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Brad Pitt celebrated his 43rd birthday at ex-wife Jennifer Aniston's favorite West Hollywood restaurant where the two spent many nights together while they were married. The star had been on the set of his new movie Ocean's Thirteen during the day and brought along pals George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh to help celebrate the occasion at Il Sole restaurant. A source tells American publication Us Weekly the dinner for 20 guests took place in the restaurant's private wine room and that, "It was a really mellow affair." Pitt's girlfriend, Angelina Jolie, and their three children, Maddox, five, Zahara, two, and Shiloh, seven months, were not in attendance. An eyewitness adds, "He looked tired but happy." »
George Clooney is getting serious about his efforts to end the genocide in Darfur - he's speaking to leaders in China and Egypt and urging them to use their ties with the Sudanese government to help stop the violence. The actor and Ocean's Eleven co-star Don Cheadle are currently in Egyptian capital Cairo, campaigning to raise awareness about the killings in Darfur. The actor and his father trekked to the trouble spot earlier this year to shoot an awareness video and interview terrified refugees, and he has since become a fervent activist for the Save Darfur campaign. Clooney's publicist, Stan Rosenfield, reveals the actor and his friends chose to visit Egypt because politicians there have been key mediators with neighboring Sudan, where an estimated 200,000 people have been killed and more than 2.5 million have been driven from their homes in more than three years of warfare. The movie star hinted at his most recent efforts to stop the war in the Sudan in a recent interview, where he said, "You can't go in barreling with bombs or guns because we can't attack the government of Sudan. What it really requires is some sort of political discussion with these people, and, since we don't do business with them, we need help from China, Egypt, Russia." »
A new rule put in place by the British Academy Of Film And Television Arts (BAFTA) is preventing high-profile movies including Clint Eastwood's Letters From Iwo Jima from being entered into the organization's 2007 ceremony. In previous years, any film released before the end of March in the UK was eligible for Bafta consideration. However, bosses have now decided all movies must come out before the ceremony, to be held on February 11 in London. This ruling means Oscar hopeful Letters From Iwo Jima and Robert De Niro's second film as director, The Good Shepherd, in which he also stars, can not be considered, as both have a scheduled February 23 release. The George Clooney-starring The Good German, with a March 9 release date, will also miss out. Adam Dawtrey, of industry magazine Variety, says, "This strikes at the very heart of the question of what commercial impact BAFTA actually has for distributors. On the whole, there's a belief that the awards season overall has a significant commercial impact - not just the Oscars but the hype for months about the race, and clearly BAFTA is a part of that. But if you take the BAFTAs out of that mix, do you not just have the same impact anyway, as far as a British audience is concerned?" »
George Clooney is considering signing up to star in a Bollywood movie in a bid to raise Indian cinema's profile in the US. The Syriana Oscar winner would love to broaden his acting horizons by appearing in a high-profile musical set in India, after being impressed by recent advances in the genre. He says, "I'd love to. There are some filmmakers whose films when you see (them) you say, 'That could be an interesting story to tell.' I was watching a film the other day and the music was just amazing. It's become such a huge industry. There is a small market in the States as of now, but it will be fun if it catches on because it is such a positive way of looking at filmmaking and I really love that. I truly think it's fun." »
- Quick Links Bunny Lake Is Missing Joe Carnahan Killing Pablo White Jazz Smokin' Aces Narc Hot on the heels of his ensemble pic Smokin' Aces director Joe Carnahan has entered into talks to bring back the 1965 thriller Bunny Lake Is Missing. Carnahan is said to be working with Spyglass Entertainment and producer Mark Gordon to renew the Otto Preminger film with the style and zing that punctuates all of the director's works. The project is said to be racing through pre-production as Carnahan looks to helm the film before starting White Jazz with George Clooney in 2008. The pic covers events that occur following a womanâ.s report of the disappearance of her 4-year old daughter Bunny Lake. Investigators find no evidence that she ever even existed and begin to question the sanity of the mother. Carnahan is working the pen with the Pulitzer Prize playwright of "I Am My »
