It's been quite a while since Paris Hilton was in the spotlight for something that wasn't a photograph of her leaving a drugstore with a plastic bag so transparent we could read the prescribed dosage on the bottle of her herpes medication. But she's apparently ready for a more fulfilling life, as she's already finished the first season of her new show, called The World According to Paris, and is completely eager for us to watch it when it premieres on June 1st on Oxygen. It's described as focusing on Hilton's business partnerships and personal relationships, and Hilton is proud of how it is "like nothing I've ever done before," because "on The Simple Life," she said, "I was playing a character." Paris's mother Kathy will co-star on the show, and executive producer Arthur Smith continued to note how the show will tread on much more personal ground than The Simple Life or Paris Hilton's My New BFF and said, "It's so intimate; I can't believe what they're going to let us show."
At NBC Universal's Summer Press Day on Friday, Hilton explained to reporters that her numerous responsibilities for The World According to Paris forced her to separate her role as the star of the show from her role as one of its creators, and she realized she can't just take moments where she doesn't like how she appears out of the final cut because those moments could boost the show's popularity. When someone asked her if she's ever felt the need to cut any disparaging instances out of an episode, she displayed a hint of understanding when she said, "There were a lot of things like, 'Oh my God, I want to cut that out,' but then I put on my producer hat and left it in." So perhaps this show is a good thing because she's 30 now, and it's probably about time she showed us she can do more than
A CBS network executive told the Associated Press that Katie Couric will leave her job as anchor of CBS Evening News when her contract expires on June 4th. Though Couric has not confirmed the move, the executive suggested she expects to lead a syndicated talk show in 2012 and multiple companies are looking to lock her down. Her first few weeks as anchor were strong and widely viewed, and this is attributed to her interview skills and her ability to get people to watch the news who previously hadn't. Over time, however, her appeal seemed to dwindle as her broadcasts became less interesting, and the spunk that made her grind with the concrete on the Hudson Hotel when she first received the job in 2006 was leashed.
Couric's ratings never were proportionate to her $15 million salary, and she continuously trailed behind Brian Williams on NBC and Diane Sawyer on ABC in viewers. But despite her numbers, highlights in Couric's career at CBS include winning the Edward R. Murrow Award for best newscast in 2008 and 2009, and the infamous interview where she asked Sarah Palin where she got her information from and what newspapers she read on a daily basis. On its future programming, CBS spokeswoman Sonya McNair said, "We are having ongoing discussions with Katie Couric. We have no announcements to make at this time. Until we do, we will continue to decline comment on rumor or speculation." However, Rome Hartman (who was Couric's first executive producer at CBS) admitted that despite the way Couric's role at the network wasn't as successful as it was intended to be, said "I don't think it's right to think of it as, or call it, a failure."
While Couric still has two months left on her contract, CBS has already begun discussing who will serve as her replacement. The network is reportedly considering Russ Mitchell, Scott Pelley, and Harry Smith, all of which are already members of the CBS brand. At the same time, CBS News Chairman Jeff Fager is also considering roping someone in from the outside. Once she is relieved of her services, Couric is believed to establish her own talk show with either CBS, NBC, or Telepictures. NBC is the least likely choice, as the failure in launching Jane Pauley's talk show would mean Katie's chance for success there is questionable. Telepictures is looking like the best choice for her, as it produces Ellen and is responsible for the new Anderson Cooper show that will be launching in the fall.
One of the best films of 2010 will soon be in a nice little, gritty package to take on home. True Grit, the Coen Brothers' western masterpiece starring Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Hailee Steinfeld, hits Blu-ray and DVD on June 7 and comes with a host of special features sure to satisfy any further curiosities you have about the film's setting but there doesn't seem to be a whole lot about the making of the film itself. The Blu-ray/DVD combo pack includes featurettes on 1880s traditional garb, post-civil war guns, the man who wrote the novel True Grit (Charles Portis), and the re-creation of Fort Smith. It also includes a bit about the cast, the heroine Mattie Ross, and the cinematography of the film, but it looks like the features are mostly steeped in history. Either way, it sounds like a good bunch of features for any western-lover.
