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Thompson on Hollywood

HBO, Tandem & Scott Free Team for Cinemax Crime Series The Sector, about Genetically Enhanced Humans

HBO, Tandem Communications and Scott Free Productions are developing an action-crime series to run on Cinemax. The one-hour series is "in the vein of Blade Runner/District 9" and "tracks the commander of a paramilitary unit who pursues a dangerous new race of genetically-enhanced humans." Criminal Minds's Simon Mirren will serve as exec-producer and showrunner for the project, from writer-creators Aaron Benay and Matthew Benay. Tandem is also behind Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth series, which also has a follow up series in the works with Scott Free, based on Follett's World Without End.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 1, 2011 8:46 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Ridley Scott Takes on Follett's World Without End; Cast includes Nixon, Richardson, Chaplin, Firth

UPDATE 6/29: Principal photography will begin July 11 on World Without End, with actors Cynthia Nixon, Miranda Richardson, Ben Chaplin, Peter Firth, Charlotte Riley, Megan Follows and Sarah Gadon and more. The eight-hour series has a $44 million pricetag, and exec producer Rola Bauer says; "Our strategy has always been to bring cinematic values to television. In addition to having Michael Caton-Jones’ strong and experienced directorial vision on all eight hours of this epic thriller, we have assembled an exemplary cast who will make these great characters come alive on screen and attract audiences worldwide.”
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 30, 2011 8:42 AM
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  • 1 Comment

In Development: Akira Remake, Fincher for Jolie's Cleopatra, Agatha Christie and The Fighter 2

- Warner Bros./Legendary Pictures is eyeing several actors for a reworked script of Katsuhiro Ôtomo’s six-volume graphic novel Akira, reports Deadline. Harry Potter franchise screenwriter Steve Kloves (also writer-director of The Fabulous Baker Boys) is working on the rewrite and Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli) is signed on to direct in August. In contention for role #1 ("Tetsuo") are Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield and James McAvoy; for role #2 ("Kaneda"), there's Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake and Joaquin Phoenix. Our picks would be McAvoy and Fassbender, who will likely pass on this retelling.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 22, 2011 5:30 AM
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  • 9 Comments

Angelina Jolie Goes UTA; Maleficent, Cleopatra, Serena, Scarpetta, Gucci, Tomb Raider Updates

Angelina Jolie, whose Untitled Bosnian War Love Story (financed and produced by GK Films) is in post-production, has signed with United Talent Agency as writer and director. She has long functioned without an acting agent but has been loyal to her manager at Media Talent Group, Geyer Kosinski. UTA's Rich Klubech told Deadline: "Angelina has a distinct and powerful creative voice, and having read her work and seen parts of the film she's directing, we're very certain that she's entering a new and fruitful phase of her extraordinary career."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 15, 2011 1:06 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Sundance Alert: Life in a Day Premieres at Sundance and on YouTube

Sundance Alert: Life in a Day Premieres at Sundance and on YouTube
Check out Life in a Day--live on YouTube as of 8 PM EST Thursday. Yes, big Hollywood filmmaker Ridley Scott is involved, but remember, the guy makes films and commercials and knows how to edit little pieces of film together. "This isn't like any other film you've seen before," as documentary/narrative filmmaker Kevin Macdonald said before the film unspooled Thursday night at Sundance. "Thank God it's better than Koyaanisqatsi," said one critic. Yes, it's much better.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 28, 2011 1:18 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Casting Watch: Theron vs. Rapace For Alien, Hobbit Reunites Cast, Hawkes and Parker for Indie Drama

- Charlize Theron won't be joining Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer and new cast member Ed Westwick in Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar. Naomi Watts and Amy Adams are being eyed by Eastwood to fill the role of Helen Gandy (Hoover's personal secretary). Who can blame Theron for turning down a secretary when she's set to play the Evil Queen in Unviersal's Snow White and the Huntsman. Twentieth Century Fox reportedly is rewriting their Alien franchise prequel for Theron, but director Ridley Scott seems to be favoring Dragon Tattoo's Noomi Rapace. Theron is the only female movie star beyond Angelina Jolie who can carry an action movie--while less-known Scandinavian import Rapace is a gamble. She and Rapace would certainly bring different things to the character of Elizabeth Shaw.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 11, 2011 6:29 AM
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  • 10 Comments

Underrated, Underdog and Misunderstood Films of 2010

Underrated, Underdog and Misunderstood Films of 2010
Who doesn't like an underdog? They're not asking to win the Oscar for Best Picture, but these under-appreciated films deserve to be seen by wider audiences than their box office numbers, critics or lack of awards talk would suggest. After the jump is a sampling of the worthy films singled out by The New York Times, The Atlantic, Moviefone, The Playlist and Associated Content. Our adds to your bucket list of films to watch when awards season is over (or now, if you're caught up) are:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 4, 2011 9:20 AM
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  • 9 Comments

Toy Story 3 Tops Quentin Tarantino's Best of 2010

Quentin Tarantino has posted his favorite movies of 2010, all twenty of them. Unlike many critics, Tarantino has no problem with citing movies that are popular hits. And he's seen his share of obscurities as well. Tarantino is an Academy member, though not a typical one. His taste is catholic, ranging from specialty and foreign films to raunchy comedies, animated family fare and big-budget actioners. His most surprising choices are two critical and box office studio failures that are as well-directed as they were commercially misguided: James Mangold's Knight and Day and Ridley Scott's Robin Hood. Wow.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 2, 2011 11:44 AM
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  • 8 Comments

Three Critics: Are Sequels Killing Hollywood?

Three Critics: Are Sequels Killing Hollywood?
In our latest column at Moviefone, indieWIRE critics Eric Kohn and Leonard Maltin and I take on Hollywood's bad case of sequelitis, from Saw to Harry Potter, which seems only to be getting worse each year.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 14, 2010 6:57 AM
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  • 18 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

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