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Thompson on Hollywood

Gender Watch: Tourist's Jolie Talks to Vogue, Black Swan's Portman Writes

- Angelina Jolie is Vogue's December cover girl (photos by Mario Testino), which, as usual, coincides with the release of her latest, The Tourist with Johnny Depp, out December 10. The woman doesn't have an agent, and why would she? The mold or model doesn't apply to her, and yet The Tourist's director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (The Lives of Others) confirms to Vogue that “she gets every single script that has a female role aged between eighteen and 40—every script. And she just follows her feeling, holds her own counsel. She’s probably the only global megastar that doesn’t even have an agent—she doesn’t even have a publicist.” Vogue's Vicki Woods was taken in and distracted by her famous face but says once you "clear away the craziness and tabloid clatter that swirls around the Jolie-Pitt family (or “brand”)…you find a practical woman with terrific forward-planning skills." Jolie, on playing the role that was originally written for Tom Cruise in Salt:“I felt it was a weird thing that every time you ask for a strong female role, it’s written in this strange way where it uses sexuality far too much. Or it’s all about being a woman and beating a man. So it wasn’t a surprise to me that the only way to do a strong female role properly was to not have originally written for a woman.”
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 12, 2010 6:51 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Cameron To Direct Avatar 2 & 3; Who Will Direct Cleopatra?

James Cameron has made up his mind. He can't get Avatar out of his head. And he's doing the right thing, shooting two sequels to Avatar (possibly back to back), because he's going to give audiences more of what they want. (Reminder: Avatar grossed $ $2.8 billion worldwide, bolstered by premium 3-D prices, and tops Blu-ray sales records.) And he'll plow some of the huge R & D that went into the cost of Avatar back into the sequels (presumably making them less expensive--although you know he'll want to up the VFX ante). And he will remind us of what top-of-the-line 3-D can be. Immersive. Engrossing. Welcoming us into another world, in this case, Pandora. Don't you want to go back there? Holiday 2014 and 2015 seem very far away. But now Cameron knows what he is going to do next.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 27, 2010 4:49 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Round-Up: Best Actress Buzzing, Quoting The Social Network, Does Winter's Bone Have a Chance?

Oscar Round-Up: Best Actress Buzzing, Quoting The Social Network, Does Winter's Bone Have a Chance?
Buzz is building around this year's best actress Oscar race: "Unlike most years when men dominate the critical buzz for strong roles," asserts TheStar's Zorianna Kit. Well, that's debatable: last year boasted the Sandra Bullock/Meryl Streep flirtation, Carey Mulligan's breakout performance, Mo'Nique, Helen Mirren, Kathryn Bigelow winning for best director…and so on. But certainly this year boasts an abundance of actresses to pick from, including some who grabbed our attention in untraditional roles, from Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right to Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone--and many have not yet seen fall fest fave Natalie Portman in Black Swan. Fasten your seat belts.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 21, 2010 4:07 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Sony Wants Jolie as Cleopatra, but Can They Land Cameron?

Sony envisions a mouth-watering Cleopatra franchise with Hollywood's only female action star, Angelina Jolie, as the mighty Egyptian Queen. James Cameron, post-Avatar, is being conjured to take on this project, reports Deadline's Mike Fleming, because he's one of the few directors Sony chairman Amy Pascal would trust with such a risky mammoth-budget 3-D period spectacle. But can she and producer Scott Rudin land him? (The answer I hear is yes).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 15, 2010 7:20 AM
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  • 9 Comments

Piling on Snow White, 360's Four-Poster Casting, BBC Lines Up Mendes, Campion, Hare

- Universal is finalizing a deal to land the latest public-domain brand-name fairy tale, Snow White and the Huntsman, written by Evan Daugherty and to be directed by commercials-turned-feature director Rupert Sanders.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 30, 2010 7:21 AM
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  • 1 Comment

King, Schlessel, Berney Talk FilmDistrict, Plan to Release Depp's Rum Diary, London Boulevard

When a market contracts, it offers opportunities to fill the void. As expected, having imported Sony heavyweight Peter Schlessel as president, producer Graham King of GK Films, backed by his financing partner Tim Headington, is pushing forward to fill the current distribution gap with FilmDistrict.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 27, 2010 12:19 PM
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  • 5 Comments

Portman Offered Gravity, Defining Adult Films, Toronto's Most Anticipated

- In the ongoing saga of who will replace Angelina Jolie in the lead role in Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity--she twice rejected the starring role--Natalie Portman has been offered the role, thanks to rave reviews on her Black Swan performance. With or without Black Swan's vote of confidence, Portman is a strong (but young) choice. The age range of the character in Gravity is apparently flexible. Should Portman accept the role, this will be a chance for her to stand out (although Robert Downey Jr. carries some of the load), a la Tom Hanks in Cast Away or James Franco in 127 Hours. Risky Business lists Portman's growing collection of possible projects, including a Terrence Malick film with Brad Pitt, a Tom Stoppard piece written specifically for her, not to mention Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Tom Tykwer's star-packed (Hanks, James McAvoy, Halle Berry, Ian McKellan) Cloud Atlas (both slated for 2011). All along, the actress has made diverse choices, ranging from Heat (1995), which RottenTomatoes rates highest of all her films, when she was 14 (the unheard of Free Zone [2005] is the lowest) to Star Wars (1999, 2002, 2005) and Garden State (2004).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 8, 2010 3:35 AM
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  • 1 Comment

New Jolie News, Too-High Ticket Prices, Help Find Jean-Luc Godard

- Credit Angelina Jolie with keeping it interesting. This week alone, news broke that she is writing and directing her first feature, a Bosnian love story, and now she will be starring in an adaptation of Brit miniseries Unforgiven, about a woman's struggle to re-enter society after serving a 15-year prison sentence for murdering two policemen who tried to evict her and her family from their farmhouse. One revenge-hungry policeman's son is out for revenge. The script will be written by The Usual Suspect's Christopher McQuarrie (who also co-wrote Jolie's upcoming The Tourist). Assuming the script is to Jolie's liking, this could be an excellent chance for her to combine her A Mighty Heart and Girl Interrupted depth (which won her the supporting actress Oscar) with her powerful mess-with-me-and-you'll-be-sorry untouchability.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 26, 2010 4:31 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Mulligan Along for Drive, Almodovar's Latest, Aniston's Rut

- Nicolas Winding Refn (Valhalla Rising, Bronson) has already lined up Ryan Gosling and Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) for his thriller Drive. Now Carey Mulligan is negotiating to play Gosling's passenger. After Gosling's stuntman/freelance getaway driver is involved in a botched bank robbery, he is on the run with the ex-con's girlfriend along for the ride, which no doubt doubles the trouble. Angelenos watch out: shooting starts next month.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 23, 2010 3:14 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Idris Elba as Alex Cross, Bateman's Reckless Masturbation, Fair Game's Identity Crisis

- It's no longer Morgan Freeman's time on the James Patterson murder mystery series (Kiss the Girls, Along Came A Spider). The veteran actor last played the role of Dr. Alex Cross in 2001, but now a new man is taking over the role for Cross, the next cinematic installment in the best-selling series: Idris Elba, of The Wire, The Office, and Obsessed. The 37-year old Brit actor has a long TV and film resume and is due for a meatier lead in a studio feature. Although he's stepping into a role played by Freeman, he's reminiscent of Denzel Washington circa 1999's The Bone Collector. Washington at 43 was in his prime: dignified, sexy, powerful. David Twohy will direct Cross, which follows the character as he tracks a rapist he believes to have murdered his pregnant wife years ago.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 19, 2010 3:59 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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