Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair insists he never watches TV and movie portrayals of his career so he can avoid discussing political gossip, according to actor Michael Sheen. The Hollywood star played the former leader onscreen in 2006 movie The Queen and in the 2010 TV drama The Special Relationship, which examines reports Blair struck a deal with his deputy Gordon Brown about the handover of power.
Sheen has met Blair only once, and he is convinced the ex-politician's denial of having watched his work is a convenient way to avoid discussing the storylines.
Sheen tells U.K. talk show Loose Women, "I've met him once... He said he hasn't seen it... Because if he said he's seen it then people will say, 'Well, is it true, is that what happened?' So he says he hasn't seen them."
DC Comics via AsbestosBill/Flickr
The Road to Perdition; The Walking Dead; Sin City; American Splendor; Batman – the list of film adaptations from comic books is a long and varied mix. While some seem a natural for the silver screen (think Nolan’s Batman trilogy) others haven’t fared as well (Green Lantern, a fanboy nation turns its geeky eyes to you). Still, that hasn’t stopped the list of projects on the horizon, including a new Thor movie, more Superman – even one based on little known Ant Man. Still, there are several more properties out there that rarely get a whiff of rumored studio interest, despite the fact they remain ready-made for multiplexes and Saturday afternoons. Look! Down below this paragraph! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's . . . five comic book properties that deserve their own movie!!
The exploits of Earth’s primary protector against threats both magical and mystical should make for movie-magic in the right hands, and surely be light-years better than a little seen '70s TV-movie. Need inspiration, writers/directors? Read the Ditko books. Supposedly in the works, fingers-crossed.
Seems about time for another Flash Gordon movie, no? Sure, we’ve had the legendary serial in the '30s; yes, there was the 1980 movie (with memorable theme from the group Queen) and even a forgettable TV reboot in 2007 - but an updating seems appropriate. The stuff from which almost all sci-fi was spawned remains ageless.
Call him Cap. Call him Shazam. Heck, even call him the Big Red Cheese – whatever the case, this hero (whose books once outsold Superman) is deserving of his own film. He even comes with a family of superheroes as subsidiary characters, including Captain Marvel Jr. and Mary Marvel.
One of the few properties TV actually got right even way back when (referring to the '90s series) Flash is a big-screen adaptation waiting to happen. While perhaps a solo effort would be a hard sell, a team-up with other DC Heroes would work as well.
True Will Eisner fans everyone are still waiting for a true adaptation of this acknowledged master’s work. The 2008 movie had nothing of the mystery or whimsy of the original strip, the template from which the medium itself was essentially based.
"They (Kayapo tribesmen) painted me like a raccoon. I thought I looked like really cool... so Peter Gabriel got the idea and he was gonna come on and sing with me... and the guy who painted me painted Peter and when Peter came on I couldn't sing for laughing because he'd painted his entire head black and all you could see were his eyes... I said, 'You look like a billiard ball'." Sting recalls a hilarious moment from his Amnesty International An Embrace Of Hope concert in Chile in 1990.
Sting has finally revealed how he managed to prank pal Bruce Springsteen on the last night of the Amnesty International Human Rights Now! Tour back in 1988 - when he and Peter Gabriel took the stage in identical gear to The Boss and acted as his shadows. The trio has been recalling the magical moments on the globe-trotting six-week tour for bonus footage on a new DVD package, titled RELEASED! The Human Rights Concerts 1986-1998, and Springsteen can still remember his friends joining him onstage and mirroring his every move.
He says, "They did a hilarious take-off on me on the last night where everybody dressed as I did and I believe got soaked in spit water and did somersaults (like I did). I didn't know they were doing it and I didn't know where they got the outfits from... It was funny."
And now Sting has cleared up the mystery, adding, "We knew Bruce was gonna be on last, so we went into his dressing room and stole his spare costumes, Peter and I. I looked rather good in it, actually.
