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Ryan Gosling Discovered a Ken Doll in the Dirt Right After Getting ‘Barbie’ Offer: ‘Best Script I’ve Ever Read’

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Ryan Gosling said on “The Tonight Show” that Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach’s “Barbie” screenplay is “the best script I’ve ever read,” but that’s not what made him finally agree to Gerwig’s offer to star in the movie as Ken. It turns out the universe gave Gosling a bit of a push, as the actor discovered one of his daughter’s Ken dolls face down in the dirt almost immediately after being offered the “Barbie” movie.

“Best script I’ve ever read. I walk out in the backyard [after getting the offer] and, do you know where I found Ken?” Gosling said. “[A Ken doll] face down in the mud next to a squished lemon. I texted [the photo] to Greta and said, ‘I shall be your Ken, for this story must be told.’”

Gosling has been out promoting his new Netflix action movie “The Gray Man” (now streaming), but his press tour has been dominated by buzz about “Barbie.” The actor plays Ken opposite Margot Robbie’s Barbie, but there are rumors circulating that the film features several actors as different iterations of the two dolls. As recently revealed by Variety, Gosling and Robbie had pay parity on “Barbie” and both earned $12.5 million salaries.

The “Barbie” cast also includes America Ferrera, Simu Liu, Kate McKinnon, Alexandra Shipp, Emma Mackey, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Issa Rae and Michael Cera.

“Finally, it’s happening. This has been coming my whole life,” Gosling told Variety on “The Gray Man” red carpet about playing Ken. “I felt like I was seeing myself [when I saw the viral first look Ken photo]. I felt seen. I think a lot of Kens will feel seen when they see this. Gotta do it for the Kens. Nobody plays with the Kens.”

“Barbie” opens in theaters July 21, 2023 from Warner Bros.



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‘John Wick: Chapter 4’ Will Feature More Mythology and More Ninjas, Director Chad Stahelski Teases

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While “John Wick: Chapter 4” is reportedly the longest “John Wick” film yet, director Chad Stahelski ensures that the newest installment will use that extra runtime wisely.

“I love mythology,” Stahelski told Variety at the red carpet for “Day Shift” on Wednesday night. “I love a good myth. I don’t really believe — at least for the ‘John Wick’ movies — in a three-act structure. I believe in storytelling and leaving it. You know, we’ve always seen John Wick as Odysseus. So we take the time we need to tell the story. As long as we don’t fall asleep watching it, we keep it going. But I guess there is a bathroom limit.”

“John Wick: Chapter 4” finds Keanu Reeves back in the title role as the beloved head-smashing gun-fu action hero. While plot details for the fourth installment remain largely under wraps, an action-packed teaser that debuted at Comic-Con saw the title character once again brutalizing opponents with everything from handguns to nunchucks. Now, it seems that Stahelski is teasing that the fourth film will venture more into the mythology behind the Continental and the expansive world of assassins.

The last film in the franchise, “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum,” saw a wide array of wild action set pieces, from ninjas on motorcycles to a fight in New York City horse stables. So what do you do to up the ante from ninjas on motorcycles?

“Ninjas in cars, I guess,” Stahelski said. “I don’t know! It’s always ninjas, man.”

Currently, Stahelski serves as producer on the Netflix original film “Day Shift.” The vampire-hunting movie, starring Jamie Foxx, Dave Franco and Snoop Dogg, is helmed by first-time director J.J. Perry. Stahelski and Perry met 33 years ago doing stunts together on “The King of the Kickboxers.” With “Day Shift,” Perry has become the newest member of their friend group to venture out of stunts and into feature film directing.

“That’s the thing about our circle of friends,” Stahelski said. “Everybody’s their own guy. Everybody helps everybody. The hierarchy is circular. Look, we came up with one of the best generations that have been in stunts for a long time. So for a bunch of us that used to get hit by cars for a living here on the red carpet, it’s pretty awesome.”

“Day Shift” premieres Friday on Netflix. “John Wick: Chapter 4” hits theaters on May 23, 2023.



