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admin / March 14th, 2019 / No Comments

On the back of another sold out London run, Letters Live is bringing its star-studded show to the Royal Albert Hall on 3 October 2019, in what will be its most ambitious night to date. The date will also see the launch of a new series of themed Letters of Note books, compiled by co-producer Shaun Usher.

A celebration of the enduring power of the letter, Letters Live is an unforgettable live experience that pairs great performers with remarkable literary correspondence, and from the most unexpected and varied of sources.

Hailed in The Observer as “the best letters in the world read by the best voices”, Letters Live had its premiere at The Tabernacle in west London in December 2013. Since then it has been staged over sixty times, including performances in New York, Brixton Prison, Los Angeles, and the Calais Jungle.

As is always the case with Letters Live, the line-up for the Royal Albert Hall show will remain under wraps until the night. Past performers have included Oscar-winner Olivia Colman and co-producer Benedict Cumberbatch, as well as Gillian Anderson, Sir Ian McKellen, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Thom Yorke, Jude Law, Stephen Fry, Brie Larson, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Nick Cave, Stephen Fry and Sir Ben Kingsley, plus live music from Reggie Watts to Benjamin Booker.

Letters read at previous shows have included ones written by David Bowie, Marge Simpson, Mohandas Gandhi, Elvis Presley, Janis Joplin, Kurt Vonnegut, Charlotte Bronte, John Steinbeck, and Che Guevara as well as by many remarkable, lesser-known people.

Letters Live was inspired by Shaun Usher’s bestselling Letters of Note and Simon Garfield’s To the Letter. A worldwide phenomenon, Usher’s Letters of Note titles have been translated into eighteen languages and sold over 500,000 copies worldwide, with the Letters of Note website visited by tens of millions of people.

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admin / March 14th, 2019 / No Comments

It’s a blustery Saturday night and around 900 people are lined up to go to church. The faithful have come to the Union Chapel, in Islington, London, to receive wisdom from those stepping up to the pulpit – a lineup that tonight includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Noel Fielding, Juliet Stevenson and Thom Yorke. Letters Live, a celebration of literary correspondence, has always looked a little odd on paper since it began in 2013. After all, who wants to spend a night out having letters read to them by a bunch of actors and musicians, whose identities are not revealed in advance?

“When you first hear the idea it doesn’t quite sing, but do it once and you are smitten,” says Cumberbatch, who was so smitten he became a producer and now helps shape the shows. “Everyone we ask says they’d do it again in a heartbeat. And we just hope it is the same for the audience.”

Jamie Byng adds gleefully: “When I told Toby Jones about the concept, he said, ‘What’s so fucking exciting about reading letters?’ Now he loves it! He’s proselytising!” It helps that Byng, as the head of Canongate, can just call up Toby Jones – or, as he did for the first ever event, Nick Cave. Now the show that was once a book – Shaun Usher’s Letters of Note, which in turn grew from his hugely popular website – recently sold out three gigs in less than an hour, a feat totalling 2,500 tickets. And today, it has announced its biggest ever venue: the Royal Albert Hall.

Part of the allure of Letters Live is the nightly celebrity bingo: Gillian Anderson reading Katharine Hepburn, Ian McKellen reciting Roald Dahl, Jude Law at a show in the Calais refugee camp. New York events have seen James Earl Jones, Brie Larson and Chevy Chase on stage. There are great moments of verisimilitude – Cave reading his own letter to MTV, or Ben Kingsley reading the letter Gandhi wrote to Hitler, 32 years after portraying the Indian activist. Last Friday, days after her Oscar win, Olivia Colman materialised to a standing ovation, to read a letter by Queen Victoria to her eldest daughter. “Pressure’s on,” she opened, drily.

“You can’t help be drawn in, even when the letter is never written for you,” says Byng. “Every human experience can be found in letters. They can make you feel something you can’t feel yourself, experiences you will never live. Some of us will never lose a child. Some of us will never kill someone. You could sit at home to read them, but, through the alchemy of performance, everyone in that audience becomes the recipient.”

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admin / October 16th, 2018 / No Comments

The Weinstein Co. buyer Lantern Entertainment and 13 Films will distribute the Harvey Weinstein-tainted Thomas Edison biopic, as well as the unreleased horror film ‘Polaroid.’

13 Films has partnered with Lantern Entertainment, an affiliate of The Weinstein Co. buyer Lantern Capital Partners, to handle foreign distribution of the Harvey Weinstein-tainted historical epic The Current War.

