Author Gillian Flynn Inks Deal with Amazon Studios.

Author Gillian Flynn Inks Deal with Amazon Studios

Four years after complications with HBO, author Gillian Flynn has found a new home for her passion project at Amazons Studios, an American adaptation of the British series Utopia. The nine-part series follows a group of young adults who connect online and come into possession of a cult underground graphic novel filled with possibly-true conspiracy theories. As the gang is forced into the position of trying to save the world, a dark deep state organization pursues them to bring an end to their efforts.

Utopia is pure creative catnip to me,” Flynn shared. “Dennis Kelly’s show blew my mind, and he has been so incredibly generous in letting me crack open his world and play around in it and make it my own weird, wild place. Utopia is all about exploring resonant issues within dark, twisted storytelling—it’s a series that’s urgent and current and a little holy-crap!, but a hell of a lot of a fun.”

Originally, Utopia ran on Britain’s Channel 4 between 2013 and 2014 in two six-episode seasons. Amazon has currently ordered a nine-episode first season from Flynn, who will serve as the show’s only creator and one of the executive producers.

Previously, Flynn adapted her bestselling novel Gone Girl for a feature film starring Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck, Neil Patrick Harris, and Tyler Perry. She received Golden Globe Award and BAFTA Award nominations for her adapted screenplay and took home the Critics’ Choice Award for her work on the movie.

“We are huge fans of Gillian Flynn’s electrifying work,” said Nick Hall, head of alternative series for Amazon Studios. “She crafts stories that hold her audience in a constant state of suspense and subverts the expectations behind her characters. She will deliver Prime Video members a series they won’t forget, and Utopia’srelevance is sure to connect with viewers around the globe.”

Flynn’s novel Sharp Objects has been adapted into a series, which will premiere on HBO this June. She served as an executive producer on the project, which stars Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson, Elizabeth Perkins, Madison Davenport, Chris Messina, and Matt Craven.

The deal with Amazon gives Flynn two series, the first of which will be Utopia. At this time, Amazon has not scheduled a release date for Utopia.

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12 Movies That Have Been Banned Around the World

The boundaries of good taste are a very intangible thing, but there are some out there who protect those boundaries ferociously. Of course, there are also artists and innovators out there who are working to steadily subvert that sense of good taste by pushing the limit of their art into new and often unsettling places. Sometimes, ground-breaking artists like John Waters and Stanley Kubrick just push a little too hard, too fast. That’s when close-minded government types clamp down on innovation just because it sometimes comes with a little bit of the old ultra violence. And ultra sex. And sometimes torture. Of course, a solid X-rating isn’t the only reason that films get banned, but it doesn’t hurt. Sometimes, however, you’re just Claire Danes.

1. MONTY PYTHON’S LIFE OF BRIAN

Comedy troop Monty Python put the institution of Christianity squarely in its sights when Life of Brian was released. The story of a bumbling moron who ends up becoming a messiah while chasing tail, Life of Brian may have been construed to paint the average messiah-following Christian as a bit dim-witted. As a result, the film was banned in Ireland and Norway, a fact Monty Python actually included in their posters for the film.

2.THE INTERVIEW

the interview is the story of two dummies who score an interview with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. Before the little tyrant is incinerated (quite graphically) in a fireball, he’s painted as something of an off-balance megalomaniac. In spite of Randall Park’s inspired performance as Kim Jong-un, the comedy romp from Seth Rogen and pals is super duper banned in North Korea. In fact, the government of NK claimed that the movie promoted terrorism — whether that’s terrorism against North Korea or terrorism by North Korea because Kim Jong-un got his feelings hurt remains to be seen.


