Alan Rickman was stunned to learn his Cbgb co-star Keene Mcrae was from Alabama at the end of the movie, because the newcomer mimicked rock star Sting so well the veteran was convinced he was British. Rickman, who plays CBGB club boss Hilly Kristal in the new movie, is friends with the former The Police frontman and he complimented McRae on perfecting the singer's soft-spoken Geordie accent.
But director Randall Miller admits the young star with a bright future wasn't all he appeared to be.
He tells WENN, "Keene McRae, who plays Sting, was a casting call guy who was amazing and came from Alabama. Alan is actually friends with Sting in real life and Keene came in and did an amazing accent.
"He said he was from Birmingham, Alabama and we said, 'No you're from Birmingham, England, and you're never gonna say you're not,' so he kept that accent until he finished shooting.
"On his last day we said, 'Now you can tell Alan now where you're really from!' He was astonished."
The new film captures the sights and sounds of the New York punk mecca during its late 1970s heyday and features Foo Fighters star Taylor Hawkins as Iggy Pop, Malin Akerman as Blondie star Debbie Harry, Justin Bartha as Dead Boys frontman Stiv Bators and Joel David Moore as Joey Ramone.
Hollywood producer Marc Merson has died at the age of 82. Merson passed away at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on Sunday (29Sep13).
The veteran filmmaker was best known for his work on Doc Hollywood, The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter and Leadbelly. He was nominated for an Oscar in 1970 for his work on People Soup, starring Alan Arkin.
He was also nominated for an Emmy for the premiere of the anthology series ABC Stage 67.
Alec Baldwin has blasted Uma Thurman's movie mogul partner Arpad Busson for remarks he made about actor's movie career in new documentary Seduced & Abandoned. Baldwin and filmmaker James Toback chronicled their bid to fund a romantic drama set in Iraq at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival in the movie, and in one clip, producer Busson tells the actor he'll struggle to raise the cash because he is no longer considered a film star.
The 30 Rock star tells TV Guide magazine, "The person who makes that statement is Arki Busson. He reminds me of a B-level villain in a Bond film. It's a part Robert Davi would play if you couldn't get Alan Rickman, with a cat in his lap.
"He's a pockmarked toady who hops from yacht to yacht... If movie stardom meant being trapped on a yacht with Arki Busson, I'd rather be a weatherman."
British actor Sir Tony Robinson is set to return to the stage for the first time in 16 years after signing up to star in a new London production of The Wind In The Willows. The Blackadder star will portray narrator Kenneth Grahame in the Royal Opera House musical, which is based on the author's classic 1908 novel, alongside dancer Will Kemp as Ratty.
The show will take place at the Duchess Theatre and will run for eight weeks over the Christmas (13) period.
Robinson, 67, last appeared onstage in Britain in 1997, when he featured in Alan Bennett's Forty Years On. He has also previously starred in London's West End and taken part in productions with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Country sweetheart Kellie Pickler's face has been carved into an eight-acre cornfield in her native North Carolina. The singer landed the odd honour at the Shelby Corn Maze attraction after winning American celebrity dance contest Dancing With the Stars last year (12). She replaces Alan Jackson, who was 2012's maze likeness.
Veteran actor Edward Petherbridge has been nominated for a major honour at the 2013 Theatre Awards UK for a play inspired by his recovery from a stroke. My Perfect Mind, which Petherbridge co-wrote, was inspired by his experience of having to abandon his dream role as King Lear when a stroke left him partially paralysed two days into rehearsals in 2007.
Petherbridge will compete at the awards in the best performance category against Cush Jumbo, for her role in Hendrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, and Simon Scardifield for his performance in The Double.
Other nominees include playwright Sir Alan Ayckbourne, who is up for best new play for Surprises, and Sian Phillips, who has been shortlisted for best supporting performance for her role in This Is My Family.
The honours will be handed out at a ceremony in London next month (Oct13).
Madness frontman Graham 'Suggs' Mcpherson sent BBC producers into a spin last year (12) after arriving for a live performance dressed as disgraced TV presenter Sir Jimmy Savile. The band was preparing to play on Jools Holland's music show in October (12) when Suggs stunned executives by showing up sporting leisurewear, huge jewellery and a cigar - all trademarks of the shamed broadcaster.
