Scarlett Johansson gets funny in rare comedy ‘Rough Night’

Superstar Scarlett Johansson takes a break from superhero duties as she plays the bride-to-be in Columbia Pictures’ new bachelorette-party comedy Rough Night (in Philippine cinemas August 9, 2017).

Also starring Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer, and Zoë Kravitz, Rough Night is about five friends from college who reunite when they rent a beach house in Miami for a wild bachelorette weekend that goes completely off the rails. Just when all hope is lost, they realize there’s more to the story than they could’ve ever imagined.

Johansson plays Jess Thayer, who has dedicated her life to public service, and has set her sights on becoming a member of the state legislature. “She is definitely a socially conscious person,” explains Johansson. “She’s involved in the community and wants to make a positive difference in people’s lives. That’s why she’s running for state senate.”

Jess’ devotion to her constituents has come at the expense of her personal relationships. “Along the way, she’s neglected the people that are closest to her, as we do sometimes,” explains Johansson. “She’s career driven and focused on making a difference.”

“Jess is one of those people who has moved on from her crazy college days and is trying to forge a new life in a genuine, earnest way,” explains writer-director Lucia Aniello.

Johansson was excited by the idea of working in comedy. “I read the script and it was just so funny,” she says. “It made me laugh out loud, and I’m not a person that laughs out loud. I laugh a lot on the inside, but it made me belly laugh. I just loved how real the relationships were between these girls and how very earnest the characters were. I responded to these characters and how very real and raw they are.”

In Johansson’s portrayal of Jess, Aniello was in awe of her uncanny ability to strike the perfect balance between humor and vulnerability. “Scarlett not only is such an incredible actress, but, she also can be vulnerable, goofy, and silly,” says Aniello. “The ability to have that in a lead has grounded the movie exactly how I think we intended it to be. Scarlett can also destroy a punchline – she can just kill it. It’s just been incredible to have that flexibility with an actor.”

Tony and BAFTA winner and four-time Golden Globe nominee Scarlett Johansson was most recently seen in the lead role of the Major in Ghost in the Shell, a live-action adaptation of the original Japanese manga.

In 2016, she voiced the python Kaa in Disney’s live action/CGI animation adaptation of The Jungle Book from Jon Favreau, and lent her voice to the computer-animated musical comedy film Sing, in which she played punk-rocking porcupine Ash. She also reprised her role as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow in Captain America: Civil War, and is currently filming the two upcoming Avengers movies, including Avengers: Infinity War.

Her other recent roles include Luc Besson’s action-thriller Lucy, Jonathan Glazer’s sci-fi art film Under the Skin, and Spike Jonze’s critically acclaimed sci-fi romance Her, in which she played the role of operating system Samantha, which earned her a Best Actress award at the Rome Film Festival.

She is currently the highest-grossing actress of all time and highest grossing actor of 2016, with her films making over $1.2 billion that year and $9.3 billion overall worldwide.

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

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Lily James plays Ansel Elgort’s love interest in ‘Baby Driver’

In 2015, she played the title role in Disney’s live-action feature Cinderella to wide acclaim. Now, Lily James stars as the title character’s love interest in Columbia Pictures’ U.S. No.1 box-office hit Baby Driver (in Philippine cinemas August 2, 2017).

In the film, a talented, young getaway driver named Baby (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. When he meets Debora (James), the girl of his dreams, Baby sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.

Who could bring to life Debora, the kind-eyed, friendly waitress who gives Baby hope that his life could mean something more? Writer-director Edgar Wright found her in British actress Lily James.

“I was incredibly charmed by her,” says Wright. “She basically did in the audition what she does in the movie. She inhabits this character, this new ray of light in Baby’s reasonably introverted life. I sent the video of her audition to Bill Pope, my cinematographer, whose opinion I really trust, especially on actors and actresses. I didn’t tell him why I was sending it or what I thought of it. Maybe half an hour later he replied with a two-word email saying, ‘Hire her.’”

