Screen legend Tony Curtis has died.
Entertainment Tonight reported the news on its Web site early Thursday morning, saying that a rep for Curtis' daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis, confirmed his passing. He was 85.
Very little information was available early Thursday, although major outlets, including The New York Times, have begun to trickle out with reports and obituaries of the star of such iconic films as Sweet Smell of Success and Some Like It Hot.
The Times says the actor died in his Las Vegas-area home of cardiac arrest.
Curtis was nominated for an Oscar only once, in 1959, for The Defiant Ones.
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A few days back - maybe a week ago - Warner Bros. announced their intention to announce major updates on the futures of their stable of DC Comics characters. Last summer, DC was reformed as DC Entertainment, a self-functioning production company not unlike Marvel Entertainment that will develop and produce films, television shows, digital content and other forms of multimedia to be distributed through Warner Bros.
Then those announcements got pushed back a few weeks, but while we wait for the wonders that WB plans to unleash, we now know a few filmmakers that The Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan wants for his upcoming reboot of Superman, temporarily titled The Man Of Steel (he is producing the film, but will sadly not have time to direct. That's okay, we're more excited about his third Batman film anyway).
According to Deadline, Tony Scott, Matt Reeves, Jonathan Liebesman, Duncan Jones and Zach Snyder are all being considered to take on the massive undertaking of making The Last Son Of Krypton relevant again. From these names, we can draw one definitive conclusion about the tone of the movie - it's going to be serious, dead serious. Maybe not dark like so many have claimed it would be under the influence of Nolan, but none of the fore mentioned filmmakers do anything peachy, so prepare for a pretty grounded reinvention of Superman.
Now let's talk about the directors themselves. Here's what we know. Jonathan Liebesman, who helmed The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning as well as Sony's upcoming Battle: Los Angeles, has already signed on to direct WB's Clash Of The Titans sequel, due in the spring or fall of 2012. If he sticks to this project, then you can immediately count him out, because the studio wants their new Superman pic out for the 2012 holiday season which gives him no time to get the job done. I'd also say that Tony Scott is an unlikely candidate as he and brother Ridley develop so many of their own projects together that it doesn't make sense for him to take two years out of his already busy schedule to work on an epic production like this.
Of the remaining three, I'd say that Zach Snyder is the golden child. His pre-existing relationship with Warner Bros. is as valuable to the studio as it's rapport with Nolan, having directed 300, Watchmen, Legend Of The Guardians and the upcoming Sucker Punch for the company over the last few years. His schedule will be open during the period of time that Superman will be made. He's also well versed in comic book vernacular and has a great deal of credit within the geek community as a filmmaker who understands their favorite characters and respects the fans. Additionally, he's used to productions of Superman's size, and Jones and Reeves - though undeniably talented - are not.
Of course, by the time a decision is made, all of these guys could be out of the running. The entertainment industry gets ADD from time to time and jumps from candidate to candidate when mulling over important choices like this. We'll let you know the deal as soon as we can.
Blair took office months before the princess died in a car crash in a Paris, France tunnel in 1997 and admits it was one of the first major tragedies he had to face as Prime Minister.
But, in an interview with newswoman Christiane Amanpour on Good Morning America on Thursday (02Sep10), the politician revealed he was worried something terrible would happen.
He said, "I was worried because it (her relationship with Fayed) was obviously going to be extremely difficult. And I wanted her to know what the implications and consequences of all of it was going to be."
Blair admits that, like most of Britain, he struggled to come to terms with the tragedy, adding, "Partly because of the loss, but partly because of the circumstances in which she died, there was also a sense of anger.
"Some of that anger was directed at the paparazzi, but some of it, I think, was directed at the establishment that people felt had let her down in some way."
John Woo's most recent film, the historical epic Red Cliff, went largely unseen here in the states despite it's grand scale of adventure, but the veteran filmmaker is taking all the necessary steps to ensure that his upcoming Flying Tigers will have global appeal. The Hollywood Reporter has learned that Woo is interested in casting Liam Neeson as the star of the WWII aerial combat pic, an ambitious $90 million production which will is planned to be a major IMAX release.
