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Thompson on Hollywood

Genre Development: Sci-Fi Runner Lures Forster; Firth, Kidman & Wasikowska's Stoker; After Dogtooth

- The Runner is a futuristic sci-fi story about how the earth's surface is made uninhabitable by an attack and a group of survivors in the Rocky Mountains discover a way to send a man back in time to stop the devastation. But the man they send is secretly motivated by saving the love of his life. Disney is now developing The Runner as a vehicle for director Marc Forster (Finding Neverland, Quantum of Solace); Imagine's Brian Grazer is producing alongside Brad Simpson, Forster's Apparatus Entertainment partner. Dave Andron, who originated the concept with Blacklight Transmedia, will write the script. Imagine and Disney are aiming for a transmedia franchise with The Runner intended for simultaneous TV, video game, graphic novel and hand-held interactive content.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 9, 2011 6:38 AM
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  • 3 Comments

SFIFF To Honor Serge Bromberg, Present His Retour de Flamme: Rare and Restored Films in 3-D

The San Francisco International Film Festival, which runs April 21 - May 5, will present the Mel Novikoff Award to Serge Bromberg, in recognition of his invaluable contributions as cinematic enthusiast, collector, preservationist, exhibitor and programmer.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 9, 2011 6:25 AM
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Relativity's Movie Network Adds ScreenRant Movie Site

Relativity Media’s advertising and promotion network, The Movie Network, has added Vic Holtreman's popular fanboy site ScreenRant.com, which grew its base by covering sci-fi, superhero and fantasy films. Per ComScore, ScreenRant now reaches 800,000 unique users per month. ScreenRant.com joins a growing list of sites that sign on with Q1Media-managed TheMovieNetwork to increase their ad sales.
The Movie Network is a part of entertainment advertising and promotional network The Rogue Network, which is managed by Q1Media.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 9, 2011 6:04 AM
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Fandor Streams Indie Video: Sundance Meets Netflix

Fandor Streams Indie Video: Sundance Meets Netflix
Finally, the promise of streaming movies has become a practical reality, from Amazon to Netflix. But as multiple indie sites come and go (from Jaman and Mubi to Spout), on the eve of SXSW, a new indie site launches Wednesday, Fandor, that promises a better subscription indie streaming service via its website and Facebook. For $10 a month, you can browse, sample, clip and stream its library of 2500 films, from Fritz Lang and Maya Deren classics to Alex Cox and Derek Jarman indies or Sundance docs. (Shorts are in the mix too, especially as a mobile app comes online.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 9, 2011 4:58 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Summit Closes $750 Million Funding; Develops New York Times Article "Deepwater Horizon's Final Hour"

 No, James Cameron has not picked up the rights to the December 25 New York Times article Deepwater Horizon's Final Hour, although he might turn up as a character in the final movie that Summit Entertainment and Participant Media are developing about the BP Oil disaster (with backing from Imagenation Abu Dhabi). And Summit confirms that it has finally closed a new $750 million deal, for a $550-million term loan plus a $200-million revolving line of credit, led by banks JP Morgan and UBS AG.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 9, 2011 12:04 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Rango's Verbinski and ILM VFX Master John Knoll Talk Fresh Take on Animation

Rango's Verbinski and ILM VFX Master John Knoll Talk Fresh Take on Animation
Defying every convention of the animated genre, Gore Verbinski's PG-rated $135-million Rango opened well, at $38 million. Why? As Verbinski (who jumped ship on Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean franchise after three installments) has been saying to anyone who will listen, audiences want originality. They want to be surprised. And animation offers the last refuge for the creative, free from many of the imitative constraints imposed by Hollywood. While Paramount agreed to fund the project off a rough story reel of the entire film--which Verbinski describes as "an animated Sergio Leone movie"-- clearly the filmmaker was left to his own devices on this one.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 8, 2011 9:12 AM
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  • 3 Comments

San Francisco International Film Fest Opens with Mike Mills' Beginners, with McGregor & Plummer

The 54th San Francisco International Film Festival will open April 21 at the Castro Theatre with Beginners, from writer-director Mike Mills (Thumbsucker). The movie, which stars sexy couple Ewan McGregor and Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds) and Christopher Plummer in rare form as a gay man fighting against the dying of the light, played well at Toronto, where it was acquired by Focus Features. The festival, which usually draws an audience of over 75,000 people and gives out 15 jury awards, will feature 200 films.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 8, 2011 7:30 AM
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Fairy Tale Trend Reveals Female Sex Threat; A Comprehensive Guide to Fairy Tales in the Works UPDATE

- A bit behind the curve, The Guardian warns: "Prepare for a fairytale invasion." The trend will "really get into top gear with the debut in the U.S. of [Catherine Hardwicke's] Little Red Riding Hood." While we've been tracking the abundance of fairy tales -- from the high-profile The Brothers Grimm: Snow White starring Julia Roberts as the Evil Queen to Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters to Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio (we've compiled details on all the fairy tales in the works and a quiz, below) -- The Guardian is honing in on themes of sexual awakening and the supernatural -- the popular variation of which was kicked off by the Twilight series and has been picked up for Red Riding Hood (clearly aiming for the same teen demo).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 8, 2011 6:44 AM
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Video Interview: Wasikowska and Fukunaga Talk Jane Eyre

Check out the Film Independent interview (below, with trailer) with Jane Eyre director Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre) and star Mia Wasikowska (The Kids Are All Right, Alice in Wonderland). He explains why he wanted to adapt the Charlotte Bronte public domain classic, and how he came to cast Wasikowska as the lonely governess who comes to work for and love the tragic Mr. Rochester, played by rising star Michael Fassbender (here's my old flip cam interview). Focus Features opens the film March 11.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 8, 2011 6:38 AM
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Video: James Bond in Drag

Daniel Craig goes blonde and vulnerable for this promo spot about inequality between the sexes narrated by James Bond boss Judi Dench. Craig, like Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie, makes a far less handsome woman than man. In person Craig is a slim, sweet mench of a man. It's cool that he was willing to deconstruct his womanizer/action/hero Bond image.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 8, 2011 2:40 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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