The ability to play violent, fictionalized versions of American presidents is quickly becoming Benjamin Walker's calling card. According to Variety, the up-and-coming actor best known for his starring role in the on and off-Broadway hit 'Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson' will next take on the nation's sixteenth president in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Based on the novel by Seth Grahame-Smith, Vampire Hunter recasts the American Civil War as the result of Lincoln's deeply personal crusade to rid the world of vampires. (Apparently Bill Compton survives this purge.)
Walker closed the deal with 20th Century Fox for the upcoming summer tentpole after emerging as the frontrunner among a number of high-profile actors screen-testing for the role, including Adrien Brody, Josh Lucas, James D'Arcy and Oliver Jackson-Cohen.
Grahame-Smith is also set to script Vampire Hunter, with Russian vampire-movie veteran Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch, Day Watch) in the director's chair, alongside his co-producer, the legendary Tim Burton.
Intrigued? Wary? A little of both? We are too. There's no question that the plot of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a little zany, but we're glad to see the vampire genre moving back in the direction of farce. Then again, we won't have a better sense of the tone Bekmambetov and Burton are aiming for (cinéma vérité?) until we get a trailer sometime next year.
Luckily, we won't have too long to wait: Vampire Hunter will begin lensing in 3D this March ahead of a June 22, 2012 release. Is this going to be the summer's biggest flop? An out-of-left-field blockbuster? We'll start taking your bets now.
So we have this adaptation of a fairly popular book that had all of Tinsel Town atwitter thinking it’ll be a big blockbuster. The book revolves around an alternate history of one of the United States of America’s (God Bless Her in all her glory) most iconic Presidents and re-imagines him as....a vampire hunter. Ok, I’m cool with that. Abe Lincoln was pretty bad-ass, let's make him more bad-ass in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. I think the movie is a great idea, but now 20th Century Fox started to handpick actors that are auditioning and all I can think is... Brit's? You’re seriously considering hiring a British actor to pay Abraham Mother Fucking (that’s his true middle name, look it up) Lincoln?
The shortlist includes the fine red-blooded American actors Timothy Olyphant, Benjamin Walker, Adrien Brody, and Josh Lucas. The Brits they are considering are James D’Arcy and Oliver Jackson-Cohen. You really can’t get any more British if your last name is Darcy. I’m not an Anglo-phobe by any stretch of the means. I love Doctor Who. But this is Abraham Lincoln. You just can’t have someone that isn’t American play the part. It’s not like we’re trying to shove one of ours to be James Bond, are we?
The best choices here are Timothy Olyphant and Benjamin Walker. Olyphant because he is such an ass kicker in his own right, he would simply kill the role (and we mean that in a good way). Walker, because he has experience playing a kick-ass Presidents (he debuted as Andrew Jackson in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) so he knows how to walk the walk.
No word on who's the current front runner, but Fox will have to cast up soon enough; the film needs to be in production soon to meet its June 22, 2012 release date.
The series has become a small screen hit since premiering in the U.S. last year (09) and Hawthorne has now been picked up for a third season, which will air next June (11).
But the actress wife of Will Smith admits she's feeling the strain of serving as the star and producer of the show - and she will be thinking twice the next time she agrees to sign up for the heavy workload.
She says, "I think this is the last time you will see me act and executive produce. It's one or the other. I usually just produce, or just act, but doing both is very difficult. I love them both, I just don't like doing them both at the same time."
Earlier this month we reported that 20th Century Fox had emerged victorious in the bidding war that took place for the rights to author Seth Grahame-Smith's Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. And it looks like the studio is wasting no time in developing the hot property before the current vampire fad dies out. (Seriously, please die out.)
The 19th century period actioner - which imagines Abraham Lincoln as both statesman and vengeful vampire hunter - will be getting a wide release June 22, 2012. Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) will be directing, and producing alongside the legendary Tim Burton with a script from Grahame-Smith.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter has only just begun casting, ahead of its 2012 release, so hopefully it's not too late for us at Hollywood.com to once again endorse Liam Neeson for the titular role. The British thesp spent an awful lot of time researching and preparing to play the 16th President for Steven Spielberg's Lincoln - a project that is going nowhere fast - so why not channel that energy into Vampire Hunter? The Taken star certainly has the combination of presidential austerity and bad-assery to get the job done.