The film would focus on U.S. Army Air Corp Lt. Gen. Claire Lee Chennault - the contentious American officer whose volunteer Flying Tigers squadron trained the first generation of Chinese fighter pilots taking on Japan in WWII. The Flying Tigers flew successful missions around the city of Kunming in Yunnan province against the raiding Japanese and flew supplies to both Nationalist and Communist Chinese forces. Playing opposite whoever is cast as Chennault will be a young Chinese actor in the role of a pilot in training. Woo mentioned the likes of actor Liu Ye, who last appeared in a lead role in Lu Chuan's Nanjing Massacre picture City of Life and Death. Clearly, the American audience will be more interested in whoever will be playing Chennault, so the casting process is key to ensuring the film's success.
“It’s got to be a star but it’s hard to find the right one, because at that time Chennault was almost 50 years old. Ideally, I’ve been thinking of Liam Neeson as the title actor,” Woo said. CAA confirmed it represents Neeson but declined to comment on Flying Tigers. Woo is writing the script with Chris Chow and will co-produce with his longtime partner Terrence Chang of Lion Rock Productions.
Woo has long been one of my favorite foreign filmmakers and it's about time he had a fitting return to mainstream Hollywood cinema. His influence on the action genre is immeasurable - take a look at the works of Quentin Tarantino, Tony Scott and Brett Ratner (just to name a few), then go back and look at The Killer and Hard Boiled to see how profoundly he has effected these artists. I was left in awe by the imagery of Red Cliff and was saddened that it wasn't embraced by the public, but I realize that it was based on a story that most, if not all Americans are unfamiliar with. The equally expansive Flying Tigers focuses on a story that is well known to both Chinese and Americans, and that can only help in drumming up interest in the project. With the production gearing up for a spring start and a late 2011 release, Woo may finally begin the next chapter in his cinematic success story.
Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark, which features a score by U2 stars The Edge and Bono, has been in the works for six years and producers had initially planned to begin previews in February (10).
But the show suffered a number of major blows earlier this year (10) when both Alan Cumming, who was set to play the villainous Green Goblin, and Evan Rachel Wood, cast as Spider-Man's leading lady Mary Jane, quit the ambitious production, citing scheduling difficulties.
Tony Award nominee Jennifer Damiano was subsequently announced as Wood's replacement, while actor Patrick Page has reportedly been offered Cumming's role. Reeve Carney remains on board as Spider-Man in the Julie Taymor production.
Tnd the show has now secured an official launch date - on Tuesday (10Aug10), lead producer Michael Cohl promised Spider-Man fans the highly-anticipated play would begin preview performances on 14 November (10) and open on 21 December (10).
The musical has been touted as one of the most expensive productions in Broadway history, costing investors an estimated $50 million (£33.3 million).
Sure, there was a meaty love story within Fox's $2.7 billion hit Avatar, but apparently someone over at the studio felt that James Cameron's epic was actually a romance. Now they're looking to expand on that success by pushing forward with Ion, a sci-fi romance film that the studio is looking to purchase and thinks could be another potentially huge science fiction hit.
They've courted Channing Tatum, and it looks as though the Dear John star will play a man who travels to different Earth's and dimensions in order to find his reincarnated lover. Execs are using the magic word -- Avatar -- to describe the scope and otherworldly elements of Will Dunn's spec script. Ridley and Tony Scott, whose production shingle Scott Free productions is based at the studio, will produce the picture. The filmmaking duo had confidence in the script when it first made the rounds to studio's last year. When every company passed, they helped to further develop the project before taking it back to Fox and getting Tatum interested. Now that the package is looking more viable with big names attached, Fox is seriously considering pulling the trigger. It would be yet another foray into romance for Tatum, who helped Sony pull major profits from this February's Dear John and will work with Rachel McAdams on the soapy tear jerker The Vow later in the year.
The Tony Award winner, 44, is tired of troubled actors gloating about their success, when icons such as her Doubt co-star Meryl Streep remain so humble.
She tells the New York Post, "Young actors see an overnight success and they want it fast, quick. Before they ever develop a work ethic they think they're Meryl Streep. It's no longer an art, it's an entertainment... It's putting in the hours of work."
And she insists actors with a big ego have no place in Hollywood: "Today, they have no level of performance. No kind of artistic aesthetic. One major award in one part and they're strutting around. They did one part well and they think they don't have to study."
The God of Legion secular Hollywood’s latest Biblically-inspired action flick is old-school an angry spiteful Almighty with a penchant for Old Testament theatrics. Fed up with humanity’s decadent warmongering ways He’s decided to pull the plug on the whole crazy experiment and start over from scratch.
