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New War for the Planet of the Apes Trailer: War (for the Planet of the Apes) Is Hell

The last line of the new War for the Planet of the Apes trailer really says it all, doesn't it? In the third installment of the latest simian trilogy, Woody Harrelson's Colonel intones a grim preamble to the all-out human-ape war, a speech which honestly seems like it's setting the humans up for failure. Maybe don't declare one battle your last stand when you're going up against an army of sentient apes fighting for their hairy lives? In the trailer, our primate protagonist Caesar must wrestle with his debasement at the hands of man and the prospect of genus-wide annihilation, as well as the care of a little human girl. Makes eating bananas and gamboling around the jungle look reeeeeeal good in comparison. The movie is scheduled for release July 14, 2017, after which all humans must abandon the trappings of civilization and take to the trees, which most of us were pretty much ready to do anyway.

Mel Gibson Doesn’t Think It’s Fair That Nate Parker’s Past Affected The Birth of a Nation

For the film industry, a large chunk of 2016 was notably encompassed by the revelation that Nate Parker, the director of the Sundance sensation The Birth of a Nation, was accused (and eventually acquitted) of raping a female college classmate in the late 1990s. That controversy, coupled with the even sadder revelation that the female classmate in question committed suicide due to depression in 2012, quickly slashed the film's chances of any type of awards show recognition. While many have suggested not seeing The Birth of a Nation as a form of protest, Mel Gibson  who's a little familiar with controversy himself — says he supports Parker.

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  • Posted 12/8/16 at 12:36 PM
  • Silence

The (Longish) Short Version of Why Silence Took Three Decades to Make

For 30 years, Martin Scorsese's Silence seemed like a myth, a movie always bobbing just out of reach. The project was always next on Martin Scorsese's to-do list: Silence would come after Gangs of New York, after The Departed, after Hugo. Now that the epic examination of faith and holiness — based on a book by Shusaku Endo — is due this month, The Hollywood Reporter got to the bottom of the story behind the wait. The short version: legal drama. The long version: lots of legal drama.

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Xavier Dolan on Blink-182, Bottoming, and Being the World’s Biggest Kate Winslet Fan

The 27-year-old director Xavier Dolan packs more into his years than most people — after all, he's already helmed six movies, and his lovely and galvanizing 2014 entry Mommy was an award-winning Cannes Film Festival sensation — but even by his own high standards, 2016 was quite the annum. He returned to Cannes this past summer with It's Only the End of the World, a drama based on the play by Jean-Luc Lagarce about a dying writer (Gaspard Ulliel) reuniting with the awfully fraught family he left behind ages ago. After the film's contentious press premiere, Dolan scrapped with its critics online and threatened to quit filmmaking, though the Cannes jury awarded Dolan the Grand Prix days later in a move that stunned festival oddsmakers and gave Dolan the last laugh. Since then, Dolan (who also recently directed Adele's video for "Hello") has has started shooting his first English-language film, The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, which has a sprawling, starry cast that includes Kit Harington, Jessica Chastain, and Natalie Portman. It was during a break in that film's production that I met up with him twice in Los Angeles to discuss It's Only the End of the World — Canada's Oscar submission for Best Foreign Film — and so much more.

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Apple Reportedly Wants to Let You Rent Movies While They’re Still in Theaters

At this point, a Spotify-like game changer has yet to arise in the world of movie rentals. A number of platforms, like Apple, Amazon, and Google, all allow customers to pay a fee to rent films, but they all respect the 90-day theatrical-release window that's been an ironclad feature of movie distribution. But it sounds like Apple could be making a play to change that, a move that would help prevent it from becoming second fiddle to a competitor like Spotify in another digital-media realm.

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  • Posted 12/8/16 at 12:09 PM
  • Video

Watch Annette Bening Dance to Black Flag in This 20th Century Women Clip

One of my favorite things about Dorothea, the character Annette Bening plays in Mike Mills's divine new film 20th Century Women, is that she's curious. A single mother raising her son in 1979 Santa Barbara, Dorothea has become a little set in her ways — at this point in her life, she knows what she likes and what works for her and she's got no shame in leaning into that — but at the same time, she's so eager to understand the people around her and the ever-changing cultural climate. At 55 years old, she still wants to learn. You'll see that curiosity on display in this exclusive clip from the movie, where Dorothea and one of her boarders, William (Billy Crudup), decide to listen to some current records while her son is out. First up is Black Flag ... and the way Annette Bening winces through that will give you life today. The next record, though, is Talking Heads ... and Dorothea finds herself so much more amenable to it that a dreamy dance party breaks out. Join in on Christmas, when this Oscar contender starts making its way into theaters.