Says James about her character, “Debora works a dead-end job and it becomes clear that she has no ties to where she is at this point in her life. She has no family and is a bit of a wanderer who wants to escape. She’s a dreamer and she loves music, which is why she and Baby really connect.”

For Lily James, Elgort makes it easy to sympathize with Baby. “You root for Baby because he’s got such a good heart and you see him at home with Joe, his foster dad, and there’s this beautiful relationship. He’s doing this to get a better life for Joe and himself, and so you want him to succeed, and you don’t want him to get totally corrupted in this horrible world. I think he’s got such a big heart and that shines through in Ansel’s performance, which I think is so beautiful and kind of vulnerable but cool.”

Baby Driver stars Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Eiza Gonzalez with Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx.

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

Tom Hardy displays true grit as heroic pilot in ‘Dunkirk’

Nominated for an Oscar for his performance in the epic frontier drama The Revenant, Tom Hardy re-teams with frequent collaborator Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises) in the action thriller Dunkirk (now showing in Philippine cinemas).

Dunkirk opens as hundreds of thousands of British and Allied troops are surrounded by enemy forces. Trapped on the beach with their backs to the sea, they face an impossible situation as the enemy closes in.

The story unfolds on land, sea and air. RAF Spitfires engage the enemy in the skies above the Channel, trying to protect the defenseless men below. Meanwhile, hundreds of small boats manned by both military and civilians are mounting a desperate rescue effort, risking their lives in a race against time to save even a fraction of their army.

Tom Hardy, who plays Farrier, the more senior RAF pilot, had perhaps the most personal connection to the project. “My granddad was at Dunkirk,” he reveals. “He told me about it.”

Producer Emma Thomas says there were other reasons Hardy was perfect for the role. “He’s in a small cockpit of a plane, so his movements are very restricted, but Tom has a very big presence and can use his physicality in very interesting ways. And once again, we have much of his face covered, but the reason you can do that with Tom is because he is such an expressive actor you don’t need to see all of his face. There are moments in the film where all that’s visible are his eyes, and yet he can communicate and tell a story just with that.”

Hardy says he was eager to reunite with Nolan, stating, “Chris is the best at what he does. He pushes and inspires me as an actor. I’d jump on any role just to be in the company.”

Dunkirk features a multigenerational ensemble cast, including Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy and Barry Keoghan, with Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy.

Dunkirk is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Kerry Washington voices know-it-all, nerdy analyst in ‘Cars 3’

Multi-awarded African-American actress Kerry Washington (Django Unchained, TV’s Scandal), lends her voice to Natalie Certain, a highly respected statistical analyst who knows her numbers, in Disney-Pixar’s No.1 US box-office hit Cars 3 (in Philippine cinemas July 26, 2017).

Book-smart and mathematically gifted, Certain is a fresh voice in the racing world. But while she may earn top marks in her ability to evaluate a racer’s stats, she could be underestimating the importance of determination.

“Natalie Certain is a know-it-all, bossy pants, super-nerdy character,” shares Washington, who jokes, “I’m nothing like that, so it was a stretch, but I was somehow able to access the truth of this character who thinks she knows everything.”

“Natalie’s a confident, intelligent woman,” says directing animator Jude Brownbill. “Her movements are kind of sharp without feeling too weightless. There’s not much flourish, yet she’s still graceful. She’s all about the facts, so she’s very focused and direct.”

According to production designer Jay Shuster, Natalie Certain’s look is a little more sophisticated by design. “She’s a tech-savvy sedan with details that reflect a controlled and discreet elegance.”

Screenwriter Mike Rich adds that the character is a reflection of the present-day sports industry. “The sports world is really using a lot of stats and metrics right now,” he says. “Statisticians believe that math can predict what will happen in any given sport. But it can’t gauge heart. The character really illustrates one way that sports have changed over the years.”

“Natalie represents the voice of the next-gen racers,” addsproducer Kevin Reher. “She supplies the race commentators with stats that point to the many reasons why Jackson Storm and his fellow high-tech racers are built to win. She has all the facts and figures—none of which are in Lightning McQueen’s favor.”

