Matt Reeves to direct, produce ‘The Batman’

Burbank, CA – February 23, 2017 – Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that Matt Reeves (“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” “Cloverfield”) has been set to direct “The Batman.” Reeves will also serve as a producer on the new standalone action adventure centering on one of DC’s most enduringly popular Super Heroes. The announcement was made by Toby Emmerich, President and Chief Content Officer, Warner Bros. Pictures Group.

Emmerich stated, “We are thrilled to have Matt Reeves taking the helm of Batman, the crown jewel of our DC slate. Matt’s deep roots in genre films and his evolution into an emotional world-building director make him the perfect filmmaker to guide the Dark Knight through this next journey.”

Matt Reeves noted, “I have loved the Batman story since I was a child. He is such an iconic and compelling character, and one that resonates with me deeply. I am incredibly honored and excited to be working with Warner Bros. to bring an epic and emotional new take on the Caped Crusader to the big screen.”

Batman was created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger.

“The Batman” will be distributed worldwide by WPLarner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

‘Logan: The Wolverine’ to have midnight screenings in PH cinemas

Responding to the fever-pitch anticipation of Hugh Jackman’s “Logan”, the most eager of cineastes who want to see it first can finally catch the movie on its midnight screenings (12:01am) set on March 1, Wednesday in Philippine theatres nationwide (check your nearest favorite theatres).

Starring Hugh Jackman in the title role, “Logan” is directed by James Mangold that also stars a powerhouse of a cast that includes Patrick Stewart, Boy Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Richard E. Grant and newcomer Dafne Keen. A standalone story that sees Jackman in the final chapter of his Wolverine alter-ego, the movie brings the iconic hero at a crossroads that will finally define his destiny.

The film takes place more than 50 years after the events depicted in “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and is its own standalone tale that plays more like an intimate family journey but is also packed with high-stakes action scenes. When the film opens, Logan is in a vulnerable and broken state, the curse of his immortality wearing heavy on him as he cares for a weakened Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) in a derelict smelting plant at the edge of an abandoned oil field. They’re joined there by a third mutant, Caliban (The Office co-creator Stephen Merchant), sheltering in obscurity at a time when the world believes mutants have passed into history.

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But Logan’s days of drinking in relative solitude are interrupted when he finds himself the reluctant guardian of a young girl, Laura (Keen) who has powers remarkably like his own, from her hands as well as her feet spring the same adamantium claws as Wolverine’s. Not that he’s exactly eager to accept this newfound responsibility—he’s far too weary to play the hero once more.

Tasked with protecting her from the murderous cybernetic criminal Donald Pierce (Holbrook), Logan and Professor X set out to cross hostile territory to ferry Laura to a place called Eden, where young mutants are said to enjoy safe haven. But Pierce and his fearsome army of cyborg Reavers are determined to return the girl to the custody of Dr. Zander Rice (Grant), the sinister geneticist behind Alkali who triggered her mutations through a series of inhumane experiments in the hopes of creating a child super-soldier.

“Logan” further unleashes its claws a few hours after its midnight screenings (with more screens) on March 1 in cinemas nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros. Also available in IMAX (2D) screens. The movie is rated R-16 by the MTRCB.

Nine Filipino films make it to Osaka Asian Film Festival 2017

An impressive nine (9) Filipino films will be participating in the Osaka Asian Film Festival 2017, three (3) of which are part of the main competition section.

Jerrold Tarog’s Bliss, Sigrid Andrea Bernardo’s Kita Kita, and Borgy Torre’s Tisay are part of the competition section and will compete with thirteen (13) other Asian films for the Grand Prix and Most Promising Talent awards. Meanwhile, Mario Cornejo’s Apocalypse Child will be featured in the In & Out of Work: Looking at Asia through the Prism of Employment Special Program. Finally, the special program featuring new movements in film will include Samantha Lee’s Baka Bukas, Mikhail Red’s Birdshot, Mihk Vergara’s Patintero: The Legend of Meng the Loser, Bradley Liew’sSinging in Graveyards, and Avid Liongoren’sSaving Sally.

