Disgraced sportsman-turned-movie star O.J. Simpson was movie bosses' first choice to play the Terminator in director James Cameron's 1984 sci-fi blockbuster. Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the film as part of an Entertainment Weekly feature, executive Mike Medavoy admits he wanted Simpson to front the film, with Arnold Schwarzenegger as the movie's hero.
Schwarzenegger eventually landed the Terminator role and Michael Biehn was cast as hero Kyle Reese.
Medavoy recalls, "At the time, O.J. Simpson had one of those commercials for Hertz where he jumped over a counter and ran to get a rental car. It was all of that athletic stuff, which I thought the Terminator should have."
But Cameron was far from sold on the idea.
He says, "This was when everybody loved him... He (Simpson) was this likeable, goofy, kind of innocent guy... (but) I wasn't interested in an African-American man chasing around a white girl with a knife."
A decade after the film came out, Simpson's role as a likeable celebrity turned upside down after he was accused of killing his wife and her friend in a jealous rage. Simpson was acquitted of the crime.
He is currently serving time behind bars for his part in an armed raid on a memorabilia dealer's Las Vegas hotel room.
R&B star R. Kelly is expanding his resume by releasing a house music album inspired by his hometown of Chicago, Illinois.
The I Believe I Can Fly hitmaker is working on a new record influenced by the music created in the Windy City in the late 1970s.
Kelly revealed his new project during a concert in Chicago last week (06Jul14), when he was caught on camera saying, "I want y'all to know a secret. I'm working on a house album right now, and I want y'all to know, it's coming."
"And y'all know, I love music and I feel like I can do anything when it comes to music because I am music - just like y'all."
The house music record is just one of many projects the singer is working on - in March (13), he announced he is planning a follow-up to his 2013 LP Black Panties, titled White Panties, and is reportedly also putting together a holiday album called The 12 Nights of Christmas.
20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection
Whether they're battling for survival, the planet, or just the God-given right to boogie down at the local country club, man and nature have always been at each others throats at the movies. Across the cinematic landscape, a great many battles have been waged between humans and animals, and as viewers, our sympathies often shift between the species. With Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hitting theaters tomorrow, here are our favorite man versus animal films, and who we side with in each expedition.
The GreyWhat's it about? After crash-landing in the Alaskan wilderness, a group of men must survive the elements and a pack of feral wolves.What are the humans fighting for? Surviving 'til the end credits.What are the animals fighting for? Tasty chunks of Liam Neeson.Who do we root for? Once Neeson strapped those tiny booze bottles to his knuckles, we were firmly on team Liam.
The BirdsWhat's it about? Swarms of birds begin attacking a sleepy California town.What are the humans fighting for? Their safety, clean cars.What are the animals fighting for? It's never explained, but we're guessing tastier bread crumbs.Who do we root for? The birds... hey, it's a Hitchcock movie, so we just root for mayhem.
Once Upon a Forest What's it about? Three young forest animals try to save a friend, who is wounded by chlorine gas from a human truck accident. What are the humans fighting for? Nothing in particular. What are the animals fighting for? Survival, their friend, their home. Who do we root for? Since the humans accidentally orphan a tiny woodland creature, it's obvious we're rooting for the animals.
CaddyshackWhat's it about? Bill Murray tries to kill a pesky gopher terrorizing Bushwood Country Club.What are the humans fighting for? The golf course, their sanity.What is the animal fighting for? The gopher just wants to cause as much chaos as possible and dance like crazy.Who do we root for? Definitely the gopher. He's all right. Don't gotta worry 'bout him.
How to Train Your DragonWhat's it about? On the Island of Berk, a young boy befriends a dragon in the midst of a human/dragon feud.What are the humans fighting for? Their safety and their livestock.What are the animals are fighting for? Sheep. Freedom. Mostly sheep.Who do we root for? The dragons, obviously. Vikings are cool, but... c'mon. Dragons.
JawsWhat's it about?: Three men try to take down a gigantic shark that's been terrorizing a beach town.What are the humans are fighting for? Survival, pride, and shark teeth to sell to tourists.What is the animal is fighting for? The right to eat silly beach-goers.Who do we root for? After all that male bonding, how could we not root for Richard Dreyfuss and co?
King Kong What's it about?: A mythical gigantic ape is captured and forced to move to New York City. What are the humans are fighting for?: Money, fame, a dangerous circus exhibit that will totally never backfire.What is the animal fighting for? Freedom, his human woman, a chance to see that Empire State Building that everyone's been talking about. Who do we root for? King Kong, because no one should be forced to live in Midtown.
Rise of the Planet of the ApesWhat's it about? James Franco starts humanity down the slippery slope of extinction by making apes really smart.What are the humans fighting for?: Some for tyranny, some for survival.What are the animals fighting for?: Respect, dominance, way more bananas.Who we rooted for: The writing is on the wall. Let's embrace our ape overlords.
