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The US premiere of “Stronger,” the movie about Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman, will not be held in a fancy theater in New York, Los Angeles, or even in Boston. Instead, the much-anticipated movie starring Oscar nominee Jake Gyllenhaal will screen first, on Sept. 12, at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown, where Bauman and 31 others injured in the bombings were treated.

“It’s important for us to be in that space,” says “Stronger” director David Gordon Green.

The movie, which arrives in theaters Sept. 22, is the second big-budget Hollywood film about the events of April 15, 2013, when two bombs detonated near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and wounding more than 260. Bauman, who was there to greet his then-girlfriend, lost both of his legs in one of the blasts.

“Patriots Day,” which came out last?winter, starred Mark Wahlberg as a Boston police officer and focused primarily on the bombings and the subsequent search for those responsible.

“Stronger,” based on Bauman’s book of the same name, is a very different sort of film. Green, whose diverse credits include the acclaimed teen drama “George Washington” and the stoner comedy “Pineapple Express,” said “Stronger” is a character piece, a discreet story set against the backdrop of a major news event.

“It’s the intimate architecture set within an epic framework,” Green said Friday. “We’re all familiar with the headlines, but this is particular to a relationship affected by the events of that day. When you get to know Jeff and Erin [Hurley, Bauman’s then-girlfriend], and his family members, there’s great drama and struggle and triumph and humor.

“For the audience, it’s very valuable to see these characters in a relatable way.”

In the interest of authenticity, Green said many of the real-life people who treated and worked with Bauman — including nurses, the surgeon, physical therapists, and the prosthetic team — play themselves in “Stronger.”

“This was a story we didn’t want to embellish with too much Hollywood glitz and glamour,” he said. “For example, when we were talking with the prosthetic technicians, they were speaking in a technical language I’m not familiar with, and it was a struggle to imagine how I could re-create that with actors.”

In addition to Gyllenhaal, who earned a best supporting actor nod for?his performance in “Brokeback Mountain,” “Stronger” costars “Orphan Black” actress Tatiana Maslany as Erin and Miranda Richardson as Bauman’s mother, Patty. (Gyllenhaal, Maslany, and Green are all expected to attend the premiere.)

Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital opened its new Charlestown facility just 12 days after the Boston Marathon bombings, and 16 of the 32 blast victims who were treated there had amputations.

“We opened the doors of the new hospital just in time and we wound up seeing the most catastrophically injured people,” says David Storto, president of Spaulding Rehabilitation Network. “For all the wrong reasons, this event provided an opportunity for the public at large to understand disability issues and rehab medicine, which are not commonly understood and appreciated as other medical sub specialties are.”

“Stronger” was partially filmed at Spaulding, including in the gym where the Sept 12. screening will be held. Before agreeing to host the premiere, Storto said the hospital needed to make sure that patients will be able to receive the therapy they need elsewhere at Spaulding.

“[The gym] is an inspirational space for patients to do their therapy and I think there will be nice synergy to see Jeff’s story there,” Storto said.

Green is likewise excited.

“We’ve designed what I hope will be a unique experience to show Boston what we’ve made,” the director said. “We’re taking something nontraditional and exhibiting it in a nontraditional way.”
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Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions have set an awards-season release date of Sept. 22 for Jake Gyllenhaal’s Boston Marathon bombing movie “Stronger.”

Gyllenhaal stars as Jeff Bauman, while Tatiana Maslany plays his girlfriend Erin Hurley, in a story about love triumphing over adversity. Clancy Brown (“Hail, Caesar!”) portrays Bauman’s father and Miranda Richardson plays his mother Patty Bauman.

The film is a production of Lionsgate’s Summit Entertainment label, Mandeville Films, Bold Films, and Nine Stories. It’s Gyllenhaal’s first production under his Nine Stories banner.

Inspired by a true story and based on the New York Times bestseller by Bauman and Bret Witter, the film stars Gyllenhaal as the working-class Boston man whose iconic photo from the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing gained worldwide notice.

Bauman was waiting for his girlfriend at the finish line of the marathon when two pressure-cooker bombs exploded, killing three people and injuring more than 260 others. When Bauman awoke the next day after surgeries and realized he could not speak. He asked for a pad and paper, and wrote: “Saw the guy. Looked right at me.”

That set off a massive manhunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was convicted of the murders last year. The book, published in 2014, also describes Bauman’s attempts to walk again and face his new circumstances with grace.

The movie is directed by David Gordon Green from a screenplay written by Boston local John Pollono. Producers are Todd Lieberman & David Hoberman (“The Fighter”), Gyllenhaal, Scott Silver, and Michel Litvak (“Whiplash”). Executive producers are Riva Marker, Peter McGuigan, Anthony Mattero, Gary Michael Walters, Jeffrey Stott, and Nicolas Stern.