3. SONG OF THE SOUTH

Easily the only film on this list that should stay uniformly banned, Song of the South is a Disney film released in 1946 that blends live action footage with animated stories and characters. Unfortunately, that technological achievement is set against the backdrop of a plantation filled with former slaves who just miss the crap out of bondage. Complete with the wildly offensive “Negro dialect” and all of the most horrifying cliches from the Uncle Remus stories, Song of the South was still praised for its technological achievements for some time … then the Walt Disney Company put a kind of self-ban on the film, locking it in its “vault” and refusing to release it ever again.

4. THE EXORCIST

On its original release, The Exorcistwas a smash hit across the world. Critics and audiences alike adored its ground-breaking (and terrifying) story, the “based on a true story” exorcism of a young woman. More than a decade after the film’s 1973 release, however, the UK banned the film, pulling every copy of the film from video stores for more than a decade before The Exorcist was allowed back in.

5. THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT

These days, the wicked results of Wes Craven’s imagination are some of the most beloved horror films of all time. His directorial debut, The Last House on the Left, however, opened to controversy right away. The film follows two young women who are tortured and murdered by four dirtbags who happen to stumble into the home of one of their victim’s parents. From there on, it’s the parents turn to exact some bloody revenge. There’s graphic sex and even more graphic violence, which lead to the film being banned in several countries. The companies in Australia were so offended that none even picked the film up for distribution.

LHotL

6. WONDER WOMAN

The Arab League had a real problem with the immensely popular 2017 adaptation of Wonder Woman, but their problem wasn’t with the strong, scantily-clad woman at the center (well, it wasn’t their only problem). The Arab League, Qatar, and Tunisia objected to the fact that Israeli Gal Gadot was playing the lead. Their ongoing boycott of all things Israel dictated that these Arab countries ban Wonder Woman, no matter how much Gal Gadot kicked butt in the film.

7. PINK FLAMINGOS

Now considered a cult masterpiece, Pink Flamingos seems like a movie that was created with the sole intent of grossing people out. The weird misadventures of drag queen Divine and her menagerie of oddballs, Pink Flamingos will test your ability to sit and watch a movie. At one point Divine eats literal dog feces. It’s … a thing. John Waters’ first film may not be for the faint of heart, which is why it was banned in Australia, Norway, and some provinces of Canada.

8. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE

When it was initially released, Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 homage to government control was wildly popular wherever it went. It made $26 million in the US (which was a lot at the time) and even earned a nod for Best Picture of the Year. Some people, however, felt that the film’s graphic depictions of rape and violence were excessive and borderline pornographic. After a case of what authorities believed to be copycat violence, the film was banned in the United Kingdom. In Ireland, that ban remained active until 2000.

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9. E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL

You might be wondering what in the heck could possibly be offensive about one of movie history’s most beloved (and kid-friendly) aliens. Well, the release of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial didn’t sit well with the governing body of Scandinavia, who banned the film because it made adults look like total dicks. Throughout the story of a lost little alien trying to get home, adults constantly subvert Elliott’s efforts to help, which makes for good drama. Unfortunately, in Norway and Sweden, et al. that also created a tough image for parents to overcome.

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10. HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER

This cult classic horror film starring Michael Rooker (in his first film role) isn’t all that offensive in hindsight. A lot of the violence takes place off screen, and except for some gratuitous nudity, the only thing “objectionable” about the film is Michael Rooker’s haunting performance as a drifter sociopath whose disease impacts everyone around him. On its release, the film was outright banned in New Zealand and Australia.

11. EVERY CLAIRE DANES MOVIE

When the Homeland star was filming her imprisonment drama Brokedown Palace, she and the crew were on location in the Philippines. According to Danes, however, the island country is a total rat trap (like, literally). Throughout filming and while doing publicity for the film, Danes was quick to bad mouth the nation — as a result, the actress’ work in its entirety was banned from the country for several years.

