The man who brought to life the world of Middle-earth will now be brought to life himself. According to The L.A. Times, Fox Searchlight and Chernin Entertainment are pairing up to produce a biopic of J.R.R. Tolkien that will explore the origins of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
The project, which is titled Tolkien for now, will follow the life of the famed fantasy author and dig deep into the experiences that inspired his epic tales of adventure (most likely his time at Pembroke College and in World War I). The film will be penned by the Tolkien fan/expert/groupie David Gleeson (Cowboys and Angels).
While there have been past attempts at developing Tolkien-inspired films (Mirkwood), Tolkien is set to be the first official biopic of the author, and it couldn't have come at a better time. Given that the second Hobbit film, The Desolation of Smaug, is hitting theaters by year's end, and that the third and final adaptation of The Hobbit is set to come out in 2014, now might just be the perfect time to introduce a biopic of the writer. A story about the beloved Tolkien is sure to bring in a bigger audience in the heat of all of this Hobbit hype.
And even though Tolkien will probably not be filled with as much action or as many elves as LOTR and The Hobbit are (there'll be some, of course, but not as many), if the film follows in the vein of 2004's Finding Neverland as the L.A. Times suggests it might, then the biopic could receive as much critical acclaim as the Peter Pan-inspired film did. (Finding Neverland, which explored the life of Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie, was nominated for Best Picture.)
Until Tolkien makes his way to the big screen, fans of Bilbo Baggins can head to theaters on Dec. 13 to see Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
Before the huge success of the Netflix original series, Piper Kerman had to live Orange is the New Black. Kerman wrote the memoir upon which the show is based, and she's the inspiration for Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), the star of the show. In her Reddit AMA, Kerman answered many questions about her experiences on the set of the show and in prison.
The difference between onscreen Piper and herself: "...a big difference is that my family (& Larry's family) were amazing supports, and that I maintained strong ties to my friends & co-workers while I was in prison - this really reinforced that I was not alone. Those lifelines were everything to me, and to all prisoners. I made a lot of mistakes when I was locked up, but not quite along the lines of Chapman :)"
Her favorite original character from the TV series: "It is very hard to pick favorites - but I really like Gloria, who is not based on anything in my book."
An unspoken prison rule: "You really don't ever ask someone what they're in for. Some people choose to talk about it, and some people never do."
On prison reform: "I am optimistic. If you look at polling numbers, [many] Americans say that we have too many people in prison, and more and more people support specific ways to change that (reduce drug sentencing, public health approaches to addiction, public defense reform, etc). more and more people now know that 40-60% of people in prison are there for non-violent offenses. I think when people remember that the 2.3 million prisoners in this country are people just like them, we are more likely to see reform."
On the back stories on the show: "The backstories are amazing, and the creation of Jenji and her team of writers - they are all fictional and not drawn from the book."
On the differences between the show and the book: "Readers of the book will probably agree that there is a lot of internal conflict depicted there - and that I definitely avoided conflicts with COs and other prisoners (as is only sensible). TV really needs external conflict, and that's one of the big differences (other than storyline differences) you'll see between the book and the show. A show that was very introspective would be boring to watch. A book with as much conflict as a TV show has would be unreadable."
The similarity between women's college and women's prison: "Food obsessions."
On the accuracy of the show's portrayal of prison: "I am a consultant on the show, which means I answer questions and provide feedback to Jenji. It is her decision whether to take it or leave it. But the production team did a lot of other research as well, met with many other former prisoners (for example transgendered people who have been through the system) and they continue to do so."
Some life advice: "My best life advice is to know that you can learn more from your failures than your successes."
On the show's portrayal of her fiancé Larry (Jason Biggs): "The real Larry is a good sport about the not-real Larry. He knows that it is fiction."
On the difficulties of publishing a book with lesbian and criminal themes: "During one meeting with a publisher she said 'We really like it, except for the lesbianism, and the crime.' Huh? I was very lucky to have an editor who really understood the book I wanted to write, and helped me write it. I think it's very important to tell a unique and surprising story in your writing, with an eye on how it connects back to a large number of people. In other words, a very unique story that yet has relevance to many others."