Explaining Felicity Jones’s Rogue One Character, Jyn Erso, Who Is Not Rey

There’s a new Star Wars movie on the way, which is a phrase we’ll say every year until our planet’s crust peels off into a billion little meteors that bathe the solar system with flickers of brief light before fading into the void. It’s called Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and you may have noticed that its posters have a distinct lack of any actors you remember from the existing flicks in the franchise. There’s a stony-eyed woman who towers above them all, visually declaring her importance in the film. Her name is Jyn Erso, she’s played by Felicity Jones, and if you’re wondering what her overall deal is, allow us to briefly lay it out for you.

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  • Posted 12/8/16 at 9:00 AM

A Non-Judgmental Guide to All the Questions You Might Have About Rogue One

We’re just a few days away from the release of the cumbersomely titled Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It’s the latest entry in the Star Wars franchise, which will continue to release installments every year until humankind is naught more than forgotten dust scattered in the cosmic wind. Unsurprisingly, Rogue One has been the subject of a brutal publicity blitz for nearly a year ahead of its December 16 release date, as per Star Wars tradition. But despite that massive exposure, the movie's marketing campaign has done a questionable job of explaining some really basic aspects of the movie’s premise. If you have simple questions you’ve been afraid to ask for fear that nerds might mock you (what a world we live in!), we’ve got you covered here.

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Tom Hardy Lost a Bet, So He’s Getting a Crappy Leonardo DiCaprio Tattoo

This might be the only Revenant-related story with a happy, unbloodied ending: Tom Hardy revealed to Esquire that he has to get a tattoo of Leonardo DiCaprio's handwriting. Last year, Hardy, unsure of his Oscar chances for playing a coldhearted fur trapper, didn't expect to score a nomination. DiCaprio, though Oscar-less at the time, thought otherwise. The pair made a bet: If Hardy got a nod, he'd get a tattoo of his co-star's choosing. If he was left out of the award season fray, DiCaprio would get inked. Even though Hardy ultimately lost to Mark Rylance for Bridge of Spies, the tattoo is still on his to-do list for snagging a nomination. DiCaprio's chosen art: the words "Leo knows everything." "He wrote, in this really shitty handwriting," Hardy told Esquire. "I was like, 'Okay, I'll get it done, but you have to write it properly.'" It feels very on brand for the Titanic star to not let things like this go.

A Little Shop of Horrors Reboot Is in the Works With Greg Berlanti Directing

Greg Berlanti doesn’t have enough to do. He’s only shepherding the CW’s superhero operations and the upcoming Riverdale series and the hit NBC show Blindspot. So why wouldn’t he also sign on to direct a reboot of an iconic musical? According to Deadline, Berlanti will be helming a new film version of Little Shop of Horrors, capitalizing on the current cultural hot streak being ridden by both musicals and remakes. Berlanti will be the third man to bring Little Shop to screen, following in the footsteps of Roger Corman and Frank Oz. This will be his first feature-length directorial effort since 2010’s Life As We Know It.

Finally, Kate McKinnon Is Getting Her Own Movie

It's about damn time. After a few years of working the film circuit in a strictly supporting capacity, SNL goddess Kate McKinnon has finally snagged her first leading role. Per Deadline, McKinnon will be headlining the delightfully kooky comedy The Lunch Witch of course it's a comedy which is based on the young-adult novel by Deb Lucke. Portraying the titular witch named Grunhilda, who "inherits her famous ancestors' recipes and cauldron," McKinnon's character is forced to use her unique set of skills to get hired as a school lunch lady since nobody believes in magic anymore. Despite getting a kick out of mercilessly scaring the school's children, Grunhilda soon has a change of heart and becomes an unlikely friend and confidant to a timid young girl, even though the relationship goes against "everything Grunhilda believes in as a witch." Let's be real, there will probably be a whole lot of breaking on the set.