The film, which focuses on the rivalry between electricity innovators Thomas Edison (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) and George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon), was a casualty in last year’s fallout of the revelations about the disgraced movie mogul, who acted as producer on the project.

Lantern Capital Partners subsequently paid $289 million for what remained of TWC.

The partners will also handle the foreign distribution of the unreleased horror pic Polaroid after both titles were acquired through Lantern’s acquisition of assets of TWC. Current War also stars Nicholas Hoult, Tom Holland, Katherine Waterston and Tuppence Middleton.

Initially due for release last November, Current War has gone without a domestic release date. The film, directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, first bowed at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.

Polaroid, based on the award-winning short by Lars Klevberg and from the producers of the The Ring and The Grudge, centers on high school loner Bird Fitcher, who he has no idea what dark secrets are tied to the vintage Polaroid camera she stumbles upon.

13 Films is an international distribution and finance company founded by Tannaz Anisi and based in Los Angeles. Lantern is an affiliate of Lantern Capital Partners, a indie studio with a library of over 270 films, including The King’s Speech and The Artist. [Source]



admin / May 29th, 2018 / No Comments

Benedict Cumberbatch is returning to the Cold War. He’ll play a spy in the thriller “Ironbark.”

FilmNation Entertainment is financing and handling international sales on the film.

The movie is based on the true story of Greville Wynne (played by Cumberbatch), a British businessman who helped the CIA penetrate the Soviet nuclear program during the Cold War. Wynne and his Russian source, Oleg Penkovsky, provided the crucial intelligence that ended the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Dominic Cooke will direct and executive produce with Cumberbatch and Tom O’Connor. The project is based on a spec script by O’Connor.

FilmNation will debut “Ironbark” to buyers at the Cannes Film Market next week. UTA Independent Film Group will handle U.S. sales.

42’s Ben Pugh and Rory Aitken will produce the movie, alongside Adam Ackland (“Patrick Melrose”), SunnyMarch, and FilmNation. Cumberbatch, Cooke, and O’Connor will executive produce along with Josh Varney from 42 and Leah Clarke of SunnyMarch. The deal was negotiated by UTA Independent Film Group on behalf of the filmmaking team with Alison Cohen for FilmNation. [Source]



admin / May 29th, 2018 / No Comments

Benedict Cumberbatch has taken on some iconic roles in his career, from Sherlock Holmes to Doctor Strange, but he says his most meaningful might be his latest.

Cumberbatch plays the title character in new Showtime miniseries “Patrick Melrose,” which is based off a book series by Edward St. Aubyn. At the show’s premiere on Wednesday night, he told Variety that the show was “a passion project.”

“These are some of the greatest moments of 21st century prose, and to be a part of dramatizing that is a real treat,” Cumberbatch said of the “Patrick Melrose” novels. “This is a hell of role, and a hell of a stretch for any actor, and a hell of an opportunity for me, and I just hope we’ve done the books justice, so we’ve done something that has the same following and integrity the books do.”

The “Sherlock” star revealed his journey with the project started five years ago, when he said in a Reddit Q&A that he dreamed of taking on the character of Patrick Melrose. Days later, he met with producers and signed on to star, also taking on an executive producer title for himself.

“Patrick Melrose” costars Allison Williams and Jennifer Jason Leigh were also on hand at the premiere, held at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Los Angeles. The five-part series follows the life of Patrick Melrose, who experiences a privileged but traumatic childhood that leads him to heavy substance abuse and eventual recovery in his adulthood.

Leigh said she was a big fan of the books, but “didn’t think it was possible to adapt it, ever.” After reading the script, written by David Nicholls, she said, “it was like the book came to life in such a beautiful way; I have no idea how he did it.”

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admin / April 19th, 2018 / No Comments

Variety and PBS SoCal KOCE have announced the lineup for the eighth season of “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors.”

The Emmy Award-winning series will air in two episodes on PBS SoCal KOCE, the first on Tuesday, June 19 at 7 p.m. and the second on Thursday, June 21 at 7 p.m. Both episodes will stream on pbssocal.org following their premieres.