"We knew what was gonna happen - we knew Bruce would do his thing; he used to go near the drum kit and get the ice bucket and pour it over himself, so we came out in his costume and did exactly the same thing behind him, like a shadow."
Both Springsteen and Sting acknowledge the six weeks on the road together turned them into lifelong friends.
Scottish actor Gordon Brown is launching a fundraising drive to help build a respite home in honour of his late daughter. Brown, who starred in Drive alongside Ryan Gosling and in Bronson with Tom Hardy, was left heartbroken after his daughter Eilidh died aged 15 from a rare form of cancer in 2010.
While she was alive, Brown and his wife took their child to a holiday home for cancer sufferers in Scotland, and it inspired him to set up similar project.
He has requested planning permission on a property in Stirling, and has already raised $325,000 (£215,000), but needs more donations to keep the centre running over the coming years.
The actor says, "The fundraising process is ongoing and even once the home is open it will take about £30,000 to keep it going. We would be delighted to hear from anyone who can help us get there."
If you managed to stay away from all means of communication this past week and have no idea what's up in Hollywood, look no further. From Scar-Jo as World's Sexiest Woman to Bryan Cranston on Broadway, here are the week's top stories from our favorite websites:WENNShould We Be Talking About Chris Brown's Latest Interview?Chris Brown, whose new album X is set to drop at the beginning of December, raised some eyebrows in his published interview with the UK's The Guardian last weekend. The singer revealed that he lost his virginity at an extremely young age, and Flavorwire's Tom Hawking explores the reason behind the lack of discussion on what would normally be called sexual assault. Could Lady Gaga Have Done Without Jeff Koons?Lady Gaga refuses to be just another pop singer, but is her latest attempt a bit curious? ARTPOP will be released on Nov. 11 with an album cover designed by NYC-based artist Jeff Koons, but would Gaga have been better off without him? Flavorwire is wondering if her attempt at high art is missing the mark.Bryan Cranston Confirmed for Broadway PlayWalter White is headed for the city that never sleeps! Kind of... As much as we'd all love to see Breaking Bad-gone-Broadway, it's Bryan Cranston who will be making his debut on stage as Lyndon B. Johnson later this fall in All The Way. Hollywood.com has all of the details on Cranston's latest role.Scarlett Johansson Named Sexiest Woman Alive, AgainSeven years later and she's still got it! As if the release of her new movie isn't enough, Johansson, who can be seen in theaters alongside Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Don Jon, was once again named the Sexiest Woman Alive by Esquire. Celebuzz has the full story.
DC Comics via andertoons/Flickr
New Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara discussed a number of projects recently, including the new J.K. Rowling project and a desire to balance big budget franchise films with smaller, more modest features. But one moment that stood out was when talk turned to superheroes. Tsujihara spoke hopefully about moving beyond Batman and Superman, namechecking Wonder Woman. "We need to get Wonder Woman on the big screen or TV," he said. Sure, it's a great sentiment. But heroes like Green Arrow and police commissioner Jim Gordon are already heading to TV, even though Wonder Woman is inarguably a bigger name. So if they have the rights, the money, and the desire, what the heck is Warner Bros. waiting for?
When it comes to the superhero arms race, DC hasn't had a win since The Dark Knight came out in 2008. Testing an unknown character? Marvel wins by a landslide with the improbable rise of Robert Downey Jr. and Iron Man. Recasting a hero? Marvel wins, with the (eventual) discovery of Mark Ruffalo as Hulk. A team movie with multiple heroes? Marvel's winning by two, with Avengers and Gaurdians of the Galaxy. So far, neither studio has been declared the "winner" when it comes to female heroes. But at least Marvel has Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow. At least Natalie Portman is pairing with Marvel to sponsor a contest to get girls more interested in science. What has DC/WB given us? Two solid attempts at making Catwoman a supporting character and one miserable attempt to give Catwoman her own film in 2004.
