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I had no idea James Earl Jones’ salary for providing the voice of Darth Vader in George Lucas’s original film (Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope) was a measly $7,000. But that’s what he revealed last night while on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to promote Broadway’s Driving Miss Daisy, which he stars in.
Jones did say during the interview that his Star Wars salary “was big money for me in those days; I was broke.”
When host Fallon then asked if he had any idea at the time that the movie was going to be the mega success it became, Jones replied, “No. Had I had an idea, I would’ve gotten a better contract.”
Indeed, indeed! Adjusted for inflation, $7,000 in 1977 would be about $25,000 today. A decent sum of cash, but, damn, no residuals? Did George Lucas hook him up later? We’re talking about »
8:00 How the Grinch Stole Christmas 8:30 Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas 12:05 Jimmy Kimmel Live (repeat, with guests James Franco and Darius Rucker) 8:00 The Big Bang Theory (repeat) 8:30 $#*! My Dad Says (repeat) 9:00 CSI (repeat) 10:00 The Mentalist (repeat) 11:35 The Late Show With David Letterman (new, with guest Amanda Peet) 12:37 The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson (new, with guest Kathy Griffin) 8:00 Million Dollar Money Drop (new) 8:00 Community (repeat) 8:30 30 Rock (repeat) 9:00 The Office (repeat) 9:30 Outsourced (repeat) 10:00 The Office (repeat) 11:35 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (new, with guest Zachary Levi) 12:35 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (new, with guests James Earl Jones, Dave Attell, and Aaron Neville) 8:00 The Vampire Diaries (repeat) 9:00 Nikita (repeat) More shows to watch when you read more. 10:00 The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (new) 11:00 Shep & Tiffany Watch TV: »
While all the focus today is on the woes of the mega-budget Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark, here's a little positive stage news: the Broadway production of Alfred Uhry's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Driving Miss Daisy has recouped its $2.6 million investment in less than three months. It is the first play of the 2010-2011 Broadway season to make back its money. The David Esbjornson-directed play, which stars James Earl Jones, Vanessa Redgrave and Boyd Gaines, opened October 25 at the Golden Theatre, and the run has been extended through April 9 with the original cast. The play first opened Off-Broadway in 1987. »
- MIKE FLEMING
The Tony Award-winners were due to bow out of the roles played on the big screen by Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman in the Alfred Uhry play in January, but they've both agreed to stay on until 9 April.
The show has garnered big box office bucks since opening at the Golden Theater in October, drawing in between $600,000 and $700,000 (£400,000 and £466,700) every week, reports trade paper Daily Variety.
Driving Miss Daisy originally opened Off-Broadway in 1987 and became a four-time Academy Award-winning film two years later. »
#Gift It seems almost pointless reviewing Disney's classic reissues on Blu-ray because the films themselves are familiar and the Hi-Def restoration work is guaranteed to impress. The personnel behind the HD remastering of releases of classic animated films from the Disney vault have established a standard of excellence that they are sure to meet with every new release. It is intriguing to think that movies such as Fantasia and the previously released Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs probably look better now than they ever have before. Today's audiences have the privilege of seeing them looking more pristine and sounding clearer than audiences contemporary with their original release could have imagined possible.
Given the superlatives above, it goes without saying that both Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 look fabulous. This can be expected from the latter because it was made relatively recently. The restoration work on Fantasia is all the more »
'I tried not to think of James Earl Jones!' he laughs to MTV News about 'Voyage of the Dawn Treader' preparation.
By Eric Ditzian
Photo: 20th Century Fox
Liam Neeson deserves our respect. The guy is committed. When tasked with portraying a talking lion in the "Chronicles of Narnia" series, he packed up his bags, gathered up his family and headed off to Kenya for some on-the-ground research.
"We got to see them killing, eating, mating, sleeping, roaring. I can see why these creatures are kings of the jungle," he told MTV News. "They have this wonderful majesty and element of danger, this mysterious look in their eye that seems to be a thousand years old."
Yes, the Oscar nominee braved an African safari all so the voice of his CGI lion would have an air of authenticity. Hey, makes sense to us.
But as even Neeson admitted, voicing »
Driving Miss Daisy: Jessica Tandy, Morgan Freeman (top); Freeman, Dan Aykroyd (bottom) Driving Miss Daisy, Bruce Beresford's 1989 Best Picture Oscar winner, will be the final 2010 presentation in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' "Monday Nights with Oscar" film series. Driving Miss Daisy, which stars Oscar winner Jessica Tandy, and Oscar nominees Morgan Freeman and Dan Aykroyd, will be screened on Monday, December 13, at 7 p.m. at the Academy Theater at Lighthouse International in New York City. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Alfred Uhry, who received an Adapted Screenplay Oscar, will join Bruce Beresford in an onstage discussion about the play's journey from Off-Broadway hit to Best Picture-winning film. The current Driving Miss Daisy revival, starring Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones, marks its Broadway debut. As per the Academy's press release, Driving Miss Daisy "produced two notable bits of Oscar history": It was the first time a »
- Andre Soares
The Star Wars legend joined pal Burt Lancaster to film pilots for the show in 1969, teaching tots how to count and recite the alphabet, but he was sure the then-groundbreaking format would fail to entice young viewers to learn with Jim Henson's Muppets.
