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Thompson on Hollywood

Guillermo Del Toro Talks Pacific Rim, Chasing Tom Cruise, Landing Idris Elba: "Rodin Sculpture"

Some of us got a welcome dose of Guillermo del Toro in Hall H at Comic-Con. London TOH correspondent Matt Mueller sat down with him one on one.Currently locked in “crazy, active” pre-production on Pacific Rim, Guillermo del Toro took time out yesterday to chat about the epic monster movie he’ll direct next for Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. at the New York City press junket for scary creature feature Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark. Although he shepherded the latter from conception through to release, it’s Pacific Rim that will mark Del Toro’s belated return to the director’s chair for the first time since 2008 and Hellboy II. And he says he’s chomping at the bit, particularly after coming so close earlier this year with At The Mountains Of Madness, before Universal pulled the plug on his big-budget H.P. Lovecraft adaptation.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • August 10, 2011 3:45 AM
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LA Noir Gangster Squad Cast: Nolte Joins Brolin, Gosling, Penn, Mackie, Ribisi, Peña, Stone & Enos

Check out the cast of Gangster Squad. The film is set in the 1940s, where a special LAPD unit (including Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling) is tasked to fight against East Coast gangster Mickey Cohen's (Sean Penn) corrupting power over Los Angeles. Will Beall adapted the screenplay from a 2008 seven part LA Times article written by Paul Lieberman (Beall is also writing Nicolas Winding Refn's Logan's Run and Lethal Weapon 5). Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) is directing the film, housed at Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow; it's slated to start shooting later this year.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 9, 2011 8:18 AM
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30 Minutes or Less Box Office Will Get Unexpected Boost from Real-Life Controversy

30 Minutes or Less Box Office Will Get Unexpected Boost from Real-Life Controversy
What was Sony thinking? Like predecessors Superbad ($121.5 million domestic B.O.) and Pineapple Express ($87.3 million), raunchy comedy 30 Minutes or Less, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Ansari and Danny McBride, looked to be building some summer bad-boy buzz until online needles rattled over a potentially devastating controversy. Anthony D'Alessandro has more:Instantly, the set-up of 30 Minutes, which looked like a heightened version of Neil Simon’s Seems Like Old Times, took on a new light when the family of Brian Wells, a late Pennsylvania pizza man who met his fate after being coerced to rob a bank as a bomb hostage, revealed that the 30 Minutes filmmakers were satirizing their real tragedy. Who knew that the film was even remotely associated with actual events? Director Ruben Fleischer insists that there's no connection between Well’s death and 30 Minutes, while Sony’s defense is that the screenwriters were only “vaguely” familiar with the tragedy. “You don’t look to make trouble with your core audience,” says one distribution executive of studio efforts to sidestep controversial properties. “That’s stupid. You look to make money.”
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • August 9, 2011 7:45 AM
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  • 18 Comments

Disney D23 Expo Takes You Behind Scenes of Brave, Muppets, Avengers, John Carter, Oz, Frankenweenie

Deploying some marketing muscle, Disney is mounting D23 Expo from August 19-21 at the Anaheim Convention Center near Disneyland. Disney marketeers will take fans behind the scenes, offer sneaks peaks, panels, special appearances and exhibitions on their upcoming projects, including Disney's The Muppets, Tim Burton's Frankenweenie, Oz: The Great and Powerful and John Carter, Pixar's Brave, and Marvel's The Avengers. Five sessions will be dedicated to Pixar, including one on the art of Brave and another on the characters of Monsters University.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 9, 2011 6:38 AM
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Video: New Dirty Dancing Director Ortega's Newsies with Singing, Dancing Christian Bale

As we reported Monday, Lionsgate is giving Dirty Dancing (1987) a makeover, directed by original choreographer Kenny Ortega. Lionsgate is revamping the classic after unsuccessfully releasing sequel Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights. The struggle here won't be to charge up teenage interest in the tale of teenage Baby’s forbidden romance with hip-swiveling Johnny Castle, packed with 60s classics from the original plus brand new compositions--just shove it down the willing throats of Glee, HSM and So You Think You Can Dance fans and the studio will make money. The struggle will be in creating a memorable film that has lasting powers of its own. Otherwise people will keep watching the original--nothing's stopping them so far. Do the math: Dirty Dancing was made for $6 million and brought in $213.95 million worldwide.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 9, 2011 6:14 AM
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Riding in Medusa with Bellflower Boys: Donuts, Flames, P-Diddy, The Apocalypse & Picking up Girls

Cruising Los Angeles in the Medusa with Bellflower stars Evan Glodell and Tyler Dawson, I learned: that the car was the prima donna on set, gas money came from P-Diddy, Doing Donuts (the "longest uninterrupted donut" in the car's history) in a Staples parking lot makes me nauseous, and the Medusa is more effective at intimidating folks and impressing young boys than picking up cute girls.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 9, 2011 3:00 AM
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Fest Update: J. Edgar, Margaret, Marigold Hotel To Skip Fall Fests, Twixt to Deauville

Fest Update: J. Edgar, Margaret, Marigold Hotel To Skip Fall Fests, Twixt to Deauville
Clint Eastwood's period biopic J. Edgar (November 9), starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the famed FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover, is bypassing the fall fest circuit, according to the Toronto Star's Peter Howell. Eastwood and Warner Bros. decided to take the Lance Black-scripted film, which co-stars Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts and Josh Lucas, straight to the theaters and skip the two fests, which both showed Hereafter last year.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 8, 2011 12:20 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Kenny Ortega to Direct Lionsgate Dirty Dancing Remake

We haven't heard too much of Kenny Ortega since This Is It, his 2009 Michael Jackson documentary, but Lionsgate announced today that it will be producing a remake of Dirty Dancing with Ortega at the helm.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • August 8, 2011 11:52 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Johnny Depp and Pirates Crew Reinvent Western Lone Ranger, Tonto

Now that Cowboys & Aliens can be viewed as a too-pricey western tentpole wannabe, how does Disney feel about Jerry Bruckheimer's Lone Ranger going into pre-production? They've ditched "the," and buttressed themselves from criticism by staffing up with their tried-and-true --but pricey-- Pirates gang, now that #4 yielded a satisfactory $1.03 billion worldwide and Johnny Depp is considered a major movie star. Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio penned the script, rewritten by Justin Haythe. Gore Verbinski has worked with Depp four times, including the modestly successful but costly animated western Rango ($242.8 million worldwide to date). And what marquee loyalty does Depp command when he's not Jack Sparrow? Neither Sweeney Todd nor The Tourist was a slamdunk, topping out at $153.3 million and $278.7 million (mostly foreign) worldwide, respectively.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 8, 2011 10:15 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Hunger Games Franchise Wasting No Time: Sequel Catching Fire Coming Thanksgiving 2013, Pics

The second installment of The Hunger Games franchise (the first of which is currently shooting with director Gary Ross, stars Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson and many others), Catching Fire, will be released by Lionsgate November 22, 2013.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 8, 2011 7:08 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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