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Thompson on Hollywood

China Resolves Flowers of War Producers vs. Theaters Impasse

Tensions between theaters and studios are not only riding high in Hollywood. The Chinese government has intervened to resolve a conflict between the producers of "Flowers of War," the most expensive movie ever made in China, and exhibitors, who fought against a steep ticket price hike, reports Variety. 
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 28, 2011 12:25 PM
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Dark Knight Rises: Christopher Nolan Drops News, Batman a Mess, Bane's Brutal Carnage

Go nuts, Batman fans, new details on "The Dark Knight Rises" have landed. Director Christopher Nolan confirms to Empire that the "first six, seven minutes of the film" will screen in select IMAX cinemas on December 21, and will give "an introduction to Bane [the villain, played by Tom Hardy], and a taste of the rest of the film." We'll have to wait until July 20, 2012, to see the complete film. More details below: What's the plot? Well, eight years have gone by since we left Bruce Wayne in "The Dark Knight": "It's really all about finishing Batman and Bruce Wayne's story. We left him in a very precarious place. Perhaps surprisingly for some people, our story picks up quite a bit later, eight years after 'The Dark Knight.' So he's an older Bruce Wayne; he's not in a great state." The challenges in this film are new for Batman, and Nolan says the choice of villain and the direction the story aim to test him "both physically as well as mentally."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 22, 2011 3:06 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Zhang Yimou's Flowers of War, Starring Christian Bale, Goes to Wrekin Hill

  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 7, 2011 8:26 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Malick Fans, Eat Your Heart Out: Two More Films on the Way, Starring Bale, Blanchett, Gosling, Mara

Malick Fans, Eat Your Heart Out: Two More Films on the Way, Starring Bale, Blanchett, Gosling, Mara
FilmNation has two hot tickets to bring to the AFM: Topliners Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett are each set to star in two upcoming Terence Malick films. Bale will appear alongside Blanchett, Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara and Haley Bennett in Lawless, while Knight of Cups will star Bale, Blanchett and Isael Lucas. Both films are in pre-production and news of this is no doubt causing Malick fans to have heart palpitations.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 1, 2011 9:28 AM
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Trailer Watch: Christian Bale's Flowers of War Is Not Delicate Film, Looks Gorgeous, Horrifying

TOH! caught twenty minutes of gorgeous, horrifying footage of Zhang Yimou's The Flowers of War (formerly Heros of Nanking) at Toronto, along with every distributor in town. It's China's most expensive movie to date, and will open there and across Asia on December 16, and is rumored to be near a deal for US distribution. The film stars Christian Bale, with what looks like a strong performance, as a mortician in wartorn 1937 Nanking who steps up to protect a group of schoolgirls and prostitutes taking shelter at the Winchester Cathedral. Adapted by Liu Heng from the novel by Geling Yan, it is inspired by true events during the Rape of Nanking. Here's more from Toronto. The film is China's official entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • October 20, 2011 8:14 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Aronofsky's Noah Goes Ahead with Paramount & New Regency: Will It Sail With Bale?

Paramount is on board to co-finance Darren Aronofsky's Noah with New Regency, and shooting is set to kick off in Spring 2012. This means no more wondering how Aronofsky will follow up his Black Swan success.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 4, 2011 6:52 AM
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The Avengers Cover EW; Their Mighty Powers Still Won't Match B.O. Power of Dark Knight Rises

On newsstands tomorrow, EW's The Avengers issue banks on the star power of not just one, but three existing Marvel superhero franchise movies. Iron Man's Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, and Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Thor's Chris Hemsworth, and Captain America's Chris Evans join up with new Hulk Mark Ruffalo to defeat uber-villain Loki (Thor's Tom Hiddleston), who told TOH his powers have increased a thousand-fold. It's the superhero franchise movie to end them all.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 29, 2011 4:54 AM
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  • 10 Comments

First Poster Art for Zhang Yimou's Oscar Hopeful Flowers of War with Christian Bale Not Inspired

First Poster Art for Zhang Yimou's Oscar Hopeful Flowers of War with Christian Bale Not Inspired
Picking the right poster art is an art in itself, and China's treatment for its official Oscar submission, Zhang Yimou's $90 million The Flowers Of War, leaves much to be desired.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 26, 2011 7:41 AM
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  • 2 Comments

China Selects Zhang Yimou's Flowers of War, Starring Christian Bale, as Oscar Entry

China Selects Zhang Yimou's Flowers of War, Starring Christian Bale, as Oscar Entry
The backers of Zhang Yimou's The Flowers of War, a tough period drama set during the horrific 1937 Nanking Massacre, are heaving sighs of relief. China has chosen the film as its official Oscar entry. It is due for December 16 release in Asia and was for sale at the recent Toronto Film Festival, where I saw a stunning 20 minutes of footage. This means that a buyer is now more likely to step up to qualify the film at year's end for a Christian Bale Oscar campaign, knowing that The Flowers of War may wind up a foreign Oscar nominee. (There's just enough Chinese in the English/Mandarin dialogue to qualify.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 23, 2011 8:34 AM
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Film in the Decade Since 9/11: From Superheroes to Westerns, What Came After

Film in the Decade Since 9/11: From Superheroes to Westerns, What Came After
This week's “Now and Then” column started out comparing and contrasting two movies about assassins — Hanna (Joe Wright, 2011) and Léon: the Professional (Luc Besson, 1994)—and ended up ruminating on 9/11. Trailers below:Life and culture are too messy to be divided into easy categories like “Before” and “After,” but for all the continuities in the way films are made and viewed, a long view of the last decade reveals some important, if subtle, shifts. Watching the network news coverage of September 11 to prepare for this column, I was reminded of how much we didn’t know that day, how much our fear stemmed from no longer being able to control the course of events.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • September 12, 2011 11:36 AM
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