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It looks like box office for 'Rogue One' will be almost as impressive as 'The Force Awakens'

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Star Wars Rogue One Disney

Disney is looking to repeat the opening-weekend success of "The Force Awakens" with its first ever "Star Wars" standalone movie, "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story."

The movie, opening December 16, is projected to earn over $130 million at the domestic box office its first weekend, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

If it holds, that would be the second-highest opening of all time in December, with 2015's "The Force Awakens" still comfortably topping the list with its $247.9 million first weekend. 

If everything goes as planned, Disney will have shown that its strategy to release "Star Wars" movies before Christmas Day, typically the day when all the major releases have opened in the past, was an ingenious move.

In a weekend long thought to be when audiences are too concerned with holiday shopping, "The Force Awakens" pre-Christmas Day rollout led to incredible word of mouth (not to mention the millions in marketing) that helped the film become a global record-breaking box-office titan. The movie ended its theatrical run earlier this year with over $2 billion globally.   

Though Disney has stuck to its talking point that it doesn't expect "Rogue One" to do the business of "The Force Awakens," the projections show the movie will still make a loud bang.

Disney is expected to break last year's industry global box-office record, $6.89 billion for Universal, and earn over $7 billion in worldwide ticket sales by the end of 2016.

SEE ALSO: Dave Chappelle is reportedly making $60 million for his Netflix comedy specials

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The Lucasfilm head explains why it's hard to hire a female 'Star Wars' director

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Rogue One Disney

"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" is less than a month away, which means Disney/Lucasfilm are close to releasing the first ever feature-length spin-off of the "Star Wars" saga. 

But Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy is looking beyond that. According to Variety, she's made it a priority to hire a female director to take on an upcoming "Star Wars" movie.

But there's a challenge — she hasn't found one yet who can take on the enormity of the franchise. 

“We want to make sure that when we bring a female director in to do 'Star Wars,' they’re set up for success,” Kennedy said. “They’re gigantic films, and you can’t come into them with essentially no experience.”

According to Variety, Kennedy and her team are in the midst of identifying female directors who are currently in the early stages of their careers.

“We want to really start to focus in on people we would love to work with and see what kinds of things they’re doing to progress up that ladder now, and then pull them in when the time is right,” she said.

kathleen kennedyThe argument could be made that there are very qualified female directors who are ready for the heavy load that is making a "Star Wars" movie right now. 

Patty Jenkins is directing the much-anticipated "Wonder Woman" movie, which could have more at stake than any "Star Wars" movie, since it's being touted as the project that can "save" the DC Comics movie studio. Though previous DC titles have made huge box-office coin, both critics and fans have been negative about how movies like "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" and "Suicide Squad" were handled.

Ava DuVernay has moved from her success making "Selma" to currently directing Disney's "A Wrinkle in Time." 

Those are examples of directors who will be locked into projects for years. But there are some who could be ready to be nabbed now.

Over the summer, Indiewire pointed out filmmakers like Lake Bell ("In a World..."), Amy Seimetz (Starz' "The Girlfriend Experience"), and Lynn Shelton (Fox's "New Girl," ABC's "Fresh Off the Boat") as a few of the female directors who have said they are up for the challenge.

Hopefully they will be getting a call from Kennedy.

SEE ALSO: Here's everything leaving Netflix in December that you need to watch before it disappears

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An iconic part of the 'Star Wars' movies will not be in 'Rogue One'

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Star Wars crawl

"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" will be the first ever standalone "Star Wars" movie when it's released in December. And to show just how different this movie will be from the seven-film (and counting) saga we've seen so far, look no further than how "Rogue One" will begin.

Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy told Entertainment Weekly that there will "more than likely" not be an opening crawl in the beginning of the movie. 

“We feel that that is proprietary with the saga films," Kennedy said. "But how this evolves... ? We haven’t fully decided, and [traditional 'Star Wars' elements] may be pretty spare for this first one.”

The standalone movies will also include a young Han Solo vehicle that is already in production.

The opening crawl is perhaps one of the most recognizable elements of the "Star Wars" saga. It's used as a prologue to each film.

This looks to be the first sign of how "Rogue One" will have a different feel than any other "Star Wars" movie we've seen yet.

Kennedy described the film to Variety as a "World War II-style adventure." 

