Oscar Eve Party Report: Rami Malek, Spike Lee, Melissa McCarthy and Glenn Close With Her 4-Legged Date (Photos)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

When planning out the weekend rolling into Oscar Sunday, top talent had to make key choices when it came to which Academy Awards pre-event to go to first, how long to stay, what to wear (naturally), how many to hit in a single night and is the venue dog-friendly?

Here’s a look at some of the most coveted invites from the weekend.

Jeffrey Katzenberg, Glenn Close, Regina King, Rami Malek and George Clooney attend MPTF’s ‘The Night Before’ The Oscars at Fox Studio Lot on Feb. 23. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for MPTF)

As every Hollywood player knows, you’re only as good as your last picture in this town; and you never know when your career might take a downturn. That’s why the Motion Picture and Television Relief Fund’s annual “Night Before” fundraiser is always the place to be on the Saturday evening before the Oscars, as it reveres and raises cash for the venerable service organization that supports members of the entertainment industry in time of need, be it for social services, retirement care or financial desperation.

It’s a behemoth, the one party that seems to get bigger every year; these days it has outgrown the town’s ballrooms and now happens at Fox Studios, where it raised $5 million for the fund by the end of this year’s 17th annual star-studded party. Look one way, there was MPTF Foundation chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg along with Glenn Close, Regina King, Rami Malek and George Clooney posing for a photo op (above).

Look another and earlier Oscar winners Leonardo DiCaprio, Viola Davis and Helen Mirren were in the crush, too, along with current nominees like Amy Adams, Spike Lee, Yalitza Aparicio, Adam Driver, Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen.

And they kept on coming, more nominees in the stars-everywhere-you-turned crowd were Sam Elliott, Richard E. Grant and Willem Dafoe and past winners popped up, too, including Allison Janney and Octavia Spencer. Even Taylor Swift turned up: She stars in the Universal’s upcoming film version of “Cats.”

Also Read: Oscar Week Party Report: Glenn Close, Allison Janney, LaKeith Stanfield and More Hit the Scene (Photos)

Glenn Close and Pippi at Sony Pictures Classics annual Oscar Nominees Gala Dinner sponsored by Maestro Dobel at STK LA.
(Photo by Michael Simon/startraksphoto.com)

Saturday began with the Independent Spirit Awards and after party, where smaller indie films are celebrated. Glenn Close was triumphant as best actress for her work in “The Wife,” and that party gal kept right on going after a quick outfit change to the Sony Pictures Classics’ Pre-Oscar dinner at STK Los Angeles to celebrate the win.

She brought her daughter Annie Starke (who co-stars in the movie) and her little dog, too. Sir Pippin of Beanfield had quite the day on the red carpet (above) — and even went on stage during the Spirit Awards, too.

Also chowing down on steak, cod and a celebratory flourless chocolate cake at STK were Sony Pictures Classics’ other Academy Award nominees, best foreign language contenders Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (“Never Look Away”) and Nadine Labaki (“Capernaum”) and best cinematography hopeful Caleb Deschanel (“Never Look Away”), who brought his actress daughter Emily to the party.

Rami Malek and Brian May are seen as Vanity Fair and Genesis celebrate the cast of “Bohemian Rhapsody” on Feb. 22 in L.A. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)

Dinner at Cecconi’s on Friday night was all about “Bohemian Rhapsody,” as 20th Century Fox joined up with Vanity Fair and Genesis automobiles to toast that Freddie Mercury/Queen biopic with Belvedere Vodka and Hennessy XO (and to nibble those fabulous Cecconi truffle flatbreads, too).

Stars Rami Malek (above, with Queen guitarist Brian May), Lucy Boynton, Mike Myers, Ben Hardy and Allen Leech joined original Queen members May and Roger Taylor, along with singer Adam Lambert, who takes on Freddie’s vocals with the band these days. That power trio will perform at the Oscar show on Sunday.

Also Read: Oscar Parties 2019: All the A-List Events Happening in Hollywood

Friday night was awash with talent agency bashes, too, as CAA, UTA and WME all honored their nominees and clients. Naturally, the stars made sure to at least stop in for a photo op with their reps.

At the CAA Pre-Oscar Party sponsored by Heineken, best actress nominee Melissa McCarthy brought hubby Ben Falcone (above; both are in that agency’s stable) to check out the new San Vicente Bungalows in WeHo. Also along for the dance-filled bash were some of CAA’s biggest wattage stars, including more 2019 nominees (Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga), as well as Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx, Gerard Butler and Mick Jagger.

