These two films, Kundun and Seven Years in Tibet, come out only three years after American movies are getting into China at all. And neither movie is put into production with China in mind, because no one at this point is making movies thinking they will make any money in China. And so Disney, which was releasing Kundun, had inherited the project. It was a Martin Scorsese film, and both films were about a young Dalai Lama and also China's invasion of Tibet. So both films feature not just a valorization of this Chinese state enemy, but also portray on screen in really unvarnished terms the Chinese invasion of Tibet and the persecution of Tibetans. Mao Zedong is featured in a scene in Kundun looking like an absolute buffoon next to this wise lama. It was obvious that China wouldn't like the films, but it didn't seem like it was going to be that much of an issue because no one expected the movies to play in China at all.
Nonetheless, China made it clear that not only did it not like the production of these films, but it was going to punish the studios behind them for making them at all. So Kundun was being released by Disney, which at the time had already invested more than a billion dollars in the market, and had already had aspirations to build a theme park on the mainland and start hooking Chinese children on Disney toys and movies and all sorts of other revenue streams, even back in the mid '90s, despite China's middle class still really coming into focus. Disney knew that it was going to be a source of revenue in the years to come. Sony was releasing Seven Years in Tibet, and again, Sony was releasing movies in China at the time, but the bigger economic concern was the supply chain that its parent company had when it came to Sony Electronics. And what made both of these films such cautionary tales for all of Hollywood was that after they were released, both companies were banned in China, despite the fact that the movies had not been released onto Chinese screens. And Chinese authorities made it clear by doing so that if a studio made a film that angered officials, it was not going to be about punishing that studio, but it would be about punishing its parent company. And so suddenly it seemed like a lot more was at stake than just angering officials over the release of one film.
In February 2013, Williams expressed interest in working on the Star Wars sequel trilogy, saying: "Now we're hearing of a new set of movies coming in 2015, 2016... so I need to make sure I'm still ready to go in a few years for what I hope would be continued work with George." He also scored the 2013 film The Book Thief, his first collaboration with a director other than Spielberg since 2005. The score earned him an Academy Award, Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations and a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition. It was his 44th nomination for Best Original Score (and 49th overall), setting a new record for the most nominations in that category (he tied Alfred Newman's record of 43 nominations in 2013). In 2015, Williams scored Star Wars: The Force Awakens, earning him his 50th Academy Award nomination. He was also set to write the score for Bridge of Spies that year, which would have been his 27th collaboration with Spielberg, but in March 2015 it was announced that Thomas Newman would score it instead, as Williams's schedule was interrupted by a minor health issue. This was the first Spielberg film since The Color Purple (1985) not scored by Williams. In 2016, Williams composed the score for Spielberg's The BFG. In 2017, Williams scored the animated short film Dear Basketball, directed by Glen Keane and based on a poem by Kobe Bryant. He also wrote the music for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the eighth episode of the saga, and Spielberg's drama film The Post, both of which opened in December 2017. Williams contributed "The Adventures of Han" and several additional demos for the 2018 standalone Star Wars film Solo: A Star Wars Story, while John Powell wrote the film's original score and adapted Williams's music.
The movie unfolds the life of the social and political maturation process of a young man who will become one of the pioneers of the revolutionary movement under the name of Ernesto "Che" Guevara years later.
It was much harder selling him on the $70 million movie than it was Pitt. The script had to go through another rewrite to flesh out Thewlis' character, Peter Aufschnaiter. Like Heinrich Harrer, the part played by Pitt, Aufschnaiter was a real person, a mountain guide who got caught up in the politics of the time. The movie is based on the memoir of the more well-known Harrer, an explorer who was on the first team to conquer the north face of Switzerland's Eiger mountain in the '30s and who later befriended the young Dalai Lama. Harrer, 85, lives in Southern Austria; Aufschnaiter died more than 20 years ago.
Harrer took part in a reconnaissance expedition to Nanga Parbat. On the way back, he British soldiers took him prisoner. After several attempts, he managed to escape the camp, made it to Tibet, met the Dalai Lama, and as the movie title suggests, spent seven years there.
Pitt turned up to the set of Adam McKay's satire about the bubble implosion over 20 pounds heavier, with a wig that made him look 20 years older. Everyone who shows up in this movie is giving it their all, from Christian Bale to Steve Carrell to Margot Robbie. This is a comedy firing on all cylinders, and it's hard to think of a biopic with more style and humor than this one. 2b1af7f3a8