Oh, how we have missed the witty one-liners of Dame Maggie Smith (Minerva McGonagall) as the Dowager Countess! This past week, character posters from the Downton Abbey film due out in September were released by Entertainment Weekly, and we could not love them more. Take a look at the always-regal Smith as the Dowager Countess of Grantham, Lady Violet Crawley!
There are more photos that include the rest of the beloved characters from the series, though sadly we still don't have a look at Imelda Staunton's (Dolores Umbridge) character yet. In addition to the posters, the Downton Abbey Facebook page announced an illustrated film companion, which will feature never-before-seen photos and interviews with the cast and crew and will take an exclusive look at how the movie was made. Preorders for the book are available at most online book retailers.
Two films featuring cast members familiar to fans of the wizarding world were teased at the CineEurope Trade Show in Barcelona last week, including Daniel Radcliffe's (Harry Potter) Playmobil: The Movie, which is set to debut in the United Kingdom on August 9, and The Secret Garden, starring Julie Walters (Molly Weasley), which recently wrapped principal photography and is due for a UK release in April 2020. New clips for both movies were shown to audiences, although we haven't been able to track those clips down yet. Never fear – we'll stay on the hunt and bring those to you as soon as we can. For now, enjoy the latest Playmobil: The Movie trailer!
A first look at Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort) as human rights barrister Ben Emmerson in the upcoming film Official Secrets has been released. The trailer, which began making the rounds last week, shows Fiennes in his powdered wig arguing passionately for the public to have access to information. Take a look!
It appears that a scheduling conflict with a Christopher Nolan film has left little time for other projects on Robert Pattinson's busy schedule. The actor had already signed on to the film sequel to The Souvenir but has had to drop out of the project. His team issued a statement regarding the removal of Pattinson from the film.
Despite Rob’s strong desire to do the film, scheduling proved impossible but he very much looks forward to working with Joanna on something down the line.
The Nolan film, Tenet, will also star Sir Kenneth Branagh (Gilderoy Lockhart) and Clémence Poésy (Fleur Delacour), and Pattinson will most likely go from the Tenet set directly to his new role as the Caped Crusader in The Batman, which is set to begin production later this summer.
A clip from Timothy Spall's (Peter Pettigrew) film Mrs Lowry & Son was released this week, which you can see below. The film, which follows the relationship of cityscape artist L.S. Lowry with his mother, is set to screen at the Edinburgh International Film Festival at its Closing Night Gala on June 30.
This is the beautiful, delicate, intimate and amusing story of the brittle but vital relationship between L.S. Lowry, one of the greatest artists of the 20th century, and his bedridden, unhappy and controlling mother. Engrossing and entertaining, 'Mrs Lowry & Son' offers up a veritable masterclass in acting, with Vanessa Redgrave and Timothy Spall spellbinding as a mother and son separated by art and ambition.
Lowry (Spall), not yet established as an artist, works as a rent collector, walking the streets of Salford, mixing with factory workers and observing the town closely. In the evenings, he takes art classes and paints until the early hours of the morning. He is resolutely loyal and well mannered towards his bitter mother, Elizabeth (Redgrave), who tries to dissuade her bachelor son from pursuing his artistic ambitions and never misses a chance to tell him what a disappointment he is to her.
Adrian Noble’s wonderfully observed film gently reveals how Lowry’s snobbish mother is the obstacle preventing him from fulfilling his artistic ambition, as he desperately tries to create something (whether it be dinner or a painting) that might make her happy. This lovely film is punctuated by delightful moments of humour, as it depicts the impact a bitterly obsessive mother had on one of this country’s greatest artists.
For more information on the Edinburgh International Film Festival, visit the website here.
Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy) appears to be adding more musicality to his skill set, as he recently added two projects to his plate that are focused on the music industry. Announced this week was that Isaacs had joined the cast of Creation Stories, a biopic in the works that explores the life and career of UK music executive Alan McGee. The film, which is based on the autobiography The Creation Records Story: Riots, Raves and Running a Label, will be directed by Potter alum Nick Moran (Scabior).
