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Harvey Weinstein bought the rights to The Imitation Game after viewing 15 minutes of the film. If the reviews coming out of the Telluride Film Festival are anything to go by, he got a good deal.

Not that I think this will be a blockbuster of a movie money-wise. It’s a film along the lines of some of Benedict’s previous work, such as War Horse, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy or the BBC’s Hawking. In other words, it’s not a family film or a popcorn flick. It stars Hot Property of the Moment Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley (who also worked with Benny in Atonement), Mark Strong and Charles Dance. The subject is the late Alan Turing, a mathematical genius and codebreaker who is credited with breaking the Nazi’s Enigma cypher machine.

Turing was also a homosexual, and after the war he was prosecuted under the archaic laws of the time. Given the choice of jail or chemical castration, he chose the latter. He committed suicide two years later. Recently he was given a posthumous pardon by Queen Elizabeth.

To see some of the reviews coming out of Telluride, go here, here, and here.  Many of them are saying that Benedict, who just won his first Emmy, may also get an Oscar nomination out of this, and mentions of a nomination for Knightley and for the film itself are coming out of the festival as well.

Below is a trailer for the film, which will be released on November 14th in the U.K. and November 21st in the U.S.

#TheImitationGame #BenedictCumberbatch

News Tidbits

Some various news items of interest:

Gatiss_as_Nestoris_GOTMark Gatiss (Sherlock) will again be playing Tycho Nestoris on Game of Thrones, according to Radio Times.  The character is from the Iron Bank of Braavos.  I have tried to watch the show but was unable to hang with it due to its portrayal of the treatment of women, but I know it has a lot of fans.

Gatiss and Stephen Moffat (who just won an Emmy for writing the Sherlock season 3 finale, His Last Vow) have said the fourth season of the show will be “darker,” and that the cast was “almost reduced to tears” when they found out their plans, according to Entertainment Weekly.  I for one would like them to stay away from putting Sherlock, Watson, Mrs. Hudson (if anything happens to her there will be hell to pay) or any of the other major characters in mortal danger, and get back to concentrating on pitting Sherlock’s formidable brain against that of the criminal mastermind of the week, such as they did with the series pilot A Study In Pink.  I confess that after watching series 3 I haven’t seen the episodes again, it was a bit of a disappointment to me (although the scene with  Sherlock crashing through the window and giving Molly a big ol’ smacker was awesome).  A Scandal in Belgravia is still my favorite episode of the entire show, along with Pink.

Guardians of the Galaxy is on track to become the highest-grossing movie in the U.S. of 2014, topping Captain America, reports Deadline.  The Pierce Brosnan flick The November Man, opening this weekend, doesn’t look to be any competition.  It unfortunately got a big ol’ splat on RottenTomatoes.com.  I say unfortunately because I like Pierce Brosnan and was glad to see him back, but this looks like it may be one to stay away from or wait for it to hit Redbox on a day where there’s nothing of interest on the telly.

DrStrange_marvelRumors continue to swirl that Joaquin Phoenix is in final negotiations to star in Marvel’s upcoming Dr. Strange movie.  Clearly this part should go to Benedict Cumberbatch, and I will continue to be annoyed if Phoenix ends up with the role.  That doesn’t mean that I won’t go see the movie, if it looks interesting enough, but I will be annoyed all the way through it!

Shooting has resumed on Star Wars VII now that Harrison Ford has recovered from breaking his leg.  I originally thought Ford and his castmates Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher would have minimal screen time in the new film, but if they found it impossible to shoot around him for a month then the original trio of characters must play a bigger part in the film that I had imagined.  We’ll see when it’s released on December 18, 2015.  In the meantime, Marvel has announced its intention to publish new Star Wars comics.  ComicBookResources.com reports that they will also re-release the Dark Horse comic series Star Wars Legends.   Marvel and Dark Horse have alternated the rights to Star Wars comics over the years.  The rights now belong to Disney, as does Marvel and pretty much everything else in the entertainment world.

Image 1: Mark Gatiss on HBO’s Game of Thrones; Image 2: Marvel’s Doctor Strange

#GOTG #Guardians of the Galaxy #Star Wars #Sherlock #Doctor Strange

Big Guys vs. Kittens

Resistance is futile.

via Buzzfeed

Ronan Kneels

Guardians of the Galaxy’s big bad Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) doesn’t kneel to anyone… except maybe the costume lady who has to straighten out his headpiece.

Director James Gunn sent the tweet below.  Lee, who stretches the ruler all the way to 6’3″ (Gunn says he’s 6’5″, but Lee has said 6’3″ – in any case he’s flippin’ tall), had to kneel when his costume needed adjusting.

Tap into James Gunn’s Twitter account to get a load of the behind the scenes pics from GOTG he posts every day.  Click on the link in the tweet below:

#GOTG #Guardians of the Galaxy #Lee Pace

BBC One’s Sherlock took home three Emmy awards last night, including one for Benedict Cumberbatch for Outstanding 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - ArrivalsLead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie and another for co-star Martin Freeman in the supporting category (Freeman was also nominated for his FX series Fargo).  Writer Stephen Moffat won the award for Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special for the final episode of the third series, His Last Vow.  Neither Benny nor Martin were in attendance last night due to work commitments, but Moffat did pick up his award in person.

