“Most of us here will know Gen. McMahon as the man who kicked al-Qaida in the sack.” How’s that for an introduction. Here’s the first trailer for War Machine, the Netflix original film starring Brad Pitt as a four-star U.S. general who is tasked with leading the war in Afghanistan and his roller-coaster rise and fall. Part reality, part savage parody, it raises the specter of just where the line between them lies today.
Billed as “a film for our times” from writer-director David Michôd (Animal Kingdom), it follows McMahon (Pitt) as he leaps into the fray like a rock star to command NATO forces in Afghanistan — “Just finish this thing,” he is instructed — only to be taken down by his own hubris and a journalist’s no-holds-barred exposé.
“Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins will write and direct a one-hour drama series about the Underground Railroad currently in development at Amazon, Variety has learned. The series will be based on Colson Whitehead’s best-selling book, “The Underground Railroad.”
“Going back to ‘The Intuitionist,’ Colson’s writing has always defied convention, and ‘The Underground Railroad’ is no different,” Jenkins said. “It’s a groundbreaking work that pays respect to our nation’s history while using the form to explore it in a thoughtful and original way. Preserving the sweep and grandeur of a story like this requires bold, innovative thinking and in Amazon we’ve found a partner whose reverence for storytelling and freeness of form is wholly in line with our vision.”
Published by Doubleday, “The Underground Railroad” has sold over 825,000 copies in the United States across all formats. An Oprah’s Book Club 2016 selection, New York Times bestseller, and the winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction, the book chronicles young Cora’s journey as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. After escaping her Georgia plantation for the rumored Underground Railroad, Cora discovers no mere metaphor, but an actual railroad full of engineers and conductors, and a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil.
With hundreds of historic acres and well-received wines, it was only a matter of time before Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie‘s French estate, Chateau Miraval—which they’ve kept despite their impending divorce—derived another agricultural product line.
Well, now the wait is over. Developed in partnership with the Perrin Family, the estate‘s own gourmet olive oil has been quietly available in France since early this month—but only in two small family-run boutiques (in Aix-en-Provence and Chateauneuf du Pape) and one website.
Though produced “in a very small amount” and currently limited to European delivery, a spokesman for the partnership tells PEOPLE plans call for it to be “available in the U.S. in a very few weeks.” It may still difficult to find, though: The first release was limited to just 10,000 bottles.
The extra-virgin oil is a high-quality and cold-pressed, a blend of seven organically grown variety types (Verdale, Pichouline, Tanche, Lucques, Aglandau, Cayon, Arboussane). While Miraval stretches over 1,100 acres, only 26 acres are employed in terraced olive grove production, according to vintner Charles Perrin. The finished product is described a “velvety oil with notes of almonds and hazelnut, pungent and spicy with a scent of fresh cut grass.”
Amy Ryan has been set to co-star in Beautiful Boy, the Amazon drug-addiction drama from Brad Pitt’s Plan B that already has Steve Carell aboard. The deal reunites Ryan and Carell for a serious pic after they played boyfriend-girlfriend so well on NBC’s comedy series The Office.
Felix van Groeningen (The Broken Circle Breakdown) is attached to direct the script he co-wrote with Lion scribe Luke Davies, adapted David Sheff’s 2008 book Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction. The memoir describing the author’s son Nic’s methamphetamine addiction and its impact on the family.
Ryan will play Vicki, Nic’s mother and the ex-wife of Carell’s David, who was cut out of her son’s life after David won primary custody. She begins to work with David for the sake of Nic’s health.
Ryan’s recent film credits include Central Intelligence, Bridge of Spies and Birdman. She is repped by Gersh and attorney Dave Feldman.
The first trailer for War Machine dropped Wednesday, and it showcases Pitt with his smirking, impish charm turned all the way up. The movie (which is not a Don Cheadle Marvel spin-off) is a partial fictionalization of the late Michael Hasting’s nonfiction book The Operators: The Wild & Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan. It will follow the rise and fall of a four-star general who gets the chance to command NATO forces in Afghanistan but is eventually unraveled by a journalist’s clever exposé. The general, played by Pitt, is not-so-loosely inspired by Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal.
The Brad Pitt–Marion Cotillard sweeping romantic, spy thriller Allied, available on Digital HD today, begins as Pitt parachutes into the deserts of Morocco before heading into Casablanca, and finally moving on to London during World War II, making one of the big challenges of the film the fact that it takes place in worlds that no longer exist, and are increasingly challenging to re-create.
“The set design was very, very impressive,” Cotillard says in this exclusive video that takes a look at the work of production designer Gary Freeman, who transported audiences back in time to the ’40s. “They had a lot to do. There is a market and a café in Casablanca and I was so impressed to see all the details, even the smells were really amazing. We really believed, even though we were inside that we were outside in a street in Casablanca.”
If all had originally gone to plan, Brad Pitt would be in post-production now on World War Z 2, ahead of its release this summer. But Paramount has delayed the film, and it’s unlikely it’ll be in a position to shoot this year. As such, Pitt has a gap in his schedule, and the beneficiary may be a sci-fi movie by the name of Ad Astra.
It’s the story of a space engineer with slight autism, whose father had to leave Earth two decades before on a mission to Neptune with no return. He was hunting for alien life, and Pitt’s character is set to recreate the journey, to find out just what happened to his dad.
The film is set to be directed by James Gray, who co-wrote the screenplay with Ethan Ross.