The Aeronauts, a film designed for IMAX and filmed partially with IMAX cameras, will no longer be headed to IMAX theaters. Last week, Amazon Studios changed its release plan for the Eddie Redmayne–Felicity Jones-led drama, pushing its theatrical run back from October 25—with one week exclusively in IMAX—to December 6, leaving just two weeks in theaters before it begins streaming on Amazon. When the news broke, Collider’s Adam Chitwood questioned what that meant for the film’s IMAX chances. According to THR, those chances just fell out of the wicker basket completely.
“We don’t expect to be part of that release,” IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond said during an earnings call, suggesting that the exhibitor isn’t likey to play host to a film that doesn’t honor the 90-day exclusive theatrical window.
Directed by Tom Harper (Wild Rose) and written by Jack Thorne (National Treasure), The Aeronauts follows widow Amelia Wren (Jones) and scientist James Glaisher (Redmayne) as they attempt to set the record for the highest hot air balloon ride in history. The 1862-set movie has been pretty obviously positioned as Amazon Studio’s big Oscar hopeful this year; Manchester By the Sea earned the streamer two Academy Awards for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay, but the studio has yet to take home the big one, Best Picture, since it started producing original films. It’ll be mighty interesting to keep an eye on how The Aeronauts‘ miniature theatrical run impacts its 2019 Oscar chances. [Source]
Amazon Studios is pushing back the release of its Eddie Redmayne–Felicity Jones drama The Aeronauts from Oct. 25 to Dec. 6, and cutting the film’s theatrical window to just two weeks, as it is now expected to begin streaming on Amazon Prime Video on Dec. 20.
Directed by Tom Harper, The Aeronauts is set in 1862 and follows wealthy young widow Amelia Wren (Jones) and headstrong scientist James Glaisher (Redmayne) as they mount a balloon expedition to fly higher than anyone in history. It’s a journey to the edge of a then-known world, where the air is thin and the chances of survival are slim.
The Aeronauts had been slated to receive a traditional theatrical release, including a one-week IMAX engagement. In fact, key action sequences within a hot air balloon were designed with IMAX viewers in mind, but now, the entire IMAX release is, pardon the pun, up in the air.
According to Deadline, Redmayne and Jones were supportive of the decision, which Amazon made with the goal of driving curious film fans towards its streaming service, Amazon Prime Video. I understand collapsing the theatrical window for Sundance acquisitions like Brittany Runs a Marathon, The Report or Honey Boy, but The Aeronauts seems like a movie that’s intended to be seen on the big screen. So on that front, this move feels like something of a blow.
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Keira Knightley, Eddie Redmayne and Carey Mulligan are among the celebrities to model Tk Maxx’s new Comic Relief charity T-shirts.
The high street retailer has been working with Comic Relief since 2005, and has once again joined forces with the charity drive, which holds a biennial event called Red Nose Day, to help raise money through the sale of special T-shirts.
This year, the garment has had a Disney makeover, with drawings of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto, Bambi, Eeyore and Dumbo, all with an added red nose, adorning adults’ and kids’ T-shirts and a kitchen apron. Legendary artist Sir Peter Blake has also created a limited-edition design, bringing Mickey Mouse and pop art together exclusively for Red Nose Day.
Sophie Dahl, rockers The 1975, Lottie Moss, Poppy Delevingne, Victoria actress Jenna Coleman and a host of other British stars are also a part of the campaign, which was shot by Greg Williams.
Introducing a video explaining how the Red Nose Day T-shirts helps Ugandan farmers, who grow Fairtrade cotton, supported by TK Maxx’s sustainable trade program, Keira says: “Like the T-shirt? Wait until you hear the story behind it. Watch this little film from Comic Relief and TK Maxx.”
Prices range from $9 – $22 with at least $6 from the sale of each adult tee and $3 from each kids’ tee going to Comic Relief to help vulnerable people in the U.K. and some of the world’s poorest communities.
A Disney spokesperson told Cover Media: “We are delighted to have inspired this year’s range for Red Nose Day. It’s great that our much-loved characters will put smiles on people’s faces and help raise vital funds to bring comfort and inspiration to vulnerable children and their families in the U.K. and further afield.”
Red Nose Day 2019 takes place on 15 March (19). [Source]
Hold the wand, because Eddie Redmayne now has homegrown skills when it comes to taming tiny creatures.
The 36-year-old actor laughs describing last New Year’s Eve, when he dressed up his eldest child, Iris, 2, as a Niffler, the adorably mischievous platypus-like creature in J.K. Rowling’s “Fantastic Beasts” series.
“She was toddling at the time, just running around causing complete havoc,” says Redmayne, noting his whole family got in “fancy dress” as characters from “Fantastic Beasts” that night. “When I read the second script in which there are baby Nifflers … it was like I was method acting. I felt like I knew how to handle the baby Nifflers!”
