Netflix Orders ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ Limited Series From Scott Frank; Anya Taylor-Joy To Star

Read on: Deadline.

Netflix has ordered six episodes of The Queen’s Gambit, a limited series based on Walter Tevis’ novel from two-time Oscar nominee Scott Frank (Godless, Logan), with Anya Taylor-Joy (Split, Glass, The Witch) set to star.
Co-written by Frank, who a…

Anya Taylor-Joy to Star on Netflix Limited Series ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ From ‘Godless’ Creator Scott Frank

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Netflix has ordered “The Queen’s Gambit,” a limited series about “an orphan chess prodigy” who struggles with addiction, from “Godless” creator and “Logan” screenwriter Scott Frank, TheWrap has learned. “Split” star Anya Taylor will lead the cast, playing said “orphan chess prodigy.”

Here’s the official logline for the six-episode show, which is based on the Walter Tevis novel of the same name: “Chronicling the life of an orphan chess prodigy, the story – set during the Cold War era – follows Beth Harmon from the age of eight to twenty-two, as she struggles with addiction in a quest to become the greatest chess player in the world.”

Academy Award-nominee Frank will serve as writer, director and executive producer on “The Queen’s Gambit,” with William Horberg (“The Talented Mr. Ripley”) also executive producing and Allan Scott (“Don’t Look Now,” “The Preacher’s Wife”) acting as co-writer and executive producer.

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Along with her role in M. Night Shyamalan’s “Split,” Taylor-Joy’s other film credits include the 2018 “Split” sequel, “Glass,” and 2015 horror flick “The Witch” along with the upcoming films “Playmobil: The Movie,” “Emma,” and “Last Night in Soho.” Her small-screen credits include Season 5 of “Peaky Blinders” and “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance,” another upcoming series at Netflix.

She is repped by CAA, Troika, and Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson.

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‘Game of Thrones’ Star Maisie Williams Tapped for Julius Berg Thriller ‘The Owners’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“Game of Thrones” star Maisie Williams has been cast in Julius Berg’s ’90s thriller “The Owners,” it was announced Friday.

Berg and Matthieu Gompel wrote the screenplay based on the comic book from artist Hermann Huppen and written by Yves H. Alain de la Mata at UK-based Bluelight is producing, while XYZ Films is executive producing.

XYZ is handling North American sales, while Versatile handles international sales at Berlin’s EFM. The film will shoot this spring.

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“The Owners” is set in rural England in the early 1990s and follows Nathan and Terry, who are tracked down by an out-of-town sociopath names Gaz and forced to rob an elderly doctor and his wife.

Williams is best known for her role as Arya Stark in HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” Last year, she starred in “Early Man” alongside Tom Hiddleston and Eddie Redmayne. She will next star in Marvel’s “X-Men: The New Mutants” with Anya Taylor-Joy and Charlie Heaton.

She is represented by Louise Johnston Management and WME.

Also Read: ‘Game of Thrones’ Star Maisie Williams Shuts Down Reports of Multiple Endings (Video)

This is Berg’s first feature following numerous TV directing credits like the series “La Foret” and the France Télévisions series “The Crimson Rivers.”

“I’m very proud that Maisie Williams is joining the cast of ‘The Owners,’” Berg said. “Her already impressive experience will bring great force and vitality to her character and to the narrative of what promises to be a particularly intense thriller. Beyond her great talent she is an actor possessed of a profound humanity with who I am greatly looking forward to working.”

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Edgar Wright’s next film gets a name and a star, specifically Anya Taylor-Joy

Read on: The A.V. Club.

Back in January, we heard that Edgar Wright’s next movie—after a documentary about the band Sparks—would be a “straight-up psychological horror-thriller” set in central London. Now we know a little bit more about the film, thanks to an exclusive report…

All 10 M Night Shyamalan Movie Twists Ranked, From ‘Sixth Sense’ to ‘Glass’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

(Spoilers ahead for, well, pretty much everything. Including “Glass.”)
This weekend marks the release of “Glass,” filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan’s sequel to both “Unbreakable” and “Split.” And, yes, i…

Will ‘Glass’ Be Cracked at Box Office by Bad Reviews?

