LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Michelle MacLaren is set to develop and direct Warner Bros.' "Wonder Woman" movie starring Gal Gadot.
As Variety previously reported, MacLaren had been in talks to come on board as the film's director for some time and sources now confirm she's signed on. Charles Roven is producing.
Warner Bros. had no comment on the story. The pic will bow in 2017.
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Three sisters are haunted by the ghost of their mother in "The Midnight Swim," a psychodrama that flirts with going just plain psycho. The thriller trappings include framing everything the audience sees as footage from one sister's documentary project, but this confident feature-length debut from writer-director Sarah Adina Smith never quite crosses the line into true supernatural horror. Without a clear-cut genre hook, commercial prospects are likely to be limited for a film that otherwise positions Smith as a talent to watch. After making its debut at the Fantasia International Film Festival in July, pic recently won an audience award in AFI Fest's Breakthrough section.
Somewhat estranged siblings Annie (Jennifer Lafleur), Isa (Aleksa Palladino) and June (Lindsay Burdge) convene at their late mother's lakeside home to spend some quality time together and decide what to do with the property. Annie wants to sell it, while Isa proposes transforming it into an artistic retreat -- in keeping with the hippie-ish spirit of environmentalist mom Amelia (Beth Grant). June withdraws behind her camera, occasionally turning the lens on herself for confessional moments that suggest her shy demeanor may mask more severe mental issues.
In between the type of family squabbling, reconciling and reminiscing one would expect in a microbudget mumblecore drama, unusual events begin to pile up. Isa finds herself drawn to Annie's one-time crush Josh (Ross Partridge), a divorced dad who never left the area and reminds the girls of a local legend about seven sisters who drowned, one after another, in the lake. A half-hearted alcohol-fueled attempt to conjure the spirits of those sisters late one night unsurprisingly fails, but the mysterious aftermath includes dead birds turning up on the doorstep and time-lapse footage appearing on June's camera without explanation.
Anna Marie de la Fuente
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - MAR DEL PLATA -- "Evita," Pablo Aguero's long-gestating pic about the strange but true 25-year odyssey of the corpse of former Argentine First Lady Evita Peron, is set to start principal photography in January.
Shoot was originally scheduled for early 2014. Mexico's Gael Garcia Bernal, Denis Lavant, Daniel Fanego, and Nahuel P. Biscayart comprise the cast, as well as Spain's Imanol Arias who recently boarded to play the doctor who embalms Peron's body.
Mia Maestro, who was tipped to play Evita, has dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. Maestro is in Toronto, Canada until May for the production of season two of Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan's vampire TV series "The Strain." She recently released her debut album, "Si Agua" (If Water) in October.
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Special investigators for the London Police arrested two men on suspicion of stealing a copy of Lionsgate's "The Expendables 3" and uploading it to piracy services more than three weeks prior to the film's theatrical release.
Detectives from the City of London Police's Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit on Tuesday arrested a 36-year-old man at his home in Upton, Wirral, and a 33-year-old man at his home in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire. Officials did not release the names of the individuals, who were taken to local police stations for questioning.
The pair are believed to have stolen the film from a "cloud-based system" before uploading it to the Internet, police said. The London Police unit didn't identify how detectives tracked down the two men, or from which service they are believed to have purloined the film.
Marc Graser, Variety.com
The Force is coming to a Philadelphia theater on Friday.
Lucasfilm and Disney will premiere the first trailer for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" at 30 venues run Regal, AMC and Cinemark, rolling out an 88-second tease of the J.J. Abrams-helmed "Star Wars" in front of every movie playing at the locations over the holiday weekend.
Regal Warrington 22 in the Philadelphia area is among the locations where the new trailer will debut.
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Oscar Isaac has closed a deal to play the titular comicbook villain in 20th Century Fox's "X-Men: Apocalypse."
Bryan Singer will direct to direct the superhero pic with Simon Kinberg writing the script.
Singer has described the upcoming X-Men film, which is expected to feature all cast members including Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and James McAvoy, as the most destructive movie in the franchise.
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Patrick Stewart has turned to the dark side.
Stewart offered his Twitter followers a first look at his new white supremacist character in "Green Room" -- a far cry from his iconic characters of Captain Jean Luc Picard from "Star Trek" and Professor Charles Xavier from the "X-Men" franchise.
The photo shows the actor surrounded by other (more menacing-looking) Neo-Nazi skinheads, who he oversees as the leader of a fiefdom based in the Pacific Northwest.
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Aside from the turkey and stuffing, movie fans can look forward to the full trailer for "Jurassic World" debuting on Thanksgiving. But to hold over appetites, Universal Pictures released a very brief teaser to the teaser on Sunday, with some new footage showing the park and the stars.
The full trailer for the film will be revealed during Thanksgiving football on NBC (for those looking to be exact, the trailer countdown ends at 6 p.m. PST/9 p.m. EST). The tease released Sunday evoked some nostalgia, using a version of John Williams' iconic original Jurassic Park theme song, while mixing in some of the new.
In the video, the classic Jurassic Park gate is shown, though it now reads Jurassic World. A group of people look on as Gallimimus dinosaurs stampede past in the noticeably bigger park. There's then a quick glimpse at the stars in the ops center, as Bryce Dallas Howard turns to look worriedly at Chris Pratt.