SEE ALSO: Michael Shannon explains the one part of the movie business he finds "disgusting"

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George Lucas originally had the idea for 'Star Wars' standalone movies

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george lucas tribeca film festival

The "Star Wars" franchise will have its first ever standalone movie when "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" opens in theaters on December 16, as another focusing on Han Solo is in production.

But standalone movies within the saga aren't a new idea that came together when Disney bought the franchise along with Lucasfilm in 2012 for $4 billion. 

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy revealed to Entertainment Weekly that "Star Wars" creator George Lucas was already toying with the idea when she joined the company around the time of the Disney purchase.

“He had often thought about doing it and he had actually written down three or four thoughts and ideas, directions you could go," Kennedy said. "Obviously inside the mythology there were lots of opportunities. So that was the first conversation I had.”

Kennedy said that the already announced standalone movies — "Rogue One" and the untitled Han Solo movie — were not Lucas' ideas, however.

“We talked a lot about the Jedi and the foundational ideas that George had thought about when he created the mythology," Kennedy said. "It was sort of spitballing ideas.”

It will be interesting to see if any of the ideas Lucas had written down on paper will one day become movies. 

Plans for more standalone movies have been kept mum with everyone at Disney/Lucasfilm taking a wait-and-see approach to how "Rogue One" does (or so they are saying in public). 

Early projections have "Rogue One" taking in over $130 million its opening weekend.

SEE ALSO: The Lucasfilm head explains why it's hard to hire a female "Star Wars" director

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There's a real team of scientists the government will call if we ever make contact with alien life

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arrival

The INSIDER Summary:

• There is a team of scientific personnel working for the government who are in charge of "first contact scenarios" with alien life. 


Whenever aliens arrive on our planet—in the movies, not in real life—there's a litany of typecast characters that Hollywood summons, from soldiers to scientists. We've seen the Men in Black deal with extraterrestrial visitors, and Jeff undefined has contended with alien creatures not once, but twice. As it turns out, these fictionalized responses aren't too far off from what would happen in real life if aliens were to show up in the skies above our planet, which is something Arrival screenwriter Eric Heisserer discovered while researching the latest sci-fi drama from Denis Villeneuve.

Heisserer hopped on the phone to discuss the intelligent, challenging and extremely rewarding Arrival as the movie prepares to release in theaters. And when I asked him about his thorough research, and the questions that it raised for both his director and the cast (including Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner), he said they mainly were interested in the processes that would occur IF our planet ever experienced First Contact. Eric Heisserer actually revealed to me:

"We had many interviews with some scientific personnel, who I can't name for confidentiality reasons, who are actually on a team. There is a binder for first contact scenarios, that a protocol gets activated, and a handful of people get called. ... In real life, that exists. In part of the, it's in the pentagon somewhere, they bring that binder out and they start by calling everybody together. So the nerd version of Avengers assemble in this situation, and there's a good contingent of scientists, and we got to talk to two of them. And [we] got a sense of the amount of steps [that occur] between getting a crew together and making that first contact."

WHAT?! I mean, I guess if we have an Area 51—and we do have an Area 51, despite what the government may want you to believe—then it makes sense that somewhere in our Pentagon, we have, as Arrival screenwriter Eric Heisserer calls it, "a nerd version of Avengers" comes together to decide how to proceed. Which is basically what happens in Arrival, where Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner play globally recognized linguists and mathematicians who are asked to defuse a potentially volatile situation before our military intervenes. Here's the latest trailer:

As I said in my 5-star review, Arrival is a brilliant, intellectually stimulating and expertly crafted sci-fi drama that says as much about where we are as it does about where we are going. Denis Villeneueve uses the arrival of an alien species to discuss uncomfortable truths about how we behave as people.

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'Moana' has an end-credits scene featuring a fun nod to a classic Disney movie

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Moana scared in Tamatoa cave

Warning: Spoilers ahead for Disney's "Moana."

Disney's newest movie "Moana" finally sailed into theaters on November 23, and fans of the animation powerhouse will not be disappointed by the creative tale following a new heroine across the ocean. 

For those looking to absorb every moment of Disney magic, make sure you stay seated after the movie — there's a short scene at the very end of credits.

In case you missed it, here's what happens.

Tamatoa the hermit crab Moana Disney

The credits roll to a stop and then cut to the monstrous hermit crab Tamatoa. 

Moana and Maui had to fight Tamatoa in the realm of monsters during the movie. Tamatoa had acquired Maui's magical fish hook and was hoarding it alongside other shiny treasure.

