BBC 4 in Britain will air Anna Nicole - The Opera next year (11), according to reports.
The special will chronicle Smith's rise to fame, her marriage to aged billionaire oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall and her demise at 39.
Top composer Mark Anthony Turnage is developing the project.
Salt the propulsive new thriller from Phillip Noyce (Clear and Present Danger Patriot Games) has been dubbed “Bourne with boobs ” but that label isn’t entirely accurate. In the role of Evelyn Salt a CIA staffer hunted by her own agency after a Russian defector fingers her in a plot to murder Russia’s president Angelina Jolie keeps her two most potent weapons holstered hidden under pantsuits and trenchcoats and the various other components of a super-spy wardrobe that proudly emphasizes function over flash.
But flash is one thing Salt never lacks for. Its breathless cat-and-mouse game hits full-throttle almost from the outset when a former KGB officer named Orlov (Daniel Olbrychski) stumbles into a CIA interrogation room and begins spilling details of a vast conspiracy. Back in the ‘70s hardline elements of the Soviet regime launched an ambitious new front in the Cold War flooding the western world with orphans trained to infiltrate the security complexes of their adopted homelands and wait patiently — decades if necessary — for the order to initiate a series of assassinations intended to trigger a devastating nuclear clash between the superpowers from which the treacherous Reds would emerge triumphant.
The Soviet Union may have long ago collapsed (or did it? Hmmm...) but its army of brainwashed killer orphan spies remains in place and if this crazy Orlov fellow is to be believed they stand poised to reignite the Cold War. It’s a preposterous — even idiotic — scheme but no more so than any of our government’s various harebrained proposals to kill Castro back in the ‘60s. As such the CIA treats it with grave seriousness even the part that that pegs Salt who just happens to be a Russian-born orphan herself as a key player in the conspiracy.
Salt bristles at the accusation but suspecting a set-up she opts to flee rather than face interrogation from her bosses Winter (Liev Schreiber) and Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor). A former field agent she’s been confined to a desk job since a clandestine operation in North Korea went south leaving her with a nasty shiner and a rather unremarkable German boyfriend (now her unremarkable German husband). She’s clearly kept up her training during while cubicle-bound however and in a blaze of resourceful thinking and devastating Parkour Fu she fends off a dozen or so agents of questionable competence and takes to the streets where she sets about to clear her name and unravel the Commie orphan conspiracy before the authorities can catch up with her. That is if she isn’t a part of the conspiracy.
The premise which aims to resurrect Cold War tensions and graft them onto a modern-day spy thriller is absurdly clever — and cleverly absurd. But Kurt Wimmer’s screenplay isn’t satisfied with the merely clever and absurd — it must be mind-blowing. Salt is one of those thrillers that ladles out its backstory slowly and in tiny portions every once in a while dropping a revelatory bombshell that effectively blows the lid off everything that happened beforehand. No one is who they seem and every action every gesture no matter how seemingly trivial is imbued with some kind of grand significance. The effect of piling on one insane twist after another has the effect of gradually diluting the narrative. When anything is possible nothing really matters.
But spy thrillers by definition trade in the preposterous and the principal function of the summer blockbuster is to entertain. In that regard Salt more than fulfills its charge. Noyce wisely keeps the story moving at pace that allows little time for asking uncomfortable questions or poking holes in the film’s frail plot. And he has an able partner in the infinitely versatile Jolie who having already exhibited formidable action-hero chops in Wanted and the Tomb Raider films proves remarkably adept at the spy game as well.
It’s well-known that Jolie wasn’t the first choice to star in Salt joining the project only after Tom Cruise dropped out citing the story’s growing similarities to the Mission: Impossible films. But she’s more than just a capable replacement; she’s a welcome upgrade over Cruise not least because she’s over a decade younger (and a few inches taller) than her predecessor. Should Brad Bird require a pinch-hitter for Ethan Hunt he knows where to look.
As with all trends in the entertainment industry a successful business model becomes standard practice and is milked dry until production companies and distributors move on to the next fad. One of the most profitable practices Hollywood has regurgitated in recent years is the youth-oriented R-rated comedy. As proven by Judd Apatow and Todd Phillips with a sharp script and a little bit of charm this sub-category of American cinema can be cost effective and easy to enjoy. When a film plays into every cliché that has come to define the genre and gives its audience little else the resulting bore will look something like She’s Out Of My League.
The Paramount/DreamWorks Pictures release has most of the elements that made films like The 40-Year Old Virgin The Hangover and American Pie hits (including an ensemble cast of quirky but congenial characters and an abundance of sexual stimulus) but fails to deliver the bawdy bite that brought those movies legions of fans hundreds of millions of dollars in box office receipts and even some critical praise. The formulaic premise of director Jim Field Smith’s flick focuses on likable loafer Kirk (Jay Baruchel) who has a chance encounter with the angelic Molly (Alice Eve) and ends up on a series of nearly disastrous dates with her as he tries to “seal the deal.” Even though he screws up at almost every turn and has no business being with the blonde beauty by the time the credits roll the unlikely couple is flying off into the sunset on the way to living happily ever after.