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Jamie Foxx Talks Franchise Plans For New Netflix Vampire Movie Day Shift

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Warning: SPOILERS lie ahead for Day Shift.

With the first film now streaming, Jamie Foxx is opening up about franchise plans for his new Netflix vampire movie Day Shift. Foxx stars in the action-horror-comedy as Bud Jablonski, a blue-collar father in the San Fernando Valley who moonlights as a pool cleaner while actually working as a vampire hunter. When Bud learns that his estranged wife is planning to move her and their daughter to Florida for financial reasons, he must put together as many vampire contracts together as he can over three days, inadvertently running afowl of a major threat in the area.

SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY

Alongside Foxx, the ensemble cast for Day Shift includes Dave Franco, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Karla Souza, Meagan Good, Steve Howey, Scott Adkins, Snoop Dogg, Peter Stormare and Eric Lange. J.J. Perry, well-known for his work as a stuntman and second-unit director on the likes of The Town and the first two John Wick movies, is making his feature directorial debut on the film with a script from Tyler Tice and Army of the Dead and John Wick vet Shay Hatten. A year after shooting in Los Angeles, Day Shift has hit Netflix to mixed-to-positive reviews from critics and strong reactions to audiences and it appears Netflix may not stop there.


While speaking exclusively with Screen Rant ahead of the film’s release, Jamie Foxx talked franchise plans for his new Netflix vampire movie Day Shift. The executive producer/star confirmed ideas are being thrown around to expand the property at the streaming platform, especially after positive test screenings to the film. See what Foxx shared below:

“We talked last night about it and we got some great ideas. It’s not always normal for Netflix to do part twos, they don’t always do it, but we feel like with this one, we got a great chance on how everybody’s responding to it already. They’re responding to the trailer, they’re responding in the screenings and things like that. And it’s fun, you know what I’m saying, so I think we’ll definitely try to make it happen and I think if they do, it’ll be even better.”

While Foxx’s comments may not be a direct confirmation of the streamer ordering more of the property, it does indicate he and Netflix are open to the idea of a possible Day Shift franchise. Given the film introduces a world akin to the John Wick franchise with a union-like organization connecting vampire hunters together and multiple references made to Bud’s past with said Union, the door is wide open for further exploration of its universe. Additionally, with the final scenes of the film confirming Snoop Dogg’s Big John having survived his seeming demise at the hands of a group of vampires and Franco’s Seth now established as Bud’s field partner, while also hiding his new vamp status from Union leader Ralph, the groundwork has been laid for a potential Day Shift sequel as well as spinoffs for Adkins and Howey’s Nazarian brothers.


Should Netflix move forward with a Day Shift franchise, it would be the streamer’s latest efforts to land their own movie franchise in competition with other studios. The platform is slowly building out its Army of the Dead series, having already released one film spinoff and gearing up for an anime prequel to release later this year followed by a direct sequel, while also partnering with Zack Snyder for his epic space opera Rebel Moon, which is similarly expected to launch a major cinematic universe, and just recently began moving forward on both a Gray Man sequel and spinoff and multiple Red Notice sequels. Only time will tell if audiences feel Foxx’s vampire movie deserves the same treatment with Day Shift now streaming on Netflix.


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Ji.hlava’s Emerging Producers Deliver Pitches for Documentary Projects (EXCLUSIVE)

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Ji.hlava Intl. Documentary Film Festival has revealed to Variety the projects that the participants of its 2022 Emerging Producers program are working on. The producers were asked to deliver an elevator pitch for their projects.

Every year since 2010, the festival has selected 18 up-and-coming producers of documentary films (17 European and one representing a non-European guest country), which are then provided with educational, networking and promotional support.

There are almost 200 alumni of the program, many of whom have gone on to win awards at major festivals.

The 2023 participants will be announced by Ji.hlava during the Sarajevo Film Festival on Aug. 15.

