Actor Peter Facinelli is developing a movie about American spy Nathan Hale. The Twilight star has acquired the film rights to M. William Phelps' Nathan Hale: The Life and Death of America's First Spy, which centres on the undercover agent who was executed in 1776 at the age of 21 after British forces discovered he was a soldier for the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War.
Facinelli says, "I am excited to bring the story of Nathan Hale to life, a man who sacrificed everything for what he believed in."
The film was originally slated to be developed by producers at Warner Bros. in 2007, but the project fell through, according to Variety.com.
Let's just go ahead and say it and get it out of the way now: USA! USA! USA! USA! Alright, we good now? It was a pretty historic day out there in Foggy Londontown, as the Olympics ended day four with quite a literal and figurative splash! There were races and routines galore; medals were passed out--some of them silver, some of them gold, and even a few bronze. Whether on a track, a beam, or in a pool, the Olympics were on fire today, and we've got the best highlights for you here:
World's Fanciest Poolboy: Michael Phelps has done what he came to London to do: make records, win medals, and go down in history for doing just that. Phelps took time out of his busy schedule today to become the most decorated Olympian of all time, winning a 19th medal to surpass previous record-holder Larisa Latynina. Phelps took silver in the 200m butterfly, and gold in the 4x200m freestyle today to make this happen. Not a bad highlight to your final Olympic games, eh?
All Tied Up: The United States are now tied with China in the medal count after four days of competition. Both teams now share the top spot with 23 medals per country. In the Olympic Hunger Games, only one country can come out on top. But what happens if they tie at the end? Are we going to have another berries situation on our hands? Because that really didn't work out the way it was planned in Panem.
Golden Girls Again: The ladies of the US gymnastics team (The Fab Five they're calling them! They're just like The Beatles!) took a trip to the top of the podium after scoring their first team gold since the 1996 games. Led by impressive performances from Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman (we're waiting for our customary parents react shot, Internet), Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber, the ladies posted the top scores in three out of four events. The defending champions, China, failed to place (unlike the men who took home gold yesterday).
Water Sports: Allison Schmitt took home the ladies gold medal in the 200m freestyle. Nice work, Schmitty! Our men's water polo team posted a 10-8 win over Romania today thanks to some top-tier work by Peter Varellas and Ryan Bailey. Well at least Romania still has Horia Tecau going for it.
Volleybutts: I'm sorry, balls. I meant balls, not butts. (Teeheehee!) But our beach ballers there sure are kickin' some butt, huh? The US men's team beat Spain out on the beach today, and the women's players April Ross and Jennifer Kessy are now ranked number one.
Tennis Talk: Andy Murray is through to the third round of the men's tennis after beating Jarkko Nieminem, and Venus Williams won her second round match against America's TopHat competitor, Aleksandra Wozniak. Go on brush your shoulders off, America.
[Image Credit: Getty Images]
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Olympics Round-Up: Missy Franklin Nabs First Gold, Britain Gets Bronzed
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Tomorrow marks the release of three undoubtedly big Hollywood movies: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-wrecked, and the IMAX experience of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. What makes us so confident that they’ll be hits? Simply, these films are all things that we have seen, and loved, in the past.
And I’m not just referring to the fact that they are, respectively, a sequel, threequel and fourquel. The characters and stories in all three of these new movies have existed long prior to the creation of their current film series. Whether it be from previous movies, television shows, literature or Christmas albums, most of us have had some knowledge and attachment to Sherlock Holmes, Alvin and the Chipmunks and the IMF team for many years now.
Of course, just because the stories and characters are familiar, it doesn’t mean they are identical to their past incarnations. We’ve decided to keep the older manifestations of Arthur Conan Doyle’s brilliant detective, the triad of singing rodents, and the superspy IMF agency in mind when looking at these new movies, to consider what they may have left out, kept in, and added to the mix.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
The Old Movies
What They Kept: The unflappable genius detective thing, equipped with an inseparable partnership with Dr. John Watson. The framework is all the same: the duo would solve a mystery or two (against all odds), defeating the evil Moriarty or some other criminal who forgot to double-check his work.
What They Changed: Basil Rathbone, who is the actor most synonymous with Sherlock Holmes (he played him in fourteen feature films) embodied the character as a proper, sophisticated and elegant gentleman—this is the sort of image that enveloped the character prior to his revival in Guy Ritchie’s adaptations, which star Robert Downey, Jr., as a more rogue, ruffian character. Additionally, Jude Law's Dr. Watson is a much more competant figure than the character the old movies chose to portray.
What They Kept: A lot, as a matter of fact. Guy Ritchie’s adaptation is considered a lot more faithful to Doyle’s stories than a lot of the films prior. Doyle created Holmes as an ingenious but rough fellow, who enjoyed bareknuckle boxing and a fancy cocaine addiction. Law's Watson is a lot closer to the literary version of the fellow than the old cinematic version.