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Two years ago, M. Night Shyamalan’s “Split” became one of the surprise box office hits of 2017. Critics and audiences hailed the film as a long overdue return to form for the “Sixth Sense” director, and the surprise twist ending that revealed the film as a secret sequel to his 2000 film “Unbreakable” created a wave of anticipation for “Glass,” the trilogy-completing film that hits theaters this Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend.

But as Universal prepares to release the film on 3,700 screens, “Glass” is being hammered by critics as a big letdown, currently holding a Rotten Tomatoes score of just 38 percent compared to 76 percent for “Split.” What’s more, some critics are predicting that fans of “Split” are going to be very disappointed, leading to bad word of mouth.

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“In a way, ‘Glass’ feels like a giant middle finger to the very people who would be excited to see ‘Glass,’” wrote UPROXX’s Mike Ryan in his review. “Honestly, I have no doubt the CinemaScore grade will be shockingly low.”

Certainly there have been plenty of poorly reviewed films like “Venom” that are nonetheless embraced by audiences. But weak word of mouth could hamper the ability of “Glass” to leg out into February, something that made “Split” such a big success. Against a $9 million budget, it opened to $40 million and grossed $138 million domestic and $278 million worldwide.

“I talked to a lot of theater owners who thought this movie is going to be a monster and produce one of the biggest January openings ever,” said comScore analyst Paul Dergarabedian. “But as we get closer to the release date, people are tempering their expectations a little bit. We won’t really know what the audience temperature for this film is like until we see that second weekend drop.”

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The good news for “Glass” is that, like “Split,” it could very well start turning a profit after opening weekend thanks to its low costs. Against a production budget of $20 million, Universal is projecting a four-day opening weekend of at least $50 million, higher than that of “Split.” Independent trackers are even more positive, with estimates as high as $64 million.

There’s also the possibility that “Glass” legs out due to the sheer lack of competition over the next three weeks. None of the wide releases coming the next two weekends — “Serenity,” “The Kid Who Would Be King” or “Miss Bala” — are projected to open to more than $15 million. The next major wide release on the calendar is “The Lego Movie 2,” which doesn’t come out until February 8.

“‘Glass’ might do as well as ‘Split’ simply because it’s the biggest, newest thing in theaters, and there’s nothing else coming up with a cast as strong as James McAvoy and Samuel L. Jackson,” said Exhibitor Relations analyst Jeff Bock. “It’s probably going to take some really toxic word of mouth to get a steep drop-off.”

“Glass” sees the return of “Unbreakable” hero David Dunn (Bruce Willis) and villain Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), along with “Split” foe Kevin Crumb (James McAvoy). After David’s attempts to hunt Kevin down wind up getting them both sent to the same mental institution as Elijah, the superpowered trio is studied by a skeptical psychiatrist (Sarah Paulson), who is unaware that, by bringing them together, she has created a dangerous alliance between Elijah and the evil personalities inside Kevin known as “The Horde.”

“Split” star Anya Taylor-Joy also returns for the film, which is written and directed by Shyamalan. Universal is handling domestic distribution while Disney is handling overseas distribution through Buena Vista International.

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‘Glass’ Film Review: M. Night Shyamalan’s Super-Trio Makes a Disappointing Team Up

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

M. Night Shyamalan’s films tend to exist on the extremes; for many viewers, they are either very good or very bad, with almost no middle ground. After his breakout success with “The Sixth Sense” and “Unbreakable,” Shyamalan disappointed moviegoers with dud after dud, including “The Happening” and “The Last Airbender.” In the past few years, Shyamalan has made an extraordinary comeback with the one-two punch of “The Visit” and “Split.”

With “Glass,” Shyamalan closes a story loop that he started 19 years ago with the critically acclaimed “Unbreakable.” This new sequel finds that movie’s protagonist, David Dunn (Bruce Willis), taking up a side gig as a vigilante superhero with the help of his son Joseph (Spencer Treat Clark, TNT’s “Animal Kingdom”). Still using the ominous-looking green security guard poncho from his old job, Dunn decides the next villain to track down is the very troubled Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy), whose 24 personalities include a superpowered monster known as The Beast.

But in the middle of rescuing The Beast’s next potential victims, both superhumans are captured by a SWAT team and placed under the care of a poisonously calm therapist played by Sarah Paulson, who wants to cure them of their delusions of superhero grandeur. But David and Kevin are not her only patients — the two are shortly joined by another familiar face from “Unbreakable,” David’s archnemesis Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), or as he calls himself, Mr. Glass.

