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Giancarlo Esposito Joins Francis Ford Coppola’s Packed New Movie Cast

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Francis Ford Coppola’s ambitious new production Megalopolis adds yet another big name, Giancarlo Esposito, to an already star-studded cast.


Giancarlo Esposito has become the latest addition to the all-star cast of Francis Ford Coppola’s latest film, Megalopolis. Coppola is one of the most decorated directors in history with five Oscars and an Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award to his name, boasting The Godfather trilogy and Apocalypse Now among other acclaimed productions in his filmography. Esposito found fame as the villainous Gustavo Fring on Breaking Bad and later Better Call Saul, a role he received three Emmy nods for. He also has roles in many hugely popular productions, including The Boys and The Mandalorian, and most recently led the Netflix heist series Kaleidoscope.

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Deadline now reports that Esposito has boarded the cast of Megalopolis, putting him alongside such big names as Adam Driver, Aubrey Plaza, and Laurence Fishburne. Despite a busy schedule which includes other upcoming projects including the Netflix’s The Gentlemen spinoff show, Esposito has made the time to join the ongoing production. The specifics of his Megalopolis role are currently unknown.


Everything We Know About Coppola’s Megalopolis

Francis Ford Coppola speaking

Coppola is heralded as one of the greatest directors of all time, behind some of the most beloved and cherished films ever made. His 1982 musical, One From the Heart, was a huge flop and bankrupted the director, leading him to work on more commercially viable films in order to fund himself and his family. Coppola is now in a position of financial stability that has allowed him to pursue this passion project, which he originally conceived of in the 1980s. Due to its grand scale and divergence from the Hollywood norm, studios have passed on Megalopolis, meaning Coppola has had to self-fund the reported budget of around $120 million, much like he did with Apocalypse Now, which turned out to be a big commercial and critical success.

Megalopolis is described as a New York-set science-fiction epic heavily inspired by the Roman Empire and will follow an architect who seeks to turn the city into a utopia following a major cataclysmic event. Coppola has spoken of his desire for this to be his ultimate masterpiece and the legacy he intends to leave behind. Having been in various stages of development for over 40 years, he is now finally well into the process of realizing this vision which he hopes will change Hollywood. He had similar ambitions with Apocalypse Now, which proved to be a success. With that and The Godfather behind him, his entirely self-funded Megalopolis has all the beginnings of being the true artistic behemoth he aspires it to be.

At the age of 82, and with Megalopolis seemingly being the accumulation of Coppola’s life’s work, it seems very likely that this will be Coppola’s final film. A release date has not yet been confirmed, and projections estimate that it could be at least another year before the film hits theaters. Esposito’s casting also comes amid reports of the Megalopolis production suffering from a myriad of issues; Coppola has rejected those reports. As this project is his intended masterwork, he will be sure to spend as long as necessary making sure that the final product is of the highest possible standard, having utilized all the skills and lessons he has learned over his long and fruitful career as a filmmaker. If, indeed, Megalopolis is to be Coppola’s best film, better than even The Godfather, it may well end up being one of the greatest films of all time.

Source: Deadline

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Director Jafar Panahi Anxiously Awaits Iranian Court Ruling on His Release From Jail

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A ruling on Jafar Panahi’s release from Tehran’s Evin prison is deemed imminent now that Iran’s supreme court has overturned the conviction that led to the incarceration last year of the auteur who is considered one of Iranian cinema’s greatest living masters.

Panahi’s wife, Tahereh Saeedi, has launched an appeal on Instagram stating that his lawyers have managed to successfully overturn the six-year sentence issued against the director in 2010 for “propaganda against the system.” That sentence has become obsolete due to the country’s 10-year statute of limitations. Panahi’s case has now been sent to an Iranian court of appeals.

“Last week we were informed that Jafar will be out in a week,” Saeedi said in the appeal posted on Instagram this week. However, “a week passed by and Jafar is still not with us,” she went on to lament.

Panahi’s lawyer, Saleh Nikhbakht, told French news agency AFP that under Iranian law, “he should immediately be released on bail and his case reviewed again.” But the directors’ wife and others in Iran’s film community fear that Iranian security forces will manage to force the judiciary to keep him behind bars.

“The liberation of Jafar is in total accordance of their own laws,” Saeedi pointed out in the appeal. “But they [Iranian authorities] are above the law; without any respect for the law,” she said.

Panahi, 62, is known globally for prizewinning works such as “The Circle,” “Offside,” “This is Not a Film,” “Taxi,” and most recently “No Bears,” winner of last year’s Venice’s Special Jury Prize. He was arrested last July in Tehran in the wake of the country’s conservative government crackdown. Panahi had been there to visit Tehran’s prosecutor’s office to follow up on the situation of fellow dissident filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulov, who had been incarcerated a few days earlier after signing an appeal against police violence.

