The Whole World Wants Anikulapo To Continue, Kunle Afolayan Hints At Sequel

 

 

Producer and director, Kunle Afolayan has hinted at a sequel to his much-talked-about movie Anikulapo.

“I started working on Anikulapo six years ago and I wanted to make a series because it is a story that I feel would stretch like Game of Thrones,” he said on Channels Television’s Sunrise programme on Saturday.

The 47-year-old said he pitched the idea to international streaming and production company Netflix but the firm advised him to make it a film and continue the story depending on the reception.

Asked whether the recently released movie will get a sequel, Afolayan said, “Yea; the whole world wants the story to continue.”

Anikulapo, which translates as ‘death in the pouch, centres on a stranger who strikes an illicit affair with one of the king’s young wives, which eventually gets him sentenced to death after the affair was discovered.

The deeply cultural movie featured veteran actors such as Sola Sobowale, Bimbo Ademoye, Kunle Remi, Hakeem Kae Kazeem, Taiwo Hassan, Aisha Lawal, Moji Afolayan, Adebayo Salami, Eyiyemi Afolayan, Ariyiike Dimples, Omo Ologede, Yemi Elebuibon, and many others.

Giving a behind-the-stage revelation of the movie on Saturday, Afolayan said the movie is an excerpt from Odu Ifa (Ifa literary corpus).

He said most times Muslims and Christians take lessons from chapters of the Qu’ran and Bible respectively and he thought of bringing some lessons out of a parable in Odu Ifa which is an embodiment of the Yoruba divination system.

READ ALSO: It’s A Miracle Nigeria Is Still One, Adeboye Declares Seven Days Prayer

The movie maker said his goal is to inform, entertain, educate and communicate cultural values. “I want to tell stories that capture values, cultural values, family values and all of that without necessarily neglecting the essence of why we do content which is entertainment,” he explained.

Afolayan further said that everything about the computer-generated imagery of the movie and other parts of production were done in Nigeria.

‘Oscar committee a mess’

 

On the controversy surrounding the snub of Anikulapo, Elesin Oba, The King’s Horseman and King of Thieves by the Oscar selection committee, Afolayan said “it is just a shame” and a “mess” that Oscar committee members didn’t accept three solid epic films that could have represented Nigeria globally.

The producer advised Oscar to review its movie selection process, saying committee members are producers who could be political too.

“We ensured that we met all the criteria…If you have a film that qualified, why would eight members of the committee say no film is eligible? So, up till now, they haven’t come to explain what they mean by no film is eligible,” he said.

Oscar Winners In Main Categories

Jared Bush (L), Byron Howard (R), Yvett Merino (2nd R) and Clark Spencer (2nd L) accept the award for Best animated feature film for “Encanto” onstage during the 94th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on March 27, 2022.
Robyn Beck / AFP

 

Here are the winners in key categories for the 94th Academy Awards, handed out in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Deaf drama “CODA” won for best picture, Will Smith and Jessica Chastain took home acting awards, but “Dune” was the overall big winner with trophies in six categories including best original score and best cinematography.

Best picture: “CODA”

Best director: Jane Campion, “The Power of the Dog”

Best actor: Will Smith, “King Richard”

Best actress: Jessica Chastain, “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”

Best supporting actor: Troy Kotsur, “CODA”

Best supporting actress: Ariana DeBose, “West Side Story”

Best international feature film: “Drive My Car” (Japan)

Best animated feature: “Encanto”

Best documentary feature: “Summer of Soul”

Best original screenplay: “Belfast” – Kenneth Branagh

Best adapted screenplay: “CODA” – Sian Heder

Best original score: “Dune” – Hans Zimmer

Best original song: “No Time to Die” from “No Time to Die” – Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell

Ex-Chelsea Star Oscar Willing To Play For China

Chelsea Agree To Sell Oscar To Shanghai SIPG
A file photo of former Chelsea player, Oscar.

 

Former Chelsea attacking midfielder Oscar says he would be willing to ditch his Brazilian passport to play for China — if FIFA changed its rules.

