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Latest The Contenders News

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‘Thor: Ragnarok’s Taika Waititi Talks Using His Toolbox To Build A Tentpole – The Contenders Video

Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi provided what would certainly get votes as the most entertaining Q&A at Deadline’s annual The Contenders awards-season event last month when he took the stage to talk about the Marvel Studios blockbuster. His Disney/Marvel film that very weekend had opened to a massive $118 million first frame, and Waititi was in a celebratory mood. He admitted to the SRO crowd of AMPAS and key guild voters that he had a cup of whiskey and coffee in… Read

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Martin McDonagh & Sam Rockwell On Building ‘Three Billboards’ – The Contenders Video

Martin McDonagh Sam Rockwell

To date, Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri has struck a chord during awards season, earning five Golden Globe nominations including Best Drama and five SAG Awards including best ensemble, the org’s top prize. While McDonagh delivered a zany comedy five years ago in the crime-action title Seven Psychopaths, he zeroes in on a serious drama involving a grieving single mother’s anger against an arguably corrupt police department which has failed to… Read

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How Christopher Nolan Brought The ‘Dunkirk’ Spirit To The Screen Against The Odds – The Contenders Video

Hoyte Van Hoytema Emma Thomas Dunkirk

Dunkirk opened in July and became a big summer hit despite the fact this relatively little-known story of a massive rescue of 300,000 mostly British soldiers from the beaches of the French town of Dunkirk in 1940 was not typical summer fare. But the Christopher Nolan film worked for audiences and critics, and now is firmly in the awards-season firmament (in fact, Nolan so far has received more Best Director prizes from critics groups than any other filmmaker this… Read

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Getting To The Heart Of ‘Coco’ – The Contenders Video

Lee Unkrich

It’s not just about heart, emotion and laughs with a Pixar film — there also is a tremendous amount of research and time that goes into getting its backdrops authentically right. That couldn’t be more the case than with the animation studio’s November hit Coco, which takes place during the Mexican holiday Dia de Los Muertos. Coco follows a young boy, Miguel, who wishes to be a star-studded crooner of standards, just like his grandfather, the legendary singer Ernesto de la… Read

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Clothes Make The Characters In ‘Phantom Thread’ – The Contenders Video

When it came to making a drama thriller about a perfectionist fashion designer, filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson reached out to his longtime costume designer of seven films Mark Bridges for Phantom Thread. The film follows Daniel Day-Lewis as British couturier Reynolds Woodcock, who lives a lonely life among his staff and his caretaking sister Cyril (Lesley Manville) as he dresses 1950s London high society. While out in the country for breakfast one day, he stumbles upon a… Read

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Director Sean Baker On Building ‘The Florida Project’ – The Contenders Video

Sean Baker Brooklynn Prince Florida Project

There are few movies this year that leave moviegoers in tears, and you can count A24’s The Florida Project as one of them. Having been tipped about the families living in squalor in run-down Kissimmee, FL hotels by his screenwriter Chris Bergoch, filmmaker Sean Baker turned his camera on the emotional realities of the setting — specifically through the eyes of children who run freely begging for money, swimming, eating ice cream cones, and enjoying the heat of their… Read

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Guillermo Del Toro On ‘The Shape Of Water’: “We Were Not Designing A Monster, We Were Designing A Leading Man” – The Contenders Video

Guillermo Del Toro

As should be clear by now, monsters are anything but monstrous to Guillermo del Toro, whose Venice hit The Shape of Water from Fox Searchlight portrays the surreal love affair between mute military-base cleaning woman Elisa (Sally Hawkins) and a captured psychedelic fish-man (Doug Jones) against the backdrop of Cold War America. "To me, monsters are different from anyone," said the Mexican director at Deadline's seventh annual The Contenders awards-season event last… Read

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‘The Meyerowitz Stories’ Star Elizabeth Marvel On Leaving Her Comfort Zone For Noah Baumbach – The Contenders Video

Elizabeth Marvel

As POTUS Elizabeth Keane on Showtime's hit series Homeland, Elizabeth Marvel has become pretty well acquainted with the concept of female empowerment. But while he was casting his Netflix film The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected), director Noah Baumbach surprised the actress by offering her the role of Jean, the quiet, dowdy but laconically funny youngest sibling of the Meyerowitz clan. "You know," she mused at Deadline's seventh annual The Contenders awards-season… Read

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‘I, Tonya’ Stars Margot Robbie And Allison Janney On Their Knock-Down Mother/Daughter Fights During The Film – The Contenders Video

Margot Robbie Allison Janney, I, Tonya

With nominations now from the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice, and the SAG awards, I, Tonya’s Oscar chances are looking good, but it all started for the film early last month when stars Margot Robbie, Allison Janney and Sebastian Stan, along with director Craig Gillespie and writer Steven Rogers appeared in front of a packed house of AMPAS and key guild voters during Deadline’s 7th Annual The Contenders awards season event at the DGA Theatre. Robbie, who also was a… Read

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‘Call Me By Your Name’ Team On Creating Intimacy On Screen For Story Of First Love – The Contenders Video

Call Me By Your Name

Call Me By Your Name has been cleaning up on the awards circuit so far this season, most recently garnering eight nominations from the Critics’ Choice Awards and three from the Golden Globes — both including Best Picture. It took awhile to finally get all the parts right to adapt this 2007 book of first love between a young boy of 17 and an older intern staying with his family for the summer at their Italian villa, but once Luca Guadagnino realized he would direct, and a… Read

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Richard Linklater On Why It Took 10 Years To Get His ‘Last Flag Flying’ To The Screen – The Contenders Video

Richard Linklater

Richard Linklater’s last film to appear at Deadline’s The Contenders event was three years ago with Boyhood, which was filmed over the course of 12 years and went to be a major player during awards season. He returned last month year for our 7th annual kickoff event at the DGA Theater, and in front of a packed audience of AMPAS and key guild members explained why his latest movie actually took almost as long as the shooting of Boyhood just to land in front of a camera. As… Read

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‘Darkest Hour’s Gary Oldman Joins Director Joe Wright And Tells Why He Almost Turned Down The Role Of Churchill – The Contenders Video

Gary Oldman Joe Wright

Gary Oldman received a Golden Globe nomination today, his first ever, for his critically acclaimed performance as Winston Churchill in Darkest HourDuring last month’s 7th Annual Deadline’s The Contenders awards season event at the DGA Theatre he joined me on stage with his director Joe Wright to discuss the film and the towering performance in front of a packed house of AMPAS and key guild members. Oldman reveals that he in fact actually turned down the role and gives… Read