Hollywood actress Anne Hathaway has dismissed rumours suggesting her long-awaited Judy Garland biopic has been shelved indefinitely. The Les Miserables star has been working on a film about the late screen legend since 2009, but the project has suffered numerous delays over the last few years.
Work on the project, based on biographer Gerald Clarke's 2001 book Get Happy: The Life of Judy Garland, was due to begin in 2012 but never materialised, prompting rumours the project had been cancelled.
However, Hathaway has now spoken out to insist she is still working on the film, but the process is taking a long time.
She tells U.K. morning TV show Lorraine, "I've actually been trying to get a Judy Garland biopic off the ground for about five years now and it's slow going. I'm very much at the baby stage of learning how to have an idea, put it together, put it together with the right people, find the right screenwriter, get the right draft and take it to the right filmmaker. It's a learning process. I'm hoping it happens. I have a nice idea for it. Fingers crossed for that one."
Hathaway plans to play The Wizard of Oz star in the film. Garland died in 1969, aged 47.
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If anyone deserves a well-crafted and considerate biopic from Hollywood, it's Tupac Shakur. The rapper, whose life story has risen to the stuff of legend, is in serious need of his own film. Tupac was full of intelligence and dark charisma, and his passionate lyrics were sharp enough to cut through the thick fog of mid '90s competition as he brought a hard-edged originality to West Coast hip hop. He was a singularly interesting and multi-faceted figure, and it's almost sacrosanct that his story is depicted on film the right way. Now, director John Singleton has stepped up to the task. The filmmaker, who actually knew Shakur personally after directing him in the 1993 film Poetic Justice, is set to helm the long-awaited biopic. Singleton, who was originally linked to the project back in 2011, has inked a new deal to rewrite, produce, and direct the film. The task of bringing Tupac's story to the big screen is not one for the faint of heart, and there are several ways that such a touchy project could go seriously wrong. Since his death, Tupac has become nothing short of a mythic figure in the music world, and there's a load of pressure weighing on Singleton brining his story to the big screen just right. Here are the thing's that the director would need to focus on in order to create a great Tupac biopic.
His Early InfluencesTupac Amaru Shakur, whose name originates from a Peruvian revolutionary that fought for his freedom against Spanish rule, has an incredibly interesting childhood. While most biopics would do better to steer away from focusing on the entire life of their subjects Tupac's early life is actually quite fascinating and the story would actually flourish from spending at least a little time examining the rapper's beginnings. Tupac's parents, Afeni Shakur and Billy Garland, were both high ranking members of the Black Panther Party, and just a month before Tupac was born, his mother was acquitted of charges against the United States. Tupac's stepfather, Mutulu Shakur, spent time on the FBI's Most Wanted list, and was imprisoned for planning an armored truck robbery for the Black Liberation Army. His parents' controversial political affiliations and ideologies clearly trickled down into his music, and that influence is worth a mention, even if it's a quick one.
The MusicEven though his life outside of his lyrics almost threatened to overshadow his music, Tupac was primarily a musician when all was said and done. The man himself is a legend, but it was the music that burrowed its way into our hearts and minds. A big focus of the biopic needs to be dedicated to recreating the his music respectfully. We should get a glimpse at Tupac's creative method, and witness the genesis of his biggest hits, and most noteworthy songs. Singleton only needs to look towards 2005's Hustle and Flow to see how to really capture hip hop's creative process in a truly affecting way.
The East Coast/West Coast RivalryIt may be obvious to say, but a large portion of the film should focus on the deadly rivalry that brought Tupac's life to an end. The music feud that escalated from verbal jabs in song lyrics to real violence that spilled it's way onto the streets was hip hop's darkest hour, and should be given it's due reverence. Tupac's death, and the later death of his chief rival, The Notorious B.I.G., changed rap music and music in general forever. the complicated and intriguing story needs to be heavily examined.
