Jason Momoa to Star on Apple’s Steven Knight Drama ‘See’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“Aquaman” and “Game of Thrones” star Jason Momoa has been in cast in a lead role in Apple’s original series from Steven Knight, “See,” a person with knowledge of the production tells TheWrap.

The show is a world-building drama set in the future, to be executive produced by Knight, along with director Francis Lawrence (“Red Sparrow,” “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and “Hunger Games: Mocking Jay” Parts 1 & 2.)

Momoa will play Baba Voss, a fearless warrior, leader and guardian on the original series. He is best known for his roles as Aquaman in DC’s “Justice League” and, of course, the upcoming “Aquaman” and Khal Drogo on HBO’s epic fantasy series from D.B. Weiss and David Benioff.

Also Read: Apple’s Inaugural Content: Here Are 19 Originals the Tech Giant Has in the Works (Photos)

“See” is executive produced by Knight and Lawrence, alongside Chernin Entertainment’s Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and Kristen Campo. The project hails from Chernin Entertainment/Endeavor Content.

The drama is one of 16 projects Apple has ordered to series — with three more in development — including three from Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine banner, Steven Spielberg’s “Amazing Stories,” Ron Moore’s space drama, and the docuseries “Home” from Matt Tyrnauer and Matthew Weaver.

The tech monolith also boasts a stack of poached and pedigreed executives, A-list collaborators across genres and a reported plan to enter the Oscar race.

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Jason Momoa To Star In Apple Series ‘See’ From Steven Knight & Francis Lawrence

Read on: Deadline.

Aquaman and Frontier star Jason Momoa has been tapped as the lead of Apple’s original drama series See, from Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, director Francis Lawrence (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Mockingjay Parts 1 & 2) and the script…

‘Hunger Games’ Director, ‘Big Short’ Writer Join Gawker Lawsuit Biopic

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“The Hunger Games” director Francis Lawrence and “The Big Short” writer Charles Randolph are attached to the upcoming adaptation of “Conspiracy,” Ryan Holiday’s book about Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker that forced the site to go bankrupt.

The announcement was made by Blackrock Productions. Blackrock’s CEO David A. Neuman will produce the film with Lawrence. Blackrock says it is looking for top talent to play Hogan, as well as Thiel, the Silicon Valley venture capitalist who secretly funded the wrestler’s lawsuit, and Gawker founder Nick Denton.

Also Read: Gawker Slayer Peter Thiel Agrees to Drop Bid for Bankrupt Site – and Its Story Archive

“Ryan Holiday’s book and the story it tells are rare gifts for a screenwriter,” said Randolph, who won an Oscar for “The Big Short.” “These are such larger-than-life characters – strange, new volatile forces in society – and their conflict matters.”

Hogan filed his lawsuit against Gawker for publishing a sex tape he was featured in and received the support of Thiel in part because the news site and gossip blog outed him as gay in 2007.

Hogan won the lawsuit and $140 million in damages, forcing Gawker to declare bankruptcy and shut down. Gawker’s sister sites were sold to Univision under the name Gizmodo Media. Holiday’s book is noted for being the only one to feature on-the-record interviews with Thiel, Denton, Hogan, Hogan attorney Charles Harder and A.J. Daulerio, the Gawker editor who published the sex tape.

Also Read: After Harvey Weinstein, Journalism’s Fight Against Chilling Effects of Gawker Lawsuit Continues

This is the second drama based on the lawsuit that is currently in development. “Modern Family” director Jason Winer is also attached to direct another film, “Gawker v. Thiel,” with Neil Meron and Craig Zadan producing. Netflix also released a documentary about the trial, “Nobody Speak,” last year.

Lawrence, who released the spy thriller “Red Sparrow” earlier this year, is currently attached to direct the pilot for the Apple TV series “See” as well as Universal’s planned reboot of “Battlestar Galactica.” He is repped by CAA and 3Arts.

McKay is also attached to write a film about Fox News/NBC anchor Megyn Kelly. He is repped by CAA and Paul Hastings LLP.

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Jennifer Lawrence’s ‘Red Sparrow’ Flies to Modest $1.2 Million at Thursday Box Office

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Jennifer Lawrence’s “Red Sparrow” grossed $1.2 million at the Thursday box office last night, with previews starting at 7 p.m.