Isaacs is also set to star in Spinning Gold, which begins production on July 16 in Montreal. The film will take an in-depth look at the short but successful life of Neil Bogart, owner of Casablanca Records, who brought the world such iconic musicians as Donna Summer, KISS, Gladys Knight, and George Clinton. Isaacs will be portraying Bogart's father, Al Bogart, and while his character is not revealed, it is mentioned that Dan Fogler (Jacob Kowalski, Fantastic Beasts) also has a key role in the film.
We love how involved in their community Warwick Davis (Filius Flitwick/Griphook) and his family are. Last week, Davis and his wife, Sam, appeared at the Nacro Education Spalding graduation ceremony to celebrate and encourage students who had completed their courses this year. Davis serves as the ambassador to the school and gave advice to the students during his visit.
I’m sure you all have dreams and ambitions that you want to achieve. In my case, I had to fight a little bit harder to achieve what I did and make my way in the world. You develop a little more tenacity and determination which will really stand you in good stead for later life.
If you're a fan of soapy dramas on Netflix, you've probably seen the series Grand Hotel listed on the streaming service as one of the period dramas in the international section. A United States version is now hitting the airwaves on ABC, and the cast includes Freddie Stroma (Cormac McLaggen)! The new Americanized series is updated and revamped from its Spanish counterpart, set in the here-and-now Miami rather than Spain in 1905. Take a look at the trailer and then make sure to add the series to your watch list!
A 12-part multilingual Netflix series titled Criminal will introduce viewers to an all-new format for procedural television, as episodes will take place entirely in the interrogation room. Episodes for the series will be filmed by country, with three stories taking place per country for France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Episodes that take place in the UK will star David Tennant (Barty Crouch, Jr.) and Lee Ingleby (Stan Shunpike), while the remaining episode trios will each star actors from those countries in their local language and will also be written and directed by talent from those specific countries. Here's a brief summary of the series, followed by a very intense trailer!
['Criminal'] takes place exclusively within the confines of a police interview suite and is described as a stripped-down, cat-and-mouse drama focusing on the intense mental conflict between detectives and suspects.
Simon McBurney, best known to the wizarding world as the voice of Kreacher in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, has a role in the upcoming Showtime limited series The Loudest Voice. The series will begin its run on June 30, telling the story of Roger Ailes, who helped build Fox News into the juggernaut it is today. A featurette was also released this week, which can be viewed here. McBurney portrays Rupert Murdoch in the series.
Hands of God, a documentary film executive produced by Prisoner of Azkaban director Alfonso Cuarón, which follows the true story of the Iraqi national boxing team as they train outdoors to qualify for the Olympics despite the constant threat of ISIS, has undergone a name change for North American audiences after Film Movement acquired rights in North America. The film will debut as Throwing Bombs in Baghdad when it is released on December 27.
Stephen Fry (narrator for the UK Harry Potter audiobooks) will be taking his place at the judging table this July as he joins the panel to help choose a winner in the ORA Singers Composer Competition Final Concert. Fry has been the president of ORA since early 2018 and has been a fan since the group launched in February of 2016. The competition final will take place on July 27 at King's College Chapel, and you can learn more about the event as well as purchase tickets to attend here.
Some fans are still stuck in a place where they can only ever see him as Dudley Dursley of number four, Privet Drive, but we are absolutely here for all the new roles and projects Harry Melling is tackling. Announced this week was his casting in The Old Guard, a sci-fi action comic series for Netflix. This isn't Harry's first outing for Netflix, having already played a part in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. Here's a summary of the series.
'The Old Guard' focuses on a small group of soldiers, led by a woman named Andy, who are inexplicably immortal and have been working as mercenaries through the ages. The novelty of not dying long gone, the group gets a jolt in their bones when they discover the existence of a new immortal, a black woman serving in the Marines, at the same time as a nefarious organization captures their undying actions on camera.
Isabella Laughland (Leanne) is appearing in a new film that made its DVD debut last month. In Slaughterhouse Rulez, students of an elite British boarding school return to the school after summer ends only to be told by the dean that swimming in the lake and exploring the forest is now forbidden, but no reason is given. As the film is produced by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, it's a safe bet that monsters, zombies, or some pretty wacky antics will ensue. We can't wait to see how Isabella's role as Kay will turn out!