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Admission, starring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd, hits theaters today and director Paul Weitz had more than a few things to say about his ultra-funny stars in a recent interview with Hypable.

With two stars coming from the ultimate of comedic backgrounds, it seems that Admission (read our review here) can do no wrong. Director Paul Weitz had to face the challenge of balancing comedy with heartfelt drama in the film adaptation of Jean Hanff Korelitz’s book, and having two stars that share an incredible sense of humor really helped Weitz during the production.

“They’re both nice, obviously, which is a really big thing,” said Weitz. “My brother (New Moon director Chris Weitz) and I, you know, we started doing American Pie which had no, you know, it had Eugene Levy in it. He was the most famous person in it,” laughed Weitz. “We had this ‘no assholes’ rule where we wouldn’t work with someone who we heard was an asshole. Years later I learned that was a really good rule to have.”

Since the word on the street was that neither Fey or Rudd were assholes, they both scored starring roles in Weitz’s film, and the director has even gone so far as to say that he wouldn’t have done the film had Fey not signed on.

Before Fey even arrived on the set, Weitz took to her personal biography, Bossypants to glean an idea of who she was as a person. “It was really good to have Bossypants to read ahead of time. It’s pretty revealing. I knew that, you know, I kinda got some sense from that of what she cared about,” said Weitz. “The star has a lot of power on the set and you need to be making the same film as them, so there was a lot of talk ahead of time about what the film was about and the decisions being made.”

AdmissionWith the kind of heart that beats at the center of Admission, it was important for Fey to understand the tone so that she could adjust her performance to better suit what the film was aiming for.

“With Tina, I turned to the screenplay and I walked her beat by beat through the plot before we got involved, because I needed to know that she was up for this version of the movie,” said Weitz.

Although the director had a strong vision for the direction he wanted to take the film, it still continued to be a collaboration between everyone involved, including Fey. “Tina was great in terms of coming up with jokes, and also she had some really good ideas about some of the dramatic scenes.”

Weitz continued to go into detail about how Fey provided something more carnal than he had originally envisioned for a crucial scene in the film, but for spoilers-sake we won’t go into detail here. You’ll find out when you see Admission for yourself, but just take note that it was Fey’s idea to “do it on the floor.”

Weitz said that Fey’s animalistic instinct caught him by surprise, but according to the director, that’s half the fun of the job. “It’s much more interesting when people do something that you didn’t expect,” said Weitz, though he maintained that there still had to be a sense of balance when improvising. “If you’re really riffing on a scene you forget what the scene’s about,” said Weitz.

Weitz has made a specialty out of adapting books to fit the silver screen, and Admission was no exception. Coming from the book of the same name written by author Jean Hanff Korelitz, Weitz discussed a few scenes that he wished could have fit into the film, but as with any shift from book to film, some moments just didn’t work.

“There are a certain number of flashbacks to Tina’s character as an undergrad,” explained Weitz. “That would’ve been challenging to do and have the film not be ridiculous.” At the moment, we can only imagine Fey as an undergrad at an aviary museum taking pictures of the “many different types of sparrows,” so yes, that may have been a little ridiculous.

admission-paul-weitz-paul-rudd-tina-feyThough ridiculousness isn’t the worst thing for a comedy, Weitz decided early on he wanted to center on truth in order to tell the story with as much honesty as possible. “The characters have to not feel like they’re in a comedy,” said Weitz, though he admits that separating the line between the actor and the character can be a challenge.

“I had to think about whether or not her character has a sense of humor,” said Weitz, trying to draw a line between Fey and her on-screen persona, Portia. “Clearly Tina does, but her character might have a really dorky sense of humor. You kinda see that when she’s trying to tell jokes to the cow that’s giving birth to calm him down.”

Although making this distinction between Fey’s real-life comedic sense and Portia’s crippling awkwardness was a challenge, Weitz admits that it’s one of his favorite aspects of the job. “The thing I maybe enjoy most about directing is the game of “let’s pretend” that you have with the actor where you’re talking about this imaginary character and you’re trying to erase this line between the actor and the character, and really between yourself and the character too,” said Weitz.

More than anything, Weitz wanted to ensure that he had remained faithful to Korelitz’s original vision, though he admits that as a completely different art medium, you need to also make it your own. “You’re always taking some angle on a book and adapting it,” said Weitz. “The only thing I make damn sure to do is to talk to the author about what I’m doing and in this case I think Jean was excited that Tina was gonna play the character, and she was cool with me giving the version that I thought would be a good film.”

