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Thompson on Hollywood

Cameron Weighs in on Oil Spill, Disney Sells Toy Story 3 Tickets on Facebook, Abrams' Secret Movie

- Nobody knows more about deep-sea robotic technology than filmmaker/tech head James Cameron, who has taken submersibles and his own robotic cameras down to the ocean floor to shoot documentaries on the Titanic and Bismarck. So it makes sense that he was part of a brainstorming session with U.S. officials, scientists and academics who are trying to come up with a solution to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Since BP's efforts have failed, the Federal government is opening its ears to a wider knowledge database. The Huffington Post lists other parties involved in the session: the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute; Oceanographic Institute at Harbor Branch, Florida Atlantic University; University of California at Santa Barbara; Nuytco Research Limited; World Wildlife Fund; and the University of California at Berkeley. Cameron likes nothing better than hanging with scientist brainiacs.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 2, 2010 7:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Vanity Fair's Twilight American Beauties

This August Vanity Fair photograph for a feature on the women of Twilight: Eclipse reminds me of that American Beauty overhead shot of Mena Suvari on a bed of red rose petals. With the exception of blonde Dakota Fanning in the middle, they're fairly unrecognizable with their 40s crimson gashes.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 2, 2010 6:46 AM
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Pitt Stars in Moneyball, Considers Dragon Tattoo, Buys Imperfectionists

Sony, producer Scott Rudin, director David Fincher and star Brad Pitt are making interlocking moves. First, writer Steve Zaillian has handed in the script for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which was due on June 1. That means that Pitt is reading the script to decide if he wants to play muckraking womanizer Mikael Blomkvist. With that job done, Sony and Rudin have put Zaillian back on the adaptation of Michael Lewis's baseball expose Moneyball. When Steven Soderbergh left Moneyball after tussling over his rewrite of Zaillian's script with Sony's Amy Pascal, who then brought in Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing) to overhaul the movie, Zaillian was really pissed that his original script had been abandoned. Pitt stayed on, hoping that Sorkin's draft would do the trick. Director Bennett Miller came on board, and lined up Capote star Philip Seymour Hoffman as well as Jonah Hill and Robin Wright.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 2, 2010 4:52 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Spike Lee Films Katrina Follow Up in Haiti

Spike Lee is in Haiti filming footage for his untitled follow-up to his HBO Hurricane Katrina documentary, When the Levees Broke, which will be timed to air on the fifth anniversary of the hurricane. Before he and his film crew went, they asked for donations to take down there. Why film in Haiti? "You'll get it when you see it," explains Lee's longtime producer, Jon Kilik.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 1, 2010 9:14 AM
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Telluride vs. Venice

Telluride vs. Venice
The Telluride Film Festival is the perk of perks, the most civilized, best-curated small film festival in the world. (Here's the new Telluride poster from animator Ralph Eggleston.) It takes place every Labor Day weekend high in the Colorado Rockies and I would ordinarily never consider going somewhere else instead.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 1, 2010 8:39 AM
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HBO's The Neistat Brothers Debuts June 4th

Fair to say, HBO's latest series The Neistat Brothers, which debuts on June 4th, is not like anything you have ever seen before.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 1, 2010 7:51 AM
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Pixar is Hiring

Are you a John Lasseter or Brad Bird wannabe? Check this out. The place I have always fantasized about working--assuming that I had the necessary skill-set, which I don't--is Pixar, in Emeryville, in the Bay Area. I actually applied for a long-shot marketing job there once. Not only do they make the best movies on the planet, year in year out--ten for ten blockbusters to date, and I'll lay odds that Toy Story 3 beats How to Train Your Dragon and takes this year's number one summer spot--but I've visited the campus, and it's fabulous. It's the kind of place where bicycles line the hallways and folks like Lasseter use their offices to display their toy collections. These people are not only seriously talented, but seriously cool.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 1, 2010 7:23 AM
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Sheen Heads for Jail, Fuqua Biopics Shakur, Anderson Casts Scientology Film, Boardwalk Empire Pops

Charlie Sheen is choosing 30 days of jail time over probation, which was too risky, reports TMZ. In a plea bargain, Sheen will plead no contest to third-degree misdemeanor assault for hitting his wife Brooke Mueller on Christmas Day and immediately start to serve what will likely amount to 17 days in jail in Aspen, Colorado. He has to complete 36 hours of anger management before the hearing June 7. Mueller and Sheen both went into rehab following the incident, and Sheen took off time from his hit TV show Two and a Half Men. He'll get his time out of the way before filming begins in early August. The show has been renewed for two seasons; Sheen now earns a reported $2 million an episode.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 1, 2010 4:04 AM
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Hollywood Reporter's Janice Min Hires Kim Masters as Editor-at-Large

When Kim Masters covered the TV up-fronts for The Hollywood Reporter last week, it was a sign that THR was on the move. Sure enough, new THR editorial director Janice Min has hired Masters--a veteran of NPR, Premiere, The Washington Post, Time, Esquire and Vanity Fair--to be editor-at-large at the venerable trade. She starts July 1, reporting to Min.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 1, 2010 3:24 AM
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More: News, Media

Trailer Watch: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World vs. Jonah Hex

The studios are so in love with comic-book movies that they're digging into material most of us have never read.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 31, 2010 9:22 AM
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