Josh Brolin to Star in Amazon’s Brad Pitt-Produced Drama ‘Outer Range’

From The Wrap: “Josh Brolin will star in Amazon’s “Outer Range,” a drama from Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment.

The series is part of Plan B’s overall deal with the retail giant that was signed in January. From writer Brian Watkins, the thriller centers on a rancher fighting for his land and family, who discovers an unfathomable mystery at the edge of Wyoming’s wilderness. Brolin will star as the rancher, Royal Abbott.

Brolin is also an executive producer on the series. Watkins executives produces with Brolin, Zev Borow and Heather Rae. “Outer Range” is the first series for both Watkins and Borow.

Brolin is set to star in Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” remake that will come out later this year. He also recently wrapped production on Sean Penn’s “Flag Day,” where he will star opposite Penn and Miles Teller. Watkins is a Brooklyn-based playwright and screenwriter. Brolin also has an untitled project on Hulu.

Plan B is currently producing Amazon’s adaptation of the Colson Whitehead novel “Underground Railroad,” which is set to premiere later this year. The company is also working with Amazon and Legendary Television, to develop “Paper Girls,” an adaptation of the Brian K. Vaughan graphic novel.”

Apple Acquires Brad Pitt’s Formula One Drama, Adds Lewis Hamilton as Producer

From The Wrap: “Apple Studios has officially acquired the Formula One racing feature starring Brad Pitt, with seven-time F1 champion Sir Lewis Hamilton coming on board the film as a producer.

As TheWrap previously reported, Apple has been in talks to snag the still-untitled feature since January. In addition to Hamilton and Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment, Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ Jerry Bruckheimer and Chad Omen will produce, with Copper CEO Penni Thow as executive producer.

“Top Gun: Maverick” director Joseph Kosinski and screenwriter Ehren Kruger have been attached to the project from the beginning.

Pitt is set to star as a veteran driver who comes out of retirement to compete alongside a fresh-faced racer against other legends of the sport.

He will also co-star with George Clooney in an upcoming Apple film about two fixers given the same job. Jon Watts of “Spider-Man: No Way Home” will direct the untitled feature.

In March, Apple also landed the rights to a documentary about Hamilton’s life and distinguished career as Formula One’s only Black racer, to be directed by Matt Kay.

Pitt and Kosinski are both represented by CAA, with Kosinski also represented by Grandview and Pitt by Brillstein Entertainment Partners.

The project comes as Formula One has developed a wider U.S. fanbase from the popularity of the Netflix docuseries “Drive to Survive.” The series, which is streaming its fourth season now, gives fans an inside look into the various teams and racers for a 72-year-old racing league that had largely been closed off compared to other American sports.”

Box Office: ‘Bullet Train’ Leads Ho-Hum Weekend With $13.4M as ‘Top Gun 2’ Revs the Engines

From The Hollywood Reporter: “David Leitch’s action-packed Bullet Train, starring Brad Pitt as a hellbent assassin, easily stayed atop the box office chart in its second weekend as no new Hollywood summer even pic opened nationwide.

In normal times, studios would continue to release event films throughout August. This year is different as the entertainment business emerges from the pandemic and grapples with production and post-production delays. Overall revenue for the weekend was around $66 million, a low point for summer 2022.

Bullet Train is considered the last big Hollywood studio title of summer 2022. The film is doing OK business and earned $13.4 million in its second outing weekend from 4,357 theaters for a 10-day domestic total of $54.2 million. One hitch: even with little competition, Bullet Train fell 54 percent from its opening weekend, although that isn’t unusual for a male-skewing action pic.

Overseas, Bullet Train also continued to speed along, earning another $17 million fro a foreign tally of $60 million and global total of $114.5 million.”

Brad Pitt Keeps a ‘Sh*t List’ of Actors He Won’t Work with, Says Aaron Taylor-Johnson

From IndieWire: “Don’t get on Brad Pitt’s bad side.

The Oscar winner apparently keeps a “shit list” of actors he won’t work with, according to “Bullet Train” co-star Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

“He is in a new chapter of his life, I think,” Taylor-Johnson explained of Pitt during the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland (via Variety).

While Pitt is a “humble and gracious human being,” Taylor-Johnson added that the actor expects the same from co-stars in return. “He just wants to bring light and joy into the world and be around people who are there to have a good time,” the “Kraven the Hunter” lead said. “You work with many actors and after a while you start making notes: ‘I am definitely not working with this person ever again.’ Brad has this list too: the ‘good’ list and the ‘shit’ list.”

