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Thompson on Hollywood

Directors Hating on Other Directors: Cronenberg vs. Shyamalan, Burton and Green vs. Smith

Thank you, Flavorwire, for reminding us of the dark side of creative genius. In "The 30 Harshest Filmmaker-on-Filmmaker Insults In History," Flavorwire reveals the competitive, nasty side of many beloved filmmakers. Bigmouth Kevin Smith is a dart magnet: but he gives as good as he gets.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 15, 2011 8:25 AM
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  • 9 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Good Word Propels Rise of the Planet of the Apes to $54 Million, Change-Up Soft

Weekend Box Office: Good Word Propels Rise of the Planet of the Apes to $54 Million, Change-Up Soft
Truth is, Fox did not know what a powerful box office contender it had in prequel Rise of the Planet of the Apes, waiting to screen the film until the last minute when the film's astonishing VFX were final. Then the good word exploded, and the movie scored a rousing $54 million opening weekend. Anthony D'Alessandro digs into the numbers. Fox executives had every reason to beat their chests this morning as Rise of the Planet of the Apes greatly exceeded expectations with $54 million. Meanwhile Universal suits saw yet another summer entry disappoint, as R-rated guy comedy The Change-Up followed last weekend's Cowboys & Aliens with a dispiriting $13.5 million opening.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • August 7, 2011 4:35 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Elba's Star Rises with Pacific Rim; Del Toro Wants To Direct Jolie in Maleficent

Idris Elba may not be playing Django in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained (he did, however, win our casting poll), but after TV hits The Wire, The Office and Luther and numerous co-star and supporting film roles (including 28 Weeks Later, American Gangster, RocknRolla, Obsessed, The Losers, Taken, Thor) and the upcoming Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and Prometheus (alongside Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace and Charlize Theron), the actor is anything but desperate for work.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 22, 2011 7:14 AM
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  • 0 Comments

David O. Russell Loves Jolie, Eyes her for Silver Lining, in the Running to Direct Maleficent

Angelina Jolie, who remains attached to star in Maleficent, still lacks a director. Tim Burton bowed out in May, making room for David O. Russell and others to be considered by Disney. Russell was available for consideration after parting ways with Columbia Pictures over creative differences on the video game adaptation Unchartered Drake's Fortune (for which the director also drafted a script).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 15, 2011 7:57 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Dark Shadows Update: Tim Burton Confirms "Weird Tone," Not in 3-D; Director's Exhibit Opens at LACMA

Tim Burton fans in Los Angeles can rejoice now that his LACMA exhibit is open (more details below, and here's a slideshow). The Wrap took the chance to chat with the director at the exhibition's opening. Of his Dark Shadows adaptation (currently in production), Burton says, "we’re sort of getting right in there." He confirms the project has a "weird tone," and will be somewhat soap-opera-esque (like the 1960s TV show that precedes it), but adds:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 31, 2011 4:57 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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

Fairy Tale Trend Reveals Female Sex Threat; A Comprehensive Guide to Fairy Tales in the Works UPDATE

- A bit behind the curve, The Guardian warns: "Prepare for a fairytale invasion." The trend will "really get into top gear with the debut in the U.S. of [Catherine Hardwicke's] Little Red Riding Hood." While we've been tracking the abundance of fairy tales -- from the high-profile The Brothers Grimm: Snow White starring Julia Roberts as the Evil Queen to Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters to Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio (we've compiled details on all the fairy tales in the works and a quiz, below) -- The Guardian is honing in on themes of sexual awakening and the supernatural -- the popular variation of which was kicked off by the Twilight series and has been picked up for Red Riding Hood (clearly aiming for the same teen demo).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 8, 2011 6:44 AM
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  • 0 Comments

In Development: Hoult's Giant Killer and Warm Bodies; Bardem in Dark Tower; Yet Another Fairy Tale

- A Single Man star Nicholas Hoult (pictured in a campaign for director/fashion designer Tom Ford) is on the rise with X-Men First Class, Jack and the Giant Killer, and now, Warm Bodies and the stalled Mad Max: Fury Road are in the works. X-Men opens June 3, Bryan Singer's Jack and the Giant Killer, a modern fairytale retelling (sounds familiar), is in pre-production at Warner Bros. (set to shoot mid-March with Ewan McGregor, Bill Nighy, Stanley Tucci and the just-cast Brit actress Eleanor Tomlinson, set to play Princess Isabella). Summit's Warm Bodies, to be directed by Jonathan Levine off an Isaac Marion book, is set for a summer production. Described as a hybrid of Twilight and Shaun of the Dead, the story follows an existentially-tormented zombie who befriends the girlfriend of one of his victims. Hoult first got our attention in 2002's About A Boy, when he was just 12 years old.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 2, 2011 6:30 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Development Watch: Oscar Contenders at Work: Eisenberg & Leo, Brolin & Burton, Tarantino & Waltz

Development Watch: Oscar Contenders at Work: Eisenberg & Leo, Brolin & Burton, Tarantino & Waltz
- With the award season wrapped, Oscar nominees and winners can get back to work. This summer, Best Actor nominee Jesse Eisenberg and Best Supporting Actress winner Melissa "F-Word" Leo will shoot Predisposed, an independent comedy about a drug-addict mom and her son, set on the day of his interview at Julliard and her enlistment in rehab, where she must arrive intoxicated in order to be admitted without health insurance. This is not a new role for Leo: a short of the same name went to Sundance in 2009. Philip Dorling and Ron Nyswaner (Philadelphia) wrote the script, and while Dorling directed the short, Nyswaner will direct the feature. 30 Rock's Tracy Morgan is rumored to be playing Leo's drug dealer.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 1, 2011 7:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Things I Learned On the Awards Party Circuit

Things I Learned On the Awards Party Circuit
On Oscar night I started on the red carpet --taking pictures, grabbing video interviews and tweeting madly--and then repaired to the interview room to listen to the show and backstage Q and As (transcripts here). After the best picture winners for The King's Speech had wrapped up, I walked over to the Governor's Ball just as Nicole Kidman and husband Keith Urban were leaving, heading down the escalator; the trio of winning producers, Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, posed for me with their Oscars.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 1, 2011 2:10 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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