Fox and Chernin Entertainment are expecting the film to open in the mid-teen range, with analysts predicting an opening in the low $20 million range. In comparison, Charlize Theron’s “Atomic Blonde” grossed $1.52 million in previews last year and went on to earn $18.2 million, while Scarlett Johansson’s “Ghost in the Shell” grossed $1.2 million in previews and scored an $18.7 million weekend as well. However, Emily Blunt’s “The Girl on the Train” also earned $1.2 million in Thursday previews and went on to gross $24.5 million its opening weekend in 2016.

Based on the novel by Jason Matthews, “Red Sparrow” stars Lawrence as Dominika Egorova, a Russian ballerina who suffers a gruesome, career-ending injury. With no direction in life, she is recruited into a secret spy agency where she undergoes training to seduce would-be targets into giving up information. But when she falls in love with CIA officer Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton), she considers becoming a double agent.

Also Read: ‘Red Sparrow’ Film Review: Jennifer Lawrence Swans About in Silly Spy Tale

Francis Lawrence, who worked with Lawrence on three of the four “Hunger Games” films, is directing from a script by Justin Haythe. Jeremy Irons, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, Mary Louise-Parker, and Ciaran Hinds also star. Reviews for the film have been mixed to positive, with a current Rotten Tomatoes score of 52 percent. The film’s budget was a reported $69 million.

The other newcomer this weekend is “Death Wish,” which is expected to open in the high-teens against a $30 million budget.

Also Read: Jennifer Lawrence on Why She Bared All for ‘Red Sparrow’ After Nude Photo Hack: ‘I Felt Empowered’

The film is directed by Eli Roth and is a remake of the hit 1974 revenge thriller starring Charles Bronson who seeks to avenge his murdered wife and child. Bruce Willis takes over in the lead role, with Roth sharing writing credit with Joe Carnahan and Brian Garfield. Vincent D’Onofrio and Dean Norris also star.

Of course, “Black Panther” is set to win the weekend for the third weekend in a row.  Last weekend, the Marvel movie had the second-biggest second weekend in box office history with $112 million, and could perform the same feat for the third weekend if it reaches analysts’ most optimistic expectations of a $75 million weekend.

On Thursday, “Black Panther” grossed another $6.6 million. So far, the film has grossed $435.4 million domestically and $780.3 million worldwide.

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Jennifer Lawrence’s ‘Red Sparrow’ Nude Scenes Made Her More Secure in Wake of Photo Hack

Read on: Variety.

Jennifer Lawrence felt empowered by the nude scenes in her upcoming spy thriller “Red Sparrow.” The actress said, at Monday night’s New York premiere of the film, that the challenging role helped her overcome insecurities, including those surrounding her 2014 photo hack. “The insecurity and fear of being judged for getting nude, what I went through, […]

‘Red Sparrow’ Film Review: Jennifer Lawrence Swans About in Silly Spy Tale

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

I’m sorry, “Red Sparrow,” but you can’t just throw out a brilliantly terrible line like “You sent me to whore school!” — spit out angrily by Jennifer Lawrence, in a Russian accent, no less — and then not live up to that level of wildness for your entire running time. Neither intelligent enough to be involving nor fun enough to be trashy, this is a movie that would only work if it were a little worse or a lot better.

As it is, Lawrence’s reunion with director Francis Lawrence (the second through fourth “Hunger Games” movies) does at least amp up the sex and violence in an attempt to cover up the fact that the story feels grafted together from any number of spy sagas, not to mention the USSR flashbacks from “The Americans” and “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

Ultimately, this brand of dazzle camouflage is no more successful than casting Aussie actor Joel Edgerton as CIA agent Nate Nash (no, really) to make it less noticeable that most of the Russians are played by Americans, Brits and Belgians. “Red Sparrow” is the sort of sumptuous, globe-trotting production that takes us to the Bolshoi, Budapest and London — not to mention the aforementioned “whore school,” where would-be spies are trained to be both deadly and seductive — but it’s the sort of listless affair where it’s easy to tune out and start noticing locations from other movies. (Ooo, it’s the apartment where Melissa McCarthy fights that guy in “Spy”!)

Watch Video: ‘Red Sparrow’ Trailer: Jennifer Lawrence Is a Beautifully Weaponized Ballerina

Jennifer Lawrence stars as Dominika, a star ballet dancer whose career is cut short by an onstage calamity. Faced with losing her Bolshoi-provided apartment, as well as health care for her sick mom Nina (Joely Richardson), Dominika accepts an assignment from her creepy uncle Vanya (no, really) a higher-up in the intelligence service. Vanya (Matthias Schoenaerts) sends Dominika to seduce an oligarch and steal his cell phone, but when the man tries to rape her, a mysterious intruder enters the hotel room and murders him.