Concludes co-producer Andrea Warren, “Kerry Washington brilliantly brings that poise, charm and assuredness to her character, who is very certain about what she knows to be true of racing.”

“Cars 3” features Owen Wilson (The Royal Tenenbaums) as the voice of Lightning McQueen. Cristela Alonzo (The Angry Birds Movie) voices tech-savvy trainer Cruz Ramirez, who tries to help #95 return to greatness, and Armie Hammer (The Social Network) lends his voice to next-gen racer Jackson Storm, whose high-tech speed leaves Lightning McQueen behind. Kerry Washington (ABC’s Scandal) was called on to voice statistical analyst Natalie Certain, Nathan Fillion (ABC’s Castle) provides the voice of brilliant business car Sterling, Lea DeLaria (Netflix’s Orange is the New Black) lends her voice to formidable school bus Miss Fritter, and Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton helps bring voice command assistant Hamilton to life.

Disney-Pixar’s Cars 3 is distributed in the Philippines by Walt Disney Studios.

Tony Stark mentors Peter Parker in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’

Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark takes Peter Parker (Tom Holland) under his wing in Columbia Pictures’ Spider-Man: Homecoming, the new action-adventure that brings Spider-Man of the comic books to the screen alongside Marvel Cinematic Universe heroes for the first time.

Spider-Man: Homecoming picks up the action directly following the epic battle scene of Captain America: Civil War, with Tony Stark returning “underoos” back home to Queens.

“Peter really believes he has a mentor in Tony Stark, and Tony really likes Peter, but he can’t be babysitting this kid,” producer Kevin Feige explains. “Tony gives Peter a little bit of rope to see what he can do on his own.”

Peter believes that his “internship” with Stark Industries is merely a prelude and test toward becoming a full-fledged member of the Avengers – but the spider needs to learn to crawl before it can fly, as Holland explains: “We go back in time to relive the Civil War splash panel fight from Peter’s perspective. We see him having the time of his life. He’s on a private jet with Happy, he’s staying in this crazy beautiful hotel room to suddenly him being crammed on a subway late for school. No one’s called him to give him another mission. That’s the contrast: the kid at summer camp is suddenly the kid back at school.”

“Tony becomes a kind of father figure to Peter,” says Holland. “Peter’s trying to prove himself to Tony that he is old and wise enough to take on bigger tasks, but Tony keeps putting him down and telling him he isn’t ready yet. I think that’s what really drives Peter to possibly go down the wrong path, before he figures it out and we see why Peter Parker is the most beloved and powerful super hero of the MCU.”

And Iron Man himself vouches for the casting of Peter. “Tom Holland is just the perfect man for the job,” says Downey. “He’s enthusiastic, bright and gifted, a very physically talented guy by virtue of his dance and acrobatic background. He has just the right combination of elements required to bring a new take on the character.”

“The energy of Tom Holland meeting Robert Downey Jr. for the first time was exactly what we wanted out of Peter Parker meeting Tony Stark,” says Kevin Feige. “The audition scene was the bedroom scene in Captain America: Civil War, and so we wanted to continue that relationship between Peter Parker and Tony Stark that we set up in the film.”

In Spider-Man: Homecoming (in Philippine cinemas Thursday, July 6), thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter Parker returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark. Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened. His moment has arrived as he is challenged to become the hero he is meant to be.

Spider-Man: Homecoming is distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

Meet the character and talent lineup of Disney·Pixar’s ‘Coco’

Disney·Pixar’s “Coco,” a multi-generational story about the power of family relationships, features characters from the Land of the Living, and their loved ones who’ve moved on to the Land of the Dead. Joining aspiring musician Miguel, voiced by Anthony Gonzalez; charming trickster Hector, voiced by Gael García Bernal; and musical icon Ernesto de la Cruz, voiced by Benjamin Bratt; are a host of colorful characters and the voice talent behind them that bring both worlds to life. Directed by Lee Unkrich (“Toy Story 3”), co-directed by Adrian Molina (story artist “Monsters University”) and produced by Darla K. Anderson (“Toy Story 3”), “Coco” opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2017.

