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Thompson on Hollywood

Hollywood Isn't Giving Up Its Repetition Disorder Anytime Soon; See 'The Gray Man'

Hollywood is hellbent to find franchises and multi-part literary properties not just because they seek easy-sell established brands with huge fan bases. To state the obvious, the studios have figured out that spending multi-millions to launch a one-off product just doesn't make sense.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 30, 2014 12:37 PM
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  • 0 Comments

How 'Divergent' Became a Franchise Before It Opened and Lost Its Director

"Divergent" will prove itself at the box office on its second weekend--but the sequel is on its way no matter what. Producer Lucy Fisher reveals how they made the movie, found their romantic leads, lost the director for the sequels, and why this represents a new filmmaking paradigm.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 27, 2014 7:46 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Career Watch: Does 'Divergent''s Shailene Woodley Have the Right Stuff to Be a Movie Star?

Critics fell hard for Shailene Woodley in her film debut as George Clooney’s pained yet perceptive teen daughter in 2011’s "The Descendants." But now that she is the heroine of "Divergent," a just-opened sci-fi action franchise based on a popular series of young-adult novels, the 22-year-old actress is presumed to be in the running as the next Jennifer Lawrence ("The Hunger Games") or Kristen Stewart ("The Twilight Saga"). However, what she really is--according to reviewers at least-- is the main saving grace of the first film in a trilogy that carries a tepid 41% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
  • By Susan Wloszczyna
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  • March 24, 2014 6:06 AM
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  • 7 Comments

REVIEW: Does 'Divergent' Have Legs?

Anti-fascist (sort of) and pro-girl (definitely), “Divergent’ – the first in the trilogy-to-be based on the Veronica Roth novels -- is meant to position Shailene Woodley as the next in the Jennifer Lawrence/Emma Watson/Lily Collins line of YA-inspired warrior princesses. But Woodley plays another kind of anti-super-heroine, one possessed of reluctance and doubt, as well as canniness, cunning and (BTW) great hair. The question is whether her movie has legs. It goes wide Friday, March 21.
  • By John Anderson
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  • March 20, 2014 12:52 PM
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  • 9 Comments

Empire Special J. J. Abrams Issue: 'Star Trek,' 'Star Wars,' and 'Lost'

J.J. Abrams fans, get thee to a newstand. Empire Magazine has published a special fold-out edition for a special "J. J. Abrams" issue, which devotes a whopping 75 pages devoted to the film and TV writer-director-producer.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • April 13, 2013 4:25 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Henry Cavill's Superman Ready for Takeoff on EW Cover

Henry Cavill's Superman appears to be poised and ready to strike in a new image from "Man of Steel," revealing another take on Superman's signature red and blue getup on the new Entertainment Weekly cover. Cavill takes on the square-jawed alien superhero in Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel" alongside a strong ensemble including Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Russell Crowe, Christopher Meloni, Diane Lane, and Laurence Fishburne (trailer below).
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • April 11, 2013 6:34 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Wahlberg Joins Michael Bay's Next Testosterone Fest, 'Transformers 4'

The combined testosterone of Michael Bay and Mark Wahlberg will fuel "Transformers 4" for Paramount. The director confirms that Wahlberg, who stars in his "Pain & Gain," is "the perfect guy to re-invigorate the franchise and carry on the 'Transformers’ legacy."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 9, 2012 1:42 PM
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  • 1 Comment

David Yates Tackling 'Tarzan'; Hardy, Hunnam, Cavill & Skarsgård in the Mix

"Harry Potter" director David Yates will helm "Tarzan" for Warner Bros. The potential franchise is based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' series of classic books about the Earl of Greystoke's adventures as a "white ape" in equatorial Africa. It's 100 years since the first book, "Tarzan of the Apes," was published. Burroughs also originated the John Carter of Mars series, which recently met with big budget disaster. Tarzan was far more globally well-known via some 89 Hollywood incarnations, from Buster Crabbe and Johnny Weismuller through Christopher Lambert. So far rumors have Yates meeting with Henry Cavill, Charlie Hunnam and Alexander Skarsgård for the titular role, while Warners is also eyeing Tom Hardy.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 8, 2012 1:58 PM
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  • 0 Comments

In the Works: Vaughn Rumored for New 'Star Wars' Installment; Ford Interested in Revisiting Han Solo

One of the exciting prospects for veteran Spielberg poducer Kathleen Kennedy as the new president at Disney-owned Lucasfilm is that she is more than capable of developing a strong script and luring gifted filmmakers to the planned "Star Wars" franchise reboot. Even without a script on hand, directors are lining up.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • November 6, 2012 1:21 PM
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  • 13 Comments

Immersed in Movies: Revisiting 'The Avengers' and Handicapping the VFX Oscar Race

Unlike the Oscar race for best animated feature, there's already a clear front-runner for VFX: "The Avengers," with its dazzling work from Industrial Light & Magic (especially the Hulk). Of course, there's still quite a heated race ahead when Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" hits theaters December 14...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • September 6, 2012 3:08 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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