12. THE EVIL DEAD

Originally released in 1981, Sam Raimi’s cult classic The Evil Deadwas considered one of the most violent films ever made. The low-budget horror comedy follows a group of unlucky friends resurrect and then subsequently get possessed by a real jerk demon. At that point, Bruce Campbell is forced to dismember a handful of his best friends with a lot of inventive means. Things get messy, which is why The Evil Dead grabbed an ‘X’ rating and was outright banned in several countries on release. It remained banned in some countries for decades. Singapore didn’t allow the film until 2011.

Evil Dead

Hulu Saves Another Modern Classic TV Series

Hulu Saves Another Modern Classic TV Series 

Today, streaming giant Hulu announced that it had acquired one of the most popular series of the last decade, the Texas-based football soap opera Friday Night Lights. It’s another smart move (and another great series) for Hulu’s service, which continues it’s slow but steady growth.

While Netflix continues to spend billions on seemingly dozens of new series, Hulu has contended itself dividing its budget between standout original programming (The Handmaid’s TaleCasualThe Path) and snapping up series that have dropped off of Netflix’s ever-shrinking library. Friday Night Lights represents the latest release in Hulu’s aftermarket expansion.

Hulu has made a regular habit of swooping in and buying the streaming rights to beloved series from recent years. They’ve already added Parks and Recreation30 RockHow I Met Your Mother, and The West Wing, among a tidal wave of series that were praised by critics and audiences alike. It seems that as soon as a show leaves Netflix, a few months later its arrival is heralded on Hulu.

On April 20, that show is NBC’s Friday Night Lights, a series that follows the coach and players of a small-town football team in Texas. The Emmy-winning series ran for five seasons from 2006 until 2011. Though it weathered years of low ratings and a not-great second season (it’s worth it to persevere), Friday Night Lights found a place in the hearts of millions of fans thanks to its wonderfully executed melodrama.

Sure, the sum total of Friday Night Lights might be schmaltzy at times, but that emotional core was bolstered by exceptional writing and directing and a phenomenal cast including Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Taylor Kitsch, and (eventually) Michael B. Jordan. If you haven’t checked out Friday Night Lights yet, do yourself a favor and ruin your weekend on this wonderfully addictive series.

Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t … Stop Binging.

Denzel Washington Wraps the First Sequel of His Career, ‘The Equalizer 2’

Denzel Washington Wraps the First Sequel of His Career, ‘The Equalizer 2’

Shooting has wrapped on Columbia Pictures’ upcoming action sequel, The Equalizer 2, starring Denzel Washington.
The original film (which was based on a series from the 1980s) found former CIA black ops specialist Robert McCall (Washington) living a life of forced retirement after making a promise to his late wife. That promise is put to the test when McCall befriends a young woman named Alina (Chloë Grace Moretz) who is being forced into prostitution by the Russian mob. When the young woman is hospitalized after a vicious beating, Washington unleashes a reign of terror that would John Wick tremble in his boots.
The original movie, The Equalizer, was a solid if uninspired, action flick that saw Washington doing his grim-faced sentinel act while Antoine Fuqua filmed him with a slick style that almost helped bury the fact that the movie had very little substance. Good fights, though. To be perfectly honest, however, if you’re hunting for an excellent action movie that involves Denzel wading through scads of faceless thugs, 2004’s Man on Fire is much more rewarding.
All that said, The Equalizer 2 shows a lot of promise. The sequel has wrangled the same talented trio of writer Richard Wenk (16 BlocksJack Reacher: Never Go Back), director Antoine Fuqua (The Magnificent SevenSouthpaw), and star Denzel Washington. In fact, The Equalizer 2 is the first sequel that Washington has ever done, which is a huge vote of confidence in the film. What’s more, Wenk’s talent and confidence as a screenwriter has improved by leaps and bounds in the last four years, another vote in the sequel’s favor.
This could be a film to keep an eye on in the coming months. The Equalizer 2 hits theaters on July 20.