- Quick Links The Innocent Man George Clooney Warner Independent Pictures White Jazz Good Night. And, Good Luck. George Clooney is at it again. He and Smokehouse Pictures partner Grant Heslov have teamed up with Warner Independent Pictures to buy the screen rights to John Grisham's nonfiction drama "The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town." This is deal numero dos for Smoke House/Wip this month, just last week they signed on together for White Jazz, a James Ellroy adaptation, in which Clooney will star. "Innocent Man", the true account of a massive error in the justice system, tells the story of Ron Williamson, an Oklahoma man sent to death row for 11 years for a murder he did not commit. Released this October, the book will become one of the many Grisham stories captured on screen. He was the pen behind "The Rainmaker," "The Firm," "The Client, »
Hollywood superstar George Clooney is in mourning after his pet pig died at the age of 18. The Syriana actor lived with his beloved Max in his Hollywood home - and the pair even slept together in the same bed when Clooney was without a female companion. Clooney says, "He was as old a pig as the vets had ever seen. I was really sad, because he's been a big part of my life. It has been a bad year for my pets, I had a bulldog that died this year too. It's strange how animals become a bit part of your family. They really become a big issue with you." However, Clooney has no plans to replace Max. He adds, "I think Max covered all my pig needs." »
Oscar winner George Clooney is happy to take the blame for pal Danny DeVito's intoxicated appearance on talk show The View - but he found his antics hilarious. DeVito appeared drunk on the show last Wednesday after partying with Clooney and the pair's publicist Stan Rosenfeld the night before. Clooney tells USA Today, "Danny is a grown man. I know not to drink too much of it, because it is really strong. Danny kept going after I was done. He clearly got more hammered than I did." The two actors agreed to mention each other on TV talk shows the next day and Clooney was thrilled to see his pal looking the worse for wear on The View. He says, "I came home from doing Live With Regis & Kelly and turned on The View to see Danny say something. The minute he walked out, I thought, 'Boy, this is going to be fun!'" DeVito went on a rant against President George W. Bush calling him "a numbnuts" and described his sexual antics with wife Rhea Perlman when they stayed at The White House. Clooney adds, "I don't think anyone took great offence at it. He is one of the funny drunks in the world as opposed to the angry, mean ones. It actually, truly made me laugh until I cried when I watched him. So I'll take the heat." »
George Clooney risked re-injuring his life-threatening back injury on the set of new movie The Good German when his pal and director Steven Soderbergh asked him to put his body in danger for one gutsy scene. Soderbergh admits he felt terrible when he realized he'd have to ask Clooney to participate in a pivotal fight scene in the film because the Oscar winner's heroics in Syriana left him with spinal fluid leaking into his brain. Clooney underwent painful surgery and had to wear a brace on his neck for months last year following the injury. Soderbergh says, "I felt bad sort of. It was uncanny that invariably the thing that needed to be done in the scene was the worst possible thing that you could do for the injury that he had - a spinal injury near the neck area. When (character) Gunther (Behn) attacks him in the apartment I said, 'OK you're gonna be down on the ground and he's gonna pick you up and pull you by the neck back into this wall and then he's gonna bite your ears.' He (Clooney) just did it." »
When not making his Las Vegas heist movies, director Steven Soderbergh enjoys experimenting with film forms and genres. In The Good German, he takes Joseph Kanon's best-selling novel of intrigue, set amid the devastation and corruption of post-World War II Berlin, then imposes on himself the style and restrictions of American studio filmmaking of that era. Thus, German is in black and white, shot on the backlot and in Southern California locations subbing for exotic locales with newsreel footage and rear-screen projection for exterior backgrounds, while stars George Clooney, Cate Blanchett and Tobey Maguire emote in the foreground.
The visual style -- the camera setups, editing and scene-shifting wipes -- all scream Warner Bros. circa 1945, with an undisguised nod toward that studio's greatest wartime romance, Casablanca, even to the point of echoing the final sequence at an airport, where two lovers say goodbye for the last time, though for decidedly different reasons.
A stunt? Yes, of course, but a good one and well executed. It also allows Soderbergh and writer Paul Attanasio, in a smart, well-paced adaptation, to explore a moral complexity that never found its way into movies of that era. In German, a 1940s studio tale of honor and survival collides with the stark realities of hard choices made by people in the face of unimaginable horror. In the old studio versions, there was always a moral high ground; in German, that position is very hard to locate.
