Jared Leto devastates you blind in neo-noir sci-fi film ‘Blade Runner 2049’

Right off his role as The Joker in last year’s superhero film Suicide Squad, Academy Award-winning actor Jared Leto plays the enigmatic and ruthless Niander Wallace in Columbia Pictures’ futuristic action-thriller Blade Runner 2049.

The highly awaited sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1980s original classic, Blade Runner 2049 is directed by Academy Award-nominee Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Sicario, Arrival).

Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

Niander Wallace’s obsessive quest to create the perfect replicant—totally compliant and unquestioning of human authority—resulted in the creation of the latest model, the Nexus 9. Wallace see replicants as necessary for the survival of humanity…but he can only make so many. Years before, his breakthroughs in genetically modified foods had brought the planet back from the brink of irrevocable global famine. Trading on that debt, he was able to barter for the end of the replicant prohibition and, in the process, gain incalculable wealth…and untold power.

Cast in the role of Wallace, Jared Leto remarks, “I maybe have a different perspective on Niander Wallace than others would. He is the guy who saved the world from starvation, so I don’t think his ego is too far out of control for someone who literally saved the planet. He is someone who willed himself to power through really hard work and rigorous study. Wallace is a genius and he’s also a bit of a madman, which he’d have to be. He’s so fascinating and complex. It was a really seductive role.”

Leto reveals that his connection to the “Blade Runner” universe goes back to “when I was very young and saw it on VHS. There are films that come along and, for one reason or another, strike a chord. They affect you in some way and change how you see the world. ‘Blade Runner’ was a film that had a big impact on me and has always stuck with me. There was something about it that spoke to me as a kid that I couldn’t let go of. So it’s always had a special place in my heart and it’s something I’ve looked to for inspiration over the years.”

“Niander Wallace is a tough part to play because you have to deal with a lot of difficult dialogue. It required an actor who could embrace those speeches and bring them to life with a strength and poetry. And what can I say? I chose a rock star and he just blew us away,” states Villeneuve, who adds that he appreciated Leto’s total immersion in every facet of the role. “I had heard how Jared embodies his character and I wondered what he would do about Wallace, with regard to him being blind. He came in and he was blind…he acted blind.”

In researching that aspect of his role, Leto spent time with people who were visually impaired, observing things like how they navigate a specific space or interact in conversation. “I could feel that Jared was someone who was deeply passionate and very serious about what he was doing,” says Villeneuve. “He was 100 percent committed.”

Correspondingly, Leto had nothing but praise for Villeneuve, commenting, “Denis is a rare artist. What I love about him is that he’s eternally fascinated and enthusiastic and curious by nature. He’s completely in the moment with the actors and there’s a sense of discovery and excitement around him that’s very compelling. I found him to be just an incredible director and I’m truly thankful that I had the chance to do this film with him.”

Opening in Philippine cinemas and IMAX on Friday, October 6, Blade Runner 2049 is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

British actor James Norton set to make a name with ‘Flatliners’

He is a bright star in the British acting landscape which was confirmed when he was selected by Screen International to be one of their highly prestigious Stars of Tomorrow.

Now, James Norton (BBC’s War and Peace, Black Mirror, An Education) bids for Hollywood stardom with Columbia Pictures’ new suspense-thriller Flatliners (in Philippine cinemas Friday, September 29).

Flatliners tells of five medical students who embark on a daring and dangerous experiment to gain insight into the mystery of what lies beyond the confines of life. The bold adventure begins when they trigger near-death experiences by stopping their hearts for short periods of time. As their trials become more perilous, each must confront the sins from their past while facing the paranormal consequences of journeying to the other side.

Norton plays the fun-loving and charismatic Jamie. “Jamie is a loveable rogue,” says Norton of his character. “He’s not the most serious of students, he likes to party, he likes the girls, he’s full of bravado and confidence and makes no bones about the fact that what he’s really after is recognition – he wants to be a celebrity doctor.”