According to Weitz, Korelitz has seen and enjoyed the film, though he does leave a little wiggle room for her in the truth department. “She’s either a really terrific liar or she loved the film,” laughed Weitz. Korelitz was involved in the production of the film to an extent, though her son had the distinct honor of appearing in the film as one of Nelson’s buddies in the party scene.

At the moment, Weitz is circling a film adaptation of yet another novel called Bel Canto, which follows the story of a renowned soprano that goes down to a Latin American country to sing at the birthday party of Katsumi Hosokawa, a Japanese industrialist. The party is interrupted by a group of terrorists looking for the President, and when it’s revealed to them that the President didn’t attend the party, the terrorists are forced to remain there with their hostages for months.

According to Weitz, the book was inspired by a real event in Peru, and although it represents a challenge to the director, he still wants to give it a shot.

Admission hits theaters today.

Click here to check out our review of Admission and be sure to catch it in theaters this weekend!

Disney is making another live-action movie, and this time it’s James and the Giant Peach, to be developed by Director Sam Mendes.

To refresh your memory, James and the Giant Peach is the terrifying delightful children’s movie directed by Henry Selick and based off of the Roald Dahl story. It features nightmare-inducing adorable stop-motion animated bugs that helped James float away from his mean aunts in a — you guessed it — giant peach.

The original film was an interesting mix of live-action characters in the beginning and at the end, with stop-motion animated sequences throughout the middle.

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Disney is making another live-action movie, and this time it’s James and the Giant Peach, to be developed by Director Sam Mendes.

To refresh your memory, James and the Giant Peach is the terrifying delightful children’s movie directed by Henry Selick and based off of the Roald Dahl story. It features nightmare-inducing adorable stop-motion animated bugs that helped James float away from his mean aunts in a — you guessed it — giant peach.

The original film was an interesting mix of live-action characters in the beginning and at the end, with stop-motion animated sequences throughout the middle.

Now, according to Deadline, Disney is developing an all-live-action remake of the film. Nick Hornby will write the script, while Joe Roth is in negotiations to sign on as a producer.

If Mendes’ name sounds familiar, it’s because he directed the last two James Bond features, both Skyfall and Spectre, as well as 1999’s American Beauty.

You can check out the trailer for the horrifying original film below:

As of late, Disney has been announcing live-action versions of its properties left and right, including The Nutcracker (which has a huge cast of well-known actors), The Little Mermaid (with Lin-Manuel Miranda attached to help write the music), Beauty and the Beast (starring Emma Watson), and Cruella (starring Emma Stone), among others.

With the amount of remakes — especially in the live-action department — it’s no wonder James and the giant Peach is the latest to be announced.

Do you want to see a live-action ‘James and the Giant Peach’ movie?

Legion M president Jeff Annison introduces the first fan-owned entertainment company

"Opening the gates to Hollywood" with fandom-powered entertainment production.

2:12 pm EDT, August 24, 2016

Hypable speaks to co-founder Jeff Annison about Legion M’s goals, fan engagement, and potential impact on the entertainment industry.

An exciting new project launched over the summer: Legion M, the world’s first fan-owned entertainment company.

At San Diego Comic-Con, Hype Podcast sat down with co-founder and company president Jeff Annison, in order to learn more about the ambitious startup that promises to give fans more creative control of entertainment production.

Read full article

Hypable speaks to co-founder Jeff Annison about Legion M’s goals, fan engagement, and potential impact on the entertainment industry.

An exciting new project launched over the summer: Legion M, the world’s first fan-owned entertainment company.

At San Diego Comic-Con, Hype Podcast sat down with co-founder and company president Jeff Annison, in order to learn more about the ambitious startup that promises to give fans more creative control of entertainment production.

The full interview is available to download here or via iTunes, or you can stream it below:

In the interview, Annison explains the mission of Legion M, which is to bring fans directly into the production process. Says Annison, “For the first time in history, we are architected to be built from the ground up to be owned by fans.”

With a ‘Legion’ of fan investors behind them, Annison believes that Legion M’s approach to selecting and developing projects will be very different from anything else we’ve seen in Hollywood.

Where usually creators will struggle to make their content stand out from the crowd, “bringing the audience into the process [of creating entertainment], we’ve already got a built-in audience,” Annison explains. “If you can have the audience of content be invested in content, it gives that content a competitive advantage.”

One of the key ways in which Legion M hopes to influence the creative industry is by opening the door for more diverse projects.

