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Week in Review: Vin Diesel assures ‘Furious 7’ will win Best Picture

Furious7

Don’t you hate that each year Awards Season seems to creep ever earlier in the calendar year? GOD! Can’t you just go one film festival without speculating whether it will be an Oscar contender, or whether it has the legs to survive such an increasingly long awards season? Geez, I can’t imagine why so many Sundance movies struggle to make a lasting impact over a year later when conversations beating it into the ground start this early!

What movie are we talking about again? Furious 7? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha ah ah ha.

Wait, really? And you’re telling me it’s over? Pack it up, we’re going home? The race is completely in the bag? This Best Picture race was done before it started? It would be like if Meryl Streep starred as Jesus and was wrongly trapped as a slave for 12 years? Except it’s Furious 7 and it stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson? Who says? Vin Diesel? Oh, well, sure. Why didn’t you say so?

Turns out Vin Diesel truly does believe that Furious 7 will in fact win Best Picture, as well as sweep the Oscars in general. In an interview with Variety, he used all of his acting powers to assure readers just how serious he was:

“Universal is going to have the biggest movie in history with this movie,” Diesel said in a lengthy interview with Variety for this week’s cover story. “It will probably win best picture at the Oscars, unless the Oscars don’t want to be relevant ever.”

Diesel took a breath, before offering his prediction for a second time. “This will win best picture,” Diesel said. “There is nothing that will ever come close to the power of this thing.”

He went on to add that people are underestimating the emotional gravity they brought to this seventh film, a franchise so powerful they foresee it getting at least three more movies, even though this is totally “one last ride”. “What the world won’t anticipate is how emotionally powerful the movie is,” Diesel said. “The head of the studio, Ron Meyer, often said when Fast 5 or Fast 6 came out, ‘If there was no number attached to these movies, they would be contenders for best picture.’ And when people see Furious 7, they are going to agree.”

Variety then made the mistake of kind of taking Diesel seriously. I mean, after all, the Oscars can nominate up to 10 movies now. Anything can get in! And it wasn’t like they recognized Lord of the Rings until that franchise was done, so no better time than the present. And having Paul Walker as a posthumous performer always gives points in Oscar voters’ books.

So yes: Furious 7 will win Best Picture. Please now disregard all controversy and punditry bound to happen between September and February.

Of course there was some real Oscar news this week. Craig Zaden and Neil Maron, the Oscar producers for the past three years of the ceremony, will officially not be returning in 2016 for next year’s ceremony, Deadline reported. This week the Governor’s Board for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences met, and while it was speculated that they would be leading a charge to return to just five Best Picture nominees, it’s likely this ended up being the item on the discussion table. This year’s broadcast brought in lukewarm reviews for Neil Patrick Harris and even sadder ratings, so it goes without saying it’s time for a change.

This week a new teaser for the Sundance hit Dope was released. The indie darling starring The Grand Budapest Hotel‘s Tony Revolori sparked a bidding war that resulted in a record breaking purchase of $15 million. You can watch the new teaser above, and read our Sundance review here. But The Film Stage is reporting that before the film is released on June 19, it will be re-edited to about 10 minutes shy of its original run time.

The Hollywood Reporter has word that Julia Louis-Dreyfus is circling an American remake of the Swedish Cannes hit and Oscar snub Force Majeure. Ruben Ostlund’s film is a dark comedy about a family rattled by an avalanche scare, and it’s a gem. An American remake is an absolute perfect idea, and though lots of strong comedic actresses could play the female lead with enough dramatic heft, I can’t think of any who would be a better fit than Louis-Dreyfus. There’s no word yet on a director, writer or even a male-lead, and while THR mentioned her Enough Said co-star James Gandolfini would’ve made for a strong candidate, TOH! put forward Alec Baldwin, Jon Hamm, Jason Sudeikis, or Ed Helms.

In casting news, Idris Elba is in talks to play the villain in Star Trek 3. Ben Mendelsohn is rumored for a role in Star Wars spinoff Rogue One. Charlotte Gainsbourg and Vivica A. Fox have both joined Independence Day 2. And Tom Ford’s just announced Nocturnal Animals is already attracting Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Joaquin Phoenix, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

Also making news:

  • Netflix has picked up a stand-up special from Rush Hour‘s Chris Tucker. It will be the comedian’s first full length special, called Chris Tucker Live, and will premiere July 10.
  • Sam Taylor-Johnson, director of Fifty Shades of Gray, won’t be back to direct the sequel.
  • Max Landis (Chronicle) shared his treatment idea for Ghostbusters 3.
  • George R.R. Martin explained that he can enjoy something just fine even if he knows how it ends, and doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about spoilers.

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