It might not be as glamorous as Cannes or as cool as Sundance, but the Los Angeles Film Festival has just as much to offer as its larger counterparts. Between high-profile premieres of blockbuster films, international competition entries and some of the most exciting indies around all premiering at LAFF every year, there's plenty to pay attention to. But if you were unfortunate enough to let the this year's fest — which ran from June 11 to 19 — we've got you covered with a rundown of the most talked-about films to premiere at LAFF, and what the critics are saying about them. Now you can make all of your friends think you're cooler than you actually are.
They Came Together The Amy Poehler/Paul Rudd romantic comedy you’ve been waiting for is less about the relationship between the central couple, Joel (Rudd) and Molly (Poehler), and more about skewering every last trope of the genre. Written and directed by Wet Hot American Summer’s David Wain, the film lovingly parodies the traits, characters, conversations, and comically large apartments that appear in every rom com ever made, while allowing two funny, good looking people to fall in love in an entertaining way.
“The script’s on-the-nose descriptions of each character (as described by the characters themselves) actually works to frame them as self-aware people forced to play out roles we have seen before and allows the hilarious cast to play within those lines. Poehler and Rudd have a natural chemistry that makes them believable as the two leads in love, but their comedy also blends well making it clear they are having fun with each other and the characters they are playing.” – Allison Loring, Film School Rejects
"Wain leads his well-known cast through spoofs of such classics as When Harry Met Sally, Annie Hall, The Graduate and the sharp-elbowed comedies of Tracy and Hepburn. Each gag makes you wish you were watching the original, although a clench between Joel and his grandmother (Lynn Cohen) that almost leads to incestuous coupling deserves credit for sheer audacity. Most of the time, however, the actors on the screen seem to be having much more fun than the audience will." - David D'Arcy, Screen Daily
Cut Bank A small town crime drama set in Cut Bank, Montana that centers on a former high school football star (Liam Hemsworth) desperate to find a way out of his town. After he accidentally films the murder of the town mailman, he is offered a reward that would give him enough money to leave for good, but things aren't a simple as they seem, and he finds himself caught in a tangled web of deception and danger.
"...Shakman lets the scenes unfurl with a clunky pace and little verve, simply exaggerating the irony and naivety in the town as his main go-to points. It only makes sense that [John] Malkovich’s sheriff has never fired his gun and carries an aversion to violence; likewise with Palmer, who itches non-stop after a Miss Cut Bank pageant title even while she wants nothing more than to skip town. Thankfully humor seeps in through the edges of the film and its characters, sometimes on purpose and other times not." - Charlie Schmidlin, The Playlist
Dear White People A satire of college movies that tackles race relations and privilege in society, Dear White People follows four students as an Ivy League university — golden boy Troy (Brandon P. Bell), activist radio host Samantha (Tessa Thompson), Colendra "Coco" Conners (Teyona Parris), who has dreams of being a reality TV star, and shy misfit Lionel Higgins (Tyler James Williams) — after a planned "African American"-themed party thrown by a group of white students starts a riot on campus.
"If it ultimately feels modestly edgy rather than shocking or dangerous, 'Dear White People' nonetheless provokes admiration for having bothered to ask some of the hard questions without pretending to know any of the answers. It also works as a fine showcase for its actors: Fleshing out characters that could have been little more than one-note mouthpieces, Williams, Thompson, Parris and Bell all make strong, distinctive impressions, with Thompson perhaps the standout as the film’s sharpest and most enigmatic figure." - Justin Chang, Variety
The Last Time You Had Fun With a cast full of comedians and sitcom alums, The Last Time You Had Fun puts a grown-up twist on the standard "wild night out" comedy. After Ida (Eliza Coupe) forces her sister Alison (Mary Elizabeth Ellis) to blow off some steam with her, they find themselves bickering and partying with Clark (Kyle Bornheimer) and the sweatpants-clad Will (Demetri Martin), as the four of them attempt to have the most fun that four older, dysfunctional adults could possibly have.
"Granted, the excesses of Bridesmaids or The Hangover are not essential to sparkling relationship comedy, but Fun lacks an edge, or even much of an attitude. Blandly risqué situations, featherweight banter and a hint of implied sexual impropriety have all the heft of an extended cable sitcom episode. Or maybe it’s the casting, which draws extensively on the TV comedy background of the four leads, who all acquit themselves adequately but can’t achieve sufficient character differentiation within the ensemble. Undistinguished locations, flat lighting and primarily static setups perpetuate the small-screen aesthetic, which at least bodes well for the film’s transition to home entertainment formats." - Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter
Echo Park The debut film from photographer Amanda Marsalis, Echo Park is a story about two people who come together "across cultural, economic and racial boundaries." Sophie (Mamie Gummer) is an unhappy housewife who moves from her Beverly Hills home to the up-and-coming neighborhood of Echo Park in order to shake up her predictable boring life, who finds herself drawn to Alex (Tony Okungbowa) after she buys his couch. But their burgeoning relationship might have to be put on hold, since he's about to leave for London...
