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Thompson on Hollywood

Kennedy and the Naked Babes: A Playboy Shoot!

TMZ said it tested this creased 1950s snapshot showing a man who looks a lot like John F. Kennedy hanging on a yacht with naked babes, and found no evidence of tampering.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 28, 2009 6:12 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: News, Media

Dreamworks Acquires WW I novel War Horse to Produce with Kennedy/Marshall

DreamWorks Studios has acquired the rights to the World War I adventure novel War Horse for Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Revel Guest to produce. Lee Hall (Billy Elliot) is writing the script. Written by children's author Michael Morpurgo and first published in 1982, War Horse tells the story from a boy's POV of being separated from his horse. The sentimental play, staged with puppet horses, has been a huge sellout family hit in London for the past two years. Spielberg believes the story has universal appeal.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 16, 2009 8:07 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Overture Acquires Stone, Starring De Niro, Norton

After the underwhelming Everybody's Fine , one star in need of a strong role that connects with audiences is Robert De Niro. Maybe Stone will do it. Overture Films has picked up U.S. distribution rights to John Curran's dramatic thriller, starring De Niro as a parole officer and Edward Norton as an arsonist who tempts him with his wife (Milla Jovovich). Norton starred in Curran's The Painted Veil.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 7, 2009 11:42 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Comcast Makes NBC Universal Deal

As predicted, now that Vivendi has agreed to sell its 20% stake in NBC Universal for $5.8 billion, the deal for cable corp. Comcast to acquire NBC Universal from GE has gone through. Comcast would be the sixth owner of Universal over the past two decades. (The Obama administration could take a year to review the deal before the two companies can merge.) Comcast will pay $13.75 billion for a majority stake in a combined entertainment entity to be run by NBCU chief Jeff Zucker.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 3, 2009 4:45 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Polanski Gets Out of Jail Friday on $4.5 Million Bail

As expected, filmmaker Roman Polanski will get out of jail on $4.5 million bail. Swiss justice officials announced Wednesday that the director can move to his Gstaad chalet at 1 PM on Friday. Here's the LAT:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 2, 2009 4:35 AM
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  • 4 Comments
More: News, Directors

Polanski Update: Swiss Accept 4.5 Million Bail

Filmmaker Roman Polanski, in 30-year-exile from the U.S., has been smoldering in a Swiss jail for two months. He may have his get-out-of-jail card, but it is not free. A Swiss court has finally accepted the 76-year-old director's offer to pay 4.5 million Swiss francs to stay under house arrest with 24-hour electric monitoring in his Swiss villa in Gstaad. But he's not out of jail yet. The Ministry of Justice has ten days to decide whether or not to appeal the ruling. Judge Cornelia Cova wrote of Polanski's perceived flight risk:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 25, 2009 5:17 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: Directors, News

Avatar May Debut at Knowles Butt-Numb-A-Thon

AICN's Harry Knowles has long cultivated close friendships with powerful filmmakers. Peter Jackson showed him The Lovely Bones before any one else, and now I hear that James Cameron, who often calls Knowles when he wants to promote something, is trying to override studio Twentieth Century Fox's antipathy toward the Austin-based webmaster (who likes to blast co-chairman Tom Rothman) by giving him Avatar to screen at his annual December 24-hour film marathon Butt-Numb-A-Thon. The BNAT shows classic films as well as such premieres as The Passion of the Christ, Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong, Dreamgirls, Chicago, Magnolia, Knocked Up, 300 and V for Vendetta.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 24, 2009 9:37 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Gibney Talks Casino Jack and Three More Docs for 2010

When documentarian Alex Gibney (who won an Oscar for Taxi to the Dark Side) learned via his Jack Abramoff "Google Alert" that director George Hickenlooper (Factory Girl) had decided to name his fiction film starring Kevin Spacey as corrupt Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff Casino Jack, Gibney had his lawyer send a legal letter (dated November 10) asking Hickenlooper not to use the title, to which Gibney states he had prior claim, citing "violations of federal and state unfair competition laws":
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 15, 2009 9:42 AM
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  • 13 Comments

David Ansen Named Artistic Director of Los Angeles Film Festival

David Ansen Named Artistic Director of Los Angeles Film Festival
When Rebecca Yeldham came in to run the Los Angeles Film Festival this year, programming director Rachel Rosen played out her last fest and then moved back to her old stomping grounds, the San Francisco Film Festival. Now Yeldham announces that Newsweek critic David Ansen is joining the LAFF as artistic director. Since he accepted a Newsweek buyout last March, Ansen has been delivering the slimmed-down magazine a reduced number of reviews and features a year. Who better than a critic to make the final picks on the LAFF?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 9, 2009 5:21 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Director Taylor Wood to Marry Nowhere Boy Star Johnson

I had heard about the love affair between 42-year-old artist/filmmaker Sam Taylor Wood and her 19-year-old star Aaron Johnson, who plays teen John Lennon in her debut feature Nowhere Boy, which closed the recent London Film Festival and opens stateside in 2010. Well, the BBC is announcing that they're planning to get married.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 31, 2009 12:07 PM
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  • 2 Comments

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