Over at the Sunset Tower, UTA pulled in their team of nominees, too — everyone from animation geniuses Brad Bird (“Incredibles 2”) and Phil Lord with Christopher Miller (“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”) to “Roma” breakout star Marina de Tavira. Ethan and Joel Cohn made the scene, too, along with Joel’s wife Frances McDormand, who took home last year’s best actress trophy. Kate Beckinsale, Tracee Ellis Ross, Elizabeth Banks and Nicholas Hoult stopped into this one as well, which went off to the dancing tunes spun by DJ Spider.

Meanwhile, WME’s Friday night celebration was at a private home, where client and best actor nominee Rami Malek was the center of attention. Other WME loyalists who stepped out to that party were Liam Hemsworth, Gal Gadot, Serena Williams, Rebel Wilson and Ginnifer Goodwin.

Christoph Waltz greets Olivia Colman at the ICM Partners 2019 Oscar Party held at a private residence in Beverly Hills, CA on Thursday, February 21, 2019 (photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)

A bit ahead of the weekend’s packed party schedule, ICM held its bash on Thursday at partner Hildy Gottlieb’s Beverly Hills home. Her hubby, director Walter Hill, co-hosted the event for the seriously talented crowd, including 2019 client nominees Olivia Colman (above, with past winner Christoph Waltz), Regina King, Spike Lee, Sandy Powell, Fiona Crombie and Guy Nativ.

Spike Lee and Cedric The Entertainer attend the ICM Partners 2019 Oscar Party held at a private residence in Beverly Hills, CA on Thursday, February 21, 2019 (photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)

They enjoyed cocktails and canapés with former Oscar winners like Waltz and Kathy Bates. Former Academy Award nominees on the talent-filled scene were Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, Jacki Weaver and Jeff Goldblum. Spike Lee and Cedric the Entertainer shared a moment (above); we’re guessing Cedric still wants to know why he didn’t get a role in “BlacKkKlansman”!

Also Read: The Scene at TheWrap’s Oscar Party Honoring Women and Inclusion (Photos)

Richard E. Grant and Michael Howells, British Consul General, attend a reception for U.K. Oscar nominees at British Consul General’s Residence on Feb. 22. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Friday night was also a night for Hollywood’s ex-pats to make merry, at least those from Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany, that is. Those proud countries hosted special pre-Oscar revelries to single out their citizens, beginning with the U.K. Film afternoon bash at the British Consul’s residence in Hancock Park.

There, with tea and scones (and some gin thrown in for good measure), best supporting actor nominee Richard E. Grant joined Michael Howells, the British Consul General in Los Angeles (in the photo below), for a champagne toast to all the nominees from across the pond.

Shamier Anderson, Canadian Consul General Zaib Shaikh and Stephan James at a pre-Oscar celebration for Canadian Oscar nominees. (Photo: George Pimentel)

A few blocks away, at the residence of the Consul General of Canada, a big crowd celebrated everything short, since the Canadians own “five of the 10 short film nominations this year,” as Consul General Zaib Shaikh told the cheering Canucks gathered in his back yard.

He also shouted out to TeleFilm Canada and the National Film Board of Canada for their ongoing financial and creative support of Canadian filmmakers. Nominees on hand included Alison Snowden, David Fine, Domee Shi, Jeremy Comte, Marianne Farley, Marie-Helene Panisset and Trevor Jimenz. Some of Canada’s favorite Hollywood actors — Nia Vardalos, Maxim Roy and brothers Shamier Anderson and Stephan James (the star of the 2019 best picture nominee “If Beale Street Could Talk”) — joined in the late afternoon fete. Anderson and James flank Shaikh in the photo below.

Oliver Masucci, Tom Schilling, Saskia Rosendahl and Sebastian Koch attend the German Oscar reception at The Villa Aurora on Feb. 23 (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images)

Over at The Villa Aurora in the Pacific Palisades, Germany also had their own Friday afternoon “die Feier” (celebration) to honor that country’s nominees, with accolades for Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, director of the best foreign film “Never Look Away,” and his stars Oliver Masucci, Tom Schilling, Saskia Rosendahl and Sebastian Koch (pictured above).

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Glenn Close and Yalitza Aparicio attend the Women in Film Oscar Nominees Party at Spring Place on February 22, 2019. (Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images for Women In Film)

Taking over the newest party space in Beverly Hills, Women in Film made Friday night their own. At Spring Place (on Wilshire and Spaulding), traffic backed up and females poured out of chauffeur-driven rides to make their way up to the 12th annual WIF Oscar Nominees Party.

