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Thompson on Hollywood

Lionsgate Acquires The Big Wedding: Big Cast Includes De Niro, Keaton, Sarandon, Seyfried

One of safe thing to greenlight is a wedding movie. Lionsgate has acquired US and UK distribution rights to The Big Wedding, currently shooting in Greenwich, CT, with Robert De Niro, Susan Sarandon, Diane Keaton, Katherine Heigl, Amanda Seyfried, Robin Williams, Ben Barnes and Topher Grace. The film, from writer-director Justin Zackham (The Bucket List) forces a long-divorced couple (De Niro and Keaton) to pretend they are happily married at their son's wedding. The plan goes awry, resulting in a "charming, rollicking movie that promises to be an instant intergenerational family comedy classic,” gushes Lionsgate president Joe Drake.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 2, 2011 8:25 AM
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HBO Picks Up Scorsese's Spiritual Doc: George Harrison: Living in the Material World

HBO has picked up Martin Scorsese's latest music documentary, George Harrison: Living in the Material World. The film will premiere in two parts on October 5 and 6.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • July 14, 2011 4:00 AM
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The Hobbit Production Video 2 Hits Facebook: Jackson Scouts New Zealand Locations

Having completed their second block of shooting, the cast and crew of The Hobbit are on a break until September 5. In their latest production video blog, filmmaker Peter Jackson and Co. share their vacation plans until they have to be back on set in New Zealand. Activities include getting drunk, visiting family, golf on Pebble Beach, and sleeping in. But first, for Jackson, there's location scouting around the glorious country. Check out some pictures from the video below and watch the video here.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • July 11, 2011 4:30 AM
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Mandate Buys Diablo Cody Script Lamb of God for Her to Direct

We need all the good women directors we can get. Oscar original screenplay winner Diablo Cody is jumping into directing via old partners Mandate Pictures and producer Mason Novick, who backed Juno ($227 million worldwide) and the upcoming Paramount film Young Adult. Comedy Lamb of God tracks a conservative religious woman from a plane crash through a sinner's life in Vegas and back to faith. Cody will exec produce along with Mandate president Nathan Kahane; they're planning to start casting.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 29, 2011 11:34 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Mike Newell Casts The Borgia's Holliday Grainger in Great Expectations

Brit director Mike Newell, who has a bit of a mixed track record--high: Four Weddings and a Funeral, low: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, in-between: the solid fourth installation to the Harry Potter octalogy--had a tough time finding a name actress to play the role of Estella in Great Expectations in the latest film version of the Charles Dickens classic about an orphan who eventually becomes a gentleman through the generosity of an unknown patron.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • June 21, 2011 8:56 AM
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Open Road Acquires Stephenie Meyer's The Host, Second Major Acquisition

In a big acquisition for a fledgling indie distributor, U.S distribution rights to Twilight writer Stephenie Meyer's horror bestseller The Host have gone to Open Road, which is owned by exhibitors AMC and Regal, reports Deadline.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 20, 2011 7:49 AM
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John Carter Early Poster Teases, Does Not Inform

Hitfix's Drew McWeeny doesn't like the early teaser poster (below) for Pixar writer-director Andrew Stanton's long-in-the-works live-action debut, the sci-fi adventure John Carter, arguing that the Mouse House has plenty of rich visual material to work with--why go so stark?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 17, 2011 4:11 AM
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Sony Pictures Classics Nabs Cronenberg's Dangerous Method

Ahead of an expected fall fest circuit run for David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method, Sony Pictures Classics has acquired US rights from UK foreign sales company Hanway Films. Produced by Jeremy Thomas (The Last Emperor), the film, which is in post-production, stars Viggo Mortenson as Sigmund Freud and Keira Knightley as the unbalanced patient of Freud's protege, ambitious young psychiatrist Karl Jung (Michael Fassbender). Vincent Cassel co-stars as another patient who pushes the rival shrinks apart.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 16, 2011 7:36 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Relativity Will Release Soderbergh's Haywire After All; First Look at Gina Carano (UPDATE)

Relativity Media, Ryan Kavanaugh's new production and distribution company, will release Steven Soderbergh's espionage thriller Haywire (pictured above, star Gina Carano) after all, on January 20, 2012.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 15, 2011 12:23 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Brando vs. Crowe as Superman Franchise's Jor-El

Brando vs. Crowe as Superman Franchise's Jor-El
I find disturbing the idea of Russell Crowe playing the role originated by Marlon Brando at age 54 in 1978's Superman. Crowe, 47, is in talks to play opposite Superman Henry Cavill as his beloved father Jor-El in Man of Steel, reports Variety. Of course this will give Crowe a handsome payday. Maybe it's the similarities between the troubled Brando and Crowe that worry me. Both are fine actors with inflated egos and a weight problem who have walked dangerously close to identifying with their leading roles. Keeping track of who you are as a human being and who you are as a movie star is half the battle in maintaining career longevity.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 15, 2011 9:18 AM
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  • 4 Comments

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