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8 items from 2002


Star power high for Sundance

4 December 2002 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

A Sony Pictures Classics film starring Billy Bob Thornton as an ex-convict on his way to redemption after serving a 19-year murder sentence will set the stage for the 2003 Sundance Film Festival as the opening-night film in Salt Lake City on Jan. 16. The Ed Solomon-directed Levity also features a name cast of Morgan Freeman, Holly Hunter and Kirsten Dunst. The Park City roster then kicks into gear the next night with the Premiere Category selection The Singing Detective, from Mel Gibson and Bruce Davey's Icon Prods. Gibson also stars in the Keith Gordon-helmed feature, which is about a writer (Robert Downey Jr.) who hallucinates musical numbers and paranoid plots. Robin Wright Penn, Adrien Brody and Katie Holmes round out the cast. Both star-heavy projects are indicative of the other selections in Sundance's Premiere Category, most of which star top-level Hollywood talent. Included in the set is the Larry Charles-helmed Masked and Anonymous, from Intermedia Film and Spitfire Pictures, which stars Bob Dylan as a musician who encounters a cast of characters played by Jessica Lange, Penelope Cruz, Val Kilmer, Jeff Bridges, Luke Wilson, Ed Harris, Angela Bassett and others on his way to a benefit concert after his release from jail. Al Pacino, Tea Leoni, Kim Basinger and Ryan O'Neal turn out in Miramax Films' People I Know from director Daniel Algrant. The drama, set for release next year after a postponement because of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, finds Pacino as a New York publicist who gets drawn into the world of politics and celebrity when his famous actor-client becomes involved in a scandal. The star contingent continues with Lions Gate Films' Confidence, directed by James Foley. Dustin Hoffman, Edward Burns and Andy Garcia topline the story of a con man's latest scam that puts him in debt with the Mafia. Paul Giamatti, Donal Logue, Rachel Weisz and Morris Chestnut round out the cast. Fox Searchlight Pictures has two films in the Premiere Category with Jim Sheridan's In America, starring Samantha Morton and Paddy Considine, and Alex Proyas' Garage Days featuring Kick Gurry, Maya Stange and Pia Miranda. »

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Europa fetches Freeman, Li for 'Danny the Dog'

3 December 2002 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

PARIS -- Morgan Freeman and Jet Li are in discussions to topline the thriller Danny the Dog for Luc Besson's Europa Corp., company sources said Monday. The English-language movie is set to start production next month at locations in the United Kingdom, with studio shooting scheduled to take place in France. The script is by Besson and his sometime collaborator Robert Mark Kamen (The Fifth Element). The movie is budgeted at about $42 million. Europa will handle worldwide sales on the title and will release the film in France through its own channels. The film will be directed by Louis Leterrier, who recently made his helming debut with the thriller The Transporter, also for Europa Corp. »

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J.Lo Already Planning Wedding Number Three

18 October 2002 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Hollywood supercouple Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck are already planning their wedding - despite denying they are even engaged. The Gigli co-stars, who have been working together on Kevin Smith's project Jersey Girl for the last two months, have already set a Valentine's wedding date and serial monogamist J.Lo is overseeing the organizing for the bash. According to Britain's Now magazine, a friend of the couple says, "Jennifer picked out the day a few weeks ago and Ben thought getting married on Valentine's day was absolutely perfect, so a Valentine's wedding it will be. They're knee-deep in wedding plans and we all know how much Jennifer loves a good wedding." The "I'm Real" star is set to wear a Valentino gown - as she did for her second wedding - while the wedding menu will be designed by Spagos chef Wolfgang Puck. Affleck's best man will be his Good Will Hunting co-star and long time friend Matt Damon while Lopez's old friend Arlene Rodriguez will be her maid of honor. The friend continues, "Jennifer says that's the whole wedding party - the four of them. She doesn't want any other bridesmaids. Ben wanted a place for his younger brother Casey but then Jennifer said she'd have to choose between her girlfriends to be Casey's escort and it'd turn into a nightmare for her. So Ben caved in and Casey has to sit in the front row with Ben's parents." Celebrity guests are expected to turn out in droves. Brad Pitt and wife Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman, Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Sandra Bullock and Robin Williams are just some of those reported to be attending. And Lopez apparently wants the wedding to be so spectacular that it is still being talked about in 20 years. The friend says, "The wedding is only going to get bigger and bigger as the months roll by. Think of all the time Jennifer has to fiddle around with the details and make changes. This is no rush job like her wedding to Cris Judd." »