I don’t have a problem with Cinderella-styled romantic fantasies so the implausibility of the Baruchel/Eve relationship wasn’t what ruined She’s Out of My League for me. Rather it was the lack of originality that kept the film in the minors. Most of its sequences are painfully derivative from the cringe-worthy crotch-shaving debacle (which sadly marks the second time that Mr. Baruchel’s nether regions have been groomed on screen) to the introduction of Kirk’s undesirable family from hell (you’ll remember these roles -- played by other actors -- from Four Christmases). Even his faction of lovable losers who provide most of the film’s jabs are just shadows of the characters that made Knocked Up and Forgetting Sarah Marshall movie marvels. The nail in the coffin is Baruchel’s mediocre performance that proves he’s still too inexperienced to lead a film of any shape or size.
I had hoped that the disc’s special features would provide some much-needed humor to counter the film’s lack of legitimate laughs but with just a few deleted scenes and an extended ending that have no effect on the finished product it’s a letdown. Actor Nate Torrence draws a chuckle or two on his “Dos and Don’ts of Dating” guide but it’s not nearly enough to save She’s Out of My League from being totally forgettable.
News broke last night that Universal Pictures will be moving ahead on a fourth installment of the Bourne franchise, tentatively titled The Bourne Legacy. Tony Gilroy, whom the studio has called "the key screenwriter" behind the first three Bourne movies, will be returning to pen this latest entry into the lucrative Bourne corpus.
While that's terrific news for fans of the franchise, there's no news yet on whether Gilroy's involvement will convince Matt Damon to reprise the role that transformed him into a movie star. Damon has previously stated that he wouldn't do Bourne 4 unless Paul Greengrass, who directed the last two Bournes, was on board for the fourth. At this point, Greengrass has not signed on to direct, meaning it's possible that Universal could move ahead on The Bourne Legacy without its star.
Although it has been speculated that Universal may be looking for opportunities to create spin-off movies based on other characters from the Bourne universe, it's surely not the studio's first choice. Matt Damon is Jason Bourne and vice versa; without Damon, the Bourne franchise doesn't have very much to differentiate itself from other, rather ubiquitous spy movies, except for its sharp writing and award-winning editing.
Frank Marshall and Pat Crowley will return to produce The Bourne Legacy along with Captivate Entertainment's Jeffrey Weiner and Ben Smith. Although "The Bourne Legacy" is the title of a book written by Eric Lustabader in Robert Ludlum's original 'Bourne' series, Gilroy's script will be unrelated.
Universal is aiming for a 2012 release for the latest Bourne chapter, so there's still time for Greengrass and Damon to come around. Otherwise Bourne's "Legacy" could very well be tainted by what would surely be a box-office flop without Damon.
Get ready for a post-Memorial weekend pileup at the nation’s theaters as four brand new wide release openers debut in an already crowded marketplace and in the midst of a box office slowdown.
The good news is that there is something for every taste and every age range as the four “food” groups of the genre scale are represented. In the comedy realm we have Universal’s “Get Him to the Greek” starring Russell Brand as his “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” character the musician and notorious lothario, Aldous Snow and re-teaming him with his “Marshall” co-star Jonah Hill. Notably, Sean “P Diddy” Combs has been getting raves for his performance as a record company executive. Great marketing, a funny trailer and a terrific concept may make this one a sleeper comedy hit. Directed by Nicholas Stoller and with characters created by actor Jason Segel, “Get Him to the Greek” will aspire to get audiences to the movie theatre this weekend.
Lionsgate brings the action genre vibe with the “rom-action” comedy “Killers” starring Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl as ill-fated lovers who find themselves caught in a web of danger and unknown identities in a sort of updated version of “True Lies.” The film combines action, humor and romance into a “date friendly” package that will hopefully draw men and women in equal measure. This genre hybrid has brought us films like “Date Night,” “The Bounty Hunter” and of course “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” and it will be interesting to see if this resonates with audiences enough to draw crowds this weekend.
No genre-laden weekend would be complete without a solid serving of family-friendly entertainment and Fox will let the dogs out as “Marmaduke” brings the kibble home with this PG-rated family film that brings the classic comic strip-canine to big screen life. With hope for a franchise starting weekend, the film features Owen Wilson as the voice of the eponymous canine character, Emma Stone (“Superbad”) as the voice of Mazie and George Lopez providing the voice for Carlos the cat. Kids love dogs, families love family films and with the summer season in full swing, look for “Marmaduke” to have a solid box office bite when it opens on Friday.
