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Thompson on Hollywood

Inspired Casting: Werner Herzog will Play Villain Across Tom Cruise in McQuarrie's One Shot

German auteur director Werner Herzog (Into the Abyss, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Grizzly Man) has been cast as the villain in Christopher McQuarries's One Shot (which he adapted from Lee Child's book series), starring Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins and Robert Duvall. Here are more details on the project, in which diminutive Cruise will play strapping military cop-turned-drifter Jack Reacher, with Herzog as The Zec, a former P.O.W. and head of the conspiracy Reacher is investigating.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • October 4, 2011 8:23 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Stephen Frears Gets EFA's Lifetime Achievement Award: "It’s Nice to be Complimented by Europe"

The European Film Academy is presenting Stephen Frears with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the December 3 event in Berlin. "They're always nice -- if you get them," said the director of Dangerous Liaisons, High Fidelity and The Queen (trailers below). The esteemed Brit has already received a Spanish Goya, a French César and a British BAFTA. “But I’m very grateful, it’s very nice to be complimented by Europe.”
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • October 4, 2011 7:03 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Aronofsky's Noah Goes Ahead with Paramount & New Regency: Will It Sail With Bale?

Paramount is on board to co-finance Darren Aronofsky's Noah with New Regency, and shooting is set to kick off in Spring 2012. This means no more wondering how Aronofsky will follow up his Black Swan success.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 4, 2011 6:52 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Tribeca Film Institute Names Non-Fiction Recipients of New Media Fund: Interrupters, Tillman Story

The Tribeca Film Institute announces the first-ever grant recipients of the new Tribeca Film Institute New Media Fund. Six projects have each been awarded between $50-$100,000, and will participate in a three-day workshop run by Crossover Labs, to help their projects find their audiences. Recipients include The Interrupters' web campaign and The Tillman Story Interactive Edition.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 4, 2011 6:08 AM
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Spielberg and Jackson Talk Tintin, Trailer on Real Steel, Opens in Europe First, Plays Rome Festival

Spielberg and Jackson Talk Tintin, Trailer on Real Steel, Opens in Europe First, Plays Rome Festival
The trailer for Steven Spielberg and producer Peter Jackson's 3-D The Adventures of Tintin: the Secret of the Unicorn (Paramount, December 21, 2011) will go out on Friday, attached to Disney/DreamWorks' Real Steel. The performance capture film will play The Rome International Film Festival with Jamie Bell on hand on October 27; Sony will open The Adventures of Tintin in many European countries, where Herge's comic books are better known than they are stateside, on October 26 (Italy is October 28). The film will screen in the Official Selection (out of competition) and in the Alice section of the festival.  “I discovered The Adventures of Tintin in 1981, after the presentation of the film The Raiders of the Lost Ark," says Spielberg. "One of the reviews seemed to believe that my Indiana Jones character had been inspired by Hergé. When I later went out and bought the illustrator's books and read them, I was completely taken by them and immediately thought Tintin's adventures would make great films."
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • October 4, 2011 5:57 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Trailer Watch: Second War Horse Trailer is More Oscar Bait, "Be Brave, Be Brave, Be Brave"

Of the first trailer, we said that Steven Spielberg's PG-13 film version of the heart-tugging Word War I drama War Horse "looks like an Academy-friendly no-brainer." We called it a "four-hankie."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 4, 2011 5:33 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Joe Wright's Anna Karenina Begins Shooting for Working Title: Knightley Leads Strong Cast

Joe Wright has begun shooting his adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's beloved classic, Anna Karenina. Shooting in the UK and Russia with a script adapted by Tom Stoppard, the film stars Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Johnson, Kelly Macdonald, Matthew Macfadyyen, Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Emily Watson, Olivia Williams and Ruth Wilson. Working Title's Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner are producing alongside Paul Webster (they successfully collaborated on Wright's Pride & Prejudice and Atonement). Wright is also bringing back his cinematographer Seamus McGarvey, costume designer Jacqueline Durran and production designer Sarah Greenwood. One thing is for sure: The film is going to look amazing. Jane Eyre editor Melanie Ann Oliver is also joining Wright's team.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 4, 2011 5:26 AM
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Johnny Depp Will Take The Stupid Money, Thanks--And Will Promo Rum Diary at Columbia, LACMA

Johnny Depp will take the money, thank you very much. “Basically, if they’re going to pay me the stupid money right now, I’m going to take it,” he tells Vanity Fair in their November issue. He's more flattered by compliments from Keith Richards on his singing in Sweeney Todd, and enjoys the "stimulation to the brain," but his paychecks (his Pirates franchise tally is in the $350 million range) are "for the kids" at this point. "It's ridiculous, yeah, yeah. But ultimately is it for me? No."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 4, 2011 4:15 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Oscar Powers Netflix's Top Ten Most-Rented List

Oscar Powers Netflix's Top Ten Most-Rented List
Netflix's ten most-rented list of all time (list below) reminds us of the long-tail Power of Oscar. And it should remind Netflix, as it splits its DVD and streaming business and alienates many of its customers who are used to relying on its deep long-tail arcania, that their solid customer base is smart adults, not the great unwashed, something they seem to be in danger of forgetting as they focus on TV and mainstream acquisitions and let smaller movies go.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 3, 2011 11:09 AM
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  • 4 Comments

When Bad Perfume Ads Happen to Good Actors: Melanie Laurent the Latest (Well Paid) Victim

Melanie Laurent is the latest (well-paid) victim of perfume advertising. It's amazing how powerful (translation: $$$) the mere suggestion of celebrity sexuality or nudity can be. But we don't care how sparkly they these commercials may be; they are all wasted opportunities, and A-list directors often share the blame. The only one with an ounce of creativity is Jean-Jacques Annaud's Dior ad, in which Charlize Theron's unbridled confidence holds our interest (along with cameos by late Hollywood icons). Granted, it's hard to represent a scent with visuals, but surely they can try harder to stand out? See how many of these you can stomach:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 3, 2011 11:05 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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