“There’s a recklessness to his character,” says director Niels Arden Oplev. “He’s a trust fund kid, more interested in girls and parties than in medical school. There’s a reason why Courtney (Ellen Page) chooses him: yeah, I think he’d be the one that would press the button and start the whole thing up.”

From the very beginning the chemistry and camaraderie between Norton and his co-stars Ellen Page, Diego Luna and Nina Dobrev was strong both on and off screen.

Elaborates Norton, “In any movie, any performance, the trust involved between a group of actors is immense. You have to open yourself up and within a few days show your soul and become incredibly vulnerable with strangers. And that takes an enormous amount of trust. So it’s no surprise that actors generally become very close very quickly. And that was what happened on this movie, which was great because this movie is all about trust. These characters are literally putting their lives in each other’s hands and saying, ‘Get me back, take me back from death.’ So the fact that we all got on so well, that we all trusted each other off camera meant that the relationships and the stories of our friendships on camera was much easier.”

Flatliners is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

WATCH: Natalie Portman looks for an alien in ‘Annihilation’ trailer

Paramount Pictures has just unvelied the first official trailer for Annihilation, the highly anticipated follow-up from Alex Garland, the writer-director of Ex Machina.

Based on Jeff VanderMeer’s best-selling Southern Reach Trilogy, Annihilation stars Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny and Oscar Isaac. It was written and directed by Alex Garland (Ex Machina, 28 Days Later).

In Philippine cinemas 2018, Annihilation is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

World’s top-grossing anime film ‘Your Name’ gets Hollywood live-action remake

The 2016 Japanese anime hit ‘Your Name’ is set to have a live-action adaptation from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot and Japan-based Toho Co. This will be a feature presentation from Paramount Pictures and adapted by Oscar-nonimated screenwriter Eric Heisserer (‘Arrival’).

Your Name is the highest-grossing anime film in the world, earning $355.2M worldwide during its theatrical run. It was also a blockbuster hit in the Philippines when it was first released in December.

The lower-budgeted animated film Your Name tells the story of a teenage boy and girl from different backgrounds who discover they can swap bodies and become persistent to cross space and time just so they can meet and stop a foreseen disaster.

For the live-action, J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: Episode IX) and Lindsey Weber will produce for Bad Robot, along with Genki Kawamura from the original film.

The original Japanese version was produced by Kawamura with Minami Ichikawa, Keiji Ota, and Yoshihiro Furusawa for Toho Co., Ltd. and Noritaka Kawaguchi for CoMix Wave Films serving as executive producers.

LOOK: ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising’ character posters of John Boyega, Scott Eastwood

Universal Pictures has just unveiled the first two character posters of the epic action-adventure ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising,’ featuring leads John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Scott Eastwood (Suicide Squad).

Check out the one-sheets below and watch Pacific Rim: Uprising in Philippine cinemas February 2018.

John Boyega leads the cast of Pacific Rim Uprising, the follow-up to 2013’s cinematic epic of monsters and mechs, inspiring a new generation to become the biggest heroes to ever walk the earth.

The 3D epic adventure is directed by Steven S. DeKnight and also stars Scott Eastwood, Jing Tian, Cailee Spaeny, Rinko Kikuchi, Burn Gorman, Adria Arjona and Charlie Day.

Pacific Rim: Uprising is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

WATCH: First teaser for star-studded family drama ‘Seven Sundays’

Star Cinema has just released the first teaser for their upcoming family drama film ‘Seven Sundays,’ featuring an all-star cast consisting of Aga Muhlach, Dingdong Dantes, Enrique Gil, Cristine Reyes, and Mr. Ronaldo Valdez. This is under the direction of Cathy Garcia-Molina.

Check out the main poster and official trailer below.

‘Seven Sundays’ tells the story of the Bonifacio siblings, Allan (Aga Muhlach), Bryan (Dingdong Dantes), Cha (Cristine Reyes), and Dex (Enrique Gil), who reunite after their father (Ronaldo Valdez) is diagnosed with cancer and have to deal with unresolved issues among themselves in the process.

