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Thompson on Hollywood

News Update: Grand Ole Opry Flooded, Spielberg Picks War Horse, Stone Tours South America

Flood damage to the Grand Ole Opry House was reportedly topic number one in the Nashville music community Monday. At least three feet of water encroached on the historic venue, whose stage is considered hallowed ground in country music. This weekend's shows have been relocated to the Ryman Auditorium downtown, an equally revered venue that fortunately was unaffected. Heavy rains and the rising waters of the Cumberland River devastated middle Tennessee over the weekend.
  • By Amy Dawes
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  • May 4, 2010 1:26 AM
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DreamWorks Tell-All Exposes Katzenberg Shrek Bail-Out

DreamWorks Tell-All Exposes Katzenberg Shrek Bail-Out
Ex-Variety reporter Nicole LaPorte, now writing for The Daily Beast, shares some of what she went through to write her new book about DreamWorks, The Men Who Would Be King. The problem: Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen --three very powerful Hollywood moguls---actively worked against LaPorte, refusing to grant interviews and lobbying others to do the same:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 30, 2010 2:59 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Disney's Rich Ross Meets the Press

Disney's Rich Ross Meets the Press
New Disney chairman Richard Ross put on a dog-and-pony show at the Burbank lot Thursday to introduce himself to a group of key entertainment reporters. This is what a new studio chairman does to deal with media requests for interviews and meetings and to alert Wall Street to a strong line-up in advance of an upcoming Disney earnings call. About 20 reporters attended, including the trades. Ross announced the breaking news that Pixar was ramping up a Monsters Inc. sequel for a November 15 2012 release and that Disney was dating their film Brave for June 15, 2012.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 23, 2010 4:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments

3-D Divide: Upfront vs. Retrofit

3-D Divide: Upfront vs. Retrofit
No one in Hollywood will listen now that Avatar and Alice in Wonderland have scored the mother-lode of grosses as 3-D movies. Could Alice have done as well in 2-D as a perfect match between name director, beloved children's book, and family-friendly studio? No, confirms Disney, because 70% of its grosses came from 3-D screens.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 31, 2010 1:29 AM
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  • 10 Comments

Spielberg Does Not Have Asperger's Syndrome

Imagine my surprise when listening to an NPR report stating as fact that Steven Spielberg has Asperger's Syndrome. Anyone who has had any interaction with the guy knows that he's not only a super-smart and gifted filmmaker with extraordinary technological command (which easily could accompany an Asperger's diagnosis), but he's also highly intuitive, with warmth, charm and social skills to spare (which is far less frequent).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 29, 2010 9:22 AM
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  • 25 Comments

HBO, Hanks, Spielberg Deliver Must-Watch The Pacific

HBO, Hanks, Spielberg Deliver Must-Watch The Pacific
Tim Appelo reviews Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg's follow-up to HBO's Band of Brothers, The Pacific.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 21, 2010 5:49 AM
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  • 7 Comments

Time Cover Boy Hanks' The Pacific Launches Sunday on HBO

I confess: I am at SXSW wishing I had time to watch the DVDs for The Pacific that HBO delivered the day I left town. At $200 million (more than Rome), the ten-part series is the most expensive HBO has ever made, and earned Tom Hanks the cover of Time (like HBO, a Time Warner company). It's the flip side to Hanks and Spielberg's brilliant and harrowing World War II series Band of Brothers, which broke out Damian Lewis.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 13, 2010 12:21 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Spielberg Heating Up Gershwin and Quinto

It looks like DreamWorks and Steven Spielberg are heating up on Doug Wright's script for a planned biopic of composer George Gershwin. Several biopics--including Tony Kushner's Lincoln and a still-in-development look at the life of Martin Luther King--are in the works, and there's also the ten-part family adventure The 39 Clues, written by Jeff Nathanson, which Spielberg could decide to take on. But clearly, the DreamWorks filmmaker is excited about Gershwin. The script is set in the 30s during the period when the songwriter, hugely popular, stretched himself by turning to more serious Broadway musicals.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 1, 2010 1:06 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Disney's Aviv Exits as Ross Relies on DreamWorks

Disney's Aviv Exits as Ross Relies on DreamWorks
It's deja vu all over again. A studio in management upheaval. A new studio head recruited from TV being directed to reinvent the wheel by a boss who is a film biz outsider.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 13, 2010 12:22 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Things I Learned at the Avatar Premiere

Things I Learned at the Avatar Premiere
James Cameron basked in the glow as Avatar, his latest industry-changing event-film, earned a standing ovation at the Mann Chinese Wednesday night. At the after party Cameron beamed as he stood between two tall women, wife Suzy Amis and ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow. "You're on a roll!" he said to the Hurt Locker director. "You raised the bar," she said to Cameron.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 17, 2009 4:49 AM
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  • 8 Comments

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