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Thompson on Hollywood

Disney Chief Bob Iger to Chair Academy Museum Fundraising Campaign with Tom Hanks and Annette Bening UPDATED

Save LACMA Film Protests
Not wasting any time getting the fundraising effort started on the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, AMPAS president Tom Sherak and CEO Dawn Hudson have landed a big fish to chair their capital fundraising effort: Walt Disney President and CEO Bob Iger (whose ABC network happens to air the Oscar telecast), along with fellow Academy members Annette Bening and Tom Hanks as co-chairs.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 7, 2011 1:42 PM
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In The Land of Blood & Lawsuits: Jolie, GK Films and FilmDistrict Sued Over Film's Similarities to Croatian Book

Angelina Jolie (along with GK Films, FilmDistrict and Scout Film) is being sued. Croatian journalist James Braddock alleges that her film, "In The Land of Blood and Honey," has similarities with his 2007 book, "The Soul Shattering." For two years beginning in 2008, he states that he consulted with Edin Sarkic, a co-producer on the film (on points including "plot and character development and the story's cultural significance and historical accuracy"). The two allegedly discussed the possibility of adapting his book, but that's as far as it went until Braddock learned of Jolie's film.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 6, 2011 1:30 PM
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IN THE WORKS: Butterfield for Ender's Game, Arterton & Ronan Vampires for Jordan, Soderbergh's Pill & Hanks Slate

  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 30, 2011 1:35 PM
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Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill Talk Their Moneyball Love Story, Success and Failure, Fave Performances

The love story of Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill had a perfect start. They first met through a mutual friend - Ed Norton - at a Radiohead concert. Catherine Keener then suggested Hill for "Moneyball" while they were shooting "Cyrus"; after he played Peter Brand at a "Moneyball" read-through both director Bennett Miller (also recommended for the project by Keener) and Pitt rooted for him to land the role. "I am the box office star behind the film," joked Hill during a post-screening Q & A Sunday at Sony's Cary Grant theater. He held his own with Pitt in the charm department. The Q & A moderated by Dave Karger (EW) allowed time for audience questions. Pitt spoke of the "arduous" process behind getting the film made, but said he doesn't mind it when you believe in what you're doing and the material: "I could never let go of the book," he said.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 28, 2011 2:15 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Angelina Jolie Talks Blood & Honey on 60 Minutes: Afghanistan Set War Drama is Next, Punching Through Gender Stereotypes & Being Scared in a Good Way

  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 28, 2011 1:45 PM
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Mendes Casts Whishaw as Bond Gadget-Meister Q in Skyfall

Clearly, director Sam Mendes is seeking to update the Bond franchise and pull in some younger viewers. While Daniel Craig and Judi Dench are returning as agent 007 and his boss, M, respectively, John Cleese will not come back as Q. That role will go to a younger-generation gadget-master to be played by Ben Whishaw, 31, a terrific actor who shined as Freddy Lyon in the Brit TV series "The Hour," Ariel in Julie Taymor's "The Tempest," one of several incarnations of Bob Dylan in Todd Haynes' "I'm Not There," and Jane Campion's "Bright Star," among other films. He co-starred with Craig in "Layer Cake" as well, and stars opposite Tom Hanks in the upcoming "Cloud Atlas."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 25, 2011 11:52 AM
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  • 3 Comments

First Look at Prometheus: Scott's Sci-Fi Thriller with Alien DNA, Fassbender, Theron, Rapace, Elba, Pearce & Wilson

Ridley Scott's 3-D sci-fi thriller "Prometheus" is shrouded in mystery. Now EW offers a first look at the "Aliens"-related VFX space epic set for June 2012 release starring Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Noomi Rapace, Idris Elba, Patrick Wilson, Guy Pearce. Need we say more? We got our first peak at Comic-Con (the fest's prime asset). Fassbender told us that he plays an android based on the physicality of diver Greg Louganis.  "There’s definitely a link to 'Alien,' there’s creatures in it that you’ll recognize,” he said at Comic-Con. Theron added that "people should really let go of the idea that it’s an Alien film.” Want more images? Here. At Comic-Con, Fox and Scott downplayed the sci-fi space thriller's relationship to Scott's original film and the kick-ass James Cameron sequel "Aliens." But Scott admits that this movie is grown from the same DNA. The movie is a further exploration of that future world produced with the scale and scope that new technology makes possible. And its ultimate goal is "to scare the living shit out of you," Scott said via satellite from Iceland.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 23, 2011 4:30 PM
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Thankful for Scorsese: What's Next; Ebert's Goodfellas & Badfellas; Fast Company on the 'Greatest Living Director'

Martin Scorsese is not slowing down, burning out---or selling out, either. "Hugo," his first children's tale and first 3-D film, opens this weekend, and is earning stellar reviews. While it may prove too rich for many mainstream moviegoers, it's a testament to his ongoing exuberance as a director.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 23, 2011 1:41 PM
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Dark Knight Rises: Christopher Nolan Drops News, Batman a Mess, Bane's Brutal Carnage

Go nuts, Batman fans, new details on "The Dark Knight Rises" have landed. Director Christopher Nolan confirms to Empire that the "first six, seven minutes of the film" will screen in select IMAX cinemas on December 21, and will give "an introduction to Bane [the villain, played by Tom Hardy], and a taste of the rest of the film." We'll have to wait until July 20, 2012, to see the complete film. More details below: What's the plot? Well, eight years have gone by since we left Bruce Wayne in "The Dark Knight": "It's really all about finishing Batman and Bruce Wayne's story. We left him in a very precarious place. Perhaps surprisingly for some people, our story picks up quite a bit later, eight years after 'The Dark Knight.' So he's an older Bruce Wayne; he's not in a great state." The challenges in this film are new for Batman, and Nolan says the choice of villain and the direction the story aim to test him "both physically as well as mentally."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 22, 2011 3:06 PM
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Interview Watch: Brutal Honesty from Jeremy Renner, Streep & Coen Talk Film in China, Knightley on Dangerous Method & Anna Karenina

Here's some brutal honesty from Jeremy Renner, whose "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol" comes out December 21, followed by "The Avengers" in May 2012. Career comes first: "Even now, any woman would take a No. 2 seat to my job.” No thanks, "Transformers": "Thank God I don’t have to do a monologue to a robot. I don’t know how Shia, God bless him, does that.” As for celebrity attention? “I don’t pay attention to that horseshit." And a touch of film wisdom, via his experience building houses:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 22, 2011 1:08 PM
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