"It’s Marsalis’ direction, and the fine performances from Gummer and Okungbowa that elevate the film above what it might have been, given the issues with the script and story that hover around the edges of cliché and stereotype (the worst offender: Sophie’s mother). While the dialogue, especially the scenes between Sophie and Alex, works well, the story beats are oddly laid out, rushing through some important character and relationship establishing moments, and dwelling too long in moments where the characters are making frustrating, selfish choices. Still, the end of the film avoids falling into the traditional romantic film trap, leading to a message that’s a bit more complicated and nuanced than expected." - Katie Walsh, IndieWire
James Franco showed off his backside for hundreds of fans at the annual Broadway Bares fundraiser in New York City on Sunday (22Jun14). The Oscar-nominated actor, who is currently starring in Of Mice and Men on the Great White Way, was one of the many theatre stars who took to the stage at the Hammerstein Ballroom to raise money for HIV support organisation Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Franco took part in a sketch in which he attempted to gain entry into a fictional nightclub, and when the bouncer blocked him from going in, Franco said, "Don't you know who I am?"
Drag queen/reality TV star Bianca Del Rio stepped in to save Franco, but told him to "face the wall" so she could give him a "cavity search".
Del Rio exclaimed, "Just so you know, Franco, this won't be as painful as you hosting the Oscars," then proceeded to rip his pants down to expose his bare bottom to the crowd of eager fans.
The event, now in its 24th year, also included appearances from Broadway favourites Alan Cumming and Constantine Maroulis.
Actor Tony Danza is officially heading back to Broadway for the first time in 13 years with a musical adaptation of 1992 movie Honeymoon In Vegas. The Taxi star will take on the role of gambler Tommy Korman, the character made famous by James Caan in the film, about a man who falls for a young woman while she is in Las Vegas to wed her boyfriend.
Actress Brynn O'Malley will play the bride-to-be, depicted by Sarah Jessica Parker on the big screen, while Rob McClure will take on the role Nicolas Cage played in the early 1990s.
Gary Griffin will direct the show, which will begin previews on 18 November (14) at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, ahead of its official opening on 15 January (15).
Danza last appeared on the Great White Way in a 2001 production of The Producers, while he previously featured in The Iceman Cometh in 1999 and A View From the Bridge in 1997.
Rumours about Danza's Broadway return first surfaced in 2011, before producers decided to give the Honeymoon in Vegas musical a trial run at New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse last year (13).
Scottish actor James Mcavoy has been unveiled as the face of luxury fashion brand Prada. The X-Men: Days of Future Past star fronts the house's autumn/winter 2014 menswear campaign in black and white shots taken by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz.
Summit Entertainment via Everett Collection
Tina Fey, Nick Jonas, and Shailene Woodley are all keeping busy on sets this week. Find out exactly what and where they're filming below:
If you're in downtown Atlanta this week, make sure you look up. Crews have been busy rigging zip lines on rooftops all over downtown, including the top of the Peachtree Center, for the movie Insurgent. On Friday, stuntmen were seen testing the rigs so we can only assume filming will take place this week. The Divergent sequel, which stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Zoë Kravitz, Miles Teller, and Ansel Elgort, hits theaters March 20, 2015.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are teaming up again this summer for The Nest. The comedy duo is also back in New York for the movie about two sisters who go home to clean out their childhood bedroom before their parents sell their house. It was also just announced Maya Rudolph has joined the cast making it a true SNL reunion! Today, you can find the ladies are filming off of Mamaroneck Ave in White Plains, N.Y.
Nick Jonas is returning to the small screen this fall for Navy St. The DirecTV series centers on a mixed martial arts gym in Venice, Calif. run by Alvey Henderson (Frank Grillo), whose drug addiction kept him from making it big as a fighter. Jonas plays his youngest son. Navy St. has been filming at the Nelles Correctional Facility in Whittier, Calif. for several weeks. Nelles was also the primary filming location for Kristen Stewart's latest movie, Camp X-Ray.
To find out where else your favorite stars are filming, check out my daily filming locations at OnLocationVacations.com!
Iggy Azalea's comedian father Brendan James Kelly is releasing a series of naughty 'childrens' books in his native Australia.
The new tomes, which will hist stores next week (beg16Jun14), will include titles like The Perfect Poo and The Runt Who Said C**t. A press release about the books reads, "One of the titles contains illustrations of penises black and white, erect and flaccid while foul language and swear words occur commonly throughout Kelly's work."
James Franco and Chris O'dowd's Broadway play Of Mice And Men has recouped its $3.8 million (£2.38 million) costs in just 12 weeks. The stage revival, based on the John Steinbeck novel of the same name, is the latest success on the Great White Way - Bryan Cranston's All The Way also moved into profit recently after making back its $3.9 million (GBP2.44 million) investment.