Finally great casting and a truly scary concept deliver the R-rated thrills in Warner Bros.’ “Splice” which stars the always-terrific Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley. Solid casting can often elevate the material to a whole new level and Brody and Polley bring their serious acting chops to bear on this horror/sci-fi genre film and take the quality and the pathos up a giant notch and the effect is scarily effective. As an executive producer on the film, the great Guillermo del Toro (director of the amazing “Pan’s Labyrinth” and the “Hellboy” films), “Splice” takes a “science gone wrong” premise and wrings some truly chilling and disturbing images and situations out of the idea. The relatively unknown Delphine Chaneac beautifully plays the object of Brody’s and Polley’s experimentation and her touching, sensual and ultimately scary-as-hell performance will have many men looking askew at their dates as they leave the theatre. A solid R-rated thriller that should generate way above average word-of-mouth for a film of this type, “Splice” could perform well this weekend and beyond.
The marketplace needs a boost and it needs it now as the Summer attendance is off around 5% from last year and many films have not performed to expectations. With some luck, these four new films coupled with the current films in theatres can instill the excitement in moviegoers that has been sorely missing over the past month. A savior may come in the form of a re-make of an 80’s classic when Sony’s “The Karate Kid” opens on June 11 and will likely surprise the analysts with a bigger-than-expected debut. Fox’s “A-Team” also opens during this “Totally Eighties” weekend that I hope will help to jump start this all-important movie going season.
Before she died in 2007, Smith launched a legal battle to secure more than $300 million (£188 million) from the estate of her late husband, oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall.
The wrangling continued after her death with the promise of providing a massive trust fund for three-year-old Dannielynn, but a Texas court threw out the claim in March (10) and a subsequent appeal was rejected.
Birkhead has now resorted to selling off his late lover's memorabilia to fund the tot's private education.
He tells Reuters, "It's like, do I want to hold on to one of Anna's dresses, or do I want to try to help Dannielynn's future?
"Dannielynn has different needs than other kids. She has to have security because we have a lot of curious people and it creates a bit of a problem. And now that she's starting school, she'll need to go to a private school. I think Anna would appreciate that these items are going to help Dannielynn thrive and flourish and continue being the great kid that she is. We have money. We have more than enough to survive on. (Auction proceeds) would just supplement that."
The sale, held by Julien's Auctions, will take place on 26 June (10) in Las Vegas and will include Smith's Mercedes sportscar, bronze statues and furniture, as well as gowns and paintings.
A slice of the proceeds from the auction will also go to the late model's charity, the Anna Nicole and Daniel Wayne Smith Foundation, and a dress which Smith wore in an advert for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) will raise money for the animal rights organisation.
The federal lawmakers have refused to rehear the case after ruling that a Houston, Texas jury was correct in determining oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall was mentally fit when he left his vast estate to his son, E. Pierce Marshall.
Lawyers representing Smith's estate revived the battle for her dead husband's fortune last month (Apr10).
Before she died in 2007, Smith demanded more than $300 million (£188 million) from Marshall's estate, maintaining he promised her the cash during their 14-month marriage, which ended with the 89-year-old's death in 1995.
The lawyers filed papers at the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in California requesting the judges reverse the ruling or they will take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
A 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals three-judge panel turned down the request on Wednesday (05May10).
Before her death in 2007, the star demanded more than $300 million (£188 million) from the estate of oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall.
Smith alleged her late spouse had promised her the cash during their 14-month marriage, which ended when he passed away in 1995.
Federal court judges ruled against the late star at a hearing on Friday (19Mar10), meaning her estate will not get a pay out.
And now it's been revealed that officials representing the State of California have filed a tax lien for $45,308 (£30,205) against Smith's estate, relating to an alleged missed payment in 2008 - a year after the star died, according to TMZ.com.
Before she died in 2007, Smith was asking for more than $300 million (GBP188 million) from oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall's estate.
She maintained Marshall promised her the cash during their 14-month marriage, which ended with the 89-year-old's death in 1995.
But, on Friday (19Mar10), officials at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in California agreed with the decision of a probate court judge in Texas, who previously ruled that Marshall did not intend to leave the late star any money.
The Texas probate court ruled against Smith after a five-month jury trial.
The model was awarded $450 million - later reduced to $88 million - from the Marshall estate when she filed for bankruptcy in 1996, but the new ruling to give the Smith estate nothing now stands.
An attorney for the Marshall estate says, "We're very happy with the opinion. We're hoping this is the end of the road."
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jennifer Lopez is in talks to star in the remake of romantic comedy Overboard. Will Smith's Overbrook is producing the redo for Columbia.
The 1987 original starred Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn and was directed by Garry Marshall. The film centers on a wealthy, snobbish woman who hires a local carpenter to do some work on her yacht. When she falls overboard and suffers amnesia, the carpenter takes her home and makes her believe she’s his wife and mother to his three kids.
Adam Cooper and Bill Collage worked on the current script, as did Leslie Dixon.
Smith is producing with James Lassiter.
Lopez, who hasn't appeared in a movie since 2006's El Cantante, next stars in The Back-up Plan, which opens April 23.