Producers were thrown into a panic as Savile had been unmasked as a serial paedophile following his death in 2011. It has since emerged he sexually abused 450 victims, including 30 children, many of them during his time working at the BBC.
Suggs was ordered back to his dressing room to change before the band was allowed to perform.
Explaining the incident to U.K. chat show host Alan Carr, Holland says, "You'll probably edit this out but when Suggs came on Later, he had to be stopped from coming on the live version because he'd changed into a tracksuit with a gold chain and a big cigar."
Suggs, who also appeared on the talk show, added: "If only I had kicked them all (abusive celebrities) up the b**locks when I had the chance, it would be a different story."
It's been five long years since Marvel Studios released Iron Man and started their campaign to dominate the superhero film world. By 2013, they have become the undisputed king of summer. More so than Warner Bros, Fox, Sony, or anyone else releasing movies about men in tights, Marvel has consistently crafted crowd pleasing movies that have gained not only commercial success, but critical respect as well. Finally, with 2012's The Avengers, all the ground work Marvel laid down — the multiphase plan, the consistant film universe, slowly building a team of heroes together — finally came together in one final cresendo that cemented their place on top of the superhero game. While Warner Bros. still struggles to even get a Wonder Woman movie off the ground, Marvel has already lapped them with the speed of Quicksilver. Marvel has managed to release film versions of all their major characters, but within that triumph lies a whole new problem.
Where does Marvel go from here? How do they continue to create new franchises if they have already adapted all of their most prolific characters to film? The studio has become a victim of it's own success.
Stan Lee said in a recent statement that "the people at Marvel are looking through our whole list of candidates and wondering which ones are we going to use now. They are going to do the Black Panther. They are going to use Doctor Strange. They are going to do Ant-Man. They are going to do the Guardians of the Galaxy. And they’ll probably do the Inhumans." The answer to Marvel is to start creating films based on second and third tier characters. Heroes that may not be familiar to the average person or even casual comic book reader. While these characters might not be the most recognizable ones, maybe that's a good thing.
With their third phase of films, Marvel is looking to adapt their second and third string heroes into new franchises. This will give characters that have seen little exposure outside of the comic book circle to a wider audience, but it also means that Marvel might have to change the kinds of movies they are used to making. These characters exist on the fringes of public's collective consciousness for a reason. Sadly they are not the most marketable heroes.
Whether Marvel likes it or not, it's going to have to get a little weird. Characters like Doctor Strange, Ant-Man, and the Guardians of the Galaxy are not your typical superheroes and therefore can't be adapted into your typical superhero movie. These characters are very different from Iron Man or Thor or Captain America. The Guardians of the Galaxy, in particular, has within its ranks a surly gun-toting raccoon and a fighting tree with a very limited vocabulary. Some of these characters will stretch the boundaries of what fans think superheroes might be, but Marvel needs to highlight those differences rather than hide them away.
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Filmmaker Randall Miller's Cbgb biopic and Green Day star Billie Joe Armstrong's documentary Broadway Idiot will headline this year's (13) CBGB Film Festival in New York. The two movies will launch the five-day event on 9 October (13), a week after CBGB's premiere in Los Angeles. The film follows the story of Hilly Kristal's fabled New York club from its conception as a venue for Country, Bluegrass and Blues (CBGB) to what it ultimately became - the birthplace of underground rock 'n roll and punk.
It features Malin Akerman as Blondie singer Debbie Harry, Alan Rickman as Kristal and Taylor Hawkins as Iggy Pop.
This year's CBGB Film Festival will also feature movies and documentaries about Husker Du star Grant Hart, Killing Joke, post-punk/funk band E.S.G. and London punk icon Bruno Wizard.
In Martha Wells’ new novel Star Wars Empire and Rebellion: Razor's Edge (out Sept. 24) Princess Leia gets the spotlight. Considering that Del Rey’s ongoing line of Expanded Universe books have charted more than 40 years of Her Worship’s life, what more is there to learn? Easy. Wells is diving deep into the aftermath of the most traumatic part of Leia’s life: the destruction of her home planet, Alderaan. Razor’s Edge is about how, two years after the events of A New Hope, Leia encounters survivors of Alderaan who’ve responded to their loss in a very different, and much more violent, way than she has.