This year’s lineup of pairings includes: Issa Rae (“Insecure”) with Michael B. Jordan (“Fahrenheit 451”); Laura Dern (“The Tale”) with Angela Bassett (“9-1-1”); Tiffany Haddish (“The Last O.G.”) with John Legend (“Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert”); Benedict Cumberbatch (“Patrick Melrose”) with Claire Foy (“The Crown”); Jason Bateman (“Ozark”) with Bill Hader (“Barry”); Debra Messing (“Will & Grace”) with Sharon Stone (“Mosaic”); J.K. Simmons (“Counterpart”) with Edie Falco (“Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders”); Alison Brie (“GLOW”) with Jessica Biel (“The Sinner”); Maggie Gyllenhaal (“The Deuce”) with Jonathan Groff (“Mindhunter”); Frankie Shaw (“SMILF”) with Sara Gilbert (“Roseanne”); Jeff Daniels (“The Looming Tower”) with Laura Linney (“Ozark”); Darren Criss (“American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace”) with Mandy Moore (“This is Us”); David Harbour (“Stranger Things”) with Kyle MacLachlan (“Twin Peaks”); and Dakota Fanning (“The Alienist”) with Freddie Highmore (“The Good Doctor”).

“There’s no better way to celebrate another groundbreaking season of television than with our ‘Actors on Actors’ franchise,” said Debra Birnbaum, Variety’s executive TV editor. “We’re proud to shine a light on this year’s most remarkable performances with this series of revealing, one-on-one conversations. And we’re thrilled as always to partner with PBS SoCal to share this content with their audience.”

Variety’s “Actors on Actors” issue will hit newsstands June 5 with clips appearing on Variety.com starting at the beginning of June. On Variety and Variety.com, this year’s Actors on Actors will be presented by Shutterstock.

“Southern California’s creative industry inspires and excites our PBS audiences like few others. And this season of ‘Actors on Actors’ is sure to please, with compelling conversations between some of today’s most popular protagonists,” said Andrew Russell, president and CEO of PBS SoCal. “It’s terrific to team with Variety to produce and share ‘Variety Studio: Actors on Actors.’” [Source]



admin / April 4th, 2018 / No Comments

Edward St. Aubyn’s darkly comic novels about upper-class life in Britain, beloved by a generation of distinguished readers, come to Showtime next month.

In 2012, when it came time to publish a paperback version of the Patrick Melrose novels, the semi-autobiographical pentalogy by the English author Edward St. Aubyn, his American publishers had no trouble rounding up rapturous praise from a passel of distinguished readers: Zadie Smith, Bret Easton Ellis, Ann Patchett, Edmund White, Sam Lipsyte, and Alice Sebold. They might also have thought to ask a reader named Benedict Cumberbatch, who considers the books “the most exquisite achievements in 21st-century prose”—a fortunate view, given that Cumberbatch stars in the five-part adaptation of the novels that airs on Showtime in May.

A darkly comic indictment of Britain’s upper class, Patrick Melrose, which also stars Jennifer Jason Leigh and Blythe Danner, follows its protagonist from age five, when he is abused by his father (played by Hugo Weaving) in a country house in Provence, through his young adulthood, when he becomes a heroin addict in New York and London, to his recovery from drugs and transition to fatherhood. “It was a hell of an arc to play,” says Cumberbatch. “Patrick’s life is a nonstop madeleine cake of horrors.”

Portraying a character from age 25 to 45 was a significant challenge, Cumberbatch says—as was capturing the attitude and vocal mannerisms specific to Patrick’s class: “I went to a very posh public school, second to Eton, yet I had only one friend from the landed gentry. I’ve been trying to knock the corners off my accent ever since I left Harrow.” Cumberbatch consulted frequently with St. Aubyn, who, though he didn’t write the teleplay, made himself available to any cast member in search of biographical grist.

In the end, St. Aubyn reports, there’s unexpected consolation to be found in seeing his alter ego brought to the screen. “I’ve spent 25 years being asked if I’m Patrick Melrose,” he says. “So it’s a great deal of relief to be able to say, ‘No, Benedict Cumberbatch is.’” [Source]



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Brexit (TV Movie)
As Dominic Cummings
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Strategist Dominic Cummings leads a campaign to convince British voters to leave the European Union.

 


Ironbark
As Greville Wynne
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Cold War spy Greville Wynne and his Russian source try to put an end to the ended the Cuban Missile Crisis.

 


Doctor Strange 2
As Dr. Stephen Strange
News Photos IMDb

Plot unknown. Sequel to the 2016 Marvel film ‘Doctor Strange’.

 

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