In The News:
Truly heroic. Stephen Hawking, the subject of our upcoming film THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) shortly after his 21st birthday. Some 50 years later the brilliant man remains an inspiring example of a man living with the disease. But he also is a reason to find a cure. Hawking who had pneumonia last year was advised against taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge himself, but to stress the importance of joining together for a cure, his three children -- Robert, Lucy and Tim -- sat and received the baptism of freezing water for him. Great video.
The Arizona Daily Sun reports on a very special story about how THE BOXTROLLS and Animal Planet helped a little boy in Arizona get his fantasy tree house as part of the Make-A-Wish Arizona program. Wheelchair-bound 8-year-old AJ Johnson wanted a tree house, just like he'd seen on the Animal Planet show Treehouse Masters, and since his dream home so resembled the world of THE BOXTROLLS, those busy fellows came to the rescue to help out. Once constructed, AJ states, "It's the coolest treehouse I've ever seen." See the full Arizona Daily Sun article here and a video report from AZ Central here.
Fandango Movie Clips theaters caught up with Isaac Hempstead Wright (who voices the young hero Eggs) at this year's Comic-Con to talk to him about THE BOXTROLLS and what was so amazing for him seeing how stop-motion adventure was all put together.
Isaac Hempstead Wright ("Eggs") and Elle Fanning ("Winnie") talk to IGN's Greg Miller and Roth Cornet in special IGN LIVE video about making THE BOXTROLLS and the magic of Laika while at Comic-Con this year. Fascinating.
And so it starts. INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 3 begins production this week with Leigh Whannell, the franchise's co-creator, doing triple duty as screenwriter, director and actor. To commemorate the start of shooting, Focus is launching a sweepstake on the official INSIDIOUS Facebookand Twitter pages. INSIDIOUS buffs and fans will have the chance to win a trip for two to Los Angeles to visit the set of INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 3. And maybe learn some of the secrets to be revealed in INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 3. This new tale, that predates the haunting of the Lambert family, stars the Dermot Mulroney and Stefanie Scott, alongside he returning cast Lin Shaye, Angus Sampson, and Mr. Whannell.
On Late Night with Seth Meyers, Zach Braff talked about financing, writing, and finally making WISH I WAS HERE. Great segment about the lengths Braff went to get his vision on screen. Very Funny.
In a MTV News video piece, Zach Braff and Kate Hudson talk to MTV about putting together the fine-tuned soundtrack for WISH I WAS HER. And also have some fun coming up with their favorite film soundtracks. In a nod to the WISH I WERE HERE soundtrack, we also came up with a list of "10 Soundtracks That Moved The World."
Get ready to roll, Boxtrolls. America's FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby holds its 77th annual World Championship finals at Derby Downs in Akron, Ohio on Saturday, July 26 - and characters from THE BOXTROLLS will be joining the fun. Focus Features is partnering with the International Soap Box Derby and inviting families attending the World Championship to explore the fantastical world of The Boxtrolls as an official sponsor of the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby.
At Derby Downs all day Saturday before the final races, fans will be able to meet the Boxtrolls, view the custom-built car on display, get free Boxtrolls gear, check out exclusive sneak preview clips from the new movie, and enter the Boxtrolls' fantastical home environment with an immersive photo experience. Following the day's interactive activities, quirky, mischievous creatures Fish, Shoe, and Sparky - in a racer powered by gravity and steered by the Boxtrolls themselves - will make their inaugural run on the speedway course in an exhibition race just before the Derby finals.
During the week-long festival, interactive experiences will include Boxtrolls surprises at the Monday, July 21st "Rock the Rec" event and the Thursday, July 24th "Topside Show," at which the stunning custom-built soap box car from the world of THE BOXTROLLS will be unveiled. For more on the Soap Box Derby and its history, visit www.AASBD.org.
Focus Features has acquired U.S. distribution rights for RACE, an upcoming biopic about Olympic legend Jesse Owens. Written by Anna Waterhouse and Joe Shrapnel and to be directed by Stephen Hopkins, RACE follows the story of Jesse Ownes (played by Stephan James), whose quest to become the greatest track and field athlete in history thrusts him onto the world stage of the 1936 Olympics, where he faces off against Adolf Hitler's vision of Aryan supremacy.
Jason Sudeikis will star as Owens' obsessive coach and mentor Larry Snyder, who, after a prestigious track career himself, became a coach at Ohio State University. Snyder coached athletes who set 14 world records and won eight Olympic gold medals. Jeremy Irons will portray Avery Brundage, the head of the American Olympic committee who fought to have the 1936 Olympics take place in Berlin. Director Hopkins said, "I'm excited we've assembled such an impressive cast to tell this extraordinary story. Stephen James is an amazing discovery, a rare star-in-the-making, who has the charisma and talent to embody the incredible spirit of Jesse Owens. We are also excited to have Jason Sudeikis, an actor of extraordinary talent, in his first big-screen dramatic role. Together they will recreate the chemistry and life-long friendship of Jesse Owens and his young, maverick coach Larry Snyder -- who challenged not only the Olympic committee but the Nazis themselves. We're also lucky enough to have Jeremy Irons, playing the controversial head of the Olympic committee, Avery Brundage."
Focus Features CEO Peter Schlessel commented, "We are proud to be the U.S. distributor of the inspirational story of Jesse Owens -- a sports hero who exemplified perseverance, courage and grace, and whose story will resonate with audiences of all generations."
Principal photography will begin on July 24th in Montreal and on location at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, where the real-life hero won a record-breaking four Olympic gold medals in 1936. The new film has the support of the Owens family, the Jesse Owens Foundation, the Jesse Owens Trust and the Luminary Group.
Josh Gad joined Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show to talk about his daughter's obsession with Frozen (of course) but also his part in Zach Braff's WISH I WAS HERE. Watch.