  • Posted 12/7/16 at 3:00 PM
  • Awards

Taking the Post-Election Temperature of the Oscars Race

We're now a month out from the moment when Donald Trump became our president-elect, and it would be foolish not to account for how that seismic shift of context may affect this year's other way-too-long, potentially insanity-inducing campaign: the Oscars race. Over the past two weeks, we've finally gotten a temperature of the film community's post-election mood, via a spate of movie awards that both sway the opinions of the Academy, and reflect them — and it looks like our friends in the arts are ready to jump into the fire of socially relevant, emotionally taxing content rather than run away from it. 

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  • Posted 12/7/16 at 2:09 PM
  • Courts

Russell Crowe Won’t Be Charged Over His Confrontation With Azealia Banks

Azealia Banks isn't having much success getting the law to believe her side of the oddest celebrity feud of the year. That feud began in October, when Banks and Russell Crowe got into an altercation in a hotel room, during which the actor allegedly bear-hugged the rapper and removed her from his Beverly Hills Hotel suite. Banks filed a police report against Crowe, in which she insisted that he choked her, called her the N-word, and spit on her. According to TMZ, however, the L.A. County D.A.'s Office has decided not to charge Crowe, because his actions were "justified to prevent the imminent violence threatened by Banks." Witnesses reported that Banks repeatedly used a racial epithet, was verbally aggressive, and as RZA, who invited Banks to the party, claimed, picked up a glass and threatened to use it to cut an attendee. The D.A. also determined that Crowe's spitting was "incidental to preventing more serious threatened violence" (according to a TMZ witness, the spit did not hit Banks). Now, we wait for Azealia Banks's inevitable response.

Amy Schumer Has Some Fighting Words for the ‘Trolls’ Who Fat-Shamed Her Barbie Casting

After it was announced last week that Amy Schumer will be potentially headlining a live-action, child-friendly Barbie movie for Sony, the backlash was swift: Some online commenters claimed Schumer wasn't the ideal body type for the role. But Schumer isn't about to let the trolls have the last word, so she's fighting back with her signature witty gusto to give a middle finger to all of her detractors. "Very very honored to be nominated for two Grammys and to be considered to play an important and evolving icon," Schumer wrote on her Instagram account on Tuesday in the caption field of a photo of her in a swimsuit. "Is it fat shaming if you know you're not fat and have zero shame in your game? I don't think so. I am strong and proud of how I live my life and say what I mean and fight for what I believe in and I have a blast doing it with the people I love. Where's the shame? It's not there. It's an illusion. When I look in the mirror I know who I am. I'm a great friend, sister, daughter, and girlfriend. I'm a badass comic headlining arenas all over the world and making TV and movies and writing books where I lay it all out there and I'm fearless like you can be."

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Viggo Mortensen on Captain Fantastic, Being Typecast, and the Long-term Benefit of Being in Lord of the Rings

Though it’s been almost a year since Captain Fantastic premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, Matt Ross’s film — about an anti-establishment father raising his six kids off the grid in the woods of the Pacific Northwest — has seen an impressive uptick in awards buzz for its star Viggo Mortensen, who recently earned both Critics Choice and Indie Spirit nominations for his portrayal of a man torn between his kids’ needs and his own rejection of mainstream culture. In November, Mortensen met with Vulture in front of a live audience at SAG-AFTRA in Los Angeles as part of its Foundation’s “Conversations” series, to discuss the film, his breakout role in Peter Weir’s Witness, and how the “long-lasting” fame afforded by the Lord of the Rings trilogy has allowed him the freedom to pursue smaller passion projects.