“These parallel worlds couldn’t be more different,” said Unkrich. “One is the Rivera family’s charming and hardworking hometown of Santa Cecilia, and the other is the vibrant, rich land where loved ones go when they’ve passed. ‘Coco’ introduces characters from both worlds on the eve of Día de los Muertos—one extraordinary night when a living boy named Miguel gets a glimpse of the other side.”

Added Molina, “Our voice cast is incredibly talented, helping to shape our eclectic group of characters. Each actor has told us they find something relatable in this film, so they’re finding it easy to capture the heart of this story—it’s all about family, so we hope that these characters will resonate with everyone.”

FROM THE LAND OF THE LIVING

ANTHONY GONZALEZ (“Ice Box,” TNT’s “The Last Ship”) lends his voice to MIGUEL, a 12-year-old aspiring musician who struggles against his family’s generations-old ban on music. When a magical mishap lands him in the Land of the Dead, Miguel seeks out his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz, to help him return to the Land of the Living before it’s too late.

ANA OFELIA MURGUÍA (Amazon’s “Mozart in the Jungle,” “Bandidas”) voices Miguel’s cherished great-grandmother MAMÁ COCO. She is very old and fragile, but that doesn’t stop Miguel from sharing his daily adventures with her.

RENÉE VICTOR (“Weeds,” “The Apostle”) provides the authoritative voice of ABUELITA, Miguel’s grandmother and the ultimate enforcer of the Rivera family’s ban on music. She loves her family very much and will do anything to protect them. But when she gets angry, she wields a mean slipper.

JAIME CAMIL (CW’s “Jane the Virgin,” Disney Junior’s “Elena of Avalor,” “Secret Lives of Pets”) is the voice of PAPÁ, Miguel’s supportive father who hopes that someday Miguel will join him in the family shoemaking business.

SOFÍA ESPINOSA (“Gloria”) provides the voice of Miguel’s loving MAMÁ who gently encourages her son to embrace their family’s traditions.

LUIS VALDEZ (“Which Way Is Up,” director “La Bamba” & “Cisco Kid”) is the voice of TÍO BERTO, Miguel’s uncle, a hard worker in the Rivera family shoemaking business.

LOMBARDO BOYAR (“Happy Feet,” TNT’s “Murder in the First”) lends his voice to a friendly MARIACHI who Miguel encounters in Santa Cecilia Plaza.

FROM THE LAND OF THE DEAD

GAEL GARCÍA BERNAL (Amazon’s “Mozart in the Jungle”) helps bring to life HECTOR, a charming trickster in the Land of the Dead who is forced to enlist help from Miguel to visit the Land of the Living.

BENJAMIN BRATT (FOX’s “Star,” “Doctor Strange”) is the voice of Miguel’s idol ERNESTO DE LA CRUZ, the most famous musician in the history of Mexico. Revered by fans worldwide until his untimely death, the charming and charismatic musician is even more beloved in the Land of the Dead.

EDWARD JAMES OLMOS (“Blade Runner,” “Stand and Deliver”) lends his voice to CHICHARRÓN, a curmudgeonly friend of Hector’s who is sadly being forgotten—an unfortunate condition in the Land of the Dead.

ALANNA UBACH (“Meet the Fockers,” Bravo’s “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce”) provides the voice of MAMÁ IMELDA, Miguel’s great-great-grandmother, the matriarch of the Rivera family and the founder of their successful shoemaking business. Miguel meets Mamá Imelda in the Land of the Dead and discovers she does not share his passion for music.

SELENE LUNA (“My Bloody Valentine,” “Celebrity Wife Swap”) voices TÍA ROSITA, Miguel’s late aunt who resides in the Land of the Dead.

ALFONSO ARAU (“Three Amigos,” director/producer “Like Water for Chocolate,” director “A Walk in the Clouds”) is the voice of PAPÁ JULIO, Miguel’s late great-grandfather who he meets in Land of the Dead.