The film’s title was taken from that specific request made by Ronaldo Valdez’s character, the Bonifacio family’s patriarch.

Opening across Philippine cinemas on October 11, 2017, ‘Seven Sundays’ is released and distributed by Star Cinema, the film production arm of ABS-CBN.


‘Birdshot’ is PH entry to Foreign Language category of Oscars 2018

Mikhail Red’s coming-of-age mystery-thriller film ‘Birdshot’ has been selected as the Philippines’ official entry to the 90th Academy Awards, more popular as the Oscars. This was announced by the Film Academy of the Philippines’ director general Leo Martinez as tweeted by Inquirer Entertainment.

This is the official statement of the director as sent to Cinema Bravo:

This is surprising news for all of us! What a spectacular turn of events for Birdshot’s long journey! I’d like to thank FAP for giving us the opportunity to represent our country. I’d like to thank the Birdshot family for being patient and determined while creating a substantial and well-crafted film. Finally I’d like to thank the game changing TBA Studios for believing in the vision of birdshot. May they continue to encourage young storytellers to create uncompromising films, may they continue to pave the way to a bright future for Philippine Cinema.

Producer Pamela Reyes shares the same excitement for her film’s next journey. “It has been 3 years since I started producing Birdshot,” she told Cinema Bravo. “Being chosen to represent the Philippines for the 2018 Oscars race is truly the cherry on top. I am beyond excited. This is just the start and we will need all the help we can get for the Oscars campaign.”

This mystery-thriller tells the story of a young Filipinas farm girl named Maya who wanders into the boundaries of a Philippine reservation forest.

Birdshot is an eligible film as it is a motion picture first released theatrically in its origin country between October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2017. Its theatrical release was last October 16 via Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino when it was screened across Philippine cinemas.

Birdshot can still be seen at Cinema ’76, the micro-cinema in San Juan owned by TBA Studios.

The longlist will be announced by the Academy on a later date. From this, nine finalists will be shortlisted later in the year, with the final five to be announced early 2018. No Filipino movie has ever been selected as a nominee for this category.

Last year, the Philippines submitted Brillante Mendoza’s ‘Ma’ Rosa’ but did not make the cut. In 2015, it can be noted that the country’s entry was the TBA-produced historical film ‘Heneral Luna.’

Jackie Chan is Master Wu in ‘The LEGO Ninjago Movie’

Jackie Chan plays the venerable Master Wu in Warner Bros. Pictures’ all-new, big-screen event—the animated comedy martial arts film ‘The LEGO NINJAGO Movie.’ He recently received the Honorary Oscar for Lifetime Achievement award.

In The LEGO Ninjago Movie, Master Wu is a bearded, white-robed, flute-playing wise man with an anthology of zen-ish axioms and a surprisingly sharp tongue, who producer Dan Lin describes as “the soul and emotional anchor of the movie, and the counterpart to the villain, Garmadon.”

This wise, all-knowing mentor promises to train the ninja in the ancient art of Spinjitzu fighting, but first, he challenges them not only to balance on rocks but to find the balance within themselves. He carries a big stick, which he plays like a flute. Years of meditation have not softened this warrior’s edges, or his ability to crack himself up, and Master Wu is full of surprises.

Indeed, seeing promise in the young ninja, Lloyd, and knowing that NINJAGO City needs a champion, “Master Wu is helping Lloyd to achieve his destiny,” says Chan.

In the film, the battle for NINJAGO City calls to action young Master Builder Lloyd, aka the Green Ninja, along with his friends, who are all secret ninja warriors. Led by Master Wu, as wise-cracking as he is wise, they must defeat evil warlord Garmadon, The Worst Guy Ever, who also happens to be Lloyd’s dad. Pitting mech against mech and father against son, the epic showdown will test this fierce but undisciplined team of modern-day ninjas, who must learn to check their egos and pull together to unleash their inner power.