“We are very proud with the incredible turnout of selected Filipino participants [of the Osaka Asian Film Fest] this year. As more of our own are featured in international festivals, they bring with them the unique voice and artistic culture of our country and it just really is a proud moment for them. We want them to know that FDCP is here to support them in any way it can,” said FDCP Chair Liza Diño. FDCP will be coordinating with the Philippine Consulate in Osaka, Japan to give assistance to the Festival participants.

The Osaka Asian Film Festival will be held on March 3-12, 2017 in Osaka, Japan.

From ‘The Ring’ director comes mind-boggling psycho thriller ‘A Cure for Wellness’

From visionary director, Gore Verbinski, “A Cure for Wellness” is a chilling and mind-bending psychological thriller. Embarking on the movie, Verbinski wanted to make a thriller with the depth, insight and power of classics in the genre that he admired, such as “The Shining” (Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film), “Don’t Look Now” (Nicolas Roeg’s 1973 film) and “Rosemary’s Baby” (Roman Polanski’s 1968 film). The idea of a quick fix cure, together with society’s malaise and the obsession with perfect health were topics that fascinated Verbinski, whose films include the hugely successful “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise and the Academy Award® winning animated film, “Rango”.

Dane DeHaan stars as Lockhart in “A Cure for Wellness”, a driven Wall Street stockbroker who is sent by his firm to a remote alpine medical spa. Lockhart is on a mission to retrieve the company’s CEO, Pembroke (Harry Groener), a patient at the spa, who has told his staff that he has no intention of returning to New York. Lockhart arrives at the tranquil sanitarium where the residents are supposedly receiving a miracle cure. In fact though, they seem to be getting sicker. As he investigates the dark and baffling secrets behind the spa, he meets a young woman, the hauntingly beautiful Hannah (Mia Goth), a patient herself. He also gets to know another patient, the eccentric Mrs. Watkins, played by Celia Imrie, who has done some detective work of her own. Soon, Lockhart is diagnosed with the same condition as the other patients by the institution’s director, the ominous Dr. Volmer (Jason Isaacs), and finds that he is trapped in the alpine retreat. Lockhart begins to lose his grip on reality and has to endure unimaginable ordeals during the course of his own ‘treatment’.

“We started exploring the notion of a health spa in the Alps, a wellness center that doesn’t actually make you well,” says Verbinski, “and it slowly evolved from there. It became pretty clear to us that this was going to be a genre piece, and we started playing around with the concept of inevitability. It’s the sense that there is a sickness, a sort of black spot on your x-ray that won’t go away!”

One of Hollywood’s most exciting young actors, the gifted and charismatic Dane DeHaan (“Kill Your Darlings”, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”, “Life”) was thrilled about taking on the role of Lockhart and working with Verbinski. “To listen to Gore’s vision and hear how passionate he was about it, and then to read the script and understand what a challenging role it was—that was irresistible,” says DeHaan. “My character goes through so much in this film, it’s crazy. And this was an opportunity to work with a great filmmaker.”

The evocative world created by Gore and his gifted team, the treatments that the patients undergo at Volmer’s spa, and the dramatic tension throughout the film, combine to create a gripping and terrifying cinematic experience. Like the best films in the genre, “A Cure for Wellness” leaves the audience unsettled and unnerved, questioning the darker side of human nature. It’s the kind of unease that lingers long after the closing credits have rolled. “It’s like people telling ghost stories around a campfire,” says Verbinski, explaining why moviegoers enjoy watching an engrossing psychological thriller.

“It’s almost like a huge roller coaster, but the film is also asking a lot of important questions,” comments DeHaan. “At times, you are really feeling terrified. But if you are in a communal setting like a theater, you know you are safe and you know that what is happening on screen is completely removed from reality.”

“A Cure For Wellness” is now showing in Philippine cinemas from 20th Century Fox as distributed by Warner Bros. Rated R-16 by the local censors board (MTRCB).

WATCH: ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ reveals epic scope in new trailer

The full trailer has now arrived for Guy Ritchie’s adrenalin-fueled epic fantasy take on the Arthurian legends with Warner Bros. Pictures’ sweeping fantasy action adventure King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.

Check out the new trailer below and watch King Arthur: Legend of the Sword in Philippine cinemas starting May 17, 2017.

The film stars Charlie Hunnam, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, Oscar nominee Jude Law, and Eric Bana. Ritchie directs the film from a screenplay by Joby Harold and Guy Ritchie & Lionel Wigram, story by Joby Harold.

