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Thompson on Hollywood

IN THE WORKS: Independence Day Sequels Want To Take Your Money, Even if They Don't Pay for Smith

Fox will make not one but two Independence Day sequels, fifteen years (and counting) after the original Will Smith pic raked in $800 million across the globe. It's not a new idea -- the studio had wanted to green light a sequel for some time, but both Smith and director Roland Emmerich demanded huge paychecks. So Fox focused on developing scripts and declared that the franchise could proceed with or without them.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 27, 2011 6:09 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Jackson will Direct Next Tintin Along with The Hobbit; Secret of the Unicorn Opens Abroad October 26

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn opens abroad this week (the U.S. waits until December 21), so what better time to confirm that producer Peter Jackson will direct the second installment of the franchise? Most critics have been pretty high on the commercial-looking performance capture action movie, whether or not they have a history with Hergé‘s comics, so a second Tintin is a safe bet.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • October 25, 2011 7:40 AM
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  • 2 Comments

English Teacher Starts in NY, Lily Collins joins Julianne Moore, Greg Kinnear, Nathan Lane

One of the recurring themes of this weekend's Film Independent Forum was the growing fluidity of television and indie film. For example, TV director Craig Zisk (The Big C, Nurse Jackie, Weeds) is making his film debut with indie comedy The English Teacher, which starts filming in New York this week. He has just added Snow White star Lily Collins to his cast, which includes Julianne Moore, Greg Kinnear and Nathan Lane. As indie film remains a labor of love for most participants, it makes sense to work for hire in quick-form television, and return intermittently to longer form indie production.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 24, 2011 12:57 PM
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  • 0 Comments

IN THE WORKS: A-Listers Lining Up Projects: Damon, Krasinski, Mulligan, Zeta-Jones, Cooper

- Matt Damon will be known as director soon, with both Father Daughter Time: A Tale of Armed Robbery and Eskimo Kisses (at Warner Bros.) and a newly announced drama which he co-wrote with John Krasinski, who developed the idea with writer Dave Eggers (this project is also at Warner Bros.). Krasinski and Damon will also star in the film, and while plot details are few we know Damon will play a salesman whose life changes when he arrives in a small town.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 21, 2011 5:39 AM
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  • 0 Comments

River Phoenix May Return to Screen Via Re-edited Version of George Sluizer's Unfinished Dark Blood

It's been eighteen years since his death, but that's not stopping River Phoenix's last film, Dark Blood, from being released next year. Director George Sluizer has re-edited footage from the film shoot, which was not completed (Phoenix died at age 23 of a drug-induced heard attack, 11 days before it was meant to wrap), and thinks a final cut can be achieved if Joaquin Phoenix provides voiceover for River's character, Boy, a young hermit who lives on a nuclear test site awaiting the end of the world. "The voices of both brothers are very much alike," Sluizer tells THR, but the director has yet to ask Phoenix if he is willing to do it. The film co-stars Jonathan Pryce and Judy Davis as a married couple who find Boy when their car breaks down. After beginning a relationship with the married woman, Boy questions his belief that the world is ending. It may be eighteen years old, but the story sounds very à propos.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 19, 2011 7:46 AM
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  • 0 Comments

IN THE WORKS: Rourke Joins McDonagh's Seven Psychopaths; Tatum and Carrell for Miller's Foxcatcher

- Martin McDonagh, the Irish playwright whose underappreciated big-screen debut In Bruges boasted Colin Farrell's career-best performance (and earned an Oscar nom for original screenplay), is compiling an impressive cast to star in his sophomore film, Seven Psychopaths. Mickey Rourke is joining Farrell, Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 19, 2011 5:34 AM
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IN THE WORKS: Theron's Career Comeback Includes Horror Remake; The Departed Prequel; Night Train

Don't be surprised if Charlize Theron decides not to interrupt what looks like a promising career revival-- via Young Adult/Prometheus/Snow White and the Huntsman--with an ugly step-sister. It's a remake of Zwart Water, a Dutch horror film about a little girl whose new friend is the ghost of her mother's dead twin, in which Theron (her production company Denver & Delilah bought the rights; they also produced Young Adult) is set to play the mother. Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose) will direct. This sounds like the kind of project Hilary Swank would do (see: The Reaping). We're betting that Theron won't end up in the film.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 18, 2011 11:25 AM
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Composer Rolfe Kent Joins Production Team behind Coens' Gambit, Starring Firth & Diaz

Gambit, from the Coen brothers' screenplay update of the original 1966 film (with Shirley MacLaine and Michael Caine), is currently in post-production in London. The star-packed film-- Colin Firth, Cameron Diaz, Alan Rickman, Sir Tom Courtenay, Stanley Tucci and Cloris Leachman-- directed by Michael Hoffman now boasts composer Rolfe Kent (Up in the Air, Sideways).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 18, 2011 2:52 AM
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  • 2 Comments

TV Projects In The Works: Kids Are All Right, Underground Gambling, Diamond Trading, Nuclear Bomb

Movies and moviemakers are heading in increasing numbers to the small screen. Here's a smattering of recently announced in-the-works TV projects, from HBO's The Kids Are All Right spin-off to a diamond-trading drama at AMC. Some look more promising than others, and many will never see the light of day.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 14, 2011 5:40 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Woody Allen Ditches Decameron Title for Nero Fiddled

With Woody Allen's summer hit Midnight in Paris his highest grosser ever and heading for Oscar contention, the filmmaker has seen the wisdom of changing the name of his next film, his first shot and financed in Rome, from The Bop Decameron, which got too many stares, says Allen, to the more accessible Nero Fiddled (2012). "I couldn't believe how few people had heard of The Decameron even in Rome," he says. "And the few that did assumed the movie was based on Boccaccio's tales which it's not." The change marks the second time Allen has altered a title; the first was replacing Anhedonia with Annie Hall, which went on to win the best picture Oscar.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 13, 2011 9:57 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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