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Thompson on Hollywood

Production Watch: Bourne Disses Damon, Tony Scott for Top Gun Sequel, How To Reject A Movie Plot

Matt Damon says he found out about writer-director Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton) directing the fourth Bourne installment the same way we did - the internet. He told Parade Magazine, “I found out they’re making another when somebody saw it on the Internet. Nobody bothered to call me." Just as we suggested, he surmises: "I’m not in it, but even so, they’ll work Bourne into the title, I guess. Universal just wants to call everything the Bourne something. So I guess they are trying to make another franchise, and as they say, ‘It isn’t over until it’s over.'" Damon boxed himself into this corner by refusing to rejoin the franchise without director Paul Greengrass. Gilroy, who helped create the franchise as the writer of all the previous entries, has come up with a way to work around Bourne.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 25, 2010 4:22 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Trailer and Oscar Watch: Rabbit Hole, Kidman, on Road to Awards

Trailer and Oscar Watch: Rabbit Hole, Kidman, on Road to Awards
It's all in the Lionsgate trailer (below). Toronto hit Rabbit Hole may look like another bereaved parent drama, but as adapted by David Lindsay-Abaire from his Pulitzer-prize-winning play, directed by John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig & the Angry Inch), and acted by Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart and Dianne Wiest, it's a stunning piece of work. While the movie doesn't open until December 17, I think this one will go all the way: critics groups, Golden Globes, Guilds, Oscars: picture, adapted screenplay, actress, supporting actress.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 25, 2010 4:15 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Peter Morgan Talks Clint Eastwood's Hereafter, James Bond, Freddy Mercury, 360, and Tony Blair

Peter Morgan Talks Clint Eastwood's Hereafter, James Bond, Freddy Mercury, 360, and Tony Blair
Screenwriter Peter Morgan is unusual: a Brit based in Vienna, he's a prolific writer of self-generated screenplays, and not so often a writer-for-hire. (He's been nominated for two Oscars, for The Queen, an original, and Frost/Nixon, adapted from his play.) Hereafter is an unusual original, even for him, written in a "disgracefully short period," he says. After Steven Spielberg flirted with it, Clint Eastwood scooped it up and shot it without making any changes. Morgan still isn't sure how he feels about it. Would he have liked to work on it more, or is the movie as good as it is because it's idiosyncratic, not polished, and emotionally raw? (The movie opened well this weekend; Metacritic rates it at 56.) The script weaves together three stories about people trying to reach the hereafter--or in the case of the character played by Matt Damon, avoiding it.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 24, 2010 11:48 AM
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  • 1 Comment

We Are Here: The Pale Blue Dot, Narrated by Carl Sagan

Check out the cool, unaccountably moving video (below) by David Fu to accompany the late great astronomer/educator/author Carl Sagan's reading of "We Are Here" from his 1994 book (I was a huge fan of Sagan's 1980 tour of the universe in the TV series Cosmos.) Here's some of the Wikipedia entry:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 24, 2010 11:09 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: TV, Video

Weekend Box Office: Paranormal Activity 2 Scares Up $41.5 million, Hereafter Delivers Decent Bow

Paranormal Activity 2 outperformed expectations with a jaw-dropping $41.5 million estimated opening weekend, thanks to Paramount's innovative interactive marketing campaign (see spot below). The studio held the top two spots with the horror sequel and Jackass 3D, Anthony D'Alessandro reports. In fact, with less product clogging multiplexes, films with strong WOM are holding better than ever, from Secretariat to The Social Network. (Here's IW's indie b.o. report.)Paranormal Activity 2 conjured up masses of moviegoers this weekend: the Paramount horror-thriller howled a hearty $41.5 million at 3,216 sites, a marvelous opening that outstrips the $30-million bows of several Saw chapters and marks a record for a horror film, outstripping the $40.6 million minted by 2009’sFriday the 13th reboot. Overseas, the sequel also pulled in $22 million in 21 territories. As anticipated heading into the weekend, Paramount delivered a double whammy, as it grabbed the No. 2 spot with holdover Jackass 3D, firing up a solid $21.6 million, off 57% -- a typical drop for guy fare.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • October 24, 2010 4:20 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Di Bonaventura Sees Old People; Scores with Red

Di Bonaventura Sees Old People; Scores with Red
The beauty of success in the movie industry is that it often comes to people who zig when others zag, who have the balls to call something and fight for it. Recession times don't encourage risk-taking, so I am happy to report that producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura has not given up the maverick streak encouraged by his bosses during his glory days running production at Warner Bros. (Training Day, Three Kings, The Matrix). Now a heavyweight producer at Paramount, Di Bonaventura (Transformers, Salt) saw the potential in the dark DC graphic novel Red--about a CIA agent who fights against the dying of the light the only way he knows how--and kept pushing to get it made. That involved trying and failing to get Warners (which has a deal with DC) to back it, extricating the title from DC and finding another financeer, which turned out to be Summit, whose production chief Eric Feig, another smart cookie, saw the gold in Twilight early on, and saw it in Red too.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 24, 2010 3:50 AM
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  • 2 Comments

For Colored Girls Early Reviews are Mixed

For Colored Girls Early Reviews are Mixed
If you're serious about an Oscar campaign, you don't hesitate to show your movie. I have yet to see For Colored Girls, which is why Lionsgate's "award season push" for Tyler Perry's reach toward mainstream credibility reeks of a distributor making nice to a favorite house director. Nothing new, and totally understandable--Perry has made Lionsgate a ton of money.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 23, 2010 3:43 AM
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  • 19 Comments

Scorsese and DiCaprio: A Retrospective

As part of Paramount's Shutter Island awards campaign, the American Cinematheque is mounting a two-day (Nov. 13-14) retrospective of director Martin Scorsese and actor Leonardo DiCaprio's partnership, from Gangs of New York and The Aviator to The Departed and Shutter Island. All four films will screen and DiCaprio (in person) and Scorsese (via satellite) will participate in a conversation on November 14.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 22, 2010 9:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments

The Hobbit's Cast, And A Good Day for New Zealand Cinema

While Peter Jackson and Warner Bros. deal with the issue of whether or not to shoot The Hobbit in New Zealand, the director has confirmed the casting of the film. (UPDATE: Video of Jackson and co-producer and co-writer Philippa Boyens' NZ TV interview below.)
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 22, 2010 8:45 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekly Wrap: Awards and Festivals, News, Media, Celebs

In the past week, TOH looked at Names That Rule in Moviesphere, considered Recycling at the Cinema [pictured: DiCaprio and Hall, potentials for Great Gatsby remake] and pondered the five things that went wrong with Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 22, 2010 7:23 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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