YouTube/The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Just three weeks in production, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has raked in more than $15 million — this puts it ahead of the latest YA release The Giver as the eighth highest grossing property this month. But trouncing that Jeff Bridges/Brenton Thwaites travesty by nearly $3 million is only the second most noble of the Ice Bucket Challenge’s efforts. The movement is allotting nigh unparalleled funds toward the study of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, an illness known best as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
The condition observes the weakening of the muscles in accordance with a degeneration of a specific portion of the spinal cord. As a result of ALS, those afflicted find difficulty speaking, swallowing, breathing, and moving altogether.
Though discovered in the 19th century and brought to infamy in the late 1930s in accordance with the suffering of beloved New York Yankee Lou Gehrig, ALS remains the most common motor neuron disease actively plaguing men and women today. While perhaps only a small measure in the fight against the illness, the Ice Bucket Challenge is allowing for tremendous progress in the collection of funds devoted to the defeat of such a longstanding travesty.
As is inevitable with any cause célèbre or public movement, we have witnesses no small share of backlash against the Challenge; critics decry the endeavor as a bandwagon trend and a waste of time that offers no real benefit to the cause in question. As far as the latter goes, the $15 million and counting — a sum made possible thanks in large part to the spirited, sportsmanly brand with which the Ice Bucket Challenge was designed — would beg to differ. Nevertheless, we find those with a sour taste for the charitable phenomenon. Not to mention those who simply don’t want to pour a bunch of cold water over their heads. But if you find yourself a culprit of this mindset, maybe take a look at the pedigree of the company you’d be joining were you to hop aboard for this particularly frigid mitzvah.
So what pop culture accomplishments can be attributed to the community of water-logged philanthropists?
5 ACADEMY AWARDS Between Steven Spielberg (3), Russell Crowe (1), and Oprah (a Humanitarian Oscar).
60 EMMYSBetween Oprah (13 Daytime Emmys and 2 Primetime Emmys), Steven Spielberg (11), Meredith Vieira (4 News/Documentary Emmys and 3 Daytime Emmys), Jimmy Fallon (4), Justin Timberlake (4), J.J. Abrams (3), Conan O'Brien (3), Jim Parsons (3), Ricky Gervais (2), William Shatner (2), Harry Connick Jr. (2), Rachel Maddow (1), Ryan Seacrest (1), Nathan Fillion (1 Daytime Emmy), and Topher Grace (1 Daytime Emmy).
62 GRAMMYSJustin Timberlake (9), Taylor Swift (7), Carrie Underwood (6), Lady Gaga (5), Mackelmore (4), Lil Wayne (4), Keith Urban (4), Weird Al Yankovic (3), Gwen Stefani (3), Ludacris (3), Brad Paisley (3), Adam Levine (3), Harry Connick Jr (3), Jason Mraz (2), Drake (1), Jimmy Fallon (1), and Calvin Harris (1).
10 GOLDEN GLOBESSteven Spielberg (7), Russell Crowe (1), William Shatner (1), and Don Johnson (1).
You can officially check off the "pop star" and "childhood classic" squares of your YA Novel Film Adaptation bingo card: Taylor Swift is reportedly set to join the cast of The Giver, which is based on Lowis Lowry's highly acclaimed book. She was reportedly offered a supporting role by producer Harvey Weinstein after she and the film's star, Brandon Thwaites, hit it off at the Toronto International Film Festival. The Giver's story follows Jonas, a 12-year-old boy who lives in a dystopian society where life is strictly regulated and emotions are suppressed. Things change, though, when he is given the job of Receiver of Memories and his training with the Giver starts to open his eyes to the dark realities of his community and of life itself.
The decision to cast Swift is a surprise primarily because her acting experience and talents lie in more comedic roles, like 2010's Valentine's Day or her Season 2 guest spot on New Girl. The Giver would be a much darker and more serious project than she has previously undertaken, and it's frankly hard to imagine what kind of role she will play in the film, or if she will be able to pull off the kind of performance the heavy material requires. However, Swift has dabbled in drama before, when she appeared in a 2009 episode of CSI, so there's a chance that she could surprise everyone and turn out a solid performance.
The real issue with The Giver, however, is not Swift's casting, but rather the fact that it is being made into a film at all. The story is a highly emotional one, and most of the things Jonas learns from the Giver are communicated through memories. Finding a way to effectively communicate them and what they represent for Jonas and the Giver will not be an easy task. Even more difficult, then, will be finding a way to visualize the emotions that Jonas discovers during his training, as the significant changes in his perspective come from actually feeling things for the first time. It's hard for us to picture any way in which the heavily internal nature of the novel will be able to translate itself onto the screen without losing impact — whichever director decides to take on this project will definitley have their work cut out for them.