Oscar, who moved from the Premier League to Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG for a still-Asian-record 60 million euros in January 2017, made the last of his 48 appearances for Brazil in 2015.

Under current rules, the 28-year-old cannot switch to play for another country because he featured for Brazil in official competition, including the 2014 World Cup in his homeland.

Asked by state broadcaster CGTN if he would consider playing for China if the naturalisation rules changed, Oscar replied: “I can think about it because, as I said, it’s difficult to go to the Brazilian national team now because I’m here.

“But in China everyone sees how good I play so if in the end the China national team needs a good midfielder, I think I can help if they change.

“I like China but the players now, if they change the nationality to go to China, they (the team) can do better.”

As a quick fix to boost their Qatar 2022 World Cup hopes, China last year began naturalising a few players who had no family links to the world’s most populous country.

The first was Brazilian-born striker Elkeson, 31, who is now known as Ai Kesen and has played four times for China, scoring three goals. At least two other Brazilians are believed to have been naturalised since.

Oscar has been one of the top players in the Chinese Super League since arriving from Chelsea and topped the assists charts over the past two seasons.

SIPG begin their CSL campaign later Monday against Tianjin Teda at a neutral venue behind closed doors, part of measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus infections.

 

AFP

Oscar-Winning Composer Ennio Morricone Dies At 91

(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 12, 2013 Italian composer Ennio Morricone addresses a press conference for the film “The Best Offer” presented in the Berlinale Special of the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival in Berlin. – Ennio Morricone, one of the world’s best-known and most prolific film composers, has died in Rome, Italian media reported on July 6, 2020. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP)

 

Ennio Morricone, one of the world’s best-known and most prolific film composers, died in Rome on Monday at the age of 91.

He composed the music for about 500 films, including his old childhood friend Sergio Leone’s 1966 spaghetti western “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” for which he won an Oscar in 2016.

Morricone died in hospital where he was being treated for a fractured femur following a fall, according to a statement from a lawyer and family friend.

A statement issued by lawyer and family friend Giorgio Assuma said Morricone “passed away in the early hours of July 6 with the comfort of his faith”.

He remained “fully lucid and with great dignity right until the end,” the statement said.

– ‘Adieu maestro’ –

Tributes began pouring in for the maestro soon after his death was announced.

“We will remember forever and with infinite gratitude the artistic genius of maestro Ennio Morricone,” Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said.

“He made us dream, he moved us and made us think, writing unforgettable notes that will remain forever in the history of music and cinema,” he said on Twitter.

Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza wrote in a tweet: “Adieu maestro, and thank you for the emotions you gave us.”

Gilles Jacob, the former head of the Cannes film festival, described him as the “emperor” of film music.

Born on November 10, 1928, Morricone began composing at the tender age of six, and at just 10 he enrolled in a trumpet school at prestigious Saint-Cecilia conservatory in Rome.

His film career began in 1961, when he was 33, with a collaboration with director Luciano Salce in “Mission Ultra-secrete” before going to gain fame with the score for “A Fistful of Dollars” starring Clint Eastwood in 1964.

Before winning the Oscar for best film score in 2016, the Rome-born son of a trumpeter had been nominated no fewer than five times before the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — embarrassed that such a talent had not been recognised sooner — presented him with a lifetime achievement award in 2007.

Morricone’s previous nominations were for “Days of Heaven” (1978), “The Mission” (1986), “The Untouchables” (1987), “Bugsy” (1991) and “Malena” (2000).

Although he is most closely associated in the public mind with Leone’s westerns starring Eastwood, Morricone’s composition for Roland Joffe’s Jesuit drama “The Mission” is considered by many critics to be his cinematic masterpiece, an epic and eclectic reflection of South America’s musical melting pot.

He also worked with some of cinema’s most filmmakers — after his collaboration with Leone, he worked with Italian screen legends Federico Fellini and Pier Paolo Pasolini and later with the likes of Pedro Almodovar, Bernardo Bertolucci, Brian De Palma and Oliver Stone.

