If you're an American, there is a small roulette of connotations that you hold in regard to soccer: David Beckham, Mia Hamm, The Big Green, orange slices after pre-junior high summer league games, and — most of all — Pelé.
Born Edison Arantes do Nascimento, there is no individual with a firmer establishment as an association football demigod than the Brazilian athlete. For his triumphant career on the field, Pelé has won the admiration of many, including producer Brian Grazer, who have opted to set a biographical film into motion. Grazer's Imagine Entertainment is working with writer/directors Michael and Jeff Zimbalist (the filmmakers behind the ESPN 30 on 30 film The Two Escobars) to pay tribute to the 72-year-old soccer legend in a developing movie.
Scheduled to kick off production in August, the film will chronicle Pelé's ascension through the athletic world, with the footballer on tap to appear at this year's Cannes Film Festival to promote the project. No stranger to Hollywood, Pelé has been featured in many documentaries, but has also acted in a handful of feature films. The athlete-turned-performer played soccer stars in 1980s dramas like Victory and Hotshot. So maybe a cameo in the Imagine biopic?
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TIFF sure-as-shootin' hit us with an impressive kingdom of cinematic wildfire. The behemoth gallery of the festival's array of films left us starving for more of these big screen's golden parcels.
But TIFF can't have all the fun. The 2011 New York Film Festival, which goes down at the end of September, has offered up its own hefty heap of contenders for Oscar bait. Just gloss over the films and directors below, and you'll agree that NYFF's resume glows with Oscar-worthiness.
Carnage—Director: Roman Polanski (France/Germany/Poland)
The Descendants—Director: Alexander Payne (USA)
My Week with Marilyn—Director: Simon Curtis (UK)
A Dangerous Method
—Director: David Cronenberg (UK/Canada/Germany)
The Skin I Live In—Director: Pedro Almodóvar (Spain)
4:44: Last Day On Earth—Director: Abel Ferrara (USA)
The Artist—Director: Michel Hazanavicius (France)
—Director: Alice Rohrwacher (Italy/Switzerland/France)
Footnote—Director: Joseph Cedar (Israel)
George Harrison: Living In The Material World—Director: Martin Scorsese (USA)
Goodbye First Love—Director: Mia Hansen-Løve (France/Germany)
Le Havre—Director: Aki Kaurismäki (Finland/France/Germany)
The Loneliest Planet—Director: Julia Loktev (USA/Germany)
The Kid With A Bike—Director: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (Belgium/France)
Martha Marcy May Marlene—Director: Sean Durkin (USA)
Melancholia—Director: Lars von Trier (Denmark/Sweden/France/Germany/Italy)
Miss Bala—Director: Gerardo Naranjo (Mexico)
Once Upon A Time In Anatolia—Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkey)
Pina—Director: Wim Wenders (Germany/France/UK)
Play—Director: Ruben Östlund (Sweden/France/Denmark)
Policeman—Director: Nadav Lapid (Israel/France)
A Separation—Director: Asghar Farhadi (Iran)
Shame—Director: Steve McQueen (UK)
Sleeping Sickness—Director: Ulrich Köhler (Germany/France/Netherlands)
The Student—Director: Santiago Mitre (Argentina)
This Is Not A Film—Director: Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb (Iran)
The Turin Horse—Director: Béla Tarr and Agnes Hranitzky (Hungary/France/Germany/Switzerland/USA)
TWILIGHT star PETER FACINELLI and his wife JENNIE GARTH have bought their daughter a pet pig as a 13th birthday gift. The teen has named the porker Mia Hamm after her favourite female soccer star. The pig will join the horses, goats and chickens on the family's California ranch.
Teen queen Lindsay Lohan collected a leading four awards Sunday night at the 2004 Teen Choice Awards, The Associated Press reports.
Lohan won awards for best movie actress in a comedy, best movie hissy fit and best movie blush for her part in the hit film Mean Girls. She also collected the award for movie breakout star actress for her work in both Mean Girls" and Freaky Friday.
The awards show was hosted by Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, while musical guests included Blink-182, Ashlee Simpson, Lenny Kravitz and JoJo. The show will be broadcast Wednesday on Fox.
