And you can’t underestimate the value of skillful campaigning in helping an awards candidate that might otherwise be overlooked rise instead to the top of the screener pile.Take “Lion,” for instance. Look at “Deadpool.”Fox didn’t have to spend a dime to promote it to awards voters; why bother, when the superhero spoof is already hugely profitable and long out of theaters. And like everyone else, we’ll find out at home. So it looks like Ryan Reynolds is paying for the movie’s modest campaign out of his own pocket. It’s a little indie drama from the Weinstein Company that’s made just $14 million in eight weeks of release. (The others went to Damien Chazelle for “La La Land,” Barry Jenkins for “Moonlight,” Kenneth Lonergan for “Manchester by the Sea,” and Denis Villeneuve for “Arrival.”)The DGA nods are one of the most reliable predictors of Oscar success, not just in the directing category, but also in Best Picture. 24. Posted January 19, 2017 by Gary SusmanForget #OscarsSoWhite. (After all, an Oscar nomination is worth more at the box office than a win, since it comes six weeks earlier in a movie’s theatrical run, so scoring nominations is what awards publicists get paid to do.)So for Sargent and her fellow campaigners to make do without the informal announcement ceremony is to give up the publicist version of the actual Oscars. For the first time in recent memory, the Globes were handed out early enough to have an impact, but how much were they going to change the momentum in a race where Globe favorites “La La Land,” “Manchester by the Sea,” and “Moonlight” were already the frontrunners?Guess we’ll find out when the Academy streams its nominations next Tuesday. Nonetheless, the Merc with the Mouth has earned more precursor awards and nominations — including the Globes, the Producers Guild, the Writers Guild, and the American Cinema Editors — than such Oscar-bait movies as “Silence,” “Jackie,” or “Sully.” If “Deadpool” makes it into the Best Picture category ahead of any of those movies, it won’t be for lack of campaigning on their part.It’s anyone’s guess, really, how much this week’s guild nominations influenced Oscar voters, who had to file their nomination ballots last Friday. Besides “Lion,” the ASC nominated the cinematographers behind “Arrival,” “La La Land,” “Moonlight,” and “Silence,” but since the ASC winner has gone on to take the Oscar only about a third of the time, the award isn’t a good predictor of how the Academy will vote.The Costume Designers Guild nominated 15 movies this week (in three categories: period, contemporary, and fantasy), but since Oscar voters almost always prefer period costumes, “Florence Foster Jenkins” and “Jackie” may be the only CDG nominees that matter.And then there’s last week’s Golden Globes. The awards group said it was scrapping its traditional pre-dawn live announcement in favor of a taped video that will stream online (still at the same ungodly hour) and air on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”You’d think publicists, who used to gather at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theatre for the wee-hours ceremony, would be thrilled about not having to drive across Los Angeles while they’re half asleep in order to learn whether the movies they mounted awards campaigns for got nominated. But Harvey Weinstein is a master at turning such films into trophy magnets, and his campaign team has scored some real coups this season: Four Golden Globe nominations, including Best Drama (and perhaps more important, a podium appearance by adorable eight-year-old “Lion” star Sunny Pawar that was a highlight of the Globe broadcast), and several award nominations from Hollywood’s professional guilds.It also earned a nod last week from the American Society of Cinematographers for Greig Fraser’s camerawork, and, in the week’s biggest upset, it earned director Garth Davis, a relatively unknown and unseasoned Australian filmmaker, one of five coveted slots in the Directors Guild Award nominations. So the fact that Davis made it instead of, say, Martin Scorsese (“Silence”), Denzel Washington (“Fences”), David Mackenzie (“Hell or High Water”), or Mel Gibson (“Hacksaw Ridge”) means we now have to take “Lion” seriously as a contender for Oscar’s top prize — more seriously, even, than “Fences” or “Hacksaw Ridge.”True, some unlikely movies prevail even without much campaigning. The campaigners don’t actually make the movies, so for publicists to gripe that they’re being denied a ceremony celebrating their role in shepherding the films toward awards-podium glory makes them sound like roosters seeking credit for the sunrise.Still, it’s not like the Academy can afford to alienate anybody right now, including a profession that includes several Academy voters. The live nominations announcement, she said, is where Oscar campaigners traditionally convene and congratulate one another on the hard work involved in orchestrating voter screenings, DVD mailings, and “For Your Consideration” ads in the trade papers.Now, if you’re a normal person living outside Hollywood, such complaints may strike you as narcissistic. There’s a new marginalized group of industry professionals complaining that the Academy is shutting them out: publicists.The outrage among film flacks began Friday, when the Academy announced a change in the way it will reveal the Oscar nominees on Jan. But no.One disappointed publicist, Dorothea Sargent, wrote a column for the Hollywood Reporter, noting that, for her and her peers, the real honor really is in just getting nominated.