The star-studded, cameo-filled “Bullet Train,” directed by Pitt’s former stunt double David Leitch, additionally stars Brian Tyree Henry, Sandra Bullock, Joey King, Zazie Beetz, Michael Shannon, Andrew Koji and Bad Bunny. As a zen hitman named Ladybug, Pitt’s performance in the stunt-driven action comedy is just another iconic role for the “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” Academy Award winner.

While Taylor-Johnson sustained an intense on-set injury leading to hospitalization, Pitt performed 95 percent of his own physical stunts and left production without any “war wounds.”

“Oh, I certainly went home and went ‘ahh,’” Pitt joked to Variety at the red carpet premiere. “But no. Aaron, on the other hand…Brian [Tyree Henry], on the other hand…The young’ins, you know.”

“We were in a fight sequence and I get drop-kicked across the room. And the one sharp bit of the corner where there wasn’t any padding took a chunk out of my hand,” Taylor-Johnson said of his injury. “And I literally went wham, passed out. And then I came back and was like ‘Should we go again?’ And they were like ‘No, no, no. You gotta go get stitches at the hospital.’ So then I spent the night in the hospital.”

IndieWire’s David Ehlrich praised Pitt’s dedication to the zaniness of the role, writing, “Pitt is having a truly palpable amount of fun in it, and the energy that radiates off of him as he fights Bad Bunny over an explosive briefcase or styles his hair with the blow dryer function of a Japanese toilet is somehow magnetic enough to convince us that we’re having fun, too.””

Box Office: ‘Bullet Train’ Books $30.1M Opening

From The Hollywood Reporter: “David Leitch’s Bullet Train easily topped the North American box office chart with an estimated weekend haul of $30.1 million, including a Friday haul of $12.6 million.

Overseas, the R-rated pic earned an impressive $32.4 million for a global start of $62.4 million.

Brad Pitt leads a star-packed cast in this tale of an assassin roaming a high-speed Japanese bullet train. Other names on the marquee include Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Andrew Koji, Hiroyuki Sanada, Michael Shannon and Sandra Bullock.

The movie opened in line with expectations following an aggressive marketing campaign on Sony’s part. Critics haven’t exactly embraced Bullet Train, which currently holds a 53 percent critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences bestowed the film with a B+ CinemaScore.

Bullet Train is the last major studio offering of the summer, putting increased pressure on the movie’s performance. Generally, the summer box office season lasts until Labor Day, but delays due to the pandemic continue and studios are seeing some of their films delayed in postproduction.

The weekend’s other new offering is Jay Chandrasekhar’s comedy Easter Sunday, starring stand-up comedy sensation Jo Koy as a struggling actor and comedian who attends a raucous holiday meal with his Filipino family.

Easter Sunday opened to an estimated $5.2 million, likewise in line with expectations. Asian moviegoers made up more than 35 percent of ticket buyers, according to PostTrak.

Jimmy O. Yang, Tia Carrere, Brandon Wardell, Eva Noblezada, Lydia Gaston, Asif Ali, Rodney To, Tiffany Haddish and Lou Diamond Phillips star in the Universal film, which came in No. 5.

Elsewhere in the top 10, DC League of Super Pets tumbled 51 percent to an estimated $11.2 million for a 10-day domestic total of $45.1 million.”

How ‘Bullet Train’ Stunt Coordinator Trained Brad Pitt to Do His Own Stunts

From Variety: “Before he was a director of spectacles like “Deadpool 2,” David Leitch did stunts for dozens of productions, often doubling for Brad Pitt in films including “Troy,” “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” and “Fight Club.” Leitch puts his stunt background to good use in the action film “Bullet Train,” in cinemas now, in which he reteams with Pitt, this time as director.

Based on a Japanese novel, the action comedy revolves around five assassins from around the globe who find themselves on a fast-moving train. Pitt stars as Ladybug, alongside Sandra Bullock, Brian Tyree Henry, Michael Shannon, Zazie Beetz, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Bad Bunny. Leitch aimed to deliver a character-driven story that captures the action in camera rather than relying on CGI and green screen. It was up to Greg Rementer, the film’s second-unit director and stunt coordinator, to deliver the helmer’s vision.