“All Roads” (working title)
Producer: Charlotte Hailstone, Hailstone Films (U.K.)
Director: Laura Wadha
Synopsis: A decade after the war began, a Scottish/Syrian filmmaker tries to reconnect with her fractured Syrian family, scattered around the world. She embarks on a journey, exploring the breakdown in communication between loved ones she hasn’t seen since 2010, wondering to what extent this has actually been caused by the war.
Pitch: Laura’s debut feature builds on her successful short documentaries, including Berlinale Crystal Bear-winning “Born in Damascus.” This intimate film shows the audience what happens long after the initial upheaval of war. A timely light shone on the lasting impact this trauma has on lives and relationships.

“Ashes Settling in Layers on the Surface”
Producers: Natalia Libet (Ukraine), Victor Ede, Cinephage Productions (France), Petra Seliskar, Petra Pan Film (Slovenia)
Director: Zoya Laktionova
Synopsis: Based on diaries and photographs found in the houses destroyed during the Russian war against Ukraine, the film captures the stories of Mariupol including the director’s family. It centers on the value of human life over the nonsensical statements repeated by totalitarian regimes, as witnessed at the Azovstal plant.
Pitch: This film is about the physicality of memories: our presence in the lives of others through things we left behind. It was created by a director from the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, which no longer exists. It is about the cruelty of death and the meaningless systems we are placed inside; yet, also confirming our sensibility as human beings.

“Banking on Eggs”
Producer: Jin Jeon, J.J. Productions (South Korea)
Director: Jin Jeon
Synopsis: At time when Korea has recorded the lowest birth rate ever, women in their mid-thirties are opting for delayed childbearing by preserving their ovarian eggs. We follow the director and her friends in their quest to freeze their eggs before it’s too late.
Pitch: By weaving together the lives of three women living in Seoul, this film depicts the real issues that women in their mid-thirties face. Laced with wit and humor, it’s a story of empowerment, the stumbling block to making a family, and everything to do with freezing eggs.

“Birdhill”
Producer: Silvia Panáková, Dayhey (Slovakia)
Director: Eva Križková
Synopsis: The documentary reflects on the current state of housing, of the city, predatory real-estate development, and the need for intimacy of home and mutual relationships against the backdrop of personal stories of the residents of one neighborhood, using the metaphor of bird life as a basic formal principle.
Pitch: Developers in Bratislava build “inconsiderate architecture,” which is neither connected to people nor to nature. The Bird Hill, once the home of vineyards from Maria Theresa’s time and abundant bird life, is nowadays cast in concrete. The story of the film is local, but the problem is a metaphor for a global consumerist lifestyle.

“Brave New Switzerland”
Producers: Franziska Sonder, Ensemble Film (Switzerland), in co-production with Freihändler Filmproduktion (Switzerland)
Director: Benny Jaberg and Maurizius Staerkle Drux
Synopsis: A young generation of researchers is rewriting the genetic code of life with breath-taking experiments, thus creating new identities. Should this be allowed? Are we equal when it comes to questions of health and illness, life and death?
Pitch: By means of innovative, astonishing images and sound, the directors explore the possibility of altering human genetics using the revolutionary CRISPr technology, while critically questioning this intervention in nature. A sensual expedition into the very essence of human beings.

“Click the Link Below”
Producers: Audun Amundsen, GonzoDocs (Norway), Tondowski Films (Germany), Dare Pictures (U.K.)
Director: Audun Amundsen (GonzoDocs)
Synopsis: “Click the Link Below” is about the murky world of money-making gurus on the internet. The Norwegian filmmaker Audun Amundsen is fed up of being poor in a rich country, and starts looking for solutions online. He spends thousands of dollars on advice, but will he find wealth and happiness?
Pitch: The topic is relevant for young audiences worldwide. Since it is a universal topic the documentary will feature characters from the U.S. through Europe to Asia. We have good access to the characters and a unique opportunity to get a glimpse of the industry behind the facade.