Black Panther’ Historically Premieres in Saudi Arabia

‘Black Panther’ Historically Premieres in Saudi Arabia

At 2 p.m. ET today, 600 guests enjoyed Black Panther at the first movie theater to open in Saudi Arabia in 25 years. The refitted conference hall in the King Abdullah Financial District of Riyadh welcomed an audience where men and women were allowed to sit next to one another to watch the movie, another landmark decision for the Middle Eastern nation.

The choice to open Saudi Arabia up to the Hollywood does come with its caveats. For instance, 40 seconds of the original Black Panther were cut by local censors.

Last year, Saudi officials said movies “will be subject to censorship according to media policy standards of the Kingdom,” to ensure any film screened there complies with their values and principles and did not contradict Sharia, or Islamic, law.

Additionally, today’s event followed a strict schedule of socializing, prayer, ribbon cutting, inauguration, and movie watching. While some diplomats and industry experts made the journey to Saudi Arabia for the historical screening, none of the Black Panther cast or crew along with any prominent Hollywood names attended.

The largest movie theater company in the United States, AMC, hosted the Black Panther gala screening. In the months ahead, AMC is expected to open three additional screens at the cinema and show a wider range of movies for audiences to view.

“We’re going to show typical Hollywood blockbusters that are very popular in the United States and Europe and elsewhere in the world,” AMC CEO Adam Aron shared with CNN. “Hollywood has been showing movies in the Middle East for a long time [and] has proven that it can be sensitive to the local cultures here and in the region.”

The decision to reopen movie theaters in Saudi Arabia was made to reduce the nation’s economic dependence on oil and stimulate growth, eventually adding jobs and increasing entertainment options for Saudis.

“The economy will benefit greatly as fewer nationals will exit to watch movies and be entertained,” said John Sfakianakis, director of economic research at the Gulf Research Center in Riyadh. “Younger people and older people will be flooding to the place to see the show,” he added.

The country’s Ministry of Culture estimates that Saudi Arabia will have 350 movie theaters by 2030. Over the next five years, AMC plans to open another 30 cinemas. Also, Vue International hopes to build another 30 theaters for moviegoers in Saudi Arabia.

Druts web hosting

Lagos state police command Edgal Imohimi Medical Doctor Fake fur yearsThe Lagos state police command today paraded a primary school dropout, Abdulrahman Mohammed, who has practiced as a medical doctor for four years in the state. Parading the suspect before newsmen, the state police commissioner, CP Edgal Imohimi, said Mohammed operated a clinic at Idi-Araba area in Mushin, where he administered intravenous injections to patients and also collected blood and urine samples for diagnosis.“Detectives from the Area D Command, Mushin, arrested one Abdulrahman Mohammed, a native of Ran Village in Gamboru Ngala local government area of Borno State for operating as a medical doctor at 3, Bamishile Street, Idi -Araba, whereas his education stopped at primary school level. Further investigation into the activities of Abdulrahman Mohammed, who has been impersonating as a medical doctor for the past four years revealed that he had been administrating intravenous injections, conducting medical test on his patients and taking urine and blood samples from his patients. He is cooperating with the police and we are working with him to ensure all unregistered drug stores are clamped down.” he saidHowever, Mohammed has denied practising as a medical doctor. According to him, he only operates a chemist where he sells drugs to people living in his area. “I was a hawker. I was hawking drugs before I decided to open a pharmacy. I did not finish my primary school and I was not taught to sell the drugs. My pharmacy was not licensed. I do not treat people. I do not collect blood or urine samples. I only sell the kits and people come to buy it. For the thermometer, people used to come and check their temperature and other things by themselves. If someone comes and complained of headache and fever, I give them Panadol or Boscopan and blood tonic.” he said

Cognitive Training Helps Regain a Younger-Working Brain — One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

Relentless cognitive decline as we age is worrisome, and it is widely thought to be an unavoidable negative aspect of normal aging. Researchers at the Center for Brain Health at The University of Texas at Dallas, however, say their research could provide new hope for extending our brain function as we age. In a randomized […]