They managed to escape with Maui's hook, and during the struggle Tamatoa was flipped onto his back. 

Tamatoa and Moana

In the post-credits scene, Tamatoa is still stuck on his back. His treasure-encrusted shell is similar to a turtle's, so Tamatoa has been unable to flip himself back over.

The hermit crab is calling out for help, clearly exasperated. "If my name was Sebastian and I had a cool Jamaican accent, you'd totally help me!" he yells.

This not-so-subtle call out is to Sebastian — the lovable Jamaican crustacean sidekick to Ariel in "The Little Mermaid."

Ariel and Sebastian Under the Sea Little Mermaid Disney

In true Disney fashion, the references don't stop there. Aside from Tamatoa's small scene, there's also a small "Wreck It Ralph" Easter egg. Towards the very end of the scrolling credits (before Tamatoa comes on) — keep a sharp eye out for a Ralph himself among the designs on the right side of the screen. Disney is currently working on a "Wreck-It Ralph" sequel which is currently set for a March 9, 2018 release.

"Moana" officially comes to theaters on Wednesday, November 23, with early showings in select theaters on Tuesday, November 22.

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The 13 best things to watch on Netflix for Thanksgiving that are safe for the whole family

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friends

You've eaten the turkey and had enough with football, so what's next?

Time to watch something on Netflix.

Whether you're hosting Thanksgiving this year or you're the one responsible for settling down all the kids, here are 13 movies or shows currently streaming on Netflix that everyone in your family, young or old, will enjoy.

From a classic like Disney's "Fantasia" to full seasons of "Friends," there are plenty of options before you slip into that turkey coma.

Check out the best Netflix streaming options for Thanksgiving:

SEE ALSO: The 30 best movie endings of all time, ranked

1. "Adventures in Babysitting" (PG-13)

Elisabeth Shue plays a responsible suburban babysitter who has to take the kids she's watching to the big city to help out a friend. Adventures aplenty ensue.



2. "Are We There Yet?" (PG)

Ice Cube proves he can be a convincingly responsible dad. The rapper plays a bachelor who agrees to drive the kids of the woman he's interested in from Portland to Vancouver. Let's just say the kids aren't on their best behavior.



3. "Fantasia" (G)

Walt Disney combines the talents of his animators with some of the most memorable classical pieces of all time to create an incredible animated movie that is enjoyable at any age.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The trailer for Martin Scorsese's 'Silence' is finally here, and it's breathtaking

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Silence Trailer Paramount final

Martin Scorsese has been trying to adapt Shûsaku Endô's 1966 novel "Silence" for two decades, and we are one step closer to finally seeing it.

The trailer for the movie went online late Tuesday night and shows off a sprawling tale about two Jesuit priests (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who travel to Japan in search of their mentor (Liam Neeson) and propagate Christianity. But they face many who do not want to hear their gospel.

It looks to be another heart-wrenching movie from Scorsese, who has explored a fascination with religion his whole career, ranging from "The Last Temptation of Christ" to "Kundun."

And the glances we get of the performances by Garfield and a rail-thin Driver in "Silence" have us very excited.

The movie will open in limited release December 23 and wide in January.

Watch the trailer below:

 

 

SEE ALSO: Here are the must-see movies most likely to win the Oscars in 2017

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Disney's latest animated movie is already demolishing a box-office record

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moana

Disney continues to dominate the box office in 2016. 

Its latest animated title, "Moana," featuring a character voiced by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and music by "Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, grossed a record-breaking $2.6 million at its Tuesday preview screenings, according to Variety.

That's double the previous Tuesday preview record holder "The Good Dinosaur" (another Disney property, created by Pixar), which earned $1.3 million last year.

"Moana," created by Walt Disney Animation Studios, is projected to earn $75 million over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend (Wednesday to Sunday).

The movie follows a Polynesian girl (Auli'i Cravalho) who sets sail with a demi-god (Johnson) for a fabled island.

"Moana" is the third animated feature released by Disney this year. "Zootopia" and "Finding Dory" each earned over $1 billion globally.  

SEE ALSO: Michael Shannon explains the one part of the movie business he finds "disgusting"

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Spike Lee sued for pension and health benefits allegedly owed

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Spike Lee REUTERS Shannon Stapleton final

Spike Lee was hit with lawsuit on Wednesday. In New York federal court, the directors of three union-industry plans claim he hasn't made sufficient health and pension contributions.