Fortunately for us the God of Legion is also a rather lazy fellow. Instead of doing the apocalyptic work himself and wiping us out with a giant flood which worked perfectly well last time He opts to delegate the task to His army of angels — a questionable strategy that starts to fall apart when the archangel charged with leading the planned extermination Michael (Paul Bettany) refuses to comply.
Michael who unlike his boss still harbors affection for our sorry species abandons his post and descends to earth where inside the swollen belly of Charlie (Adrianne Palicki) an unwed mother-to-be working as a waitress in an out-of-the-way diner sits humanity’s lone hope for survival. Why is this particular baby so important? Is it the one destined to lead us to victory over Skynet? Heaven knows — Legion reveals little details its script devoid of actual scripture. What is clear is that God’s celestial hitmen want the kid whacked before it’s born.
But Michael won’t let humanity fall without a fight. Armed with a Waco-sized arsenal of assault weapons he hunkers down with the diner’s patrons a largely superfluous collection of thinly-sketched caricatures from various demographic groups led by Dennis Quaid as the diner’s grizzled owner Tyrese Gibson as a hip-hop hustler and Lucas Black as a simple-minded country boy.
Together they mount a heroic final stand against hordes of angels who’ve taken possession of “weak-willed” humans turning kindly old grandmas and mild-mannered ice cream vendors into snarling ravenous foul-mouthed beasts. They descend upon the ramshackle diner in a series of full-frontal assaults commanded by the archangel Gabriel (Kevin Durand) the George Pickett of End of Days generals.
Beneath its superficial religious facade Legion is really just a run-of-the-mill zombie flick a Biblical I Am Legend. Bettany an actor accustomed to smaller dramatic roles in films like A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code looks perfectly at ease in his first major action role wielding machine guns and bowie knives with equal aplomb. Conversely first-time director Scott Stewart a former visual effects artist does little to prove himself worthy of such a promotion serving up some impressive CGI work but not much else worthy of note.
Oscar-winning director MIKE NICHOLS will be honoured by the American Film Institute with a Life Achievement Award at a tribute to his work next summer (10). The WORKING GIRL filmmaker is one of only a handful of stars to have conquered all the major American entertainment awards, winning an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony and a Grammy during his five-decade spanning career.
Last week, The Baltimore Sun ran a story about Twitter and its effects on box-office, both positive and negative. On Sunday, the Risky Business blog posted a comment about how Twitter had for the first time positively affected a film’s debut (Inglourious Basterds), and today, AdAge takes a look at the Twitter buzz surrounding the five top-grossing movies of the summer.
A chart shows the number of Twitter posts per day for Transformers, The Hangover, Star Trek, Ice Age 3 and Harry Potter 6. Potter received the most attention but the Twitter peaks correlate with where each movie stands in regard to gross, notes AdAge.
Box-office watchers say recent dramatic swings (see Bruno, G.I. Joe) may be caused by Twitter and other social networking sites that can blast instant raves -- or pans -- to hundreds of people before the lights come up.
Studios trying to gauge the impact of tweets, and how they affect the longevity of a movie, are suddenly faced with the need for a new data stream and an algorithm with which to decipher the info.
Was the 39% box office drop of Bruno from Friday to Saturday a case of disappointed moviegoers tweeting? Or did a limited fan base for Bruno exhaust itself on that first day?
"I think Twitter can't be stopped," Stephen Bruno, the Weinstein Co.'s senior director of marketing, told the Sun last week.
"Now you have to see it as an addition to the campaign of any movie," he said. "People want real-time news and suddenly a studio can give it to them in a first-person way. The blogs have to go to our feeds for the latest trailers and reports."
Eamonn Bowles, president of Magnolia, told the paper that studios are worrying about a time when "people will be twittering during the opening credits -- and leaving when they don't like them." But he also warns, "the next step [for the Twitter Effect] is for studio marketing to manipulate it."
The Weinstein Co. did a good job of doing just that by packing the Basterds premiere with folks with big Twitter followings. Sarah Silverman, for example, tweeted: "just made me smile forever" and Tony Hawk added: "another Tarantino classic."
Movietickets.com recently ran a poll in which 88% of respondents said Twitter had no effect on them. Joel Cohen, the company's executive vice president and general manager, told the Sun that "we may be putting too much weight onto the Twitter Effect. But you can see Twitter's benefits as a communications tool that spreads the word about a film, and the negatives have yet to be proven."
Cohen theorized that Twitter may have a larger influence on the success of smaller films than it does on major studio releases.
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