Sir Ridley Scott is going full steam ahead with a remake of classic crime drama Murder On The Orient Express. Agatha Christie's 1934 Hercule Poirot novel was transformed for the big screen in 1974 and proved a hit, with actress Ingrid Bergman giving an Oscar-winning performance alongside Albert Finney as the Belgian super-sleuth. The starry cast also included Sir Sean Connery, Lauren Bacall and Vanessa Redgrave.
The Alien director is now planning to reboot the tale after signing up to produce a new adaptation for 20th Century Fox Studios.
Alfred Molina previously played Poirot in a 2001 small screen version of Murder On The Orient Express, while the iconic detective was most recently portrayed by David Suchet, who retired the role last month (Nov13) after more than two decades on U.K. TV.
The Los Angeles premiere of Jessica Biel's new thriller The Truth About Emanuel was almost shut down on Thursday night (05Dec13) after organisers failed to obtain a permit to use an area outside the theatre. Bosses at the ArcLight Hollywood were thrown into a panic as a fire marshal threatened to cut short the bash after guests gathered in a courtyard connected to the venue, but they managed to convince the safety official to allow the premiere to continue.
An eyewitness tells the New York Post's Page Six column, "Jessica Biel was on her way, so people were freaking.
"After a lot of sweet talk from event organisers, the marshal agreed to let them finish, and joked he wanted a ticket (to the film)."
The Truth About Emanuel, about a troubled girl who becomes obsessed with a mysterious neighbour, also stars Kaya Scodelario and Alfred Molina.
Rapper Ja Rule has landed his first movie role since completing his recent prison stint. The hip-hop hitmaker, who has landed jobs in several films including The Fast and the Furious and Scary Movie 3, served two years behind bars after pleading guilty in 2010 to attempted possession of a weapon, but now he's keen to move on with his life and get back to the big screen.
Ja Rule, real name Jeffrey Atkins, will play a drug dealer struggling to step away from his illegal lifestyle in I'm in Love With a Church Girl. Singer Adrienne Bailon will play his love interest, while Stephen Baldwin, The Sopranos actor Vincent Pastore and Michael Madsen will also appear in the film.
He says, "I've done a lot of films that all have been pretty edgy. I played thug characters, but, with this character, even though I play a thug somewhat, he's really a guy going through a transition."
Screenwriter Galley Molina, who spent five years in prison for drug trafficking, hired Atkins while his criminal charges were pending and reveals he empathised with the rapper.
He says, "People used to ask, 'Well, you know he's a felon?' And I would say, 'Well, so am I'."
Actors Alfred Molina and Rory Kinnear are backing a campaign to rescue drama programs in U.K. schools. The stars are supporting a new initiative launched by Britain's National Independent Schools' Drama Association (NISDA) which aims to save acting classes at state-funded schools from being slashed in budget cuts.
Spider-Man 2 star Molina fears such curriculum changes would lead to the performing arts being dominated by the wealthy elite.
He says, "It is a real concern. When I came into acting in the 1970s we were the beneficiaries of the revolution in the 1950s when actors like Peter O'Toole and Albert Finney arrived with their regional accents. Working-class actors became very trendy. Now we seem to be returning to the idea that only posh kids are going to be able to study drama and become actors. That's unfair."
Meanwhile, Kinnear credits his own drama classes with helping him cope with his father's death when he was just a 10-year-old boy.
He explains, "(Acting was) more useful than anything in understanding and coming to terms with the loss of my father. Drama aids self-discovery like nothing else. In removing it from our schools we remove the inestimable benefits of it from our society. No amount of studying oxbow lakes was ever going to help me emotionally through the death of my father."
Love is Strange, which will be shot in New York City this summer (13), follows the fortunes of a down-on-their-luck gay couple, forced to move out of their apartment and separate when officials at the Catholic high school where Gambon's character works fire him after he weds his longtime partner.
One of the men moves in with his nephew and his family in Brooklyn, while the other is taken in by two gay cops.
Director Ira Sachs says, "Molina and Gambon will be amazing as the couple at the centre of the film, bringing great depth and heart to this highly emotional story."
In his day, Charlton Heston had the market cornered on the epic movie. The prolific leading man would turn his name into a genre watermark, delivering behemoth films about fantastic people and places. Teaming regularly with visionary Cecil B. DeMille, Heston breathed life into Bible stories from Testaments Old and New, and invited audiences to take a new, dramatic look at cultural icons. His career brought him to fallen empires, strange planets, and thrilling mysteries. And although many would argue that Heston's cinematic accomplishments cannot truly be duplicated, Hollywood will try, try again to relive his majesties. The latest in the film industry's many endeavors to reproduce a Heston classic involves Ben-Hur, William Wyler's three-and-a-half-hour drama that set the star as a Jewish prince forced into slavery and then thrust upon a revenge quest against the companion who betrayed him.
Deadline reports that MGM, the studio that produced the 1959 opus (and its 1925 silent film precedent), is looking to recreate the story of Judas Ben-Hur for modern audiences. The studio will call back to writer Lew Wallace's 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, which inspired both pictures. Interestingly, Wallace's Ben-Hur stood as the second best selling piece of writing in the world, next to the Bible, from the time of its publication until the release of Gone with the Wind. Living up to the glory of its source material, Wyler's Ben-Hur maintained status as the only film to win 11 Academy Awards (Best Picture included) for almost 40 years (1997's Titanic broke Ben-Hur's record with 14 Oscar wins).
