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Thompson on Hollywood

CASTING WATCH: Game of Thrones' Harington and The Killing's Kinnaman Are Arthur & Lancelot

Thanks to Steven Soderbergh, who pitched Brit Kit Harington (Jon Snow in "Game of Thrones") and Swede Joel Kinnaman (AMC's "The Killing," "The Darkest Hour," "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo") for his soon-to-be-aborted "The Man from U.N.C.L.E."), Warner Bros. has cast both rising actors in "Arthur & Lancelot," slated for a March 2013 release. Harington landed King Arthur, while Kinnaman is playing Lancelot. The studio has made an odd choice of director for this project, David Dobkin ("The Change Up," "Fred Claus," "Wedding Crashers") who is writing the script. Check out soundbites from Harington at Comic-Con, where we covered the "Game of Thrones" panel and witnessed proof that Harington is already a scream-inducing heartthrob. How does he feel about the thousands of 15-year old girls putting posters of him on their walls? "It scares the crap out of me."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 21, 2011 1:52 PM
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WEEKLY WRAP: Oscar Talk, Box Office, Gender Watch, AFM, Harry Potter, Cleopatra & More

Revisit the best stories of the week from Thompson on Hollywood!
  • By TOH!
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  • November 19, 2011 1:11 PM
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Will Roth & Fincher Deliver Jolie's Cleopatra?

Let us count the ways that Sony's "Cleopatra" could go wrong. But hiring Eric Roth to write the script for the Angelina Jolie epic (possibly with David Fincher at the helm) is a good sign. We can thank Roth for "Forrest Gump," "The Insider," "Munich," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and many other fine scripts including the upcoming "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close." Based on Stacy Schiff's sprawling bestseller, this "Cleopatra" is rooted in a complex history and demands a seasoned writer who will not lose sight of the biography's authentic primary sources. Bringing Fincher on board would also set the project on the right course. Exuding the infamous intelligence, charisma and sexuality of Cleopatra will be easy for Jolie, who nonetheless needs a strong director to pull from her a layered and compelling performance. The Egyptian queen--arguably the most powerful woman of all time-- was a master political strategist who deftly manipulated her two life mates, Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.  (Picking the right two co-stars is also key.) If the movie gods align the elements, this could be Jolie's career-defining role--and her best shot at a Best Actress Oscar.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 16, 2011 3:49 PM
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  • 2 Comments

BBC Hires Harry Potter Director David Yates to Develop Doctor Who Film Franchise

Well, it took them long enough. But at long last the successor to the mighty "Harry Potter" franchise might just be venerable sci-fi BBC series "Doctor Who," which is finally getting its big-screen launch with four-time "Potter" director David Yates at the helm. Yates told Variety that he is developing the first film--which will introduce the space-traveling Time Lord and his iconic red telephone booth blue police box time machine to those not already familiar with the global hit TV series--with the BBC's Jane Tranter, who worked with Yates on "State of Play." The question is, which of the many doctors will play the role? My favorite is not current doctor Matt Smith but the last one, the sexy and resourceful David Tennant. But will they go for a major movie star? This is a serious franchise opportunity for the right actor with a working British accent. Doctor Who is ageless, light-on-his-feet, athletic, witty, wise, admirable while not perfect, and always replaceable. Colin Firth, Ewan McGregor, Hugh Grant and Hugh Jackman could all fit the profile. Any suggestions? UPDATE: I like one idea a lot: Benedict Cumberbatch ("Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"). Casting is a ways off. Yates told Variety he is starting from scratch on the movie adaptation with new writers who could come from anywhere: "We're looking at writers now. We're going to spend two to three years to get it right," he said. "It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena…The notion of the time-traveling Time Lord is such a strong one, because you can express story and drama in any dimension or time."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 14, 2011 2:27 PM
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  • 69 Comments

IN THE WORKS: Mr. Morgan's Last Love, Starring Michael Caine, Starts Filming in Paris

  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 14, 2011 12:02 PM
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CASTING WATCH: More Psychopaths for McDonagh's Sophomore Film: Harrelson, Waits, Kurylenko Join Farrell, Walken & Rockwell

  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 10, 2011 4:53 PM
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IN THE WORKS: Miles Davis Biopic Based on His Son's Book, Dark Magus; George Tillman Jr. at the Helm

  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 9, 2011 4:38 PM
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AFM: Cary Elwes' Directorial Debut Goes to K5 Int'l, Stars Bana & Huston as Elvis & Nixon

Benaroya Pictures, who financed and produced Margin Call, have sold Elvis & Nixon to K5 International for international distribution. Cary Elwes is directing the comedy, starring Eric Bana (Elvis Presley) and Danny Huston (Richard Nixon), from a script he wrote with Joey Sagal and Hanala Sagal. Michael Benaroya and Holly Wiersma are producing, and Bana's Pick Up Truck banner is serving as exec producer. The film is set to shoot in Shreveport and Los Angeles. Synopsis is below.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 8, 2011 4:39 PM
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  • 0 Comments

AFM News: Howard Pumps Rush, Weinsteins Chase Song for Marion, Europa Shoots in New York

One of the signs of changing times is seeing an A-list director like Ron Howard pushing a project at the American Film Market. The co-head of Imagine Entertainment went to Santa Monica to push Rush, his Formula 1 racing film, with foreign buyers. Nigel Sinclair and Guy East’s Exclusive Media Group (The Way Back) is co-producing and co-financing the picture with Brian Oliver’s Cross Creek Pictures, Imagine, Revolution Films and Working Title, which produced Formula 1 fan Eric Fellner’s racing doc Senna, which shows how cinematic this kind of movie can be. The film’s screenwriter Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon) is also a producer on Rush, along with Andrew Eaton. Universal Pictures will release the film, which is currently filming with stars Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Daniel Bruhl (Inglourious Basterds), stateside in 2012.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 4, 2011 11:30 AM
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  • 1 Comment

AFM News: Drafthouse Films Expands, Acquires Foreign Titles Bullhead and Clown, Pacts with Image

Indie player Drafthouse Films, led by Austin-based exhibitor Tim League, is in expansion mode. The company has announced a number of international acquisitions, an exclusive U.S. distribution deal with the licensing and distribution company, Image Entertainment, Inc., and appointed a new COO.
  • By Liza Foreman
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  • November 4, 2011 9:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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