LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Martin Scorsese will exec produce an authorized documentary on The Grateful Dead, aimed at coinciding with the band's 50th anniversary next year.
The documentary will be directed by Amir Bar-Lev, whose credits include "The Tillman Story" and "Happy Valley."
Scorsese has been involved in music documentaries dating back to serving as an assistant director and editor on Michael Wadleigh's "Woodstock" in 1970. He directed 1978's "The Last Waltz" and 2011's "George Harrison: Living in the Material World."
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Aaron Sorkin has confirmed that Christian Bale will play Steve Jobs in Sony's upcoming biopic about the Apple co-founder. Sorkin penned the script and Danny Boyle is attached to direct.
In an interview with Bloomberg, the Oscar-winning screenwriter revealed that Bale wasn't required to audition for the role. "There was a meeting. The role is an extremely difficult role; he has more words to say in this movie than most people have in three movies combined. There isn't a scene or frame that he's not in," Sorkin explained.
For Sorkin, Bale was apparently the clear choice: "We needed the best actor on the board in a certain age range and that's Chris Bale," he said. "It's an extremely difficult part and he's gonna crush it."
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Margot Robbie looks ready to reteam with her "Focus" directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa: The "The Wolf of Wall Street" actress is in talks to join Tina Fey in their next pic, "The Taliban Shuffle."
Paramount is distributing with Fey and Lorne Michaels producing.
The film is based on Kim Barker's memoir, "The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan," which recounts her years as a journalist in Afghanistan and Pakistan after arriving in the region in 2002.
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Marvel and Disney's first trailer for "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" arrived Thursday night after being leaked online earlier in the day.
The clip, which features never-before-seen footage including scenes with the villainous Ultron (James Spader), was expected to debut during next week's "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" on ABC.
Marvel acknowledged the leak via a meta Tweet:
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. documentary maker Laura Poitras has found herself in many a risky situation in Iraq and Yemen. But she never felt in as much danger as when she was filming Edward Snowden in a Hong Kong hotel while he prepared to blow the whistle on massive secret surveillance programs run by the U.S. government.
Those tense eight days form the centerpiece of "Citizenfour," her account of how the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor decided in 2013 to release to the media tens of thousands of classified documents, and the global repercussions of that action.
"I think he (Snowden) was certainly in danger and I certainly had a lot of fear. I have worked in conflict zones but I felt more fear working on this film than I did when working in Baghdad," Poitras told Reuters.
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - The latest "Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" teaser explores the concept of "choice" -- pondering who actually has one in the desperate fight against the Capitol. In the new trailer, the rebels of District 13 witness Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) acting as a mouthpiece for President Snow (Donald Sutherland) in a piece of propaganda, prompting Gale (Liam Hemsworth) to condemn him for making that choice when he knows what's at stake.
But while Peeta is left without options, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) still has the freedom to take a stand and launch a rescue attempt, insisting that "when you love somebody, you don't leave them behind."
"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" hits theaters on November 21.
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - When Matthew McConaughey began receiving raves for a string of dramatic roles in films like "Mud," "Killer Joe" and "Dallas Buyers Club," there were many who praised the actor for turning his back on the romantic comedies that helped make him a star. McConaughey himself was not one of them.
"I love those movies," he said in an interview with Variety in January, shortly before winning the Academy Award, praising hits like "The Wedding Planner" and "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days." He even defended the ones that weren't as well received. " 'Failure to Launch' got panned, but I like it!"
McConaughey is well aware of the spin that others try to put on his career; that he abandoned easy roles and paychecks for darker parts. "The narrative that people keep wanting to get at is the then and now," he said. "The then and now narrative is that romcoms aren't critical hits and they're easy. And they're not."
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - James Gunn didn't shy away from teasing spoilers about his "Guardians of the Galaxy" sequel at Variety's Entertainment & Technology Summit Tuesday.
"It's going to be a really surprising open. What happens is all the characters are killed in the first 10 minutes," Gunn joked. "In really horribly brutal fashion."
Jokes aside, Gunn confirmed that all five original Guardians will be back, along with unspecified other characters from the first film, and that fans may see the team adding members. Gunn also said the new film will uncover some secrets posed in the first.