The demographics for this film might skew a little older than 2006 Warners might like. It calls for at least an appreciation of the old style of filmmaking. The leads will help sell the film to younger audiences, but what viewers un-familiar with Casablanca or Watch on the Rhine will make of the old-fashioned techniques is hard to say. Warners should enjoy at least modest success, and given the rising star power of Clooney, Blanchett and Maguire, possibly a breakout hit.
When war correspondent Jake Geismar (Clooney) returns to Berlin, a city where he ran the Associated Press bureau before the war, he discovers dramatic changes. It's not just street after street of bombed-out buildings and barely inhabitable rubble. It's how the laws of the jungle have seized everyone, occupier and occupied.
Russian soldiers have raped their way across Berlin. Yank soldiers, tasting for the first time the forbidden fruit of unrestricted moral boundaries, eagerly deal in the black market and commit crimes with impunity.
Jake enthusiastically accepted the New Republic's offer to cover the Allies' Potsdam Conference so he might track down a former lover, Lena Brandt (Blanchett), a married woman he hired as a stringer before the war. Tully (Maguire), a venal soldier from the Army motor pool assigned to drive him, has deep connections in the black market. Consequently, Jake finds Lena much sooner than he anticipated. Imagine his shock though to learn that Lena is a prostitute and Tully her lover-pimp. We're a long way from the reunion of Ilsa and Rick in Casablanca, aren't we?
What drives the melodrama is an intense manhunt for Lena's husband by U.S. and Soviet authorities. Emil Brandt was a mathematician who assisted a Nazi rocket scientist whom the American authorities are eager to spirit out of Berlin to work for the U.S. rocket program. Only Emil is privy to information regarding the scientist that would be most damning were it to come out in the press or a war crimes tribunal.
Lena insists Emil is dead. Indeed, he has left no trace. Yet Lena is in constant danger, and soon so is Jake. Tully meanwhile turns up dead in the Soviet sector with 100,000 German marks in his pocket.
Things go from bad to worse as Jake struggles to help Lena. Only Lena doesn't want his help. She keeps telling him she is not the woman he once knew. She is a survivor and has all the guilt, shame and dirty secrets that come with survival. Jake fails to listen -- to his own peril.
Thus, Jake, played with sturdy, masculine thickheadedness by Clooney, becomes our point of entry into the moral morass that is 1945 Berlin. Everyone is dirty. And, in the case of Army Colonel Muller (Beau Bridges) and Congressman Breimer (Jack Thompson), cheerfully so. They see the future, the Cold War, and have their eye on the prize -- ex-Nazi scientists and who cares about their crimes. Jake remains clueless until the end. After all, there must be such a thing as a good German, right?
Clooney adds to his increasingly prestigious rogues' gallery of film portraits as the one guy in this unsavory lot trying to stay clean. Blanchett gets everything right -- the accent, her German dialogue, the weary sexuality (deliberately reminiscent of Marlene Dietrich) and the amorality her character has embraced. Maguire is wonderful as a guileless young man for whom the war has unleashed hitherto unknown desires, excitement and greed.
The seamless mix of archival footage and sets is much superior to what was possible in 1945 Hollywood. The murky shadows and slightly smudged look of the cinematography -- by Soderbergh under the pseudonym Peter Andrews -- fit the old style, as well as the theme of darkness reaching out to blot the light. The editing -- also by Soderbergh under another pseudonym -- keeps things moving right along at a let's-get-to-the-point speed that even Jack Warner would have admired.
John Krasinski, one of the breakout stars of NBC's The Office, is in negotiations to star alongside George Clooney and Renee Zellweger in Universal Pictures' Leatherheads, a 1920s football romantic comedy that Clooney is directing.
Written by Stephen Schiff and Clooney, the story centers on team owner Jimmy "Dodge" Connelly (Clooney), who hires straight-laced college football sensation Carter Rutherford (to be played by Krasinski) to play professionally. The scandalous sport becomes popular and commercialized, and confirmed bachelor Dodge falls for Carter's reluctant fiancee, Lexi (Zellweger).
