The It List is Yahoo’s weekly look at the best in pop culture, including movies, music, TV, streaming, games, books, podcasts and more. Here are our picks for June 10-16, including the best deals we could find for each.
Before Keanu Reeves landed the lead in “The Matrix,” the producers had such a hard time finding the right man for the role that they briefly considered a woman — and that woman was Sandra Bullock.Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who fought to get “The Matrix” made at Warner Bros., said the studio insisted on a big name for the Wachowskis’ epic, especially since they had only one prior directing credit prior to their dense, philosophical masterpiece.He said Bullock, who starred alongside Reeves just a few years earlier in 1994’s “Speed,” was one of several A-listers considered for the part, including Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Will Smith.“We went out to so many people I don’t remember. We were getting desperate,” di Bonaventura said. “We went to Sandy Bullock and said ‘We’ll change Neo to a girl.’ [Producer] Joel Silver and I worked with Sandy on ‘Demolition Man’ and she was and continues to be a very good friend of mine. It was pretty simple. We sent her the script to see if she was interested in it. And if she was interested in it we would try to make the change.”Also Read: The Evolution of Sandra Bullock, From 'Speed' to 'Ocean's 8' (Photos)He added: “It just wasn’t something for her at the time. So really it didn’t go anywhere.”Bullock said through a representative that she didn’t recall the specifics of the pitch for “The Matrix,” but that di Bonaventura was always supportive of her career. She added, however, that ultimately the right person was cast.In 2009, she told NBC’s “Today” that she was also considered for the part of Trinity and regretted not taking it. The role famously went to Carrie-Anne Moss, and Bullock told “Today”: “It was sexy and great because of Carrie-Anne and Keanu.”“The Matrix” took years to get off the ground. Studio executives couldn’t visualize the movie from the script, which di Bonaventura went through at least 11 rewrites. But the deeply complex film became a hit, grossing $463.5 million worldwide; spawning two sequels and influencing countless other science fiction films.Things worked out just fine for Reeves, and for Bullock. A year after “The Matrix” was released, Bullock starred in the Warner Bros. comedy “Miss Congeniality,” which grossed $212.7 million worldwide and earned her a Golden Globe nomination for best actress in a comedy.Also Read: Sandra Bullock Says She Considered Leaving Hollywood Over Sexism“The casting process more often than not leads you to the right place,” Di Bonaventura said.But the process was long.“The first movie star who says yes is Brad Pitt, he’s doing ‘Seven Years in Tibet’ and then he’s coming out of it and he’s like ‘I’m way too exhausted to take this on,’ so he’s gone,” di Bonaventura said. “Then we go to Leonardo [DiCaprio]. He says yes, we have meetings with him and then he goes, ‘You know, I can’t go do another visual effects movie having just finished ‘Titanic,” and he drops out. Then Will Smith joins it and he drops out.”Will Smith addressed his short-lived involvement with “The Matrix” on his YouTube channel back in February.“They came in and they made a pitch for ‘The Matrix’ and, as it turns out, they’re geniuses,” Smith said of his meeting with the Wachowskis. “But there’s a fine line in a pitch meeting between genius and what I experienced in the meeting.”Also Read: Will Smith Explains Why He Turned Down 'The Matrix' to Star in 'Wild Wild West' Instead (Video)He said he was confused by the pitch, but agreed that Reeves was the right star for the role.“Keanu [Reeves] was perfect. Laurence Fishburne was perfect,” Smith said. “If I had done it then Morpheus wouldn’t have been black, because they were looking at Val Kilmer.”Di Bonaventura said the producers not only looked to Kilmer, but several others: “We went to Arnold Scwarzeneger hoping he’d say yes for Morpheus. We to Michael Douglas for Morpheus.”“Along the way we realized how hard it was what we were doing. Here were these young guys who had done one movie, and they were going to direct this very hard-to-understand script,” he continued. “The good news was, Keanu said yes and he was awesome.”But even then, Di Bonaventura told TheWrap, his bosses at Warner Bros. were uncomfortable green-lighting the film with Reeves as Neo.That began to change, Di Bonaventura said, when he landed additional financing to ease the studio’s risk and the film added Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus, Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith, and Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity.“I don’t think I would change anything. The bigger the star, the more likely the studio was to say yes. So we started with the very biggest and got to Keanu and he gave us the momentum,” di Bonaventura said. “The truth is, that movie rises or falls on those four.”Read original story ‘The Matrix’ Wanted Sandra Bullock as Neo Before Keanu Reeves Took the Role At TheWrap
Netflix has removed news reel footage of a 2013 rail disaster which features in the movie Bird Box, but only two months after complaints from viewers.
