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Emmerich's Happy Birthday, Mr. President; Spielberg's Lincoln Not "Political Fodder"

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood September 20, 2011 at 5:15AM

Roland Emmerich, whose Shakespeare-subverting drama Anonymous will hit theaters October 28, is planning another trip down history lane, but this time not as far back and not any time soon. The director is planning to make Happy Birthday Mr. President - "The title will tell you everything" - but says digital technology is not yet where it needs to be for him to make it the way he wants, i.e. with digitally manipulated and aged actors. Does this mean Marilyn Monroe will actually be the one singing the famous song to John F. Kennedy on his birthday? We'll have to wait and see; "I think we have to wait another five years," says Emmerich. For now, we can watch the real deal (1962 video) below, or enjoy Michelle Williams channeling Monroe. The Anonymous trailer is below. [MTV]
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Thompson on Hollywood


Roland Emmerich, whose Shakespeare-subverting drama Anonymous will hit theaters October 28, is planning another trip down history lane, but this time not as far back and not any time soon. The director is planning to make Happy Birthday Mr. President - "The title will tell you everything" - but says digital technology is not yet where it needs to be for him to make it the way he wants, i.e. with digitally manipulated and aged actors. Does this mean Marilyn Monroe will actually be the one singing the famous song to John F. Kennedy on his birthday? We'll have to wait and see; "I think we have to wait another five years," says Emmerich. For now, we can watch the real deal (1962 video) below, or enjoy Michelle Williams channeling Monroe. The Anonymous trailer is below. [MTV]

Another late president, Abraham Lincoln, will hit the screen before Emmerich's JFK, but not in time for the 2012 elections. Steven Spielberg is soon shooting Lincoln in Richmond, VA, where he will chronicle the last months of the president's life (as in Doris Kearns Goodwin's book, Team of Rivals). “The movie will be purposely coming out after next year’s election," says Spielberg; "I didn’t want it to become political fodder.” The director also speaks about 3-D and audience discrimination ("In the end, we are all working for them”), and his upcoming Christmas movies, War Horse (Oscar buzz) and The Adventures of Tintin (inside scoop from Comic-Con), the latter of which will be in 3-D. Trailers below. [Orlando Sentinel]

This article is related to: Directors, Genres, Headliners, Video, Exhibition, Production , IN THE WORKS, Steven Spielberg, 3D


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.