Everyone came to support the idea of empowering women in every aspect of film, from current nominees including Regina King, Sandy Powell and Marina de Tavira to Glenn Close and Yalitza Aparicio (below), who both dressed in suffragette white.

Kate Bosworth at the Women In Film Oscar Nominees Party at Spring Place on Feb. 22 (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Chloe Wine Collection)

Actress and producer Kate Bosworth led the rest of the talented crowd — Angela Bassett, KiKi Layne, Connie Britton, Lake Bell, Eva Longoria, Felicity Huffman and WIF head Cathy Schulman among lots of others — in launching a new initiative aimed at female directors. Chloe Wine Collection launched the “She Directed” contest in conjunction with WIF and Bosworth, with plans to provide four women both mentorship from established Hollywood veterans as well as funding for a future project.

“It’s a very important initiative,” Bosworth (above) told The Wrap amid the din of the party. “It’s important to continually strive to put women at the center of the story. It’s frustrating that women still have to fight so hard to direct in this industry. It’s frustrating. It really is beyond frustrating. Women in general are some of the most ferocious energies on this planet and I think it’s about harnessing that ferocity. I get frustrated, I sometimes just want to upturn the entire table. But it’s about making enough noise that you get a seat at that table.”

Nominees toast onstage during the 12th annual Women in Film Oscar Nominees Party Presented by Max Mara with additional support from Chloe Wine Collection, Stella Artois and Cadillac at Spring Place on Feb. 22. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Chloe Wine Collection)

Women garnered 61 Oscar nominations this year, a record number, as Cathy Shulman told the appreciative crowd. “We are at the height of gender parity in Hollywood right now, since we started Women in Film 12 years ago. But gender parity is still the issue. Only 25 percent of this year’s Oscar nominees are women. We still need to keep fighting!”

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George Clooney’s ‘Catch-22’ In Tune With Our “Shared Global Anxiety,” Writer Says – TCA

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George Clooney says he first read Catch-22 in high school, joking it was required reading back then when he was young “15 years ago.” His initial response when asked about making Hulu’s six-episode series? “No,” he said, s…

‘Catch-22′: Everyone Tries to Get Out of World War II in George Clooney’s Hulu Limited Series (Video)

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Hulu released the first look at George Clooney’s adaptation of Joseph Heller’s seminal war novel, “Catch-22” and it looks like everyone is trying to get sent home from World War II.
The streamer also announced that it will premi…

Still The Smartest Guy On The Hill 30 Years After Sex, Lies & Videotape: Steven Soderbergh Unravels Hollywood Chaos

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See George Clooney Sporting a Great Mustache for Hulu’s ‘Catch-22’ Miniseries

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The first images of George Clooney’s “Catch-22” adaptation are here, including a few shots of Clooney himself in costume.

Clooney was originally set to play one of the lead roles on the six-episode Hulu miniseries, on which he also serves as director and executive producer. However, he instead opted for the smaller part and passed on the role of Col. Cathcart to Kyle Chandler.

The adaptation is told from the perspective of the character Yossarian, played by “Girls” alum Christopher Abbott, a bombardier for the U.S. Air Force during World War II who faces a constant struggle of serving in war and doing what he must in order to survive.

Also Read: Kyle Chandler Replaces George Clooney as Lead in Hulu’s ‘Catch-22’

Clooney plays cadet school training commander Scheisskopf, who is obsessed with winning parade tournaments and widely regarded as a general idiot who makes the men’s lives a living hell.

The cast also includes Hugh Laurie as Major de Coverley, a squadron executive officer on the Pianosa Air Base.

Clooney and Grant Heslov will direct the Paramount Television series and executive produce for Smokehouse Pictures, as will Richard Brown and Steve Golin of Anonymous Content. Luke Davies and David Michôd serve as co-writers and executive producers.

See the first-look photos below via Entertainment Weekly and People.



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Chloe Grace Moretz, Jack O’Connell to Play Bonnie and Clyde in ‘Love Is a Gun’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Chloë Grace Moretz and Jack O’Connell will play Bonnie and Clyde in Kike Maillo’s “Love Is a Gun,” Endeavor Content announced on Tuesday.

“Love Is a Gun” is based on “Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde” by bestselling author Jeff Guinn. Oscar nominee Shelton Turner (“Up in the Air”) wrote the screenplay, while Johnny Newman (“Narcos”) added revisions. “Love Is a Gun” follows the emotional story of two of history’s most famous lovers.

