Sunday, January 31, 2010

Weekly News Round-Up - Jan. 25-31, 2010

Films in the Works
The final two Harry Potter films will be released in theaters in 3D. [Hollywood Reporter]

Robert De Niro will play Alabama Governor George Wallace in director Lee Daniels' (Precious) upcoming Civil Rights drama Selma. [Deadline Hollywood via Coming Soon]

Zachary Quinto (Star Trek, TV's "Heroes") is likely to play composer George Gershwin in an upcoming biopic for director Steven Spielberg. [Deadline Hollywood]

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has revealed that the Hulk will be a part of the upcoming big screen version of The Avengers. He said they would attempt to get Edward Norton to return to the role that he played in The Incredible Hulk. As previously announced, he would be joining Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth - the film will be released in 2011), Captain America and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson, who has appeared in Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk). [Superhero Hype]

James Bobin (co-creator of TV's "Flight of the Conchords") has signed on to direct the latest Muppet movie, written by Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller. [Hollywood Reporter]

Mel Gibson is in talks to star in the thriller Cold Warrior, which tells the story of a Cold War era spy and a younger spy teaming up to address a Russian terrorism threat. [Coming Soon]

Olivia Newton-John will play a hockey mom in Score: A Hockey Musical. She will also co-write a new song for the film's closing credits. [Yahoo]

Lucasfilm's next project will be a CGI-animated musical about fairies, written by David Berenbaum (Elf, The Spiderwick Chronicles) and directed by Kevin Munroe (TMNT, the upcoming Dead of Night). [Hollywood Reporter]

Will Ferrell is developing an American remake of the French romantic comedy I Do: How to Get Married and Stay Single. [Pajiba]

Instead of directing the comic book adaptation Lobo, Guy Ritchie's next project will be Sherlock Holmes 2, according to producer Joel Silver. [The Los Angeles Times]

Seth Rogen (Knocked Up) and Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain) will co-star in writer-director Sarah Polley's Take This Waltz, which is described as a film about a romantic triangle. [Deadline Hollywood]

James Marsden (27 Dresses, the X-Men films) and Russell Brand (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) will co-star in the part live-action, part CG-animated comedy I Hop, which tells the story of an unemployed slacker (Marsden) who injures the Easter Bunny (voiced by Brand). [Hollywood Reporter]

A new still from Disney-Pixar's Toy Story 3 has been released, in addition to some concept art from Cars 2. [Coming Soon] Coming Soon also has a new still from Iron Man 2.

Demi Moore and Miley Cyrus are in talks to star in a remake of the French film L.O.L.: Laughing Out Loud. Lisa Azuelos-Alessandrin, who directed the original, will also direct the remake. [Coming Soon]

Zac Efron will executive produce and star in the graphic novel adaptation Fire, a spy thriller. He is also attached to star in a "Back to the Future-like film." [Deadline Hollywood]

Playtone (Tom Hanks' production company) is developing a project about L.A.'s Comedy Store, a legendary comedy club where Eddie Murphy, David Letterman, Chevy Chase and Jim Carrey (just to name a few) performed stand-up early in their careers. The film would focus on Comedy Store founder Mitzi Shore (who is also Pauly Shore's mother). [Pajiba]

John C. Reilly and Tilda Swinton will co-star in the film adaptation of the novel We Need to Talk About Kevin, which centers on an estranged couple whose son has committed a mass murder. [Movieline]

Guy Pearce (Memento) and Mary-Louise Parker (TV's "Weeds") will star in the psychological drama The Well, which is actor Tim Guinee's directorial debut. [Empire]

Nicholas Hoult (About a Boy, A Single Man) is in negotiations to join Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Zoe Kravitz, Teresa Palmer and Adelaide Clemens in Fury Road, the latest installment of the Mad Max series. [Hollywood Reporter]

Paz Vega (Spanglish, Talk to Her) and Daniel Bruhl (Inglourious Basterds, The Edukators) will co-star in Castro's Daughter, based on the memoir Exile's Memoir of Cuba by Alina Fernandez, an illegitimate daughter of Fidel Castro and one of his critics. [Empire]

Kyra Sedgwick and Vincent D'Onofrio will co-star in the indie dramedy Chlorine, about a New England family struggling to keep up their well-off lifestyle. [Yahoo]

Gavin Hood (Tsotsi, X-Men Origins: Wolverine) is in talks to direct an untitled Alaskan adventure film based on the novel The Cruelest Miles: The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race Against an Epidemic, which tells the true story behind a group of 20 men and 200 dogs that delivered a diphtheria antidote to Nome, Alaska, in 1952. [Hollywood Reporter]

Last week, Lionsgate announced that they would be adapting the parenting book What to Expect When You're Expecting into a film. This week, DreamWorks announced that they're doing the same with Eat, Sleep, Poop: A Common Sense Guide to Your Baby's First Year. [Hollywood Reporter]

Industry News

Legendary arthouse movie studio Miramax closed its doors on Jan. 28, but it looks as though Disney will be selling off what's left of the company. We have more information here.