He tells the New York Post, "It was Burt Lancaster and I. He had the letters, and I had the numbers, or vice versa. I said to one of the producers, 'You know, this is not gonna work. The Muppets are just too scary for kids.'"
Sesame Street has since become the most widely-viewed children's TV show in the world and celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2009. »
Veteran actor James Earl Jones was envious of his Coming To America co-star John Amos the entire time they were on set - because he desperately wanted to play "the hamburger guy" instead of portraying an African king.
The star was cast as King Jaffe Joffer, the father of Eddie Murphy's character Akeem, in the 1988 comedy because of the authoritative tone of his booming voice.
But Jones admits he pleaded with director John Landis to swap roles with Amos, who portrayed fast food restaurateur Cleo McDowell - only to have his request snubbed.
He tells the New York Post, "I wanted John's role so bad. The director, John Landis, said, 'You've done some Shakespeare. You might be able to fool the audience better (as the king). You're not getting the hamburger guy.' God, I wanted the hamburger guy so bad." »
Hard to believe, but it’s been 70 years since Walt Disney first released his Technicolor triumph, Fantasia. Still one of his, and the studio’s, most ambitious projects, Fantasia remains a remarkable achievement of animation, sound and art. And now, for this first time on Blu-ray, this Disney classic is with us once more.
With dialogue used sparingly throughout, Fantasia is a collection of eight animated segments, all set to pieces of classical music. Conducted by Brit conductor Leopold Stokowski and performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra, each segment is introduced by composer and critic Deems Taylor, who explains the narrative, or lack thereof, the music involved, and the images we’re about to explore.
What follows in each segment is nothing short of genius on Disney’s part. Each one is a work of dedication, beauty, and what Disney himself would call ‘pure animation’. Making use of classic pieces Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, »
Trevor Hogg profiles the career of legendary filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola in the third of a five-part feature... read parts one and two.
“The success of The Godfather  went to my head like a rush of perfume. I thought I couldn’t do anything wrong,” admitted Oscar-winning director Francis Ford Coppola who decided to produce a $23 million romantic fantasy. “One from the Heart  suffered from the perception of me as some wild, egomaniac Donald Trump type of guy, and once they think about you that way, it’s just so many months before you’re brought down.” A middle class couple (Frederic Forrest and Teri Garr) split up and head off to Las Vegas where they encounter fanciful lovers. “I wanted to take a fable-like story and treat it almost the way [Walt] Disney would approach a story in his animated films,” explained the filmmaker. “If we had made the movie in Las Vegas, »
Golden Theatre, NYC
Through January 29, 2011
When a play starring Vanessa Redgrave, James Earl Jones, and Boyd Gaines somehow still manages to be boring, then it seems fairly clear that the actors are not to blame; such is case with this current revival of Driving Miss Daisy.
James Earl Jones gives a vibrant performance, portraying a man with an unflaggingly positive nature and an outward joy that masks the many less-happy conflicts that must be stirring beneath the surface.
read more »
- C. Jefferson Thom
Look at the cast of Love and Other Drugs all friendly-like with each other. They look comfortable together, don’t they? Being naked most of the time on screen has a way of lowering inhibitions so the bonding process becomes a lot quicker. On a side note: Could Jake Gyllenhaal’s eyes get any bluer? Jake G has a real buddy in his Love and Other Drugs co-star. Not Anne Hathaway, but Oliver Platt. The two watched a screening of the film this week and Platt was besides himself with praise for Jake, hugging him while saying, “It was charming, it was great, this is going to be huge for you.” And then he passed on the greatest advice any thespian could share with a fellow acteur. Because due to his immense admiration for Jake (we understand that part), he revealed, “Say it, I am an actor, I am not Justin Timberlake! »
- Ambika Muttoo
Everyone knows (even if you're not a fan) that the ending of The Empire Strike's Back, where Darth Vader reveals that he is in fact Luke Skywalker's father, was one of the biggest twists in movie history. People were just so shocked and fans were left slack-jawed in the movie theaters. Back then it was a tightly held secret and the director Irvin Kershner even went so far as to film an alternate ending, and it wasn't until James Earl Jones did the voice work, was the true ending revealed. Now it seems like all of that was for nothing as David Prowse had already spilled the beans two years previously.