AFP

Lionheart Represents The Way We Speak As Nigerians – Genevieve

Photo: Genevieve Nnaji/Twitter

 

Veteran Nollywood Actress, Genevieve Nnaji has reacted to the disqualification of Lionheart by the 2020 Oscars for the Best International Feature film category.

Lionheart which is Nnaji’s first directorial attempt, after over three decades of acting, was selected as Nigeria’s entry by the Nigerian Oscars Selection Committee (NOSC), only to be disqualified for having too much English language dialogue.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Oscar Entry ‘Lionheart’ Disqualified

Nnaji who took to Twitter to express her position on the recent development said the movie represents the way we speak as Nigerians.

She also took out time to respond to a reaction by Ava Marie DuVernay, an American filmmaker and distributor, who had expressed concern over the reason given by The Oscars for disqualifying Lionheart.

“Thank you so much @ava I am the director of Lionheart. This movie represents the way we speak as Nigerians. This includes English which acts as a bridge between the 500+ languages spoken in our country; thereby making us #OneNigeria. @TheAcademy.”

Mixed Reactions Trail Lionheart’s Disqualification By Oscars

 

The disqualification of Genevieve Nnaji’s directorial debut ‘Lionheart’ by the 2020 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscars) has been generating reactions from social media users across the globe.

The movie, which is Nigeria’s first-ever submission for the Oscars in the Best International Feature film category, was disqualified prior to screening for Academy voters in the international category on Wednesday.

The majority of fans and celebrities have taken different standpoints on the recent development, while some were critical, some made a joke out of the issue which is the most discussed on twitter.

READ ALSO: Lionheart Represents The Way We Speak As Nigerians – Genevieve

Disqualification, An Eye Opener

While some social media users are not taking the disqualification with a pinch of salt, others are calling on Nigerian producers to pay attention to details and do greater works that will eventually go beyond the screening stage.

David Lammy and a few others questioned the chances of Nigerian films from ever making a name at the Oscars owing to English being regarded as the official language of Nigeria.

Celebrities like Victoria Kimani, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu and Victor Asemota were quick to show solidarity and support to Genevieve Nnaji and the entire cast and crew of Lionheart.

The Rule Remains

Some social media users, while lauding the feat Lionheart pulled since its submission and eventual disqualification, explained that the rules are clearly spelled out for the International Feature film category.

A Twitter user, Obed Jefferson posed a question, asking if the Nigerian Oscars Selection Committee (NOSC) who picked ‘Lionheart’, failed to read the criteria before nominating the movie.

Nigerians were asked to stop being ignorant about the disqualification and understand the reasons why.

Oscar Honorees Target Hollywood Gender Equality

Geena Davis, Lina Wertmüller, David Lynch, and Wes Studi attend the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences’ 11th Annual Governors Awards at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center on October 27, 2019 in Hollywood, California. Kevin Winter/Getty Images/AFP

 

Hollywood’s female filmmakers set out plans to achieve gender equality Sunday as actress Geena Davis and director Lina Wertmuller collected honorary Oscars at a star-studded ceremony focused on diversity.

“Thelma and Louise” star Davis told the annual Governors’ Awards in Los Angeles how the feminist road movie had prompted her lifelong campaign for gender balance at the movies.

“It made me realize in a very powerful way how few opportunities we give women to come out of a movie feeling excited and empowered by female characters,” said Davis of “Thelma and Louise.”

Davis, already an Academy Award winner, received the special statuette for her work to highlight the lack of women in films. She founded an institute compiling data on gender bias in 2004.

She called on filmmakers to immediately go back to their ongoing projects and “cross out a bunch of names of ensemble characters and supporting characters and make them female.”

Director and actress Olivia Wilde said Davis “was ahead of the #TimesUp conversation by about 20 years.”

“She really bangs the drum on this issue… She’s the real deal,” Wilde told AFP.

Wertmuller, 91, finally received an honorary Oscar more than four decades after she became the first woman nominated for best director.

She collected the statuette flanked by fellow Italian screen legends Sophia Loren and Isabella Rossellini, who translated Wertmuller’s call for the award to be given a new, more feminine name.

“She would like to call it ‘Anna.’ Women in the room, please scream, ‘We want Anna, a female Oscar!'” said Rossellini.

