The Weinstein Company
If you're a film fan, you're probably aware of this Christmas' August: Osage County. The film is produced by George Clooney, who will be joined by stars Julia Roberts, Julianne Nicholson, Juliette Lewis, Margo Martindale, Chris Cooper, and Dermot Mulroney for a live Q&A moderated by John Horn. Horn will be discussing the making of the film and incorporating fan questions posted on The Weinstein Company's Facebook page.
Whether a fan of the team behind the camera, in front of the camera, or the emotionally devestating play upon which the film is based, everyone can think of something to ask. Feel free to query how Clooney is faring in his recently declared fued with Leo DiCaprio, or to ask Margo Martindale what it's like to simultaneously star on three television shows (The Millers, The Americans, and Masters of Sex), making her the second busiest cast member (after Benedict Cumberbatch). Meryl Streep will sadly not be in attendance, but why not ask what exactly she's doing instead? Ask one and all what it was like working with producer Jean Doumanian, the woman who was responsible for both Saturday Night Live's nadir and discovering Eddie Murphy.
Or, go ahead and ask about whether or not the darkly comic tone of the play will remain, how the cast managed with the Oklahoma dialect, or anything else about this Oscar hopeful. While we can't imagine how a film can improve on the wonderful play, which used the theatricality of over-the-top performances to its advantage, perhaps Clooney and the Weinstein Co. were able to pull together a cast and crew who understood at its heart what this story is about. It's hard to convey familial relationships, and absolutely impossible to do so if everyone involved is at anything but the top of their game. August is a tough play, a long play, and one that so relied on the immediacy of theater that even with all the starpower in the world behind it, it still feels like a gamble. But one we're excited to take, and to find out more about!
Check out the live video below and again, write your questions to The Weinstein Company's Facebook page. The Q&A begins at 8 PM Pacific Time and 11 PM Eastern Time.
Deadline reports that Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep are working out deals to star in the adaptation of Tracy Letts' Pulitzer- and Tony-winning play August: Osage County.
John Wells is directing from Letts' screenplay for the Weinstein Co. Production will start by next summer.
The play, which premiered in 2007 at Chicago's Steppenwolf, eventually headed to Broadway and London's West End. Harvey Weinstein has been developing a film version since 2007. He will produce with Jean Doumanian.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, the play revolves around a family's buried pains and present conflicts after its patriarch dies. Streep would take the role of the drug-addicted matriarch; Roberts would play the eldest daughter, whose estranged husband has had an affair with one of his students.
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Following their wedding at a castle in the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday, Paul McCartney and his wife, Heather Mills, jetted off for their honeymoon. The two were married in a ceremony at San Salvator's church that was attended by some 300 guests--including Ringo Starr, Chrissie Hynde, Dave Gilmour and Steve Buscemi--who were brought to the media-shielded estate via coaches and helicopters. Stella, Mary and James, McCartney's children from his late wife Linda, were also in attendance. Mills wore a gown she created with designers Eavis & Brown and carried a bouquet of two peonies and 11 McCartney roses, named in honor of the ex-Beatle, for the ceremony that was described as joyful and moving, BBC News reports.
A settlement was made on the ninth day of Woody Allen's trial in which he accused former business partner Jean Doumanian and her boyfriend and business partner, Jacqui Safra, of cheating him out of $12 million from eight movies since 1993. According to The Associated Press, Allen's lawyer issued a statement saying, "The parties have reached a business resolution of the dispute. The case is over." Terms of the settlement were not revealed.
MGM has sold off some foreign rights to director John Woo's World War II epic Windtalkers starring Nicolas Cage, Variety reports. The studio has reportedly raised between $30 and $35 million by selling the film's rights in Japan, Italy and France. Windtalkers, the opening of which was postponed following Sept. 11, carries a negative cost of $115-$120 million.
Spyglass Entertainment has acquired the film rights to the 1960s cartoon series Underdog, Variety reports. The cartoon, which debuted on NBC in 1964, focuses on an inept watchdog that is transformed into a superhero after being accidentally exposed to an experimental elixir.
Fox-based Prometheus Entertainment is shopping a revival series of Playboy After Dark to cable networks, Variety reports. The show will be a throwback to the original 1969 late-night variety series that featured jazz musicians, comics and soul singers in a fake penthouse pad. Hugh Hefner will host the weekly hourlong series, with initial production taking place at the Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills, Calif.
Working women, rejoice. Talk-show guru Oprah Winfrey will star in the primetime show Oprah After the Show debuting Sept. 16 on the Oxygen cable channel, the AP reports. The show will be taped each day after her syndicated talk show and will air weeknights at 7:30 p.m. Eastern and be rerun at 10 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., and at 8:30 a.m. the next day. Winfrey said she would kick off her shoes, take questions from the audience and see where the conversation goes.