To this day, we always channel our inner Dionne whenever we accidentally get on the freeway, which is basically all the time.These are the 14 reasons no movie BFF will ever top Queen Dionne. Posted January 19, 2017 by Rachel HornerIt doesn’t get sassier or more stylish than Dionne (Stacey Dash). Without her, “Clueless” would’ve been missing our ultimate spirit animal (no offense, Cher).

Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, and Tracy Morgan Will Play Camels in “The Star”
A version of The Greatest Story Ever Told from the point of view of the animals, “The Star” features Steven Yeun (“The Walking Dead”) as Bo, a donkey inspired to follow the Star of Bethlehem.He’s joined by a sheep (“SNL” star Aidy Bryant) and Dave the Dove (Keegan-Michael Key). There’s also Anthony Anderson as the paranoid goat, Zach, with Gina Rodriguez as Mary and Zachary Levi as Joseph.Producer DeVon Franklin and director Timothy Reckart said nearly everyone they asked on their “dream cast” list said “yes.” And, of course, choosing “Jane the Virgin” star Rodriguez as Mary was “obvious casting.”9. Set Sail for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Vivo” in 2020
It’s a long way away, but we do know that the musical, with songs penned by “Hamilton” star
Lin-Manuel Miranda, will take us on a journey from Havana to Miami, Sony Animation President Kristine Belson promised.Academy Award-nominated director Kirk De Micco (“The Croods”) will direct from a script by Pulitzer Prize winner Quiara Alegría Hudes (“In the Heights’). Posted January 19, 2017 by Sharon KnolleSony Animation is doubling down on emojis and Smurfs.At a recent event in Culver City, California, where Sony highlighted their upcoming animated slate, we learned a lot about “The Emoji Movie,” “Smurfs: The Lost Village,” a holiday movie featuring a donkey who follows the Star of Bethlehem, “Hotel Transylvania 3,” and the upcoming movie written by “Hamilton” star Lin-Manuel Miranda.Here is a quick recap: 1. Emojis Have Feelings, Too
The film was enthusiastically introduced by T.J. Julia Roberts Gets to Be a SmurfNews alert: Smurfette is no longer the only female Smurf!The blue heroine finds that she has Smurf sisters who are part of a lost Smurf village. That bubbly character is voiced by Ellie Kemper, while Ariel Winter is the more practical Lily and Michelle Rodriguez is the tougher Storm.And is there someone for Papa Smurf (Mandy Patinkin)? Captain Picard himself, Sir Patrick Stewart, will lend his voice talents to “The Emoji Movie,” playing fecal matter. The character originated as a throwaway joke that made it into the film and quickly became everyone’s favorite.8. They do so by surfing along Spotify songs, going inside Instagram vacation photos, and getting trapped in (naturally) YouTube cat videos.4. The director also says that “WTF?!” is the first reaction he gets from people when told there is an emoji movie happening.2. The Emojis Pull a “Wreck-It-Ralph’ and Journey Outside Their App
In order to reset Gene to factory standards, he and BFF James Corden (High Five), go outside their app with hacker emoji Jailbreak (Ilana Glazer). Joe Manganiello Was a Big Smurfs Fan
Manganiello, who voices the he-man Smurf, Hefty, admitted he was a big fan of the little blue guys as a kid — he even had the stickers!Meanwhile, costar Demi Lovato made everyone feel old by admitting she did her research on the Smurfs by “asking my parents.”5. He seems quite smitten with Smurfwillow (Julia Roberts), the female matriarch of these strange Smurfs. Tables? Rainn Wilson voices the evil Gargamel.Gordon Ramsay cameos as a quick-tempered Baker Chef (a-doy!) and Titus Burgess voices Vanity Smurf.6. Miller, the voice of main character, Gene, who’s supposed to be a “Meh” emoji like Mom (Jennifer Coolidge) and Dad (a brilliantly cast Steven Wright), but instead feels all the feels.That threatens all the other emojis, who might get deleted if one of them malfunctions. Much like The Powerpuff Girls, there are three and one is named Blossom. Because That’s a Thing
Asbury also revealed that a Smurf who just can’t stop eating wooden tables will appear. “Hotel Transylvania 3” Almost Didn’t Happen Director Genndy Tartakovskyadmitted that he wasn’t sure he’d make a third film in the series, until a terrible cruise with his own family inspired him to make a threequel.Onboard, Dracula (Adam Sandler) falls for captain Ericka (whose casting was not announced), a descendant of Van Helsing!10. The Smurfs Will Return to Their Original Look
Director Kelly Asbury was determined that this new version of the beloved blue mushroom-dwellers would look more like the original drawings by Peyo, and not the more “realistic” Smurfs of recent films.7. Get Ready for “Puppy”
Tartakovsky’s new animated short, in which Grandpa Drac gets a monstrously oversized puppy for grandson Dennis, will debut in front of “The Emoji Movie” in August.11. Sir Patrick Stewart Will Voice a “Classy” Poop
Yup. Hey, he’s wearing a bow tie!Naturally, there will be plenty of poop jokes says director Tony Leondis. The rest of the all-star voice cast includes Jack McBrayer as Clumsy and Danny Pudi as Brainy. Maya Rudolph voices Smiler (the very first emoji, whose job is to keep all the other emojis in line).3. Say Hello to a Smurf That Eats…