M. Night Shyamalan is working on putting together his next directorial effort, an ultra-clandestine sci-fi project that's being developed at Will Smith's Overbrook.
According to the Heat Vision blog, One Thousand A. E., unlike most of Shyamalan's oeuvre, is not written by the director.
Instead, The Book of Eli scribe Gary Whitta is on script duty with plot details under lock and key. However, says HV, A.E. is being developed as a vehicle for Jaden Smith. There is a starring role for an adult male, although sources said Will Smith will not be stepping in.
Meanwhile, Heat Vision notes that "the secret untitled project" Shyamalan shopped around in June, which came with Bruce Willis, Bradley Cooper and Gwyneth Paltrow loosely attached, never found a buyer and was quietly shelved.
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Summer movie season isn’t all about money, but -- oh, who’re we kidding? While we hate to reduce our favorite time of year to (billions of) dollars, that’s what it boils down to -- and it’s really the only way to determine which trends, actors, genres and more did or didn’t fare well over the summer. Below are our winners and losers for summer 2010…
WINNER: The Smith Family
It’s still tough to fathom how a middling kiddie flick/unnecessary remake earned a boatload of cash, but Jaden Smith appears poised to follow in the footsteps of his dad, Will -- who produced the unlikeliest blockbuster of ‘em all, The Karate Kid (and bought $100 million worth of tickets?? Kidding, Will). The movie earned more than The A-Team and Prince of Persia … COMBINED. ‘Nuff said. Will and Jaden may just want to stop by for a cameo on Jada’s ratings-deprived show HawthoRNe.
Snubbed by Iron Man 2 and embraced by the Step Up franchise? Ouch! Of course, summer wasn’t totally devoid of the get-rich-quickly-and-easily “technology,” and it certainly boosted the ticket sales of some movies (Toy Story 3, Shrek Forever After), but some of the biggest blockbusters of the season said “No, thanks” to 3D while it failed to help other movies (The Last Airbender, Piranha 3D, Cats & Dogs, Step Up 3D). There is clearly a backlash going on, from filmmakers and -goers; hopefully Hollywood learned its lesson this summer, which is this: Only a small percentage of movies deserve the extra dimension. And the last-minute, last-ditch 2D-to-3D conversions? We can tell, and we’re not interested.
How to Train Your Dragon, which hit theaters in late March and didn’t even begin to slow down until almost June, set the tone for animated movies that would be released after it -- and retold the box office gospel: Animated movies can pretty much do no wrong. Toy Story 3 is easily the highest-grossing movie of the YEAR, and it’s already surpassed $1 billion worldwide; Shrek Forever After, although not a hit with critics, did very well domestically and extraordinarily well internationally; and Despicable Me, made on a shoestring budget by today’s standards, was massive. There wasn’t -- and almost never is -- any disappointment from the animation set.
LOSER: The Not-Ready-for-Primetime Players
Zac Efron, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Cera give new meaning to the term usually reserved for SNL cast members. This was supposed to be the summer that all three proved they could “open” a movie; instead it proved that they’re not quite ready. Efron is still the prettiest thesp around, male or female, and his career likely won’t be derailed by the laughable melodramatic disaster that was Charlie St. Cloud; Gyllenhaal, too, will ultimately be fine despite his performance in Prince of Persia and the movie’s performance at the box office. Cera, however, might not be entrusted with the lead role of a big-budget production for the foreseeable future, following the commercial -- even if not critical -- letdown of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (refreshingly, though, Cera probably cares very little about his commercial appeal). Bottom line: None of the three had the summer they’d hoped for, and their star power took a hit.