What They Changed: In fairness, Holmes doesn’t explicitly do any drugs in the Ritchie adaptation…it’s just kind of hinted at.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-wrecked
The Music Sensation
What They Kept: The basic characters created in the 1950s for the purposes of a novelty record have pretty much maintained their identities. Alvin was always a misbehaving brat, Simon was always an uptight nerd and Theodore was always also there.
What They Changed: They used to sing their own original songs. Creator Ross Bagdasarian wrote well-known Chipmunkian classics such as “Witch Doctor” and the Christmas song about a hula hoop. I’d personally rather hear either of those than a Chipmunk rendition of “Bad Romance.” Plus—the look. Art design for the novelty records depicted the chipmunks as actual chipmunks.
The Cartoon Series
What They Kept: This is likely where a lot of us today developed our images of the Chipmunks. The 1980s cartoon series introduced the Chipettes and really fleshed out the characters’ lifestyles as a popular music troupe/unorthodox suburban family. Plus—the look. The new movies resemble the design of the cartoon characters far more than the original images, although…
What They Changed: They’re a lot smaller now. In the cartoon, the Chipmunks stood two feet tall, at the very least. Now, they’re down to the size of an actual tree rodent, give or take. But what bothers me more than any of that: what happened to Alvin’s hat? He hardly wears it anymore!
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
The TV Series
What They Kept: The theme song. Seriously, they could change anything else and it wouldn’t matter—the mood would be retained. Name another show with as iconic a theme song as Mission: Impossible. The theme song instilled the original show with the unforgettable excitement that has carried over into a colossal movie series.
What They Changed: The characters’ roles have been revamped to appeal to the “modern world” (the film series was pioneered before the wave of nostalgia overtook Hollywood—one might imagine some more similarities had the first installment been attempted just this year). The star of the TV show was Jim Phelps, played then by Peter Graves and in 1996’s Mission: Impossible by Jon Voight. But in the film series, the real star is agent-on-the-rise Ethan Hunt, played by Tom Cruise. Understandable, as modern audiences are generally partial to younger characters. Another understandable move: replacing the old Cold War overtones with more contemporary themes, like the threat of terrorism.
There are a good deal of things in each of these films that sharp fans of the original incarnations might find fault with. On the other hand, sometimes new developments are necessary to keep the stories and characters interesting in changing times. However you feel about the modern views of Holmes, the Chipmunks and the IMF, one thing is for certain: people are still, and probably always will be, excited to have them back in their lives.
Blake died at the age of 52 on Sunday (29May11) after suffering complications from pneumonia.
The popular actor's career was cut short in 1986 when he was involved in a car smash while filming The Lighthorsemen in the South Australian desert, which left him permanently brain-damaged and dependent on his mother Mascot to look after him.
Sweet, who starred alongside Blake in the film and was by his friend's bedside following the accident, found Blake's deterioration "devastating".
He recalls, "We got on very well... we used to sit around and shoot the breeze, and he was very popular with the ladies. (After the accident) we tried anything just to get him to wake up. It was quite devastating."
Another The Lighthorsemen co-star, Peter Phelps, adds, "We had formed a really good friendship in The Lighthorsemen, going up to the hills and to the pub together. There was always some hope that with the mystery of a brain injury there was a chance. I hope there was no pain (in his death)."
Actor Tony Bonner adds, "It's a blessing of some kind that John is not travelling in any more pain. I hope that he is in a peaceful place now."
Blake's funeral will be held later this week (ends05Jun11).
TV and movie veteran Peter Graves has died. He was 83.
The star of the Mission: Impossible TV series and Airplane! movies was found dead at his Los Angeles home on Sunday, just days before his 84th birthday. It is thought he died from a heart attack.
Born in 1926, Graves -- brother of character actor James Arness -- enjoyed a career in Hollywood spanning 60 years, which included playing Jim Phelps in Mission: Impossible between 1967-1973.
He went on to become a cult comedy figure through his role as Captain Oveur in spoofs Airplane! and Airplane II: The Sequel. He later starred on TV show Biography for over a decade, winning an Emmy for his hosting duties on the series.
Graves was honored last year with the 2,391st star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Ojai Film Festival.
He is survived by wife Joan, their three daughters, Kelly, Claudia and Amanda, and six grandchildren.
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The star of the Mission: Impossible TV series and Airplane! movies was found dead at his Los Angeles home on Sunday (14Mar10), just days before his 84th birthday. It is thought he died from a heart attack.
Born in 1926, Graves - brother of character actor James Arness - enjoyed a career in Hollywood spanning 60 years, which included playing Jim Phelps in Mission: Impossible between 1967-1973.
He went on to become a cult comedy figure through his role as Captain Oveur in spoofs Airplane! and Airplane II: The Sequel. He later starred in U.S. TV show Biography for over a decade, winning an Emmy for his hosting duties on the series.
Graves was honoured last year (09) with the 2,391st star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Ojai Film Festival.
He is survived by wife Joan, their three daughters, Kelly, Claudia and Amanda, and six grandchildren.