“I think the destruction of Alderaan is such a huge, dark, apocalyptic moment in the middle of an exciting adventure story, and that makes it difficult to address,” Wells says of why previous Star Wars storytelling has often glossed over the planet’s destruction. “It's such a terrible moment for Leia, it's going to affect everything she feels and says and does for the rest of her life. She'll never be free of it, never be past it, she just has to be live with it. And I think to a large extent it would be like that for all the survivors. It was just very interesting to me to think about how different individuals would deal with it, and what their reactions would be, and how it would change them.”
The period of the Original Trilogy has already been largely explored — not just in the movies, but in Marvel’s line of Star Wars comics from the late ‘70s and early ‘80s and, of course, Alan Dean Foster’s classic Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, considered the first Expanded Universe novel. “I actually read the old Marvel comics and Splinter of the Mind's Eye when they came out, but I didn't go back and read them again,” Wells says. “I was a huge Star Wars fan, especially right after the movies came out, and wrote and read a lot of fan fiction set during that period. I did watch A New Hope again, but I'd spent so much time and imagination in that period when I was in high school and college that immersing myself back in it was pretty easy.”
There have been a lot of different interpretations of Leia over the years, many of which emphasize her skills as a diplomat. In Razor’s Edge, Wells wanted to capture the fierce Leia who could blast her way out of the Death Star’s detention block. “I think the key is not just seeing Leia as a stereotypical strong woman character, but as someone who is young but is a leader, who has taken on huge responsibilities, but also as someone who has an epic temper and can be sarcastic, and can make mistakes,” Wells says. “She's not a perfect princess, she's a person with flaws and vulnerabilities who manages to do what she needs to do anyway, and I think those things were conveyed in Carrie Fisher's performance.”
Read on for an exclusive excerpt from the novel.
From the Book, WARS: EMPIRE AND REBELLION: RAZOR'S EDGE by Martha Wells. Copyright (c) 2013 by Martha Wells. Reprinted by arrangement with Ballantine Books, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved
Metara invited them to sit down. Leia took a seat on one of the couches, and Han flopped down beside her, seemingly unconcerned. Terae’s gaze flicked over them suspiciously, and Leia tried to see her group through the other woman’s eyes: Han dangerous, Sian cool and calm, and Kifar stoic. Leia had no idea what she looked like. She suspected she just looked angry.
She watched Metara silently. She wasn’t interested in exchanging pleasantries, especially as there was no telling how much this delay might already be hurting the injured aboard the merchant ship. She waited to hear what Metara wanted to say.
Metara broke the silence abruptly. “We didn’t watch Alderaan be destroyed and then suddenly decide to become pirates. That isn’t what happened.”
Leia inclined her head slightly. “What did happen?”
Metara took a deep breath. “We were in the outer perimeter of the system. We intercepted some Imperial transmissions and realized that an attack was taking place. We set a course for Alderaan but didn’t arrive in time. We never actually saw the Death Star.” Her expression tightened at the name, as if it still cost her something to say it aloud. Leia knew how that felt. “Our sensors and communications were taken out by the blast wave, and we had to stop and make repairs. We had no idea what had happened, at first. Then we were finally able to make our way back and picked up the edge of the debris field. It was . . . a terrible moment.”
Watching Metara intently, Leia realized that the captain had thought a lot about how she would explain what had happened, though it was doubtful that she had ever cast Leia in the role of the person she would be explaining it to. Perhaps she had rehearsed the speech in her thoughts, imagining herself justifying her actions to her commanding officer, or one of her parents, or a mentor. That didn’t bode well. It meant that Metara had been shoring up her defenses for a long time.
When Leia didn’t respond, Kelvan said, “Everyone on the crew had lost . . . everyone, everything. Our families came from Chianar, Aldera . . .” At the mention of the Alderaanian capital, he shifted in embarrassment and looked away, as if suddenly remembering who Leia was. That she had lost everyone, too.
Her voice a challenge, Terae said, “Where were you, Your Highness? When it happened.”
“I was aboard the Death Star,” Leia said, keeping her tone cool, hoping she was betraying nothing. She had rehearsed this, too, and performed it so often she could do it as evenly as if she were speaking of some minor diplomatic incident.
Terae stared, and Metara’s brow knit. Aghast, Kelvan said, “I thought that was a rumor.”
“There are many rumors about what happened, but that one is true. I . . . escaped,” she said, not looking at Han, “not long after. I was on Yavin Four when the Death Star was destroyed.”
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