ParanoiaDuring the early to mid '90s, The East Coast/West Coast rivalry racheted up a couple dozen notches after Tupac was shot by unknown assailants at Quad studios, an attack that he believed to be orchestrated by Sean "P.Diddy" Combs, Biggie, and other members of Bad Boy Records. Because of this and other events, Tupac was incredibly paranoid in the last few years of his life, and these feelings seeped their way into the lyrics of his songs like "Hit em Up" and "Hail Mary." We should see that paranoia play out on screen in Tupac's depiction.
No SugarcoatingFor all his talents, Tupac Shakur was still only human at the end of the day. He was deeply flawed man and his brushes with trouble, including constant and pervasive legal issues, an alleged sexual assault, various physical altercations, and the mysterious shooting of a six-year-old, are all a part of his legend. In order to tell a truthful tale about Tupac's life, Singleton shouldn't gloss over the more unpleasant details. It would be doing him a disservice not to highlight the messier parts of his history.
Katy Perry has received a formal apology from veteran U.S. broadcaster Barbara Walters after the pop star was scolded for showing up late to a special TV interview in 2011. The I Kissed a Girl hitmaker recently revealed she had risked the wrath of the revered reporter after running behind schedule for the meeting, which occurred just weeks before her then-husband Russell Brand filed for divorce to end their one-year marriage.
She told Billboard magazine, "When I got there, I apologised immediately, but then she said to me, 'You know, I've only ever waited for one other person this long, and you know who that person was? Judy Garland. You know how she turned out, right?'
"I was like, 'Oh, snap! Yes, b**ch!' I think it's the coolest thing that Barbara Walters shaded (trashed) me."
Perry, who had kept her relationship woes a secret during the media chat, went on to admit that she should have pulled out of the Top 10 Most Fascinating People of 2011 interview altogether because she was facing such a tough time in her private life.
Her confessions have now prompted Walters to reach out to Perry to express her sympathies as she had no idea how much pressure the pop star had been under.
Addressing the singer's comments on her U.S. talk show The View on Monday (30Sep13), Walters said, "Katy, if I made you feel at all unhappy, during a time when you were obviously unhappy, and I didn't know, I'm sorry, but you can't always know!"
A treasure trove of memorabilia documenting the life of Oscar-winning actress Vivien Leigh has been acquired by the curators of a British museum. Bosses of London's Victoria and Albert Museum have become the new owners of an archive which belonged to the Gone With The Wind star's grandchildren.
The items include letters Leigh sent to her husband Sir Laurence Olivier, and other notes addressed to her from stars including Marilyn Monroe, as well as former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and playwright Tennessee Williams.
The collection also includes the visitors' book from Leigh and Olivier's home in Buckinghamshire, England, signed by Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Orson Welles, Judy Garland and Rex Harrison, and the actress' personal diary which she kept for more than 38 years.
Other items include photographs, film and theatre scripts and numerous awards.
Martin Roth, director of the museum, says, "Vivien Leigh is undoubtedly one of the U.K.'s greatest luminaries of stage and screen and along with Laurence Olivier, remains a true star of her time. We are thrilled to acquire her archive intact in this centenary year of her birth and to be able to make it available to the public for the first time."
Leigh died in 1967 at the age of 53.
Welsh singer Katherine Jenkins showed her support for her best friend by dedicating a song to the two-time cancer survivor at a concert on Sunday night (11Aug13). The opera star took to the stage at Audley End House in Essex, England to perform as part of the stately home venue's annual Summer Concerts series and singled out her friend, life coach Polly Noble, when she sang Judy Garland's classic track Over the Rainbow.
The pair met in 2001 when Jenkins became Noble's singing teacher and the mezzo-soprano even wrote the foreword to her friend's book, The Cancer Journey, which chronicled her miraculous recovery after she was diagnosed with the disease twice before she turned 28.
In a post on her Twitter.com page after the gig, Noble writes, "Having (Katherine Jenkins) dedicate Somewhere Over The Rainbow (sic) to me & sing it to thousands at Audley End 2nite (sic) was a phenomenal surprise! Thank u (sic) xxx" to which her long-time friend replied, "Because you're worth it."
