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The first official film poster for director Adam McKay’s new dark comedy The Big Short has been released.

The poster features stars Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, Steve Carell and Christian Bale along with the tagline ‘this is a true story’.

The tagline rings painfully true: the film, set to be released in January, is based on Michael Lewis’s non-fiction book of the same name, which focuses on the men and women who benefited financially from the 2008 global financial crisis.

The cast discuss the movie, and working with McKay in this new featurette:

In the adaptation, Pitt, Gosling and co. will play four men from different walks of life who made large amounts of money by pre-empting the disastrous collapse of the US housing market.

Director Adam McKay is known for his work on comedies like Anchorman and TV show Saturday Night Live, and despite the seemingly dark subject matter, the film will be somewhat comedic too.

Ryan Gosling told Variety: “The great quality of McKay is that he has this beautiful way of being outraged by something without losing his sense of humor about it.”

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The Belfast portrait creator, who is a former pupil of Methodist College in Belfast, was asked in 2012 if he would take Pitt on as a protégé – but refused.

Speaking during an interview with broadcasting veteran Eamonn Mallie, to be shown on Irish TV, Davidson said he had to say no to the award-winning actor because he “wasn’t a teacher”.

He said: “It was May 2012 and I got a call from an attorney in the States saying that he had a client who would like to learn to paint.

“He said he had seen one of my paintings in the Royal Academy and they thought they would like to ask me if I would teach this client to paint.”

But Davidson’s first reaction, he told Mallie, was to say no.

“Look, I don’t really teach, I’m not comfortable teaching,” he said.

Davidson – famed for his large-scale head paintings of the famous – politely declined and suggested Pitt find a teacher in London while he was staying there with time to kill.

But a few months later the call came again – and this time, Pitt’s attorney was more persistent.

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Angelina Jolie Pitt wrote the script for By the Sea (in theaters Nov. 13) not knowing anyone would ever see it, let alone that she’d direct and star in the film alongside husband Brad Pitt.

In addition to exploring the subject of grief — the real-life pair play Vanessa and Roland, an estranged married couple who check in to a hotel in 1970s France while grappling with an unnamed sorrow — Jolie Pitt wanted to do a project where she could have creative freedom. “I always wanted to be on a set where I could explore and improvise.”

So when it came to making the film — which also stars Mélanie Laurent, Melvil Poupaud, and Niels Arestrup — that’s exactly the atmosphere she created. “I tried to make it clear to everybody that I wasn’t sensitive if they thought something should be said a different way, but I was surprised by how much people stuck to [the script]. A lot of our improv was in the behavior — though the crazy stuff didn’t make it into the film. It went awry,” she says. “We would try big crazy things, and then go, ‘Okay, that’s too far.’”

What’s too far exactly?

“Brad and I had this one day when we were like, ‘Let’s just do ridiculous things and see what happens.’ By the end of it, he had pissed all over my shoes, I had packed up the entire [hotel] room to leave, and he wrote ‘pillhead’ with an arrow on my head with a Sharpie while Vanessa was sleeping.” She laughs. “So it was interesting. The script led us to many beautiful discussions about life and loss. It bought everyone closer.”

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By the Sea, the third directorial feature from Vogue November cover star Angelina Jolie Pitt, isn’t a walk in the park any way you slice it. Pare away the dreamy, ’70s South of France backdrop and the almost tangible glamour of the film’s leads and you’re left with a turbulent portrait of a collapsing marriage, brought to life by Jolie Pitt and her real-life husband, Brad Pitt. (Filming off Malta came hot on the heels of their nuptials.) The film’s tearstains and tempestuousness are underscored by the placidly sumptuous costumes, a visual feast served up in part by costume designer Ellen Mirojnick, whose past credits range from Face/Off to The Knick. We caught up with her by phone on location in Cambodia, where Jolie Pitt’s forthcoming endeavor, First They Killed My Father, a true-life account of life under the Khmer Rouge, is in production. Below, Mirojnick talks about why French style works, dressing Jolie Pitt after Jane Birkin, and what it’s really like to work with Hollywood’s most famous couple.