The saying goes, if you want something done well, you have to do it yourself. You know what — sometimes, if you want something done at all, you have to do it yourself. Sure, you can say, "The David E. Kelley Wonder Woman pilot was terrible. That's why it wasn't picked up!" But Green Lantern was an underbaked disaster, and you at least gave it the chance to try. (By the way, if earning over $200 million in box office for you is considered a failure, you may want to reexamine your average budget.) Don't outsource the task of adapting a uniquely inspiring and rewarding character to the big screen when you have an entire movie studio — and one that's been struggling for new content in the wake of Christopher Nolan — at your disposal. Not to mention the very same TV studio that produced the original Wonder Woman series! The one that wasn't half bad, and gave Wonder Woman the super-progressive-for-the-'70s cover as an Air Force pilot. Beyond that, there has been a steady stream of DC Animated Universe content featuring Wonder Woman that proves that the character can fly off the page just as easily as Superman. Actually, maybe that's a bad example, as both bigscreen Superman adaptations from the last 10 years were met with decidedly mixed reviews. Regardless, with all this talk around women, comics, superheroes, and franchises, it would be nice to see some action.
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Footage gathered from the last four superstar-studded Amnesty International concerts and tours have been digitally restored for release on a new 17-hour DVD/CD box set, which will hit the market next month (Nov13). Music historian Martin Lewis, a co-creator and co-producer of the human rights organisation's iconic A Secret Policeman's Ball concerts in the U.K., has painstakingly collected 12 hours of concert footage from two Amnesty shows in Chile (1990) and Paris (1998), the 1986 A Conspiracy Of Hope U.S. tour and 1988 Human Rights Now! world tour, which featured Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel and Sting, for the package. He has also unearthed and shot five hours of bonus material, including Gabriel's never-before-seen tour video and new interviews with the Sledgehammer hitmaker, Sting and Springsteen, among others.
The six-disc DVD box-set and two-disc companion CD, titled RELEASED! The Human Rights Concerts 1986-1998, will be available from 5 November (13) and also include concert footage featuring U2, The Police, Radiohead, Joni Mitchell, Miles Davis, Jimmy Page & Robert Plant, Youssou N'Dour, Tracy Chapman and Alanis Morissette.
The release coincides with the 25th anniversary of the six-week, five-continent Human Rights Now! world tour, headlined by Springsteen, Sting, Gabriel, Chapman and Youssou N'Dour
Lewis tells WENN, "Musicians innately understand key components of human rights such as freedom of expression. It's at the heart of what they do.
"The rock music community has been spectacular in its support for Amnesty. These concerts broke new ground in galvanising audiences to become involved. They fused cause and content in an inspirational way. It's been an honour to work with Sting, Bruce, Bono, Peter and the other artists in restoring and producing these concerts for home release."
Sting adds, "Amnesty in my opinion, is probably the most civilised and civilising of human organisations. It uses the writing of letters or the commerce of ideas and opinion to change the world rather than a gun or an army or an air force. And that seems to be very civilised to me. And that seems the only way that we will get positive change in the world. And so Amnesty's a fantastic flagship for that idea. I feel very proud of my association with it. And it's ongoing."
And Gabriel states: "The world is a much better place for knowing that Amnesty's around it. There's still an amazing amount more work that needs to be done... that must be done. But Amnesty International have made an extraordinary start."
Singer Sting is set to guest-star on U.S. TV series The Michael J. Fox Show. The former Police frontman will play himself in a Christmas-themed episode premiering later this year (13), according to TVLine.com.
The episode will be shot in New York this week (begs06Oct13), but no details have been released about the storyline.
The British singer has previously made cameos in TV shows such as Ally McBeal, The Vicar of Dibley and Life’s Too Short.
"We were having a hard time figuring out who can play Patti Smith, because it's a very specific look and a very iconic person. It turns out Mickey is a tremendous Patti Smith fan, loves her writing. She actually asked permission from Patti to play her. She looks amazing in it. She really got it down." Director Randall Miller on Sting's daughter Mickey Sumner's portrayal of punk icon Patti Smith in new movie CBGB.