Actor Dominic Cooper and the producers of a new Ian Fleming biopic have warned James Bond fans their portrayal of the author will be "sexed up" when it airs next year (14). The Mamma Mia! actor will star as the creator of the world's most famous spy in Sky Atlantic's biopic series Fleming, opposite Lara Pulver, who will play his wife Ann.
Cooper has warned that the writers have taken "huge liberties" in retelling Fleming's wartime heroics, choosing to highlight the more sensational accounts of his bravery during World War II.
He tells Britain's The Times newspaper, "There's what he says he did, there's what his biographers say he did, and then there's what we say he did."
Later episodes of the four-part series show the author firing a machine gun at enemy troops and fighting hand-to-hand with German soldiers, but it is thought Fleming only had limited battlefield experience and spent much of his time behind a desk.
The show's director Mat Whitecross, who previously worked on The Road To Guantanamo, says everything depicted in the show is based on fact to some degree, but concedes they have embellished the author's life.
He says, "Everything is based on something real, but we have sexed it up at times. If you look at other versions of the biography, he is deskbound, but that doesn't make great drama. He didn't have any fisticuffs with Nazis, but it felt like it would be better if he did."
Fleming is scheduled to air on Sky Atlantic in February (14).
Glee fans came together to mourn the show's late star Cory Monteith during an unofficial convention in the U.K. over the weekend (13-14Jul13). Devotees travelled from across the country to attend the three-day event, which was held just outside of London, but the convention was marred by the shocking news of Monteith's death on Saturday (13Jul13).
The event, which featured appearances from castmembers including Curt Mega, Riker Lynch and Dominic Barnes, became a memorial for Monteith as tearful fans celebrated his life and work.
Convention-goer Chloe-Louise Bond, 22, tells the Associated Press, "We all woke up to hear the story, and no one really wanted to believe it was true. Walking into the main room (at the convention), you could just feel the tragedy in the air, absolute strangers became a family right in that moment. Everyone was crying and hugging and just trying to get over the shock."
Devotees were seen hugging, weeping and singing songs from the show, and the actors shared their memories of working with the late star during a panel discussion.
Curt Mega, who played Dalton Academy student Nick, told the audience about his time on the Glee Live! Tour, revealing Monteith wanted to shun the offer of first class travel in favour of riding with the less famous castmembers on the tour bus, saying, "All the main cast would fly on a jet everywhere they went and we were like, on a bus... He (Monteith) came over one night and was like 'I heard your bus is super cool and I want to check it out'. He was like, 'Dang! I don't wanna be on a plane any more, I wanna crash with you guys'."
The talk ended with a minute's silence held in honour of Monteith, followed by a group hug.
Fans in Canada have also been memorialising the actor by leaving floral tributes and messages of condolence outside the hotel in Vancouver, where his body was found on Saturday, while Monteith's representatives have urged devotees to show their sadness by making a donation to a charity he helped launch last year (12).
Donations can be made to the Project Limelight Society, an organisation which offers free performing arts classes for children from Vancouver. Monteith launched the charity with his former acting teacher, Maureen Webb, who was one of the last people to see the star before his death as they enjoyed dinner together on Thursday (11Jul13).
Adele fans have been clamoring to learn when their beloved singer would be making a return to the stage. Since giving birth to her son in October, Adele has basically been MIA from the music scene. And while she accepted an award for her hit song "Skyfall" at the 2013 Golden Globes, the 24-year-old musician has yet to take the stage and perform in the United States since giving birth. Well, that's all about to change. It was announced Thursday that Adele will be performing "Skyfall" live at the 2013 Academy Awards in February, marking the first time the she has ever performed the single live and her first U.S. TV performance since the 2012 Grammy Awards, The Hollywood Reporter reports.
"Skyfall," written by Adele and Paul Epworth, is nominated in the Best Original Song category this year. It is also the first James Bond theme song to make it to Billboard's Top 10 chart, and the first to be up for an Oscar since 1981 ("For Your Eyes Only").
"It's an honor to be nominated and terrifyingly wonderful to be singing in front of people who have captured my imagination over and over again,” Adele said. “It's something I've never experienced and probably only ever will once!"