With this sort of legacy, the plight of a Ben-Hur remake will not be an effortless one. Looking at reattempted Heston pieces of past, we can surmise just what direction in which MGM might plan to take its bountiful new prospect...
The Tim Burton Travesty
In 2001, Tim Burton kicked off a long line of disappointing remakes with Planet of the Apes, transforming the 1968 science-fiction allegory into a misguided mass of Wahlbergian yelling. And just imagine what a field day Burton would do with Ben-Hur's famous chariot sequence, what with the endless reach of modern stop-motion animation at his disposal and an inexplicable penchant for spiraling appendages.
The Sub-Disney Animated Family Film
From Heston's Ten Commandments came a like-titled animated movie, with the likes of Ben Kingsley, Christian Slater, Alfred Molina, and Elliot Gould (as the man upstairs) offering voices to the Biblical characters. The reason you might not have heard of this 2007 picture is because of its critical panning, minute gross, and small studio backing. Ratatouille it was not. (Although a Pixar take on Ben-Hur might be worth exploring...)
The Tuesday Night Sitcom
A decade following Heston's turn in P.T. Barnum biopic The Greatest Show on Earth, Jack Palance took on the ringleader role in an ABC dramedy that involved the star in the trials and tribulations of his various circus performers. The show didn't last very long, failing in the ratings warfare with more popular comedies of the era. Today's small screen Judah B.? Probably something in the vein of Noah Wyle, if he can ever step away from Falling Skies.
The CGI-Heavy Franchise Seedling
A far more successful endeavor than any of those mentioned again stemmed from Planet of the Apes. The 2011 hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes was markedly more imaginative than Burton's turn with the material, this time predating the events of the original film with a prequel of sorts, placing ape Caesar at the center of the story. There aren't too many animals worthy of shifting the focus toward in Ben-Hur... maybe the racing horses? I wonder what they're thinking... Call Serkis.
[Photo Credit: MGM]
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The boxing world got exited by the snaps of a sweat-drenched De La Hoya, dressed in fight gear and looking like he was ready for a comeback, but the Latino sports star insists the shots were just for show.
He tells BoxingScene.com he has no plans to come out of retirement, stating, "I wish I could. Seriously. Look, I love training and I'm actually even hitting the heavy bag, working out and this and that. I love boxing... and it hurts me deep down inside that I can't. I just can't.
"I wake up every single morning thinking, 'Maybe today, maybe I turned back the clock and maybe I can!' But I can't, I can't do it. And it hurts me."
But at least he has a fight night to look forward to as a promoter - De La Hoya's Golden Boy Productions will stage the much-anticipated Amir Khan/Carlos Molina match in Los Angeles in December (15Dec12).
Fall season premieres are still under way, but that hasn’t stopped TNT from looking forward to the next round of dates: winter premiere season!
TNT has announced its lineup, and along with four returning shows (Dallas, Rizzoli & Isles, Leverage, and Southland), the network will also premiere a brand new medical drama Monday Mornings from David E. Kelley and Dr. Sanjay Gupta starring Ving Rhames, Alfred Molina, and Jamie Bamber, as well as a new unscripted series with unprecedented access to the Boston Police Department called Boston’s Finest from executive producer Donnie Wahlberg.
Check out when the new and returning series come back on your TV:
Nov. 27: Rizzoli & Isles, Leverage
Jan. 28: Dallas
Feb. 4: Monday Mornings
Feb. 13: Southland
Feb. 27: Boston’s Finest
Follow Sydney on Twitter @SydneyBucksbaum
[Photo Credit: TNT]
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Whether it’s decorating cakes or painting like the masters, it looks like the characters Josh Hutcherson plays always seem to be artistically inclined. Die-hard Hunger Games fans everywhere will rejoice to hear that The Forger (formerly called Carmel-by-the-Sea) is hitting shelves next week, a movie in which Hutcherson plays a down-on-his-luck teen who stumbles into the world of art forgery. Feast your eyes on Hollywood.com’s exclusive clip of the film, which comes out straight to DVD on July 3:
As you can see, the clip doesn’t actually show Hutcherson forging anything, but it does play on the movie’s highest-selling asset: its leading man. Josh works his other forgery magic, that of romance, on Hayden Panettiere (or is it genuine — murky relationship waters, for sure). Whereas the dangers of The Hunger Games are more physical and straightforward, Hutcherson's ventures into the word of art crime may be even meatier and more ambiguous. Little movies like this are where the actor can really shine.
The Forger is directed by Lawrence Roeck and stars Lauren Bacall, Alfred Molina, Hutcherson and Panettiere.
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America Ferrera and Virginia Madsen have also signed up to appear in the YouTube channel called Where It Gets Interesting (WIGS), which will feature A-list actresses taking the main roles in high-end scripted dramas.
Created by Black Swan producer Jon Avnet and Albert Nobbs actor Rodrigo Garcia, WIGS will broadcast new and original content every weekday.
Madsen says, "This is where entertainment is going. So get on board now or you might miss the train."
Michael C. Hall, Stephen Moyer and Alfred Molina are the male stars who will appear on WIGS.