I meant “Will and Grace” (Typo)
— Steve Carell (@SteveCarell) January 18, 2017Brilliant! Maybe there’s more gold to be mined there…[via: Entertainment Weekly]Want more stuff like this? Six minutes later, he updated with this:Wait, sorry. Like us on Facebook. — Steve Carell (@SteveCarell) January 18, 2017That was rapidly liked and shared by fans who celebrated with happy “Office” GIFs.*However* this is where the actor’s supervillain side shows. However, this should be a good lesson to NBC: Look at how many fans were thrilled at the idea of “The Office” returning. Or, as one fan called it, “what a toby move.”Others replied to Carell with angry “Office” GIFs, which also happened to perfectly suit the moment:@SteveCarellpic.twitter.com/Ktlkp0rTpG
— SHULI (@shalomshuli) January 18, 2017@SteveCarellpic.twitter.com/qfAYhJ1ASx
— Colin Young (@ColinYovng) January 18, 2017@SteveCarellpic.twitter.com/wDFZOscqxq
— Brandon Shaw (@Shawzyy) January 18, 2017@SteveCarellpic.twitter.com/jiGgp0LdhW
— Acestar (@acestarofficial) January 19, 2017@DiGiornoPizza@SteveCarell look at what you did pic.twitter.com/8hcjgvktZh
— trash (@jungwirthbaby) January 18, 2017And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you troll. “The Office” alum Steve Carell broke a lot of hearts — and, briefly, the Internet — with just two simple tweets.You probably heard the news yesterday that NBC is officially reviving “Will & Grace” for a 10-episode run. Around the same time as those reports, Carell tweeted this to his nearly 5 million followers:Breaking News: “The Office” returning to NBC. For once, Michael Scott got the job done right the first time. Posted January 19, 2017 by Gina CarboneDespicable Steve!

Meanwhile, Meredith tries to track down Alex, on “Grey’s Anatomy,” THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2 (8:00-9:01 p.m. 2 episode, “Jukebox Hero,” whose ABC synopsis suggests Alex is either still in limbo considering his options or has actually gone missing:Season 13, Episode 11, “Jukebox Hero” – Richard and the attendings set out to make Eliza’s first day at Grey Sloan a bumpy one. Eliza Minnick (Marika Dominczyk) storyline, which appears to include Jo, Dr. Jo Wilson) put it to TVLine.The Jan. 26, but we’ve been warned that the midseason premiere will not answer the question of whether Alex takes the plea deal or heads to trial. Like us on Facebook. Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) and Dr. “Grey’s Anatomy” Season 13 returns Thursday, Jan. Alex Karev (Justin Chambers)? Maggie Pierce (Kelly McCreary), Dr. 2 teaser pics:Later in Season 13, after the maximum security prison-set “You Can Look (But You’d Better Not Touch)” on Jan. Leah Murphy (Tessa Ferrer), and Dr. 26 episode sends several doctors — including Jo — into a maximum security prison. Instead, we have to wait until the February 2 episode to “find out his fate,” as Camilla Luddington (Dr. 26, and “Jukebox Hero” on Feb. Unfortunately, it may be too late for her do anything about it.” Sounds like she does not want Alex to go to jail on her account. 2, fans can look forward to a “pivotal” Japril episode set in Montana, and some kind of standalone episode set on a plane, among other treats.Want more stuff like this? In that episode, TV Guide reports, Jo realizes that Alex may not have a trial, and he may take a plea for jail time, and “her gut reaction surprises everybody. (Somehow, in all of this, DeLuca will still be blamed for not just quietly accepting Alex’s beatdown.)Which brings us to the Feb. Posted January 19, 2017 by Gina CarboneWhat about Dr. EST).The photos ABC shared to promote “Jukebox Hero” don’t show Alex at all — or Meredith, for that matter, since the photo above is from earlier in Season 13 — they focus more on the Dr. Ben Warren (Jason George).Here are some of the Feb. Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw), Dr.

