British Prime Minister David Cameron's former media adviser Andy Coulson was jailed for 18 months on Friday (04Jul14) for his role in the U.K.'s phone-hacking scandal. Coulson was editor of Rupert Murdoch's British tabloid News of the World from 2003 until 2007, during which several members of staff on the paper routinely tasked a private detective to intercept voicemail messages of the rich and famous.
He had denied any knowledge of the practice under his leadership but was last month (Jun14) convicted of conspiracy to intercept communications.
Rebekah Brooks, former chief executive of Murdoch's News International, was cleared of all charges relating to the scandal.
Victims of the hacking included British Princes William and Harry, Sir Paul McCartney, and actors Jude Law and Sienna Miller. Murdoch closed the News of the World in 2011 at the height of the furore.
Director Randall Miller has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass following the death of a camera assistant on the Georgia set of the Allman Brothers biopic. Sarah Jones, 27, was hit by a train and killed in February (14) as the production crew shot footage for Midnight Rider on railroad tracks in Wayne County. Six other crew members were also injured.
A criminal investigation was launched and now the Wayne County District Attorney has indicted Miller, his producer wife Jody Savin and the film's executive producer Jay Sedrish on the two counts amid allegations they failed to secure a permit to shoot on the train tracks.
The charge of involuntary manslaughter carries a sentence of up to 10 years behind bars, while the criminal trespass misdemeanour could land Miller and the producers 12 months in prison.
Production on the movie, based on the memoirs of Gregg Allman, was halted following the train tragedy and the subsequent exit of lead actor William Hurt, who had been set to portray the rocker. Hurt had previously expressed his concerns about safety on the Wayne County set in an email to a friend, days before Jones' death.
The criminal charges are not the only legal woes for Miller - Jones' parents filed a civil suit against the movie's filmmakers in May (14), and a number of other crew members involved in the accident have lodged official complaints.
News of the indictment emerges days after stars including Heather Locklear, Nina Dobrev and Sam Underwood joined a group of Hollywood crew members to film a public service announcement (PSA) in Jones' memory. The short film calls for increased safety measures on film and TV sets.
A movie hairstylist who fractured her arm during the tragic train crash which killed a camera assistant on the set of The Allman Brothers biopic Midnight Rider has filed suit against rocker Gregg Allman and the film's producers. Joyce Gilliard was one of six crewmembers injured on 20 February (14), when Sarah Jones was fatally struck by an oncoming train as they shot landscape footage on a trestle in rural Wayne County, Georgia.
Production on the film, based on Allman's memoirs, immediately ground to a halt and lead actor William Hurt, who had raised questions about staff safety in an email to a friend days before the incident, subsequently quit the project.
Last week (21May14), Jones' parents launched legal action against 10 individuals involved in the film, including executive producer Allman and director Randall Miller, and now Gilliard has followed their lead.
She filed papers in Savannah, Georgia on Wednesday (28May14), claiming injuries she sustained as she tried to race to safety from the oncoming train have left her with post-traumatic stress.
Gilliard did not detail the extent of her ailments, which she alleges have become permanent, but she previously revealed, "The pressure from the train was so strong it pulled me off what I was holding onto and it snapped my arm."
Allman and his fellow defendants have yet to comment on the new lawsuit, but the veteran rocker's attorney recently criticised the Jones family's decision to include him in their wrongful death case, insisting his client had nothing to do with selecting shooting locations or "the actual physical production of the film".
An investigation into the accident is ongoing, but officials have stated that Miller and his crew had permission to be on the property, but not on the train tracks themselves. Local authorities have yet to decide whether to file criminal charges in the case.
Allman had also tried to sue Miller and his production company in early May (14) in an effort to win back the film rights to his life story after insisting the movie project should no longer go ahead. The rocker subsequently dropped the lawsuit after reaching an undisclosed agreement with Miller.
The parents of a 27-year-old camera assistant who was killed while shooting landscape footage on the Georgia set of The Allman Brothers biopic Midnight Rider have launched a civil lawsuit against the film's producers. Sarah Jones lost her life in February (14) after she was hit by an oncoming train while attempting to run to safety on a rural Wayne County trestle.
Production on the film, based on Greg Allman's memoirs, was immediately halted and star William Hurt, who had questioned the safety of crew members in an email sent to a friend days before the accident, has since quit the project. Now, Jones' parents have named the movie's producers and the owners of the land, on which the film was being shot at the time of the tragedy, as part of a massive suit, which was filed on Wednesday (21May14).
In total, 10 individuals associated with the film, including executive producer Allman and director Randall Miller, and eight corporations have been named as defendants. In the suit, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Richard and Elizabeth Jones' lawyer claims the filmmakers selected "an unreasonably dangerous site for the filming location; failed to secure approval for filming... and otherwise failed to take measures to protect the safety of the Midnight Rider cast and crew."
Six of Sarah Jones' colleagues were injured in the rush to get to safety as the train appeared. Investigators have revealed Miller and his crew had permission to be on the property, but not on the train tracks themselves. Local authorities have yet to decide whether to file criminal charges in the case.
Allman recently sued director Miller and his production company in an effort to win back the film rights to his life story after insisting the movie project should no longer go ahead. The rocker dropped the lawsuit last week (ends16May14) after reaching an undisclosed agreement with Miller.