So You Think You Can Dance producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe has heard your outrage and responded to it. This past week, fans of the Fox dance competition show cried foul as a result of Season 10's elimination format. Carlos Garland and Brittany Cherry were revealed to be in the Bottom 4 in the first few minutes of the broadcast then cut by the judges immediately after their "Dance For Your Life" solos. However, Garland and Cherry had to continue to dance throughout the episodes, since their respective partners hadn't been eliminated — meaning that without any competitive incentive for them, Garland and Cherry weren't as motivated to support their partners. It's a structural flaw that could undermine the integrity of the entire show.
The problem began in Season 9 when Fox cut the SYTYCD results show, forcing the producers to combine the competition and results in one episode each week. Now Lythgoe has tweeted that, going forward, the judges' final elimination of two contestants will not occur at the very beginning of the episode, but at the end, after the competitive dancing rounds.
We're taking your advice by revealing America's vote in the beginning and judging at the end. I hope it will inspire the bottom 4? Thank you
— Nigel Lythgoe (@dizzyfeet) July 5, 2013
Do you think the change will prevent the awkwardness we saw this week? Or is it just a Band-Aid for the bigger problem caused by eliminating the results show?
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Acclaimed theatre director and producer Patrick Garland has died following a long illness. He was 78. The Brit passed away at Worthing Hospital in West Sussex, England, on Saturday (20Apr13) with his actress wife Alexandra Bastedo at his bedside.
Garland began his career as an actor, but began directing after joining the BBC and went on to work with stars including Rex Harrison on a Broadway revival of My Fair Lady.
He is the only director to have had four plays simultaneously running in London's famed West End theatre district, and scooped a Golden Globe for his 1971 film The Snow Goose.
Garland was also a prolific poet who published several books, and founded the Poetry International foundation with Ted Hughes.
Bastedo, who married Garland back in 1980, has led the tributes to her late husband.
She says, "Patrick had been ill for a long time but bore all of his troubles with great fortitude. He was a wonderful man, brilliant with people of all types, and life will never be the same."
A private funeral and memorial service are to be held at Britain's Chichester Cathedral at a later date.
Fans devastated by the loss of Mexican-American singer and reality television star Jenni Rivera, who tragically died in a plane crash on Sunday, will still get to appreciate the body of work she left behind. In the week following Rivera's tragic death, Spanish-language network mun2 is running a marathon of Rivera's reality series I Love Jenni on their channel, continuing Tuesday night and Wednesday night, as well as the show which she executive produced, Jenni Rivera Presents: Chiquis 'n Control, airing on Thursday and Friday.
Like other stars who passed before their time, Rivera had a yet-to-be-released project. The 42-year-old had her debut film role in the indie drama Filly Brown, which screened at 2012's Sundance Film Festival. In the film about an aspiring poet/rapper (Gina Rodriguez), Rivera plays Maria, the incarcerated mother of the rising star who tries to maintain a relationship with her daughter. Rivera, pictured here in a scene from the film, had just a few scenes, but they were standout, emotional ones, nonetheless.
The movie is slated for a limited April 2013 release (starting in approximately 100 theaters) and those who worked with Rivera on the project are coming to terms with the loss of their co-star, who many said had a generous nature on set.
In a statement released to E!, Rivera's Filly Brown cast mate Edward James Olmos said, "The world lost an extraordinary talent in the realm of Judy Garland, Barbara Streisand, and Frank Sinatra, who took their singing artistry and became dramatic artists in film and television. Jenni Rivera was destined to surpass any artist that we have ever seen coming from the Mexican American culture. She was just starting. My love to her family, especially her children and her mother and father."
During an interview with the Los Angeles Times, one of the film's directors Youssef Delara (who said that Filly Brown would have marked "just the beginning of Jenni's acting career") recalled that Rivera anonymously gave her payment for the movie to a photographer on the production who seemed to need the money. Rodriguez noted her generous spirit as well, telling the LA Times, "On set, she found out the second assistant director's mom loved her and then brought her a signed picture, perfume and CD ... She empowered all and still will."