According to the complaint against Lee, Forty Acres and Mule Filmworks, and Black Butterfly Productions, an audit of the companies' books found nearly $45,000 in unpaid contributions for a period between September 2007 and March 2010. The lawsuit makes reference to Lee's 2008 film, Miracle at St. Anna.

The plaintiffs manage health and pension plans for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Studio Transportation Drivers and the American Federation of Musicians. 

Lawsuits over health and pension contributions are common, though it's not often that such actions attempt to pierce the corporate veil and attempt to hold an individual officer personally liable.

Here, the lawsuit reports that Black Butterfly is a signatory to collective bargaining agreements, and that Lee "exercised dominion and control over Black Butterfly" and "treated the assets of Black Butterfly as his own; and that in so doing, used Black Butterfly's corporate assets while failing to pay just debts."

It's further asserted that "through Lee’s fraudulent operation and control of Black Butterfly, Lee is liable to the Directors and Black Butterfly and Lee are obligated to pay to the Directors all unpaid contributions, interest, liquidated damages, audit costs, legal and attorneys’ fees as set forth in the CBAs and Trust Agreements."

Here’s the full complaint.

SEE ALSO: The 13 best things to watch on Netflix for Thanksgiving that are safe for the whole family

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32 movies you have to see this holiday season

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silence liam neeson

We have hit the prestige movie season, when Oscar hopefuls come out on a weekly basis.

This Thanksgiving, you can catch up with some talked-about contenders like "Moonlight,""Lion,""Nocturnal Animals," and "Manchester by the Sea," which are all in theaters.  

And if studio blockbusters are more your thing, check out "Doctor Strange" and "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them."

Soon you'll be able to see the "Star Wars" spin-off "Rogue One,""La La Land,""Passengers," and Martin Scorsese's long-awaited "Silence."

Here are 32 movies coming out this holiday season that you shouldn't miss:

SEE ALSO: 15 classic movies everyone needs to watch that are on a brand-new streaming service

"Moonlight" - IN THEATERS

Director Barry Jenkins ("Medicine for Melancholy") creates a moving tale that chronicles the life of a black Miami man from his childhood to adulthood as he's shaped by the environment he lives in and the people around him.

Is this the best film of the year? Many think it is.



"Doctor Strange" - IN THEATERS

For the first time the Marvel Cinematic Universe is delving into the mystical realm of the comics, and the result doesn't disappoint. "Doctor Strange" is a worthy origin story, but the dazzling special effects are what will stay with you.



"Hacksaw Ridge" - IN THEATERS

Mel Gibson has been locked in a PR nightmare for the last 10 years following a DUI arrest during which he made anti-Semitic remarks. But it seems like time has healed those wounds at least enough that his latest directing effort is winning over audiences. It stars Andrew Garfield as a World War II medic who becomes the first conscientious objector in American history to be awarded the Medal of Honor.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

25 Wall Street movies to watch over Thanksgiving

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margin call

The market is closed. The world is at a standstill. It's Thanksgiving Day and you've probably just stuffed your face with turkey and pumpkin pie. 

That doesn't mean you can't get a little Wall Street in your day, though. Why not kick back on the couch and watch one of these Wall Street movies?

You'll definitely enjoy yourself, and you might even learn something.

 

"It's A Wonderful Life" (1946)

In a sentence: It's a heartwarming classic that will never get old. 

Plot: A guardian angel shows businessman George Bailey what life would be like if he never existed. 

Genre: Family



"Trading Places" (1983)

In a sentence: No movie about Wall Street is funnier than the 1983 comedy "Trading Places."

Plot: Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd are at their best as director John Landis tells the tale of how one man's fall from Wall Street is another man's blessing. Watching Murphy talk about futures and markets is hilarious and unparalleled in humor.

Genre: Comedy



"Trader" (1987)

In a sentence: Brilliant ... If you can find it.

Plot: Made in 1987 during the raging bull market, this little-known documentary stars Paul Tudor Jones and chronicles his day-to-day life as an active investor. Jones uses techniques like historical chart reading, taken from Jesse Livermore, to predict the Black Monday crash on film. Even though it portrays Jones in a positive light, finding a (legitimate and legal) copy of this movie is nearly impossible to find as it's rumored that Jones bought all 1,000 copies in existence.