“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” (in theaters Friday) picks up in 1926, just weeks after the first film, as the fearsome, deceptively magnetic Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) breaks out of his New York prison and crosses the Atlantic to raise a dark resistance of true-blood wizards in Europe.
The sequel also finds classic introvert and magizoologist Newt Scamander (Redmayne) grappling with newfound fame inside the wizarding world as his former instructor, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law), tries to enlist his help in neutralizing Grindelwald. And when not caring for his case full of bellicose creatures, Newt is flummoxed to find himself quite awkwardly in love with criminal-chasing Auror Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston).
“What (Rowling) manages to do is to tell stories that feel completely contemporary yet also expose the fact that history repeats itself. She seems to shine a light on that …while also creating escapism,” says Redmayne, sinking back into a couch inside West Hollywood’s Palihouse hotel.
In real life, the Oscar winner is now a father of two (son Luke was born in March) with wife Hannah Bagshawe. Redmayne seems to have found a new rhythm, filming a “Fantastic” film roughly every two years while fitting in an occasional passion project.
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Parkside School in Cullman County was full of magic Thursday morning as the “Today” show and several of the stars from the upcoming “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” came to the school as part of a Wizarding World Day that showcased its Harry Potter-themed classrooms and hallways and recognized the work of its teachers and students.
Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Zoë Kravitz, Ezra Miller and Callum Turner all stopped by the school on a promotional tour for the film, and got a tour of the classrooms and hallways before speaking to the school’s students.
“What your teachers have done here, what the community has done here, to rally behind this extraordinary school and inspire you guys to do such things, it has literally blown our minds,” Redmayne said. “So thank you so much for having us.”
Making a stop in Baileyton on a promotional tour that is spanning the globe is also a unique experience, Law said.
“It’s exciting enough to be a part of a film franchise or world that came from these books that goes all around the world. We were just in China and saw people there really embrace it, get so excited by it,” he said. “To also be a situation like this, where it’s actually had a real grassroots influence on a community… it’s incredibly exciting.”
All of Parkside’s students were thrilled to see the stars of one of their favorite movie series, but that excitement flowed both ways, Miller said.
“Inspiration never just runs one way. This is going to power us through the next four weeks of our lives as we’re so deep into the world of jet lag that you start to literally forget who you are,” he said. “In that moment I know that I’ll refer to this memory, because this is a reminder of what this is, and what J.K. Rowling’s legacy is in this world.”
As part of the ceremony, the stars also presented a check for $25,000 from Warner Bros. to the school.
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Like millions of others, British actor Eddie Redmayne still recalls the joy of watching the Harry Potter films. “Every year or two it was, ‘Ah, take me back to that place!’” he sighs. “In the same way as those other great iconic franchises – like Bond – there’s the whole theatre of queuing up to go and see it and knowing the familiarity of that world you’re going into. It’s reassuring as the years pass that you’re still being hugged by those things.”
“Hugged” is right. A seven-book series that enchanted millions, JK Rowling’s boy wizard has spawned eight films, one current hit play, theme parks and a mountain of merchandise that’d put Star Wars to shame. Nineteen years since the publication of his first adventure, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Potter has defined childhoods (and adulthoods) ever since. So perhaps it’s no surprise that a second film franchise, the Redmayne-starring Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, is upon us.
Inspired by Rowling’s 2001 spin-off compendium, as any Potter fan knows, Fantastic Beasts is a famous text in the world of magic. Referenced in Philosopher’s Stone, this book-within-a-book was penned by Redmayne’s character, Newt Scamander, an employee at the British Ministry of Magic. Set in 1926, some 70 years ahead of Harry ever casting his first spell, the film shines a light on Newt long before he became a renowned ‘magizoologist’ (the study of mythical beasts) and put pen to paper.
The 34-year-old Redmayne, Oscar-winning actor from The Theory of Everything and The Danish Girl, comes across as just as enthusiastic an ambass-ador for Rowling’s creation as Daniel Radcliffe, who played Harry, once did. “I have a little brother who is six years younger than me, who was a bit obsessed, and he got me into the books,” he admits. “I found them just something you could dive into – it was extraordinary escapism.”
Certainly fans can rest assured that Fantastic Beasts is no conveyor-belt cash-in – with David Yates, the director of the final four Harry Potter films, at the helm and a script penned by Rowling herself (her first credited screenplay). “It’s both incredibly satisfying for anyone that’s been a Potter fan and it’s incredibly fresh,” comments Redmayne’s co-star Carmen Ejogo, who plays Seraphina Picquery, President of Magical Congress of the United States of America.
