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Is The Big Short
Headed For Oscar Glory?

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Movie News Mixtape: The Big Short’s Recent Awards Show Success Could Foreshadow An Oscar Victory. Also: The Academy Doubles Down On Diversity And Key & Peele Hit The Big Screen

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By Ryan Scott
Modern Times Magazine

Jan. 29, 2016 — Greetings, movie lovers! Did you miss the major news and headlines from this week in film? Don’t you worry, because we’ve got you covered with the newest edition of the Movie News Mixtape. This week the Academy responded to the criticism regarding its diversity (or lack thereof), Tom Cruise is joining another big franchise, The Big Short took home a major prize and much more. Let’s dig in, shall we?

Academy Makes Move To Double Up On Diversity By 2020
Anyone who has been anywhere near social media in the past couple of weeks will surely note that there has been very clear and very vocal backlash on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for its lack of diversity. In response to the criticism, the Academy made a big  move last week to try and correct its course.

The board of governors for the Academy voted unanimously to pass a series of changes that will help to make the organization’s membership, its governing bodies and its voting membership significantly more diverse, with the ultimate goal of doubling the number of women and diverse members of the Academy by 2020.

“The Academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs in a statement shortly after the measure passed. “These new measures regarding governance and voting will have an immediate impact and begin the process of significantly changing our membership composition.”

The Academy will also be changing certain voting status regulations and will look to recruit new and diverse members for the governing board. Granted, these changes won’t have an effect on this year’s Oscars, but it will no doubt have a major impact for next year.

The Oscars will air on ABC on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Trailer Tracker: Key & Peele Move From TV To The Big Screen With Keanu
Comedy fans were pretty bummed when Key & Peele ended its sketch comedy run on Comedy Central last year. However, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele have made the jump to film, and the trailer for their first full-length action comedy Keanu has dropped. The pair will play two “blerds”, or black nerds, attempting to retrieve a stolen cat by posing as drug dealers for a street gang in what looks to be on par with some of the best stuff they accomplished on their show. Be on the lookout for it on April 29.



Things We Learned: Tom Cruise in The Mummy Reboot, Avatar 2 Delayed and More
Blade Runner sequel - As hard as it may be to believe, Blade Runner 2 is finally happening for real. The sequel to Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic has been confirmed to be shooting this summer and will see Harrison Ford returning. Ryan Gosling will also be starring in the film and Sicario director Denis Villeneuve will be helming the project with Scott producing.

Labyrinth - Though David Bowie is no longer with us, a sequel to 1986 classic Labyrinth is in the works. There was some concern as initial reports stated that the film would be a reboot, but screenwriter Nicole Perlman has since clarified that the film was in development long before Bowie’s passing, and it will, in fact, be a sequel.

Tom Cruise - It was a big week for the former Mr. Katie Holmes, as it was announced that the Mission Impossible star has been cast in the upcoming reboot of The Mummy, which is due out in 2017. Not only that, but Cruise also had a meeting with producer Jerry Bruckheimer about the long gestating Top Gun sequel, leading to wild speculation about the possibility of the film finally getting made.

Ghost In the Shell - Disney has been working on a big screen adaptation of the very popular manga series Ghost In the Shell for quite some time, but now it seems that the film has moved over to Paramount. Scarlett Johansson has long been attached to star in the project, and the film will be keeping its March 31, 2017 release date for now.

The Big Short Shake Up - The race for Best Picture at this year's Oscars got much more interesting when Adam McKay’s film chronicling the housing market collapse took home the top prize at the Producers Guild of America ceremony. This is significant because the last eight winners of the PGA went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture. This could wind up being the most unpredictable Academy Awards in quite some time.

Superhero Hype: Spider-Man in IMAX, Doctor Strange Casting and More
Batman V. Superman - A new photo released by Warner Bros. for the quickly approaching Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice appears to show what comic fans will recognize as the Darkseid Omega symbol, seemingly indicating that the legendary DC Comics bad guy will have some part in the film.

Doctor Strange - Even though Scott Derrickson has been filming Doctor Strange in London for some time now, that doesn’t mean some new casting can’t happen. The Martian star Benedict Wong has been cast as Wong in the upcoming Marvel Studios film, who is Strange’s manservant in the comics.

Thor: Ragnarok - It appears that Cate Blanchett’s mystery role in the upcoming Thor sequel has finally been revealed. The Oscar-winning actress will reportedly be playing Hela, the Asgardian goddess of death. Also, a rumored plot for the film has surfaced which details how The Hulk fits in, but it is very spoiler-y, so feel free to dig around elsewhere on the web for that, should you feel the need.

Spider-Man - Lastly, Sony and Marvel Studios confirmed that their upcoming Spider-Man reboot will be getting an IMAX release.

Box Office Review/Preview And Predictions
Last week saw the release of a few films that greatly underperformed, leading to The Revenant taking home the number-one spot in its third week and Star Wars: The Force Awakens climbing back into the number-two spot.  This week may see the year’s first big hit, though, as Dreamworks’ Kung Fu Panda 3 is coming out as well as Disney’s action adventure Finest Hours, which is based on a true story and stars Chris Pine. Also, the Fifty Shades of Grey parody, Fifty Shades of Black, is sneaking into theaters relatively unnoticed, but will probably do decent business. It should lead to Dreamworks easily taking the number-one spot this weekend with a vicious fight for the three through five slots.

Weekend Box Office Predictions

  • Kung Fu Panda 3
  • Fifty Shades of Black
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Finest Hours
  • The Revenant  

That’s it for this week, movie lovers. Be sure to come back next week for all of the Hollywood news you need, want and didn’t know you needed.
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