One point still being ironed out is how to make the movie -- slated for a spring shoot -- fit in to Krasinski's schedule, which has him making the Emmy-winning NBC comedy until March. Considering that The Office is an NBC Universal TV production, sources said the two sides are working together to find a solution to production timing issues.
Krasinski has a starring turn in Warner Bros. Pictures' comedy License to Wed.
Krasinski is repped by CAA and James Suskin Management. »
Barbara Walters insists Danny DeVito is welcome back on her show The View, even though he appeared to be drunk during an interview on Wednesday. The star was promoting his new movie Deck The Halls on the show, and admitted he was still tipsy after a night of partying with pal George Clooney. Walters seemed far from impressed by the actor's behavior, but has quickly forgiven him after he apologized personally to her. Speaking on the show yesterday morning, Walters said, "We love him, we'll have him on again." Walters found a message from DeVito in her office after the show. She says, "I called him back on his cell phone and he had already left on a plane, but he said he was not going to say anything until he had talked to me." The 62-year-old star appeared on the live show slurring his words and ranting against President George W. Bush. He ended his appearance by sitting on co-host Rosie O'Donnell's lap. O'Donnell laughed off DeVito's disheveled appearance this morning, adding, "Danny DeVito is not an alcoholic. He's just a guy who had too many drinks with his friends. He had a wonderful night out, and he was a little drunk." »
- Quick Links George Clooney The Belmont Boys White Jazz Leatherheads Michael Clayton Ocean's Thirteen The Good German What do you do if you are an A-list actor and Oscar nominated director? If youâ.re George Clooney, you ride the wave for all its worth and book yourself solid for a couple of years. Clooney currently has 7 projects in production or in the can including the highly anticipated and publicized Oceanâ.s 13. The prÃªt essential Hollywood â.jack-of-all-tradesâ. is working as producer, director, writer and actor in projects that will take him through to 2009. Coming in 2007 Clooney will star with Renee Zellwigger in Leatherheads for Universal; a romantic comedy with a backdrop of â.20s pro football. Clooney also penned the screenplay and helmed the pic. Also coming in 2007 is Clooneyâ.s next teaming with Oceanâ.s 13 mate Steven Soderbergh in The Good German for Warner; based on a novel by Joseph Kanon. »
George Clooney will earn his stripes with the Warner Bros. family. The actor-director-producer has signed on to two high-profile projects with Warner Bros. Pictures and Warner Independent Pictures.
First, Clooney is set to star in and produce White Jazz, an adaptation of a James Ellroy novel, for WIP. He then will reteam with his Ocean's Eleven producer Jerry Weintraub to direct the heist movie Belmont Boys for Warners.
Jazz, which Clooney will produce with his Smokehouse producing partner Grant Heslov, will be directed by Joe Carnahan from a script by his brother Matthew Carnahan (The Kingdom). Jazz is the last volume of what is known as Ellroy's L.A. quartet of crime novels, which includes L.A. Confidential, The Big Nowhere and The Black Dahlia.
In Jazz, Clooney will star as a corrupt police lieutenant assigned to a potentially explosive case for the Los Angeles Police Department during a time when the department is under investigation for corruption.
Patrick Cheh, Diane Nabatoff, Clark Peterson and Michelle Grace will produce the project.