What was your preparation for the film like? How did you immerse yourself in those characters?
Aside from talking to the director and trying to understand the vision that Angie had and what she wanted to accomplish—I always use images to delve into a time period or a vibe. In this case, the late-’60s, early-’70s South of France. It was all thrilling to look at it because it’s so classic and glamorous and of its own time. Jane Birkin, Serge Gainsbourg, Charlotte Rampling, Peter Sellers even, Brigitte Bardot. Looking at those images, it just brings back a surge of je ne sais quoi, of absolute chic.

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Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment company and streaming video service Netflix have joined as backers of Korean monster movie “Okja.” Netflix is investing, Plan B is co-producing.

The film is directed by Bong Joon-ho who previously broke new ground with futuristic “Snowpiercer,” a Korean-made English-language picture with a stellar cast of British, American and Korean actors.

Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Bill Nighy and Kelly MacDonald have now confirmed their appearances in “Okja.”

The film is one of the first feature movies in Asia to be backed by Netflix, which is in the process of rolling out services across the vast region. (It has previously financed the Weinstein Company-produced TV series “Marco Polo” which was shot in Malaysia and is backing “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon 2”.) Netflix is expected to launch in South Korea in 2016.

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Angelina Jolie’s new film is about a warring couple. Might it be based on someone she knows?

It seemed like a good idea at first: the newly married Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt thought they would combine filming By the Sea on location in Malta with their honeymoon. But it didn’t work out quite as they had planned.

“There were a few days when we thought [a working honeymoon] wasn’t the best idea,” laughs Jolie, who wrote, directed, produced and co-starred with Pitt in the low-budget domestic drama. “There were days during filming last year when we were really worried and it was hard.

If we had married and were just starting a relationship it would have been a disaster, but because we have been together so long we wanted to see how far we could push our relationship and our love and see if we can work together under very intense circumstances and with very complex issues and see if it would make us better.

“But at the end we came out of it thinking, ‘This was the best honeymoon,’ because the film says, ‘Whatever you go through, weather the storm and stick together.’

“So it was kind of a message to each other that we are going to stick together whatever comes.”

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Angelina Jolie Pitt called the shots while directing husband Brad Pitt in By the Sea – and the star says that’s just the way he likes it.

When asked whether he has any desire to turn the tables and direct his wife in the future, Pitt was forthright in his response.

“No, I have no desire,” Pitt told reporters Thursday in Hollywood at the world premiere gala screening at AFI Fest 2015 presented by Audi. “I’d rather work for her.”

The film stars Pitt, 51, and Jolie Pitt, 40, as a couple stuck in a troubled marriage. Although the pair seem far from troubled in real life – appearing close and loving at the premiere and at the WSJ Magazine 2015 Innovator Awards the previous evening – the couple are the first to admit their marriage isn’t perfect, and that’s okay.

“I think, for me, it’s just that the road is long, and it’s worth fighting for,” he said. “The dividends worth fighting for instead of jumping ship is more profound than any beginning, any kind of new romance.”

Jolie Pitt, meanwhile, told PEOPLE on the red carpet how she and Pitt handle inevitable disagreements.

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AFI Fest kicked off its annual week of big screen programming at the TCL Chinese Theatre with Thursday night’s world premiere of Angelina Jolie Pitt’s ode to 1970s European art house cinema, “By the Sea,” a lugubrious, slow-moving account of marital strife at a palatial seaside resort on the Maltese coast.

Jolie Pitt, who also wrote, directed and produced the Universal drama, plays a melancholic, pill-popping dancer past her prime opposite husband-producer Brad Pitt, who plays an alcoholic novelist battling writers block.

The movie — lensed during the couple’s honeymoon in Aug. 2014 — was a draw for media, Oscar forecasters and industry folk alike (Gena Rowlands was in attendance), who flocked to see the unfathomably glamorous couple, who turned the event into a makeshift “date night.” This is the first time the Pitts have reunited onscreen since their romance blossomed on the set of 2005’s “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.”

“By the Sea,” said Jolie Pitt, was a study of “grief and loss,” a theme influenced and inspired by the 2007 death of her mother, actress and producer Marcheline Bertrand.

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