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Tamahori signs to 'Guide' Berry for Par, Gordon

4 October 2002 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Lee Tamahori has come aboard to direct Halle Berry in Paramount Pictures' action-thriller The Guide for producer Mark Gordon. An early-2003 start date is being eyed. The project reteams the director and star, both of whom recently worked together on MGM's latest installment of the James Bond series, Die Another Day, due out Nov. 22. Guide also reunites Tamahori with Paramount Pictures as they collaborated on the 2001 feature Along Came a Spider, starring Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman. Tamahori's deal to direct Guide comes only two months after Berry signed on to star in the project, playing Jane Whitfield, a Seneca Indian who has the expert gift of helping desperate people escape their negative situations by erasing their pasts and providing them with brand-new identities (HR 8/9). »

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Tamahori signs to 'Guide' Berry for Par, Gordon

4 October 2002 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Lee Tamahori has come aboard to direct Halle Berry in Paramount Pictures' action-thriller The Guide for producer Mark Gordon. An early-2003 start date is being eyed. The project reteams the director and star, both of whom recently worked together on MGM's latest installment of the James Bond series, Die Another Day, due out Nov. 22. Guide also reunites Tamahori with Paramount Pictures as they collaborated on the 2001 feature Along Came a Spider, starring Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman. Tamahori's deal to direct Guide comes only two months after Berry signed on to star in the project, playing Jane Whitfield, a Seneca Indian who has the expert gift of helping desperate people escape their negative situations by erasing their pasts and providing them with brand-new identities (HR 8/9). »

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Olyphant saddles up for 'Deadwood'

3 September 2002 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Timothy Olyphant has saddled up for his first foray into series television as the lead in Deadwood, HBO's Western drama pilot from David Milch. In the project, set in the Montana Territory in 1876, Olyphant will play Seth Bullock, a former marshal and traveling merchant who comes to the town of Deadwood to set up his hardware and mercantile company. Walter Hill will direct the pilot, which is scheduled to begin production next month in Los Angeles. Olyphant's credits include the features "The Safety of Objects," "Go" and "Gone in Sixty Seconds." He will next be seen in "Dreamcatcher," opposite Morgan Freeman, and in "Diablo," opposite Vin Diesel. He is repped by WMA and managed by Original's Colton Gramm. »

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Jackson Blasts Rapping Actors

23 July 2002 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

There's no place for P. Diddy and Ice Cube in Hollywood, according to movie star Samuel L. Jackson. The Pulp Fiction actor has blasted movie studio chiefs who give rappers leading film roles, insisting he refuses to even look at scripts for films that feature hip-hop stars. An angry Jackson says, "To take people from the music world and give them the same kind of credibility and weight that you give me, Morgan Freeman, Laurence Fishburne, Forest Whitaker - that's an aberration to me. It's not my job to lend credibility to so-and-so rapper who's just coming into the business. I know there's some young actor sitting in New York or LA who has spent half of his life learning how to act and sacrificing to learn his craft, but isn't going to get his opportunity because of some actor who's been created." Jackson singles out Will Smith as the only rapper he credits as an actor. »

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Affleck And Freeman Support Terrorist Attack Movie

24 May 2002 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Ben Affleck and Morgan Freeman are urging Americans to watch their gripping new spy thriller The Sum Of All Fears - because it's a public service movie. Critics claim the flick - about a nuclear terrorist attack on the east coast of America - is being released too close to the atrocities of September 11th, and America's censors have demanded the film comes with a warning that it features "disaster images". But the stars of the film insist the movie is valid - and helpful. Freeman says, "If we felt that it was too close to 9/11 we wouldn't release it at all." And Affleck adds, "Are we safe at sporting events and concerts? I think the movie raises a real question that will resonate in people's minds. It certainly resonates in mine." »

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8 items from 2002


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