Sam Mendes Will No Longer Direct Disney’s Live-Action Pinocchio Film

Sam Mendes is out as director for Disney's live-action Pinocchio

Sam Mendes is out as director for Disney’s live-action Pinocchio

Director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, SPECTRE) will no longer direct Disney’s live-action version of their animated classic Pinocchio, according to Tracking Board. The director originally left the live-action James and the Giant Peach to take on Pinocchio. There is no word on whether or not Mendes’ departure from the film means that he’ll direct the next James Bond film. We’ll update you with any developments in that area.

RELATED: Sam Mendes in talks to direct live-action Pinocchio for Disney

The Walt Disney Studios film will center on the wooden puppet who dreams of becoming a “real boy,” and the relationship between a father and son, the ramifications of lying and creating stories and living in a fantasy world. The original Pinocchio, based on the 1883 novel “The Adventures Of Pinocchio” by Carlo Collodi, first debuted in theaters in 1940 and won two Academy Awards. There is no release date set for the live action Pinocchio.

Mendes is known for directing the 1999 film American Beauty, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Director. He’s also known for films like The Road to Perdition starring Tom Hanks, Paul Newman and Jude Law, the James Bond films SPECTRE and Skyfall. He’s also done musicals like “Caberet,” “Oliver!,” “Company” and “Gypsy.” He’s also the executive producer for the TV series The Hollow Crown and Penny Dreadful.

In the 1940 Disney-animated film Pinocchio, the lead role was voiced by Dickie Jones, Jiminy Cricket by Cliff Edwards and Master Geppetto by Christian Rubb.

So what do you guys think of a live action Pinocchio? Who would you like to see direct the film now that Sam Mendes has left? Who should play the lead role? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

(Photo credit: Getty Images)

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Multi-Part Documentaries Like ‘O.J.: Made in America’ No Longer Eligible to Win Oscars

top 10 movies of 2016 oj made in america

One of the biggest film-related arguments of the past year was whether or not Ezra Edelman’s superlative documentary O.J.: Made in America should have been eligible for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. There were passionate advocates on both sides, and the nearly eight-hour doc ended up winning the Oscar. But it seems like that argument may only happen once, because the Academy has just adopted a new rule that means multi-part documentaries can’t win Oscars in the future.

The Hollywood Reporter brings word about the new rule change, which states “multi-part or limited series are not eligible for awards consideration.” Moving forward, producers will no longer be allowed to put multi-part documentaries in theaters to earn Oscar consideration.

There is a slight catch:

There does, however, appear to be one way a doc like O.J. could make the cut. O.J. played numerous festivals where it was regarded as a film in the run-up to its Academy-qualifying run, and if producers of a multi-part project followed that route, they could still argue to the branch’s exec committee that their film deserved consideration.

O.J.: Made in America premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival as a film, airing in its entirety with one intermission taking place during the screening. After making a few other stops on the festival circuit, the documentary had a limited theatrical run in both New York and Los Angeles before eventually making its way to television, airing in five parts across ABC and ESPN.

Supporters said that the cohesive subject matter and the fact that it premiered as a film (as opposed to just being dropped into theaters for a qualifying run later) were enough for it to be considered a movie, but detractors claimed that since most people saw it broken up in parts on television, it should be considered a TV show or limited series.

New rules be damned: I still consider O.J.: Made in America a movie, and it was one of my favorite films of 2016. It’s a staggering piece of work that earns its length by providing essential context and setting up the state of the country leading up to O.J. Simpson’s murder trial, and I truly think everyone should watch it (even if you’re O.J.’ed out after watching FX’s American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson).

There was apparently such an outcry about the film vs. TV distinction in the documentary community that the Academy needed to step in to try to prevent this from happening again. I can understand where they’re coming from; film fans should never want discussion about a movie to get buried under a larger controversy. (See also: coverage of Moonlight‘s historic Best Picture win being partially overshadowed by the bungled announcement during the ceremony.)

But it sounds like instead of putting this issue to bed once and for all, this new rule leaves a little leeway for future docs to possibly squeeze through. So it’s probably only a matter of time before this argument rears its head once again. What do you think? Is O.J.: Made in America a movie? Should future projects like it be eligible for Oscars?

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Facebook creeping is no longer totally anonymous


Facebook’s new “Stories” update is here, and it ruins the best part about the entire social network: Mindlessly plumbing your friends’ lives without fear of getting caught.

When you watch a friend’s Story — which exists for 24 hours and is comprised of one or more photos or short videos — that friend will know you’re creeping. This is how Stories work on basically every platform that supports them (Snapchat, Instagram), but in the context of Facebook, it’s kind of messed up.

First, for reference, here’s what that looks like:

Here's a story I posted today.

Here’s a story I posted today.

Image: Facebook

A list of people who viewed one of my stories.

A list of people who viewed one of my stories.