Jazz is a Cherry Road co-production, with the company financing the development of the project. »
Danny DeVito appeared on TV show The View yesterday morning still tipsy after a night of heavy partying with pal George Clooney. The star was promoting his new movie Deck The Halls on the show, and admitted he hadn't been to bed the night before. DeVito then cursed his seventh limoncello (a lemon liqueur) from the previous evening and launched into a boozy rant against President George W. Bush, much of which was bleeped out by network censors. The former Taxi star also revealed he and his wife Rhea Perlman made sure to "utilize every surface available" in the famous Lincoln Bedroom when they stayed at The White House as overnight guests of former President Bill Clinton. The show's co-hosts Rosie O'Donnell and Joy Behar seemed to be amused by DeVito's antics, while Elisabeth Hasselbeck, a staunch Republican, tried gamely to switch the conversation to non-political topics, but failed as DeVito continued on his political tirade. The show's creator, veteran newswoman Barbara Walters, appeared visibly uncomfortable as the interview progressed. DeVito's representative, Stan Rosenfield, tells entertainment website Tmz.com his client has requested Walters' phone number and that he would say "what needed to be said privately" to her. »
George Clooney pokes fun at his sex symbol status in a new 30-second TV coffee ad, in which he mistakes two women's chat about their favorite "dark intense body" as a comment on his own looks. The Oscar winner, who was recently voted People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive for a second time, is the first celebrity to star in an ad campaign for premium coffee brand Nespresso. The quirky commercial, titled The Boutique and directed by acclaimed film and music video-maker Michel Gondry, will debut in Britain at the end of the month. Brema Drohan, the managing director of Nespresso UK, insists Clooney was the perfect face for the firm's new campaign: "The brand represents a number of qualities including sophistication, style and charm, and George Clooney embodies all of these qualities... We are delighted that he agreed to star in our first movie." »
Crusading actress Mia Farrow has spoken out about atrocities in war-torn Sudan after returning to the US from a visit there. The Rosemary's Baby star, an ambassador for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), addressed a news conference on Tuesday describing the plight of refugees in neighboring Chad. She said, "People are suffering unimaginably. Women described their terror, fleeing Darfur, losing family members, and children dying along the way." The 61-year-old added she wanted to return to the region "as soon as possible" to raise further awareness of the desperate situation. Civil war erupted in the region when rebels took up arms in February 2003. A string of other stars including George Clooney, Sir Bob Geldof and Heather Mills have also been campaigning for foreign intervention in the crisis in recent months. »
Crusading actress Mia Farrow has arrived in the African nation of Chad to raise awareness of the plight of people in neighboring war-torn Sudan. The Rosemary's Baby star, an ambassador for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), is scheduled to visit a refugee camp but also hopes to journey to a town in east Chad where villagers told UN relief workers they were attacked by a 200-strong group of Arabs on horseback, with accompanying vehicles. She says, "If possible, I want also to go to the region of Goz Beida to witness and report what is happening there. I'm here to witness the suffering and go back to the United States to report it, to make people aware of this situation." Farrow has already visited Darfur twice. Civil war erupted in the region when rebels took up arms in February 2003. A string of other stars including George Clooney, Sir Bob Geldof and Heather Mills have also been campaigning for foreign intervention in the crisis in recent months. »
Spider-Man star Tobey Maguire is celebrating after his fiancee Jennifer Meyer gave birth to the couple's first child. The 31-year-old jewelry designer - daughter of Universal Studios executive Ron Meyer - gave birth to a baby girl at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on Saturday. The couple started dating in early 2003 and became engaged earlier this year. Maguire is next set to be seen onscreen in The Good German alongside George Clooney and Cate Blanchett, and then next year in sequel Spider-Man 3 with Kirsten Dunst and Topher Grace. »
The film will mark a more comedic take on the world of spooks than Clooney's recent Oscar-winning dramatic turn in Syriana. Clooney will play a killer in the comedy, which the screenwriting duo are adapting from former CIA director Stansfield Turner's 2005 nonfiction tome "Burn Before Reading: Presidents, CIA Directors, and Secret Intelligence."
Working Title Films, which acquired the rights to the Hyperion book, will produce the film. Working Title also produced 2000's O Brother, Where Art Thou? the first film Clooney made with the Coens.
"Burn" is slated to start principal photography in August to mid-September, after Clooney completes directing his 1920s football film Leatherheads, in which he is expected to star with Renee Zellweger.
The Coens co-write their films, which are directed by Joel Coen and produced by Ethan Coen.
In addition to "Brother," Clooney starred in the Coens' 2003 comedy Intolerable Cruelty, in which he starred opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones.
The Coens have backburnered Suburbicon as well as the period comedy Hail Caesar, about a '20s Shakespeare troupe, in which Clooney was planning to play a hammy actor with a pencil mustache. The Coens' adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men, starring Tommy Lee Jones and Javier Bardem, is slated for release next year by Paramount Vantage. The Coens won the Oscar for best original screenplay for 1996's Fargo.
Clooney is repped by CAA; the Coens are repped by UTA.
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