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News Update: Studios Step Up Security, Iron Man Hits Web, Tony Noms, Vaughn Helms X-Men: First Class

by Amy Dawes
May 5, 2010 1:31 AM
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Thompson on Hollywood

L.A. County sheriffs have stepped up security around movie studios in response to the foiled bombing attempt in New York's Times Square. The LAT reports that the bomb's proximity to Viacom headquarters has led to speculation that the company was targeted because of a recent South Park episode on Comedy Central involving the prophet Muhammad. Viacom owns Comedy Central as well as the MTV network.  At MTV and Lionsgate offices in Santa Monica, guards have been checking vehicle trunks since the incident, among other precautions.

Thompson on Hollywood

Iron Man 2 is all over the internet already in full-streaming pirated versions.  Good thing for Paramount and Viacom it made $100.2 million in its first weekend of overseas release.  Its big-screen want-to-see factor will likely minimize the impact at the boxoffice when it opens in North America Friday.  Still, the speed of the rip-off underscores why piracy-resistant 3-D releases have growing appeal to studios -- and, says THR, they've also fueled a record six percent uptick in movie ticket prices in the year's first quarter.

Fela! and La Cage Aux Folles led the Tony Awards nominations yesterday with 11 each, while Fences led non-musical shows with 10 noms, including one for star Denzel Washington. The full list is thick with big-screen names, including Jude Law (Hamlet), Scarlett Johansson (A View From The Bridge), and many more, even behind the scenes. (Will Smith and his wife Jada are among the producers of Fela!, for example).

Pam Grier tells the NYT how real-life rape trauma brought out her inner steel in Foxy: My Life In Three Acts (Hatchette Books), her new memoir. The 70s blaxploitation star, who re-emerged in Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown, next appears in the now- filming Tom Hanks-starrer Larry Crowne.

Matthew Vaughn has been confirmed as the director of 20th Century Fox's X-Men: First Class, and the prequel to the Marvel Comics franchise is now fast-tracked production with a planned opening date of June 3, 2011, Variety reports. It's an unusual turn of events, as Vaughn left producer Lauren Shuler-Donner in the lurch on X-Men 3: The Last Stand, when the rising director bailed under the pressure of taking on the massive FX sequel. She replaced him with Brett Ratner. Now, with Star Dust and Kick-Ass under his belt, he's ready.

Alex Holdridge, the indie filmmaker whose beguiling black-and-white valentine to L.A., In Search of A Midnight Kiss, just about put him on the map, gets a shot at something bigger with a deal to direct Fox Searchlight's The F Word, a romantic comedy script that's reportedly akin in tone to 500 Days of Summer. And Debra Winger has been added to the regular cast of HBO's In Treatment, which is shot in New York City. She was on TV before - as Wonder Girl. The Wrap even has a creepy video.

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