Watch Video: James McAvoy’s Beast Is Back in New ‘Glass’ Trailer

When they first met in 2000, Elijah shared with David his theory that because someone like him is so weak — his bones are so brittle, they shatter “like glass” — that must mean someone else in the world must be so strong as to be his equal, like a riff on Newton’s Third Law of Physics. Both “Unbreakable” and “Split” are idiosyncratic works about our fascination with superheroes and their mythologies, yet “Glass” never feels like it becomes its own movie. It’s so heavily indebted to its predecessors that much of the emotional impact will be lost on anyone who hasn’t watched the other films.

There’s also a troubling development with Casey Cooke (Anya Taylor-Joy), the sole survivor of The Beast’s attack in “Split.” In that movie, she’s a conflicted character struggling with her own problems before she’s kidnapped with her friends by one of Kevin’s personalities. In “Glass,” her situation feels conveniently shelved, as she takes on a nurturing role for Kevin. It’s disturbing to see her reduced this way, especially when violence against women and the deadly assumption that women can fix dangerous men is still so prevalent. Also unexplored is any strife Elijah’s mother (Charlayne Woodard) might have felt after learning that her son is an evil genius-turned-terrorist.

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The film’s three leads, at least, remain fascinating to watch. Willis’ gruff return to his character is less reflective than in his origin story, but his reluctant, aged alter ego makes for a nice counterbalance against the overwhelming energy in McAvoy’s performance. Even when sharing the screen with veterans like Willis and Jackson, McAvoy’s ability to quickly change accents, the pitch of his voice, facial expressions and posture for different characters works wonders in Shyamalan’s steady long shots. Although the movie is named after his character, Jackson really doesn’t shine until its final third. He’s delightful in a maniacally sinister way, a perfect conduit for Shyamalan’s signature plot twists.

Performances aside, “Glass” is a pretty mixed bag of exposition-filled dull moments and pedantic dialogue. Shyamalan, who also wrote the movie, unloads comic-book knowledge at the expense of character development, going so far as to explain what a “showdown” is and having a character give a brief history of the comics medium, which seems extraneous in a world where superhero movies have opened in theaters every summer for the past decade. That moment would have worked in 2000, but nowadays, any kid on an American playground has heard of the Avengers.

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Despite its flaws, the movie has a fair share of entertaining scenes, usually the ones involving all three leads. However messy, Shyamalan still has a few tricks up his sleeve when tying the threads of these separate movies together. There are several references to the previous films, including Casey’s Philadelphia Zoo jacket from “Split” and the return of Clark and Woodard (and even Shyamalan) to reprise their “Unbreakable” roles almost 20 years later.

But the surprises aren’t limited to numerous references to the director’s previous work. The cinematography (by Mike Gioulakis, “It Follows”) feels much more cohesive than other parts of the movie. Our superhero and villains each have their own color reflected in their outfit, sidekick and homes. David’s presence, particularly in the fluorescent-lit office where he works with his son, is coded with the shades of green of his poncho. Carrying over the grimy yellow tones of “Split,” Kevin wears bright yellow pants and Casey’s outfit lightly mirrors his with mustard, grey, rust and brown tones. Elijah’s mom is easily recognized by a purple suit, which carries over to her living room. Purple, yellow and green make spectacular superhero colors, and Shyamalan and Gioulakis take full advantage of them.

If “Unbreakable” and “Split” are some of the strongest works in Shyamalan’s filmography, “Glass” holds a place somewhere in the middle between those and the titles that turned off so many moviegoers. But don’t count out Shyamalan just yet. There is enough experimentation — such as the stirring POV shots during the fight scenes — that shows a director still pushing his craft to bring his viewers something new. He’s not done surprising us.



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Johnny Flynn Joins Focus Features-Working Title’s ‘Emma’

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE: Genius actor and singer/songwriter Johnny Flynn has boarded Focus Features and Working Title’s Emma, the latest adaptation of the classic Jane Austen novel.
Flynn joins Anya Taylor-Joy, who is taking on the title role in the feature fi…

‘Dark Crystal’ Series: Taron Egerton, Anya Taylor-Joy Lead Voice Cast of Jim Henson Prequel

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Taron Egerton, Anya Taylor-Joy and Nathalie Emmanuel are set to lead the voice cast for “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance,” the 10-episode animated fantasy series that’s a prequel to Jim Henson’s 1982 fantasy film.