On the possibility of Piper being written off the show: "I would be totally comfortable with that. From my POV the show does not have to be about Chapman. It's ultimately Jenji's decision what will happen next."
Read the rest of her AMA here.
Happy Day of the Dead everyone! Here's some entertainment news from the scariest week of the year, some of it spooky, some of it just bizarre.
Katy Perry and Robert Pattinson drunkenly sang Boyz II Men together. Watch the hilarious video at The A.V. Club.
Of course there will be a TV show about sloths. It is called Meet The Sloths, and Animal Planet promises it won't be as slow as you'd expect. Kristen Bell is psyched! Read more at Variety.
There is a figure skating tribute to Breaking Bad. Read what that entails at Hollywood.com.
Olympus Has Fallen gets a far too obvious, stupidly-titled sequel. Read what it's called at The Hollywood Reporter.
Britney Spears can recite Vincent Price's opening to "Thriller."It's kind of goofy and adorable. Check it out at Vulture.
Fittingly, Jon Hamm sometimes requires three shaves a day. Read what the Mad Men makeup artist has to say about the rest of the cast's cosmetic requirements at OK!.
A Star Wars blooper reel emerges. See how embarrassing it is at Hollywood.com.
Getty/Michael Ochs Archives
Duane Allman left us 42 years ago this week, and while he's remembered as one of rock's greatest guitar stylists -- not to mention one of its greatest tragedies, felled by a motorcycle mishap when he was just 24 -- his whole story is seldom told. The release of the seven-disc box set Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective goes a long way towards addressing that issue. Over its vast expanse, besides a crucial handful of tracks from the guitar hero's best-known affiliations, The Allman Brothers Band and Derek & The Dominos, it offers a stunning array of other projects Allman contributed to in his woefully brief lifetime. From Allman's pre-ABB groups to his far-ranging session work, this rich piece of American musical history encompasses every aspect of the six-string sultan's output, often venturing into corners previously familiar only to hardcore aficionados, and definitively displaying the multiple musical personalities of a rock & roll icon. Here are just a few of the unexpected roles in which you'll find Allman over the course of this revelatory collection.
The Garage Rocker: "Gotta Get Away" by The Allman Joys
Here's Duane in full fuzztone mode, ripping into a raw-boned rocker with the mid-'60s band he and brother Gregg fronted.
The Psychedelic Soldier: "Norwegian Wood" by The Hour Glass
After The Allman Joys came late-'60s outfit the Hour Glass, who weren't above venturing into some serious psychedelic territory, as shown by Duane's deft manipulation of an electric sitar on this ambitious Beatles cover.
The Muscle Shoals Soul Man: "Hey Jude" by Wilson Pickett
Speaking of ambitious Beatles covers, before finding fame as a blues-rocking firebrand with The Allman Brothers Band, Duane found another kind of Fame: recording with tons of top-shelf soul singers at Muscle Shoals, Alabama's legendary Fame Studio. "Wicked" Pickett's Fab Four takeover is one of many awe-inspiring examples of Allman's Muscle Shoals tenure included here.
The Session Star: "Beads of Sweat" by Laura Nyro
Even after The Allman Brothers Band's ascendance, Duane continued following his muse far and wide, bringing his guitar prowess to all manner of sessions. Here he joins some of his Muscle Shoals comrades on a trip to New York to back the sophisticated song-poetry of Laura Nyro on an album that also included everyone from jazzman Joe Farrell to Rascals frontman Felix Cavaliere.
The Jazz-Funk Jam Master: "Push Push" by Herbie Mann
Anyone who's heard some of The Allman Brothers Band's epic jams knows that Duane doesn't need a script to follow. Here he chases jazz flute giant Herbie Mann across a 10-minute track full of juicy, jazzy jamming.
"I've tried everything... I've tried it all. I played one of the biggest drug dealers in the world on TV, so you think I'd know what I was talking about." Actor Idris Elba has become a drug expert thanks to his own experiences and his role as Russell 'Stringer' Bell on TV series The Wire.
The Wire star Idris Elba has confessed he avoids watching episodes of the highly-acclaimed drama as he is too critical of his own work. The Pacific Rim actor spent three seasons on the popular U.S. series as drug kingpin Stringer Bell and although the show has been touted as one of the best in TV history, Elba has barely seen the drama.