HERBERT SIGUENZA (“Larry Crowne,” “Ben 10: Alien Swarm”) lends his voice to both TÍO OSCAR and TÍO FELIPE, Miguel’s late identical twin uncles who he meets in the Land of the Dead.

OCTAVIO SOLIS playwright “Lydia, Santos & Santos”) is the voice of an ARRIVAL AGENT in the Land of the Dead’s Grand Central Station.

GABRIEL IGLESIAS (“Planes,” “The Nut Job,” “The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature”) provides the voice of the HEAD CLERK in the Land of the Dead’s “Department of Family Reunions.”

CHEECH MARIN (“Cars 3,” “Tin Cup,” CBS’ “Nash Bridges”) is the voice of a CORRECTIONS OFFICER in the Land of the Dead.

BLANCA ARACELI (“The Bridge”) voices the EMCEE for a colorful talent show in the Land of the Dead.

ABOUT THE MOVIE

Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself magically transported to the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history. Directed by Lee Unkrich (“Toy Story 3”), co-directed by Adrian Molina (story artist “Monsters University”) and produced by Darla K. Anderson (“Toy Story 3”).

Disney•Pixar’s “Coco” opens in Philippine cinemas on November 22, 2017.

Steve Carell knows how good it feels to be bad in ‘Despicable Me 3’

Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me, Minions, The Secret Life of Pets, Sing) has long believed that the key to success is the unique talents of its creative forces. It’s latest comedy adventure Despicable Me 3 brings back this world-class talent from its previous chapters led by Oscar-nominated actor, Steve Carell.

(Watch the Despicable Me 3 featurette “Steve Carell Reflects” below.)

In the film, after he is fired from the Anti-Villain League for failing to take down the latest bad guy to threaten humanity, Gru finds himself in the midst of a major identity crisis. But when a mysterious stranger shows up to inform Gru that he has a long-lost twin brother—a brother who desperately wishes to follow in his twin’s despicable footsteps—one former super-villain will rediscover just how good it feels to be bad.

Since he began voicing Gru, Steve Carell has grown to consider the former super-villain a member of his own family. Carell’s dedication has been felt by the entire cast and crew. Producer Chris Meledandri, who has worked with him since their days together on Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!, compliments: “Steve is not only immensely likable as an actor, he is also funny, inventive and a consummate craftsman. His acting chops are precise, even though they feel naturalistic; there’s nothing haphazard. I’ve never worked with anybody who has been a more significant creative partner as an actor than Steve. He is very respectful of the words that have been written, but we encourage him to bring his own personality and his own voice—given that he’s the architect of Gru—to these recording sessions. He’s responsible for defining how Gru’s continuing to evolve.”

“In Despicable Me, Gru became a father, and in Despicable Me 2, he got married,” Carell states. “His family has expanded exponentially, and he has become a member of the Anti-Villain League. A lot has transpired, but he is still feeling a bit of a tug to the world of villainy.”

Inspired by the images of Eric Guillon, Carell had given Gru a curious Eastern European accent almost a decade earlier. Similarly, Guillon’s designs for Dru informed the persona and voice Carell would create for Gru’s twin brother. “Once I saw what Dru was going to look like, I went from there,” explains Carell. “He looks a lot like Gru and they have the same body type, but they move differently. Still, there are a few very specific exceptions. He has a lot of blond hair and dresses fashionably. The voice came out of who I thought the alter-ego of Gru was.”

The film’s directors were impressed by Carell’s ability to capture such distinct voices for both Gru (with a deeper, cynical and methodical tone) and Dru (with lighter, more lively and joyous vocals), especially within a single recording session. “There are many scenes where Dru and Gru are together, and Steve is doing both of their voices,” says Balda. “In order to stay in character, he would do all the Gru lines at the beginning, and then he would do all the Dru lines to give a separate feeling to them. It was fascinating to watch him go back and forth.”

Although the twins were separated at birth, Carell points out that genetics seem to be all they share. “When Gru brings Lucy and the girls to this faraway land to meet his brother, it seems like Dru is a parallel version of Gru. He is light, silly, extremely buoyant and effusive—all the things that Gru does not necessarily have as a part of himself.” Still, as audiences will discover, the brothers share more than they know. “What might at first appear like an opposite personality is not necessarily that.”