Marissa McMahon and Ashley Schlaifer of Kamala Films are producing alongside Sean and Bryan Furst of Skybound Entertainment.

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“We are excited to reintroduce the iconic story of Bonnie and Clyde. Their story remains ubiquitous in popular culture across the globe, yet few in this generation know the details of their intimate love affair and the circumstances that led to their notorious crime spree that captured the imagination of the world in their time,” said the producing team in a joint statement. “Kike, Chloë and Jack are completely in sync about the character-driven approach we will be taking, and we feel lucky to have a creative team of this high caliber leading us forward.”

Production is set to begin in early 2019.

Endeavor Content is handling the international sales for the film at the 2018 American Film Market. CAA is co-repping the film domestically with the producers.

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Moretz recently starred in “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” and can now be seen in Luca Guadagnino’s “Suspiria” costarring Dakota Johnson. She will next be seen in the thriller “Greta” opposite Isabelle Huppert. She is represented by WME and T Squared Entertainment.

O’Connell starred in Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken” and Jodie Foster’s “Money Monster” alongside Julia Roberts and George Clooney. He is represented by CAA and Conway van Gelder Grant.

Maillo’s feature-length directing debut, “Eva,” starring Daniel Brühl, premiered at the 2011 Venice Film Festival.

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25 Best Celebrity Halloween Costumes: From George Clooney to Rita Ora (Photos)

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Welcome to TheWrap’s spooktacular list of the best celebrity Halloween costumes of 2018. Peruse our photo gallery if you dare.
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George Clooney Warns Against Fear, Hatred From Trump Administration in Stirring Power of Women Speech

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George Clooney, Grant Heslov’s Smokehouse Signs First-Look Deal With Paramount Television

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Paramount Television has signed a first-look TV deal with George Clooney and Grant Heslov’s Smokehouse Pictures, the studio announced on Monday.
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Cate Blanchett Named BAFTA’s Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award Winner for Excellence in Film

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Cate Blanchett will receive the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles (BAFTA Los Angeles) this year, the organization announced Thursday.

She joins previously announced honoree Steve McQueen, who will receive the John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Excellence in Directing. This year’s ceremony will take place on Oct. 26 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.

“With an impressive and extensive repertoire of work on screen and stage, Cate’s award-winning talent is unprecedented, earning her international acclaim and numerous accolades,” said BAFTA Los Angeles chairman Kieran Breen. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate her brilliant work by honoring her with this year’s Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film.”

Also Read: Cate Blanchett Calls for ‘Parity and Transparency’ in Red Carpet Protest of Gender Inequity in Cannes

The Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film is awarded to an individual who is credited with “authorship and ingenuity.” Previous recipients include Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Meryl Streep, Robert Downey Jr. and George Clooney.

Blanchett has had a busy year: This summer she starred in “Ocean’s 8” and will be next seen in “The House with a Clock in Its Walls.” She also served as the Jury President of the 71st Cannes Film Festival, a jury that also included director Ava DuVernay, actress Kristen Stewart and director Denis Villeneuve. She will next star in “Where’d You Go Bernadette” and Netflix’s “Mowgli.”

Also Read: Cate Blanchett Named Cannes Film Festival Jury President

Blanchett’s previous credits include “Blue Jasmine” — for which she won an Oscar — “Thor: Ragnarok,” “The Aviator” — for which she also won an Oscar — “Elizabeth” and “Lord of the Rings.” Her role in “Carol” earned the Best Actress award at the Screen Actors Guild and the Golden Globes.

Blanchett has always previously been awarded the Centenary Medal for Service to Australian Society through Acting in 2007 and was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. She has also received a Hollywood Walk of Fame star.

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‘ER’ Actress Vanessa Marquez Shot and Killed by South Pasadena PD Officer

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Vanessa Marquez, a series regular actress on NBC’s hit drama “ER” from 1994-1997, was shot and killed by a South Pasadena PD officer during a welfare check early Thursday afternoon. She was 49.

During the welfare check at the 1100 Block of Fremont Avenue, Marquez was having seizures and possibly suffering from mental health issues, Lieutenant Joe Mendoza of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau told TheWrap. After more than 90 minutes of officers trying to convince an uncooperative Marquez to seek care, Mendoza says the actress and South Pasadena resident pulled out a weapon and pointed it at police officers. Though it was later identified to be a BB gun, Mendoza said it was a replica of a semi-automatic handgun, and police believed the weapon to be a real firearm.

