‘SNL’ star Kate McKinnon invents spirit-capturing gadgets in all-new ‘Ghostbusters’

“Saturday Night Live” standout Kate McKinnon stars as Jillian Holtzmann, a nuclear engineer, munitions expert, and proton wrangler, in Columbia Pictures’ new action-adventure “Ghostbusters.”

“Ghostbusters” makes its long-awaited return, rebooted with a cast of hilarious new characters. Thirty years after the beloved original franchise took the world by storm, director Paul Feig brings his fresh take to the supernatural comedy, joined by some of the funniest actors working today – Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth.

Holtzmann has always been an oddball. She thinks outside the box, doesn’t follow social norms, and she likes putting things together, inventing things. She doesn’t judge others but she gets a thrill out of pushing the buttons of uptight people, especially Erin (Kristen Wiig).

“I loved the idea of playing a scientist,” McKinnon says. “I like playing a woman character that doesn’t revolve around a romance, which is rare in a movie. I’m so glad to have been given that opportunity.”

Producer Ivan Reitman states, “I saw the extraordinary sketches in which Kate McKinnon plays Justin Bieber, and captures his essence in a totally original hilarious way. For `Ghostbusters,’ she brings a unique, quirky, comedic energy to her role that is perfect! Kate is a comedic force to be reckoned with.”

“Holtzmann is a genius,” McKinnon describes. “Holtzmann is the tech geek in all of this, which is usually the geekiest geek. She is in charge of perfecting the machinery that allows them to accomplish this mission. She is an essential creature. She’s bizarre. She is freakish. She’s full of joy. She is me. Yes, this is the closest character to my actual self that I’ve ever played, if that tells you anything.”

“Kate was actually the first person I cast in my head,” says Feig. “We had this part of Holtzmann – a really nutty, weirdo part, and if you know Kate, she’s lovely but she’s a nutty weirdo in the most wonderful way. We start casting by asking, ‘Who could shine in this role?’ Kate’s been shining on ‘SNL’ but not in a film yet. There’s something about her that’s so charismatic – she’s a movie star. It seemed like the part could be a great showcase for her, so it was a really easy decision.”

“Holtzmann is the hard scientist, she’s the nuts and bolts person,” Feig explains. “I don’t even know if Holtzmann has a passion for ghosts, but she has a passion for figuring out how to scientifically interact with ghosts, how to capture them, and how to use her skill to interact with them. She’s the hardware nut, and once she starts perfecting her hardware – her proton packs and her synchrotrons and all that – she really starts to go crazy. I’m a big hardware geek, so it was really fun to invent so much cool new weaponry and to have Kate’s character do it.”

Opening across the Philippines on Friday, July 15, 2016, “Ghostbusters” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

‘The BFG’ serves as first Steven Spielberg film for Disney

Disney and Amblin Entertainment, in association with Walden Media, present the fantasy adventure film “The BFG,” the first-ever motion picture adaptation of Roald Dahl’s resonant tale of childhood, the magic of dreams and the extraordinary friendship between a young girl and a big friendly giant.

Directed by three-time Academy Award® winner Steven Spielberg, the film reunites the director with his Oscar-nominated collaborator on “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” Melissa Mathison, who adapted the childrens author’s timeless adventure for the big screen.

The film stars Oscar® winner Mark Rylance as the Big Friendly Giant; newcomer Ruby Barnhill as Sophie, the orphan who befriends him and is swept into a world of rampaging giants; Penelope Wilton as the Queen; Jemaine Clement as Fleshlumpeater, the most fearsome giant from Giant Country; Rebecca Hall as Mary, the Queen’s handmaid; Rafe Spall as Mr. Tibbs, the Queen’s butler; and Bill Hader as Bloodbottler, another unruly giant from Giant Country.

“The BFG” marked somewhat of a departure for Steven Spielberg. He explains, “I’ve been very blessed to have had all kinds of beautiful experiences telling stories. I’m hesitant to emphasize one story over the other because they have all had tremendous value to me. But I think the number of historical movies that I’ve been making—films like ‘Lincoln,’ ‘Bridge of Spies’ and then going further back to films like ‘Amistad’ and ‘Schindler’s List’—have kept me fettered to the accuracy of telling a historical story.”
“So being able to escape into the world of dreams and imaginations has been a dream in itself,” he continues. “That makes ‘The BFG’ special, because it was my escape into what I think I kind of do best, which is just let my imagination run away with itself.”

According to Spielberg, he was raised on Grimm fairytales and they were very dark and very frightening with no redeeming social value, whatsoever. “They were almost object lessons for kids, but Dahl and Disney both subscribed to the precepts of children’s folklore and embraced the darkness, because what is a fairytale without a dark center?” he says. “Without that dark center, where is the redemption, and how do you bring all of us out from the bowels of a nightmare into the most beautiful, enchanting dream we’d ever seen?”

The fact that Dahl chose a young girl as his protagonist in “The BFG” was something the director appreciated as well. Sophie is a strong girl who does not take no for an answer and is not intimidated by someone who is six-times bigger than her, and the character is similar to strong females who are at the center of many Walt Disney films.

“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” has always been Spielberg’s favorite Disney film. “I saw it in a movie theater during its ninth revival when I was only seven or eight years old and it really stuck with me. I can still remember being so frightened and terrified, but at the same time, so satisfied with that amazing ending.”

Roald Dahl and Walt Disney actually met in April of 1943 to discuss a number of projects, one of which was “The Gremlins,” one of Dahl’s first stories. The film was eventually shelved, but was later released as a book by Disney and Random House with all proceeds going to the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund. The book did go on however, to serve as inspiration for the 1984 film “Gremlins,” which, coincidentally, was produced by Spielberg.

The filmmakers were all in agreement that “The BFG” felt like a hybrid between a classic Disney film and a movie from Amblin Entertainment (the production company Spielberg, Kennedy and Marshall founded in 1981), so they were thrilled when the studio green lit the film in the spring of 2015, making “The BFG” the first Walt Disney film to be directed by Steven Spielberg.

Opening across the Philippines on August 10, 2016, “The BFG” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

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Enchanted rose takes spotlight in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ teaser poster

Disney has just revealed the teaser poster of its live-action “Beauty and the Beast,” shining a light on the magical rose that’s pivotal to the story.

Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” is a live-action re-telling of the studio’s animated classic which refashions the classic characters from the tale as old as time for a contemporary audience, staying true to the original music while updating the score with several new songs.

“Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within.

The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Oscar® winner Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s eccentric, but lovable father; Josh Gad as Lefou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Golden Globe® nominee Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, the candelabra; Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; six-time Tony Award® winner Audra McDonald as Madame Garderobe, the wardrobe; Oscar nominee Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and two-time Academy Award® winner Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.

Directed by Oscar® winner Bill Condon from a screenplay based on the 1991 animated film, the film is produced by Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman with eight-time Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken, who won two Academy Awards® (Best Original Score and Best Song) for the 1991 animated film, providing the score, which will include new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Howard Ashman, as well as several new songs written by Menken and three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice.

Opening across the Philipppines in March 2017, “Beauty and the Beast” will be distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures.

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