Have a movie you really, really want us to watch and talk about? Hit us up on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Crazy Eyes. Director Renny Harlin made one hell of an action movie, and it deserves to be watched with clear eyes and a full heart because you can’t lose with this one.CAN’T WAIT! We’re testing out a brand-new format, one that brings our love for specific average-to-mediocre movies directly to fellow lovers of specific average-to-mediocre movies. and, in some cases, all three! Curmudgeon), and Craig Bierko as the villainous Dr. A Movie Lover’s Podcast Episode 9: ‘The Long Kiss Goodnight’Total runtime: 60:48Subscribe to the CAN’T WAIT! Posted January 19, 2017 by Moviefone StaffEight episodes in, and we’re already mixing it up. Jackson, Brian Cox (aka Prof. That’s right, we’re going to make a case for movies that deserve a second chance, movies that were either poorly received by critics, bombed at the box office, or were so middle-of-the-row you forgot they even existed … podcast:iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherHave thoughts/feelings/feedback about the podcast? It’s time to serve up some movie justice and have a ton of fun along the way.This week, we take hard look at screenwriter Shane Black’s ’90s action opus “The Long Kiss Goodnight,” starring a bleach-blonde Geena Davis, a sassy Samuel L.

— lasse hallstrom (@HallstromLasse) January 19, 2017for both myself and everyone on the set. Why wasn’t this stopped? — lasse hallstrom (@HallstromLasse) January 19, 2017Josh Gad, who voices the main dog in the movie, issued a statement:pic.twitter.com/GBPpfNRt9b
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) January 19, 2017Amblin, which hired BAU for the shoot, also issued a statement (via Deadline):”Amblin production team followed rigorous protocols to foster an ethical and safe environment for the animals. Why didn’t they? American Humane are supposed to be there supervising. There were several days of rehearsal of the water scenes to ensure Hercules was comfortable with all of the stunts. This is something I’ve written about before, whether it be circus animals or animals on set. Like us on Facebook. It was someone’s job to watch out for this kind of thing. (You can see the video at TMZ.) The scene in question was during a second unit shoot — which is handled by the second unit director and second unit crew, as opposed to the main or “first” unit director and actors — and the filmmaking team assured viewers that they are looking into what happened.After the video was released on TMZ, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) called for a boycott of the film. — lasse hallstrom (@HallstromLasse) January 19, 2017We were all committed to providing a loving, respectful and safe environment for all the animals in the film. People have to be held responsible for this. We were all committed to providing a loving and safe environment for all the animals in the film. The animals’ safety was of utmost priority. 27. There needs to be a better system than this. That’s wrong in itself.”Director Lasse Hallstrom tweeted his reactions:I am very disturbed by the video released today from the set of my film A dog’s purpose. Posted January 19, 2017 by Gina Carbone”A Dog’s Purpose” director Lasse Hallstrom, lead voice actor Josh Gad, and producer Gavin Polone have responded with outrage to an on-set video showing a German shepherd looking terrified as he’s pushed into a the water for a stunt. He also added an interesting note about the timing:”And by the way, this happened in October of 2015 and not only did none of us hear of it, this should have been investigated immediately. On the day of the shoot, ÔǬHercules did not want to perform the stunt portrayed on the tape so the Amblin production team did not proceed with filming that shot. While we continue to review the circumstances shown in the edited footage, Amblin is confident that great care and concern was shown for the German Shepherd Hercules, as well as for all of the other dogs featured throughout the production of the film. The dog and handler in the video were supplied by Birds and Animals Unlimited (BAU), which PETA has been targeting for alleged animal abuses via its own exposé video.Producer Gavin Polone told Deadline he was “horrified” by what he saw:”The first thing I asked was, ‘Is the dog OK?’ He’s fine. I have been a lifelong animal lover and A DOG’S PURPOSE is my third film about dogs. — lasse hallstrom (@HallstromLasse) January 19, 2017I have been a lifelong animal lover and A DOG’S PURPOSE is my third film about dogs. I agree with PETA that they not only need to make sure animals are treated properly on set, but they also need to find out where the animals are kept outside of the set. That’s their job that someone is paid a lot of money to do. But if I had seen that, I would have stopped it in a minute. — lasse hallstrom (@HallstromLasse) January 19, 2017I have been promised that a thorough investigation into this situation is underway and that any wrongdoing will be reported and punished. Hercules is happy and healthy.””A Dog’s Purpose” is scheduled to open Friday, Jan. That’s what I’ve called for in the past. Who waited a year and three months to call attention to this? — lasse hallstrom (@HallstromLasse) January 19, 2017I did not witness these actions. To make sure they are treated properly at all times.”Palone said he was conscious and careful about animal care while he was on set, but admitted he wasn’t there for the second unit shooting. That film is in the spotlight right now, thanks to the on-set video going public, but PETA’s point with its new exposé is to show that this is more common than fans know, and it has happened on the sets of many beloved films you’ve already seen.[via Deadline, TMZ]Want more stuff like this?

