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Thompson on Hollywood

Production Watch, Part 2: De Palma's Passion, Untouchables; Jay-Z & Willow Smith's Annie Confirmed

- Brian De Palma is stepping out to direct a remake of France's 2010 psychodrama Crime d'amour (Love Crime), with the title Passion. "Not since Dressed to Kill have I had a chance to combine eroticism, suspense, mystery and murder into one spellbinding cinematic experience," De Palma told Variety. Set in the UK, the France-Germany-UK-Spain co-production is in the works at Paris-based SBS Productions (they also have Polanski's Gods of Carnage in the works with Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly). Productions like this are moving away from U.S. financing due to the limitations of the U.S. market, according to SBS's Ben Said: "Movies of this kind are very difficult to make today in the U.S. because the U.S. doesn't have co-productions and the studios are not interested in making them." The original Love Crime starred Kristin Scott Thomas and Ludivine Sagnier as feuding exes - one of whom ends up murdered by the other. De Palma's cast is expected to be announced by the start of Cannes this May.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 27, 2011 11:39 AM
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George Clooney's Satellite Sentinel Project: Report on Sudanese Border Conflict

"We're the anti-genocide paparazzi," George Clooney told Time magazine of his Satellite Sentinel Project.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 27, 2011 9:53 AM
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Production Watch, Part I: Rapace & Fassbender for Prometheus, Stewart & Mortensen for Snow White

- The Alien prequel now known as Ridley Scott's Prometheus is getting an early summer 2012 release: June 8. Scott is working with Damon Lindelof (Cowboys & Aliens, Lost) on revising the original script by Jon Spaihts from Scott's original concept. Much of the plot in unknown, but Scott has confirmed "Alien DNA" will be in the genome of Prometheus. Noomi Rapace will star with Michael Fassbender (sorry, Snow White and the Huntsman, you lost him).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 27, 2011 9:30 AM
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Exec Watch: Relativity Adds Steve Bertram as COO, CFO

As he continues to beef up his burgeoning company, Relativity Media CEO Ryan Kavanaugh has hired Steve Bertram, who was president of Business Operations for Paramount Home Entertainment for five years, as Relativity's new COO and CFO, supervising day-to-day company operations. He will oversee Relativity's domestic and international distribution operation and will report on those areas to Relativity president Michael Joe. In the financial arena he will report to Kavanaugh.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 27, 2011 9:01 AM
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Sundance Watch: Winners Ceremony and IndieWIRE Live Coverage January 29

The Sundance Film Festival official awards ceremony will take place this Saturday, starting at 6 pm EMT (5 pm PST), followed by an after-party. You can follow indieWIRE for live updates and coverage and watch the video stream here. Jury, Audience, NEXT and special awards will be announced. Tim Blake Nelson, star of Flypaper, which premiered at the festival, will host the ceremony.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 27, 2011 8:56 AM
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SAG Awards: Hamm, Kidman, Renner Join List of Presenters, Auction Items, Throw Your Own Party

On January 30, the Screen Actors Guild will host their 17th annual awards show with the help of presenters Jason Bateman, Jon Hamm, Nicole Kidman, Jeremy Renner, Sofia Vergara and Robin Wright. They will join previously announced presenters Scott Bakula, Alec Baldwin, Jeff Bridges, Tim Conway, Rosario Dawson, Josh Duhamel, Angie Harmon, Eva Longoria, Cory Monteith, Amy Poehler, Hilary Swank, Betty White and SAG President Ken Howard. The SAG Award nominees are here. Experts predict the SAG winners.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 27, 2011 7:58 AM
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  • 1 Comment

EXCLUSIVE: Amazon Studio's December $20,000 Script Contest Winners: The Alchemist Agenda and Villain

Amazon Studios chief Roy Price is thrilled with the first phase of his radical online movie studio experiment. So many submissions came in the first month, more than 2500, that he opened up a December script contest and his panel of judges has picked the first two winners: Richard Stern for action comedy Villain, about a bad guy who decides to switch sides, which also earned the most responses online, and Marty Weiss of the rollicking international mystery adventure The Alchemist Agenda. "It's Fool's Gold meets the Da Vinci Code," says Price. "Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt should definitely check this one out." Both winners will collect a $20,000 prize and can move on to the next phase of the Amazon Studios competition: test shorts and table reads.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 27, 2011 7:51 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Hugh Jackman To Present At Academy Awards; Hosts Hathaway and Franco Tease With Video Promo

For those who wish that Hugh Jackman was returning to host the Oscars, well, he's the first confirmed presenter for the Academy Awards on February 27. This year's hosting chores will be handled by two young actors, Oscar nominee James Franco (127 Hours) and Anne Hathaway, who did a memorable turn on the Oscar stage with Jackman. Hathaway and Franco's first Oscar promo is below.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 27, 2011 7:41 AM
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Sundance Video: Zachary Quinto and J.C. Chandor Talk Margin Call

Margin Call is one of several low-budget ($3.5 million), accessibly commercial smart films for adults debuting at Sundance that got made with a major cast willing to work for nothing against the promise of worthy material and a decent back end.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 27, 2011 3:50 AM
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A Tale of Two Speeches, President Obama vs. King George VI

King George VI vs. President Barack Obama. The Huffington Post pegs both men's speeches against one and other and considers how they fared:"President Obama is facing a very hostile House of Representatives, and a country that is torn on the efficacy of his presidency, though they all knew he could speak. Firth (as King George) faced a unified nation, but a country torn on the efficacy of his speech. Oh, and a swarming enemy that was invading his little island. Both oversaw what could be considered empires at their crossroads. Here's a basic scorecard between the two."Here is the scorecard, King George VI's speech, a clip from the film (which Weinstein Co. may trim for a PG-13) and Obama's State of the Union, below:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 27, 2011 2:07 AM
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