Joseph Gordon-Levitt secured Scarlett Johansson as his love interest in new film Don Jon by flying to the set of The Avengers in New Mexico and telling her in person that he wouldn't make the film with anyone else. The Dark Knight Rises star made his directorial debut with the acclaimed film, in which he plays a porn-loving serial dater who falls for Johansson's romantic dreamer, and he was bold enough to imagine her as his leading lady when he first started dreaming up the script.
He tells Men's Health magazine, "I didn't know Scarlett, but I spent more than a year with the image of her in my head playing this character. She couldn't not do this."
And Johansson admits she was hooked on the project after meeting with Gordon-Levitt in Alberquerque.
She recalls, "Joe's confidence in himself is what sold me. There was no wavering. He said, 'You're the only one I see in this role.' That kind of took my breath away. I was like, 'Yes! When? How?'"
And, having now worked with his dream girl, the actor/director admits he can understand her appeal to legions of lusty males.
He adds, "Scarlett is a gorgeous, gorgeous woman, but if you just compare purely physical features, plenty of girls are just as gorgeous. But she creates this extra something. It's in her walk, her eye contact. The total package is just off the charts."
Zade Rosenthal/Marvel Studios
Superman and Batman will soon be teaming up in the Man of Steel sequel, but what about Supergirl and Batgirl? Every day it seems there’s another superhero movie at the box office raking in millions of dollars. What do all these movies have in common besides big action sequences, city destruction, and superpowers? Testosterone.
Although the comic book pages are full of cool female characters with a trick or two up their sleeves, few have made the leap onto the silver screen. And the ones who have? The less said about Catwoman or Electra, the better. Instead of another super movie starring a studly dude, let’s give some of these cool ladies a try.
Black WidowAfter appearances in the smash hit The Avengers as well as Iron Man 2 and the upcoming Captain America: Winter Soldier, isn’t it about time Natasha Romanoff gets her own starring vehicle to play her spy games?
Wonder WomanSeriously, how is it possible that one of the most iconic superheroes still hasn’t made the jump to the large screen? What is it that makes Wonder Woman’s story so hard to adapt? From the failed Joss Whedon movie treatment to the even more failed David E. Kelly television pilot, poor Wondy has been in development purgatory for too long.
BatgirlDC Comics is pretty desperate to extend their most famous and critically appreciated franchise. Why not pick up the dynamic tale of Barbara Gordon? Batgirl would have plenty of thrills and include the gritty realism the new Batman movies are known for when Barbara is paralyzed and transitions into super hacker Oracle.
20th Century Fox/Everett Collection
StormOne of the few prominent women of color in comic books, Storm has been mostly sidelined in the big-budget X-Men movies. The solution, obviously, is to give the superheroine her own franchise. After all, there’s already been two Wolverine movies!
Spider-WomanInstead of another reboot of Spider-Man, why didn’t Marvel chose to tell the story of Spider-Woman instead? Jessica starts out as a villain but becomes a hero, making her arc an interesting spin on the usual superhero fare.
Captain Marvel It's almost unbelievable that Marvel is adapting Ant-Man for the big screen before one of their flagship titles, the tough-as-nails Captain Marvel. It’s high past time superpowered fighter pilot Carol Danvers made her debut on the big screen.
What do you think? What super ladies do you want to see grace the big screen? Share in the comments!
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David Beckham can add culinary businessman to his resume as he is planning to launch a chain of global restaurants with chef Gordon Ramsay. The retired soccer star was inspired by the success of Ramsay's latest food venture, a London-based restaurant which attracted thousands of advanced bookings last month (Aug13).
The star reportedly invested in the eaterie, which is due to open later this month (Sep13), and he now wants to extend his business with the fiery TV chef by opening up a chain of traditional British pie and mash restaurants.
A source tells British newspaper The Sun, "Instead of getting involved in Gordon's new restaurant, David wants to open a pie and mash cafe in London as a starting point for a worldwide chain... David and Gordon agree there's a gap in the market and they want to bring it to the rest of the world."
David Beckham's partnership with chef Gordon Ramsay has proved a roaring success - their new restaurant has attracted 1,200 bookings in just 30 minutes. The Mediterranean-themed eaterie is set to open its doors on 16 September (13) in central London and bosses have been overwhelmed by bookings since it started taking reservations on Wednesday (28Aug13).
The Union Street Cafe is almost fully booked every Friday and Saturday until early November (13) and has racked up 2,500 reservations in just four hours.