Image: Facebook Read more…

More about Social Media, Facebook Stories, Snapchat, Facebook, and Tech

Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Television Series ‘The One Percent’ No Longer at Starz

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu - The One Percent Series

Academy Award-winning director Alejandro G. Iñárritu‘s (The Revenant) television series, The One Percent, now needs a new home. After some production delays, Starz decided to let go of the series they gave a straight-to-series order to back in 2014. The One Percent, which Iñárritu is going to shoot in sequence, is set to star Hilary Swank and Greg Kinnear, and Ed Harris might join them.

Below, learn more about the The One Percent series.

Deadline reports the show will try move forward with Kinnear now co-starring. Originally, The Once Percent was going to star Ed Helms (Cedar Rapids), but his departure goes unexplained. Swank and Kinner will play a family trying to keep their declining farm afloat. Alfred and Laura Murphy are nearly ruined until fate — “a bizarre twist” — somehow intervenes. We’ll have to wait and see what causes the change, but based on the plot description, it’ll either make or break them.

As for whether Harris will appear in The One Percent, that’s not a done deal. It all depends on whether his schedule on Westworld shakes out. He signed on for The Once Percent almost three years ago, but he joined Westworld before that, which takes top priority. The Appaloosa director — quickly imagine how great a Harris-directed episode of Westworld could be — would guest star as the family patriarch.

Iñárritu shot The Revenant and Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorancein sequence, which helped cause his epic revenge tale to run over budget but it also may have been a great benefit to the visually stunning experience and overall success of the film. It’s sometimes not the most convenient scheduling, but that’s how Iñárritu and all involved are planning the shoot The One Percent. Iñárritu will direct the first two episodes. The hope is to start shooting in the next few months, but it all depends if MRC can find another network. When Starz first picked up the show and ordered ten episodes, MRC was reportedly fielding multiple offers.

The project reunites the Iñárritu with various collaborators. He created and wrote the series with Armando Bo, Nicolás Giacobone, and Alexander Dinelaris Jr. The four of them were awarded Oscars for writing Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). They’re all executive producing the show along with Amy Kaufman (Billions). Cinematographer extraordinaire Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity) and production designer Jack Fist (The Revenant) are working on The One Percent as well.

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Ben Affleck Will No Longer Direct The Batman

Ben Affleck Will No Longer Direct The Batman

Ben Affleck will no longer direct The Batman

Ben Affleck has stepped down as director of The Batman, reports Variety. Affleck will of course still star, and he will remain a producer on the solo film.

“There are certain characters who hold a special place in the hearts of millions,” Affleck said in a statement. “Performing this role demands focus, passion and the very best performance I can give. It has become clear that I cannot do both jobs to the level they require. Together with the studio, I have decided to find a partner in a director who will collaborate with me on this massive film. I am still in this, and we are making it, but we are currently looking for a director. I remain extremely committed to this project, and look forward to bringing this to life for fans around the world.”

Warner Bros. Pictures added: “Warner Bros. fully supports Ben Affleck’s decision and remains committed to working with him to bring a standalone Batman picture to life.”

The studio and Affleck will now begin searching for a new director. Variety says there is a shortlist and they are hearing that War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves is among those on the list.


Affleck will face off against Joe Manganiello, who will play Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke, in the film. Additional appearances by Jeremy Irons as Alfred and J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon are expected to happen as well.

An official release date for The Batman, written by Affleck and Geoff Johns, hasn’t been set. Affleck will next appear as Batman in Justice League, opening in theaters on November 17. You can view photos from that film in the gallery below.

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Amy Adams’ Janis Joplin Biopic Is No Longer Happening

Amy Adams in American Hustle

Amy Adams has been attached to star in a Janis Joplin biopic for several years, and in 2014 the project seemed to pick up steam when Wild and Dallas Buyers Club director Jean-Marc Vallée signed on to direct. But alas, it now appears the film is dead for good. In a recent interview, Vallée confirmed that he and Adams were no longer working on Get It While You Can

Vallée has been making the rounds to promote Big Little Lies, the HBO miniseries that he directed. Next up for him is Sharp Objects, another HBO miniseries. That one stars Adams, and while discussing the project Vallée mentioned that their Joplin pic had been cancelled. “We’re starting very soon,” he told Collider. “I committed to that before Big Little Lies. I was working with Amy Adams on the Janis [Joplin] project that we’re finally not doing, and she invited me to play in her new sandbox, doing a TV series.”

Adams boarded the Joplin biopic around 2010, at which point Fernando Meirelles was attached to helm. That didn’t pan out. In 2013, director Lee Daniels said Get It While You Can would be “[his] next project for sure.” That didn’t pan out either. Eventually Vallée climbed into the director’s chair. Before Adams was attached, Reese Witherspoon and Renee Zellweger were linked to the lead role, and Catherine Hardwicke once considered directing. It’s always possible the project will get revived in another form somewhere down the line, but it won’t be Adams and Vallée’s version.

In the meantime, Janis Joplin fans can take heart in the fact that there’s another long-gestating biopic still in the works. Just a few months ago, Michelle Williams signed on to star in a Joplin movie to be directed by Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene). And fans of Vallée and Adams’ work can look forward to Sharp Objects, an adaptation of the novel by Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn.

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