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Thompson on Hollywood

In the Works: John Madden Set to Direct Whodunit Comedy 'Murder Mystery,' Charlize Theron in Talks to Produce and Star

John Madden's "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" recently crossed the $100 million mark worldwide. In the wake of this phenomenal success, Madden will direct revisionist Agatha Christie-style thriller-comedy "Murder Mystery," from a script by John Vanderbilt. Charlize Theron is producing under her Denver and Delilah Productions banner, along with Endgame and Tower Hill, and is in talks to take the film's starring role.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • June 13, 2012 3:43 PM
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Danny Boyle Recreates Bucolic English Countryside for London's 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony; Stephen Daldry Also On Deck

Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle is facing a challenge that would make most directors shrink: Directing a cast of thousands, including a village cricket team and parade of nurses, plus 12 horses, 10 chickens, 9 geese and 70 (!) sheep. But this isn't a new film -- it's London's 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • June 13, 2012 2:36 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Tribeca Film Acquires Rights to Berlin Silver Bear Winner 'War Witch'

Tribeca Film has acquired the rights to Kim Nguyen's "War Witch," which had its world premiere and garnered a Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year, and took home the Best Actress in a Narrative Feature Award at the Tribeca Film Festival. The talented actress in question is 15-year-old Rachel Mwanza, who was discovered on the streets of Kinshasa, Congo.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • June 13, 2012 2:23 PM
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IN THE WORKS: Chris Nolan and Emma Thomas Back Oscar-Winning 'Inception' Cinematographer's First Feature (VIDEO)

That's what a director with clout does: he gives his long-time director of photography a chance to direct. Thus Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas are backing Wally Pfister--who won the Oscar for "Inception" and just won an AFI Alumnae Award last week. He cited as his idol Franklin Schaffner ("Papillon" and "The Planet of the Apes").
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 13, 2012 2:11 PM
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  • 1 Comment

In the Works: Duplass Bros. to Remake 1978's 'Same Time, Next Year' with Universal, Rudin Set to Produce

The ever-busy Duplass brothers have signed with Universal to remake the 1978 film "Same Time, Next Year," with Scott Rudin set to produce, along with original producer, nonagenarian Walter Mirisch.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • June 13, 2012 1:09 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Obit: Broadcaster Chris Stanley is Dead at 65

When I was invited to a friend's memorial via Facebook, I thought, "No, I just heard Chris Stanley on KUSC." In fact the same day that I heard him on Arts Alive, he died of a heart attack. He had just moved back to Los Angeles from working as Fox News Radio's night anchor in New York.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 12, 2012 7:31 PM
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  • 3 Comments
More: Media, Obit

CASTING WATCH: Aronofsky's 'Noah' Wants Winstone, Watson & Wife; Penelope Cruz Joins 'Counselor,' Reteams with Almodovar

Darren Aronofsky's "Noah" is adding to its ark. Aussie Russell Crowe will play the titular Biblical character, while Brit Ray Winstone ("Sexy Beast," "The Departed," "Hugo") has been offered the villain role. Emma Watson is in talks to join as Ila, a girl rescued by Noah, a role Dakota Fanning had to turn down due to scheduling conflicts.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 12, 2012 4:28 PM
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Fox Searchlight Names Director Neil Burger for 'Animal Rescue' Adaptation from Dennis Lehane

Neil Burger will direct an adaptation of Dennis Lehane's short story "Animal Rescue" for Fox Searchlight and Chernin Entertertainment after his surprisingly successful "Limitless" starring Bradley Cooper.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 12, 2012 4:27 PM
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Strand Takes Eytan Fox's 'Yossi'; Heading to Fall Fests Prior to 2013 Release

Strand Releasing takes North American rights to Israel's "Yossi," from director Eytan Fox. The film, which debuted at Tribeca to strong reviews, is the director's follow up to "Yossi & Jagger," and features Ohad Knoller again in the titular role. In "Yossi," he plays a lonely workaholic doctor in Tel Aviv who is sent on vacation by his boss; when he meets a group of soldiers, he is shaken awake. 


  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 12, 2012 4:27 PM
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Telluride 's 2012 Guest Director is Geoff Dyer

Every year Labor Day Weekend's Telluride Film Festival picks a guest director to select part of the program. Past guests have included Alexander Payne, John Boorman, Buck Henry, Errol Morris, Peter Sellars and Stephen Sondheim. The guest for the 39th Telluride, sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, is author Geoff Dyer.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 11, 2012 3:48 AM
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