Now that she’s a witness, Dominika has the choice of being killed or joining the government’s “Sparrow” program for sexy secret agents. Matron (Charlotte Rampling) tells Dominika she’ll have some catching up to do, since her classmates are mostly military-trained, but the former dancer takes an abbreviated curriculum (or maybe the editing badly conveys the passage of time) before she’s sent out into the field to find the identity of the Russian mole who’s feeding intel to Nate Nash.

Watch Video: Jennifer Lawrence Takes Over Airplane Speaker to Lead Eagles Chant

The Russians think that Dominika can be trusted (particularly after they torture her at one point), and the Americans suspect they can turn Dominika for their own purposes, but she clearly has an agenda of her own. The screenplay by Justin Haythe (“A Cure for Wellness”), based on the novel by Jason Matthews, focuses on the double-crosses and in Dominika and Nate’s relationship, despite the fact that Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton have zero chemistry.

But the only plot of genuine interest involves Dominika getting herself and her mother out from under the thumb of her uncle, who clearly has quasi-incestuous designs on his niece.

Also Read: Jennifer Lawrence to Star in ‘Burial Rites’ by ‘Call Me by Your Name’ Director

It also doesn’t help that the film is so desperate to be taken seriously. Any movie that is clearly grafting Jennifer Lawrence’s face onto a pirouetting ballerina’s body, or taking the actress from brunette to blonde with one box of Hungarian drugstore hair dye, could easily tip into delicious campiness; Rampling’s Lotte Lenya realness suggests she knows what this silly saga should be, as do the winking turns by Mary-Louise Parker as a boozy American turncoat and Jeremy Irons as a steely general.

Had “Red Sparrow” dared to have a little fun along the way, this hard-R thriller might actually have thrilled.



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MakeReady Sets ‘Five Faces Of Maria;’ Francis Lawrence To Direct Epic WWI Tale

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE: Makeready has set Francis Lawrence to direct Five Faces of Maria, a fact-based drama that will go under the worldwide theatrical distribution deal with eOne and Universal Pictures that former New Regency CEO and Paramount president Brad Weston put in place when he launched the company.
The film will be scripted by Gina Welch, whose recent credits include episodes of Castle Rock, Feud and Ray Donovan. Five Faces of Maria tells the true story of Maria Bochkareva

Jennifer Lawrence Goes Undercover for Russia in First ‘Red Sparrow’ Trailer (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Jennifer Lawrence re-teams with Francis Lawrence, the director who helmed the final three “Hunger Games” films, in the first trailer for their latest collaboration, “Red Sparrow.” 20th Century Fox released the trailer Thursday, a day before Lawrence’s arthouse horror film “mother!” opens.

In “Red Sparrow,” Lawrence plays Dominika Egorova, a prima ballerina seemingly sabotaged with an injury by another performer in her dance company. Not wanting to let her able body and dramatic versatility go to waste, the Russian government recruits her as a spy.

Also Read: Jennifer Lawrence Spy Thriller ‘Red Sparrow’ Pushed to 2018

Lawrence sports multiple looks and wigs in the short preview, channeling Charlize Theron in “Atomic Blonde” at one point. Charlotte Rampling also features in the trailer as a tough-looking instructor, as does Joel Edgerton, who seems to have a big role. Joining them along for the ride are Matthias Schoenaerts, Mary-Louise Parker and Jeremy Irons.

The film is based on the book of the same name by Jason Matthews  and boasts a screenplay by Justin Haythe.

Read 20th Century Fox’s full synopsis for “Red Sparrow” below:

Dominika Egorova is many things. 

A devoted daughter determined to protect her mother at all costs. 

A prima ballerina whose ferocity has pushed her body and mind to the absolute limit. 

A master of seductive and manipulative combat.

When she suffers a career-ending injury, Dominika and her mother are facing a bleak and uncertain future. That is why she finds herself manipulated into becoming the newest recruit for Sparrow School, a secret intelligence service that trains exceptional young people like her to use their bodies and minds as weapons. After enduring the perverse and sadistic training process, she emerges as the most dangerous Sparrow the program has ever produced. Dominika must now reconcile the person she was with the power she now commands, with her own life and everyone she cares about at risk, including an American CIA agent who tries to convince her he is the only person she can trust.


Watch the trailer above. “Red Sparrow” opens March 2, 2018.

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