The Playlist

Stephen Frears Frontrunner To Direct Freddie Mercury Biopic Starring Sacha Baron Cohen

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 9, 2012 2:39 PM
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  • 4 Comments
With Sacha Baron Cohen heading back into theaters next week with another loudly accented, outrageous comic character creation, it's easy to forget he has aspirations beyond comedy. For a couple of years now he's been attached to a biopic about late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury boasting a script from "The Queen" scribe Peter Morgan. At one point, the plan was to shoot it last August, but when we spoke to Morgan in the fall, he explained how it all went down. "Projects have great momentum, and then they slow down. I wrote it, they've got it. Maybe they're sneakily rewriting it, I've got no idea. They were in a great hurry to do it, and then Sacha committed to doing 'The Dictator.' So at that moment, all our afterburners were slowed down. 'Cause at one point, we were frantic, but Sacha had been working on the other one for four years. So I think he's up to his eyeballs at the moment," he said. But it looks like Baron Cohen wants to get back to it.

Stephen Frears To Direct 'Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight' For HBO, Casting Underway

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 1, 2012 4:31 PM
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If there is one thing about Stephen Frears, he doesn't usually let too much time pass before he's on to the next project. And barely a week after his latest film "Lay The Favorite" premiered at Sundance, it looks like he may be on to something new. And now, it's not the developing remake of "The Hit" or "The Bengali Detective." Instead, it's "Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight" and it's gearing up at HBO.

Sundance: Stephen Frears & Rebecca Hall Talk Bringing The Gambling Tale 'Lay The Favorite' To Life

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • January 24, 2012 12:03 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Over the weekend in Park City, Utah, “Lay the Favorite” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, drawing mixed reactions from audiences and critics with its colorful portrait of an ex-stripper who discovers an unexpected aptitude for legal gambling (you can read our review here). Amazingly, however, the film is based on a true story, using the memoir by Beth Raymer as a jumping off point, and as Rebecca Hall puts it, her performance as Beth gives the character a believability they might not have if they were in a regular, fictional film.

Sundance: Stephen Frears Confirms He's Considering An American Remake Of 'The Hit,' But It's Not Quite Ready To Roll Just Yet

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • January 23, 2012 10:04 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Stephen Frears, director of the upcoming film “Lay the Favorite,” told The Playlist that one of his next projects may be a remake of his own film, the 1984 underworld thriller “The Hit,” with development of the film first surfacing late last year. “Well, if [the pieces come together,]” he said in an interview Sunday afternoon in Park City, Utah. “I’d like to do a remake of it, yeah. It’s such a good story, and I would happily do it again. I’d be curious to see if I could do it better, or maybe I’d do it worse.”

Watch: Rebecca Hall & Bruce Willis Have A Sunset Strip Singalong In First Clip From Stephen Frears' 'Lay The Favorite'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • January 18, 2012 11:40 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Many rock stars want to be actors, despite having no real capacity for it, while conversely, many actors would like to be singers, again, without necessarily having the ability to carry a tune. Among them is Bruce Willis, who inexplicably had a successful album, "The Return of Bruno," in the 1980s. Fortunately, we've been spared his vocal stylings for a while on screen, but our time of rest is over; if you've ever wanted to hear John McClane take on The Hollies' "The Air That I Breathe," 1) You're in luck, and 2) What's wrong with you?

Stephen Frears Developing A Remake Of 'The Hit' For Some Reason

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • December 14, 2011 3:46 PM
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  • 1 Comment
When Criterion reissued a tricked out new edition of Stephen Frears' 1984 gangster flick "The Hit," we were taken aback by what a beautifully composed, totally brutal little thriller it was. A clear inspiration for "Sexy Beast," the film starred John Hurt and Tim Roth as hitmen hired by London gangsters to kidnap a rat (played by Terence Stamp) who has been hiding out in Spain, and bring him to Paris. That's pretty much all you need to know -- it's pretty perfect. For some reason, though, both Frears, his screenwriter Peter Price, and producer Jeremy Thomas, feel that perfection isn't enough and are compelled to revisit "The Hit" in remake form Variety reports. Cue audible groan.

'Melancholia' Wins Best Film At European Film Awards; Ties 'The King's Speech' For Most Awards

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 3, 2011 8:03 PM
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  • 1 Comment
While it has pretty much zero influence on the awards season stateside, the European Film Awards, which are essentially the Euro version of the Oscars, presented their winners tonight and it looks like Lars Von Trier's brief moment as a pariah is over.

Stephen Frears Goes 'Slumdog Millionaire,' Takes On 'The Bengali Detective'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 17, 2011 11:36 PM
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  • 2 Comments
It seems after the mammoth, Oscar-winning, box-office-breaking smash "Slumdog Millionaire," Fox Searchlight is doing everything they can to replicate that success. Next spring, the studio will release the elderly fish out of water tale, "The Best Marigold Hotel" with Dev Patel once again in the lead; and that's not the only Indian-flavored movie they have coming down the pipeline. Back in January, at Sundance, the studio picked up the rights to the hotly buzzed documentary "The Bengali Detective" but instead of releasing the movie, they're just gonna remake it instead (and maybe make it a meaty DVD extra down the line).

Frank Grillo Joins Stephen Frears' Adaptation Of Beth Raymer's 'Lay The Favorite'

  • By Simon Dang
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  • May 3, 2011 3:23 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Little known actor Frank Grillo has joined the exciting cast of Stephen Frears next directorial effort, an adaptation of Beth Raymer's Vegas-set coming-of-age tale "Lay The Favorite."

Joshua Jackson Joins Rebecca Hall & Bruce Willis In Stephen Frears' Gambling Pic 'Lay The Favorite'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 19, 2011 1:21 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Speaking of "Fringe," the show's biggest name, former "Dawson's Creek" star Joshua Jackson, looks to be using his summer hiatus from the show productively. The actor's been something of a fixture on screens for almost two decades now, and is currently doing his best-ever work on the J.J. Abrams-produced sci-fi show, but, outside of his early roles in the "Mighty Ducks" franchise, he's never exactly had a ton of success on the big-screen.

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