It's Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" from the perspective of the villain, with Angelina Jolie playing the part of the big baddie herself. This new 1m30s trailer borrows imagery from the 1959 original animated feature, cementing Maleficent's status as the Mistress of All Evil. And where Princess Aurora benefits from her fairy godmothers' blessing, Maleficent has a darker secret to share. Accordingly, the main attraction will always be Angelina Jolie as a terrible witch, resplendant in period dress suited to the surrounding gothic architecture, while Elle Fanning is presented as the innocent Aurora.
The two actors have joined the cast of a forthcoming fantasy film from Italian director Matteo Garrone, according to Variety. Mexican-born actress Salma Hayek will share the screen with French actor Vincent Cassel in this adaptation of three Italian fairy tales from Giambattista Basile's "Lo cunto de li cunti." The English-language feature is positioned to bring a modern perspective to the 17th-century stories. Italian director Matteo Garrone will begin shooting "The Tale of Tales" this spring in his home country.
The two actors become Artemisia and Themistokles in a popular epic that will extend the success of "300" (2007), based on the Frank Miller graphic novel. This third trailer for "300: Rise of an Empire" focuses on the rivalry between the Persian, Artemisia, and Athenian, Themistokles, after the defeat of Spartan king Leonidas as related in the previous film. Directed by Noam Murro ("Smart People," 2008), the feature film is expected to premiere on March 7 (a day or two earlier in some European and South East Asian countries) and will focus on the naval battle of Salamis in 480 BC, utilizing a host of digital effects.
(Reuters) - Visions of what Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would do to promote civil rights in 2014, had he not been slain decades ago, marked speeches and commemorations held across the country to honor his memory on Monday. Recalling King's famous "I Have a Dream," speech, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said the late civil rights leader would want school children to hear it as a call to stay in school and become educated to better the world. "We need to swap the lesson plan for a dream plan," Reed told a crowd at Ebenezer Baptist Church gathered for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day federal holiday. He said King would want children to hear: "You are not going to school just to study math, you're going to school to be somebody." In New York City, newly elected Mayor Bill de Blasio, who swept into office promising broader opportunities for poorer residents, said at a tribute: "Dr. King would tell us we can't wait" to bring income equality to New Yorkers.
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — For the past six years, every feature film chosen by the Producers Guild of America for its top honor has gone on to win the best-picture prize at the Academy Awards. Sunday night, Steve McQueen's historical epic "12 Years a Slave" and Alfonso Cuaron's space odyssey "Gravity" tied for the guild's highest honor.
By Ruairidh Villar TAIJI, Japan (Reuters) - In an unusual move, U.S. ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy has expressed deep concern over the traditional dolphin hunt in western Japan, where local fisherman corral the mammals into a secluded bay before killing many for meat. The annual hunt currently under way in Taiji in western Japan has long been a source of controversy and was the topic of "The Cove", an Oscar-winning documentary. Every year the fishermen of Taiji, in Wakayama prefecture, drive hundreds of dolphins into a cove, select some for sale to marine parks, release some back into the sea and kill the rest for meat. Japan has long maintained that killing dolphins is not banned under any international treaty and that the animals are not endangered.
The Alfonso Cuaron film "Gravity" and the harrowing historical drama "12 Years a Slave" shared the top prize Sunday at the Producers Guild of America (PGA), a first for the awards. In the past six years the winner of the PGA then picked up the Oscar for best film at the Academy Awards, as Hollywood's prize-giving season moves into full flow. But it was the first time the big prize at the PGA, in Los Angeles, has been shared in its 25-year history, according to Variety magazine. "12 Years a Slave," about a free black man sold into slavery in 1840s America, and "Gravity," starring Sandra Bullock, who plays an astronaut stranded in space with George Clooney, were already among the Oscar frontrunners.
By Mary Milliken BEVERLY HILLS, California (Reuters) - Hollywood producers injected drama into the race for Oscars on Sunday by choosing not one but two movies as their best films of the year, the space thriller "Gravity" and the slavery drama "12 Years a Slave". The PGA has correctly chosen the eventual Academy Award winner for best picture for the last six years, including Iranian hostage drama "Argo" a year ago. The PGA decision clashes with that of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), which on Saturday chose the 1970s-set corruption caper "American Hustle" from director David O. Russell for its top prize, best film ensemble cast.