Veteran rocker Gregg Allman is taking legal action in a bid to block production of the Allman Brothers biopic. Last month (Apr14), Allman wrote to director Randall Miller urging him to not resume work on Midnight Rider, based on Allman's autobiography My Cross To Bear, after production assistant Sarah Jones was struck and killed by a train while working on the film in February (14).
Miller is yet to respond to the plea, but Allman has now filled legal documents to stop the project moving forward, claiming the option on his life story has expired.
In the lawsuit, filed against production companies Unclaimed Freight Prods. and Allman LLC, the rocker alleges principle photography needed to have begun by 28 February (14). Reports suggest Randall plans to resume filming in June (14) in California.
The legal documents also accuse production company bosses of failing to pay Allman the money owed to him for the film option, and concludes, "Therefore, Allman requests that the Court enter an Order declaring that the Defendants' Option has expired and directing the Defendants to cease all efforts to make a motion picture based upon the life of Gregg Allman and/or his autobiography."
The legal action is the latest setback for the project after actor William Hurt, who was set to star as the older incarnation of Allman, backed out in April (14).
Veteran rocker Gregg Allman has personally appealed to director Randall Miller to shut down production on the Allman Brothers biopic for good following the tragic onset death of a camera assistant in February (14). Sarah Jones, 27, was struck and killed by an oncoming train while shooting Midnight Rider on a railroad trestle in Wayne County, Georgia, four days before cameras were officially due to start rolling on the project.
Filming was suspended immediately after the accident, but recent reports suggest Miller is considering moving the shoot to California, so he and the cast and crew can get back to work as early as June (14).
Now Gregg Allman, who was due to be portrayed by both William Hurt and rocker Tyson Ritter in the film, has made his feelings about the future of the biopic clear by penning Miller a letter begging him to reconsider his plans to move forward with the movie.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Allman wrote: "I am writing to you as one human being to another, and appealing to you from my heart. I am asking you from a personal perspective not to go forward."
Allman admits he had been excited about the big screen adaptation of his autobiography My Cross to Bear, but he has since had a change of heart following Jones' death.
He continued, "When the idea of you producing the film first came about, I was genuinely excited about the possibility of sharing my story with fans around the world. Unfortunately, all of that changed for me on February 20 of this year.
"While there may have been a possibility that the production might have resumed shortly after that, the reality of Sarah Jones' tragic death, the loss suffered by the Jones family and injuries to the others involved has led me to realize that for you to continue production would be wrong."
Miller has yet to respond to Allman's note, but production has already hit another snag following Hurt's decision to pull out of the film earlier this week (begs21Apr14). The Oscar winner had expressed his concerns about safety on the Wayne County set in an email to a friend, days before Jones was killed.
The accident is still under investigation by police.
Director Randall Miller is considering moving production on his stalled Allman Brothers biopic to Los Angeles after a camera assistant was killed in a freak train accident on the set in Georgia. Sarah Jones, 27, was struck and killed by an oncoming train while shooting Midnight Rider on a railroad trestle in Wayne County in February (14), four days before cameras were officially due to start rolling on the project.
Production was suspended immediately after the tragic incident, but now Miller is making plans to get back to work and is contemplating relocating the cast and crew to California, where his production company Unclaimed Freight is based.
According to Deadline.com, filming could begin in L.A. as early as June (14).
William Hurt and Tyson Ritter signed on to portray Gregg Allman present and past in the project, and Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell's son Wyatt was cast as his brother Duane.
Meanwhile, the Georgia District Attorney is expected to meet with Wayne County Sheriff John Carter on Monday (21Apr14) to decide if any criminal charges should be filed over Jones' death.
Filming on the Allman Brothers biopic Midnight Rider is still on hold two weeks after a camera assistant was killed in a freak train accident on the set in Georgia. Sarah Jones, 27, lost her life when she failed to get out of the way of an oncoming train while shooting scenes on a railroad trestle in Wayne County on 20 February (14), four days before official filming was scheduled to start.
Director Randall Miller shut down production immediately and it is not yet known if and when filming will resume.
The shoot was expected to last five weeks.
William Hurt and Tyson Ritter signed on to portray Gregg Allman present and past in the project and Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell's son Wyatt was cast as his brother Duane.
Police officials are still investigating the accident that claimed Jones' life.
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
Follow @Michael Arbeiter
| Follow @Hollywood_com
Movie veterans Kathy Baker and Charles Dutton have joined the cast of the upcoming Allman Brothers biopic, Midnight Rider. The Saving Mr. Banks star will portray the Allmans' mother, while Alien actor Dutton has been slated to play Gregg Allman's best friend, confidant and assistant Chank Middleton.
The duo joins a cast that includes William Hurt and Tyson Ritter as the older and younger Gregg, Wyatt Russell as his brother Duane, Eliza Dushku, Bradley Whitford, Joel David Moore and Zoey Deutch.
Director Randall Miller tells WENN, "This cast is a dream come true."
The film, based on Gregg Allman's New York Times bestselling biography My Cross To Bear, will start shooting in Savannah, Georgia later this month (Feb14).