In an interview with Variety, Aniston explained that the current television landscape is an exciting one, and she’s open to going back to her roots.”I’ve thought about it a lot,” the actress said of a potential TV return. At this point in my career, I want to be part of wonderful stories, exciting characters, and also just having a good time.”Aniston also noted that shooting films in exotic locations across the globe was fun earlier in her career, but she’s eager to look for work that’s closer to home, and in a lower-stress environment.”The experience needs to be a good experience,” the actress told Variety. That’s where the quality is. “That’s where the work is. “I have no time for the yelling, angry directors, or bad behavior anymore.”If and when Aniston does decide to make the leap back to television, we’ll definitely be there for her.[via: Variety] Posted January 19, 2017 by Katie RobertsShe may not be reprising her role as Rachel Green anytime soon (or ever), but former “Friends” star Jennifer Aniston could soon be returning to our television screens.The A-list actress recently revealed that she’s considering joining fellow high-profile stars like Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Viola Davis, Matthew McConaughey, and Kevin Spacey on the small screen, thanks to the wealth of creative opportunities the medium is offering actors.

The tune became a radio hit and scored several Grammy nominations (and took home the trophy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals), and helped launch Dion’s career in the U.S.According to Entertainment Weekly, “How Does a Moment Last Forever” is described as “an emotional ballad about holding onto life’s precious moments,” which sounds like the perfect fit for the Canadian chanteuse. The film is due in theaters on March 17.[via: Celine Dion] The singer revealed the exciting news on Twitter, sharing with fans that she was “thrilled” to be performing the tune, titled “How Does A Moment Last Forever.”I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be performing a new song,”How Does A Moment Last Forever” for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. And that’s especially true of its next release, “Beauty and the Beast,” which is getting a familiar voice to lend her vocals to the flick.Celine Dion will be joining the chorus for the film’s official soundtrack, singing a brand new song written specifically for the remake. – Céline ­čî╣ pic.twitter.com/5H7vnGPs5W
— Celine Dion (@celinedion) January 19, 2017This is a welcome return to the Disney family — and “Beauty and the Beast” specifically — for Dion, following her collaboration with the studio on the original flick back in 1991, for which she sang the pop single version of the title track alongside Peabo Bryson. It’s a sweet gesture to invite Dion to be a part of the new version of “Beauty,” and we can’t wait to hear her voice in a Disney flick again.The “Beauty and the Beast” soundtrack hits shelves on March 10. Posted January 19, 2017 by Katie RobertsWhile some cynics may scoff at Disney’s recent slate of reboots and remakes of classic animated flicks, there’s no denying the Mouse House is dedicated to putting lots of resources — and talent — into the films, recruiting big names for roles both in front of and behind the camera.

It turns out that the actor was quite impressed by the script, particularly its handling of teenage issues like bullying, and compared its transformation from campy television show to serious big-screen feature to that of another superhero series, “The Dark Knight.”Though we’re not necessarily getting “Dark Knight” vibes from this trailer, it does have a decidedly different mood from past “Power Rangers” projects we’ve seen, and Cranston’s presence adds some gravitas to the proceedings. Posted January 19, 2017 by Katie RobertsA new full-length trailer for the upcoming “Power Rangers” reboot gives audiences their first look at the new Rangers transforming into their hero selves, as well as sneak peeks of familiar characters like robot sidekick Alpha 5 (voiced by Bill Hader) and Ranger mentor Zordon (Bryan Cranston).It’s the latter character who’s of most interest, since Cranston’s casting was a bit of a head-scratcher at the time it was announced. His version of Zordon can probably best be described as “anthropomorphic screen,” and though that sounds pretty odd, it does look pretty cool in action (and light-years more advanced than the giant blue floating head used in the ’90s TV version).The “dark and gritty” trend has been done to death (a fan-made short film even tried this tactic before with “Power Rangers,” with surprisingly successful results), but this flick looks like it has potential to be more than just another reboot for the sake of reboot. What was the award-winning Oscar nominee doing in a reboot of a silly kids’ TV series? We’ll remain cautiously optimistic for now.”Power Rangers” is due in theaters on March 24.