Outstanding Drama Series went to Breaking Bad, Outstanding Comedy Series went to Modern Family.  Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series went to Bryan Cranston once again for Breaking Bad, while Lead Actress went to Julianna Margulies for The Good Wife.  Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) and Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep) won lead actor and actress on the comedy side.

Fargo took home the statue for Outstanding Miniseries, and The Normal Heart won Outstanding Television Movie.

I have to admit I didn’t watch much of it, or of the red carpet, but I think it would be hard to top Allison Janney’s dress (pictured, via Just Jared).  Gorgeous color, perfect fit, absolutely beautiful.

The official Emmy website with all the winners is here.

Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-IMAX-3D-sneakGuardians of the Galaxy returned to the #1 box office spot this weekend, holding off some movie with turtles and the teen tearjerker If I Stay.  GOTG has now grossed $251.5 million in the U.S. and Canada, with an additional $237.6 million from overseas sales, total $489.1, according to Marvel.  I believe that does make it the top-grossing movie of the summer and the third-highest grossing of 2014.

Writer/director James Gunn (and his brother Sean, who appeared in the movie as Yondu’s right-hand guy) will be appearing at DragonCon in Atlanta this Saturday and Sunday.  Both will be signing autographs.  Go here to find out when and where.

Also, here’s some behind-the-scenes pics from GOTG via The Wrap.  James Gunn had tweeted most of these, but in case you hadn’t seen them, I got ya covered.

#Guardians of the Galaxy #DragonCon

Lee Pace has completed the ice bucket challenge, in the cutest way.  Lee was nominated to do the challenge by his sister Sally.  He then nominated Andy Serkis, Judy Greer (his co-star in Marmaduke) and Berenice Marlohe.  Marlohe is starring with him in Prisoners of War.  It looks like Marlohe may be the lady who’s with him in the video, not sure, but he does ask her if she’s ready for her challenge.

Andy Serkis, of course, is in The Hobbit movies with Lee, and was his partner in crime at San Diego Comic-Con this year, waking up folks sleeping in the Hall H line at about 3 a.m.

As Lee says in the video, over $50 million has already been raised for ALS research.

Patrick Stewart has a different and very classy take on the challenge here:

To donate go to http://www.alsa.org/donate/.

Lee Pace video via YouTube’s Joe Miale

Patrick Stewart’s video via YouTube’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Should I give a spoiler warning?  Because, you know, Guardians of the Galaxy has been out for three weeks now, and if you haven’t seen it yet then I’m completely out of sympathy and will now stop holding back the spoilers.

So here we go — the dancing baby Groot at the end of the movie is finally coming to a store near you!  Funko, the company that already has the Pop! vinyl GOTG figures, will be adding a vinyl version of the surprise breakout star of the film, a regenerating and therefore infant Groot grooving to The Jackson 5’s I Want You Back.  Well, at least the song was in the movie, not sure if the vinyl figure will have the song attached or not.

Ryan Penagos, who holds the impressive title of Executive Editorial Director of Marvel Digital Media, tweeted the news and now we wait for the inevitable implosion of the internet.

The Funko toys aren’t personally my thing, I would much rather have had one that looked like the baby Groot in the film (the clip of which Marvel put up on YouTube here, just in case you haven’t watched it enough), but if you or your kid have been dying to have one, it will be out soon and all will once again be right in your world.

IGN has a photo and more info here.

#Dancing Baby Groot toy #Guardians of the Galaxy #GOTG

…when Benedict Cumberbatch took a little too long to answer Tom Hiddleston’s Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS.

Benedict nominated Harvey Weinstein, singer Kylie Minogue and Formula 1 race car driver Lewis Hamilton.  The Weinstein Company recently paid big bucks for the rights to Benny’s upcoming film The Imitation Game.

via TheDailyMail.comYouTube video via ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

#ALS Ice Bucket Challenge #Benedict Cumberbatch #Tom Hiddleston

JudiDench_via_imdbBenedict Cumberbatch and Judi Dench will star in BBC Two’s Richard III, according to Deadline.  Benny had already been cast as Richard, and now we have the news that he will be joined by Judi Dench as Cecily, the Duchess of York.

Hugh Bonneville of Downton Abbey will star in the two-part Henry VI, taking on the role of Humphrey, the Duke of Gloucester.  Tom Sturridge will be playing Henry.

Richard III and Henry VI are a continuation of The Hollow Crown made-for-television film series based on Shakespeare’s History Plays.  Tom Hiddleston starred in the first series.

Image: Judi Dench via imdb.com

#Benedict Cumberbatch #Richard III #The Hollow Crown #Judi Dench

AMC has renewed Halt and Catch Fire for another 10 episode series.  The second season will air next summer.

Halt and Catch Fire stars Lee Pace (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Hobbit), Scoot McNairy, MacKenzie Davis and Kerry Bishe.