A complete list of winners of the 2004 Teen Choice Awards:
Date Movie: 50 First Dates
Movie, Comedy: Shrek 2
Movie Actor, Comedy: Adam Sandler, 50 First Dates
Movie Thriller: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Movie Actress, Comedy: Lindsay Lohan
Movie Actress, Drama/Adventure: Halle Berry, Gothika
Movie Hissy Fit: Lindsay Lohan, Mean Girls
Movie Blush: Lindsay Lohan, Mean Girls
Movie Sleazebag: Seann William Scott, American Wedding
Movie Breakout Star Actress: Lindsay Lohan, Mean Girls, Freaky Friday
Movie Your Parents Didn't Want You to See: American Wedding
TV Show, Drama/Action Adventure: The O.C
TV, Reality/Variety: Punk'd
TV Show, Late Night: Saturday Night Live
TV Breakout Show: The O.C.
TV Actress, Drama/Adventure: Jennifer Garner, Alias
TV Actor, Drama/Adventure: Adam Brody, The O.C.
TV Sidekick: Sean Hayes, Will & Grace
TV Personality: Ashton Kutcher
TV Breakout Star, Female: Mischa Barton, The O.C.
TV Breakout Star, Male: Chad Michael Murray, One Tree Hill.
Reality/Variety TV Star: Ashton Kutcher, Punk'd
Reality/Variety Jackass: Simon Cowell, American Idol
Single: "Toxic," Britney Spears
Album: Confessions, Usher
R&B Artist: Usher
R&B Track: "Yeah," Usher with Ludacris and Lil Jon
Love Song: "I Miss You," Blink-182
Hook Up: "Yeah," Usher with Ludacris and Lil Jon
Tour of the Year: No Doubt and Blink-182
Song of the Summer: "Pieces of Me," Ashlee Simpson
Ultimate Choice Award: Mike Myers
Courage Award: Bethany Hamilton
Male Athlete: Tony Hawk.
Female Athlete: Mia Hamm
Comedian: Adam Sandler
Fresh Face: Ashlee Simpson
Charlton Heston, call your agent. Twentieth Century Fox's long-anticipated "Planet of the Apes" remake is not extinct. And ditto for -- Warner Bros.' new-look "Superman" movie may fly after all.
Word comes today from the Hollywood Reporter that these big-budget sci-fi and super-hero projects -- two of the most highly anticipated movies of the 1990s that never came to pass -- may soon be salvaged from development hell after years of on-again, off-again directors and aborted screenplays.
Fox could reportedly seal a deal with Tim Burton before the end of the week to direct its "Apes" remake, while Warner officials are said to be pleased with a new "Superman" screenplay from Bill Wisher, who co-wrote "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" with James Cameron.
Fox's announcement that Burton is in talks to direct "Apes" should come as a welcome surprise for sci-fi aficionados. The project, which was first announced back in 1993, has been associated with the likes of Oliver Stone, Cameron, Chris Columbus and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the past.
Although the trade newspaper didn't cite its sources, the Burton rumor seems to fit -- at least if you believe recent whisperings. In January, movie rumor Websites such as Ain't It Cool News (www.aint-it-cool-news.com) posted information, purportedly from people close to the project, stating that a new story treatment was recently written by Andrew Kevin Walker. Walker also wrote "Sleepy Hollow," Burton's recent gothic horror hit that grossed $96 million for Paramount.
The original "Planet of the Apes" (1968), directed by Franklin J. Schaffner, was based on a book by French writer Pierre Boulle. The flick starred Heston as Taylor, a time-traveling astronaut who crash-lands on a barren planet ruled by a society of apes, who regard humans as mere savage slaves. It also starred Roddy McDowall and Kim Hunter as the sympathetic chimpanzees Cornelius and Zira. Such was the popularity of the "Apes" franchise that it spawned four sequels, a live-action TV series and even a cartoon.
Fox commissioned an "Apes" script in the mid-1990's by Sam Hamm (who penned the stories for Burton's "Batman" and "Batman Returns") that reportedly deviated markedly from the original film, with a race of intergalactic apes dispatching a virus to the Earth, and a group of human heroes venturing to the ape planet to send the bio-agent back.
