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Thompson on Hollywood

Mandate Buys Diablo Cody Script Lamb of God for Her to Direct

We need all the good women directors we can get. Oscar original screenplay winner Diablo Cody is jumping into directing via old partners Mandate Pictures and producer Mason Novick, who backed Juno ($227 million worldwide) and the upcoming Paramount film Young Adult. Comedy Lamb of God tracks a conservative religious woman from a plane crash through a sinner's life in Vegas and back to faith. Cody will exec produce along with Mandate president Nathan Kahane; they're planning to start casting.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 29, 2011 11:34 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Trailer Watch: Steven Spielberg's War Horse Looks Like Oscar Bait

Trailer Watch: Steven Spielberg's War Horse Looks Like Oscar Bait
It's going to be Spielberg vs. Spielberg at the Oscars this year. That is, assuming that both his December openers, wide-release The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn and platformed drama War Horse, wind up inside the Oscar wheelhouse. The most popular filmmaker of our time, Spielberg has won some and lost some where the Oscars are concerned--best picture winner Schindler's List is the exception that proves the rule.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 29, 2011 8:29 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Trailer Watch: Outer Space Horror in APOLLO 18, In Theaters September 2

While some of the most spectacularly glitzy effects in Michael Bay's third Transformers take place on the moon--where the Apollo 13 mission is actually motivated by exploration of an abandoned Autobot space ship--we can assume that Dimension Films' similarly-themed APOLLO 18, which hits theaters September 2, is taking the polar opposite approach: think low-tech Blair Witch/Cloverfield. Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego directs a script by Brian Miller.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • June 29, 2011 8:13 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Telluride Film Festival: Last Call for Submissions this July; Fest Runs September 2-5

The Telluride Film Festival issues its last call for 2011 submissions. The deadlines to submit to this class-act four-day festival over Labor Day weekend (September 2-5) are:SHORTS AND STUDENT FILMS DEADLINE: FRIDAY, JULY 1, 2011 FEATURES DEADLINE: FRIDAY, JULY 15, 2011
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 29, 2011 8:07 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Noomi Rapace & Husband Ola Rapace to Star in Hardwicke's Lindblom/Högberg Love Story

Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen, Twilight, Red Riding Hood) will direct Noomi Rapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) in a biopic of Swedish singer Anita Lindblom and her romance with boxer Bosse Högberg, to be played by Ola Rapace, the actress' husband, whose been training as a boxer for this role four years (during the project's long development stage). Their love affair often found its way to the tabloids. Of the project, Hardwicke told Screen: "”I immediately fell in love with the script [from Peter Birro] – it throws us back into Swedish celebrity culture of the 1960s, where the name is more important than the person." Hardwicke calls Lindblom "glamourous" and Högberg "charismatic." The project echos the Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton love-affair-biopic we're following.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 29, 2011 7:58 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Watch: Weinstein Co. Adds Director Madonna's Sophomore Film W.E. to Holiday Line-Up

The Weinstein Co. has added Madonna's latest, W.E. (as in Wallis and Edward), an examination of their romance starring Abbie Cornish (Bright Star, Sucker Punch), Andrea Riseborough (Never Let Me Go), James D’Arcy (Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World) and Oscar Isaac (Drive), to its holiday line-up with a December 9 release date. That's prime Oscar real estate, and it costs money to support a movie in platform release in New York and L.A. during that crowded time frame. So the company believes in this one; we'll see it on the fall fest circuit, probably starting with Venice in August. Obviously Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII were key figures in TWC Oscar-winner The King's Speech; the Weinsteins have good instincts for what will play with the Academy--and perhaps crucially in this case, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which has given Madonna five Golden Globe song nominations and a best actress in a musical win for Evita.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 29, 2011 7:10 AM
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  • 0 Comments

LAFF Highlights: From Bernie to Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, Winners

The Los Angeles Film Festival was hopping for ten days, downtown at LA Live, a straight shot down Olympic Boulevard to an $8 parking lot. The Regal screens are new with a good rake, but the glossy presentation didn't help Richard Linklater's opening nighter Bernie, yet another based-on-a-true-story (much like Andrew Jarecki's All Good Things) that fascinated the filmmaker and his star, Jack Black, without proving to be compelling for the rest of us. The good news is that Black gives the strongest performance he has in some time as a genial good-old-boy who turns to the dark side when he winds up rich older woman Shirley MacLaine's dependent manservant/slave. The movie was for sale at the fest, and distributors who checked it out were not upbeat about its commercial prospects.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 29, 2011 5:38 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Johansson Sings, Cranston for Affleck's Argo, Denzel Washington for Katrina Drama, Patel for Sorkin

- Scarlett Johansson will star in Judd Apatow's Can A Song Save Your Life?, written and to be directed by John Carney (Once). The musically themed story will pair a young songstress with "a washed up A&R man." They form a bond and sing, putting Johansson's singing talent to use. Carney confirms to The Sunday Business Post: "‘I went out to Los Angeles to meet Scarlett a couple of months ago. She was everything you could imagine – very hot, elegant and she’s really smart." Mark Ruffalo and Jim Carrey are rumored as possible co-stars. ThePlaylist has more.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 29, 2011 5:24 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Franco Nero Talks Meeting Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

Franco Nero was in London recently for the three-day cult film festival Cine-Excess. Matt Mueller reports:While in town, Franco Nero headed over to the Italian Cultural Institute to be bestowed along with wife Vanessa Redgrave with honorary degrees from Brunel University. Decked out in graduation gowns and caps, Nero answered a few questions about his career and, in particular, the enduring popularity of Sergio Corbucci’s spaghetti western Django and his title role as the coffin-dragging gunslinger. “It never dies,” said Nero. “I just got back from shooting a movie in Brazil and everybody was, ‘Django! Django!’ the whole time.”
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • June 29, 2011 3:56 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Mickey Spillane's Best Mike Hammer Hits Criterion via Kiss Me Deadly

Mickey Spillane's Best Mike Hammer Hits Criterion via Kiss Me Deadly
As the Criterion Collection releases Robert Aldrich's B-classic Kiss Me Deadly, Simon Abrams explains why Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer and hardboiled cinema were a perfect match: “As the world becomes more primitive, its treasures become more fabulous.” –Dr. G.E. Soberin, Kiss Me Deadly
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • June 28, 2011 11:19 AM
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  • 4 Comments

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