On Jan. 7, Rasoulov was granted a two-week release permit for health reasons, his lawyer told AFP. Panahi’s lawyer also said that Panahi, during his detention in Tehran’s Evin prison for political prisoners, has contracted a skin disease which requires treatment in a hospital outside the jail.

Rasoulov and Panahi’s imprisonment took place before the wave of protests sparked in September by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while she was held in custody for allegedly wearing a loose hijab. Those protests have caused more than 500 civilians to be killed by government security forces and more than 100 members of the Iranian film industry to be arrested or banned from making movies.

On Jan. 4, Iranian authorities released Taraneh Alidoosti, the star of Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar-winning film “The Salesman,” almost three weeks after she was jailed for criticizing a crackdown on the anti-government protests.



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Archer Star Reacts To Live-Action Jon Hamm Movie Fancasting

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Exclusive: Archer voice actor Chris Parnell reacts to Jon Hamm’s fan-casting as the eponymous main character in a live-action film adaptation.


Chris Parnell, who voices Cyril Figgis on the long-running animated sitcom Archer, gives his thoughts on Jon Hamm’s fan-casting as the secret agent Sterling Archer in a possible live-action film adaptation. Archer follows the narcissistic and clever eponymous main character and parodies espionage while also making commentary on culture, society, and the human condition. The show, which debuted in 2009 and is still running, has received wide critical acclaim and has even racked up four Primetime Emmy Awards during its run. But like many animated shows, there has been a discussion about what a potential live-action Archer movie may look like and its cast.

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In an exclusive interview with Screen Rant‘s Grant Hermanns, Parnell discussed the possibility of an Archer movie and whether he thought it would be better to remain in the animated format or adapt a live-action feature film. Parnell, who also revealed that production for Archer season 14 is already underway, said that he didn’t expect himself and the rest of the voice cast to necessarily be able to play their respective characters in a live-action format. He also commented on the possibility of casting Jon Hamm in the live-action role of Archer for the prospective movie. Check out Parnell’s full quote below:

“I’d love it if it happened, especially if I was involved with it. If it happens, that would be very cool. But, I don’t know that there’s an assurance that any of us would get to play our actual characters. I think, if anything, it might be more likely to have an animated movie version of the show, but I’m open to whatever. I don’t know that you’re gonna get too many actors who want to have their voices dubbed in English. [Chuckles] He is a fun guy, he’s a good guy. I don’t know how he’d feel about that. I can’t speak for Jon, but I think he would probably feel like he could bring enough of Jon’s style to the live-action version that that wouldn’t be necessary, but you can also put a wig on Jon and dapper him up. [Laughs]”


Will An Archer Movie Happen?

Archer holds his pistol from Archer

The idea of an Archer movie adaptation has been floating around for some time now. Executive producers Matt Thompson and Casey Willis stated back in 2016 that a discussion between the producers and Archer creator and writer Adam Reed about a movie happens once every couple of years. Back then, the producers said that in a perfect world, Hamm would be the actor to play Archer if the film ended up being a live-action project. Reed also supported that Hamm would also be his choice while revealing that a lot of Archer‘s production and costume design was influenced by the look of Hamm’s show Mad Men.

Should An Archer Movie Stay Animated Or Live-Action?

Lana and Archer in Archer Season 13 wearing their parachute gear

If the movie does get made, the big question is whether the producers would be better off sticking with their tried and true animated format or taking a risk to make it a live-action production. Any plot for the film adaptation of the super spy animated show would also have to work without Archer’s mother and spy agency head Mallory Archer. After Mallory voice actor Jessica Walter passed away in 2021, her character was written out of the show during season 13, with the egotistical Sterling having to take the reins of the agency and lead the way.

While live-action films generally rake in more money, the action-packed high jinks of a Sterling Archer story would likely be expensive to bring to life in live-action. H. Jon Benjamin, who voices Sterling on the show, said in 2022 that he was interested in participating in a feature film adaptation, citing the success of the recent Bob’s Burgers movie – a series where he also lends his voice to the main character. Benjamin’s voice is synonymous with Archer, so it would be tough to envision the character without him. But as Archer‘s Benjamin himself admits, the voice actor doesn’t quite match up with the animated character’s looks. If an Archer movie does come to fruition, difficult choices will have to be made regarding its casting and the live-action vs. animated format.

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‘Girl’ Review: Luminous Visuals Buoy a Heartsore Portrait of Immigrant Unrest

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It’s five years since Theresa May, then the United Kingdom’s first prime minister of the Brexit era, coined the term “citizen of nowhere” to denigrate residents of the country who identified themselves more globally. Those three words swiftly became a media catchphrase to encapsulate the Conservative government’s apparent hostility toward immigrants; liberal-minded multinationals adopted the […]

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