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Thompson on Hollywood

Sorkin Talks Upcoming HBO Series 'The Newsroom,' False 'Barton Fink' Experience, Cliffhanger Pressure, Pedi-Conferencing, Steve Jobs (VIDEO)

Aaron Sorkin's terrific in-depth interview with Dave Itzkoff of The New York Times, which has been published incrementally on the Times' Arts Beat blog, had its final installment today. Sorkin talks "the writer's enemy is fatigue," stressing the cliche of the cliffhanger, and the two on-air shows he's "evangelical" about. Excerpts from the interview below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • June 8, 2012 6:12 PM
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Official Poster for 'End of Watch' with Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena

The official poster for "End of Watch" shows Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña at the fore of a character-driven police thriller (full poster and trailer posted below). Directed by "Training Day" screenwriter David Ayer, "End of Watch" tells the story of two young Los Angeles police officers as they contend with risks, family, and duty. Anna Kendrick ("Up in the Air"), Frank Grillo ("The Grey"), and America Ferrera ("Ugly Betty") also star in the crime drama, which premieres September 28, 2012.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • June 8, 2012 5:53 PM
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Production Designer J. Michael Riva Died After a Stroke UPDATE

J. Michael Riva had great legs. "I come by them honestly," he would say to admirers. That's because the respected Hollywood production designer, who worked with everyone from Steven Spielberg (he was Oscar-nominated for "The Color Purple") and Rob Reiner ("A Few Good Men") to Marc Webb ("The Amazing Spider-Man"), Jon Favreau ("Zathura" and the first two "Iron Man" films) and Quentin Tarantino ("Django Unchained") was the New York-born son of Maria Riva and the grandson of Marlene Dietrich.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 8, 2012 11:12 AM
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IN THE WORKS: Fernando Meirelles To Direct Aristotle Onassis Biopic 'Nemesis'

Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles ("City of God," "The Constant Gardener") will start production on his new film in Croatia in October. "Nemesis" is a biopic of Greek tycoon Aristotle Onassis, the second husband of Jackie Kennedy. Casting is underway, though no names have been attached yet.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • June 7, 2012 5:49 PM
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Career Update: George Clooney To Direct New Yorker Article-Turned-Movie, 'The Yankee Comandante'

George Clooney's career continues to flourish. No surprises there. Focus Features is in negotiations for the rights to David Grann's epic New Yorker article "The Yankee Comandante" (which only published on May 28), with Clooney attached to direct. He will also serve as a producer on the film, with his Smokehouse partner Grant Heslov.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • June 7, 2012 5:29 PM
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Multi-Tasker James Franco Reviews 'Snow White and the Huntsman,' Gives a Much-Maligned Kristen Stewart Her Due

In an op-ed column and half-review of "Snow White and the Huntsman" for The Huffington Post, James Franco reveals his academic training as he writes about his hard-working Nana, looks at the emotional standards of live-action vs. animation, and sticks up for Kristen Stewart, whose Snow White many critics have deemed unworthy...
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • June 7, 2012 5:00 PM
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  • 6 Comments

Documentarian Alex Gibney Gets Infusion from Content Media to Make More Diverse Movies

Congrats to doc filmmaker Alex Gibney ("Gonzo," "Magic Trip"), who has obtained an infusion of cash from John Schmidt's Content Media, which has acquired half of Jigsaw Productions. Gibney wants to add staff and expand into more areas in film and television, including episodic television and features.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 6, 2012 8:31 PM
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William McDonald Named New Chair of UCLA Department of Film, TV, and Digital Media

UCLA has appointed cinematographer and professor William McDonald as the new Chair of UCLA Department of Film, TV, and Digital Media (FTVDM). He will start his position on July 1, 2012.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • June 6, 2012 7:02 PM
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In the Works: Emma Forrest to Adapt Joanna Smith Rakoff's 'My Salinger Year'

Much as "My Week with Marilyn"is based on a production assistant's memoir about having an affair with the iconic actress on the set of "The Prince and the Showgirl," Joanna Smith Rakoff's upcoming Knopff novel "My Salinger Year is about her college-age dealings with J.D. Salinger while working at the agency that represented him.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • June 6, 2012 6:56 PM
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Elvis Lives! In the Digital Realm, Ageless Avatars Are the Future, from Pitt to Bridges

It was inevitable. Now that digital likenesses are so easy to accomplish, iconic figures will live on in the digital realm, making money for their estates. The latest news: Digital Domain Media Group and CORE Media are developing a series of "virtual" Elvis Presleys.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 6, 2012 3:15 PM
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