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Johnny Depp Is Forbes’ Most Overpaid Actor for the Second Year in a Row (Sorry, Adam Sandler)

Johnny Depp is back at it with the inflated paycheck: The actor has again been named Forbes' reigning overpaid actor. It's debatable whether the Pirates of the Caribbean star adds to a movie's quality, but it turns out he doesn't add much to the bottom line. To crunch the numbers, Forbes analyzed every actor's latest three notable releases, dividing the movie's "operating income" by the talent's estimated pay. The conclusion: Depp only returns $2.80 of every dollar he's paid. Now that it's his second year topping the list, he's tied with Adam Sandler, who got the top (dis)honor in 2013 and 2014. Is 2017 the year Depp pulls a hat trick? See the rest of the list, below:

  1. Johnny Depp, returns $2.80 for each $1 paid
  2. Will Smith, returns $5 for each $1 paid
  3. Channing Tatum, returns $6 for each $1 paid
  4. Will Ferrell, returns $6.50 for each $1 paid
  5. George Clooney, returns $6.70 for each $1 paid
  6. Adam Sandler, returns $7.60 for each $1 paid
  7. Mark Wahlberg, returns $9.20 for each $1 paid
  8. Leonardo DiCaprio, returns $9.90 for each $1 paid
  9. Julia Roberts, returns $10.80 for each $1 paid
  10. Bradley Cooper, returns $12.10 for each $1 paid

The New York Times Calls Sausage Party One of the Best Movies of the Year

As you undoubtedly know by now, Seth Rogen's animated movie Sausage Party follows the emotional religious journey of a little hot-dog boy and his bun honey as they discover their supermarket home is not, as they had believed, a waiting room to a blissful afterlife. The film is, however, still a comedy that contains a talking douche and a very goofy, extremely sloppy pansexual food orgy, but you wouldn't know that from its grim description on the New York Times' Best Movies of 2016 list. "This animated feature, with the voices of Seth Rogen and Kristen Wiig, is a profoundly religious film that explores, with devastating rigor, a stark and scary existential predicament. What if you woke up one morning and found out that everything you had always believed in was a lie?," writes A.O. Scott, who ranked the film his No. 8 for the year. "Not for kids, obviously." It's no Moonlight or Elle, but maybe, just maybe Sausage Party has what it takes to be a Golden Globe Best Drama wiener after all.

  • Posted 12/7/16 at 10:00 AM
  • Animals

Matthew McConaughey Touched a Tiger and Told Vulture All About It

Matthew McConaughey isn't one to shrink away from a role's unique challenges. He donned a G-string for Magic Mike, whittled 60 pound off his frame for Dallas Buyers Club, and, in Stephen Gaghan's new film, Gold, gained 40 pounds to play balding, desperate gold prospector Kenny Wells. But as McConaughey told Vulture this past week, his beer-and-milkshake diet for Gold wasn't nearly the most dangerous thing the film put him through. That came at the tail end of the shoot, when filming a scene where Kenny decides to do something outrageous — pat a rich businessman's pet tiger — in order to secure a lucrative business deal. The tiger was real, and as McConaughey told Vulture, so was his onscreen fear.

"They know I like to get off to that kind of buzz." »

  • Posted 12/7/16 at 10:00 AM
  • Movies

How Do You Direct a Sex Scene? 10 Directors Tell Their Secrets

Nothing is easy when it comes to directing a movie, but shooting a sex scene may pose filmmaking's most surreal challenge. Think of all the contradictions at play: Sex is one of the most real and messy things two people can engage in, but in this case, carefully choreographed movie stars are paid to fake it. And while the best love scenes often feel intimate and personal, it's easy to forget that they're reenacted in front of a director and crew standing just out of frame, then broadcast to (and screen-capped by) an audience of millions.

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Annette Bening Sure Did Miss Smoking Real Cigarettes On 20th Century Women

Smoking cigarettes rarely appears in films nowadays, except as a period-appropriate detail, like landlines or casual misogyny. But cigarettes are everywhere in Mike Mills's 1970s period piece 20th Century Women, where Annette Bening plays a single mom with a strong nicotine addiction. At Sunday's gala for New York Stage and Film, Vulture asked Bening if she had picked up smoking real cigarettes again to maintain the film's verisimilitude. "For a while [in the past], I was smoking real cigarettes and loving it. [I was like] Oh my God, I have to smoke in this movie, but secretly [was] really wanting to," Bening said. She didn't indulge in the guilty pleasure this time around, smoking herbal cigarettes, which she said were "really good in that they look real." How did they compare to the real thing? "It doesn’t taste great. It’s like sitting in front of a fireplace,” she said. "But it works and it looks right for the movie, and that’s what’s important."