Michael Olmos, the film's other director, put it simply: "She was so honest and open with her life. There was never a wall between her in a professional level and her in a personal level."
[Photo credit: John Castillo]
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The Golden Globes have been handing out their prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Award since 1952, when the honor's legendary director namesake took home the lifetime achievement honor for the very first time. DeMille was 70 years old when he was bestowed with the award, his 40-year career spawning epics like Cleopatra, The Greatest Story Ever Told, and The Ten Commandments.
This year, the award will go to an actress and director whose relatively short career has been equally impressive: Jodie Foster.
At 50, Foster will be the fourth youngest recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille award. Younger recipients include 1958's Buddy Adler (age 48), 1967's Charlton Heston (age 43), and the youngest winner, 1962's Judy Garland, who was only 39 when she took home the all-encompassing career award.
Foster will join the ranks of modern Demille winners Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, and Morgan Freeman. She is also the first woman to be honored since Barbara Streisand in 2000.
Those are some heavy Hollywood hitters, but unlike most of her contemporaries, the 50-year-old Foster has been working for nearly her entire life. Foster found her first role at the age of three, starring in a commercial as the Coppertone baby. After jumping to TV, she quickly picked up the movie roles that would define her early career, like Disney's Freaky Friday and Scorsese's gritty drama Taxi Driver, a film that earned Foster an Academy Award nomination at the age of 15. She would eventually pick up the Best Actress award, twice in fact, for 1989's The Accused and in 1992 for The Silence of the Lambs (she found herself nominated a third time for 1994's Nell).
Through the '90s to the present, Foster has also established herself as a director. Her eclectic choices range from a horror episode of TV's Tales from the Darkside, the family drama Little Man Tate, the quirky Home for the Holidays, and the challenging portrait of mental illness, 2011's The Beaver. Foster will also direct an upcoming episode of the Netflix show Orange Is the New Black.
After stars and directors win the Cecil B. DeMille Award, their careers often continue to thrive — even more so in the case of past winners like De Niro (2011), Scorsese (2010), and Harrison Ford (2002). Foster has plenty on her plate for the future, including new directorial prospects and a role in the upcoming sci-fi flick Elysium. Has Foster done enough in Hollywood to earn a lifetime achievement award? You bet — but she also has plenty in the works that will add to her already monumental career.
[Photo Credit: WENN]
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Well, if you had any doubt that the James Franco-fronted Oz the Great and Powerful was at least going to be very visually interesting from the trailer, let the new poster for the film quell any of those now. This...is no your grandma's Land of Oz, my friends. Not at all! In fact, there's pretty much nothing about this that makes you think of the Judy Garland-starring movie from the '30s whatsoever. It looks like the Wicked Witch of the West (aka the one who doesn't get killed by Dorothy's house...that didn't need a spoiler alert, right?) has the title of "sexiest witch" on lock. Homegirl is working those skin-tight pants and knee-high boots like they're going out of style.
What happened to the striped tights? Where are the ruby (or silver, in the book version) slippers? I dig that this witch seems real nonplussed about the absolutely terrifying monster tree to her left, but this just feels like too far of a stretch from the original source materials.
And while Oz has gone from a quiet country spot with an Emerald City, this almost tropical-feeling landscape feels a bit more alive (and full of frightful and delightful creatures of all shapes and sizes?), proving that Disney is really trying to go for the visually-stunned "wow" factor, if nothing else.
There's a bit of yellow brick hiding in the corner, too, which is good. And it seems a smart marketing move to allude more to the story people know and love (The Wizard of Oz), rather than focus on this film's main character, (Oz, the wizard himself) and how he came to be there. If nothing more, the nostalgia attached to The Wizard of Oz will get plenty of people in the seats to check out what a likely-all-CGI'd Land of Oz would look like.
Oz the Great and Powerful crashes into theaters on March 8, 2013.
Are you excited for Oz the Great and Powerful? Let us know in the comments!
[Photo Credit: Walt Disney]
Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes
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