The origin of the nickname “Oscar” is unclear, but is thought to derive from the statuette’s likeness to a male relative of an early Academy member.

 ‘About time’ 

Stars at the glitzy ceremony in Hollywood’s Ray Dolby Ballroom included Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Quentin Tarantino, Eddie Murphy, Scarlett Johansson and Jennifer Lopez.

“Last of the Mohicans” star Wes Studi became the first Native American actor to receive an Oscar.

“I’d simply like to say — it’s about time,” said Studi, to a raucous ovation. “It’s been a wild and wonderful ride,” he added.

Studi was introduced by Joy Harjo, the first Native American US poet laureate, and actor Christian Bale, who called it a “long overdue moment.”

“Too few opportunities in film, on both sides of the camera, have gone to native or indigenous artists — we are a room full of people who can change that,” said Bale, who starred with Studi in 2017’s “Hostiles.”

The #OscarsSoWhite protests surrounding the 2016 Oscars drew attention to the awards’ diversity issues.

Studi’s award comes almost half a century after Marlon Brando declined his best actor Oscar for “The Godfather” in protest at the movie industry’s treatment of Native Americans.

Canadian indigenous musician Buffy Sainte-Marie shared a best original song Oscar in 1982.

The night kicked off with an honorary Oscar for David Lynch, the surrealist auteur who has been nominated three times for best director but never won.

Regarded as one of the greatest American filmmakers of his generation, Lynch is the enigmatic director of cult classics such as “Blue Velvet” and “Mulholland Drive,” as well as television’s “Twin Peaks.”

He was introduced by Laura Dern and Kyle MacLachlan, who have both acted in several of his films.

The pair paid tribute to Lynch as a “modern Renaissance man.”

“David is a man who dares to invent and to create and challenge himself, every single day,” said Dern.

The honorary Oscars are handed out every year to honor lifetime achievement, and were spun off into a separate event in 2009 to declutter the main show’s packed schedule.

AFP

Comedian Kevin Hart To Host 2019 Oscars

In this file photo taken on August 20, 2018, US actor/ comedian Kevin Hart announced on December 4, 2018, that he would be hosting the 91st Academy Awards in February.
ANGELA WEISS / AFP

US comedian and actor Kevin Hart announced on Tuesday that he would be hosting the 91st Academy Awards in February.

“For years I have been asked if I would ever Host the Oscars and my answer was always the same…,” Hart wrote in an Instagram post. “I said that it would be the opportunity of a lifetime for me as a comedian and that it will happen when it’s supposed to.

“I am so happy to say that the day has finally come for me to host the Oscars.”

The “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” star will be hosting the glitzy event after talk show host Jimmy Kimmel held the gig for two consecutive years.

Hart will be facing pressure to boost audience ratings for the annual show that will be held on February 24 in Hollywood and which had an all-time low of 26.5 million viewers last year, compared to 43 million in 2014.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has said that it was introducing a number of changes to improve viewership, including shortening the show to three hours and handing out some of the awards during commercial breaks.

AFP

Five Things To Watch On Oscars Night

Two people work on the roof over the red carpet during preparations for the 90th annual Academy Awards week, in Hollywood, California, on March 1, 2018.
Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP

 

All eyes will be on the battle for Oscars supremacy between “The Shape of Water” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” on Sunday.

But if there’s one thing previous ceremonies have demonstrated, it’s that it’s a good idea never to expect the expected on Hollywood’s biggest night.

Here are five things to watch for:

– The specter of ‘Envelopegate’ –
It may have been the most embarrassing flub in Oscars history, but don’t expect host Jimmy Kimmel to shy away from mining “Envelopegate” for comedy gold at the Academy’s expense.

The embarrassing mix-up at last year’s show saw the best picture Oscar incorrectly given to musical “La La Land” before the actual winner, coming-of-age drama “Moonlight,” was finally handed the prize.

Accountants for PricewaterhouseCoopers, the firm responsible for tabulating Oscar ballots, had handed Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway the wrong envelope.