Egerton, Taylor-Joy and Emmanuel will play the three Gelfing heroes, Rian, Brea and Deet. Netflix additionally announced Monday the cast voicing of other puppet characters in a staggering list that includes: Caitriona Balfe, Helena Bonham-Carter, Harris Dickinson, Natalie Dormer, Eddie Izzard, Theo James, Toby Jones, Shazad Latif, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mark Strong, Alicia Vikander,  Harvey Fierstein, Mark Hamill, Ralph Ineson, Jason Isaacs, Keegan-Michael Jey, ?”lafur Darri ?”lafsson, Simon Pegg, Andy Samberg and Donna Kimball.

Additional characters will also be voiced by puppeteers from the production, including Alice Dinnean, Louise Gold, Neil Sterenberg and Victor Yerrid, with more to be announced soon.

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Based on “The Dark Crystal,” the series “Age of Resistance” is set many years before the events of the movie but still utilizes classic puppetry techniques along with the Jim Henson Company.

The world of Thra is dying. The Crystal of Truth is at the heart of Thra, a source of untold power. But it is damaged, corrupted by the evil Skeksis, and a sickness spreads across the land. When three Gelfling uncover the horrific truth behind the power of the Skeksis, an adventure unfolds as the fires of rebellion are lit and an epic battle for the planet begins.

“It is humbling to see so many truly gifted actors join The Dark Crystal universe by adding their voices to Age of Resistance.  As with the original film, we are now adding a voice cast of the highest caliber that will provide textures and range to the puppetry performances that are the heart of the series,” Lisa Henson, CEO of the Jim Henson Company said in a statement.

“It is thrilling to see this assembled team of artists, puppeteers and now voice actors, many inspired by my father’s original film, work together to realize this unique world – through performance and craft – at a scale that is rarely seen today,” she added.

Also Read: ‘Dark Crystal’ Prequel Series Greenlit at Netflix (Video)

“The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance” will launch on Netflix in 2019. Watch a teaser announcement for the series here, and see the first look images below:

Netflix

Netflix

Netflix

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Anya Taylor-Joy Joins ‘Peaky Blinders’ Season 5; First-Look Photo

Read on: Deadline.

The Witch and Split‘s Anya Taylor-Joy has joined the cast of Peaky Blinders‘ fifth season. BBC One, where the Steven Knight-created epic crime saga is moving after spending its first four go-rounds on BBC Two, tweeted the news today, welcom…

Anya Taylor-Joy, ‘Game Of Thrones’ Dean-Charles Chapman, Finn Cole To Star In ‘Here Are The Young Men’

Read on: Deadline.

The Witch breakout star Anya Taylor-Joy, Dean-Charles Chapman (Game Of Thrones), Finn Cole (Peaky Blinders), and Ferdia Walsh-Peelo (Sing Street) have been tapped as the leads in Here Are The Young Men, a film adaptation based on Rob Doyle’s Irish nove…

Anya Taylor-Joy, Dean-Charles Chapman Cast in Irish Drama ‘Here Are the Young Men’

Read on: Variety.

Anya Taylor-Joy and “Game of Thrones” star Dean-Charles Chapman will lead the cast of “Here Are the Young Men,” it was announced Friday. The coming-of-age drama, which is set to begin production in Ireland this month, has also cast “Peaky Blinders” sta…

‘The Miniaturist’ Explores 1600s Female Inequality With Hints Of The Supernatural – TCA

Read on: Deadline.

“I knew nothing about Amsterdam before I wrote this book,” author Jessie Burton said at TCA during a panel discussion about PBS Masterpiece’s new series The Miniaturist–the tale of Petronella, a young woman married to a rich merchant …

‘Glass’ Debuts First Trailer For Shattering Superhero Thriller – Comic-Con

Read on: Deadline.

First there was Unbreakable then there was Split and now there is Glass. M. Night Shyamalan was joined on the stage in the coveted Hall H at Comic-Con with Glass stars Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis, Anya Taylor-Joy and Sarah Paulson to not only talk …