The politician is unhappy with film giant Warner Brothers for allowing a dedicated Harry Potter theme park to be created in America, when the books and movies are all set in the U.K.
Officials from Johnson's team insist they contacted movie executives 18 months ago to suggest building the park in London, but "the state of Florida beat us to it with an offer were unable to match".
The Florida park is set to open later this month (Jun10) and Johnson is hoping movie executives will decide to launch a similar venture in the U.K. because it would be "utterly mad" to leave it to the Americans "to make money from a great British invention".
In his column for Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, he writes, "The fact is that Harry Potter is not American. He is British. Where is Diagon Alley, where they buy wands and stuff? It is in London, and if you want to get into the Ministry of Magic you disappear down a London telephone box. The train for Hogwarts goes from King's Cross, not Grand Central Station, and what is Harry Potter all about? It is about the ritual and intrigue and dorm-feast excitement of a British boarding school of a kind that you just don't find in America."
And Johnson is urging British Harry Potter fans to write to movie bosses and creator J.K. Rowling to petition them for a London theme park.
He adds, "I appeal to the children of this country and to their Potter-fiend parents to write to Warner Bros. and Universal, and perhaps, even, to the great J.K. herself. Bring Harry home to Britain - and if you want a site with less rainfall than Rome, with excellent public transport, and strong connections to Harry Potter, I have just the place."
Author Henning Mankell was among the activists aboard a Gaza-bound aid flotilla when it was stormed by forces intent on preventing safe passage.
Nine civilians were killed and several activists were detained by the Israelis, including the Swedish writer, according to news service AFP.
The activists were hoping to thwart a Gaza blockade on Monday (31May10) when several pro-Palestinians onboard clashed with commandos.
A spokesman for Sweden’s foreign ministry confirms Mankell is one of nine Swedes detained by the Israelis, who are facing deportation or criminal trials.
The director is currently under house-arrest in the European country awaiting a decision from Swiss officials on whether he will be handed back to America to be sentenced on a 1977 charge of unlawful sex with a minor.
Polanski's legal team filed a motion this week (beg26Apr10) asking a U.S. judge to unseal secret testimony from the original prosecutor in the case - in a bid to sway the Swiss decision by proving the extradition request is based on "false and materially incomplete statements", according to the star's lawyer Chad Hummel.
But Swiss Justice Ministry spokesman Folco Galli has told the Associated Press that even if an American judge does unseal the documents, they can not be submitted as part of the extradition process.
He says, "Such documents are irrelevant for the extradition proceedings. (Countries that have signed mutual extradition treaties) have to work on the assumption that the facts in the extradition request are represented correctly."
The Rosemary's Baby director has been confined to his Swiss chalet since December (09), following his September (09) arrest in Zurich.
Polanski fled America in 1978 and skipped sentencing after pleading guilty to having unlawful sex with 13-year-old Samantha Geimer at a party in 1977.
The American moviemaker, whose adaptation of the Lewis Carroll classic has smashed winter box office records around the world, joined Oscar winner Cotillard at the Culture Ministry in the French capital on Monday (15Mar10), when they were both made officers of the National Order of Arts and Letters.
After accepting the accolade from Culture Minister Frederic Mitterand, Burton paid special tribute to the country, saying, "I feel much more at home here than I do in my own country and I thank you very much."
Alice In Wonderland, starring Johnny Depp, grossed $210.3 million (£131.4 million) worldwide in its first three days of release (05-07Mar10), scoring the most successful 3D opening ever and the biggest opening in the first quarter of the year.
The film opened in America with an estimated $116.3 million (£72.7 million), easily beating the winter record set by The Passion of the Christ in 2004, and added a further $62 million (£38.8 million) to its domestic earnings over the weekend (12-14Mar10).
The Piano director has accused Bhaskar Deb, husband of festival director Shyamali Banerjee, of making "rude and even lewd advances" towards her at the India International Women Film Festival in Delhi in December (09).
The celebration was organised to honour the work of female directors from around the world.
Filmmaker Ayesha Arif Khan, from Pakistan, has joined Campion in lodging a complaint with India's Ministry of Urban Development, insisting she was "repeatedly mauled by a drunken Bhaskar and constantly offered alcohol".
Campion claims she was "shocked and angry" that Deb was not reprimanded for his behaviour, branding the entire festival a "scandalous fraud".
But Banerjee has slammed the allegations against her husband, insisting, "It's completely fabricated. The claims are completely baseless."
Deb reportedly told the Times of India he didn't even meet Campion at the event.
The Rosemary's Baby director is facing sentencing for sexually assaulting a minor and is currently under house arrest in Switzerland following his detention in September (09).
Polanski has lived in exile in Europe ever since he fled America in 1978 after pleading guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977.
Swiss government officials revealed on Wednesday (16Dec09) that an announcement over whether they have agreed to the extradition request will be made in early 2010.
Spokesman for the Federal Justice Ministry, Folco Galli, says, "A decision on the extradition of Roman Polanski will be rendered at the beginning of next year."
With The Blind Side rushing past New Moon at the box office last weekend, AdAge takes a look at the faith-based marketing strategy behind the Sandra Bullock football film.
The trade has a Q&A with Grace Hill Media's Jonathan Bock who shares his outreach program for the vampire averse.
The strategy employed has been stealth as Warner Bros. and Blind Side's production partners at Alcon Entertainment have been quietly reaching out to the Christian community via their work with Grace Hill, a movie-marketing firm geared toward the churchgoing crowd.