Ramsay tells London's Evening Standard, "In London right now we're spoilt with the range and sheer number of phenomenal restaurants available, so it's amazing to see the response today when bookings opened. We can't wait to get the doors open and start welcoming guests."
The sporting hero joined Ramsay in his latest food venture as a new business project after retiring from soccer earlier this year (13).
Former Bay City Rollers founder Gordon Clark and bandmates Ian Mitchell and Pat Mcglynn have learned they will not profit from an ongoing legal battle between the band and Arista Records bosses. The trio sued as part of a dispute between the Bye Bye Baby hitmakers and the record label executives, which was launched in 2007, but lawmakers in an appellate court have dismissed their claims that they're entitled to a share of any potential royalties from movie licensing, digital downloads and ringtones.
Brothers Alan and Derek Longmuir, who formed the Bay City Rollers with Clark in the mid-1960s, Eric Faulkner, Duncan Faure, Leslie McKeown and Stuart Wood are still in court attempting to win a share of unpaid royalties after a judge allowed the case to move forward in a partial summary judgment victory for the bandmates in 2011.
Clark, Mitchell and McGlynn attempted to sue the six plaintiffs and Arista for declaratory relief over anticipatory breach of contract and unjust enrichment.
Lady Gaga is set to showcase her acting skills with a cameo appearance in the sequel to cult hit Sin City. The Poker Face hitmaker was hired to star in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For by director Robert Rodriguez, who has already worked with the singer in his upcoming film Machete Kills.
One of the film's stars, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, reveals the superstar performer was a natural in front of the camera.
He says, "Lady Gaga is in a scene in it, and I gotta say she did a really good job, like she's a great actress. And I didn't know that!
"You know she came in and I was like 'OK sure, they're having a huge pop star do a scene in the movie, I understand.' But then she came in and like, nailed it! She had her character down, and she was like a total pro, and did a great job, I was really impressed."
Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson and Mickey Rourke will all return to their roles in the sequel, which is due out next year (14).
The Amazing Spider-Man director Marc Webb has been left heartbroken after learning a park bench that played a pivotal role in his moviemaking debut is no longer available for film fans to sit on and look out over Los Angeles. Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt sat on the bench in Downtown L.A. park Angels Knoll during their awkward courtship in Webb's cult romantic comedy (500) Days of Summer, and ever since that film's release in 2009, fans have flocked to take a seat and admire the view.
But, due to city cuts, the park has now been closed off to the public and there are plans to remove the bench altogether, according to local reports.
Webb tells The Hollywood Reporter, "I don't know enough about civic agencies, and God knows budgets are difficult things to manage, but, let's be honest, maybe there are better things to spend money on (than park benches).
"But, you know what? I'll miss my park bench."
The cast and crew of hit TV medical drama Grey'S Anatomy have been given a cruise gift as a 200th episode bonus. Show creator Shonda Rhimes and her co-producer Mark Gordon have gifted almost 300 stars, assistants and crewmembers who work on the series a Royal Caribbean getaway to their chosen destination - anywhere in the world.
Rhimes tells The Hollywood Reporter, "(Show star) Chandra Wilson has had a bee in her bonnet about a cruise for years.
"People always talk about the showrunners, but these are the people who make the show what it is. They've given me 10 years of incredibleness."
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Mckean and filmmaker Edgar Wright have taken to Twitter.com to pay their respects to author Elmore Leonard following the revered writer's death. Leonard, who penned the stories that inspired hit films Get Shorty, Out of Sight and Jackie Brown, was admitted to a hospital in Detroit, Michigan earlier this month (Aug13), after suffering a stroke. He died on Tuesday (20Aug13).
The Dark Knight Returns star Gordon-Levitt was one of the first people to acknowledge the sad news, tweeting, "Elmore Leonard died today. Novelist of HOMBRE, OUT OF SIGHT, JACKIE BROWN, etc. I love his 10 rules of writing."
And Spinal Tap star McKean added, "Apart from his great crime writing Elmore Leonard produced some brilliant westerns. Check out Escape From Five Shadows," while Wright wrote, "One of my favourite authors has just passed away, the great Elmore Leonard. But what an amazing legacy of crime fiction he leaves behind."
