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Thompson on Hollywood

Should Brit Star Tom Hiddleston Take on Country Icon Hank Williams?

As high as I am on Tom Hiddleston, the idea of him playing all-American country music icon Hank Williams gives me pause. Somehow this role should go to an American actor. This casting feels like a foreign sales decision. Hiddleston, who is bankable thanks to playing Loki in two Thor films and 'The Avengers," is set to play Williams in writer-director Marc Abraham's "I Saw the Light," based on Colin Escott’s biography. Via Sony ATV, the biopic has secured rights to the Williams music catalogue including such hits as “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” “Hey Good Lookin’” and “Your Cheatin’ Heart.”
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 12, 2014 8:34 PM
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  • 14 Comments

Who Should Play Edward Snowden in Oliver Stone's Upcoming Movie? (POLL)

It seems like a perfect match. Leftist filmmaker Oliver Stone--long the target of the right for his strong political views --is partnering with his long-time producer Moritz Borman on a movie based on journalist Luke Harding's “The Snowden Files, The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man." Vote in our Edward Snowden casting poll.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 2, 2014 1:53 PM
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  • 11 Comments

Casting Watch: Tom Hardy Takes on Elton John for Focus Features Biopic

Brit actor on-the-rise Tom Hardy ("The Dark Knight Rises") will channel Elton John in “Rocketman," a musical biopic for Rocket Pictures, with a planned fall 2014 shoot. And Focus Features's new chief Peter Schlessel, who picked up U.S. rights to the film for FilmDistrict in June, will release the movie through Focus.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 23, 2013 4:25 PM
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  • 0 Comments

NOFF Review: Naomie Harris' Breakout Performance Can't Save Staid, Reverent 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom' (TRAILER)

"You alone are small," a Xhosa elder tells Nelson Mandela and his contemporaries during a rite of passage marking the transition from adolescence to manhood. "Together, your people are big." A wise sentiment, and perhaps a cautionary one: "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" is a lesson in the cinematic pitfalls of portraying a figure who's larger than life.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • October 17, 2013 2:37 PM
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  • 0 Comments

In the Works: Kevin Macdonald to Direct Elvis Presley Biopic, Online Search Underway for Actor to Play Young Elvis

Director Kevin Macdonald ("The Last King of Scotland," "How I Live Now") is set to helm Elvis Presley biopic "Last Train to Memphis," based on the 1995 biography by Peter Guralnick. The book focuses on Presley's young transformation from a high school student to an instant sensation in the radical new world of rock n' roll.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • September 4, 2013 11:43 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Friday Box Office: '42' Bright Spot on Weak Weekend

"42," which was not a guaranteed success as a sports movie with mixed reviews about an African-American hero played by an unknown. For the first time this year, a Warner Bros. release exceeded expectations by opening at over $9 million.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • April 13, 2013 3:45 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Relativity Producing Pablo Escobar Story 'Silver or Lead' with Spanish Director Enrique Urbizu

Relativity Media has taken rights to a script about the manhunt for cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar, called "Silver or Lead." The original draft is from Michael Kane, while Piers Ashworth's screenplay will serve as the basis for director Enrique Urbizu.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 6, 2013 2:34 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Coen Brothers Rewriting 'Unbroken' for Angelina Jolie to Direct at Universal, Based on True Story of Olympian POW Louis Zamperini

UPDATE: Universal, Walden Media and Angelina Jolie have tapped Joel and Ethan Coen to rewrite "Unbroken." Jolie will direct the project, which is an adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand's book about Louis Zamperini, a 1936 Olympian runner who became a prisoner of war during WWII...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 26, 2013 12:45 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Julia Stiles Joins Jennifer DeLia's Mary Pickford Biopic 'The First' to Play Oscar Winner Frances Marion

Julia Stiles, who re-emerged with a great supporting turn in "Silver Linings Playbook," has signed on to play screenwriter Frances Marion--the first woman to win an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay--in Jennifer DeLia's "The First," based on Eileen Whitfield's biography on Mary Pickford...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 1, 2013 1:36 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Sorkin Reveals Structure of Steve Jobs Biopic

Walter Isaacson's bestselling Steve Jobs biography was nothing if not a door-stopper. So writer Aaron Sorkin's challenge was to figure out a way in: cradle to grave biopic? One slice? He went with something closer to "Slumdog Millionaire"'s ingenious way of using the questions as entries to parts of a life.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 15, 2012 4:48 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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