In an interview with Playboy magazine, Elba confesses, "I've seen a full episode at screenings but never at home. I've never watched an entire season. I've not seen any episode of season two, most of season three, and none of seasons four and five.
"I'm super critical of my own work. As an actor, if you're being told how wonderful you are, what do you need to strive for? I don't know if I'm good just because some critic says I am in the press."
Hollywood star Jane Fonda is set to be honoured with a lifetime achievement award from the board of the American Film Institute (AFI), 36 years after her father. The Mamma Mia! actress has been chosen to receive the 42nd AFI Life Achievement Award which will be presented to the star at a Los Angeles ceremony on 5 June next year (14).
Sir Howard Stringer, chairman of the American Film Institute's Board of Trustees, says, "Jane Fonda is American film royalty... A bright light first introduced to the world as the daughter of Henry Fonda, the world watched as she found her own voice and forged her own path as an actor and a cultural icon.
"Today she stands tall among the giants of American film, and it is AFI's honour to present Jane Fonda with its 42nd Life Achievement Award."
The actress is following in the footsteps of her father Henry Fonda, who received the award in 1978.
We recently learned that actress Cate Blanchett is getting ready to make her directorial debut. This is awesome because 1.) it’s Cate Blanchett and 2.) it’s always cool to see more women getting behind the camera. Many of us are familiar with the big names — Sofia Coppola, Kathryn Bigelow, and Miranda July for the indie-lovers. But there are plenty of other women filmmakers who are making good, quality productions and who should be on everyone’s radar. Spike Lee recently made an addendum to his list of Essential Films and added five female filmmakers; here are some up-and-comers we think might make similar lists in a few years.
The Oscar-nominated actress best known for her leading roles in Juno and Inception will soon make her directorial debut with Miss Stevens. We’re seriously excited about the coming-of-age story (starring Anna Faris) that she’ll be bringing to the big screen.
Probably best known for her 2007 film Things We Lost In The Fire (starring Halle Berry and Benicio del Toro), Bier’s next film Serena will re-team Jennifer Lawrence with her Silver Linings Playbook co-star Bradley Cooper. Set in Depression-era North Carolina and based on the book by Ron Nash, we’re expecting big things from this seasoned director.
Having found some success with indie flicks like L!fe Happens and the hilarious short Idiots (starring Zoe Saldana and Kate Bosworth), Coiro’s most-recent release And While We Were Here -- an affair film starring Bosworth and Iddo Goldberg -- debuted to strong reviews at the Tribeca Film Festival and later in theatres. We’re looking forward to more slow-moving love stories and comedic-dramas with strong femme leads from Coiro.
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All modern readers — ranging from those with a taste for the classics to the sort whose libraries are comprised entirely of the New York Times' latest recommendations — know the name Tom Clancy. The literary powerhouse behind so many titles that have taken form on the big screen, Clancy has contributed just as much to contemporary Hollywood as he has to contemporary literature. Tragically, Clancy died on Wednesday morning at age 66, with CNN reporting no known cause for the author's passing.
The Baltimore native's first work is perhaps his most famous as well: The Hunt for Red October, a 1984 novel that introduced his Jack Ryan hero and was brought to life in the form of an esteemed adventure movie six years later. But Clancy has a number of venerable pieces to his name that have also earned cinematic life: Clancy published Patriot Games in '87, Clear and Present Danger in '89, and The Sum of All Fears in '91. A fifth Jack Ryan film, Jack Ryan: Shadow One, is set to hit theaters in December.
In addition to movies, Clancy also inspired many a video game with his stories, the most famous of which being Rainbow Six, which Clancy wrote in 1998. The author showed no signs of slowing down his writing career. Since returning to the craft in 2010, Clancy penned five novels, and has another, Command Authority, due for publication in December 2013.
More:Saying Goodbye to Elmore LeonardA Tribute to Author Richard MathesonWriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala Dies
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It was 58 years ago that James Dean died at 24 years old, electrifying audiences and the Industry with now-iconic performances in Rebel Without A Cause, East of Eden, and Giant. In honor of Dean’s lasting impact, here are some of his best quotes - read more at Studio System News!