Posted January 19, 2017 by Stephanie Topacio LongHugh Jackman is getting ready to hang up his Wolverine claws, but not without giving us “Logan.”20th Century Fox has dropped the final official trailer ahead of the film’s March release date. From what we’ve seen, it’s clear that the mini-mutant is going to be a badass. There are also poignant moments as Professor X copes with his age and Laura starts to pull on their heartstrings. The green band version is below.If you don’t mind a little profanity, watch the red band version of the trailer below.”Logan” hits theaters on March 3. The preview gives us more of the titular mutant (Jackman); his mentor, Professor X (Patrick Stewart); and his new protégé, Laura (Dafne Keen). The trailer shows her holding her own in confrontations with men twice her size.The trailer doesn’t just appeal to action lovers, though. We don’t want “Logan” to be Jackman’s last run as Wolverine, but at least he seems to be going out in style.Check out the final trailer.

While we are all disheartened by the appearance of an animal in distress, everyone has assured us that Hercules the German Shepherd was not harmed throughout the filmmaking.”According to The Hollywood Reporter, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals — which has already called for a boycott of the film — is now “pushing for further action, calling on the director of the Amblin production, Lasse Hallstrom, and producer Gavin Polone to pledge never to use animals in films again and to rescue the dogs from Birds & Animals Unlimited, the training and handling facility said to be the provider of the canines.” (PETA recently opened its own investigation into BAU, alleging the company ignored or in some cases actively participated in the abuse and neglect of animals used in high-profile films, including the “Harry Potter” series. “We don’t know if that is true, but we’re asking.””A Dog’s Purpose” is schedule for wide release on January 27.[via: The Hollywood Reporter] That’s the issue and that’s what needs to be corrected.”For its part, PETA has written to the AHA to ask for a complete copy of a report that the monitoring group claimed on Wednesday it had initiated as soon as it saw the footage, bringing in an independent investigator to spearhead. BAU has denied any wrongdoing.)In response to PETA’s demand, Polone — described by THR as “A prominent Hollywood vegan and animal rights activist” — told the trade that he found the request ridiculous, noting, “This is a movie about promoting the idea of animals as sentient and deserving of empathy and rights.” Instead of giving up the use of real animals entirely, the producer offered a different solution, per THR:”What’s needed is a replacement for the [American Humane Association],” the non-profit monitoring group financed by producers that’s tasked with on-set animal oversight. Amblin and Universal do not want anything to overshadow this film that celebrates the relationship between humans and animals.”Since the emergence of the footage, Amblin has engaged with many associated with the production of the film, including safety personnel, trainers and stunt coordinators as part of their in-depth review. Posted January 20, 2017 by Katie RobertsControversy erupted earlier this week when video from the set of upcoming feel-good flick “A Dog’s Purpose” surfaced online, purportedly showing a terrified German shepherd that was forced to perform a stunt against its will. (It’s known for its “No Animals Were Harmed” accreditation [and was also the subject of a scathing 2013 THR investigation that uncovered widespread failures and cover-ups in the organization; the AHA has denied the claims].) He continued, “There’s a person there all the time and clearly they are ineffective. Here’s the full statement:”Because Amblin’s review into the edited video released yesterday is still ongoing, distributor Universal Pictures has decided it is in the best interest of A Dog’s Purpose to cancel this weekend’s premiere and press junket. Thanks to the immense backlash the video unleashed, Universal has decided to cancel this weekend’s Hollywood premiere of the film.In a statement, Universal and production company Amblin cited investigation into the video as the main reason for the cancellation (which also includes the film’s press junket), noting that they did not want the film to be overshadowed by the negative attention. (It also placed the on-set AHA safety representative on administrative leave.) “We’re hearing that the monitor did not report [the incident] to her supervisors but the AHA gave the movie an acceptable rating anyway,” says Lange.