Annapurna Pictures

Spring Breakers

There’s finally a trailer for Harmony Korine‘s Spring Breakers, proving that it wasn’t just an elaborate hoax to turn paparazzi-style beach photos into a development story while watching media outlets figure out the best way to talk about girls in swimwear as if it was the greatest, sluttiest sin they could ever commit. Of course, since the movie isn’t out yet, that’s still a possibility. Every film festival audience is in on it. As if we haven’t been talking about it since what seems like the original spring break, the film stars Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Amber Benson and Rachel Korine in a tale of young women looking for excitement, robbing a restaurant, going to jail and getting bailed out by James Franco with a platinum grill. In other words, it’s America shoved into a projector, and it’s a good thing the full trailer is finally here because it does more to make the movie look exciting than any of the faux-titillating screen shots could:


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Transformative technology. Fips. The Marvel Model disrupting superhero movies (and how it can survive alongside perpetual reboots). The literal death of film. Megan Ellison saving movies. The sleeper hits of 2012 and a great movie year for every kind of fan. Emerging independent funding. Fans saving shows with their own money. The digital horizon. Here at the end of the year (and the end of this podcast) I’ve asked FSR associate editor Rob Hunter, Cinema Blend editor-in-chief Katey Rich, managing editor Erik Davis and screenwriter Geoff Latulippe (Going the Distance) to talk about the things that will never be the same again in the movie world after 2012. They’ve come through with some incredibly interesting answers. Plus, your view on what’s changing and a look ahead to the future. Download Episode #156


Terminator 3 Coffin

It’s been a long time since we’ve heard about any forward momentum for the Terminator franchise, and maybe that’s for the best. A healthy distance from Terminator: Salvation can be a good thing. Now, Deadline Hollywood is reporting that movement has started again as producer Megan Ellison has tapped her brother David Ellison to work on the next installment in the franchise. Her Annapurna Pictures was always an odd halfway home for the property, although she’s earned a lot of goodwill as the backer of art house flicks aplenty. His Skydance Pictures getting involved is a shrewd move because it has a lot of experience in big budget, blockbuster filmmaking, and it has a production deal with Paramount. That major studio could become a great ally in this process; even though there’s no deal involving it yet, both Ellisons would be wise to go to Paramount for distribution at the very least. So, let’s consider this “earned nepotism.” It isn’t like Megan is hiring a plumber cousin to produce one of the most beloved franchises of the past half-century; she’s partnering with a seasoned producer that could certainly push something through. Let’s just hope he doesn’t look to his connection with Tom Cruise to do so. Unless he can prove that he can lift a coffin. Then it might work. The bottom line? There’s a good chance we could see a new Terminator movie in or by 2015.


Rooney Mara

Here we are, once again, talking about Steven Soderbergh’s upcoming thriller about depression and medication, Side Effects. The last time we left our players in this ongoing drama Annapurna Pictures had pulled their funding from the film, reportedly over a kerfuffle about casting. You see, rumor had it that there was some uneasy feelings about Blake Lively playing the lead role in this film, that of a depressed woman who battles addiction and is in the middle of a love triangle involving both her husband and her doctor. Further rumors indicated that there were a whole short-list of actresses that Soderbergh and his people were looking at to replace Lively, and hopefully restore faith in the project. Well, it looks like at least most of those rumors were true. Deadline Bedford is reporting that Lively has been shuffled off the film and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo star Rooney Mara will now be taking her place as the lead. Seeing as Mara just turned a lot of heads playing a dark, troubled woman and Lively hasn’t ever turned too many heads doing anything, this is probably good news for the movie overall.



Normally I’m not a very big fan of the way rich people spend their money, but Megan Ellison got in my good graces the minute I heard about her existing by starting up Annapurna Pictures and lending funding to interesting sounding projects like John Hillcoat’s Wettest County and Paul Thomas Anderson’s upcoming Scientology movie. Her star dimmed a bit in my eyes, however, when she picked up the rights to the Terminator franchise with the intentions of making another Terminator feature. Why did this new angel in my life who appeared out of nowhere and started funding artsy films just stab me in the back by continuing a once-beloved franchise that has already been run into the ground? I thought for sure our love affair was over.



Following Steven Soderbergh’s career has been a winding road full of ups and downs as of late. First he was going to make The Man From U.N.C.L.E., then there was a long period of juggling actors on that film as he tried to nail down a cast, then that movie got cancelled completely. There has been talk of retirement, talk of pushing off retirement to do more things, and generally just a lot of confusion. Things seemed to have reached a moment of stability a week ago, though, when it was announced that he was going forward with his next film, a thriller called Side Effects, and that it had funding stemming from a partnership between Annapurna Pictures and Open Road Films. That’s all up in the air now though, and apparently it comes down to the all too familiar casting woes. Variety is now reporting that Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures has pulled out of the deal, leaving Soderbergh and Open Road to find additional funding on their own. Variety gave no reason as to why the deal fell through, but The Playlist is claiming to have sources close to the situation that say Ellison and her people don’t like the casting of Blake Lively in the lead role. She apparently is set to play a drug addict in the middle of a love triangle between her husband (Channing Tatum) and her doctor (Jude Law).

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published: 01.29.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015

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