“The Dream and the Violence” (Se fate i bravi)
Producer: Leonardo Barrile, Samarcanda Film (Italy), Stefano Collizzolli, Zalab (Italy), Kristian Van der Heyden, Harald House (Belgium)
Directors: Stefano Collizzolli, Daniele Gaglianone
Synopsis: The dream of G8 in Genoa 2001 is not over, because the themes of those days – growing inequality, finance that concentrates resources in a few hands and exploits or crushes others, robbery of the environment, large-scale migrations – are today’s problems, only more urgent. And the violence of Genoa 2001 is not over, because that violence has been spoken of repeatedly, celebrated or condemned, but never understood or resolved. Now is the right time to talk about it: to start from Genoa, to go beyond Genoa, and to understand what Genoa means.
Pitch: Now is the right time to talk about one of dark pages of our democracy. G8 is not the story of Italy, but of what is happening close to our comfortable homes.

“La Empresa”
Producer: Karsten Krause, Fünferfilm (Germany)
Co-producer: UVO Gruppe (Germany)
Director: André Siegers
Synopsis: El Alberto, Mexico: Unlike many previous film productions, the German crew fails to film the village’s attraction, the Caminata Nocturna – a night hike that simulates the dangers of illegal border crossing into the U.S. The crew is missing protagonists and slowly loses track of the story they set out to tell. They realize that they might not belong.
Pitch: We tend to believe that we are chosen to tell the stories of others. Especially from a European perspective this seems to be God given. But is it really? In a very humorous way, “La Empresa” questions this attitude, discloses its own intentions and reflects on how we are used to seeing and exploring the world.

“A Hole in the Wall”
Producer: Karolina Śmigiel, UNI-SOLO Studio (Poland)
Director: Arjun Talwar
Synopsis: Wilcza is a street situated in downtown Warsaw. It is just a little over a kilometer long, but it contains a whole universe. Arjun is a filmmaker from India. He observes the street and talks to neighbors to find his role within Polish society.
Pitch: There is a general atmosphere of homelessness and rootlessness in Europe today. This film is a way of countering that feeling by exploring one’s immediate surroundings and building a sense of identity through relations with one’s neighbors.

“In the Name of the Mother and of the Father”
Producer: Carla Fotea, Microfilm (Romania)
Director: Tudor Platon
Synopsis: After almost 30 years, the director’s parents decided to separate. Trying to cope with the loss of the family and the pain and shame that came along, they each found relief in different forms of spirituality. Despite this, the past love for each other made room for fear, revolt and despair.
Pitch: The film talks about the different shapes love can take and what is left of a family when love is gone. This is Tudor Platon’s second documentary, following “House of Dolls” (2020, Sarajevo Film Festival), and is a part of an extensive and very personal series of works related to his own family.

“In the Shadow of the Horns”
Producer: Dragana Jovović, Stefan Ivančić, Ognjen Glavonić, Non-Aligned Films (Serbia)
Director: Ognjen Glavonić
Synopsis: During their last year of high school, Vuk and Igor are focused on their black metal band while trying to overcome the prejudices of their surroundings – a community that hides deep secrets.
Pitch: After his Cannes debut “The Load” (2018) Ognjen Glavonić is developing his second fiction feature. By digging in his own memories he tells a coming-of-age story about how it feels to be different and unaccepted, while questioning the adult world, deeply rooted in hypocrisy. Where “The Load” ended – in the room of a teenager living in a small town, dreaming about starting a band – is where “In the Shadow of the Horns” begins.

“Land of Sar”
Producers: Victor Ede, Cinephage Productions (France), in co-production with PPFP Dooel (North Macedonia) and Petra Pan Film (Slovenia)
Director: Petra Seliskar
Synopsis: Two teenage brothers, 15 shepherd dogs and 600 sheep, all in summer on the wild heights of North Macedonian mountains. There are predators all around. Wolves, the irresistible call of the globalized world, the pressure of a traditional family: their life seems full of threats, illusions, and submission.
Pitch: Based on two teens’ feelings, hopes and fears, away from the modernized world, the storyline takes us from worries about their fate and future, to love for the magical world of their childhood, which they’re bidding farewell to.