Columbus ("Mrs. Doubtfire," "Bicentennial Man") was to direct the project and Schwarzenegger was to play an updated version of Heston's role. Later, Cameron was rumored to be unofficially attached to the project as a producer and writer.
According to Ain't It Cool News, Walker's rumored treatment is a modified version of Hamm's screenplay. In it, a civilization of apes living in the Earth's core dispatches a killer virus to the surface, and two scientists must travel to the center of the planet and stop the apes from wiping out humanity.
The Hollywood Reporter says the new "Planet of the Apes" will get the A-list treatment, with a big budget and elaborate special effects (remember the cool ape make-up from the original?). No word yet, however, whether Burton will let frequent leading man Johnny Depp utter that classic line: "Get yer stinkin' paws off me, ya damn dirty ape!"
Meanwhile, no director is working on Warner's long-awaited "Superman" update -- alternately known in its past lives as "Superman Lives" and "Superman Reborn" -- although Burton was attached to the film circa 1997-98. Other screenwriters who have worked on the film prior to Wisher include Kevin Smith ("Clerks") and Dan Gilroy ("Freejack").
CHAINSAW REVISITED: First "Star Wars," now "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre."
Unapix Films, which purchased the sequel rights to the grisly horror franchise about a year ago, announced this week that it will produce a "Chainsaw" prequel, simply titled "Ed Gein."
For the uninformed, Gein was the real-life serial murderer who terrorized Wisconsin in the 1950s, kidnapping women, skinning them alive and making lampshades out of their skin. He is said to be the inspiration for "Psycho" and "Silence of the Lambs," as well as the original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (1974), which was directed by Tobe Hooper, who later made "Poltergeist."
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the new film will be directed by Martin Kunert ("Campfire Tales") and written by Kunert and Eric Manes. Kunert and Manes' other credits include "Hindenburg," a movie now in development at Fox with Jan DeBont directing, and "Dare," a TV game show now in development at MTV.
For the record, this will be the fifth movie in the "Chainsaw" series, which chronicles the exploits of a sadistic family of cannibals, led by the patriarch "Grandpa" (who, in one installment, runs a successful chili con carne business --- with human flesh as his main ingredient, of course) and his son Leatherface, a chainsaw-wielding freak. The most recent was "Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre" a k a "Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation" (1994) which featured Renee Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey in pre-stardom roles.
AND YET ANOTHER REMAKE: The Hollywood recycling program continues unabated, as Variety reports that Columbia Pictures has announced a remake of the 1971 thriller "See No Evil" (a k a "The Blind Terror") for a planned 2001 release. Martin Ransohoff, who produced the original version, also will oversee the remake and screenwriter Tony Jaswinski, who recently sold a spec script to New Line, will write it. In the original movie, Mia Farrow played a blind girl who moved into her aunt and uncle's English countryside home. Everyone else in the house is silently murdered, leaving the poor Farrow to be stalked and terrorized by the assailant. Columbia officials say the new version will be "modernized." Can you say "The Haunting"?
DIGITAL PLANET: Director Mike Figgis ("Leaving Las Vegas") will see his unconventional digital-video flick "Time Code 2000" premiere at an appropriately unconventional venue -- the first-ever Online Film Festival, March 22-23 in Los Angeles.
Backed by Yahoo! Internet Life magazine, the fest showcases movies that are either backed by Web-based companies or include Internet-themed plotlines.
Starring Salma Hayek, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Kyle MacLachlan and Holly Hunter, "Time Code 2000" was shot on digital video and is being billed as something of a free-spirited innovation. Figgis reportedly had four roving video cameras independently shooting four separate 93-minute stories, all four of which are shown at once on the big screen. The movie was totally improvised -- there was no script -- and totally caveman-esque -- there are no special effects, no sound dubbing, no editing and not even make-up for the actors.
Screenings for the Online Film Festival are scheduled for the Directors Guild of America headquarters in Los Angeles. The event's lineup includes six feature films -- three of which are world premieres -- and 24 shorts. The short films will be viewable in streaming video format at www.onlinefilmfestival.com .