The bold new story introduces a streetwise young Arthur who runs the back alleys of Londonium with his gang, unaware of the life he was born for until he grasps hold of the sword Excalibur—and with it, his future. Instantly challenged by the power of Excalibur, Arthur is forced to make some hard choices. Throwing in with the Resistance and a mysterious young woman named Guinevere, he must learn to master the sword, face down his demons and unite the people to defeat the tyrant Vortigern, who stole his crown and murdered his parents, and become King.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Mel Gibson guns for Oscar Best Director prize with ‘Hacksaw Ridge’

With films that span from the classic, Oscar Best Picture-winning Braveheart to The Patriot, We Were Soldiers, The Passion of the Christ and his most recently directed film, the Mayan civilization epic Apocalypto, Mel Gibson has become known for meshing big themes with atmospheric style that takes audiences into revealing worlds.

Now, Mel Gibson’s re-creates with a mesmerizing realism the epic combat that saw the true-to-life heroism of Desmond Doss in the World War II action-thriller, Hacksaw Ridge.

Nominated for eight Oscar Awards including Best Picture and Best Director, Hacksaw Ridge centers on the story of Desmond T. Doss (Andrew Garfield), a Seventh-day Adventist who became an army medic while adhering to his religious convictions of not carrying a weapon. He saved 75 men during the Battle of Okinawa in World War II.

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For producer Bill Mechanic, Gibson was always the ultimate choice to direct Hacksaw Ridge. “The script felt to me almost like a companion piece to Braveheart,” comments the producer. “It pulls together the same themes of faith, violence and war, though it’s a very different story about a man from a very different time and background. To me, what also sets Mel apart as a contemporary filmmaker is how experiential his filmmaking is, how visceral the storytelling is in his films. He’s become a consummate director. He’s equally great with characters, with actors, with the camera and the editing process and with giving audiences a new experience.”

Gibson saw in Hacksaw Ridge a chance to bring into the light a forgotten hero – and he was drawn to Desmond Doss as man who determined to find a way to live by the values that meant everything to him, even when they seemed in conflict with the whole world around him.

Says Gibson: “Desmond Doss abhorred violence, it was against his principles, his religious beliefs, but he wanted to serve his country in World War II as a medic. How does somebody go into the worst place on earth without a weapon? It was all the more compelling to me, because it was a true story, and I thought I could bring my visual language to it.”

Gibson notes that Doss never called himself a conscientious objector. That was the army’s term. Instead, he called himself a “conscientious co-operator,” believing with unflagging tenacity that he had plenty to contribute without having to kill other human beings.

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“He was a co-operator in the sense that he passionately wanted to join the war effort, but he wanted to enter it as someone aiming not to take life but to save it,” says Gibson. “Still, you have to ask, what kind of madman goes into that kind of a conflagration seen on Okinawa without being armed? Doss defied what anyone could have expected from that situation. Somebody mentioned to me that the Congressional Medal of Honour is usually given to people who have a singular moment where they make a snap decision and do one heroic thing. One of the things that stood out to me about Desmond is that in Okinawa, this guy was heroic 24/7, for a whole month. He took heroism to another level not often seen.”

Mechanic notes that when it came to the battle sequences, Gibson zeroed right in on the most essential and creative details. “Mel has such an eye for war action, I feel he was the real creator of all the battle sequences, regardless of who wrote the scenes,” says the producer.

Yet even in the most frenetic action, Gibson wanted the humanity of the character to hold sway. He says of the battle sequences: “The important part was to give you the sense that this is the worst place anyone has ever seen, which it was for these men. And here’s Desmond, this guy you’ve hopefully come to know and to love, thrown into this terrible place where he will finally see how measures up to the standards he has set for himself.”

Hacksaw Ridge opens February 22, 2017 in Philippine cinemas.

History’s greatest women behind the Apollo missions star in ‘Hidden Figures’

Everyone knows about the Apollo missions. We can all immediately list the bold male astronauts who took those first giant steps for humankind in space: John Glenn, Alan Shepard and Neil Armstrong. Yet, remarkably, Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson’s are names not taught in school or even known to most people — even though their daring, smarts and powerful roles as NASA’s ingenious “human computers” were indispensable to advances that allowed for human space flight. These women are the unsung and unlikely heroes of the space race –female mathematicians who blazed multiple trails, trails towards greater diversity in science, equality in America, for human mathematical achievement and to launch John Glenn into mesmerizing orbit at more than 17,000 miles per hour as he circled three times around the globe in space.

