Thompson on Hollywood

Paramount Picture's planned $700-million upgrade to its Hollywood lot will add new sound stages as well as offices and create an estimated 7,300 jobs during the construction period, reports the LA Times. The project will develop the Melrose Avenue headquarters and potentially some nearby properties as well, over the next twenty years. An expanded studio will allow Paramount to accommodate 500 more employees, up to 5,500 people on the lot.

Steve Martin penned an open, perhaps unsolicited, but totally charming letter to new Oscar host Eddie Murphy. Martin included some sage advice about hosting, including these highlights:

The losers can feel very sad, so when you're backstage with them, pat their backs, then shake your head sadly. It's a blast! If you feel tired midway through, give Neil Patrick Harris a Red Bull and throw some sheet music at him.

The reaction to a ten-minute preview of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was far from enthused. Responses included "easily forgettable," "very boring," "ugh," as reported on HSX Forum.