BMG Music has completed the acquisition of Zomba Music Group, whose key labels include Silverstone, Volcano, Jive Electro and Britney Spears' label Jive, the AP reports. German music giant Bertelsmann AG owns BMG, which already operates labels like Arista, J, Windham Hill and La Face, with artists ranging from Whitney Houston, Pink and the Dave Matthews Band.
A Grateful Dead reunion concert planned for Aug. 3-4 in East Troy, Wis., about 30 miles southwest of Milwaukee, has hit a snag. Clear Channel Entertainment, the promoters for Terrapin Station - A Grateful Dead Family Reunion, has been denied a permit by a county highway committee because of concerns that the county's 80 sheriff deputies could not handle the expected draw of some 200,000 fans. Only 35,000 are allowed in the Alpine Valley Music Theatre.
For bringing in 35 million viewers for its season finale and being television's most popular show, Friends and NBC claimed the prize of top network for the 2001-02 television season. CBS finished a solid second, with its show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, the second most-watched show on the air, while ABC and Fox followed in third and fourth place, respectively.
Jerry Lewis returned home Tuesday after staying overnight at a hospital, where doctors made a routine check on a device that Lewis had surgically implanted April 8. The device, called Synergy Neurostimulation System, has helped eased chronic back pain Lewis has been suffering from years of pratfalls. He told the Las Vegas Sun that it has left him pain free for the first time in 30 years.
Actress Jenny McCarthy gave birth to a boy, Evan Joseph Asher, on Saturday. The baby weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces and is the first child for McCarthy and her husband, director John Asher.
Wasting no time since announcing his departure from Saturday Night Live, funny guy Will Ferrell is set to star in a new film, Action Newsman. He'll play an egotistic local news anchorman threatened by an ambitious female newscaster who, unlike his character, has mastered journalism.
Annette Bening will star in a remake of the Disney film Freaky Friday. The story is about how a mother and her rebellious tomboy daughter, secretly wishing for each other's lives, switch bodies for a day. The original 1976 film starred Barbara Harris as the mother and a young Jodie Foster as the daughter.
In the Biz
Yet another thing the strange Michael Jackson is obsessed with: Sky News reported the Gloved One announced in Cannes that he'll be producing and starring in the film Wolfed, playing a werewolf. He's been fascinated with werewolves since seeing John Landis' 1981 film An American Werewolf in London and got to play one when Landis directed Jackson's music video to the hit song "Thriller."
Director Woody Allen filed a lawsuit last May against his former producer Jean Doumanian, claiming she cheated him out of $14 million in profits, and now Doumanian's lawyer says Allen has overstated what he is owed. According to The Associated Press, Doumanian's lawyer, Lee A. Armstrong, claimed he received a document from Allen's lawyer asking for only $2 million. Allen's camp denies the mix-up, saying Armstrong's "characterization of the document was completely false and uninformed."
Sony Pictures has picked up the rights to yet another Marvel comic-book hero: Ghost Rider. This superhero, named Johnny Blaze, makes a pact with the devil to save someone he loves, but the deal goes awry (as deals with the devil tend to do). Blaze, now embodied with superhuman powers, transforms into a ghost rider to try to reclaim his life, love and soul.
Quickly becoming a powerhouse producer in Hollywood, the multitalented Ice Cube has signed up to produce the comedy feature Race under his CubeVision banner. The film is a fish-out-of-water story about a black cab driver who gets involved in a stock-car race. Ice Cube will not be starring in this particular venture.
Looks like the rash of TV nostalgia shows will finally be tapering off after the May sweeps. According to AP, several TV executives have admitted that they may have overdone it with the clip-filled specials on such shows as The Cosby Show, M.A.S.H., The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Laverne and Shirley. Think so?
Pop-punk band Blink-182 will be making a guest appearance on the 300th episode of The Simpsons this fall. The show has Bart moving out of the Simpson house and into his own apartment, where the band and pro skater Tony Hawk are his neighbors. The episode will air next season.
You can't kill the Dead, man. That's right, the surviving members of The Grateful Dead will be jamming for the first time since lead singer Jerry Garcia died in 1995 of a heart attack, according to the AP. They will perform a two-day concert in East Troy, Wis., Aug. 3-4.
Variety reports producer Jerry Bruckheimer (Black Hawk Down) will be receiving the Albert R. Broccoli Award of Excellence at this year's Cinema Expo in June. Past recipients included producers Saul Zaentz, Brian Grazer and Claude Berri.