In designing a fighting style tailored to Pitt’s character, Rementer worked closely with Leitch to understand Ladybug’s backstory and motivation. The character frequently carries a briefcase, so Rementer had the fight choreography include the prop. “He wants to avoid fighting at all costs,” Rementer explains. “He’s there to obtain his objective and escape unseen. There was a lot of defending, swift evading, moving silently and tactically. We drew on inspiration from Jackie Chan and Buster Keaton in the way that we wanted Brad to do the majority of his hand-to-hand choreography.”

Pitt was eager to do his own fight sequences, and Rementer had no objections: “He’s a natural athlete, and there was no reason why he couldn’t do his fights based on his background.” Moreover, Pitt’s preference fit well with Rementer’s philosophy. “Whenever I design action, I always try to get the cast to perform their fight scenes as opposed to their stunts” and help them to “safely push those boundaries,” he says, explaining that he’d rather not see a star in scenes where their character gets hit by a car or thrown out a window.

Rementer had more than 16 weeks to prep. While a few scenes shot in Japan, much of the work came together at Sony’s soundstages in Culver City. “We would bring in the stunt team, our wire team and camera team. We’d put up two-by-two boxes so that it was like train seats and film it,” Rementer explains. “It was so we could understand the space.”

He worked with the whole cast, with each member learning their own skill set. “We put the cast through fight boot camp,” Rementer says. He taught actors how to throw punches and kicks from either side to allow Leitch the freedom to move set-pieces around. “If David wants to put a chair over there and a punch with the left hand would be better, well, if we’ve only taught them how to punch with the right hand, then we’re in trouble.”

The weeks of prep included Rementer working with the film’s production designer David Scheunemann and costume designer Sarah Evelyn Bram. “Sarah gave us more stretch in the pants so we could put a wire harness in if we needed to,” Rementer says.

Once on set, Rementer could push the boundaries on the moves Pitt and the cast had learned. “We’d teach them to Brad, and he would work on them maybe two moves at a time. He could work on two or three beats or whatever was achievable.” The idea, he adds, was to let Pitt focus on acting and not worry about punching. But Rementer notes that Pitt was able to combine seven or eight moves and praises the actor, who he says performed at least 95% of the action in his fight scenes. “Brad leading pushed everyone to excel,” he says. “It was a great marriage of trust and safety.””

Brad Pitt Applauds Ana de Armas’ ‘Phenomenal’ ‘Blonde’ Performance as Marilyn Monroe

From People: “Brad Pitt thinks Ana de Armas nailed her Marilyn Monroe performance.

The Bullet Train actor is a producer on the new movie Blonde via his Plan B Entertainment company. At the Los Angeles premiere of his action film Monday, he told Entertainment Tonight that the film, based on the 2000 novel by Joyce Carol Oates, was in development for a decade and didn’t push forward until they landed on de Armas, 34, for the lead.

“It was 10 years in the making. It wasn’t until we found Ana that we could get it across the finish line,” said Pitt. “She is phenomenal in it. That’s a tough dress to fill.”

Blonde is a fictionalized, NC-17 take on Monroe’s persona. It also stars Bobby Cannavale, Adrien Brody, Julianne Nicholson, Xavier Samuel and Evan Williams.

De Armas recently told ELLE about diversity in Hollywood and defying traditional casting by being a Cuban actress playing Monroe.

“I do want to play Latina. But I don’t want to put a basket of fruit on my head every single time. So that’s my hope, that I can show that we can do anything if we’re given the time to prepare, and if we’re given just the chance, just the chance,” she said. “You can do any film — Blonde — you can do anything. The problem is that sometimes you don’t even get to the room with the director to sit down and prove yourself.”

The actress spent two to three hours on set every day getting hair and makeup done for the film and she did plenty more research leading up to the shoot.

As she told Netflix Queue in June, director Andrew Dominik’s “ambitions were very clear from the start: to present a version of Marilyn Monroe’s life through her lens.” De Armas added, “He wanted the world to experience what it actually felt like to not only be Marilyn, but also Norma Jeane. I found that to be the most daring, unapologetic and feminist take on her story that I had ever seen.”

“We worked on this film for hours, every single day for almost a year. I read Joyce’s novel, studied hundreds of photographs, videos, audio recordings, films — anything I could get my hands on. Every scene is inspired by an existing photograph,” she added. “We’d pore over every detail in the photo and debate what was happening in it. The first question was always, ‘What was Norma Jeane feeling here?’ We wanted to tell the human side of her story.”

Blonde arrives on Netflix Sept. 28.”