Oscar watchers expect the mistake, which made for a chaotic end to the film industry’s biggest night, to be fodder for both Kimmel’s opening monologue and jokes from the presenters.

Best picture photo finish –
“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro’s much-admired Cold War-era fairy tale love story, goes into the Oscars with the most nominations — 13 — compared to just seven for its main rival, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

But Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards,” an early favorite in the prestigious best picture race, has weathered a backlash against its treatment of race issues to launch a late assault on the statuette.

It has regained its status as the narrow frontrunner at odds of 13/10 against 2/1 for “The Shape of Water,” according to awards prediction website Gold Derby.

Every Oscars ceremony serves up some shocks, however, so don’t count out “Get Out,” the third favorite ahead of outsiders “Lady Bird” and “Dunkirk.”

– #MeToo and Time’s Up –
The #MeToo and Time’s Up movements — against sexual misconduct and gender inequality, respectively — have featured prominently in the awards season, inspiring many powerful speeches and turning the red carpet into a sea of symbolic black dresses at the Golden Globes and the Baftas.

While there is no official repeat planned, some actresses have indicated they will again wear black in support of #MeToo on Sunday.

Ryan Seacrest, an Academy Awards mainstay interviewing the rich and famous on the red carpet for E! News, is facing his own backlash following allegations of repeated sexual harassment from a former stylist.

The channel is standing by Seacrest, host of ABC’s “American Idol” and “Live With Kelly and Ryan,” and says he’ll be on the red carpet as usual.

– Oscar rarities and firsts –
Don’t be alarmed if you hear glass ceilings shattering at this year’s Oscars, with numerous breakthroughs to cheer among the nominees.

“Mudbound” director Dee Rees is the first black woman nominated for best adapted screenplay, while her director of photography Rachel Morrison is the first woman to be nominated for best cinematography.

“Mudbound” scored another first, with soul diva Mary J. Blige the first person nominated for acting and best original song in the same film.

Yance Ford (“Strong Island”) is the first openly transgender director ever nominated, and Jordan Peele (“Get Out”) is the first black filmmaker nominated for directing, writing, and producing.

He is also only the fifth black person ever nominated for best director — after John Singleton, Lee Daniels, Steve McQueen and Barry Jenkins — and could be the first to win.

Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”) is the fifth woman in history nominated for best director” and the first to land the nod for a directorial debut.

Other firsts include a superhero film nominated for best adapted screenplay (“Logan”) and the first person over the age of 87 to be nominated for an acting award — Christopher Plummer in “All the Money in the World.”

– Hosting test for Kimmel –
Comedian and late-night host Jimmy Kimmel will preside over the Oscars for the second consecutive time, with critics tuning in to see how he navigates the tricky balancing act of being funny without making light of the #MeToo victims.

Keeping the more than three-hour show — usually the most-watched non-sports telecast each year in the United States — upbeat in a year overshadowed by allegations of sexual assault will also be a tough challenge.

The “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” host was presenting last year when Beatty and Dunaway wrongly gave best picture to “La La Land” instead of rightful winner “Moonlight” after being handed the wrong envelope.

“We were like, we have 10 seconds to say goodbye, we don’t know how long the speech is going to be, and it affects your rating in a very negative way if you go on past midnight,” Kimmel recalled in an interview with news portal AZ Central.

“And then all of a sudden it was like, ‘Forget midnight. This might go on into ‘Good Morning America.'”

Oscar Nominees In Main Categories

Here are the nominees in key categories for the 90th Academy Awards, to be handed out on March 4 in Hollywood.

