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Thompson on Hollywood

Chasing Fan Boys, from Sucker Punch and Wanted to Superman and The Dark Knight Rises

Chasing Fan Boys, from Sucker Punch and Wanted to Superman and The Dark Knight Rises
With the annual box office at $1.93 billion, down 21% from last year, the film industry is holding out for a hero. Many were looking for succor from this weekend's Sucker Punch, the latest offering by director Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen), a visually gifted fanboy who knows what guys want. Anthony D'Alessandro examines the film's assets and liabilities and reports on why Hollywood likes to target the fanboy demo, from Wanted to Superman and The Dark Knight Rises. Inspired by Japanese Anime and the adult cartoon Heavy Metal, Sucker Punch, co-written by Snyder and his college buddy Steve Shibuya, follows a band of female mental patients who retreat into their own hyper-violent fantasy world as they plot to break out of a 60s insane asylum. Going into the weekend, Sucker Punch's tracking drew well ahead of Fox’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, a family sequel that should score in the high teens over three days. But with current estimates pegging the film at a low $20-million bow, Sucker Punch is looking to be a gamble stateside for distributor/co-financier Warner Bros. Here’s what Sucker Punch faces at the box office:
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • March 25, 2011 6:35 AM
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  • 6 Comments

New School of Superheroes: Bale, Cavill, Evans, Garfield, Hemsworth, Reynolds & Palicki in Tights

New School of Superheroes: Bale, Cavill, Evans, Garfield, Hemsworth, Reynolds & Palicki in Tights
Entertainment Weekly's latest issue profiles the new generation of superheroes, represented on the cover by new Superman Henry Cavill. As his director Zack Snyder puts it: “Other actors put that suit on and it’s a joke, even if they’re great actors. Henry put it on, and he exuded this kind of crazy-calm confidence that just made me go, ‘Wow. Okay, this is Superman.’ If you can put on that suit and pull it off, that’s an awesome achievement.” An even better achievement? Still having a career after the spandex has lost its stretch.  Ryan Reynolds says of his Green Lantern character: “He’s not in the mainstream the way Superman or Spider-Man is.” And he once considered himself a purely comedic actor: “I looked like Dick Van Dyke, so I thought I was going that route.”
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 17, 2011 8:56 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Directors Keep It In the Family: Dark Knight Rises, Dark Shadows

Directors Keep It In the Family: Dark Knight Rises, Dark Shadows
Tim Burton is eyeing Michelle Pfeiffer and longtime girlfriend Helena Bonham Carter to join his Dark Shadows cast, which includes leading man Johnny Depp, Jackie Earle Haley, Eva Green and Bella Heathcote.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 16, 2011 6:16 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Development Watch: Kidman & Wiesz Marry for Hallström's Danish Girl, Cotillard for Knight Rises

- UPDATE 5/17: Weisz and Hallström are out.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 14, 2011 8:59 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Anne Hathaway Rises as Catwoman in Nolan's Next Dark Knight: Right Pick?

Versatile actress on-the-rise Anne Hathaway just nabbed one of the most coveted roles in Hollywood. She'll play Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman, previously played by Michelle Pfeiffer and Halle Berry) in The Dark Knight Rises across from Christian Bale and bad-guy Tom Hardy.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 19, 2011 6:51 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Golden Globe-Winning Actors: What's Next for Portman, Firth, Leo, Bale, Bening, Giamatti

Heat rises when an actor enters the awards fray. Look at how Helen Mirren (The Queen), Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) and Melissa Leo (Frozen River), particularly, parlayed Oscar attention into serious careers. Take a look at the slates (including soon-to-be-released, rumored, in-production and in-development projects) lined up for this year's Golden Globe-winning actors Natalie Portman, Colin Firth, Melissa Leo, Christian Bale, Annette Bening and Paul Giamatti. We start off with Portman, who has so much lined up that she risks overexposure:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 19, 2011 6:35 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Actress Watch: Dark Knight Rises Tests; Coppola and Portman's Dior Ad; Williams Gives Sage Advice

Christopher Nolan is checking out the ranks of Hollywood's starlets to join Christian Bale and Tom Hardy in The Dark Knight Rises. Keira Knightley (Pride & Prejudice, Atonement), Anne Hathaway (Love and Other Drugs), Jessica Biel (The Illusionist, The A-Team), Kate Mara (127 Hours, Iron Man 2), Charlotte Riley (fiance of Hardy and his co-star in the UK's Wuthering Heights TV mini-series) and Gemma Arterton (Prince of Persia, and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters) are all scheduled to test. Scheduling seems to be an issue for Naomi Watts and Eva Green, who were previously mentioned. Two roles need to be filled: a love interest and a villain. Who would you like to see in The Dark Knight Rises? Vote in our poll below.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 12, 2011 6:38 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Production Watch: Bale in Nanjing Heroes, Dark Knight Rises; Stone & Garfield In Spiderman(s)

- China's premiere director Zhang Yimou (Hero, the Beijing Olympic Games) has named Christian Bale to star in Nanjing Heroes. The $90 million period epic tells the story of the Nanjing Massacre, when Japanese troops killed thousands of Chinese in the capital city (1937). Bale will play an American priest who assists citizens in escaping impending death. Zhang also announced the hiring of special effects house Dark Side FX (The Dark Knight). The film will mix English and Mandarin (40/60), he said. No Chinese film or director has ever taken home an Academy Award in a major category. (Zhang himself had back-to-back Oscar nominations for Ju Dou in 1990 and Raise the Red Lantern in 1991.) "It's the overall strategy for Chinese cinema to approach the world and broaden its influence," Zhang told THR. The casting of Bale was not a box office ploy, but rather "a coincidence because the script happened to have an English-speaking part in the lead." Shooting Nanjing Heroes will begin shooting January 10. Bale will be due on The Dark Knight Rises set May 2011.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 22, 2010 6:45 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Christopher Nolan to Receive Visionary Award from Visual Effects Society

Christopher Nolan to Receive Visionary Award from Visual Effects Society
Christopher Nolan is to receive the Visual Effects Society's inaugural Visionary Award at their Awards night on January 28, 2011, in recognition of his unique and consistent use of "the art and science of visual effects to foster imagination and ignite future discoveries by way of artistry, invention and groundbreaking work," according to the VES.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 17, 2010 6:26 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekly Wrap: Oscar Contenders Big and Small, Production News, Lawrence and Morgan Talk

Weekly Wrap: Oscar Contenders Big and Small, Production News, Lawrence and Morgan Talk
AWARDS
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 29, 2010 6:06 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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