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Latest The Contenders News

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‘Beautiful Boy’, ‘Cold War’ & ‘Suspiria’: Humanity’s Resilience Shines Strong In Amazon’s Awards Slate – The Contenders London

Suspiria

Amazon stopped by Deadline’s Contenders London conference today with not one, but three pics in potential contention: Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War, Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria, and Felix Van Groeningen’s Beautiful Boy. And if there’s a thruline running throughout the trio, it’s how human pain becomes poetic, though all through different prisms. Both Cold War and Suspiria share post-War backlashes that in some way work their way into the psyche of their tormented… Read

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‘Paddington 2’: Hugh Grant On That Big Dance Finale And “Weird History” With Ben Whishaw – The Contenders London

Hugh Grant gave a lively — and funny — discussion during the Paddington 2 presentation at The Contenders London event. He talked about acting opposite of a stick, his “weird history” with the voice of Paddington Ben Whishaw, and that big Busby Berkeley-esque musical number at the end of the film. In the StudioCanal family film, Grant plays the villainous Phoenix Buchanan, a narcissistic former stage star looking to rekindle his glory. He is out to get Paddington and… Read

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Rosamund Pike And Jamie Dornan On ‘A Private War’, Honoring War Reporter Marie Colvin – The Contenders London

After premiering A Private War at the Toronto Film Festival, Aviron brought stars Rosamund Pike and Jamie Dornan together for a panel to discuss the legacy of famous war correspondent Marie Colvin (played by Pike in the film), who was killed in 2012 after illegally crossing the Syrian border into the city of Homs with photographer Paul Conroy (played by Jamie Dornan). Asked what attracted her to the role, Pike answered, "I think it’s a combination of things. Marie was a… Read

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How ‘Three Identical Strangers’ Caught The Eye Of A Jaded Development Exec – The Contenders London

After buying North American rights to Three Identical Strangers, Tim Wardle's Jury Prize-winning Sundance doc, Neon reunited the director with producer Becky Read and executive producer Dimitri Doganis for a panel explaining how this amazing story – of how three total strangers found out in the '80s, at the age of 19, that they were identical triplets, separated at birth – made it to the big screen. The three were keen to preserve some of the film's mysteries, since it… Read

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Jason Reitman On ‘Front Runner’ & Gary Hart: ‘A Great pH Test On What Flaws We’re Willing To Put Up With In Our President’ – The Contenders London

“It’s not a biopic, it’s not a movie about a person, it’s a movie about a moment,” says filmmaker Jason Reitman about his latest film The Front Runner which opens on Election Day. In the film, Hugh Jackman plays embattled U.S. Presidential Democratic candidate Gary Hart. Though the Hart scandal occurred when Reitman was a ten-year-old kid, he became fascinated by the Colorado senator’s derailed run at the presidency when news broke that he was having an extramarital… Read

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How Bel Powley Prepared For Her Role As A Crack Addict In ‘White Boy Rick’ – The Contenders London

One of the sublime performances in Studio 8/Sony’s White Boy Rick belongs to British actress Bel Powley, who portrays Dawn Wershe, the sister of Detroit teen-turned-drug-dealer/government informant Rick Wershe Jr. Yet while Rick initially lifts the family out of its financial problems before getting arrested, Dawn spirals, becoming a crack addict; in many ways collateral damage of Rick Jr.’s fortune, even though he’s not dealing to her. “She’s gets worse and worse… Read

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Michelle Yeoh’s Initial Concerns About ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ – The Contenders London

Michelle Yeoh was a big fan of Kevin Kwan’s novel for Crazy Rich Asians, but when she received Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim’s script, “I was very upset” the actress told the crowd at Deadline’s The Contenders London today. “Eleanor (Young) was written as nasty, mean, mean, not nice at all. I don’t think that Eleanor comes from that motivation,” Yeoh said. In the movie, Eleanor makes waves for her son Nick Young (Henry Golding) and Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), both who are… Read

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Karyn Kusama And Nicole Kidman On ‘Destroyer’ And The Maverick Spirit Of Annapurna – The Contenders London  

A hardboiled LA neo-noir with a tough female lead and a cool female director is hardly par for the course in today's Hollywood. Which is why Karyn Kusama was full of praise for distributor Annapurna at the company's panel today while discussing her new film Destroyer with her star Nicole Kidman. "They're mavericks," she said. "And in many respects, this movie reflects that. This movie is kind of a maverick outlier and so's Annapurna. They support artists and they really… Read

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‘The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs’, ‘22 July’ And ‘Roma’ Show The Diversity Of Netflix – The Contenders London  

Showcasing just three movies, today's Netflix panel was a fascinating insight into the wide-ranging tastes of a company fast changing the landscape of the film industry. First up was the Coen brothers' portmanteau western, The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs, which was represented by an all-actor line-up comprising Zoe Kazan, Bill Heck, Harry Melling and Tim Blake Nelson, who plays the titular Buster Scruggs himself. Talking to Deadline's Nancy Tartaglione, Blake Nelson revealed… Read

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Focus Features’ Mister Rogers Docu And ‘Mary Queen Of Scots’ Show Impact On History – The Contenders London

Two very different Focus Features titles, Morgan Neville’s Mister Rogers doc Won’t You Be My Neighbor? and the British period piece Mary Queen of Scots have their own touch when it comes to history. Neville was drawn to Fred Rogers’ oddity, but there was something greater in the PBS children’s talk show host: “He’s a voice you don’t hear in our culture today,” said the director, “Where are the grown-ups in our culture? Where are the leaders? The movie is about making… Read

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‘Colette’s 17-Year Journey To The Screen Isn’t Too Late – The Contenders London

Filmmaker Wash Westmoreland first wrote Colettethe story of Nobel Prize-winning French novelist Sidone-Gabrielle Colette, back in 2001. The script went through 15 drafts, and three title changes: Colette and Willy, All She Wrote, and The Real Claudine before he settled on Colette.  Why the long wait? Other productions kept landing on his schedule, however, there isn’t a better time than now for the Time’s Up era to hear the story of Colette, whose voice was silenced by… Read

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The Power Of Inclusion & Diversity In Universal’s ‘Green Book’ & ‘The Grinch’ – The Contenders London

Universal has prided itself on building a diverse slate, not just across different genres, but reflecting the make-up of the globe on screen, from the multi-cultural cast of its Fast and Furious films to making the African American horror Blumhouse title Get Out a marquee and awards season event last year. At Deadline’s Contenders London, the studio presented two of its awards contenders, Peter Farrelly’s Green Book and Illumination’s The Grinchboth keeping within their… Read