Opening in Philippine cinemas on June 14, 2017, Despicable Me 3 is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

‘Kingsman’ star Sofia Boutella resurrects ‘The Mummy’ in title role

The breakout star of Kingsman: The Secret Service and Star Trek Beyond, Algerian actress Sofia Boutella the titular character of Ahmanet, in Universal Pictures’ new action-adventure, The Mummy (now playing in Philippine cinemas).

Centuries ago, Ahmanet was raised as a fearless warrior and heir to her father’s throne. She was destined to be the first female pharaoh, but when the king finally fathered a son, Ahmanet was cast aside. Driven mad by betrayal, she was entombed for eternity by the very people who swore loyalty to her. Her fate? Erasure from history.

Accidentally awoken by soldier of fortune Nick Morton (Tom Cruise), this original and extraordinarily powerful monster sets out to reclaim her stolen kingdom and ascend to her rightful place as pharaoh. With her evolving powers, the strange and seductive Ahmanet forges an unbreakable connection with Nick, and in so doing, intertwines their destinies.

“Led by Sofia as The Mummy, Ahmanet,” Cruise commends, “the women in this film are both strong, powerful, smart, and driven.”

Director Alex Kurtzman knew exactly the performer he wanted in the film’s title role. “I saw Sofia in Kingsman, and then I stalked her until she said, ‘yes’ to this movie. She brings a real humanity to the princess, and audiences will feel for her. Even when she is doing horrifying things, you always feel that it is being done by someone who’s not that far from us…and who’s just crossed a line that maybe we wouldn’t.”

Boutella admits that what especially drew her to the part was the empathy she felt for the character. “It would be too easy just to make it obvious that she’s just mean or hate-able, and I liked that Alex never wanted to ‘monster-ize’ Ahmanet,” she reflects. “Even though she is technically a monster, it was important for all of us to find the psychology of her character and understand why she did what she did in that time to survive. You begin to feel for her. I don’t see her as a monster; she’s a survivor.”

The actress constantly challenged herself to make unexpected choices with the role, and found Kurtzman and Cruise to be especially sound collaborators. “Remember, Ahmanet came to this modern time with old habits from an ancient Egypt,” Boutella explains. “She’s a princess who was promised to become pharaoh and worked very hard in her era. When Alex, Tom and I discussed the character, I often said, ‘I’m not going to go with the obvious.’ I absolutely loved being on set with them and their notes.

“Everywhere you can expect the scene to go, we would stretch it and bring completely the opposite,” Boutella continues. “We would take dialogue that would make you think Ahmanet is aggressive or manipulative and change the way it was delivered. We discussed that she wanted to be respected for how hard she worked to earn her father’s respect. We also wanted to honor what she was about to become…and that it was taken away from her.” She adds, reflectively: “Her back was put up against a wall, but she’s a survivor who has been trapped for 5,000 years. Everyone wants to live.”

The Mummy is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

Amandla Sternberg, from ‘Hunger Games’ to ‘Everything, Everything’

She first gained recognition for her role as Rue in “The Hunger Games,” alongside Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson. Now, teen star Amandla Sternberg stars as Maddy in in Warner Bros. Pictures’ new romantic drama Everything, Everything (in Philippine cinemas June 21, 2017).

Based on the bestselling book of the same name by Nicola Yoon, Everything, Everything tells the unlikely love story of Maddy (Sternberg), a smart, curious and imaginative 18-year-old who due to an illness cannot leave the protection of the hermetically sealed environment within her house, and Olly (Nick Robinson), the boy next door who won’t let that stop them. Gazing through windows and talking only through texts, Maddy and Olly form a deep bond that leads them to risk everything to be together…even if it means losing everything.

Amandla Stenberg is huge fan of the book and the script—adding, “I was immediately drawn to the whimsy and the quirkiness of the story and the real life, tangible emotional aspects of it that I could connect to, especially as a teenager. I also loved that this beautiful and meaningful teen romance movie involved seeing an interracial couple in a completely subliminal way.”