Bock is a Warner Bros. publicity veteran who worked on Christian-friendly films such as The Green Mile and My Dog Skip. Grace Hill has helped market some 285 movies to the Christian circuit since 2000 through its database of 155,000 ministry professionals and more than 1 million consumers, AdAge says.
For Blind Side, more than 20,000 churches have downloaded clips about the film's real-life story of a homeless African-American youth who was adopted by a Tennessee mother and played high-school football in Memphis before he was eventually picked to play for the NFL by the Baltimore Ravens.
Those downloads, plus an average congregation size of 400 people, means exposure to 8 million of the people most likely to see the film.
On quantifying the churchgoing audience's relative size for studios, Bock explains: "[On] any given weekend, you're looking at about 43% of the country in church, while those who are showing up once a month is basically two-thirds. And if you're talking to two-thirds of the country, you're going to get a pretty huge spectrum of people and the kind of movies they like."
While Bock abstains from "buying advertising in church bulletins," he allows, "If a pastor feels comfortable using something from a movie, if it ties in with something he's doing in church, then that's terrific."
Bock adds, "I don't know if you've seen a contemporary church service lately, but they're pretty big, modern places with lots of TV screens -- definitely not your grandfather's church with an organ. So if you're a pastor and you just paid $35,000 for a massive high-tech screen, you don't just want to screen out the lyrics to 'Our God Is an Awesome God.' In the last four years, websites have started cropping up specifically for pastors where they can go and download and look for clips they can use as sermon illustrations, instead of using something like some story they either made up or had about their own life."
Bock, a lifelong Presbyterian who attends the Bel Air Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles, further adds, "Like any sort of niche marketing, it really requires, to some degree, a familiarity with and respect of the audience you're trying to market to. And just like I can't imagine people involved in sports marketing don't like sports, you got to be able to talk that talk. If you don't, people see through that in two seconds."
The shamed filmmaker has been in prison in Switzerland since his arrest in September (09) on an international warrant relating to a 1977 charge of unlawful sex with an under-age girl. Polanski pleaded guilty to the crime but fled the U.S. in 1978 before he could be sentenced.
The director was finally granted bail on Wednesday (25Nov09), after his three previous bids for freedom were rejected, and he is now being prepared for release after Swiss officials waived their right to appeal the decision.
Polanski's sister-in-law, Mathilde Seigner, admits she is delighted the star will soon be free, telling French newspaper Le Parisien, "I am very happy and relieved. We're going to drink a nice glass of champagne and toast together."
Authorities in the country have refused to announce when the 76 year old will be released, but a statement from the Swiss justice department on Thursday (26Nov09) reveals preparations are underway. The statement reads, "Polanski will be released from custody as soon as bail has been transferred, ID and travel documents have been lodged, and the electronic monitoring system has been installed and tested."
While Ministry spokesman Folco Galli tells the Associated Press the release will be handled quietly, "We don't want to show him off like an exotic animal."
Polanski will reportedly be transferred to his luxury ski chalet in the resort of Gstaad, where he will remain under house arrest until the Swiss government decides whether to allow an extradition request which will see him sent back to the U.S. to receive his punishment.
It's been rumored for quite a while now that Woody Allen has been keen to cast France's First Lady, Carla Bruni, in his next film. According to Mrs. Sarkozy herself, she has finally responded with a resounding "oui!"
The singer, model and lady of the Elysee Palace told Canal Plus' "Grand Journal" news program, "He asked me to be in his next film. I don't know for what role, but I said yes!"
Last June, on a publicity tour in France for Whatever Works, Allen talked about Bruni-Sarkozy's charisma saying he thought she would be wonderful on the big screen.
Agence France Presse reports that Bruni-Sarkozy went on to tell the "Grand Journal," "I do everything a little blindly; otherwise, I wouldn't do anything. I'm not an actress at all. Maybe I'll be totally horrible but I can't in my life miss an opportunity like this. When I'm a grandmother, I'll want to have done a film with Woody Allen."
Allen is currently in post-production on You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger. His next project has not yet been announced, but he has previously expressed interest in shooting in France.
A project he had lined up a few years ago ultimately fell to the wayside because shooting conditions would have proved too expensive in France.
The country now has a tax rebate scheme in place that is designed to benefit foreign productions and with the First Lady on board, it's likely the local powers-that-be would give Allen a greenlight in a New York minute.
The Oscar-winner was arrested in Zurich, Switzerland in September (09) on a 1977 child sex charge after landing in the city for a film festival, where he was to be honoured.
Polanski pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl but fled to France in 1978 before he was sentenced.
He has been behind bars in Switzerland ever since his arrest, while prosecutors in Los Angeles debated whether to have him extradited to the U.S. to face justice.
The 76-year-old director has had two requests for bail turned down, and is taking his fight for freedom to the country's Federal Supreme Court.
Swiss officials will now hold a hearing on whether to grant the extradition request. If it is approved, Polanski will be able to challenge the decision in court, which could delay the process for several years.
Officials at the Swiss justice ministry confirmed the news in a statement: "The U.S. Embassy in Bern submitted the formal extradition request... within the deadline of 40 days stipulated under the bilateral extradition treaty. The Federal Office of Justice will make its decision regarding extradition based on the results of the hearing and the information provided by Polanski's lawyer. In case extradition is considered to be admissible, Polanski will have the option of appealing against the decision before the Federal Criminal Court and the Federal Supreme Court as the court of last instance."