An officer or officers shot Mendoza, who was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead. No officers were injured.

Also Read: George Clooney ‘Had No Idea’ That ‘ER’ Actress Vanessa Marquez Was Blacklisted

Marquez played Nurse Wendy Goldman on “ER” Marquez made headlines last year after accusing the show’s star George Clooney of having her blacklisted after she reported suffering sexual and racial harassment on the set of the NBC medical drama.

“I had no idea Vanessa was blacklisted,” Clooney said in a statement to TheWrap back in October. “I take her at her word. I was not a writer or a producer or a director on that show. I had nothing to do with casting. I was an actor and only an actor.”

Clooney, who starred as Doug Ross on the series for five seasons, denied having any influence on casting the show or on Marquez’s career. “If she was told I was involved in any decision about her career then she was lied to,” he said. “The fact that I couldn’t affect her career is only surpassed by the fact that I wouldn’t.”

Also Read: ‘ER’ Actress Says George Clooney Helped ‘Blacklist’ Her After ‘P— Grabber’ Complaint

Marquez accused the cast and producers of “ER” of conspiring to have her blacklisted after she reported being sexually harassed and being discriminated against on the basis of race.

“B.S.” she tweeted when Clooney condemned former pal Harvey Weinstein after the movie producer was accused of sexual assault and harassment by multiple women. “Clooney helped blacklist me when I spoke up [about] harassment on ER ‘Women who don’t play the game lose career’ I did.”

Marquez, who played Nurse Wendy Goldman in 27 episodes of “ER,” accused Eriq La Salle and a camera operator of being “p— grabbers,” which she said she reported to showrunner John Wells and to the show’s production company, Warner Bros.

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Other credits of Marquez’s include three episodes of 1999 sitcom “Malcolm & Eddie” and an episode of “Melrose Place.” She appeared on the “Cheever Letters” episode of “Seinfeld,” and had roles in movies “Stand and Deliver” and “Blood In, Blood Out.”

The LASD is continuing to assist South Pasadena PD with the officer-involved shooting investigation.

Warner Bros. did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on Marquez’s passing. NBC did not have a comment.

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George Clooney is the highest-paid actor in the world, despite not making a movie since 2016

Read on: The A.V. Club.

Forbes’ annual rankings of the highest-paid actors and actresses are always at least somewhat controversial, if only because a lot of these people do not deserve this much money, but last year’s lists were particularly noteworthy for the fact that 14 a…

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Earns the Most For Acting — But Doesn’t Top Forbes’ List of Highest-Paid Actors

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson took home the most money of any actor for acting in the period between June 1, 2017 and June 1, 2018, earning $124 million total pretax.

However, Johnson didn’t top Forbes‘ highest-paid actors for 2018. George Clooney has that honor.

Clooney had pretax earnings of $239 million, though he owes the majority of that to the success of Casamigos Tequila, of which he is a co-founder.

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Founded in 2013 by the actor and two other partners, the company was purchased in June 2017 by British liquor company Diageo for $700 million, with the potential for an additional $300 million in earnings spread out over the next decade. Clooney took home $233 million from the sale.

Despite being second, Forbes called Johnson “Hollywood’s most bankable star,” thanks to his large social media following and his lead roles in “Skyscraper” and “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.”

Following behind Clooney and Johnson on the list is Robert Downey Jr., who made $81 million from his projects, which included the mega-blockbuster “Avengers: Infinity War” as well as his appearance in “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” His fellow Avenger Chris Hemsworth clocked in at number four, with $64.5 million.

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The only returning member of the list is Will Smith, who took in $42 million — just behind Jackie Chan’s $45.5 million —  which landed him the number six spot on the list. Part of Smith’s earnings come from his role as Genie in the upcoming live-action “Aladdin.”

Forbes noted that the total amount accrued by the top ten highest-paid actors, $748.5 million, overshadowed the collective earnings of the top ten highest-paid actresses, which was $186 million. The top three actresses from that list were Scarlett Johansson, Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston.

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‘A Star Is Born’ Again and Again and Again – Will the Movie Remakes Ever Stop? (Guest Blog)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The Venice Film Festival begins August 29 and possibly the most anticipated American entry is the world premiere of “A Star Is Born” starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, who also directed the film. This is at least the fourth telling of this tale. The stars change, the style of music changes, but the story apparently has something that is evergreen — the title, coincidentally, of Barbra Streisand’s Oscar-winning song in the 1976 version.