“Lesbian Lines”
Producer: Evan Horan, Blinder Films (Ireland)
Director: Cara Holmes
Synopsis: An intimate docufiction about the power of listening. The Lesbian Lines were a network of underground telephone helplines first set up in Ireland in the late 1970s. The film reveals how and why these urgently needed helplines were set up by a small community of Irish lesbians. These lifesaving helplines are still in operation today.
Pitch: “Lesbian Lines” is a story of collective joy rather than collective shame, showing how a community came together to save themselves and in turn demonstrates the need that all of us have to feel heard in our search for connection and community.

“The Life of Wolf”
Producer: Dominiks Jarmakovičs, Studio Locomotive (Latvia)
Director: Kārlis Lesiņš
Synopsis: The world knows him as the villain “El Lobo Letón,” but his real name was Wolf Ruvinskis. Street brawler, soccer player, wrestler, actor, socialite, lover, husband and a father. The plot follows the spectacular journey of a lifetime from Liepāja through Argentina, Colombia to Mexico, from poverty to fame and glory.
Pitch: This is no simple biopic, but a journey through time. “The Life of Wolf” shows how one can reach the heights, and what is the price to pay? We are used to serious stories dealing with social issues, this time we revisit serious topics in a light and dynamic way.

“Narrow Path to Happiness”
Producers: Borbála Csukás, Makabor Studio (Hungary), Marc Smolowitz, 13thGen (U.S.)
Director: Kata Olah
Synopsis: A young Romani gay couple from a remote village in Hungary has a dream so absurd that it seems impossible: making a music film based on their lives. They move to Budapest just as the government is becoming increasingly hostile toward LGBTQ+ people. Suddenly, their goal becomes more urgent.
Pitch: It is a first-of-its-kind gay-themed intersectional documentary out of Hungary that bridges two worlds and focuses a lens on the Roma aspect of the LGBTQ+ experience. It is a dark time for these populations in Hungary so it is more important than ever before to share their story.

“The Society of the Spectacle”
Producers: Melissa Lindgren, Tobias Janson, Story Ltd (Sweden)
Directors: Göran Hugo Olsson, Roxy Farhat
Synopsis: A humorous adaptation of Guy Debord’s 1967 essay “La Société du Spectacle,” unpacking the dynamics of alienation, powerlessness and emptiness under the triumph of information technology and capitalism. Today, the act of consuming things we do not need has gone beyond a meaningless recreational activity; it has become a new spiritual world order. Created from contemporary images, found footage and original scenes, the film examines and illustrates the effect of consumerism and how the circulation of images creates desire and profoundly changes the way we see ourselves and interact with each other.
Pitch: Award-winning director Göran Hugo Olsson (“Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975,” “Concerning Violence,” “That Summer”) and acclaimed artist Roxy Farhat have joined forces to take on Guy Debord’s essay. The result is a visually daring, humorous and thought-provoking film that tackles everything from the climate crisis to self-surveillances and social media. Through renowned scholars and experts as well as contemporary examples, the directors will help us unpack the text and place it in a current context. A fresh take on The Situationists’ groundbreaking ideas and “infotainment” as a visual format.

“Slave Island”
Producer: Kristian Van der Heyden, Harald House (Belgium)
Directors: Jimmy Hendrickx, Jeremy Kewuan
Synopsis: Young women and children are threatened with rites of passing: to be chained to a wooden block until the demons are driven out of them. The filmmakers explore the hidden paradise of Sumba, a remote Indonesian island, only to discover the atrocities of present-day slavery.
Pitch: A documentary that deals with the sensitive subject of slave trade between families. A filmmaker and an activist join forces to confront us with both victims and enablers of slavery and human trafficking in an effort to better understand the moral landscape that justifies torture and abuse.

“The World of Jiri” (working title)
Producer: Jan Hubáček, Jan Bodnár, Gnomon Production (Czech Republic)
Director: Marta Kovářová
Synopsis: An authentic raw documentary from the perspective of a daughter, the director behind the camera, who helps her scientist father Jiri to spark a world debate about his plan to save the planet from climate crisis.
Pitch: We live in a time of impending ecological catastrophe. The example of the journey of our modern Don Quixote, Jiří, illustrates how difficult it is to find a solution to current problems.



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