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Peter Morgan Talks Clint Eastwood's Hereafter, James Bond, Freddy Mercury, 360, and Tony Blair

Peter Morgan Talks Clint Eastwood's Hereafter, James Bond, Freddy Mercury, 360, and Tony Blair
Screenwriter Peter Morgan is unusual: a Brit based in Vienna, he's a prolific writer of self-generated screenplays, and not so often a writer-for-hire. (He's been nominated for two Oscars, for The Queen, an original, and Frost/Nixon, adapted from his play.) Hereafter is an unusual original, even for him, written in a "disgracefully short period," he says. After Steven Spielberg flirted with it, Clint Eastwood scooped it up and shot it without making any changes. Morgan still isn't sure how he feels about it. Would he have liked to work on it more, or is the movie as good as it is because it's idiosyncratic, not polished, and emotionally raw? (The movie opened well this weekend; Metacritic rates it at 56.) The script weaves together three stories about people trying to reach the hereafter--or in the case of the character played by Matt Damon, avoiding it.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 24, 2010 11:48 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Box Office: Paranormal Activity 2 Scares Up $41.5 million, Hereafter Delivers Decent Bow

Paranormal Activity 2 outperformed expectations with a jaw-dropping $41.5 million estimated opening weekend, thanks to Paramount's innovative interactive marketing campaign (see spot below). The studio held the top two spots with the horror sequel and Jackass 3D, Anthony D'Alessandro reports. In fact, with less product clogging multiplexes, films with strong WOM are holding better than ever, from Secretariat to The Social Network. (Here's IW's indie b.o. report.)Paranormal Activity 2 conjured up masses of moviegoers this weekend: the Paramount horror-thriller howled a hearty $41.5 million at 3,216 sites, a marvelous opening that outstrips the $30-million bows of several Saw chapters and marks a record for a horror film, outstripping the $40.6 million minted by 2009’sFriday the 13th reboot. Overseas, the sequel also pulled in $22 million in 21 territories. As anticipated heading into the weekend, Paramount delivered a double whammy, as it grabbed the No. 2 spot with holdover Jackass 3D, firing up a solid $21.6 million, off 57% -- a typical drop for guy fare.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • October 24, 2010 4:20 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Weekend Box Office Goes to Record-Breaking Jackass 3D; Red Ensemble Scores in Second

Two escapist comedies launched at Comic-Con surged to unexpected box office heights for October as Jackass 3D and ensemble action comedy Red grossed an estimated $50 million and $22.5 million, respectively, reports Anthony D'Alessandro:
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • October 17, 2010 3:49 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Director Watch: Eastwood's Hoover without Phoenix, Julianne Moore Likes Her Helmers Silent

Hoover producer Rob Lorenz has already denied that Joaquin Phoenix would co-star with Leonardo DiCaprio in the biopic; now Clint Eastwood says it too. In fact, Eastwood didn't even realize he was an option. "Didn't he become a rapper?" was his response when addressing the rumor. (Not a good sign as WME's Patrick Whitesell tries to rehabilitate Phoenix's career.)
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 13, 2010 2:05 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Watch: King's Speech Leads Gurus 'O Gold, Wins Hamptons Prize

Oscar Watch: King's Speech Leads Gurus 'O Gold, Wins Hamptons Prize
Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech, starring Colin Firth as a stuttering King George VI, not only won the narrative audience prize at the Hamptons International Film Festival Sunday, but scored number one in the post-Toronto Film Festival Gurus 'o Gold poll (below). I also voted it number one (my current predictions are here and listed below), because the Tom Hooper movie is not only impeccably made and boasts the year's likely best actor winner (Firth), but is emotionally moving in a way that the brilliantly cold The Social Network is not.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 11, 2010 3:33 AM
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  • 7 Comments

Oscar Talk: Diane Lane vs. Annette Bening vs. Julianne Moore, Inception, Hereafter, The Way Back

Oscar Talk: Diane Lane vs. Annette Bening vs. Julianne Moore, Inception, Hereafter, The Way Back
There's still a long way to go in the Oscar race. Kris Tapley and I debate whether Secretariat is this year's mainstream Blind Side, Diane Lane is this year's Sandra Bullock, Julianne Moore and Annette Bening will both make it for The Kids Are All Right, and if Chris Nolan's Inception, John Cameron Mitchell's Rabbit Hole, Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island, Pixar's Toy Story 3, Peter Weir's The Way Back, and Clint Eastwood's Hereafter have a shot at the top ten.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 9, 2010 1:39 AM
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  • 2 Comments

GQ Remembers Goodfellas, Affleck Defends I'm Still Here

- Celebrating Goodfellas' twentieth birthday (September 19, 1990), GQ interviews nearly sixty of the film's cast, crew and "noteworthy admirers." GQ calls it "one of the most endlessly rewatchable American movies ever made," and dubs it the "greatest gangster film of all time." Here's a taste from their interviews: Ray Liotta (Henry Hill): For twenty years now, there's not a day that goes by that I don't hear somebody mention GoodFellas. Unless I stay home all night. It's defined who I am, in a sense.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 22, 2010 5:00 AM
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  • 0 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

NYFF: Eastwood's Hereafter Closes Fest, Line-Up Announced

With David Fincher's The Social Network and The Tempest as two already-announced linchpins of this fall's New York Film Festival, Monday the Fest announced the closer: Clint Eastwood's Hereafter, starring Matt Damon as a San Francisco psychic and Bryce Dallas Howard in a small role as his girlfriend. Eastwood calls this film, written by Peter Morgan, his "chick flick," and Damon tells EW it has a French "vibe."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 16, 2010 4:54 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Cannes Watch: Penn, Binoche, Crowe, Gosling, Douglas, Watts Head for Croisette

Cannes Watch: Penn, Binoche, Crowe, Gosling, Douglas, Watts Head for Croisette
April 15 is both U.S. tax return day and Cannes announcement day, when we finally learned most of the festival's official selection.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 15, 2010 4:00 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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