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Thompson on Hollywood

Disney Chief Bob Iger to Chair Academy Museum Fundraising Campaign with Tom Hanks and Annette Bening UPDATED

Save LACMA Film Protests
Not wasting any time getting the fundraising effort started on the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, AMPAS president Tom Sherak and CEO Dawn Hudson have landed a big fish to chair their capital fundraising effort: Walt Disney President and CEO Bob Iger (whose ABC network happens to air the Oscar telecast), along with fellow Academy members Annette Bening and Tom Hanks as co-chairs.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 7, 2011 1:42 PM
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More: News, News

IN THE WORKS: Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin, Christ the Lord, Shyamalan's 1000 A.E. with Smith, Kravitz & Okonedo

Director Bruce Beresford ("Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding," "Driving Miss Daisy") will direct "Taliesin," about one dramatic event in the life of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Writer Nicholas Meyer centers the script on the events surrounding the home the architect built (Taliesin) for himself and his mistress, former client and married woman Martha "Mamah" Cheney. She, her two children and four others were murdered in 1914 while Wright was away: a domestic worker locked them inside, set fire to the home and attacked them with an axe. Beresford tells THR that the "very good script" covers only a small section of the architect's life and "doesn't whitewash him into some sort of saint." Beresford also notes its odd that there has never been a feature about him, though Ken Burns made a documentary in 1998, "Frank Lloyd Wright." The director has an actor in mind but is keeping the name to himself for now.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 6, 2011 1:44 PM
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  • 1 Comment

In The Land of Blood & Lawsuits: Jolie, GK Films and FilmDistrict Sued Over Film's Similarities to Croatian Book

Angelina Jolie (along with GK Films, FilmDistrict and Scout Film) is being sued. Croatian journalist James Braddock alleges that her film, "In The Land of Blood and Honey," has similarities with his 2007 book, "The Soul Shattering." For two years beginning in 2008, he states that he consulted with Edin Sarkic, a co-producer on the film (on points including "plot and character development and the story's cultural significance and historical accuracy"). The two allegedly discussed the possibility of adapting his book, but that's as far as it went until Braddock learned of Jolie's film.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 6, 2011 1:30 PM
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Warner Bros. Theater to Open at Smithsonian in February

A new theater bearing the Warner Bros. studio name will open in February 2012 at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. In addition to providing the grant to fund the theater's renovation, Warners will also partner with the Smithsonian Institute to present four public film festivals throughout the coming year.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • December 5, 2011 10:34 PM
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  • 1 Comment

1927 Best Picture Winner "Wings" to Screen in January

The first Academy Awards were handed out in 1927, when the silent World War I epic "Wings" took home the prize for Outstanding Picture, the precursor to today's Best Picture.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • December 5, 2011 3:22 PM
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Jolie's In the Land of Blood and Honey Passes Muster with Newsweek

Newsweek's profile on Angelina Jolie, "Angie Goes to War" gives more insight into her directorial debut, "In The Land of Blood and Honey," than 60 Minutes did. Put Jolie on video for TV and the focus is bound to be her famous face, her celebrity.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 5, 2011 3:14 PM
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New Hollywood Graffiti from Hanksy

Has Banksy gone Hollywood? No, the folks at FunnyOrDie have posted a best of Hanksy slideshow, where you can see the visage of the grinning Hanks in various knock-offs of Banksy's heavy-handed street art. The best, perhaps, is an inexplicable photo of Hanks on a fast-food trash can.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • December 5, 2011 11:55 AM
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More: Tom Hanks

Now and Then: With Recent Controversies, Maybe Critics Matter?

Something changed this week. As the days passed, each became part of a snowballing narrative about critics that seemed to me to portend a future less than bright. The New York Critics pandered to the Oscar horse race and ended up muffing the whole deal, losing their one chance a year to go out on a limb. AT’s criticism of the latest incarnation of “At the Movies” ignited the usual mixed bag of fury. And now David Denby’s gone and broken Sony’s review embargo on “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • December 5, 2011 11:22 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Sony, Rudin Fight Back Against The New Yorker for Breaking The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Review Embargo

Scott Rudin is pissed. And so is Sony. They feel strongly that the New York Film Critics Circle made a deal with them to honor a worldwide December 13 review embargo on David Fincher's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," which opens December 21. The studio and the filmmakers went out of their way to screen the movie for the NYFCC on November 28; the critics delayed their voting by one day in order to see the film. Every member agreed in writing to honor the embargo. During their vote, the critics did not give the film any awards. But critic David Denby (who fought against moving the voting earlier this year) went ahead and filed a review for The New Yorker for the issue that hits the stands on Monday, December 5, a week ahead of the embargo deadline.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 4, 2011 8:36 PM
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  • 11 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Twilight and Muppets Hold Top Spots, Hugo Moves Into Third Place

A post-Thanksgiving hangover held sway at the sluggish weekend box office as most films saw steep percentage drops. The total gross for all films was an estimated $82 million, down some 5% from the comparable frame last year, when Disney’s “Tangled” topped the charts with $21.6 million in its second week. Summit’s “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1” clung to the top slot for the third consecutive weekend, taking in an estimated $16.9 million, down 59%, bringing the total to date for the vampire-romancer to an impressive $247.3 million. It's the first time a "Twilight" pic held onto number one for three weeks. 
  • By Brian Fuson
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  • December 4, 2011 1:15 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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