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Thompson on Hollywood

Brando vs. Crowe as Superman Franchise's Jor-El

Brando vs. Crowe as Superman Franchise's Jor-El
I find disturbing the idea of Russell Crowe playing the role originated by Marlon Brando at age 54 in 1978's Superman. Crowe, 47, is in talks to play opposite Superman Henry Cavill as his beloved father Jor-El in Man of Steel, reports Variety. Of course this will give Crowe a handsome payday. Maybe it's the similarities between the troubled Brando and Crowe that worry me. Both are fine actors with inflated egos and a weight problem who have walked dangerously close to identifying with their leading roles. Keeping track of who you are as a human being and who you are as a movie star is half the battle in maintaining career longevity.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 15, 2011 9:18 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Ben Affleck To Direct Tell No One Remake, Holds Actors Hostage for Argo

In mid-career, Ben Affleck, who has always been one of the smarter actors around, has opted to chase his potential as a writer and director. It's a lot more work, of course.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • June 15, 2011 8:27 AM
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  • 1 Comment

David O. Russell Loves Jolie, Eyes her for Silver Lining, in the Running to Direct Maleficent

Angelina Jolie, who remains attached to star in Maleficent, still lacks a director. Tim Burton bowed out in May, making room for David O. Russell and others to be considered by Disney. Russell was available for consideration after parting ways with Columbia Pictures over creative differences on the video game adaptation Unchartered Drake's Fortune (for which the director also drafted a script).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 15, 2011 7:57 AM
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  • 1 Comment

LAFF Jury: Lynn Shelton, Daniel Waters, Jeff Malmberg, Lisa Gay Hamilton

LAFF Jury: Lynn Shelton, Daniel Waters, Jeff Malmberg, Lisa Gay Hamilton
The Los Angeles Film Festival's 2011 narrative competition jurors include director Lynn Shelton (Humpday, My Effortless Brilliance; pictured), Eric Nakamura (Head/Founder of Giant Robot), and screenwriter Daniel Waters (Heathers, Batman Returns).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 15, 2011 7:50 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Dueling Snow Whites: Relativity Shoots First with No Title, Universal's Huntsman Gets Rewrite

Relativity may be first out of the gate in the dueling Snow White competition, but they could also be the first to crash and burn.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 15, 2011 7:40 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Conan O'Brien's Brilliant Commencement Speech: "Disappointment Stings"

In case you missed it, Conan O'Brien shows what a masterful stand-up comedian with great writers can do to target a specific audience--the graduating class at Dartmouth College, whose black hats bob gratifyingly with every joke-- with viral video on the worldwide web in mind. (Video is below.) After all, O'Brien wants to build new viewers into his cable talk show.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 15, 2011 6:57 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Green Lantern Reviews: "Inert, Underwhelming," Reynolds "Little More than a Torso and a Smirk"

Green Lantern Reviews: "Inert, Underwhelming," Reynolds "Little More than a Torso and a Smirk"
Warner/DC's Green Lantern wants to blow your mind, starting June 17, one day after its premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Even the more generous reviews below suggest that we shouldn't expect a mind-blowing quality film. (We see it Wednesday.) Best case scenario: the comics fanbase will jump into the bizarre universe they know so well. Worst case is topliner Ryan Reynolds, co-stars Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong and Angela Bassett and director Martin Campbell will wish they hadn't gone green, and the movie's prohibitive estimated $300-million cost won't yield big enough returns. Tentpoles, after all, are supposed to deliver profits to support the studio.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 15, 2011 5:44 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Duke & Duchess of Cambridge Hit Hollywood for BAFTA's First Brits to Watch Event; Names Announced

UPDATE 7/1: The forty-two Brits have been named and are listed below.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 15, 2011 5:39 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Criterion Releases Nic Roeg's Significant Insignificance

Criterion Releases Nic Roeg's Significant Insignificance
The new Criterion DVD of Insignificance prompts Simon Abrams to ruminate on director Nic Roeg:Essayist and film critic Chuck Stephens aptly calls British director Nicolas Roeg a “Cine-Cubist” in his new essay on Insignificance for the Criterion Collection, which just released Roeg’s hard-to-find 1985 film adaptation of Terry Johnson’s play.
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • June 15, 2011 5:34 AM
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  • 1 Comment

News Wrap: Abrams Opens Up on Super 8 Secrets, Apple Threatens Cable, Boondock Saints Web Sequel

During production on Super 8, director J. J. Abrams was notably secretive--as producer Steven Spielberg likes to be as well, preserving the mystery, hiding the alien. Now that the film has delivered a strong $35.5 million opening weekend, he is being less tight-lipped. [SPOILER ALERT] In an interview with MTV, Abrams was open about the many-limbed, mysterious monster in the film. He noted that Neville Page, the same man who created the monster in his 2008 film, Cloverfield, designed the creature for Super 8, but there was no “same-universe” connection. “They actually look very different,” he said, “but they both have two eyes, a nose and a mouth. So, in that regard, it also looks a lot like Laurence Olivier!" He said creating the creature was a balance; the alien needed to be scary, but also relatable, something that could be “full of rage and also could be emotional and nuanced.” (The bar for scary/relatable alien design was really set by District 9.)
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • June 15, 2011 3:58 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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