George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Robert de Niro have joined a growing protest in Hollywood over plans by Oscars organisers to present cinematography, editing and some other awards during commercial breaks at next week's Academy Awards ceremony. Sandra Bullock, Emma Stone and Jon Hamm also added their names to an open letter signed by directors Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee and Alfonso Cuaron demanding the decision be reversed. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced earlier this week that the Oscars for best cinematography, film editing, short films and makeup/hairstyling would be presented during the commercials in the telecast on February 24. The academy said edited versions of the winner acceptance speeches would be included later in the live broadcast. The plan is part of an effort to make the Oscar telecast shorter and boost television viewership. A total of 24 Oscars are handed out at the Hollywood ceremony. Organisers have pledged to trim its duration by about 40 minutes to three hours this year. But the open letter, signed by more than 50 directors, actors and filmmakers, accused the academy of "relegating these essential crafts to lesser status" and insulting the professionals who work in the four areas. The academy on Wednesday defended the changes, blaming "inaccurate reporting and social media posts" that it said had "understandably upset many Academy members." Some news reports suggested that the winners of the four Oscars would not be included at all on the Oscars telecast. In a letter to its 8,000 members, the academy said representatives of the four branches affected had volunteered to take part in the new plan. "No award category at the 91st Oscars ceremony will be presented in a manner that depicts the achievements of its nominees and winners as less than any others," the academy letter said. The changes were also attacked on Twitter by the likes of Cuaron, who is Oscar-nominated for both cinematography and directing his best-picture contender, Roma. "In the history of CINEMA, masterpieces have existed without sound, without color, without a story, without actors and without music. No one single film has ever existed without CINEMAtography and without editing," the Mexican filmmaker tweeted.
While scrolling through celebrity Instagram accounts for beauty inspiration, we noticed that a few dark-haired actresses have recently gotten winter hair-color makeovers. Priyanka Chopra , Sandra Bullock and Allison Williams have lightened their locks for a brunette balayage look. Shah Karegar , the man behind Chopra’s new hue and hair colorist at the Benjamin salon in West Hollywood , tells Yahoo Lifestyle that his client had “been rocking the rich, espresso brown for a while now.” But like most women, she ushered in the new year with a “new look and vibe.” Whether you’re blond or brunette, Karegar uses this painterly hair-color technique because it “can really soften up the complexion.” When clients sit down in Cutler Salon colorist Amanda Roberts ‘s chair for balayage, she says that this is a “super-subtle way” to introduce them to “more dimension without a lot of maintenance.” Butterfly Studio Salon colorist Min Kim also points out that “brunette balayage is great because there’s not much sunlight in the winter, so women don’t have to worry about increased brassiness.” Flattering on different skin tones and the upkeep is minimal — what’s not to love about winter’s hottest hair-color trend? If you do decide to give brunette balayage a go, these professionals have tips you should definitely keep in mind. Skip the at-home hair color, and trust your colorist. Even though Karegar likes it when women take risks and change up their looks, he isn’t a fan of DIY hair-dye kits . “Please trust your colorist and let them do it for you,” he says. Roberts agrees, noting that “most women will already have previous color on their hair, so it’s hard to break through that underlying color with box dye.” She strongly suggests making an appointment at the salon for a test strand rather than going the do-it-yourself route at home. And, most important, Kim says to be honest with your colorist. “A lot of times clients don’t tell you everything they’ve done. There have been times I am in the middle of a highlight and see something is weird happening to the hair or the color is taking the strands properly, etc. Be honest about color history, so your stylist is able to properly provide you with a healthy journey to brunette balayage that doesn’t cause damage.” Use shampoos and conditioners specifically for color-treated hair. Sticking to hair care products that are formulated especially for hair that’s dyed is key to maintaining the strength of your strands, according to Kim. She recommends drugstore finds like L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil Nourishing Shampoo and Kérastase Reflection Masque Chromatique Hair Mask because they contain ingredients that are nonstripping and keep hair shiny and moisturized. Roberts vouches for leave-in conditioners — an often-forgotten product — to help protect your hair color from any heat or UV damage. And both she and Karegar advise using Olaplex , so hair doesn’t “become compromised after a lightening treatment.” Invest in really good hot tools. “Overstyling your hair with a bad flatiron, curling irons, etc … over time hair can become dehydrated and your color could lose its shine and vibrancy,” says Karegar. We’d like to add: Be sure you keep your hot tools clean. Product buildup from oils can sabotage the efficacy of a flatiron, curling iron or blow dryer, or worse, result in your burning off strands. And no one wants that! The editors at Yahoo Lifestyle are committed to finding you the best products at the best prices. At times, we may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle: • Here’s what 17 women look like before and after balayage • Priyanka Chopra Ditched Her Blond Highlights for a Warm Winter Look • Priyanka Chopra Jonas Wore $50 Jeans With a $3,100 Bag Follow us on Instagram , Facebook and Twitter for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.