As Hollywood is so revenue-driven, oftentimes the ‘risk’ of letting a movie’s lead character be a woman, a person of color and/or a member of the LGBT community is simply considered too great. But Legion M, being owned by fans, has the opportunity to tip the scales. Because if the investors want more diversity and new kinds of stories, that’s exactly what they’re going to get.

“The reason that there are so many superhero movies and reboots and remakes… Hollywood’s figured out the formula. You pick something with an established fanbase, and if you make the movie you know it’s less risky because you know those people are gonna come see the next Superman movie,” says Annison. “Whereas if it’s an unknown story, you just don’t know. So we believe when you make the audience part of the process, these fans that are part of our studio … if you’ve got an audience that’s baked into it, that gives you so much more creative leeway.”

In practice, this means that Legion M, “could come up with a completely new and novel story that’s never been tried before, and know that it’s gonna have some success” — which means that it’d actually get produced, unlike many original ideas that come to Hollywood to die.

Further, fan owners of Legion M can experience unprecedented involvement with the creative process. Not only are they involved with selecting and developing projects, but, “our promise to our investors is that we’re gonna take you along for the ride. When we film a movie, we wanna live-stream from the set. When we have project opportunities, we wanna put them in front of you. We give the Legion a voice.”

To start with, Legion M is partnering with Seth Green and Matthew Senreich’s Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, which created Robot Chicken. Annison explains that they still have “dozens” of projects that networks have rejected, and Legion M is working on bringing some of them to life.

In terms of representation, Legion M doesn’t necessarily want to commit to a quota of diversity. Instead, where they expect to be able to influence Hollywood is at the “table” where these decisions are made — and, “because we’re owned by such a broad, diverse group of people, we’ve got a better shot than anybody else at being able to affect that change.”

As Annison explains: “Fans have the ultimate power. Our money is what makes this whole thing spin around. When we combine and come together, we’ve got all the power.”

Read more about Legion M and how to get involved on their website.

As we approach the Captain America: Civil War Blu-Ray release date, a new deleted scene from the film has been released.

And it’s a Civil War deleted scene that is sure to please Stucky fans.

In the clip, Bucky quickly comes to the defense of bae (a.k.a. Cap) when War Machine briefly takes him down. Bucky gets back at Rhodey by throwing Cap’s iconic shield at him, and as the shield boomerangs back, Steve Rogers catches it. Take THAT, War Machine! #TeamCap

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As we approach the Captain America: Civil War Blu-Ray release date, a new deleted scene from the film has been released.

And it’s a Civil War deleted scene that is sure to please Stucky fans.

In the clip, Bucky quickly comes to the defense of bae (a.k.a. Cap) when War Machine briefly takes him down. Bucky gets back at Rhodey by throwing Cap’s iconic shield at him, and as the shield boomerangs back, Steve Rogers catches it. Take THAT, War Machine! #TeamCap

Watch below:

The movie’s airport scene was easily one of the most delightful moments of the film, so we’re loving this extra dose of Stucky brilliance.

Need more? The Captain America Blu-ray, with a release date set for September 13, includes the following special features:

  1. United We Stand, Divided We Fall – The Making of Captain America: Civil War Part 1 & Part 2 – As the tension mounts, sides are chosen and lines drawn. Learn more about the characters on each side—from Captain America and Iron Man to the latest recruits. In this complete behind-the-scenes look at a landmark in the Marvel saga, we’ll examine their stories through exclusive footage and interviews and discover just what went into selecting the Super Hero teams, filming the epic action sequences and introducing Black Panther and Spider-Man to the MCU.
  2. Captain America: The Road to Civil War – Explore the First Avenger’s fascinating evolution from loyal soldier to seasoned, conflicted hero who questions authority.
  3. Iron Man: The Road to Civil War – From Gulmira to Sokovia, delve into the development and evolution of one of the most iconic characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  4. Gag Reel – Break the tension of this high-stakes conflict with some hilarious outtakes featuring the lighter side of your favorite Super Heroes.
  5. Deleted & Extended Scenes – Check out never-before-seen footage that didn’t make the final cut of Captain America: Civil War.
  6. Audio Commentary – Directors Anthony and Joe Russo and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely deliver scene-by-scene insight and explain the storytelling challenges they faced creating the third installment of the Captain America franchise.
  7. Open Your Mind: Marvel’s Doctor Strange – Exclusive Sneak Peek – Go behind and beyond the scenes as Doctor Strange makes his journey to the big screen.

The Digital HD version of Civil War will be released on September 2.