Warner Bros. is looking to buy Leavesden Studios in England (where its Harry Potter films along with parts of The Dark Knight and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory were shot) in order to create a European production hub. [Empire]

Overture Films (The Visitor, Capitalism: A Love Story) has announced a 90-day hold on development that will allow for its parent companies, Liberty Media and Starz, to review the independent film studio's finances and practices. [Yahoo]

The British Film Institute (BFI) and the UK Film Council are planning a merger. [The Guardian]

Movie Gallery Inc., which owns the movie rental chain Hollywood Video, will likely file for bankruptcy as soon as next week. [Yahoo] Meanwhile, Netflix is revealing hints of a plan to expand to a international company. [Yahoo]

Film Festivals

The award winners at this year's Sundance Film Festival were announced on Jan. 30. The jury winners are Winter's Bone (U.S. Dramatic Competition), Restrepo (U.S. Documentary Competition), Animal Kingdom (World Cinema Dramatic Competition) and The Red Chapel (World Cinema Documentary Competition). The audience winners are HappyThankYouMorePlease (U.S. Dramatic), Waiting for Superman (U.S. Documentary), Undertow (World Dramatic) and Wasteland (World Documentary). More information and the complete list of winners can be found at Indiewire.

Organizers have announced that director Tim Burton will be president of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival this May. [The Guardian]

German filmmaker Werner Herzog (Fitzcarraldo, Rescue Dawn) will preside over the International Jury at the 2010 Berlinale (Berlin International Film Festival). The other jury members are Italian filmmaker Francesca Comencini, Somalian author Nuruddin Farah, German actress Cornelia Froboess, Spanish producer José Maria Morales, Chinese actress Yu Nan and American actress Renee Zellweger. German filmmaker Michael Verhoeven will be the head of the Best First Feature Jury. The other members are American actor Ben Foster and Malaysian producer Lorna Tee. More information can be found here.


Author J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye, Franny and Zooey), whose short story "Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut" was turned into the film My Foolish Heart, died of natural causes on Jan. 27. He was 91. [The New York Times]

Actress Zelda Rubinstein (Poltergeist, Sixteen Candles) also died of natural causes on Jan. 27. She was 76. [The Los Angeles Times]

Award-winning film editor Karen Schmeer (Sergio, The Fog of War, Sketches of Frank Gehry) died on Jan. 29 after being hit by a car that was fleeing a burglary in Manhattan. She was 39. [Indiewire]

In Other News

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has come up with a list of the "15 Most Influential Film Soundtracks" - King Kong (1933), Alexander Nevsky (1938), The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), Blackboard Jungle (1955), The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), Psycho (1960), A Hard Day's Night (1964), Goldfinger (1964), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), The Graduate (1967), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Shaft (1971), American Graffiti (1973), Saturday Night Fever (1977) and Star Wars (1977). More information about the soundtracks can be found here.

In an annual Harris Poll, Clint Eastwood has been named "America's Favorite Movie Star," just ahead of Johnny Depp, Denzel Washington, Sandra Bullock, Tom Hanks, George Clooney, John Wayne, Meryl Streep, Morgan Freeman and Julia Roberts. More information can be found here.

Johnny Depp and his partner, singer-actress Vanessa Paradis, will be part of a charity cover of "I Put a Spell on You" for earthquake relief in Haiti led by The Pogues' frontman Shane MacGowan. The musician Nick Cave, who has co-written scores for films including The Proposition and The Road, will also participate. [The Guardian]

John Travolta flew his Boeing 707 from Florida to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to deliver six tons of relief supplies, doctors and ministers from the Church of Scientology to help victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake. [Yahoo]

Actor Rip Torn (Men in Black, Cross Creek) was arrested after allegedly breaking into a Connecticut bank with a loaded gun while intoxicated. [Yahoo]

The Iron Man 2 soundtrack will solely feature 15 songs by AC/DC. [Spinner]

Without adjusting for inflation, Avatar has become the highest-grossing film worldwide of all time, surpassing Titanic. []

Actor James McAvoy and his wife, actress Anne-Marie Duff (The Last Station), are expecting their first child. [UK Press Association]

Director Spike Jonze's (Being John Malkovich, Where the Wild Things Are) short film I'm Here, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, will air on IFC sometime later this year. [Entertainment Weekly]

Actress Ashley Judd (Kiss the Girls, Double Jeopardy) is writing her first memoir, which details how some of her childhood experiences led her to become an advocate for abandoned women and children in poor countries. [Yahoo]

The Criterion Collection has launched a YouTube channel, which features trailers for many of its films.


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