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Thompson on Hollywood

MacArthur Genius Grant to Simon, McKellan Fights for Brit Acting Stature

- The MacArthur Foundation's annual list of scientists, scholars, musicians and artists to receive $500,000 "genius" grants includes David Simon, the co-creator/writer/producer behind The Wire, Treme, Homicide: Life on the Streets [pictured with The Wire star Dominic West]. The Foundation says Simon's latest work on Treme explores "the constraints that poverty, corruption and broken social systems place on the lives of a compelling cast of characters, each vividly realized with complicated motives, frailties, and strengths." Among the other ten women twelve men who received the grant is jazz pianist Jason Moran, theater director David Cromer, marble sculptor Elizabeth Turk and fiction writer Yiyun Li.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 28, 2010 10:57 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Del Toro's DreamWorks Deal and Trollhunters, Jackson Fights Unions on Hobbit

- Guillermo del Toro, back from promoting two productions at the Toronto Film Festival--Julia's Eyes and Biutiful (the official Mexican submission for the foreign Oscar)--is now working closely as a consultant and exec producer with DreamWorks Animation. He will help out on Kung Fu Panda 2, Puss in Boots and another TBA project as well as Trollhunters, which he will write and direct.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 28, 2010 6:21 AM
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  • 2 Comments

MGM's Future Comes Due: Spyglass Closing Deal

Time is running out on MGM, which has staved off six debt payments and owes another in September.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 10, 2010 12:15 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Harry Potter, Lord of the Mashup

The new Harry Potter 7 Trailer seems vaguely reminiscent of Lord of the Rings. Granted, both are fantasy films, but the sweeping helicopter shots of magical warriors running across fields and mountains seem a little too similar. Well there's a reason! Harry Potter will be traveling to Middle Earth this fall. Just kidding, but check out the trailer for a fictional HP vs. LOTR after the jump:
  • By Cameron Carlson
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  • July 15, 2010 8:02 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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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  • 0 Comments

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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  • 0 Comments

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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  • 1 Comment

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

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