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He’s already made a big splash on the Hollywood scene, and he’s only 34 years old. Our friends over at Pottermore sat down for a one-on-one chat session with Fantastic Beasts’ leading man Eddie Redmayne.
Make no mistake about Eddie Redmayne; he’s definitely a method actor. As our friends over at Pottermore discovered, the 34-year-old Oscar winner went above and beyond to prepare for his portrayal of Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Plus, he’s a Harry Potter fan himself, which only adds to his (and our own) excitement.
When Redmayne learned he had the role, the first thing he did was have a one-hour sit down talk with J.K. Rowling herself, in order to delve deep into Newt’s head. “There was no small talk. I just said, ‘Right, tell me about Newt.’” How adorably British of you, Eddie!
Rowling always has a way with words, so Redmayne says it was easy to draw upon his characfter just from the screenplay. “You start by finding as much as you can on the page. You know that Newt has spent a year in the field, so you try and work out what that year would have been like.” He even gave a backstory to some scars his character has, like a wrist scratch from a niffler battle!
Director David Yates gave Eddie free reign to explore the character, so he jumped right into Newt’s animal taming abilities. “I went on a tracking course for a day, and this guy showed me how to live in the wild.” All that know-how translated into how Newt himself would track these wild, magical creatures, and what techniques would be best.
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Ever met a Niffler?
Eddie Redmayne has, and he learned one of the magical animal’s secrets from an earthly anteater.
The Oscar winner grabs a wand in J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (in theaters nationwide Friday, with preview screenings Thursday night) and took his Muggle self to a wildlife park in England to prepare to play a magizoologist.
“There was this anteater that had just been born, and people were trying to feed her and she kept scrunching herself into a ball. The way they would make her uncurl was to tickle her belly,” says Redmayne, 34, whose floppy-haired wizard surreptitiously transports magical animals to the USA inside a bottomless travel case.
On screen, the actor copies that trick to relieve an adorable, kleptomaniac creature called the Niffler of its horde of pocketed gems in Fantastic Beasts, a Harry Potter spinoff that meets Newt Scamander as he disembarks from a ship in New York City, 70 years before Potter’s story starts.
Let’s start with the basics: In Fantastic Beasts, set in America circa 1926, the non-magical sort are called No-Majs instead of Muggles, and this era is plagued not by Voldemort but by the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, who has vanished after terrorizing half of Europe.
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It sure has taken a long time for Eddie Redmayne to get the filmmakers behind the “Harry Potter” movies under his spell.
More than a decade before he was cast as the lead in “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” a Potter prequel opening Friday, the actor had desperately tried to apparate into the franchise as a college student. But that role disappeared in a puff of disappointment.
“Years and years ago when I was at university, before I started acting seriously, I had gotten an audition for Tom Riddle (in 2002’s ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’),” the Oscar winner recalled to the Daily News.
“I met like the eighth assistant’s assistant’s casting director and I think I got through three lines before being asked to leave.”
But the saga remained in Redmayne’s blood — literally. He had discovered J.K. Rowling’s novels from his younger brother Thomas and his older brother Charles ran the fan website Potterverse.
But it wasn’t his brothers who flipped out the most when he finally landed a role.
“The most excited person in my family was my grandmother,” said Redmayne, who used to visit her in Edinburgh, Scotland. “When I was cast as Newt, she screamed, ‘I always knew you’d play a wizard! ‘ ”
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When he was nine years old, maybe 10, a small, freckly, flame-haired Eddie Redmayne auditioned to be in the West End production of the Irving Berlin musical Annie Get Your Gun. Acting was a new thing for him and before the casting call he found himself dreaming – both figuratively and literally – about winning a part. He’d be in the West End! He’d get to wag school! But then, on the day, a reality dawned somewhat murkier. Around 700 children turned up. Many wore Sylvia Young Theatre School T-shirts, and danced and sang precociously behind the scenes. Each child was given a tag, walked on stage and either sang or spoke a single line. When everyone was done, a list of names was called.
“It was a meat market for children,” Redmayne recalls, wide-eyed. “It almost felt like a forerunner for The X Factor or something. So I sang my one line and was promptly sent home.” He giggles, fidgets: “I remember it being properly scarring!”
The story is 25 years old, but the memory is vivid. Redmayne, now 34, brings it up when I ask him if he expected, on the night itself, to win the 2015 Oscar for best actor for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. “I had let my mind fantasise before and it was cut so bluntly short,” he explains. “I’ve never actually spoken about it, but I wonder if, over years of doing auditions, I’ve stopped myself allowing to believe the dream.
“Even in the run-up to the Oscars” – he whispers those last two words like he’s faintly embarrassed to be overheard – “it’s a horse race, and I knew I was in the running, but I’d not allowed myself to believe that it could happen. And also I thought Michael Keaton was formidable and I loved that film [Birdman].”
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