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Thompson on Hollywood

Roles That Could Have Been, Women vs. Horror, Hereafter's Cecile de France

- A look back at the roles that got away might soothe Mel Gibson's nerves now that his Hangover 2 role has gone to Liam Neeson. (The LAT's Patrick Goldstein looks at how loose lips lose jobs.) Here's a sampling, courtesy of TheDailyBeast: Demi Moore lost the lead in 1983's Flashdance to Jennifer Beals; Matthew McConaughey lost Jack Dawson in 1997's Titanic to Leonardo DiCaprio; Sandra Bullock lost Runaway Bride to Julia Roberts in 1999, the same year Michael Cera competed with Haley Joel Osment for The Sixth Sense; Meryl Streep was at one point lined up to play Evita before Madonna took over in 1996; Charlize Theron was in the running for Elizabeth Berkley's stripper in Showgirls in 1995; Jake Gyllenhaal auditioned for Ewan McGregor's role in Baz Luhrmann's 2001 musical Moulin Rouge!; and Robert Redford chased Dustin Hoffman's part in 1967's The Graduate.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 26, 2010 4:05 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Scorsese's Mafia Movie Dream Team, Mulligan in My Fair Lady, Cher and Fonda Aging Gracefully?

- It sounds too good to be true; Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese all working on a hitman drama entitled The Irishman? It's one of a handful of projects Scorsese is considering for his next film (he's currently shooting 3-D Hugo Cabret with Chloe Moretz, Jude Law, Emily Mortimer, Ben Kingsley and Sacha Baron Cohen). De Niro has been developing the picture at Paramount through his Tribeca Productions. The script is written by Steve Zaillian (Schindler's List, Gangs of New York, David Fincher's Dragon Tattoo series), based on the 2004 book I Heard You Paint Houses: Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran & The Inside Story of The Mafia, The Teamsters, & The Last Ride of Jimmy Hoffa by Charles Brandt. The title comes from the first words ever spoken from Jimmy Hoffa to Frank Sheeran (presumably Pacino and Pesci), the subtext approximating: "I heard you kill people and paint the walls and floors with their blood." With a title like that, what better cause to reunite this Goodfellas/Heat/Casino crowd?
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 14, 2010 3:46 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Roberts Talks Eat Pray Love, Tucci Directs Streep, Galifianakis Comedies, Von Trier's Melancholia

- In this week's Eat Pray Love EW cover story, Julia Roberts reveals that she declined the option to have a spit bucket, preferring to actually eat all of the food during the Eat portion of the film set in Italy. The 7 to 10 pounds Roberts gained was exactly what her character needed to do before moving on to the praying and loving; an authentic rediscovery of her taste for life and abandonment of joyless eating (and living). As for Roberts' working relationship with director Ryan Murphy--a healthy one, since they're working together again --Roberts says "one of the things I love the most about Ryan is that he has a real legitimate answer for everything. There’s nothing that he hasn’t considered weeks before I’ve thought of the question."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • July 29, 2010 5:29 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Casting News: Streep's Thatcher, Penn's Paskowitz, Ruffalo's Normal Heart

- Meryl Streep is in talks to star as Margaret Thatcher in Phyllida Lloyd's Thatcher (the two worked together on Mamma Mia!), and Jim Broadbent may play her husband, reports THR. The story, written by Damien Jones (Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll) and Brian Fillis, follows the British prime minister during the 17 days leading up to the 1982 Falklands War, which wound up saving her career (and doubled her approval ratings). While this is certainly not the first biographical character for Streep (Julia Child being the latest), the role of Thatcher may carry enough weight to land her a third Oscar. Even if it doesn't, she'll still likely outperform any other working actress out of habit. HitFix says Streep's 14 consecutive Oscar losses are "an embarrassment for both Hollywood and the Academy" - perhaps - but statues aside, does anyone truly question whether or not she's the greatest?
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • July 1, 2010 8:04 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Streep and Bridges, Burton and Kong, Damon at the Zoo, Mischer on Betty White as Oscar Host

- Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges - yes, please! Production Weekly says the pair, a pinnacle of Oscar clout, are finalizing deals to star as a couple undergoing marriage counseling in dramedy Great Hope Springs. ThePlaylist also notes that Philip Seymour Hoffman was suggested to play the couple's doctor, but his schedule may exclude him from that possibility. I Am Sam director Jessie Nelson is lined up to direct from a script written by Vanessa Taylor, a TV writer and producer who worked on series Alias, Everwood and Tell Me You Love Me.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 24, 2010 5:29 AM
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Oscilloscope to Release Cazale Doc I Knew It Was You on DVD

In acting circles, the late John Cazale was a respected character actor even before he played Fredo in The Godfather and its first sequel and Stan in The Deer Hunter.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 22, 2010 6:12 AM
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Oscar Box Office Bump? Nope. Except for Crazy Heart and An Education

TOH box office analyst Anthony D'Alessandro lays out which films--if any--got a bump from this year's expanded Oscar derby.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • March 8, 2010 7:46 AM
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Oscar Talk Episode 23: Last Phase Tricky Campaign and Voting Issues

Oscar Talk Episode 23: Last Phase Tricky Campaign and Voting Issues
On Oscar Talk 23, Kris Tapley and I chew over the last phase of this year's Oscar campaigns and issues surrounding the email misstep by rookie The Hurt Locker producer Nicholas Chartier and any impact it could have on the race. We both have problems with the preferential ballot process, as Academy members try to figure it out.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 26, 2010 9:22 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Oscar Duel: Renner vs. Bridges, Bullock vs. Streep

Oscar Duel: Renner vs. Bridges, Bullock vs. Streep
At this stage of the Oscar race, Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart) has taken the momentum away former front-runner George Clooney (Up in the Air) for Best Actor, but some in Hollywood sense growing support for newcomer Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker). Meanwhile, rookie Oscar nominee Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side) and 16-time nominee, two-time winner Meryl Streep are in a tight race for Best Actress. In this dueling blog, Moviefone Oscarologist Jack Mathews and I consider the odds of a Renner upset and another Streep defeat. Best Actor first.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 23, 2010 3:01 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Oscar Talk 22: Dueling Oscar Producers, Weinstein's Inglourious Basterds Push, Bullock Talks

Kris Tapley and I dig into the meat of the matter this week as the Oscar season goes into overdrive. Are voters trying to rig the top ten? What has a better shot of winning, The Hurt Locker, Avatar or Inglourious Basterds, which Harvey Weinstein has been relentlessly flogging? Are Oscar producers Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic (who aren't getting along) going to be able to put together a strong show with ten best picture nominees and no Oscar-nominated songs?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 19, 2010 10:04 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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