So much of the Sundance hype train these days revolves around whatever indie production company/distributor A24 brings to the festival or acquires in Park City each year, and it seemed that the press quickly made up their mind about which of their two offerings they were going to run with this year. That film was Zola, which had all the makings of a buzz-worthy and attention-grabbing premiere here thanks to its relatively unique premise — it’s the first movie based off of a series of tweets! — and, sadly, I won’t have a chance to see it while I’m here. On the other hand, A24’s other festival offering, Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari, co-produced with Brad Pitt’s Plan B, is being left to rest on its massive bonafides, surprising audiences (including myself) with its warmth and heart. You’ll want to keep your eyes and ears open for any word on when this one will come out, because it is just lovely.
Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film, “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” is set in 1969 Los Angeles at the end of Hollywood’s Golden Age. It showcases Oscar-nominated costume designer Arianne Phillips’ divine array of looks for historical and fictional characters alike.
Phillips suspects her somewhat nonlinear career (she’s worked with Madonna for 22 years across many mediums and has been a fashion editor and theater costume designer) meant she was up for the challenge of bringing Tarantino’s film to sartorial life.
“It was a real camaraderie I’d never really experienced on that level,” Phillips says. “It was every fantasy I could ever have in terms of a film about Hollywood and being part of a contemporary Hollywood history.”
James Gray first met his Ad Astra star Brad Pitt at the Sundance Film Festival in 1995. His debut feature, Little Odessa, had played there on a road that started at the Venice Film Festival in 1994, and Pitt responded instantly to it, setting up a meeting with Gray that, while it took more than 20 years to bear collaborative fruit, nevertheless resulted in a friendship that endures to this day.
Pitt plays Major Roy McBride, whose dreams of the stars come from the legendary astronaut his father (Tommy Lee Jones) represented. Missing in space since Roy was 16, and presumed dead, Roy receives word that, in fact, his father might be alive, and responsible for energy attacks that are crippling Earth’s infrastructure. He must journey through the solar system to learn the truth.
The movie was coming together as Gray was working to finish The Lost City Of Z, his previous film, which marked his first collaboration with Pitt, who produced it through his company Plan B. It was during the editing process on The Lost City Of Z, Gray says, speaking shortly before the Venice premiere of Ad Astra, that he and Pitt started to discuss a reteaming that would cast Pitt as the star of one of Gray’s movies for the first time.
In marketing its new reality competition series, Fox has converted the exterior of its West L.A. lot and launched an augmented reality game.
Ahead of the Feb. 5 premiere of Fox’s newest reality competition series, Lego Masters, the iconic toy bricks are taking over the network’s studio lot and starring in an augmented reality experience.
Starting Monday and running through Feb. 9, the exterior of the West Los Angeles lot and its “Fox Studios” gate letters have been converted to a Lego look and feature a Fox logo entirely built out of blue Legos outside the Pico Boulevard gates. The studio stage walls facing the street also highlight some of the network’s programming, including billboards for The Masked Singer, Deputy and 911: Lone Star designed out of Legos. The takeover also extends to a number of bus stations throughout the city.
Lego Masters, hosted by Lego Movie star Will Arnett and produced by Endemol Shine North America and Brad Pitt’s Plan B, sees 12 teams of two go head-to-head in ambitious brick-building challenges. Mayim Bialik, Terry Crews, Nicole Byer and Lego Movie directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller will appear as special guests throughout the season.