Genre: Documentary



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Jessica Chastain gives an Oscar-worthy performance in her timely new movie 'Miss Sloane'

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Miss Sloane 1 EuropaCorp

A sobering look at how things get done in Washington, DC, “Miss Sloane” sheds light on the real influencers in politics: the lobbyists.

Under the steady hand of director John Madden (“Shakespeare in Love,” “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”), the movie looks at Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain), a lobbyist who has become a master at her profession by, as the character says, “playing your trump card right after they play theirs.”

While in the midst of putting together one of her perfectly structured pay-for-play deals to help kill an import-tax bill (even hiring actors as instigators among the protesters), Sloane is asked to take the lead in her firm helping the gun lobby attract scared moms.

But with little hesitation, she passes on the offer and jumps ship after being courted by the head (played by Mark Strong) of a much smaller firm with an anti-gun agenda.

Miss Sloane 3 EuropaCorp USATaking on the most powerful lobby in DC, Sloane shows just how ruthless she can be as she goes head-to-head with her old colleague Pat Connors (a perfect performance as usual by Michael Stuhlbarg) and plays a complex mental chess game that includes hiring a private investigator to smoke out moles within her staff and even using a high school shooting survivor on her staff (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) as a pawn.

Yes, the story is of the too-smart-for-its-own-good kind, though Madden is able to wrangle it enough so that it doesn't completely go over our heads (if you’re a politics junkie, you’ll likely love the inside baseball of it).

The real reason you’ll go see this movie, though, is because of the performance by Chastain, which is worthy of the Oscar attention it's getting.

Giving one of the best performances of the year and her career, Chastain plays Sloane less as a trailblazer fighting for a good cause and more as an unapologetic addict of winning at any cost.

For Sloane, defeating the gun lobby would cement her greatness. Though you could make the argument that by the end, her actions prove she’s lobbying for the right reasons.

What’s great about “Miss Sloane” is you never really know the motivations. The script by Jonathan Perera plays everything close to the vest, and Chastain's ice-cold poker face gives very little away. So you're left finding yourself placing more of your own ethics into Sloane’s motivations than what the movie reveals.

It’s a film that requires multiple viewings, not just to get the whole story but to experience the sensational performance by Chastain and the supporting cast one more time.

“Miss Sloane” opens in limited release Friday and nationwide December 9.

SEE ALSO: The 13 best things to watch on Netflix for Thanksgiving that are safe for the whole family

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Tickets for 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' go on sale Monday

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rogue one

Advance ticket sales for the much anticipated standalone "Star Wars" movie, "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," will go on sale at online ticket sites in the US beginning Monday at 12:01 a.m. EST, according to an announcement by Lucasfilm.

The movie opens in theaters December 16 and follows the events that led up to the destruction of the Death Star in the first "Star Wars" movie, 1977's "Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope."

Felicity Jones plays the leader of a rebellion team tasked with stealing the plans to the Death Star.

Industry projections have the movie making north of $130 million at the domestic box office on its opening weekend.

Tickets for the movie have already have already gone on sale in the UK.

SEE ALSO: 32 movies you have to see this holiday season

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NOW WATCH: Watch the trailer for the new Martin Scorsese film that took over 20 years to make

Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver's preparation for 'Silence' was insane

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Silence Trailer Paramount final

Martin Scorsese spent over 20 grueling years to get his adaptation of "Silence," Shûsaku Endô's 1966 novel, to the screen. But that obsession to tell the story of Jesuit priests who try to spread Christianity to Japan in the 1500s seeped into his main actors as well.

In a profile on Scorsese and the making of "Silence" in this weekend's New York Times Magazine, the film's stars Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver reveal the intense research they did before shooting the film in Taiwan to authentically play Jesuit priests.

Garfield spent nearly a year absorbing Jesuit spirituality.

"Andrew got to the point where he could out-Jesuit a Jesuit," Rev. James Martin, the author and editor-at-large of the Jesuit weekly America who was a consultant on the film, said in the Times article. "There were places in the script where he would stop and say, 'A Jesuit wouldn't say that,' and we would come up with something else."

Driver spent 4 1/2 months dropping 51 pounds to play the role. By his final scene of shooting Driver was hallucinating from hunger, according to the Times story.

