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Thompson on Hollywood

Three Features In Works from BBC Earth and Reliance Big Entertainment Partnership; Two in 3-D

BBC Earth (2007's Earth) and India's Reliance Big Entertainment are partnering on three films; Reliance's IM Global will distribute. The three films are: $65 million live-action/CGI Walking with Dinosaurs 3D, directed by Pierre De Lespinois and Neil Nightingale, which will use groundbreaking 3-D cameras and LIDAR (Light, Detection and Ranging) technology; $25-million documentary feature Africa 3D, and documentary feature Life, from co-directors Mike Gunton and Martha Holmes, which follows a series of animal kingdom life-cycle stories.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 1, 2010 4:51 AM
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New Distribs FilmDistrict and Wrekin Hill Make Moves

The two new indie film distribs on the block both made announcements Monday. FilmDistrict has made its first pick-up, Soul Surfer, for wide release April 15, 2011. And Chris Ball's Wrekin Hill Entertainment has pacted with Lionsgate Home Entertainment for exclusive U.S. distribution rights for DVD, Blu-ray, digital delivery and VOD. Ex-Newmarket Films president Ball is prepping the December 29 release of Peter Weir's The Way Back, starring Colin Farrell, Ed Harris and Jim Sturgess, via Newmarket. He expects to make several acquisitions announcements shortly.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 1, 2010 4:16 AM
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  • 2 Comments

MGM Lenders Approve Spyglass Takeover Bid

The MGM lion has had many lives--the fabled studio has run through many chiefs over the decades, but Carl Icahn is not going to be one of them. Mary Parent is gone, and so is Harry Sloan, as well as UA's Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner. Finally, we know, the newest chieftans are the Spyglass duo Roger Birnbaum and Gary Barber; their plan to take over the studio after it emerges from bankruptcy has been approved by MGM's lenders, reports the LAT. The vote was delayed when Lionsgate's largest shareholder, agitator Carl Icahn, tried to mount a rival bid to buy MGM's debt for 53 cents on the dollar. Icahn also owns about 12% of MGM's debt, or $500 million.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 29, 2010 10:28 AM
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More: News, Hollywood

Columbia's Tolmach and Belgrad Split; Tolmach Goes Indie Prod with Spider-Man, Belgrad Solo Prexy

The seven-year Columbia tenure of Matt Tolmach and Doug Belgrad has come to an end. Co-president since 2008, Tolmach is moving on to launch a new production company--he has a three-year contract-- and starting in December, will join with Marvel and Laura Ziskin on the next iteration of Spider-Man, a series he has shepherded since 2002. (Not a bad way to launch a solo career.) At the end of November, Belgrad will take over the solo reins at Columbia. He is bringing on Hannah Minghella as his new president of production. She has been president of Sony Pictures Animation since 2008, where she supervised Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and the upcoming Arthur Christmas, The Pirates!, and Hotel Transylvania>
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 29, 2010 5:22 AM
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European Film Academy Nominates Three Documentaries for Prix Arte Award

The European Film Academy nominates three documentary films for its Prix Arte award. The selection was made by EFA Board Members Despina Mouzaki (Greece), Pierre-Henri Deleau (France) and Francine Brücher (Switzerland), along with experts Claas Danielsen (International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film), Ally Derks (director IDFA, the Netherlands), and Jacques Laurent (producer, Belgium). The 2,300 members of the EFA will now watch and vote on the winner, to be awarded on December 4.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 27, 2010 3:19 AM
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David Lynch's Top Five Films for AFI Fest 2010

David Lynch's Top Five Films for AFI Fest 2010
AFI Fest 2010's Guest Director, David Lynch, has chosen five films for his special sidebar program. Lynch graduated from AFI in 1970, and his first feature film, which was made while he was a Fellow at AFI's Center for Advanced Film Studies, Eraserhead, will also be screened. Lynch's five (fabulous, must-see) selections are:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 25, 2010 8:17 AM
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  • 1 Comment

A Tribute to Fellini's La Dolce Vita

The fifth Rome International Film Festival (October 28 to November 5) will mount a 50th anniversary tribute on October 30 to Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita with the premiere of the film's new digital restoration at the Sala Petrassi of the Auditorium Parco della Musica. The Film Foundation and Gucci backed the film's restoration.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 25, 2010 8:16 AM
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Scorsese and DiCaprio: A Retrospective

As part of Paramount's Shutter Island awards campaign, the American Cinematheque is mounting a two-day (Nov. 13-14) retrospective of director Martin Scorsese and actor Leonardo DiCaprio's partnership, from Gangs of New York and The Aviator to The Departed and Shutter Island. All four films will screen and DiCaprio (in person) and Scorsese (via satellite) will participate in a conversation on November 14.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 22, 2010 9:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments

The Hobbit's Cast, And A Good Day for New Zealand Cinema

While Peter Jackson and Warner Bros. deal with the issue of whether or not to shoot The Hobbit in New Zealand, the director has confirmed the casting of the film. (UPDATE: Video of Jackson and co-producer and co-writer Philippa Boyens' NZ TV interview below.)
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 22, 2010 8:45 AM
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Spielberg Takes On Robopocalypse

Steven Spielberg is committing to direct Daniel H. Wilson's futuristic novel Robopocalypse for DreamWorks. Spielberg plans to begin principal photography in January 2012 for release by Disney’s Touchstone in 2013. DreamWorks acquired the unpublished manuscript in November 2009; Drew Goddard adapted the dystopian story about a robot rebellion against humans. Doubleday plans to publish the novel in June 2011. Spielberg's next two films, War Horse (Touchstone) and The Adventures of Tintin (Sony/Paramount) are both coming out in December. 
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 22, 2010 6:16 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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