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Thompson on Hollywood

Directors Talk: Vaughn on Super-Hero Movies, Cameron on Avatar 2 and Oil, Murphy on Eat, Pray, Love

- Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake, Kick-Ass) tells Hero Complex that the quality control of super hero movies (which have been "mined to death") is "not what it's supposed to be." Vaughn jumped on the chance to do X-Men: First Class, because people are getting bored of the super-hero frenzy, which can't last forever. After producing, directing and co-writing Kick-Ass, a big budget superhero film is something Vaughn has always wanted to do - and an opportunity that may not be on offer again. He withdrew from the opportunity to direct the third X-Men installment (he didn't feel ready at the time), and it went to Brett Ratner. Now Vaughn says that he would have done a better job (100 times better to be exact). When X-Men: First Class comes out next summer, the box office will be crowded with protagonists in tights, like Captain America, Thor and Green Lantern - what Vaughn calls a too-crowded room.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 9, 2010 5:30 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Oscar-Winner Patricia Neal Dies at 84 After a Tragic Life

Patricia Neal has died at her home on Martha's Vineyard, of lung cancer. She was 84. Neal started out strong as a Hollywood leading lady, a beautiful and powerful character actress in such films as The Fountainhead, co-starring her lover Gary Cooper, The Day the Earth Stood Still, A Face in the Crowd and Hud, for which she won the best actress Oscar in 1964.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 9, 2010 4:56 AM
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  • 6 Comments
More: Obit

CBS Films Acquires Statham Actioner The Mechanic

Adding testosterone to its upcoming line-up, CBS Films has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Jason Statham actioner The Mechanic from Avi Lerner's Millenium Films (The Expendables). CBS plans a spring opening after the George Tillman, Jr. revenge thriller Faster, starring Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton and Carla Gugino (November), and writer-director Daniel Barnz's Beastly, based on Alex Flinn's Beauty and the Beast-inspired novel, starring Vanessa Hudgens, Alex Pettyfer annd Mary-Kate Olsen (March 2011).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 9, 2010 4:39 AM
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  • 2 Comments

TCA: HBO Unveils New Material from Scorsese, Lee, Mann, Haynes and Milch

Saturday's HBO panel at TCA was full of news on much-anticipated projects from Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, Michael Mann, Todd Haynes and David Milch. Amy Dawes reports:A new slate heavy on cross-over cinema talent and enlivened by the antics of wild card talents like Carrie Fisher and Spike Lee was presented late Saturday by HBO, clearly the big dog at the cable portion of the TCA press tour, to finish out the biannual event.
  • By Amy Dawes
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  • August 8, 2010 12:59 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Salander Role Up for Grabs for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Everyone is waiting for the news to break on which of the young actresses in the wings will land the role of punk hacker Lisbeth Salander in David Fincher's English-language film of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. According to producer Scott Rudin, EW's story positing that Natalie Portman is back in the running because the studio is skittish about casting an unknown in such a pivotal recurring role is "not true."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 8, 2010 8:26 AM
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  • 8 Comments

Weekend Boxoffice: Finally, The Other Guys Elbows Inception Out of Top Spot

Finally, the Inception juggernaut has slowed enough for a new comedy, Adam McKay and Will Ferrell's The Other Guys, to nab the number one slot at the weekend boxoffice. Anthony D'Alessandro reports. (UPDATED)
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • August 8, 2010 4:30 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Cameron Talks Avatar Redux

Avatar is coming back on August 27 with nine minutes of new footage, mostly set on Pandora. Hell, I'd see it again in a nano-second. Has anything you've seen since you saw Avatar been nearly as good? The extra footage includes the death of the Na'vi warrior Tsu'tey, Cameron told MTV News (audio on jump), among several outlets he did phoners with late Friday afternoon:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 7, 2010 12:45 PM
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  • 5 Comments

TCA: Lennon Hearts New York in Upcoming PBS Doc

John Lennon’s passionate attachment to New York City during the last years of his life is among the themes of LENNONYC, a new PBS doc that will debut Nov. 22 as part of the public broadcaster’s American Masters series. Amy Dawes caught Yoko Ono's introduction at the television critics association press tour in Beverly Hills.
  • By Amy Dawes
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  • August 6, 2010 10:56 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Rourke Talks Expendables on Tonight Show

Mickey Rourke is doing great work in movies these days--he and Sam Rockwell saved Iron Man 2--but the 57-year-old actor is looking stranger than ever, as this bizarre makeup job on his appearance Thursday night on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno attests.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 6, 2010 6:49 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Trailer Watch: Burlesque Stars Cher, Tucci, Aguilera

Never underestimate Screen Gems topper Clint Culpepper. More than most studio execs, he gets to put together an eclectic range of projects under Sony's low-budget Screen Gems label because he's got that magic gut instinct for what audiences want and how to sell it to them. Since 1999, Culpepper has figured out which pictures to make without stepping on the toes of big Columbia and little Sony Pictures Classics: horror, urban and teen flicks like the Underworld, Hostel and Resident Evil franchises and Dear John.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 6, 2010 4:51 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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