“The Shape of Water” leads the nominations with 13, followed by “Dunkirk” with eight:

Best picture:

“Call Me By Your Name”

“Darkest Hour”

“Dunkirk”

“Get Out”

“Lady Bird”

“Phantom Thread”

“The Post”

“The Shape of Water”

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Best director:

Christopher Nolan, “Dunkirk”

Jordan Peele, “Get Out”

Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”

Paul Thomas Anderson, “Phantom Thread”

Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”

Best actor:

Timothee Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”

Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”

Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”

Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”

Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

Best actress:

Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”

Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”

Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”

Meryl Streep, “The Post”

Best supporting actor:

Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”

Woody Harrelson, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”

Christopher Plummer, “All the Money in the World”

Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Best supporting actress:

Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”

Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”

Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”

Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”

Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”

Best foreign language film:

“A Fantastic Woman” (Chile)

“The Insult” (Lebanon)

“Loveless” (Russia)

“On Body and Soul” (Hungary)

“The Square” (Sweden)

Best animated feature:

“The Boss Baby”

“The Breadwinner”

“Coco”

“Ferdinand”

“Loving Vincent”

Best documentary feature:

“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail”

“Faces Places”

“Icarus”

“Last Men in Aleppo”

“Strong Island”

Best original screenplay:

“The Big Sick” – Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani

“Get Out” – Jordan Peele

“Lady Bird” – Greta Gerwig

“The Shape of Water” – Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” – Martin McDonagh

Best adapted screenplay:

“Call Me By Your Name” – James Ivory

“The Disaster Artist” – Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber

“Logan” – Scott Frank, James Mangold and Michael Green

“Molly’s Game” – Aaron Sorkin

“Mudbound” – Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

Best original score:

“Dunkirk” – Hans Zimmer

“Phantom Thread” – Jonny Greenwood

“The Shape of Water” – Alexandre Desplat

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” – John Williams

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” – Carter Burwell

Best original song:

“Mighty River” from “Mudbound”

“Mystery of Love” from “Call Me By Your Name”

“Remember Me” from “Coco”

“Stand Up for Something” from “Marshall”

“This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman”

Number of nominations for films with four or more nods:

“The Shape of Water” – 13

“Dunkirk” – 8

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” – 7

“Darkest Hour” – 6

“Phantom Thread” – 6

“Lady Bird” – 5

“Blade Runner 2049” – 5

“Call Me By Your Name” – 4

“Get Out” – 4

“Mudbound” – 4

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” – 4

AFP

Oscar-Winner Haggis Accused Of Abusing Four Women

Paul Haggis, ANGELA WEISS / AFP

Oscar-winning Canadian filmmaker Paul Haggis is now accused of sexual abuse by four women, according to an amended civil suit filed on Friday in New York.

Haggis, who wrote and produced “Crash,” and penned the screenplay for “Million Dollar Baby,” is also known for his high-profile split almost a decade ago from the Church of Scientology.

The allegations against him are the latest in a torrent of accusations made against powerful men that began with the fall of film mogul Harvey Weinstein in October, over numerous accusations including rape.

Three women alleging to be victims of Haggis’s abuse are referred to in the lawsuit amended Friday and initially filed on December 15 at a New York court by a film publicist, Haleigh Breest.

She accused Haggis of abusing and raping her in January 2013 when she was 26.

On the same day Haggis, 64, filed his own action against Breest, denying the accusation and accusing her of seeking “to extract many millions of dollars” from him.

Breest’s lawsuit says that since she filed her claim “three other women have accused Paul Haggis of rape and sexual abuse.”

Those three are identified only as Jane Doe one, two and three.

The first woman, a publicist who worked with Haggis on a television program, alleged that in 1996 he forcefully kissed her before making her perform oral sex and then raping her.

Another woman, who wanted to propose an idea for a show, alleged that she had to flee from his office in 2008 when he kissed her by force.

The third woman, whom Haggis met at a film festival, said she was abused in 2015 when he tried to forcefully kiss her.

According to the law firm of Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady, who are acting for the plaintiff and passed the allegations to AFP, the claims show that Haggis “is a serial predator who has preyed upon women for many years.”

A lawyer for the film-maker, Christine Lepera, did not immediately comment when reached by AFP but in a statement to the Deadline.com website said he “denies these anonymous claims in whole.”

She said that Haggis “views the fact that these reports appear to be spearheaded from the law-firm representing Ms Breest, as a further tactic to try to harm him and continue their effort to obtain money.”

AFP

‘Titanic’ Keeps That Sinking Feeling Alive, 20 Years On

Part saturnine elegy to doomed youth, part exaltation of the transcendent power of love, blockbuster disaster movie “Titanic” is delivering that sinking feeling to a whole new generation of fans.