Producer Elysa Dutton notes, “I think this urgency for love really resonates for people, especially at the age these characters are. First love is so exciting, and for Maddy, she’s missed a lot of firsts so she’s not going to miss this. Even though she knows this is potentially a life-threatening decision, there’s no choice for her but to take this risk, to really live.”

Both Sternberg and Robinson enjoyed the process of exploring this unusual and often awkward first love relationship—finding the normalcy within its inherent irregularities.

“I had never met Amandla before this film but I’d heard only great things, so I was really excited to work with her,” Robinson recalls. “She’s just a really cool person and I had a great time getting to know her.”

“Both Amandla and Nick were fantastic,” director Stella Meghie states. “Amandla is just angelic,” she continues. “Like Maddy, she’s intelligent and mature, and also romantic, and she definitely brought those sensibilities to the character. My main goal was to make sure that people would believe these two characters fall in love, and Amandla and Nick really clicked from the start. Their chemistry was just so natural and I think that shows in the film.”

Everything, Everything is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, and in select international territories by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures.

The undead and her prey: Meet ‘The Mummy’ characters

A badass female mummy, a down-on-his-his-luck soldier of fortune and and engimatic doctor lead the mysterious characters in Universal Pictures’ new action-adventure The Mummy (in Philippine cinemas on June 7, 2017).

Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) is a soldier of fortune who plunders conflict sites for timeless artifacts… ones he sells to the highest bidder. When Nick and his No. 2 (Chris Vail) are attacked by insurgents in the Middle East, in the ensuing battle, they accidentally unearth a tomb of an Egyptian pharaoh they come to know as Ahmanet. Nick is not simply the one responsible for setting Ahmanet free, he’s fulfilling an ordained destiny he couldn’t have possibly imagined. Now, he is the only one who can stop her ascension to a global ruler who will enslave humanity.

Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella). Centuries ago, Ahmanet was raised as a fearless warrior and heir to her father’s throne. She was destined to be the first female pharaoh, but when the king finally fathered a son, Ahmanet was cast aside. Driven mad by betrayal, she was entombed for eternity by the very people who swore loyalty to her. Her fate? Erasure from history. Accidentally awoken by Nick Morton, this original and extraordinarily powerful monster sets out to reclaim her stolen kingdom and ascend to her rightful place as pharaoh. With her evolving powers, the strange and seductive Ahmanet forges an unbreakable connection with Nick, and in so doing, intertwines their destinies.

Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) is a British officer of Cultural Heritage, who is enlisted by Nick to unearth the sarcophagus for transport. The Egyptologist’s own mother was long certain that there was a female pharaoh who’d been erased from history. Now, Jenny has finally found the princess she heard of only in myth and legend. When Jenny, Nick and Vail rappel down to an antechamber unearthed by human war, they unleash Princess Ahmanet, accidentally setting off a series of otherworldly phenomena.

The enigmatic Dr. Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe) oversees Prodigium, a secret organization with a mandate to recognize, examine, contain and destroy evil in our world. A scholarly English gentlemen grounded in the modern day, he not only protects the world from monsters, he protects monsters from the world. Is Jekyll a friend or foe? Like all our principal characters, it depends upon your perspective, and their end game…

Chris Vail (Jake Johnson). Although Vail likes to think of himself as a “liberator of precious antiques,” others prefer the term “modern-day grave robber.” While Nick is into the adventure as much as he is the adrenaline rush, Vail has no qualms about admitting he’s only in it for the money. Vail and Nick have been partners in crime for years, but nothing could prepare them for the evil they have awakened.

Col. Greenway (Courtney B. Vance). A career military man tasked with ensuring U.S. military operations in the Middle East go by the book, Greenway embodies “steadfast.” When he discovers the chaos Nick and Vail have caused, he hauls them in for questioning. Once Ahmanet rises, however, the colonel—and all of humanity—must rely on Nick as he leads our struggle for survival.

The Mummy is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.