Both actors also spent time at the Jesuit retreat in Wales, St. Beuno, where they took part in a seven-day pledge of silence. When the two would cross paths they would wave to each other and continue with their studies of Jesus' life, crucifixion, and resurrection.

"I had the feeling that I was being called to something: called to work with one of the great directors, and called to this role as something I had to pursue for my spiritual development," Garfield said about preparing for the role.

"Silence" opens in theaters December 23.

SEE ALSO: Jessica Chastain gives an Oscar-worthy performance in her timley new movie "Miss Sloane"

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Why Jessica Chastain says she insists on being paid equally to male costars: 'It's okay to be ambitious'

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Jessica Chastain Matt Winkelmeyer Getty final

In a recent roundtable conversation with actresses put together by The Hollywood Reporter, the issue of the gender pay gap in the movie industry came up and Amy Adams had a strong opinion on how the topic is being covered by the media.

“Who you should be asking is the Producer Roundtable: ‘Do you think minorities are underrepresented? Do you think women are underpaid?’” she said. “We are always put on the chopping block to put our opinion out there, and that question is never asked. I’m like, ‘Why don’t you ask them and then have their statements be the headlines in the press?’ I don’t want to be a headline anymore about pay equality.”

This is on the heels of her "American Hustle" costar Jennifer Lawrence writing a piece for Lena Dunham's Lenny Letter newsletter in 2015 in which she pointed out that she made less than her male costars on the movie.

Her piece motivated numerous actresses to also speak out about not receiving equal pay in their careers.

Business Insider asked Jessica Chastain on Friday if she felt the media should continue bringing up the gender pay gap in Hollywood with actresses.

"I love the article that Jennifer Lawrence wrote about the pay gap. I thought it was so important," Chastain said while promoting her new movie "Miss Sloane" (which opens in limed release on Friday and nationwide December 9). "I love that people are talking about it. It makes sense that journalists are asking actresses and actors about it because, seriously, producers aren't the ones doing press."

Chastain said the revelation for her about the Hollywood gender pay gap came when she heard former Sony head Amy Pascal say in an interview that women get paid less in the industry because they don't ask for more.

"I heard that and at first I got so offended and then I went, wait a minute, that's probably true," Chastain said. "I started reading a lot about it and you realize women don't ask for more but they don't ask for promotions, and knowing that I've completely changed."

The actress now strives to make sure that she is being compensated for her work equally to her male costars.

"I'm so lucky to have this job, but what I do ask is when I join a production, I want to make sure that the male actor isn't making four times my salary, which has been true, or seven times my salary," she said. "If that's true you go, 'You know what, I don't need this job.'"

Chastain said it's important for actors to continue the conversation because they are the most visible in Hollywood, but she stresses the issue cuts much deeper.

"We have to look at why society is telling women to not show up over-prepared, not to be treated equal," she said, touching on the first presidential debate for which the criticism about Hillary Clinton was that she was over-prepared. "Why don't they say that about men? What's wrong with trying hard and showing up and being good at your job? We really need to look at ourselves and say we need to reevaluate this. We need to reevaluate women who ask for a pay raise or ask for a promotion. It's actually an okay thing. It's okay to be ambitious, it's okay to be over-prepared."

SEE ALSO: Here are the must-see movies likely to win Oscars in 2017

Join the conversation about this story »

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The 'Fantastic Beasts' set was much larger and more difficult to make than the ones in the 'Harry Potter' movies

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fantastic beasts newt scamander

The INSIDER Summary:

• Miraphora Mina created the graphic designs for "Fantastic Beasts" and the "Harry Potter" films.
• She said recreating 1926 New York was the biggest challemge.
• Her team made storefronts and street posters to bring the city to life.


 

When creating the world of "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," director David Yates and producer David Heyman got the old gang back together again for another franchise.

They hired MinaLima, the six-person London-based design firm that created everything from the Marauder's Map to the product labels on everything in Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes to help recreate 1926 New York City for "Fantastic Beasts."

It was a different experience than creating the purely fictional, fantastical world of "Harry Potter." Miraphora Mina, one of MinaLima's co-founders, told INSIDER that it was a challenge to adhere to the history of the place.

"There’s lots of things that you wouldn't necessarily notice in the film that have to be quite meticulously thought out, like the geography of this real place," Mina said. "If we’re downtown in the tenements, then who’s got those businesses? If we know from the time that it’s Irish, Italian, Jewish — predominently — then we have to reflect that in the businesses and the names."