Tuesday marks two decades since Rose vowed to Jack she’d “never let go” — before spectacularly reneging on her promise, sending her frozen-to-death paramour to a watery grave and leaving “Titaniacs” worldwide sobbing into their popcorn.

The anniversary has been celebrated with screenings across the United States, and audiences are still swooning over the young lovers played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet — now both Oscar winners and Hollywood A-listers.

“The Titanic story itself has a timeless quality. It seems to exist outside our daily lives. As this straight moral lesson, it’s something that fascinates us,” director James Cameron told fans at a Los Angeles screening to mark the milestone.

Winslet’s love-struck socialite and DiCaprio’s artistic drifter were fictionalized characters in a dramatization of the real-life sinking in 1912 of history’s most famous ship after it hit an iceberg on its maiden voyage across the Atlantic.

The film, distributed by Paramount at home and Fox abroad, entered into movie history when it picked up 11 Oscars, including best picture and best director for Cameron.

With a worldwide gross of $2.2 billion, it was the most successful movie ever made until Cameron’s “Avatar” (2009) took $2.8 billion at the box office.

At an intimidating 195 minutes, the movie can feel in parts as long as the voyage on which it is based, but it earned mostly glowing reviews, and the theme song “My Heart Will Go On” became a global success for Celine Dion.

– Five-word pitch –

Cameron, 63, says he sold the idea to Fox executives with “probably the shortest pitch for a major movie in Hollywood history.”

“I whipped open this book and in the center is a beautiful double-truck spread right across both pages of a painting by Ken Marschall, the best artist of the subject of the Titanic,” he recalled.

“It was a beautiful shot of the rocket going off and lighting up the ship, and lifeboats rowing away as it went down in the more sedate, quiet part of the sinking. I said, ‘Romeo and Juliet on that.’ Five words.”

DiCaprio and Winslet — then 21 and 20, respectively — began filming in September 1996, their first scene together the moment in which the actress appears nude for him to paint.

Any awkwardness was short-lived and the pair quickly became close friends, reuniting onscreen a decade later for Sam Mendes’s fraught love story “Revolutionary Road.”

“They really bonded and they were there for each other through a long, difficult, grueling shoot. They were there to support each other,” Cameron said.

– Bloated production –

The epic proportions of the $200 million production, with its 1,000 extras and crew of more than 800, can hardly be overstated.

Cameron had a full scale model of the ill-fated luxury liner constructed on 40 acres of Mexican waterfront bought by Fox, after receiving the blueprints from the original ship builder.

The rooms were meticulously recreated from old photographs, as was RMS Titanic’s first class staircase, mahogany woodwork and gold-plated light fixtures, all of which was destroyed in the sinking scene.

Such was the perceived folly of the bloated production — then the costliest ever — that Variety began a daily “Titanic Watch” column, ridiculing what was expected to be the biggest flop in Hollywood history.

A despondent Cameron kept a razor blade taped to the screen of his video editing equipment with an inscription written in pen: “Use in case film sucks.”

– ‘Rules of gravity didn’t apply’ –

The movie test-screened to rapturous applause in Minneapolis, however, and Cameron was reassured that he’d actually made a decent movie.

It opened with a domestic haul of $28.6 million and was expected to follow the normal pattern for blockbusters, dropping by 40-50 percent in its second weekend.

Instead, it made another $28 million, and $32 million on the third weekend, eventually securing the top spot for 15 consecutive weeks.

“It just went down by like two percent a week and everybody just felt like we were in this alternate universe where the rules of gravity didn’t apply,” said Cameron.

Experts theorized that the numbers were being boosted by groups of young teenage girls watching multiple times, but Cameron believes “Titanic” did so well because the love story appealed across generations.

“With all due respect to Kate and Leo, and they’re both good friends of mine, it’s not Kate and Leo anymore — it’s Jack and Rose,” said Cameron.

“And it will always be Jack and Rose. I guess that’s what I’m proudest of, that we’ve created something that has its own reality, that’s outside of time, and theoretically that could still be enjoyed indefinitely.”

AFP