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Thompson on Hollywood

Clooney Wants to Play Clancy's Jack Ryan

Buried in this Kim Masters story about Sony bringing over George Clooney's production deal is a juicy nugget: Clooney wants to take over playing Jack Ryan in the Tom Clancy franchise. That is, if Paramount ever gets its act together and puts the next movie back on the front burner. It's been years since Ben Affleck took over from Harrison Ford as a younger Ryan, and acquitted himself well in The Sum of All Fears, which grossed $193 million worldwide in 2002.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 7, 2009 4:16 AM
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John Carter of Mars' Stars, James Bond's Writers

Pixar writer-director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, Wall-E) is moving forward at Disney with his live-action debut John Carter of Mars, which he adapted from the Edgar Rice Burroughs Martian novels. The materials I've seen on James Cameron's Avatar remind me of this alternate world set on another planet. And in both stories, an American visits this faraway place full of strange creatures.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 11, 2009 6:15 AM
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Swedish Trilogy on Tarantino/Pitt Wish-List?

So far, with the exception of Jackie Brown (based on an Elmore Leonard novel) Quentin Tarantino has preferred to direct and write originals. While he has exec-produced a few things and been tempted by the odd Speed Racer or James Bond, he has never rarely succumbed to adaptation temptation.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 8, 2009 7:20 AM
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Recession Era Movies: From Fast & Furious to Grapes of Wrath

As Fast & Furious does better at the weekend b.o. than it has any right to do--the weekend was up 75-80% from last year-- Entertainment Weekly's Mark Harris sees the first casualty of the recession: ambition. If all audiences want is escape, he worries, that's all the studios and TV networks will give them. "Stop the inanity!" he pleads.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 6, 2009 5:30 AM
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Mortensen Open to Role in The Hobbit

Viggo Mortensen mentioned the possibility of appearing in the Peter Jackson/Guillermo del Toro production of J.R.R. Tolkein's The Hobbit while accepting the Jameson Empire Icon Award Monday night in London:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 31, 2009 6:40 AM
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Scorsese's Shutter Island Poster

Here's a teaser poster for Martin Scorsese and Laeta Kalogridis' adaptation of the Dennis Lehane novel Shutter Island, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo. Here's the official website. Paramount is set to open the film October 2.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 28, 2009 6:47 AM
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Where the Wild Things Are: Trailer and Photos

Warner Bros. is putting the trailer for Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers' adaptation of Maurice Sendak's children's classic Where the Wild Things Are in front of Monsters vs. Aliens this weekend. Here's an advance peek at the trailer for the troubled Playtone Production which has long been in post-production. Max Records stars as Max. The movie finally opens October 16.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 25, 2009 7:00 AM
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Weekend Update: Watchmen Opening Not So Big; Kubrick's Tenth; Obama Gives Brown DVDs

While Watchmen delivered a robust opening of about $55.7 million in North America, it came in lower than expectations--and much lower than Snyder's last film, the blockbuster 300--both domestically and overseas. Finally, Watchmen works best as the narratively complex, visually dazzling comics series from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Originally published in 1986, the graphic novel is flying off the shelves. I hope people do read the book, which instantly draws you in with its compelling, never confusing storytelling, deepening and peeling new layers as it goes. The movie, on the other hand, is hard to fathom, boasts too many characters, and doesn't add up to much. Set in the 80s, Zack Snyder's film deals with the Vietnam and Cold War, and the end of the world via nuclear attack, but supplies a new ending with strange shades of 9/11. Moore always did insist that his comics were unfilmable.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 8, 2009 5:26 AM
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My Fair Lady: Thompson Wants Laurie as Higgins

Emma Thompson has won Oscars for both acting (Howard's End) and writing (Sense and Sensibility). And she is coming to accept how satisfying both can be. "I always thought acting was my compulsion," she says," but that writing was a different form of creativity because it is so back to the knuckle. Acting is a natural thing because you are using your body, it's like singing. I was wrong about that. Both can answer the same need. I feel better after writing for two hours."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 16, 2008 9:39 AM
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Yates' Revolutionary Road: Novel to Film

The guy could write. The story of Revolutionary Road author Richard Yates, told in excruciating detail in Blake Bailey's 2003 A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates, moves me, partly because he got so little encouragement, yet went back to writing every morning, hung over or not. And he insisted on drinking and smoking himself to death. But he knew he was a good writer, and that sustained him. Here's my Variety column.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 8, 2008 9:11 AM
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