The non-magical, muggle world was bigger than Harry Potter's world, Mina said, and it was all recreated as part of a giant set in London.

nyc fantastic beasts

Each building was given its own "graphic identity" to establish a sense of space and where each part of the set was supposed to be in New York. The scenes in Downtown Manhattan by the Brooklyn Bridge had to look clearly distinct from the scenes in midtown, on the way to Central Park, even though it was all shot on the same London set.

In researching that setting, the MinaLima team had to not only research what 1926 was like — and not go beyond that date — but also what the city was like ten or fifteen years before that, because not everything on the streets would be new.

fantastic beasts posters

To create the world, they made storefronts, street posters, as well as magical and non-magical books, magazines, and newspapers. Many of them were stuffed in the backgrounds of scenes to give everything a sense of reality. Other objects, like the poster on the door of the Blind Pig, and the Magical Exposure Threat Level Clock, were important parts of the plot.

MACUSA warning Fantastic beasts

And with all of those details, the MinaLima team successfully brought a new part of J.K. Rowling's world to life.

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A fan compiled all of the crazy Joker scenes cut from 'Suicide Squad'

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jared leto joker baseball bat

At this point, I'm really starting to wonder why they didn't just make a Joker movie, and be done with it.

Most of the focus surrounding David Ayer's Suicide Squad, ever since the DC-villain extravaganza released its Extended Cut, has zeroed in on the amount of footage showcasing Jared Leto's Joker. Without question, he is the character who steals the bulk of the focus away from the Squad, and his absence in the Extended Cut is... curious. So much so that a DC fan has compiled all of the Joker scenes that were cut, with additional looks at filming that expand a lot on what was shown.

Check this out:

This video mixes a combination of deleted footage, shots of filming, some behind-the-scenes material and more to show how much of Jared Leto's Joker performance ended up on the cutting room floor. We see a lot more from his interaction with Margot Robbie's Dr. Harleen Quinzel, before he shocked her and helped convert her into Harley Quinn. It helps fill in gaps about where Joker got his slick-ass purple jacket, and who that loner staring off in a cell was. (Joker apparently shouted at him during the Harleen scene.)

The scene that it doesn't really elaborate on is the now-infamous smoke grenade "Buh-bye" scene. There's a version of Suicide Squad somewhere that brings The Joker (Jared Leto) back near the end of the movie, where a tuxedoed lunatic demands Harley Quinn (Robbie) follow him, and she rejects him in order to help the Squad take down Enchantress. We see snippets of that here, again, only the scene isn't shown in its entirety, and it didn't make it into the Extended Cut. I really want to know why.

Suicide Squad Trailer Joker Toys

So, if you are keeping track at home, we now have three official entries in the still-developing DC Extended Universe, and two of the three have been severely tinkered with before the theatrical cut reaches cinemas.

Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice recently hit home video with enough additional footage to land an R rating (an extended version many fans prefer). And now Suicide Squad is pushing an Extended Version that STILL doesn't have all of its footage in it. If Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman disappoints when it opens in June 2017, does that mean we just need to wait for a longer/different cut to hit DVD a few weeks later?

Suicide Squad is now available to stream (do so here), and will reach DVD and Blu-ray on December 13.

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The newspaper headlines in ‘Fantastic Beasts’ prove the impressive attention to detail J.K. Rowling puts into her wizarding world

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Fantastic beasts New York Ghost

The INSIDER Summary:

• Miraphora Mina designed all the periodicals in the "Harry Potter" and "Fantastic Beasts" films.
• Mina got a few headlines from J.K. Rowling.
• All of the other headlines and advertisements were up to her design firm, MinaLima.


 

"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" opens with newspaper clippings streaming across the screen, warning about the threat of Gellert Grindelwald, a dark wizard trying to expose magic to humankind. "IS ANYONE SAFE?" The New York Ghost screams on its front page. "HOGWARTS SCHOOL INCREASES SECURITY," The Daily Prophet warns.

Newspapers pop up throughout the movie. Another copy of the Ghost is held by a goblin as we first enter MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America, located in Manhattan's Woolworth building), and another character holds a copy of Transfiguration Today. As with the "Harry Potter" films, they add detail to J.K. Rowling's creation, offering glimpses of a larger magical world operating out of the confines of the plot.