WINNER: Steve Carell
His decision to leave The Office after next season is a tough pill to swallow, but it’s easy to understand: Steve Carell is a big-screen star now, and it really must be a challenge to find time for TV -- let alone his family! Date Night performed very well in the run-up to the summer; the blockbuster Despicable Me again proved that Carell is great (and bankable) even when merely heard; and Dinner for Schmucks, while not a Meet the Parents-size hit, has turned a profit and is still in theaters. It’s no wonder that Carell’s upcoming projects reach the double digits.
LOSER: Jonah Hex
Only one movie deserves its own spot on this list, and that’s Jonah Hex. It’s already been beaten to death, and there were, in fact, bigger box office bombs this summer, percentagewise, but … good God. While Josh Brolin will walk away unscathed, with little more than a “What was he thinking?” slap on the wrist, Hex put the nail in the coffin of Megan Fox’s career (temporarily, of course), and the director, Jimmy Hayward, should be facing eight-to-10 years in director jail. It’s rare for a movie to be so atrocious that it doesn’t even stand a chance at DVD redemption, or guilty-pleasure redemption, but, well, at least Hex is exceptional in that sense.
Sequels, adaptations, remakes, reimaginations -- they rule the summertime, every time, and 2010 was no different. Three wholly original releases (Inception, Despicable Me and Grown Ups) made a splash, while two such movies (Salt and The Other Guys) made waves. All other hits, even the relatively minor ones, fit neatly into one of the aforementioned categories of unoriginality: Toy Story 3, Iron Man 2, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Shrek Forever After, The Karate Kid, The Last Airbender … the list goes on. Here’s hoping the success of Inception ushers in some balance for future summers.
LOSER: Onetime Superstars
Dear Cameron Diaz, Tom Cruise, Jennifer Aniston, Nicolas Cage, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Lopez (she gets an asterisk since The Back-Up Plan came out in late April), Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher and Russell Crowe, et al.: Your name on a movie’s poster is no longer enough to bring out large audiences. Our deepest, sincerest condolences. P.S. Don’t give up hope. Maybe you can all get together for an Expendables type of movie in a decade or so.
There isn’t typically much emphasis placed on quality during the summer months; it’s more “Let’s aim to quintuple our money and if the movie happens to be good … bonus!” But this summer featured a pair of B.O. behemoths that also happened to be, well, good. Inception scored at the box office, earned positive reviews from critics, and was arguably the most buzzed-about movie of the summer by fans. Toy Story 3, meanwhile, vastly outgrossed Inception and is one of the best-reviewed movies of the entire year; there’s already talk of a Best Picture nom. Then there were the indies: Winter's Bone, The Kids Are All Right, Animal Kingdom, Get Low, Cyrus and Life During Wartime were all highly praised and could reenter the fray come awards season -- as could documentaries The Tillman Story, Restrepo, A Film Unifnished and Joan Rivers: A Real Piece of Work.
LOSER: Canines and Felines
Note to Hollywood: The cutesy-animal subgenre is no longer a lucrative one. It was a flash in the pan; you’re too late to try and ride the wave of Marley & Me (which could be said about Jennifer Aniston, too). Marmaduke was beyond lame, and a box office dud. Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, though? It cost over $85 million to make. I repeat: $85 million. Who on Earth greenlit that movie and budget? A studio head’s 9-year-old kid??
Pinkett Smith plays Chief Nursing Officer Christina Hawthorne in the U.S. series, but her mum Adrienne Banfield-Jones, the head nurse of an inner-city clinic in Baltimore, Maryland, was quick to point out the show wasn't realistic.
The actress took the comments so seriously she hired a whole new technical team for the show's second season, which premiered in America in June (10).
Pinkett Smith says, "She (her mum) did quite a bit (of criticising) last year (09), which is why I got a new technical team this year... Last year she was really on top of it and I'm very thankful because there were a lot of things she was making me aware of that I don't think I would've been if she hadn't been (there).
"Things like how we put the cap back on the needle, or how we inject the needle, or how we resuscitate. (It's) very specific and we got a lot of nurses last year emailing and saying, 'We like the show but you're not really doing this and this.' At the end of the season I had a six-page email (from her mum). But this year she helped make a much better show, so kudos to her."