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This Means War Casting Saga, WGA vs. IMDb, Boyle directs Olympics, Fairy Tales are New Vampires

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood June 17, 2010 at 3:40AM

- McG can't make up his mind on casting vidgame-to-film This Means War. While Reese Witherspoon is set to play the femme at the center of a dispute between two spies--best friends turned enemies in this action-comedy--the two male leads are up in the air. In-demand Bradley Cooper has bailed on the role originally intended for Martin Lawrence, while Seth Rogen and Chris Pine were both reported as attached at some point. Now Vulture asserts that McG has offered his Terminator Salvation star Sam Worthington the lead. The Playlist, which has been tracking the This Means War casting saga, writes that Justin Timberlake was being considered for the film, and filmmakers may go to Colin Farrell if Worthington is a no-go.
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Thompson on Hollywood

- McG can't make up his mind on casting vidgame-to-film This Means War. While Reese Witherspoon is set to play the femme at the center of a dispute between two spies--best friends turned enemies in this action-comedy--the two male leads are up in the air. In-demand Bradley Cooper has bailed on the role originally intended for Martin Lawrence, while Seth Rogen and Chris Pine were both reported as attached at some point. Now Vulture asserts that McG has offered his Terminator Salvation star Sam Worthington the lead. The Playlist, which has been tracking the This Means War casting saga, writes that Justin Timberlake was being considered for the film, and filmmakers may go to Colin Farrell if Worthington is a no-go.

- IMDb is accused of ageism because it lists actors and writers' ages in their mega database. The Writers Guild of America wants the site to allow listed individuals to remove their birthdate from public view, according to The Wrap. The issue is that IMDb is based on full disclosure of all possible information, and this favors the young, not the old. An IMDb spokesperson reassured The Wrap that all data on the site is accurate and carefully monitored. The information can, however, be contributed by anyone, not just publicists or individuals. The WGA's argument seems in part a complaint about who is allowed to submit biographical information and the accuracy of that information, but the larger concern is that the older crowd is at a disadvantage when everyone can see how old they really are. But with or without having your age listed on IMDb (where details of your persona are easily manipulated), age is neither a secret, nor negotiable, once you are in a room with someone.

- Brit filmmaker Danny Boyle will oversee the artistic direction, and a team of four - including Stephen Daldry (The Reader, The Hours) - will executive produce the 2012 Olympic opening and closing ceremonies in London, reports the Washington Post. Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting) said the welcoming ceremony would not replicate the overwhelming scale of Beijing 2008, but with their budget of $60 million, we can guess they will try to match the 1 billion TV viewers that watched the festivities.

Thompson on Hollywood

- Vampires, wizards, and hobbits make money. This we know. Studios surely want to transfer the fantastical success of Twilight, Harry Potter and LOTR onto other popular (branded) stories that don't require reboots or sequels, but rather reinvention and reinterpretation. The trend is toward less sci-fi (been there, done that), more fairy tales and folklore. Examples besides the Shrek series include the recent Alice in Wonderland, Robin Hood, and Bluebeard, plus the upcoming retelling of Cinderella (from The Devil Wears Prada writer Aline Brosh McKenna), 2013's Maleficent (rumored to have Angelina Jolie in the title role as Sleeping Beauty's assumed 'evil' nemesis) and Oz: The Great and Powerful with Robert Downey, Jr., just to name a few. Heat Vision now reports Imagine Entertainment and Radical Pictures are going to develop Nick Percival's graphic novel Legends into a feature. Legends features familiar characters including Pinocchio, Red Riding Hood and Hansel & Gretel.

This article is related to: Directors, Franchises, Genres, Headliners, Studios, Daily Read, Production , Danny Boyle, Twilight, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings/Hobbit, Classics, Sci-fi, Books, Seth Rogen, Angelina Jolie, Chris Pine


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.