“Hidden Figures” uncovers the incredible, untold yet true story of a brilliant group of women who changed the foundations of the country for the better — by aiming for the stars. The film recounts the vital history of an elite team of black female mathematicians at NASA who helped win the all-out space race against America’s rivals in the Soviet Union and, at the same time, sent the quest for equal rights and opportunity rocketing forwards.

At last, the story of a visionary trio of women who crossed gender, race and professional lines on their way to pioneering cosmic travel comes to the screen starring Oscar®-nominee Taraji P. Henson (Empire, Benjamin Button, Hustle And Flow), Academy Award® winner Octavia Spencer (Allegiant, Fruitvale Station, The Help), singer Janelle Monáe making her motion picture debut and two time Oscar® winner Kevin Costner (Black Or White, Field Of Dreams, Dancing With Wolves).

For Katherine G. Johnson (Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Monae), the chance to use their knowledge, passion and skills opened up just as the demands of World War II were shifting the nation’s social fabric. Faced with a daunting shortage of male scientists and mathematicians and with new laws prohibiting racial discrimination, defense contractors and Federal Agencies began seeking out women and African-Americans with the skills to keep pushing essential research onwards.

“This story takes place at the collision of the Cold War, the space race, the Jim Crow south, and the birth of the Civil Rights movement. It is incredible territory for a rich and powerful story few people know about at all,” says director Ted Melfi.

“Now we know there were amazing women behind how John Glenn came to orbit the earth in space — we finally get to hear their story. I think the story is beautiful and important. It is amazing that these women, not only black women, but white women too, have been erased out of history. We’ve seen women play politicians, lawyers and doctors in films. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a black female scientist or mathematician, so I thought, ‘Wow, what an opportunity to give young girls something else to aspire to. These women were thinkers with brilliant minds. Right now with social media, the options for young people are becoming quite shallow and limited; so I think certain things happen naturally, when it’s time; when they are needed. I think right now this film is relevant not just for girls of color, for girls, period. For everyone.” adds Taraji P. Henson.

“Hidden Figures” opens February 22, 2017 in cinemas from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

No place like Earth in romantic sci-fi ‘The Space Between Us’

Two of the fastest rising stars in the millennial era, Britt Robertson and Asa Butterfield who starred in blockbuster movies “Tomorrowland” and “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” respectively, team up for the latest out-of-this-world adventure in “The Space Between Us.”

“The Space Between Us” is an interplanetary adventure that on man’s first mission to colonize Mars, off when a space shuttle embarks on the first mission to colonize Mars, only to discover after takeoff that one of the astronauts is pregnant. Shortly after landing, she dies from complications while giving birth to the first human born on the red planet – never revealing who the father is.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Gardner Elliot (Butterfield) – an inquisitive, highly intelligent boy who reaches the age of 16 having only met 14 people in his very unconventional upbringing. While searching for clues about his father, and the home planet he’s never known, Gardner begins an online friendship with a street smart girl in Colorado named Tulsa (Robertson).

When he finally gets a chance to go to Earth, he’s eager to experience all of the wonders he could only read about on Mars – from the most simple to the extraordinary. But once his explorations begin, scientists discover that Gardner’s organs can’t withstand Earth’s atmosphere. Eager to find his father, Gardner escapes the team of scientists and joins with Tulsa on a race against time to unravel the mysteries of how he came to be, and where he belongs in the universe.

“The Space Between Us” is still showing in cinemas from Pioneer Films.

Chloë Grace Moretz stars in memoir-turned-movie ‘Brain on Fire’

“Brain on Fire” is the astonishing true story of a young woman’s descent into madness in the face of a medical mystery starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Thomas Mann, Carrie-Anne Moss, Richard Armitage, Jenny Slate and Tyler Perry.