Benny_hollywoodreporterBenedict Cumberbatch, who truly does threaten to be in just about everything now, is playing Khan again.  No, not that Khan!  Benny will be the voice of Shere Khan, the villainous tiger of Warner Bros.’ upcoming Jungle Book, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

And guess who will be directing?  None other than Benny’s Hobbit co-star (and second unit director) Andy Serkis!

Warner Bros., you say?  Isn’t The Jungle Book a Disney property?  Yes, indeed it is – and Disney is working on a remake its own self, with fellow Brit Idris Elba voicing Shere Khan.

Maybe that Jaguar ad with Tom Hiddleston is right – the best villains really are Brits?

We’ll also be able to hear Benny do his best secret agent wolf impression when Penguins of Madagascar hits theaters November 26th in the U.S., December 5th in the U.K.  Of course, he’ll also once again be terrorizing humans, elves and dwarves as Smaug and The Necromancer in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, out December 17th in the U.S., December 12th in the U.K.

His next film where he actually appears as a human is The Imitation Game, which will lead the Toronto International Film Festival.  He’s already receiving Oscar buzz for this one.

Image: Benedict Cumberbatch via The Hollywood Reporter

#The Jungle Book #Benedict Cumberbatch #Penguins of Madagascar

The Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 soundtrack has hit #1 on the Billboard charts.  One of the most popular songs from the album is Redbone’s Come and Get Your Love from 1974.  It comes early on in the movie (in one of my favorite scenes).

So who is Redbone?  I happened across this interview with the only remaining Redbone member, bassist Pat Vegas, on IndianCountryTodayMediaNetwork.com, and I thought it was interesting.  Since I had only heard the song and hadn’t seen pictures of the band members themselves, I hadn’t realized that they were American Indian (dots now connected, duh).  Vegas talks about the band and the song, and how it ended up in GOTG which, by the way, is far from the first movie this song has been in.

In honor of the song’s 40th anniversary this year, Vegas will be receive a lifetime achievement award at the West Coast American Indian Awards on August 30th.

A related article is here, including a video of the band playing the song on the television show The Midnight Special (embedded below.)  At the beginning of the video there’s about 45 seconds of one of the band members doing a native dance in costume.  Enjoy.

#Come and Get Your Love #Guardians of the Galaxy #GOTG

Creative Arts Emmy Wins

Emmy_via_colliderThere’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes on to create a television show or miniseries, and the Creative Arts Emmys are for those folks whose names are not of the household variety.  Here are a few of the awards given out last night:

The episode titled His Last Vow from the BBC’s Sherlock (starring, of course, Benedict I’m-In-Almost-Everything Cumberbatch and Martin So-Am-I Freeman), won four awards, Single Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries or a Movie; Sound Editing for a Miniseries, Movie or Special; Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie or Special (Original Dramatic Score); and Cinematography for a Miniseries or Movie.  Congratulations to Hartswood!

Martin Freeman’s FX series Fargo was nominated in 18 categories, but only won one, Casting in a Miniseries/Movie/Special (you can’t argue with that one).  The show has been renewed for a second season.

Downton Abbey won for Hairstyling for a Single-Camera Series.

NBC’s The Blacklist won Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series, Miniseries or Movie.

Game of Thrones, as usual, was a big winner.

Deadline has a full list of winners here.

The Primetime Emmy Awards takes place on August 25th, and airs live on NBC.  Seth Meyers will host.  The official website with a link to the list of nominees is here.  Cumberbatch and Freeman are competing against each other for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie, Benedict for Sherlock: His Last Vow and Freeman for Fargo.  Freeman is nominated in the supporting category for Sherlock, which is also up for the award for writing.  I’m surprised James Spader was not nominated for The Blacklist, but he would be up against, among others, Bryan Cranston for Breaking Bad, Kevin Spacey for House of Cards and Matthew McConaughey for True Detective, so the category is chock-full of excellent actors.

#Emmy Awards #Creative Arts Emmy Awards #Sherlock BBC

BOFTAChronicles_WetaFor those of you who are into the more aesthetic aspects of filmmaking, Weta Workshop has released for pre-order The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Chronicles: Art & Design.  The book will be shipped the same day as the film opens here in the U.S., December 17th.

TheOneRing.net (TORn) tweeted about the fact that several Hobbit vets have television series currently, including Martin Freeman, who’s playing around in Fargo, which has just been renewed for a second season.  At some point Freeman and Hobbit co-star Benedict Cumberbatch will be returning to duty on the BBC as Sherlock and Watson for a fourth season (and a Christmas special).  Graham McTavish (Dwalin) is in Starz’ Outlander, which has also been renewed.  And of course, we’re still waiting on a renewal decision from AMC about Lee Pace’s Halt and Catch Fire.

In the meantime, Sir Ian McKellen is also playing Sherlock, in a film titled Mr. Holmes.  The movie is based on a novel by Mitch Cullen, A Slight Trick of the Mind, and not one of Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories.  Cullen portrays Sherlock as elderly and forgetful, and yet he decides he must handle one last case.  The film will be out next year.

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