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Film — past, present and future
With 'Peter Pan' and 'Star Wars,' Hollywood's Thanksgiving tease

Film fans who head to the multiplex Thanksgiving weekend will see plenty of trailers for holiday films — if you don’t wind up humming “It’s a Hard Knock Life” during the main feature, talk to your cardiologist, your heart may be made of stone.

But a couple of other spots will tease events far far away — or at least in another room.

On the Friday after Thanksgiving, Disney is running in select theaters an 88-second tease of J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” a perhaps apt subtitle given tryptophan-related activities the previous day. It’s not clear what will actually be in this teaser, but given our societal tendency to scrutinize anything "Star Wars" and anything Abrams (remember those “Super 8” Super Bowl spots a few years back?), expect the online parsing to begin before you’ve made your first Black Friday purchase.

The studio will initially put the spot in 30 theaters — in Los Angeles, Hollywood’s El Capitan and the AMC in Century City are the chosen ones — and then roll it...

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'Jurassic World' trailer: Be careful tinkering with that DNA

The first trailer for "Jurassic World" is here — two days early, it turns out — giving viewers a taste of the dinosaur-inflicted chaos to come in the fourth installment of the franchise that began with Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park" in 1993.

Scheduled for release June 12 and set an apt 22 years after "Park," the Colin Trevorrow-directed sequel takes place in a fully operational version of the dino-filled theme park that didn't, er, quite pan out in the first three films.

At the center of "Jurassic World" is a plot that could be seen as a riff on the lurking dangers of what the filmmakers themselves are doing: tinkering with DNA.

In the film, Bryce Dallas Howard and her team of scientists have genetically engineered a new, no doubt bigger and badder breed of dinosaur to reinvigorate the now-humdrum park, the novelty of which has apparently worn thin.

"A whole new frontier has opened up," she boasts in the trailer. But Chris Pratt — the park's resident motorcycle-riding,...

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Steve Jobs film, with Michael Fassbender, finds a new docking station

The high-profile Steve Jobs biopic is back online. Universal has picked up the project less than a week after Sony put it into turnaround, The Times has confirmed.

The studio resolution should clear the way for the movie to progress with new star Michael Fassbender, who has recently been attached to play the Apple co-founder, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Universal had been tipped as the studio most likely to take over the film about Jobs after Sony's surprising departure, which came after the studio had seemingly successfully struggled through a series of setbacks and false starts.

Fassbender replaces Christian Bale, who had been on the film until several weeks ago. Earlier, Leonardo DiCaprio had circled the project. The casting would be a step up for the Irish German Fassbender, who has starred in a bevy of well regarded dramas and played a young Magneto in the "X-Men" series but never had a role of this stature.

The untitled film, which will focus on three key scenes in Jobs'...

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Michelle MacLaren to direct 'Wonder Woman': How significant is it?

Word that Warner Bros. has lassoed Michelle MacLaren to develop and direct its upcoming "Wonder Woman" movie no doubt came as welcome news to fans of her work on such TV series as "Breaking Bad" and "Game of Thrones" and to the many moviegoers who wish to see more women behind the camera.

It's refreshing to see a woman filmmaker take on such a high-profile project, given the dearth of women in key movie positions in Hollywood. After all, it took 10 movies in the Marvel cinematic universe even to see a woman screenwriter. But while there's plenty to be hopeful for about "Wonder Woman," there's also reason to keep a grain of salt handy.

First, some background. Warner announced a standalone "Wonder Woman" film last month as part of an ambitious slate of DC Comics-inspired movies planned through 2020, and reports soon followed that the studio wanted a woman director to bring the iconic heroine to the big screen.

MacLaren soon emerged as a front-runner for the gig. Though she has yet to...

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'Birdman,' 'Nightcrawler,' 'Selma' lead indie Spirit Award nominations

Alejándro G. Iñárritu’s “Birdman” dominated the nominations Tuesday for the 30th Film Independent Spirit Awards, earning six -- for best film, director, lead actor for Michael Keaton, supporting actor for Edward Norton and supporting actress for Emma Stone.

Richard Linklater's "Boyhood" earned five nominations: best film, director, editing, supporting actor for Ethan Hawke and supporting actress for Patricia Arquette.

Also earning five nominations were Dan Gilroy's "Nightcrawler" and Ava DuVernay's "Selma." The former is up for best first feature, screenplay, editing, lead actor for Jake Gyllenhaal and supporting actor for Riz Ahmed. "Selma" is up for film, director, cinematography, lead actor for David Oyelowo and supporting actress for Carmen Ejogo.

Rounding out the best-feature nominees with "Birdman" (full title "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)," "Boyhood" and "Selma" are "Love Is Strange" and "Whiplash."

Joining DuVernay, Iñárritu and Linklater in the best director...

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Complete list of Spirit Award nominations

Alejandro G.  Inarritu's "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)" dominated the nominations today for the 30th Film Independent Spirit Awards.

The film earned six nominations, including best film, director, lead actor, supporting female and supporting male.

"Boyhood," "Nightcrawler" and "Selma" had five nominations each. A complete list of nominees follows:


"Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)" - Producers: Alejandro G. Inarritu, John Lesher, Arnon Milchan, James W. Skotchdopole
"Boyhood" - Producers: Richard Linklater, Jonathan Sehring, John Sloss, Cathleen Sutherland
"Love Is Strange" - Producers: Lucas Joaquin, Lars Knudsen, Ira Sachs, Jayne Baron Sherman, Jay Van Hoy
"Selma" - Producers: Christian Colson, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Oprah Winfrey
"Whiplash" - Producers: Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook, David Lancaster, Michel Litvak


Damien Chazelle - "Whiplash"
Ava DuVernay - "Selma"...

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