This marks the second Lionsgate movie about the Boston Marathon bombing — “Patriots Day,” co-financed with CBS Films and starring Mark Wahlberg, was released late last year. The news about “Stronger” was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.
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Sci-fi series “Orphan Black” will air its farewell season this summer. On Friday, the production company behind the show, Boat Rocker Media, is launching a mobile game to kindle excitement among Clone Club fans leading up to the series finale — and its creators believe the app will have a life that extends well beyond the TV run.

“Orphan Black: The Game” is a turn-based adventure puzzle game retelling key plots points from seasons 1-4 in the form of what Boat Rocker calls “fever-dream worlds” with a nightmarish art style. Players control the clone sestras (played in the show by Tatiana Maslany) as they fight enemies, avoid traps and solve riddles. The game launches Friday, March 24, priced at $4.99 (U.S.) in Apple’s iTunes App Store. Initially, it’s available only for iOS.

“It was important that there was a mystery, conspiracy feel to the game,” John Fawcett, who co-created “Orphan Black” with Graeme Manson, said in an interview. “That really locks into the theme of the show.”

The game features virtually all the clone sisters — Sarah, Cosima, Alison, Helena, Rachel, Beth, MK, Katja, Tony and Krystal — with more than 80 levels across 10 different worlds. Unlike the TV show, “Orphan Black: The Game” presents the storylines in a chronological fashion. Fawcett noted that in the game, the story begins with a prologue of events that happen before season 1 even starts, with “MK leading us in the forest to Beth.” (The show’s fans, we presume, will understand what he’s talking about.)

Maslany, who won the 2016 Emmy for best actress in a drama series for “Orphan Black,” provided voiceovers for the game. That includes a signature line she delivers when players reach the end of each world, said Bryce Hunter, senior VP of Boat Rocker Digital. “The grunts and death sounds are her voice as well,” he said.

The game also includes a variety of Easter eggs, including a secret world that players can uncover at the end. But the Boat Rocker guys refused to spill the beans on any of that.

Hunter said the company started assembling a team to develop the game in 2014, and began production on “Orphan Black: The Game” last year. Why hasn’t the studio produced a game for the show until now? After all, given the dystopian-tech vibe of the TV show, a game is a natural fit. Most of the clones don’t know about their sisters when the story starts, and as the show unfolds they’re forced to fight the forces behind the mysterious experiment as they race to solve the ultimate explanation for their existence.

“There were logistical hoops,” Hunter said. “We brought in a very focused, experienced team to dive into the world of ‘Orphan Black.’” Developers tested about 10 different gameplay types to make sure it would fit with the feel of the show and meet fan expectations. “Orphan Black: The Game” uses Unity Technologies’ game engine.

Fawcett, who spoke to Variety during a break in shooting this week for the series finale, said Boat Rocker is readying the launch of other projects related to the show, including a comic-book series at the end of March. “We’re hoping get fans champing at the bit to see season 5,” Fawcett said.

The fifth and final season premieres June 10, on BBC America in the U.S. and Canada’s Space network. “Orphan Black” is produced by Boat Rocker Studios’ Temple Street division in association with BBC America and Bell Media’s Space.

Fawcett said the last season spends a lot of time on Neolution Island and on the clones’ attempts to dismantle the Neolutionist patriarchy. “It’s been a crazy, crazy experience for us – every other day there’s been another main character wrapping, never to be seen again,” he said. “Our wrap party felt more like a funeral than a celebration.” For Fawcett, the most difficult character to bid goodbye to was Allison Hendrix, the suburban housewife, whom he said was probably his favorite of the clones.

On Wednesday, BBC America released a few cryptic details of what’s coming in season 5. Here’s the teaser: “This season, the walls close in on Sarah when nearly all her sestras and their allies are brought to heel by Rachel. Even more harrowing is that her daughter Kira has joined them. With the threat of Neolution having carte-blanche access to clone biology, Sarah is desperate to gain control, but realizes she must change tactics to pursue a long game. Protecting both her families, and the host of clones she’s yet to meet, Sarah and those still fighting the fight will uncover the missing pieces of the insidious conspiracy – and finally learn the story behind their origin. Despite the great risk, the fight of her life will either set her and her sestras free, or see them meet their end.”

At launch, “Orphan Black: The Game” will incorporate plot points and characters from the first four seasons, and Boat Rocker expects to introduce season 5 level packs later. As for why the company is launching it as a premium game, Hunter said that fans overwhelming preferred that model instead of it being a free-to-play game with in-app purchases.
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Watch the teaser trailer for “Orphan Black: The Game”:


The networks presenting Planet Earth II are taking audience targeting to a new level.

AMC, SundanceTV and BBC America — owned or operated by AMC Networks — will simulcast Saturday’s premiere of Planet Earth II (9 ET/PT), a six-part event “celebrating the planet, its creatures and the universal stories that unite and transcend,” according to network executives.