Based on the award-winning memoir and a New York Times bestseller, “Brain of Fire” is directed by Gerard Barrett and trails the challenges of Susannah Cahalan (Moretz), a young woman just out of university and living her dreams in New York City. She’s an up-and-coming journalist at the New York Post, and she’s falling in love with a musician named Stephen. When her boss gives her the big assignment that will jumpstart her career, things couldn’t be better.

Soon little things start going wrong. Susannah gets a flu she can’t shake, she forgets things, and she misses deadlines at work. She can hear people talking about her, she’s sure that Stephen has another girlfriend, and she can’t control her body. It soon gets worse; Susannah begins having violent seizures, and her increasingly psychotic behaviour means she must be watched at all times.

After repeated trips to the hospital, a team of doctors can find nothing wrong with her. As Susannah is admitted and spends days, then weeks, in a hospital bed losing her ability to move, talk, even eat, her family is repeatedly told that she is one hundred percent healthy. Her mom Rhona and her dad Tom are at a breaking point, waiting for their daughter to die while being told there is nothing anyone can do to help her.

With Susannah trapped in a body that continues to deteriorate, her family keeps hoping for someone, anyone, that can solve the mystery. Only when they finally find a doctor determined and curious enough to see her case through can Susannah begin to recover from her bizarre illness and try to get back to the vibrant young woman she was.

Witness an inspiring miracle when “Brain on Fire” opens February 22, 2017 in cinemas from Pioneer Films.

Ice Cube, Charlie Day play rowdy teachers in comedy ‘Fist Fight’

Remember those inspiring high school movies where a dedicated but unconventional teacher is assigned to the worst class and, defying the odds, transforms them all into well-behaved honor students? Well, New Line Cinema’s upcoming comedy Fist Fight isn’t one of those.

Director Richie Keen says, “This is definitely a heightened experience of high school. It takes place entirely over one day — the last day of the year at Roosevelt High, which is the traditional Senior Prank Day, so it’s utter chaos. We wanted to see how far we could push that envelope.”

It starts out as the teachers versus the students, or, as Keen puts it, “the prison guards versus the inmates.” But everything changes when two teachers are pitted against each other. Suddenly Senior Prank Day is overshadowed by the promised faculty fracas that quickly goes viral. #TeacherFight.

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Ice Cube and Charlie Day head the cast as the two teachers about to come to blows, and the actors also serve as executive producers on the film. Cube relates, “When I first got the script for ‘Fist Fight,’ I was like, ‘Yo, this is what you go to the movies for; it’s the kind of film that you can just have fun with.’ “It’s like one of those movies where you have a ticking time bomb, but the time bomb here is my character, Ron Strickland.”

Day, who stars as Strickland’s opponent, Andy Campbell, agrees. “I mean, who doesn’t love a good high school movie? And I thought the dynamic between my character and Ice Cube’s character jumped off the page. I liked the ticking clock scenario, where it’s a pressure cooker and the heat keeps getting turned up. Those were the elements that made the script exciting to me.”

Even before Andy’s date with destiny-or death, depending on whom you talk to-he is not exactly having a good day. Keen elaborates, “The kids at school are crazy; his pregnant wife is three days past due; and he’s nervously waiting to find out if he’s among the teachers being fired due to budget cuts. Then, being in the wrong place at the absolute wrong time, he happens to witness Strickland having a ‘final straw’ moment with his students, who have pushed him one time too many. He’s put in a tough spot when he and Strickland are called in by the principal who wants to know what happened. With his job on the line, Andy reluctantly points a finger at Strickland, at which point Strickland tells him to meet him in the parking lot after school at 3:00. That’s when things really get started.”

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If the longsuffering school manages to survive Senior Prank Day, the faculty and students will witness a no-holds-barred brawl between two of their own. Unfortunately for Andy Campbell, this test is pass or fail — and they’re not grading on a curve.

Fist Fight also stars Tracy Morgan (30 Rock), Jillian Bell (22 Jump Street), Dean Norris (Breaking Bad), Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), Dennis Haysbert (The Unit) and JoAnna Garcia Swisher (The Astronaut Wives Club).

Richie Keen directs from a screenplay by Van Robichaux & Evan Susser (Funny or Die’s What’s Going On? With Mike Mitchell), story by Van Robichaux & Evan Susser and Max Greenfield.

Opening across the Philippines on February 22, 2017, Fist Fight is distributed in the Philippines by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.