The organizers of the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival have released the full list of films they're planning to screen during the Sept. 5 - 15 fete. It's a decidedly more down to earth list of titles than appeared at Cannes in May but may boast even more Oscar contenders: films like August: Osage County, The Fifth Estate, Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom, 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, and one very special new film from Hayao Miyazaki, The Wind Rises. Here are five takeaways we had from this year's TIFF lineup, and below that, you'll find a list of select titles from the lineup for which we're especially excited.
1. Character is King — Deeply felt character studies dominate the lineup this year rather than movies driven more by visual flash. Some are more or less traditional biopics like Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom, Bill Condon's The Fifth Estate, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, and Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave. Ron Howard's Rush emphasizes the clash of personalities between Formula 1 drivers James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) as much as it does the races. And Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity, perhaps the biggest visual spectacle on the TIFF lineup, is notable for being a portrait of a female astronaut (Bullock) and her struggle to survive after an accident while also dealing with her lingering emotional distress following the death of her daughter. Toronto this year is truly an actor's market. Even more so because...
2. A Bunch of Actors Are Trying Their Hand at Directing — Jason Bateman is making his feature-film directing debut with the spelling bee revenge comedy Bad Words, while James Franco is following up his (pretty much unwatched) Hart Crane and Sal Mineo biopics with his adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's Child of God. And of course Joseph Gordon-Levitt will unspool his directorial debut, Don Jon, which is also the first time we've seen him with a gelled-up pompadour.
3. Cory Monteith Is Well Represented – The late Glee star has not one but two films at TIFF, Gia Milani's All the Wrong Reasons and Josh C. Waller's McCanick, both of which will make their world premiere at the fest.
4. This is the Place for Smaller, More Personal Films — While Cannes can still celebrate movies that might not otherwise find an audience (like Abdellatif Kechiche's Palme d'Or winner Blue Is the Warmest Color, also at TIFF), Toronto goes all-in for small films. Just this past May Cannes got showy movies from big, flashy directors like Roman Polanski, the Coen Brothers, Baz Luhrmann, Nicolas Winding Refn, Stephen Soderbergh, and Takashi Miike. But this year Toronto will draw Steve McQueen, Kelly Reichardt, Stephen Frears, Jason Reitman, and Alex Gibney, often the makers of quieter, more introspective films — films that may not even have found a distributor yet. That's ultimately why...
5. Toronto Is More Important Than Cannes — Actor and Lars von Trier repertory member Jean-Marc Barr once told me, "Cannes is now like the G8 summit." It's pretty corporate and not as essential these days for films really looking for a distributor. Looked at another way, Palme d'Or winner Blue Is the Warmest Color still doesn't have a North American distributor. However, Toronto is the perfect laboratory for testing out films with a North American audience — if Franco's Child of God doesn't get a distributor after TIFF, it might not get one at all. You can also see Toronto as the first stop on the Oscar circuit. If there's a groundswell of support for Sandra Bullock for Best Actress consideration for Gravity, it'll be because buzz was first generated among potential Oscar voters at Toronto, not Cannes.
Here are some of the most notable films appearing TIFF 2013. What are you looking forward to?
The Fifth Estate Bill Condon, USA (World Premiere) OPENING NIGHT
Life of Crime Daniel Schecter, USA (World Premiere) CLOSING NIGHT
August: Osage County John Wells, USA (World Premiere)
Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom Peter Chadwick (World Premiere)
Rush Ron Howard, United Kingdom/Germany (International Premiere)
All the Wrong Reasons Gia Milani, Canada (World Premiere)
The Armstrong Lie Alex Gibney, USA (North American Premiere)
Bad Words Jason Bateman, USA (World Premiere)
Blue Is The Warmest Color Abdellatif Kechiche, France (North American Premiere)
Child of God James Franco, USA (North American Premiere)
Dallas Buyers Club Jean-Marc Vallée, USA (World Premiere)
Don Jon Joseph Gordon-Levitt, USA (Canadian Premiere)
Gravity Alfonso Cuarón, USA/United Kingdom (North American Premiere)
Labor Day Jason Reitman, USA (World Premiere)
McCanick Josh C. Waller, USA (World Premiere)
Night Moves Kelly Reichardt, USA (North American Premiere)
Only Lovers Left Alive Jim Jarmusch, USA (North American Premiere)
Philomena Stephen Frears, United Kingdom (North American Premiere)
12 Years a Slave Steve McQueen, USA (World Premiere)
The Wind Rises (Kaze Tachinu) Hayao Miyazaki, Japan (North American Premiere)
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
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