The forces behind the Oscars are just as excited about Adele's upcoming performance. "We have enormous respect for Adele’s unique artistry as a songwriter and a singer,” the award show's producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron said. “She is currently one of the most successful recording artists in the world, and we believe that her performance of ‘Skyfall’ will be an exciting Oscar moment for audiences watching at the Dolby Theatre and on television screens around the world.”
Follow Lindsey on Twitter @LDiMat.
[Photo Credit: Dominic Chan/WENN]
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The British actor will take on the lead role in Fleming, a new series based on the author behind the 007 franchise.
The show will be a "no holds barred look" at the novelist's real-life story, which is said to be as "exciting, eventful and sexually charged as his famous creation," according to a representative for the programme.
Fleming worked as a journalist and naval intelligence officer before publishing his first Bond book, Casino Royale, in 1952.
He went on to write 11 more 007 novels and two short-story collections based on his famous superspy.
Cooper says of his new role, "Stepping into the shoes of the spy who not only created 007 but fantasised about being him has to be every actor's dream."
Fleming will air on Britain's Sky Atlantic channel later this year (13).
Dr. No, Goldfinger, The Man With the Golden Gun — the villains that threaten James Bond are so vital to the 007 franchise their names (or descriptions) are often put right in the title. Everything about the Bond villains is larger than life, from their monikers to their schemes to their accents. And, as such, their identities often become entwined with their nationalities. Second World War allegiances and secret Nazi heritages are key to making the antagonists the Big Bad Evildoers that they are.
But the question is, is there one country that is more evil than all the rest? Whence do all the Bond baddies hail? It must be Germany, right? Or Russia? All the bad guys during the Cold War era were obviously from Russia. Right? Wrong! We got out our calculators and did some math and now know — because science — that the world's most evil country is…
Great Britain! Yep, you better believe it. The nation that brought us fish and chips, Cockney accents, and Victoria Beckham (née Spice) also delivered 4.5 Bond villains. Russia is a close second (with three) and Germany is not too far behind (1.5). Don't believe us? Here's the rundown:
Great Britain: 4.5
Auric Goldfinger,Goldfinger (While Goldfinger is presumed to be of German descent, he is in fact a British citizen. In Ian Fleming's novel he is Latvian, but for our purposes only the movies matter.)
Francisco Scaramanga, The Man With the Golden Gun
Elliot Carver, Tomorrow Never Dies
Elektra King, The World is Not Enough
Gustav Graves, Die Another Day (As Graves was formerly North Korean Tan-Gun Moon, he only receives half a point.)
Colonel Rosa Klebb, From Russia With Love
Georgi Koskov, The Living Daylights
Renard, The World is Not Enough
Max Zorin, A View to Kill
Dr. Julius No, Dr. No (Dr. No is half German, half Chinese, so he therefore gets half a point for his German heritage.)
Kamal Khan, Octopussy
Dr. Kananga/Mr. Big, Live and Let Die (Of course we know that the Caribbean isn't a country, but Mr. Big is from the fictional isle of San Monique.)
Alec Trevelyan, GoldenEye
Aristotle Kristato, For Your Eyes Only
Emilio Largo, Thunderball
Ernst Stavro Blofeld, From Russia with Love, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Diamonds Are Forever, For Your Eyes Only
South America: 1
Franz Sanchez, License to Kill (It is only implied that Sanchez is Colombian, but not made explicitly clear.)
Karl Stromberg, The Spy Who Loved Me
United States of America: 1
Brad Whitaker, The Living Daylights
Dr. Julius No, Dr. No (Dr. No's mother was Chinese; his father a German missionary.)
North Korea: .5
Colonel Tan-Gun Moon, Die Another Day (Due to a DNA transplant, Moon later becomes Gustave Graves; therefore he receives half a point.)
Hugo Dax, Moonraker (Believed to be German, but not stated)
Le Chiffre, Casino Royale (Believed to be Albanian, but not stated)
Dominic Greene, Quantum of Solace
Raoul Silva, Skyfall
Food for thought: Even though Ernst Stavro Blofeld is just one man, he has made appearances (even though some were small) in six Bond films. Could this make Poland the most evil country? Discuss.
