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Thompson on Hollywood

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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  • 4 Comments

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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CASTING WATCH: Game of Thrones' Harington and The Killing's Kinnaman Are Arthur & Lancelot

Thanks to Steven Soderbergh, who pitched Brit Kit Harington (Jon Snow in "Game of Thrones") and Swede Joel Kinnaman (AMC's "The Killing," "The Darkest Hour," "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo") for his soon-to-be-aborted "The Man from U.N.C.L.E."), Warner Bros. has cast both rising actors in "Arthur & Lancelot," slated for a March 2013 release. Harington landed King Arthur, while Kinnaman is playing Lancelot. The studio has made an odd choice of director for this project, David Dobkin ("The Change Up," "Fred Claus," "Wedding Crashers") who is writing the script. Check out soundbites from Harington at Comic-Con, where we covered the "Game of Thrones" panel and witnessed proof that Harington is already a scream-inducing heartthrob. How does he feel about the thousands of 15-year old girls putting posters of him on their walls? "It scares the crap out of me."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 21, 2011 1:52 PM
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Trailer Watch: Harrelson in Rampart; the Most Corrupt Cop You've Ever Seen

Woody Harrelson may play the most corrupt cop you've ever seen in "Rampart," the second feature from "The Messenger" director Oren Moverman.  (TOH interview here.) But that's not why you should see the film when it broadens January 27 (after an Oscar-qualifying run). Harrelson brings an unexpected vulnerability to his character, and is earning Oscar buzz. But that's clearly no way to sell a film:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 21, 2011 12:24 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Box Office: Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Ignites Moviegoers Worldwide, The Descendants Delivers

Christmas arrived early this year at the box office as Summit’s “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part One” racked up the fifth biggest opening weekend in boxoffice history with an estimated $139.5 million. On Friday alone the total was some $72 million, marking the third biggest single-day gross of all-time, after Warner Bros.’ “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2” ($91.1 million) and “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” ($72.7 million).
  • By Brian Fuson
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  • November 20, 2011 1:15 PM
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  • 3 Comments

WEEKLY WRAP: Oscar Talk, Box Office, Gender Watch, AFM, Harry Potter, Cleopatra & More

Revisit the best stories of the week from Thompson on Hollywood!
  • By TOH!
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  • November 19, 2011 1:11 PM
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Claymation T is for Toilet Wins Next Great Horror Filmmaker Contest, Joins The ABCs of Death

Drafthouse Films, Magnet Pictures and Timpson Films have named Lee Hardcastle's "T IS FOR TOILET" (watch it below) the winner of their “next great horror filmmaker” contest, which now finalizes the lineup of "The ABCs of Death," their film anthology with segments directed by over two dozen filmmakers. With 26 chapters each designated to a letter of the alphabet, the film was inspired by children's education books and allows each filmmaker to chose a word to represent a form of death based on their given letter. Magnet Releasing will debut the film in 2012.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 18, 2011 2:58 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Will Roth & Fincher Deliver Jolie's Cleopatra?

Let us count the ways that Sony's "Cleopatra" could go wrong. But hiring Eric Roth to write the script for the Angelina Jolie epic (possibly with David Fincher at the helm) is a good sign. We can thank Roth for "Forrest Gump," "The Insider," "Munich," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and many other fine scripts including the upcoming "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close." Based on Stacy Schiff's sprawling bestseller, this "Cleopatra" is rooted in a complex history and demands a seasoned writer who will not lose sight of the biography's authentic primary sources. Bringing Fincher on board would also set the project on the right course. Exuding the infamous intelligence, charisma and sexuality of Cleopatra will be easy for Jolie, who nonetheless needs a strong director to pull from her a layered and compelling performance. The Egyptian queen--arguably the most powerful woman of all time-- was a master political strategist who deftly manipulated her two life mates, Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.  (Picking the right two co-stars is also key.) If the movie gods align the elements, this could be Jolie's career-defining role--and her best shot at a Best Actress Oscar.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 16, 2011 3:49 PM
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  • 2 Comments

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