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Thompson on Hollywood

Robert Downey Jr. Developing Perry Mason for the Big Screen; Listen & Watch Past Incarnations

Yet another TV brand heads to the movies. Will they never learn? But the casting is choice in this case: Robert Downey Jr. may bring Perry Mason to the big screen through Warner Bros. and Team Downey. Like the original Erle Stanley Gardner books--there are 82; Downey and producer David Gambino are looking for a writer to adapt their own original story based on the character--the film would be set in 1930s Los Angeles and would follow defense attorney Mason, his secretary Della Street, private investigator Paul Drake and courtroom adversary Hamilton Burger.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 5, 2011 5:17 AM
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Aronofsky's Noah Goes Ahead with Paramount & New Regency: Will It Sail With Bale?

Paramount is on board to co-finance Darren Aronofsky's Noah with New Regency, and shooting is set to kick off in Spring 2012. This means no more wondering how Aronofsky will follow up his Black Swan success.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 4, 2011 6:52 AM
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EXCLUSIVE: Rookie Levin Starts Filming Indie Farm Drama Land of Tomorrow in Kentucky October 11

More and more these days, getting a movie made is about a tenacious filmmaker making it happen. Theater and television writer/director Kimberly Levin didn't wait for CAA to raise financing. She's forging ahead with an October 11 start for her first film, the drama Land of Tomorrow, near her hometown Louisville, Kentucky.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 3, 2011 9:55 AM
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The East: Clarkson Set to Join Scripter-Star Marling, Page, Skarsgard in Batmanglij's Eco-Thriller

Zal Batmanglij's The East, written with his Sound of My Voice collaborator/co-writer/producer Brit Marling (clip below), will star Marling and Alexander Skarsgard, and is inches away from casting Ellen Page. The thriller is about a woman (Marling) who works for a firm that is hired by corporations to protect them from big business haters and environmentalist radicals. She must infiltrate one such anarchist group, 'The East,' which is led by Skarsgard. Page, fresh from Woody Allen's Bop Decameron, will play his one-time lover and a member of the group; according to Variety, Felicity Jones was originally attached. UPDATE: Patricia Clarkson and Toby Kebbell join the cast as Marling's boss and “a doctor who was treated with a tainted drug that caused him to have Parkinson’s-like symptoms,” respectively [FSR].
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • September 29, 2011 9:12 AM
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Spielberg's Tintin Opens in Europe First; Director Talks Robopocalypse, Lincoln

With the Tintin comics much more well-known in Europe than stateside, the plan was always to open the Peter Jackson/Steven Spielberg collaboration The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn overseas first, in late October, followed by a December holiday-friendly release in North America. (Trailer below.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 29, 2011 5:38 AM
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Kalliope's Van Gogh Biopic Seeks Director

The rich, dramatic story of Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh--who has his own museum in Amsterdam-- hasn't been brought to life (in English, anyway) in a feature film since Robert Altman's underappreciated Vincent and Theo (1990), starring Tim Roth. Vincente Minnelli's 1956 Lust for Life memorably starred Kirk Douglas as Van Gogh; Anthony Quinn won the supporting actor Oscar as Paul Gauguin. Australian Paul Cox also directed a 1987 documentary on the painter, featuring John Hurt reading his letters (clip below).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 27, 2011 6:34 AM
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Yes, Really: Universal Remaking a Non-remake of Scarface; Vulture on Unoriginality in Hollywood

Say it ain't so, but Universal is gearing up for a new version of Scarface. Writers are at work trying to find a way to make this story relevant again. Back in 1983, Brian De Palma and Oliver Stone's version starring Al Pacino was initially met with skepticism, as it was a remake of the 1932 film produced by Howard Hughes and directed by Howard Hawks and Richard Rosson. But the remake became a classic in its own right.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 22, 2011 4:28 AM
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That's a Wrap! Lee Daniels' The Paperboy with McConaughey, Efron, Kidman, Cusack

That's a Wrap! Lee Daniels' The Paperboy with McConaughey, Efron, Kidman, Cusack
Director Lee Daniels has wrapped his follow-up to Precious, 60s erotic thriller The Paperboy. Shot around New Orleans, Lousiana, with Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron, Nicole Kidman, John Cusack, David Oyelowo, Macy Gray and Scott Glenn, the film is based on Pete Dexter's novel and subsequent screen adaptation. Set in Florida, the synopsis is below. Release dates are pending as Toronto-generated pre-sales continue. As Daniels heads into post-production, he praises his cast for bringing "these offbeat characters to life. Everyone has knocked it out of the ballpark with their performances."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 20, 2011 5:40 AM
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Emmerich's Happy Birthday, Mr. President; Spielberg's Lincoln Not "Political Fodder"

Roland Emmerich, whose Shakespeare-subverting drama Anonymous will hit theaters October 28, is planning another trip down history lane, but this time not as far back and not any time soon. The director is planning to make Happy Birthday Mr. President - "The title will tell you everything" - but says digital technology is not yet where it needs to be for him to make it the way he wants, i.e. with digitally manipulated and aged actors. Does this mean Marilyn Monroe will actually be the one singing the famous song to John F. Kennedy on his birthday? We'll have to wait and see; "I think we have to wait another five years," says Emmerich. For now, we can watch the real deal (1962 video) below, or enjoy Michelle Williams channeling Monroe. The Anonymous trailer is below. [MTV]
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 20, 2011 5:15 AM
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Denzel for Secret in Their Eyes Remake, Kevin Costner Out of Upcoming Tarantino, Source Code to TV

Kevin Costner was forced to back out of Quentin Taratino's Django Unchained due to scheduling conflicts and will no longer play Ace Woody, a "sadistic asshole who trains slaves to fight" in Tarantino's coming film. Meanwhile, as expected, Samuel L. Jackson has been confirmed to join the cast as a head house slave. The movie will star Jamie Foxx as Django, a slave who escapes from his vicious owner, played by Leonardo DiCaprio and joins forces with a German bounty hunter, played by Christoph Waltz. The film will begin production this November and has a planned release date of December 25, 2012.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 16, 2011 4:05 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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