Tag: Netflix

Leslie Odom Jr. Joins ‘Knives Out 2’ Cast

Oscar nominee and Tony winner Leslie Odom Jr. is the latest A-lister to join star Daniel Craig in “Knives Out 2,” the star-studded sequel to Rian Johnson’s 2019 hit whodunnit.

In what has quickly become a who’s who of Hollywood A-list talent, Odon joins a lineup that includes Kathryn Hahn, Janelle Monáe, Dave Bautista and Edward Norton.

Craig reprises his role as detective Benoit Blanc for the franchise’s next installment. Details surrounding the film, written and directed by Johnson, are being kept under wraps, but production is set to begin this summer in Greece.

Johnson will also produced the film, alongside Ram Bergman, under their T-Street banner.

In March, Netflix bought the rights to “Knives Out 2” and “Knives Out 3” for more than $450 million, after the original “Knives Out” — starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans, Toni Collette, Ana de Armas and the late Christopher Plummer — earned more than $300 million at the box office and an Oscar nomination for Johnson’s original screenplay.

Odom most recently starred as Sam Cooke in Regina King’s “One Night in Miami,” where the star earned two Oscar nominations for best supporting actor and best original song. The actor also performed the track, “Speak Now,” during the ceremony. The multi-hyphenate entertainer nabbed the 2016 Tony Award for lead actor in a musical for his performance as Aaron Burr in the Broadway phenomenon “Hamilton.”

In addition to “Knives Out,” Odom is also set to appear in the upcoming Sopranos prequel “The Many Saints of Newark” and John Ridley’s sci-fi film “Needle in a Timestack.”

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news of Odom’s casting.

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‘Army Of The Dead’: Zack And Deborah Snyder Discuss The Long Road To Making The Zombie Epic

Zack Snyder’s new apocalyptic epic “Army of the Dead” almost didn’t happen.

“Quite frankly, this movie wouldn’t have gotten made had it not been for Netflix because it sat at Warner Bros. for years and years,” producer Deborah Snyder said in a panel discussion on Friday.

When asked why, Deborah Snyder said the film “couldn’t be figured out” due to budgetary reasons and “maybe not as much of an appetite.”

But, when Netflix came along, it was full speed ahead. “I’ll tell you that Netflix has been really cool,” director Zack Snyder said. “They came to me, like, we’re happy to make this movie for your TV.”

The movie hits the streamer on May 21 and opened in theaters yesterday. To celebrate the film, the newly renovated Landmark Westwood Theatre held a Q&A on May 14 in Los Angeles, Calif. moderated by film critic Pete Hammond. Featuring both Deborah and Zack Snyder and Wesley Coller, it followed an in-person screening of “Army of the Dead” that was capped at 50 percent capacity. All three served as the movie’s producers, with Zack Snyder as writer, director and cinematographer.

Starring Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell and Tig Notaro, among others, “Army of the Dead” follows a group of mercenaries who venture into a zombified Las Vegas to pull off a heist.

“I was more interested in the gunslinger that’s like ‘I’m done fighting, but we’re gonna do one last mission. We’re gonna go in one last time, get your gun out under the bed. Let’s go,’” Zack Snyder said, referencing protagonist Scott Ward (Bautista), who just wants to reconnect with his daughter, but must first steal $200 million from a zombie-laden casino.

And though the Snyder extravaganza is just now reaching audiences, the “Army of the Dead” franchise is already underway. An animated spinoff series with “a lot of sex and violence” called “Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas” is in the works, in addition to a 30-minute documentary about the making of the film and a prequel movie.

“We were able to work on our live-action prequel, which we shot in the fall,” Zack Snyder said. “That follows the character of [Matthias Scheighöfer’s] Dieter and so we get to learn how he ended up where he was at the beginning of this movie.”

Whether at home or in the theater, “Army of the Dead” is an intense optical experience. One of its most stunning visuals  is a beastly zombie tiger. Its fully-fleshed development came from the assistance of none other than Carole Baskin.

“Our visual effects supervisor spent a week with Carole down at her tiger rescue,” Deborah Snyder said. “This was before ‘Tiger King’ came out.”

The visual effects team, helmed by supervisor Marcus Taormina, went to the facility to research the white tiger in order to effectively translate it on-screen. Deborah said she binged the Netflix series like so many others, to which Taormina told her: “Well, that’s where tiger came from.”

“Oh my goodness, I had no idea,” she said of learning the connection. Representatives for Warner Bros. did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for comment.

Watch the trailer for “Army of the Dead” below.

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