The remaining five episodes of the nature series, the follow-up to the renowned 2006 series, will run Saturdays at 9 ET/PT on BBC America.
To personalize promotion for the different networks, three different versions of a new trailer, made available exclusively to USA TODAY, are narrated by a star associated with each network.

Tom Hiddleston, who won a Golden Globe for AMC’s The Night Manager, narrates the AMC version. Oscar winner Robert Redford, the famed Sundance Kid, provides the voiceover on SundanceTV, which he founded, and Tatiana Maslany, an Emmy winner for BBC America’s Orphan Black, is the narrator for the trailer playing on that network.

The nature series, put together from 2,089 shooting days across 117 filming trips in 40 countries, is narrated by Sir David Attenborough.
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Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany, Schitt’s Creek leads Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara and Daniel Levy, and Sons of Anarchy alumnus Kim Coates will be among the presenters at this year’s Canadian Screen Awards.

Staged in Toronto on March 12, the awards honour the best in Canadian TV, film and digital media.

This year’s host will be comedian and America’s Got Talent judge Howie Mandel.

Other presenters are set to include:

Oscar-nominated director Atom Egoyan.
CBC satirist Rick Mercer.
Big Brother Canada host Arisa Cox.
Kim’s Convenience co-stars Jean Yoon and Paul Sun-Hyung Lee.
Comedian Sean Cullen.
Actors Wendy Crewson, Catherine Reitman and Stephan James.

Toronto singer Francesco Yates is lined up for a musical performance. The show will air on CBC-TV.
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Prepare your goodbyes, sestras: Orphan Black‘s final season has a premiere date.

BBC America announced Tuesday the sci-fi drama’s fifth season will launch on Saturday, June 10 at 10 p.m. ET.

Additionally, BBC America revealed Tatiana Maslany, who won her first Emmy for fronting the show as several Leda clones in September, will join the full cast for a panel discussion at PaleyFest on Thursday, March 23 in Los Angeles. Jordan Gavaris (Felix), Maria Doyle Kennedy (Mrs. S), Kristian Bruun (Donnie), Kevin Hanchard (Detective Art Bell), Evelyne Brochu (Delphine), Ari Millen (Ira and Castor clones), and Maslany’s acting double, Kathryn Alexandre, will appear alongside the actress, as will series co-creator and writer, Graeme Manson.

Last June, the network confirmed the cult hit would conclude with season 5.

“We are excited to deliver an epic conclusion to the tale of Sarah and her clone sisters,” co-creators John Fawcett and Manson previously said in a joint statement. “The past four seasons have been a phenomenal adventure and we are eternally grateful to our loyal fans who have loved the twists and thrills of our weird little show. We are thankful to our partners at Temple Street, and to BBC America and Space for their support and giving us the opportunity to end on a high.”

Since premiering on BBC America in 2013, the program has aired 40 episodes and has garnered significant critical and industry praise, earning major nominations at the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and the GLAAD Media Awards in addition to Maslany’s Emmy victory.

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The Women’s March movement can count the Clone Club among its supporters, according to Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany.

The Canadian actress posted several photos of herself in character on Instagram on Tuesday, along with the caption, “Some gals who wished they could’ve been at the #womensmarch and whose [hearts] are on fire for all those who were. #thefutureisfemale #cloneclub.”

The Emmy winner included photos of herself in character as scientist Cosima, former assassin Helena, and soccer mom-turned-criminal Alison — a handful of the 11 different clones the actress has played on the hit BBC series, which prominently features feminist themes.

The Instagram post follows a slew of social media updates from Maslany in support of the Women’s March on Washington and its sister marches around the globe on Saturday, the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration. On Saturday, Maslany posted an Instagram video from the Women’s March in Toronto, Canada. “My heart is pounding seeing all the beautiful images of protest and solidarity from around the world,” she wrote. She also tweeted, “Sending love solidarity strength to everyone across the world marching for human rights!!!”

 

More than 3 million women in the U.S. alone marched in support of the rights of women, people of color, and marginalized communities.

 

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“The Other Half,” the indie drama that premiered at SXSW last year, has been picked up by distributor Brainstorm Media for release in U.S. theaters in March. Director and writer Joey Klein’s love story earned a strong review from Variety in its festival bow in 2016.

The storyline centers on a grieving young man, played by Tom Cullen (“Downton Abbey”), and his budding relationship with Emily, an artist depicted by “Orphan Black” star and Emmy winner Tatiana Maslany. Over the course of the film, Emily’s bipolar disorder brings trauma and tension to the already-precarious union.

“This film was a standout for us at SXSW, with such beautiful and intimate performances,” said Brainstorm Media president Meyer Shwarzstein. The distribution company will coordinate the U.S. release in theaters and on video-on-demand, both set for March 10.

Jonathan Bronfman from JoBro Productions and Nicole Hilliard-Forde and Joey Klein from Motel Pictures produced the film while JayJay Firestone, CEO of Prodigy Pictures, executive produced. Cullen and Maslany are also on the film’s team of executive producers.



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