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Thompson on Hollywood

Lady Gaga, Will Smith Go Costa Rica, Which Opens $41 Million New Airport, Lures Production

Costa Rica is getting a spanking new airport. On a rainy and humid November day, reps from JetBlue, the Costa Rican tourism board and the Four Seasons resort in nearby Peninsula Papagayo gathered for a tropical press conference in a giant air hanger at northwest Costa Rica's Liberia Airport. Local school children performed traditional dances to celebrate the airline’s inaugural flight from New York’s JFK as journalists got the grand tour of Costa Rica's $41 million Daniel Oduber Quiros airport, which is preparing to handle some 600,000 visitors a year, with new routes from Europe and North America. Its sleek air-conditioned terminals with modern stores and cafes serving international cuisine is a far cry from the old-school digs and rice and beans next door.
  • By Liza Foreman
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  • December 8, 2011 1:45 PM
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AFM News: Worst Idea Ever, Charlie Chaplin in 3-D

Count on German schlockmeister Uwe Boll to endorse the worst idea ever for a movie. Check out the pitch to a major studio (the name is omitted) from his Kinostar colleague Michael Roesch below:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 6, 2011 1:04 PM
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  • 0 Comments

John Lasseter Gets the 2453rd Star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame

While Disney was promoting the Blu-ray and DVD release of Cars 2 on November 1, the day Disney/Pixar animation czar John Lasseter happened to get his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, it was still a happy day and a well-deserved honor. Disney's Rich Ross and Sean Bailey, Pixar's Ed Catmull, Bob Peterson and Pete Docter, voice talent Owen Wilson, Bonnie Franklin, Patton Oswalt, John Ratzenberger and Don Rickles, as well as composer Randy Newman, all showed support for the guy Emily Mortimer called a "genius."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 2, 2011 1:32 AM
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IN THE WORKS: Lionsgate's AFM Slate; Irvine and Firth in Railway Man; Corey Stoll's Next Move

Lionsgate is busy, handling several new projects at the AFM. There's Murder of a Cat, from producer Sam Raimi and his director wife, Gillian Greene Raimi. The dark comedy is about a man who discovers his recently murdered cat had a double life with a mysterious young woman. There are echoes Martin McDonagh's The Lieutenant of Inishmore, but with the suggestion of romance. Jay Baruchel, Dianne Wiest, Alison Pill, Rob Lowe and JK Simmons will star.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 1, 2011 8:20 AM
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PGA To Honor Don Mischer with 2012 Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television

The Producers Guild of America will honor Don Mischer with their 2012 Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television, marking the first time the award has been given to a live-event producer. Mischer will accept the award at the annual Producers Guild Awards on January 21 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Mischer is directing and producing the Oscar telecast again this year, this time with producing partner Brett Ratner.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 31, 2011 6:29 AM
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Academy Celebrates 40th Last Picture Show Anniversary with Restored Definitive Director's Cut

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences celebrates the 40th anniversary of The Last Picture Show with a digitally restored "Definitive Director’s Cut" on Thursday, November 17, at 7:30 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater. After the screening the Academy is hosting a cast and crew reunion including director (and indieWIRE blogger) Peter Bogdanovich, his one-time romantic muse Cybill Shepherd and Cloris Leachman. Sadly, Ben Johnson as well as Bogdanovich's ex-wife, the film's production designer Polly Platt, are no longer with us. And where are Jeff Bridges, Timothy Bottoms and Ellen Burstyn?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 27, 2011 11:15 AM
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John Orloff Talks Anonymous, Shakespeare, Emmerich, Ifans, Redgrave, Stratford vs. Oxford

John Orloff Talks Anonymous, Shakespeare, Emmerich, Ifans, Redgrave, Stratford vs. Oxford
One of the surprises of the season is Roland Emmerich's Anonymous, which opens Friday amid ongoing controversy over its premise: that William Shakespeare did not write his plays and poems, and the Earl of Oxford did. Screenwriter John Orloff has been obsessed with this mystery since his college days; the screenplay served as his ticket of admission to Hollywood. First, Shakespeare in Love put Anonymous on the back burner, to be resurrected decades later by German digital master Emmerich, best known for such action adventures as Day After Tomorrow and 2012. Emmerich helped, for better or for worse, to turn Orloff's identity crisis into a rip-roaring Elizabethan succession drama, with Queen Elizabeth --played by the always riveting Vanessa Redgrave--at the center of dangerous head-lopping court intrigue. Emmerich was able to deploy his considerable digital filmmaking chops to shoot this elaborate period piece in Germany with an ensemble of character actors-- led by Redgrave and Rhys Ifans, in an uncharacteristically glamorous role--for just $30 million (think George Lucas or Zack Snyder). Emmerich even filmed one scene with three actors at different times and locations and merged them seamlessly. (We reveal the scene below, with trailer.) The movie could nab some tech nominations. Here's Orloff's Q & A for Sneak Previews.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 27, 2011 5:31 AM
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Film Independent Names Producers Lab Participants, Sloan Award Winners

After their weekend-long Film Independent Forum (where Werner Herzog gave the keynote Q & A), FIND announced eleven filmmakers and nine projects for their 11th annual Producers Lab, and named Brent Hoff and Malcom Pullinger the winners of the 5th annual $25,000 Sloan Producers Grant. Hoff and Pullinger will participate in the Lab with their film, El Diablo Rojo, the story of a marine biologist and his team, who risk their lives to prevent ecological disaster after discovering a super swarm of El Diablo Rojo squid. FIND's director of Artist Development, Josh Welsh, says; “Two of the films we’ve awarded this grant to in the past, Future Weather and Valley of Saints, are in post-production now. I look forward to seeing El Diablo Rojo follow the same path.”
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 24, 2011 4:53 AM
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Alexandre Desplat Scores Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Among Many Other Films

Alexandre Desplat Scores Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Among Many Other Films
French composer Alexandre Desplat is having a busy 2011. He's racing to finish the score for one of several still-unfinished year-end releases, Stephen Daldry's Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, over the next few weeks. (The composer took over from Nico Muhly, who scored Daldry's The Reader.) Of course, music is always the last contribution to any movie, figuring in the final mix.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 23, 2011 4:54 AM
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Herzog Talks Death Penalty Doc Into the Abyss, Myth of Indie Filmmaking, and Getting Shot At

Herzog Talks Death Penalty Doc Into the Abyss, Myth of Indie Filmmaking, and Getting Shot At
The 7th Annual Film Independent Forum (presented by indieWIRE) kicked off at the DGA Friday night with a screening of Drake Doremus' Like Crazy and a Saturday morning keynote Q&A with filmmaker Werner Herzog, covered by Sophia Savage:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 22, 2011 9:12 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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