Follow Abbey Stone on Twitter @abbeystone
[Photo Credit: United Artists]
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Kristen Wiig has a handful of cinematic ventures poised for the future: her own pet project Imogene (which we saw at this year's Toronto International Film Festival), the Ben Stiller movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Sean Penn's The Comedian, the independent dark comedy Revenge for Jolly!, and the sequels to animated films Despicable Me and How to Train Your Dragon. But with all of these announced prior to her heartrending departure from Saturday Night Live, and none yet released, it's been difficult for we Wiig-lovers to transition into this post-SNL, big screen-centric era. The actress' first new announcement to arise since she sang a tearful "Goodbye Ruby Tuesday" back in May is Hateship, Friendship, which The Hollywood Reporter reveals is negotiating with Wiig as well as Hailee Steinfeld (of True Grit fame) and Guy Pearce. Hollywood.com has confirmed that Nick Nolte is officially on board.
The film derives from a short story collection named Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro, and will be written and directed by Liza Johnson. Despite bearing a title that makes it sound like a more emotionally-driven version of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (would you not love to see a English-accented Kristen Wiig trying to figure out who among Steinfeld, Pearce, and Nolte is the secret mole in the British government?), the dramedy actually revolves around the relationship between a nanny (Wiig), the young girl she is tasked with caring for (Steinfeld), the girl's estranged, drug-addicted father (Pearce), and a man who blames the latter for the death of his daughter (Nolte).
Although the moviegoing public has still yet to be graced with anything Wiig since her NBC departure, new projects with her name attached does help tend to the wounds of our Wiigless lives. Soon enough, the influx will hit: we'll have more widescreen Penelope/Target Lady/hopefully-not-Gilly than we know what to do with. And it'll be glorious.
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Maintaining the fantastical but dropping any semblance of whimsy Snow White and the Huntsman transforms the classic fairy tale into a bleak Lord of the Rings-esque hero's tale full of sword fights monsters and forces of evil bent on wiping out humanity. Instead of creating a unique world or conflict for its revamped characters to explore SWATH plays it safe and sticks to the familiar beats coming off like an amalgamation of every fantasy film that's ever graced the silver screen. Director Rupert Sanders sticks to flashy special effects (some of which are truly stunning) over his greatest asset: the charismatic cast. Kristen Stewart Charlize Theron Chris Hemsworth and eight familiar-faced dwarves try their best to elevate the thin material on display but the film is under a sleeping spell — and no one steps in to wake it up.
Once again an evil queen manipulates her way into the castle and heart of a widower king only to cut his throat and throw his beautiful young daughter Snow into the tower to rot. Years later a magic mirror reveals to the wicked Ravenna (Theron) that the now-of-age Snow White (Stewart) is the answer to her waning magic and wrinkly skin. But as Ravenna's slimy brother Finn comes knocking at Snow's door the imprisoned princess pulls a fast one escaping and opening the door for a large-scale adventure through the forests mountains and swamps of the mystical kingdom.
SWATH's action feel particularly shoehorned in each set piece drifting by without any weight or purpose. After fleeing the tower Snow takes shelter in The Dark Forest (there wasn't a better name? or a name at all?) where she's tracked by the Queen's freelancer The Huntsman (Hemsworth). A few fleeting character moments later the two are on the run together duking it out with otherworldly trolls and joining forces with a group of pint-sized ex-gold miners who believe Snow White is "the one." The epic speak commonplace in fantasy films plagues SWATH — without any details as to how or why the world works the way it does most of the dialogue amounts to characters screaming about "destiny." The lack of specifics filters into the journey too: at one point Snow White stumbles upon a forbidden forest bustling with fairies moss-covered turtles and an antlered creature that's never been seen by humans. The beast is a sign that Snow is savior of their world. Why? Anyone's guess.
