Academy Awards budget.

Mr Weinstein does not recall pressuring Salma to do a gratuitous sex scene with a female co-star and he was not there for the filming. However, that was part of the story, as Frida Kahlo was bisexual and the more significant sex scene in the movie was choreographed by Ms Hayek with Geoffrey Rush. The original unibrow used was an issue because it diverted attention from the performances. All of the sexual allegations as portrayed by Salma are not accurate and others who witnessed the events have a different account of what transpired.

Ed Norton, who was Ms Hayek’s boyfriend at the time, [worked with Mr Weinstein on the rewrite of the script in Mexico] did a brilliant job of rewriting the script and Mr Weinstein battled the WGA to get him a credit on the film. His effort was unsuccessful to everyone’s disappointment.

By Mr Weinstein’s own admission, his boorish behavior following a screening of Frida was prompted by his disappointment in the cut of the movie—and a reason he took a firm hand in the final edit, alongside the very skilled director Julie Taymor.

Hayek hasn’t yet responded to Weinstein’s denial of the accounts mentioned by her on The New York Times‘ op-ed.


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Fukrey Returns box office: Richa Chadha, Ali Fazal starrer steadily inches towards 50 cr

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The ground-breaking success Fukrey Returns proves that 2017 was a year of comedy sequels.

Starring Richa Chadha, Pulkit Samrat, Ali Fazal, Varun Sharma and Manjot Singh in leading roles, the cult comedy is steadily inching closer to the 50 crore mark. Its current box office collections stand at a neat Rs 46.65 crore.

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Richa Chadha in a still from Fukrey Returns. YouTube

Backed by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani’s Excel Entertainment, the film had crossed the 40 crore mark in just five days — unusual for a film with a cult following. It also saw consistent growth in the opening weekend.

Internationally, too, the film has been doing great and has minted over Rs 5 crore, its key markets being the USA and the UAE.

All the cast members reprise their roles in the second installment of the Fukrey Franchise, which revolves around two boys — Hunny and Chucha and their amusing encounters.


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Rajinikanth sets aside six days to meet fans; thousands of people expected to attend

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If you’re a superstar Rajinikanth fan, here’s your chance to get a photo clicked with your matinee idol. For the second time this year, the 67-year-old actor is all set to meet his fans later this month and it is expected that thousands of people are likely to grace the occasion.

In a statement released by All India Rajinikanth Fans Association on Thursday, it has been confirmed that Rajinikanth will meet his fans from December 26-31 at his Raghavendra hall. The statement added that over 1000 people per day are expected to attend the event and therefore police protection has been sought.

Letter written by All India Rajinikanth Fans association.

“He couldn’t meet most of his fans earlier this year in May. This time he hopes to meet as many as possible during the six days. A photo session from 8 am to 3 pm on all days has been planned just as last time. He will also address the gathering as and when possible,” a source close to Rajinikanth told Firstpost.

In May, addressing a large gathering of his fans, Rajinikanth clarified that he hasn’t completely ruled out a career in politics and that he will take the path if god willing. “At every phase, God decides what we have to do in life. As an actor I have a responsibility and I’m fulfilling it now. If god willing, I will enter politics. If I enter, I’ll be honest and won’t entertain those who see this as easy means to make money.”

Talking about his brief stint in politics when he supported DMK in 1996 Tamil Nadu assembly elections, he said it was a political accident. “Supporting a political alliance 21 years ago was a mistake on my part. My name was misused by a lot of politicians and some of them even earned money using my name. My support is for no party,” he added.

Rajinikanth. PTI Image.

Rajinikanth also warned his fans to stay away from drinking and smoking. He said that not only does these habits affect someone’s health but also their decision making ability. “I always used to wonder how people can lose their whole wealth just by drinking. It took me a while to realise that drinking leads to bad decision making and some bad decisions and end someone’s life. I have been personally affected by drinking and smoking, please don’t fall prey to it.”

On the career front, Rajinikanth awaits the release of 2.0 and Kaala. Both these films – which are riding on high stakes – are expected to hit the screens in 2018. Shankar-directed magnum opus 2.0, with a budget of Rs. 450 cr, is set for release on April 27, 2018.

Pa. Ranjith’s Kaala, in which Rajinikanth plays a slum lord-turned-gangster, is most likely to release during summer of 2018. It is strongly believed that he will take his political plunge in 2019.


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