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Thompson on Hollywood

Casting Watch: Duplass Joins Pine, Banks, Wilde in Welcome To The People; Odd Life of Timothy Green

- Alex Kurtzman is veering away from his writing roots (M:I 3, Transformers, Star Trek, Cowboys & Aliens) in his directorial debut, Welcome To The People (which he co-wrote with Jody Lambert and long-time writing partner Roberto Orci). In the DreamWorks drama, a young businessman (Chris Pine) loses his father and must deliver an inheritance to his long-lost alcoholic sister (Elizabeth Banks, who nabbed the role Hilary Swank wanted; Amy Adams passed). He discovers that his sister now has a volatile 12-year old son. Rather than deliver the money, Pine reaches out to his sister and nephew without revealing who he truly is. Olivia Wilde joins the cast as Pine's girlfriend, and Michelle Pfeiffer plays his mother. Actor-writer-director Mark Duplass (Cyrus) just signed on to play a neighbor and love interest for Banks' character. The film is set to roll this month.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 17, 2011 8:14 AM
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Golden Globes Nominations Led by King's Speech, with Seven

While The Golden Globes nominations have an impact on momentum going into the Oscar race, they are not predictive. That's partly because the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (some 80 foreign correspondents) break their categories into Drama and Comedy or Musical. Thus it becomes easy to dismiss certain titles that the Oscars are likely to ignore, including Frankie & Alice, Burlesque, Barney's Version, Easy A, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Red, Casino Jack, The Tourist, and Love & Other Drugs. (Full list of nominees below.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 14, 2010 1:42 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Spielberg Casts Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln

Steven Spielberg has found his Lincoln. Ultra-picky Daniel Day-Lewis, 53, with two Oscars behind him, seems picture-perfect for the role of the iconic 16th president of the United States, who lead the country through the bloody Civil War. Liam Neeson was in line for the role at one point, but dropped out of the running, citing his age, 58 (Lincoln was 56 when he was assassinated). Said Spielberg:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 19, 2010 6:54 AM
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  • 9 Comments

Academy Accepts 15 Submissions for Animation Race: Only Three Nomination Slots

Academy Accepts 15 Submissions for Animation Race: Only Three Nomination Slots
Bad news for contenders in the Oscar animation race--unless you happen to be Toy Story 3 or How to Train Your Dragon--now all the 15 submissions accepted by the Academy will be vying for three slots. If there had been 16, there would have been five slots. That did not happen, so the likes of Tangled, Despicable Me, The Illusionist and Megamind will compete for that third slot. Who will land it?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 15, 2010 8:11 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Oscar Watch: Animation Deadline Nears, Three or Five?

Oscar Watch: Animation Deadline Nears, Three or Five?
It's coming down to the wire. Will the animation category be three or five? It all depends on whether the final animated features submitted by the November 1 deadline are eligible--and add up to sixteen, which means there will be five nominations, or less, which yields three. Did the films premiere in cinemas, or on TV? Much is at stake: there's a big difference between three and five. (The visual effects category is now set to five: because there are so many eligible films, it's not an issue any more.) But animation still has to meet the magic number sixteen to yield five slots.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 28, 2010 5:50 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Spielberg Takes On Robopocalypse

Steven Spielberg is committing to direct Daniel H. Wilson's futuristic novel Robopocalypse for DreamWorks. Spielberg plans to begin principal photography in January 2012 for release by Disney’s Touchstone in 2013. DreamWorks acquired the unpublished manuscript in November 2009; Drew Goddard adapted the dystopian story about a robot rebellion against humans. Doubleday plans to publish the novel in June 2011. Spielberg's next two films, War Horse (Touchstone) and The Adventures of Tintin (Sony/Paramount) are both coming out in December. 
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 22, 2010 6:16 AM
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DreamWorks and Disney Update Release Schedule: Spielberg's War Horse Joins Tintin for Holiday 2011

DreamWorks and Disney have finalized release dates for five films on their slate. After a confab in London last week with Disney's international and domestic marketing managers and DreamWorks brass--who showed footage from five films including Steven Spielberg's World War I epic War Horse, which is currently filming in England--Disney moved the DreamWorks slate onto new dates. (DreamWorks' films go out through Disney's Touchstone label.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 13, 2010 5:51 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Del Toro Talks Hobbit, Mountains of Madness, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, Julia's Eyes, Biutiful

Del Toro Talks Hobbit, Mountains of Madness, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, Julia's Eyes, Biutiful
When Guillermo del Toro left New Zealand after two years prepping Peter Jackson's The Hobbit, he was escaping from a box (MGM's financial issues had frozen the project), but he also didn't know what he was going to do next. Since then, the director/producer has been making up for lost time, making deals all over town: Disney, where he's doing Haunted Mansion, and which is releasing his Miramax horror production Don't Be Afraid of the Dark; DreamWorks Animation; and Fox, where he's excited about returning to big-budget directing with James Cameron's Mountains of Madness. Del Toro talks about his productions Julia's Eyes and Biutiful, which played in Toronto, as well as his other projects, in three flip cam interviews posted below, along with the Julia's Eyes trailer.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 28, 2010 10:59 AM
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Del Toro's DreamWorks Deal and Trollhunters, Jackson Fights Unions on Hobbit

- Guillermo del Toro, back from promoting two productions at the Toronto Film Festival--Julia's Eyes and Biutiful (the official Mexican submission for the foreign Oscar)--is now working closely as a consultant and exec producer with DreamWorks Animation. He will help out on Kung Fu Panda 2, Puss in Boots and another TBA project as well as Trollhunters, which he will write and direct.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 28, 2010 6:21 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Inception Beats Dinner for Schmucks, Charlie St. Cloud

In its third go-round, Inception, buoyed by repeat business, continued to stave off all challengers, including the comedy Dinner for Schmucks, which scored a robust $23.3 million, and the Zac Efron weepy Charlie St. Cloud and animated sequel Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, which were both DOA. Anthony D'Alessandro does the numbers.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • August 1, 2010 4:08 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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