The generic quality brings down the talent on screen namely Theron's delightfully wicked Ravenna who goes full on Joan Crawford/Mommie Dearest as she pulls strings to entrap Snow White. Naysayers of Kristen Stewart will have plenty of fuel after SWATH but it's the material that fails to serve the actress in this case. The actors in the film barely get to smile — the drab overcast look of the movie clouding even the performances — but the moments when Stewart's Snow brightens up things suddenly come alive. Hemsworth lightens the mood too showing off a sliver of his comedic prowess from Thor. Between the movie's instance for doom and gloom the patchwork script and Sanders' overuse of up-close-and-personal shakycam there's rarely a moment for the actors to do their thing. It's barely worth mentioning the handful of British character actors who pop up as the Dwarves who hobble around mumbling unintelligible quips. They quickly form a bond with Snow White — or so the movie strong-arms us into believing.
Snow White and the Huntsman is stuffed with imaginative spectacle but the artistry is lost on a hollow story. Crystalline mirror shard warriors the Queen's youth-sucking powers or landscapes that look like live-action Miyazaki animation — it all looks amazing but they're never more than spiffy special effects. The movie wants to be above the visuals teasing a smart tough Snow White but the potential is squandered by never allowing the heroine to stride beyond the conventional world. If Snow White's tale is a shiny red apple then modern tropes of fantasy are the poison.
The Wire may have gone underseen when it played first run on HBO early in the 2000s, but nobody's forgotten the show's legacy or the actors who made its epic storytelling possible. Which explains why Dominic West is someone to champion; his Wire character Detective James 'Jimmy' McNulty is one for the pop culture history books, but the role doesn't define him. He can bounce from any medium, slip into any part. Whether's it's Shakepeare on stage, a Cold War era spy in his new TV show The Hour or a villainous warlord in his latest big screen effort, John Carter, the man has undeniable range and continues to keep things fresh.
I sat down with the actor to discuss bringing John Carter's grand character of Sab Than to life, gaining inspiration from his young son and what general geekery West finds himself obsessing over.
John Carter hits theaters this Friday, March 9. Make sure to check out our other JC interview with Willem Dafoe.
The Alfie star has been named as a contender for the coveted title for his role in Anna Christie, while Spacey's turn in Richard III and Fiennes' efforts in The Tempest are also in the running for the award.
Other stars set to battle it out with the actors include British funnyman James Corden (One Man, Two Guvnors), Dominic West (Butley) and Jonny Lee Miller (Frankenstein).
Elsewhere, former Bond girl Gemma Arterton leads the Best Actress Category for The Master Builder, alongside Kristin Scott Thomas (Betrayal), Imelda Staunton (A Delicate Balance) and Sheridan Smith (Flare Path).
Danny Boyle, Sam Mendes and Mike Leigh are on the list for Best Director. The winners will be announced at a ceremony, to be held at London's Savoy Hotel on 20 November (11).
A shortlist of the potential winners will be released on 7 November (11).
Lionsgate has released the trailer and poster for its upcoming film The Devil's Double and, well, it looks pretty bad-ass. Directed by Lee Tamahori, the flick stars Dominic Cooper, Ludivine Sagnier and Raad Rawl, and tells the story of working as the body double for Saddam Hussein's son, Uday Hussein. Check out the trailer and poster below, right after the official synopsis. It hits theaters on July 29.
Based on a gripping, unbelievable true story of money, power and opulent decadence, Lionsgate’s THE DEVIL’S DOUBLE takes a white-knuckle ride deep into the lawless playground of excess and violence known as Bagdad, 1987. Summoned from the frontline to Saddam Hussein’s palace, Iraqi army lieutenant Latif Yahia (Dominic Cooper) is thrust into the highest echelons of the “royal family” when he’s ordered to become the ‘fiday’ – or body double – to Saddam’s son, the notorious “Black Prince” Uday Hussein (also Dominic Cooper), a reckless, sadistic party-boy with a rabid hunger for sex and brutality. With his and his family’s lives at stake, Latif must surrender his former self forever as he learns to walk, talk and act like Uday. But nothing could have prepared him for the horror of the Black Prince’s psychotic, drug-addled life of fast cars, easy women and impulsive violence. With one wrong move costing him his life, Latif forges an intimate bond with Sarrab (Ludivine Sangier), Uday’s seductive mistress who’s haunted by her own secrets. But as war looms with Kuwait and Uday’s depraved gangster regime threatens to destroy them all, Latif realizes that escape from the devil’s den will only come at the highest possible cost.