In "Fantastic Beasts," they also offer clues about the story. The creation of The Daily Prophet in the "Harry Potter" series was mostly the work of MinaLima, a small design firm that created the graphic designfor all the"Harry Potter" films, as well as things like the book covers for the Pottermore e-books and the design for the "Fantastic Beasts" screenplay book. It's run by Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima in London.

For this movie, producer David Heyman, director David Yates, and Rowling gave MinaLima different headlines to use for the opening sequence, like the ones warning about Grindelwald. The majority of the papers were MinaLima's creation.

MinaLima publications

"We were given maybe half a dozen main headlines to feature," MinaLima co-founder Miraphora Mina told INSIDER. "Everything else that’s on the rest of the paper, we have to create."

One of Rowling's offerings is a small reveal about Albus Dumbledore. Once Grindelwald's close friend, he later became Newt Scamander's Transfiguration professor at Hogwarts before becoming headmaster. Eagle-eyed viewers may have spotted in "Fantastic Beasts" that Dumbledore is a contributor for "Transfiguration Today."

The big difference between doing the graphic design work on the periodicals in "Fantastic Beasts" versus the "Harry Potter" movies was that "Fantastic Beasts" didn't have any material before the script. The MinaLima team had to make everything in the papers except for those headlines, including other stories, the weather, and animated advertisements. They couldn't peer into a long "Harry Potter" novel for inspiration and information about the larger "Harry Potter" world, so they had to meet with Rowling to ask about some details.

"We actually did have to have a couple of meetings with Jo," Mina said. "We had some seemingly insignificant questions, like 'What’s Newt’s birthday?' so we could put it on his passport, or 'What’s Tina’s middle name?' so we could put it on her ID card. [It] was really nice, to sit down with her and go through some of these things. And she knew straight away what the answers were."

Fantastic beasts Tina Goldstein MACUSA ID

Mina and her team tried to use the vernacular of Rowling's novels to create the contextual "Harry Potter" world in the headlines. They know the headlines will be scrutinized by fans, so they'll try to refer to creatures, potions, and spells from the books. And at the same time, they looked into the history and geography of the setting, mentioning things like Central Park and sports games. All the while, they're maintaining the atmosphere of the story: that the wizarding world is increasingly at risk of exposure.

"We were all trying to keep it in that magical world, but anchor it in the reality," Mina said. "Maybe comments on muggles. And obviously the ongoing stories, like the risks of the wizarding world being exposed to the No-Majs."

MinaLima poster and leaflet designs

All of this had to be done in the space of newspaper headlines, where there's a limited character count. Some of them had to be done in different languages.

"If you notice, there was one [newspaper] in German and one in French," Mina said. "So I was emailing my friends, going, 'Can you please give me some really good headlines in German?'"

The ads in the papers also have a sense of humor — you might notice an ad for the New York Academy of House Elf Training and an item about the Louisiana Swamp Monster hair being used as a wand core. They also hide a few Easter eggs. At one point in the film, for example, Dougal the Demiguise hides in front of a street poster for Divine Magic perfume. That same brand shows up in an ad in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."

All of the stories, advertisements, and other developments still needed to be cleared by Rowling, but even if Rowling slipped in any clues in the headlines or advertisements of the papers, Mina wouldn't know.

"If there were, I wouldn’t know what they are," she said. "I wish I knew. I wouldn’t tell you if I did. I genuinely have no idea what’s in the next film. And I’m quite excited to find out."

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Watch the new trailer 'Trust' for 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story'

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rogue one trailer k2so and jyn

Disney and Lucasfilm just released a new trailer for the upcoming "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story."

Entitled "Trust," the new trailer clocks in at about a minute-and-a-half with extended looks at some scenes from the movie.

It focuses in on one of the most common relationships from the "Star Wars" franchise, the one between human and droid.

Specifically, it features K-2SO (voiced by Alan Tudyk) and its relationship with Jyn (Felicity Jones). Apparently, Captain Andor (Diego Luna) assigned the droid to protect her.

Directed by Gareth Edwards, "Rogue One" follows a risky move by the Rebellion to steal the plans to the Death Star. The first stand-alone film in the "Star Wars" franchise, "Rogue One" takes place after the events of "Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith" and before the events of the original "Star Wars."

The film also stars Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen, and Forest Whitaker.

"Rogue One" is set for a December 16 release in US theaters.

Watch the new "Rogue One" trailer, "Trust," below:

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