“Jackie Chan brings a lot of comedy to Wu, and he’s really loveable, the way his voice comes through,” Lin says. “He adds a great deal to the emotional spectrum of the movie, whether it’s heart or humor, and he also brings a level of authenticity, because we really want this to feel like an Asian-inspired martial arts movie, and Jackie was rigorous in overseeing the action and making sure we were doing it in an accurate way.”

“Master Wu is Garmadon’s brother, but also his enemy,” Chan explains with mock gravity. “Master Wu is Lloyd’s uncle, but also his teacher. So, any way you look at it, it’s a complex relationship, very tricky, and very interesting.”

Wu and Garmadon’s long-brewing animosity ultimately erupts atop a rope bridge over a rushing river, which Chan cites as his favorite fight in the film.

Chan not only stars in the film, but also brought his renowned stunt team to choreograph the fights—bearing his trademark of rapid-fire, spectacularly executed moves, deftly undercut with a sense of humor. How do animated kicks, flips and jumps compare to the real world? “You can create all kinds of movement, all kinds of impossible things, and through the animation, make it 10 times better and more fun,” the genuine master declares.

Moreover, acknowledging a catalogue of injuries nearly as famous as his lifetime of action roles, Chan laughingly adds, “This way I don’t have to do my own stunts, and no one gets hurt.”

In Philippine cinemas September 27, 2017, The LEGO NINJAGO Movie is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.


WATCH: Teaser trailer for ‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’

The first teaser trailer has just been released for for the epic finale to the Maze Runner saga, entitled Maze Runner: The Death Cure. Watch the video below and catch the exciting movie adaptation of the popular book series on January 24, 2018.

In The Death Cure, Thomas leads his group of escaped Gladers on their final and most dangerous mission yet. To save their friends, they must break into the legendary Last City, a WCKD-controlled labyrinth that may turn out to be the deadliest maze of all. Anyone who makes it out alive will get answers to the questions the Gladers have been asking since they first arrived in the maze.

It’s a heist movie this time,” says director Wes Ball, who has helmed each of the movies in the trilogy. “It picks up six months after the last movie, where we started in the desert, and then we come into the world of WCKD, which is a city: The Last City.”

The series started in the Glade, a lush open space surrounded on all sides by giant walls, and beyond them the maze that kept them prisoner. For the group of young people trapped in the Glade, with no memory of who they once were or why they were there, breaking out was their first priority. “But now, they’re breaking into walls, almost an inverse of the maze, and they have to get answers and outmaneuver every obstacle thrown their way,” Ball says, “We get to see the other side of the universe and come full circle.”

And just as “The Maze Runner” offered lush greens framed by the decaying concrete walls of the maze, and “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” gave us vast, inhospitable desert ruins, so “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” is set to its own aesthetic and color palette. “The first film, with the maze, was all cement and overgrowth,” observes Ball. “The second story was the sand and rust of the Scorch and this film is a world of glass and steel. I’d say it has elements of sci-fi and film noir – I loved the idea that each one of these movies has a distinct look and feel, but that they all fold into this same universe.”

“Maze Runner: The Death Cure” opens January 24, 2018 in Philippine cinemas from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

WATCH: James Corden as ‘Peter Rabbit’ gone wild in first trailer

Columbia Pictures has launched the first official trailer of Peter Rabbit, the new live-action/CG motion picture based on the internationally beloved series of books written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter.

Check out the trailer at https://youtu.be/Ds305GErAqI and watch Peter Rabbit in Philippine cinemas in April 2018.

Peter Rabbit, the mischievous and adventurous hero who has captivated generations of readers, now takes on the starring role of his own irreverent, contemporary comedy with attitude. In the film, Peter’s feud with Mr. McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson) escalates to greater heights than ever before as they rival for the affections of the warm-hearted animal lover who lives next door (Rose Byrne). James Corden voices the character of Peter with playful spirit and wild charm, with Margot Robbie, Elizabeth Debicki, and Daisy Ridley performing the voice roles of the triplets, Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail.

The film is directed by Will Gluck from a screenplay by Rob Lieber.

Peter Rabbit is distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.