It's amazing the world we live in today. With the internet, it's a simple matter of searching Google in order to find out every spoiler (hell sometimes the whole damn script) of a movie. Directors have to be very »
Sarah Bolger has been cast in the lead role for the new 3D fantasy “Starbright”. The Dublin born actress will star alongside actor James Earl Jones, who played Darth Vader in “Star Wars”. In “Starbright” the 19-year-old plays an orphan called Pamela who escapes into a fantasy world of fairy tales to hide the pain of a tough childhood. Bolger was a recipient of the best actress award at the 2010 Irish Film and Television Awards for her role as Mary Tudor in “The Tudors”. Her other acting credits include “In America” (2002) and “The Spiderwick Chronicles” (2008). She is currently filming Mary Harron's gothic film “The Moth Diaries” in Monreal. The German-us co-production is being produced by Michel Morales’ Munich-based Aviv Pictures, Us based Lucente Filmed Entertainment, and Michel Shane and Anthony Romano’s Hand Picked Films (Us). Directed by Francesco Lucente, filming is expected to begin in early 2011. »
The concluding part of our journey into the home of Star Wars...
When we spoke to Force Unleashed II art director Matt Omernick, he told us about the sense of seamless transition between the movies and games, between the original Star Wars trilogy and its high-tech modern successors. We soon discovered that this idea of cross-platform continuity is carried through to the audio effects.
Despite being surrounded by digital technology, the Star Wars sound engineers – like the Force Unleashed art team – are forever returning to the series' improvisational foundations. While Omernick, talks about researching old movie props and poring over Ralph McQuarrie's concept sketches, everyone in the audio dept idolises Ben Burtt, the sound designer who created just about every iconic Star Wars noise, from the swishing fizz of the lightsabers to R2D2's bleeps and Darth Vader's bronchial respiratory wheeze. "His concept is that you should take »
- Keith Stuart
If there’s one thing we’ve come to expect from those ubiquitous Men’s Wearhouse commercials, it’s that if we were to go in, right now, and put on a sweet 3 piece suit, frontwards or backwards, we’re going to like the way we look. They guarantee it! They being Men’s Wearhouse CEO George Zimmer, the Jewish James Earl Jones of advertising. But what you may not have known about George Zimmer, especially if you are deaf, is that he is a big proponent of California’s Proposition 19. “So what?” you’re thinking. “Who cares about some boring dumb old Proposition?” And then you’re probably grabbing your nearest lighter and smoking up, you no good pothead. Well put your bowls down for a second and keep reading. Proposition 19 is also known as the “Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010.” It’s the Proposition that, if passed, »
- Michelle Collins
I lifted the following section from an interview James Earl Jones did with The Root, posted last week Thursday (thanks Kiratiana for pointing me to it), on his role in the current Broadway incarnation of Driving Miss Daisy:
“… on why he’s not trying to deliver a message with his choice of plays: I don’t ever expect the plays I’m in to convey a message. Messages are conveyed by lectures. The play’s not a lecture. I hope it will give an experience through the characters, that the viewer will come and say, well, my grandmother was a lot like that person, so I know my grandmother better, and in a way, [that] helps me understand Miss Daisy better. I don’t know if the play will help anybody. It will give you a glimpse from another angle from another time.”
Alright, so, the part of his response »
George Lucas, 1977
The original Star Wars (let's not bother with this Episode IV: A New Hope subheading nonsense) lays its cards on the table with its opening shot: a gigantic, evil-looking spaceship chasing down a far smaller craft. Like the rest of the movie, you could watch it with the sound off and completely follow what was going on. It's the purity of the story that has made this film endure, the classic themes handed down through the ages. It may be dressed up with robots, spaceships and trash compactors, but it's the old-as-time hero journey – George Lucas has said he consciously modelled his screenplay on Joseph Campbell's study of comparative mythology The Hero With a Thousand Faces.
In the cynical 70s, the notion of making a movie that mixed Kurosawa and Flash Gordon must have sounded as ludicrous as it does today. The film industry wasn't even ready for »
- Phelim O'Neill
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment have confirmed two upcoming Blu-ray releases - The Lion King and Bambi - with new Blu-ray trailers added to their YouTube page. Click on each of these new trailers below to learn more about these Bd titles, which will be released as part of their new Diamond Collection sometime in the Spring of 2011:
The Lion King Blu-ray Trailer
Bambi Blu-ray Trailer
The Lion King was released June 15th, 1994 and stars Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones, Moira Kelly, Nathan Lane, Niketa Calame, Ernie Sabella. The film is directed by Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff.
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