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Thompson on Hollywood

The Hobbit Could Lose McKellen, Movie House Revivals, Lautner's Muscles

-Even with Peter Jackson prepared to take over the directing helm, continued delays on The Hobbit put the cast's availability at risk. Even the film's Gandalf, Ian McKellen, is under no contract to appear in The Hobbit, the veteran actor revealed in an interview with New Zealand's Good Morning. He said his time is "running out," and he is actually more interested in working the theater. "Frankly, I would like to race after doing Waiting For Godot, get on with doing another play but we'll have to see. I don't give the producers the impression that I'm sitting waiting." One possible save-the-day scenario would see debt-ridden MGM selling the rights to Warner Bros./New Line (which is also a potential buyer of the studio). With the next James Bond already on hiatus, many Hollywood players are working behind the scenes to untie The Hobbit's Gordian knot.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • July 5, 2010 5:35 AM
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MGM in Flux, Jackson Wants Hobbits, Weinsteins Lose Library, Ortenberg to Apparition

There's a lot going on in Hollywood this summer, as the economy and DVD declines continue to take their toll on several struggling distributors, from MGM and Lionsgate to the Weinstein Co., Overture and Apparition. MGM is in flux, as it struggles to pull itself back from the brink of bankruptcy and figure out a way to get The Hobbit films made with Peter Jackson at the helm. But whether that's possible is still the question. MGM needs help.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 25, 2010 7:33 AM
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This Means War Casting Saga, WGA vs. IMDb, Boyle directs Olympics, Fairy Tales are New Vampires

- McG can't make up his mind on casting vidgame-to-film This Means War. While Reese Witherspoon is set to play the femme at the center of a dispute between two spies--best friends turned enemies in this action-comedy--the two male leads are up in the air. In-demand Bradley Cooper has bailed on the role originally intended for Martin Lawrence, while Seth Rogen and Chris Pine were both reported as attached at some point. Now Vulture asserts that McG has offered his Terminator Salvation star Sam Worthington the lead. The Playlist, which has been tracking the This Means War casting saga, writes that Justin Timberlake was being considered for the film, and filmmakers may go to Colin Farrell if Worthington is a no-go.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 17, 2010 3:40 AM
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Entourage Movie in Works, Fassbender on the Rise, Weinsteins Grab Miral, Del Toro Posts on Hobbit

Entourage Movie in Works, Fassbender on the Rise, Weinsteins Grab Miral, Del Toro Posts on Hobbit
- Entourage producer Mark Wahlberg is turning the hit HBO series into a feature length film, MTV reports. The seventh season arrives in a few weeks, followed by six additional episodes in 2011. Wahlberg told Josh Horowitz: the show needs to end strong before making the movie, and he believes this is the best season yet. "I am more focused on making that movie than my own films."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 8, 2010 4:54 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Cameron Speculation, Bond Stall Releases Craig and Mendes, Perry Loses Carey, Nolan Loves Bond

In the constant push for site traffic, James Cameron provides a reliable news headline, what with the BP "morons" thing, and the lingering impact of the ultimate blockbuster, the 3D Avatar. The tiniest indication of directional change for Cameron's next project is enough to fuel endless speculation.
  • By Cameron Carlson
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  • June 4, 2010 9:26 AM
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  • 8 Comments

Who Will Direct The Hobbit, With Del Toro Moving On? Not Jackson, for Now

Soon after revealing that he was waiting for the dust to clear at MGM so he could get on with The Hobbit, Guillermo del Toro, one of Hollywood's hottest directors after Pan's Labyrinth and Hell Boy 2, is quitting The Hobbit because he can't keep his career on hold any longer; he's already been on the project for two years. He and The Hobbit co-writer-executive producer Peter Jackson made the announcement on May 30 at Theonering.net.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 30, 2010 12:35 PM
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  • 9 Comments

The Hobbit and Next James Bond Await MGM Picks to Run Studio

With MGM creditors calling the shots and debating the future of the studio with MGM management, the cold reality is that no one is going to buy MGM at the valuation the studio needs as it copes with its $3.7 billion debt load. Thus the next phase of MGM's reorganization will likely involve bringing in some entity to exchange some debt for equity and run the studio. Top of the list of possible partners are Spyglass, Summit and the guy who thought up this solution, Amir Malin of Qualia Capital, a private media and entertainment equity fund. He made an offer to infuse MGM with some $500 million to run a lean operation in hopes that the economy and Wall Street would eventually improve.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 28, 2010 6:22 AM
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McAvoy Joins X-Men, Polley's Take This Waltz, Newsweek's New Look

- Director Matthew Vaughn has cast Wanted star James McAvoy to play the role of the young Charles Xavier (created by Patrick Stewart) in Fox's next X-Men installment, the origin story X-Men: First Class. We like The Playlist's casting suggestion of Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds) to play Xavier's evil opposition, Magneto (originally Ian McKellen).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 28, 2010 4:12 AM
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Mortensen Open to Role in The Hobbit

Viggo Mortensen mentioned the possibility of appearing in the Peter Jackson/Guillermo del Toro production of J.R.R. Tolkein's The Hobbit while accepting the Jameson Empire Icon Award Monday night in London:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 31, 2009 6:40 AM
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Hobbit Watch: Del Toro's the Right Guy

Well, the Hobbit shoe has finally dropped, and Guillermo del Toro has committed to direct the movie for New Line Cinema. There is rejoicing throughout the land, I suspect. If it wasn't going to be Peter Jackson (who is exec producing with Fran Walsh), Pan's Labyrinth helmer Del Toro is just about a perfect match for this J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy. It will be cool.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 24, 2008 6:02 AM
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