On top of all of that, Jonas is supposed to be 12, and Thwaites is most certainly not. Although characters are often aged up in film adaptations, the character's age is important to the plot and message of the novel, and so Thwaites being in his early 20s causes a problem there. There is one thing, though, that we take no issue with: casting Jeff Bridges in the title role. The Dude can do no wrong.
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Top Story: Madonna's Label Sues Warner Music
Madonna's Maverick Recording Co., who handles such artists as Michelle Branch and Alanis Morissette, has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Warner Music Thursday, seeking $200 million in damages, Reuters reports. The suit, which alleges fraud and false accounting, stems from a year-long dispute between Maverick and Warner and predates the recent sale of Warner Music to a group of investors led by Edgar Bronfman Jr. In the joint venture between the two companies, Warner has the option of buying out the 60 percent of Maverick it doesn't own when the partnership deal expires at the end of the year, but sources say negotiations broke down when Madonna's price was too steep for Warner, Reuters reports. Madonna's lawsuit also comes one day after Warner Music filed a claim in a Delaware court asking a judge to rule it had met its commitments in its deal with Maverick and that any claims to the contrary were without merit, Reuters reports. Calling the Delaware lawsuit a "sneak attack," Maverick's attorney Bert Fields told Reuters he was doubtful the issues would be resolved out of court. "We've been trying to get these people to settle for a year now and we don't think we'll have any success in the future," said Fields.
Spears Tops Aussie Mag's Sexy Women List
Britney Spears was named the No. 1 sexiest woman by the Australian and New Zealand magazine FHM, The Associated Press reports. The pop princess was followed by Australian singer/actress Delta Goodrem, while Aussie singer/actress Kylie Minogue came in fifth.
Swank-y Calvin Klein Ads
Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank has signed on to be the exclusive celebrity model for the Calvin Klein Sensual Support intimate apparel collection, AP reports. "Hilary is the perfect choice for this campaign. She looks absolutely beautiful and easily conveys the sensuality that we want," Kim Vernon, senior vice president of global advertising and communications for Calvin Klein Inc., said in a statement Wednesday. The new collection will be available in July.
Tribeca Film Fest Announces Slate
The Tribeca Film Festival unveiled its lineup for its third annual New York event, including six international premieres and 10 U.S. bows. The festival opens May 1 with Garry Marshall's Raising Helen, starring Kate Hudson and runs through May 9. Other films featured include Dear Frankie, starring Emily Mortimer and Gerard Butler; Whore starring Daryl Hannah and Denise Richards; and Poster Boy, starring Karen Allen and Michael Lerner.
Alias' Garner Gets a Sister
Mia Maestro (Frida) is set to join ABC's Alias, playing star Jennifer Garner's sister. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Maestro will appear in the last three episodes of the show this season and is expected to return as a regular next season. In other pilot casting news, William Devane has joined an untitled ABC family comedy about a man (Tom Everett Scott) and his estranged father (Devane) who become dads at the same time.
Former Wiseguy To Host Wiseguy Show
Actor Vincent Pastore, best known for playing the ill-fated Salvatore "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero on HBO's The Sopranos, will host The Wiseguy Show, a weekly celebration of Italian-American culture for Sirius Satellite Radio, AP reports. Pastore will interview guests from the Italian-American community, discuss world events, review movies, perform skits, give sex advice and interact with listeners as well as play music from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Al Martino, Jerry Vale and other classic crooners. The show premieres Saturday.
Costello Writes the Books
Taking his popular song "Everyday I Write the Book" to heart, singer-songwriter Elvis Costello cinched a deal with publisher Simon & Schuster to write two books, Reuters reports. The first, due in the fall of 2005, promises to be a work of "intimate narrative chapters taking their cue from the styles, themes and characters" found in Costello's lyrics, the publisher said. The second book, titled How to Play the Guitar, Sing Loudly and Impress Girls ... or Boys, is described as a "work of comic philosophy," Reuters reports.
Role Call: Beckham Bends Panther; Bridges Becoming Mogul
Soccer star David Beckham is in negotiations to make his feature film debut in the upcoming comedy remake The Pink Panther. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the story follows bumbling French detective Inspector Clouseau (Steve Martin) as he investigates the murder of a famous soccer coach and the theft of the Pink Panther diamond and also stars Kevin Kline, Beyonce Knowles and Jean Reno. Beckham would play a cameo role as a soccer player, natch…Jeff Bridges is set to star in the indie The Moguls, a comedy about a small town that bands together to make a porno film. Writer Michael Traeger (Dead Man on Campus) will make his directorial debut.