The latest big-screen reboot of “Charlie’s Angels” was announced earlier this summer, and as we speak, Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner are prepping a reimagining of “West Side Story.” It might make sense to attempt a new take on a great idea that didn’t work the first time. (The Rat Pack’s “Oceans 11” became the much better George Clooney version.) But for an iconic musical that won 10 Oscars?

The list of failed remakes is long. (Think “Charade,” “Sabrina, “The Magnificent Seven.”) Another winner of ten-plus Oscars, “Ben Hur,” came back in 2016 and bit the dust. There are those that never get it right. Neither Robert Redford nor Leonardo di Caprio could bring Gatsby to life.

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The new version of “Papillon,” starring Charlie Hunnam (“Sons of Anarchy”) and Rami Malek (“Mr. Robot”), opens in theaters August 24. “These remakes are made because a director, star or screenwriter has a modern take on the film for a new generation,” says Michael Puopolo, senior VP of international television research at 20th Century Fox distribution. Early trade reviews of the film, which originally starred Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman, do not bode well. But their young fans may ignore the critics.

Which may be why Hollywood keeps trying.

Hollywood likes stories that have pre-existing audience awareness,” says Joe Pichirallo, currently at NYU’s Tisch School and formerly SVP at Fox Searchlight. “Plus, a successful old film presumably has a story that works creatively.”

Also Read: Charlie Hunnam and Rami Malek Break Out of Devil’s Island in ‘Papillon’ Remake Trailer (Video)

A significant rationale for taking a second (or third) shot on a property is the explosion in all things technical. This explains the “King Kong” and “Godzilla” reboots. But do louder pyrotechnics necessarily make for better viewing, or do they leave nothing to what’s left of our imagination?

One might also point to sexual liberties that can now be taken with stories told in primmer times. But is nudity necessarily sexier than hanging a towel between beds, or teaching a guy how to whistle?

Director Taylor Hackford, who sexed up 1947’s “Out of the Past” under the new title “Against All Odds” in 1984, warns that critics judge new versions particularly harshly. “I didn’t want to duplicate the original,” he says. “My desire was to do a new adaptation of the novel, but to update it to the hazy smog of 1980s Los Angeles. I’ll never do another remake. It’s a thankless task.”

Also Read: ‘Mulan’ Director Shares First Photo From Set of Live-Action Remake

And then there are the PC considerations. For instance, the new Charlie bossing those Angels around will be a woman. Clearly, the thinking behind the Spielberg/Kushner take on “West Side Story” will be to make sure that when you’re a Shark… you’re a Shark all the way. (That is, the director is specifically seeking out Latinx talent to fill the Puerto Rican gang’s principal roles.)

There are also the Americanized remakes, our version of foreign films. This spring’s box office dud “Midnight Sun,” a teen romance starring Bella Thorne and Patrick Schwarzenegger, was based on a 2006 Japanese film, while Sony Classics just released an American version of the Argentinian drama “Puzzle” to mostly middling reviews.

Bottom line: Most revivals do not work. One reason may be that original story ideas aren’t going to film studios. “Television is sucking all the interesting, edgy, creative ideas out of the feature market,” entertainment attorney Alan Wertheimer says.

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Lucy Stille, a literary agent at APA, says, “With studio consolidation and the decision to spend on a few movies rather than a varied slate of mid-range films, there is no financial incentive for screenwriters to write on spec.”

There are the rare happy endings when it comes to film remakes. “True Grit” may have won an Oscar for John Wayne in 1970, but the film was much improved upon years later by the Coen Brothers. Wayne, by the way, is one of the few who remade his own movie. Yes, “Rio Bravo” basically became “El Dorado,” with James Caan in the Ricky Nelson role.

Alfred Hitchcock turned his 1934 black-and-white version of “The Man Who Knew Too Much” into a revised thriller two decades later, starring James Stewart and Doris Day. Bing Crosby’s “Holiday Inn” begat Crosby’s “White Christmas.” Better? You decide.

Is any movie immune to this treatement? There has even been talk every few years of remaking “Casablanca.” We can only hope we are misinformed. Of all the scripts in all the gin joints…

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Mulan’ Director Shares First Photo From Set of Live-Action Remake

‘Suspiria’ Remake Will Haunt You For Whopping 152 Minutes

Timothée Chalamet in Talks to Star in Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Dune’ Remake

‘Superfly’ Film Review: Remake Updates Blaxploitation Genre With Wit and Resonance