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Thompson on Hollywood

Cannes Watch: Indiana Jones

I saw it coming. Ever since Paramount announced that Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Kingdom of the Crystal Skull would not screen for anyone before its May 18 unveiling at Cannes (in advance of its worldwide launch May 22), I felt that Spielberg and Co. might be setting themselves up. The anticipation of this film is too great, the pressure for information is wrecking havoc on the internet. As the NYT reports, several exhibitor screenings have added to the din surrounding this film. So far the PR strategy has been to dole out interviews to press who have not yet seen it; Vanity Fair, EW, the LAT and others have played ball.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 12, 2008 4:31 AM
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Iron Man: Downey and Favreau Rock

I managed to convince Paramount to show me Iron Man earlier this week, and grabbed director Jon Favreau for a phone interview from the European leg of his round-the-world press tour, from Paris to Rome to the London Premiere. Here's my Iron Man column, which even explains why Samuel Jackson and Hilary Swank aren't in the movie.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 25, 2008 5:57 AM
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Hobbit Watch: Del Toro's the Right Guy

Well, the Hobbit shoe has finally dropped, and Guillermo del Toro has committed to direct the movie for New Line Cinema. There is rejoicing throughout the land, I suspect. If it wasn't going to be Peter Jackson (who is exec producing with Fran Walsh), Pan's Labyrinth helmer Del Toro is just about a perfect match for this J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy. It will be cool.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 24, 2008 6:02 AM
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Avatar's James Cameron Talks 3D

Variety tech wonk David S. Cohen conducts an in-depth interview with James Cameron about something he knows a little bit about: 3D. An early believer and innovator in the technology that looks to revolutionize the way many movies are made, Cameron expounds at length. (He reveals some tech details on his next 3D effort, the long-awaited Avatar, due in 2009.) Here's a sampling of their email exchange:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 11, 2008 6:05 AM
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The Visitor: Exclusive Film Clip and McCarthy

Actor-writer-director Tom McCarthy (who played the ambitious young reporter on The Wire), took some time after his last film, The Station Agent, to travel in the Mideast with the film--sponsored by the U.S. State Dept. Inspired by some of the people he met in Beirut and Oman, he started writing a script with two main characters, a closed-down professor and a Syrian illegal alien who plays African drums. "I leave time for writing to develop organically," McCarthy says. "I start with characters first, who I haven't seen before."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 4, 2008 4:28 AM
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Leatherheads: Clooney Goes Retro

George Clooney is the sort of movie star who gets to do what he wants, especially if he's willing to direct himself. In this case the period football comedy Leatherheads had been languishing on the shelf at Universal for decades, and was going to be directed by Steven Soderbergh at one time. Clooney's version is a sweetly daffy valentine to classic Hollywood screwball comedies, Coen brothers comedies and romantic comedies. Clooney stars as a handsome over-the-hill football player who's pretty smart but gets beat up on the playing field and takes plenty of pratfalls and romances a wise-cracking reporter (Renee Zellweger).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 1, 2008 4:45 AM
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Holiday Weekend Update: Good and Plenty

There's plenty to see in theaters this weekend.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 21, 2008 5:40 AM
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Judd Apatow Alert: Four Comedies Coming

We all know producer Judd Apatow has four movies coming up in 2008. But which ones will work at the boxoffice? By my guess, all of them. It's just a case of how high is high.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 19, 2008 5:48 AM
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Minghella and Clarke Are Gone

Anthony Minghella died of an unexpected cerebral hemorrhage on Tuesday after the removal of a growth in his neck last week. He was 54. Minghella had been finishing up the BBC/HBO series "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency," which he co-wrote and co-produced with Richard Curtis, before its debut March 23. Minghella was always putting in long days on numerous projects. Here's the Variety obit. UPDATE: And the NYT.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 18, 2008 5:52 AM
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More: Obit, Directors

Batman's Nolan Talks Dark Knight and Ledger

Summer 2008 is jam-packed with movies vying for screens every weekend from the start of May through Labor Day. Pamela McClintock lays out the stakes.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 9, 2008 6:51 AM
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