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Thompson on Hollywood

Avatar's Script: Derivative?

Avatar's Script: Derivative?
Just to prevent James Cameron's head from swelling too much from the astonishing global Avatar phenomenon, folks keep reminding him of how derivative and clunky his script is. It's been compared to everything from Pocahontas, The New World, The Last Samurai and Dances with Wolves to Ferngully. Truth to tell, most screenplays are derivative, and this one's more "original" than all the knock-offs, remakes and sequels everyone makes now.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 6, 2010 4:54 AM
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  • 46 Comments

USC Scripter Award Nominees: An Education, Crazy Heart, District 9, Precious, Up in the Air

USC Scripter Award Nominees: An Education, Crazy Heart, District 9, Precious, Up in the Air
For the first time, I participated in the annual USC Libraries Scripter Awards. Voted on by a jury of screenwriters, critics and scholars, these awards honor the authors and screenwriters of the year's best English-language feature (animated or live action) adapted from a printed work. Scripter winners No Country for Old Men and Slumdog Millionaire also won adapted screenplay Oscars.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 6, 2010 2:16 AM
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  • 1 Comment

SXSW Picks Kick-Ass As Opener

SXSW Picks Kick-Ass As Opener
Clearly, Austin is Kick-Ass country.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 6, 2010 12:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Bond 23 Update: Sam Mendes in Talks to Direct

When your career needs a boost and there are few available top-dollar jobs: take a franchise.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 5, 2010 11:20 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Leipzig Out at National Geographic; Battsek in Talks

After six years as president of National Geographic Films, Adam Leipzig is moving into an executive producer role on two films he was shepherding at the company, says David Beal, President, National Geographic Entertainment. The first is HBO's planned ten-hour Lewis & Clark mini-series Undaunted Courage, adapted by Michelle Ashford from the 1996 biography of Meriwether Lewis by Band of Brothers writer Stephen F. Ambrose. The film, set in the early 1800s, is also executive produced by Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. The second is writer-director Peter Weir's return to the screen, the World War II drama The Way Back, based on the memoir by Slavomir Rawicz, starring Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess and Saoirse Ronan, which is in post-production. It has no distributor.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 5, 2010 8:05 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus Expands

After a successful platform launch in four theaters, Sony Pictures Classics will expand The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus to about 400 theaters on January 8. Not sure how many moviegoers will be wooed by this TV spot. Most likely the film, Heath Ledger's last, will sell well when it is released on DVD, when the movie's devoted fan site will be included in the extras.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 5, 2010 5:04 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Producers Go Sci-Fi: Avatar, District 9 and Star Trek Make Top Ten

Producers Go Sci-Fi: Avatar, District 9 and Star Trek Make Top Ten
District 9 and Star Trek join awards front-runner Avatar in the Producers Guild of America's top ten for the Darryl F. Zanuck award in theatrical motion pictures.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 5, 2010 3:12 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Holiday Winners and Losers: Avatar, Sherlock Holmes, Streep, Bullock and Nine

Where are we, after the record-breaking holiday? There were many winners.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 5, 2010 2:00 AM
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  • 8 Comments

Apple Multimedia Player, Avatar Rubik's Cube, Wizard of Oz Redux, Banned Words, Online Media News

When I first reported on the Kindle, I thought that it was great for reading books, but fell short when reading journalism content because it was shut off from the internet. Well, that's why everyone is going nuts over the new "iTablet" likely to be unveiled in San Francisco January 27. It will cost about $1000, including subscription to a wi-fi network, reports the WSJ. Shipping of the untitled 10-11 inch touch screen multimedia device could ship in March:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 5, 2010 1:41 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Bond Producers Put Number 23 On Hold

Writer Peter Morgan (The Queen) worked on a first draft of Bond 23 that he described as a "shocking story" from July until October last year, followed by regular writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. But EON Productions has put pre-production work on the film on hold pending the resolution of distributor MGM's sale, reports Bond site Mi6. Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli told Total Film Magazine: "Our timeline's a little up in the air what with the situation at MGM, so we have to be flexible. We just don't know enough about the situation to comment, but we know it's uncertain."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 5, 2010 12:15 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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