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1-20 of 32 items from 2007   « Prev | Next »


'Sweet Home' script suit dismissed

19 December 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

A federal court judge has dismissed a copyright infringement lawsuit against The Walt Disney Co. filed by Oscar-nominated producer Stuart Benjamin and three others, finding the movie Sweet Home Alabama was not based on their screenplay, Rescue Me.

In his 22-page decision issued Dec. 12, U.S. District Court Judge George Schiavelli ruled that while there may have been some limited access to the Rescue Me screenplay by Disney executives, no "substantial similarities" between the two scripts exist.

"The general stories of 'Rescue Me' and 'Sweet Home Alabama' are similar only at the most abstract level," Schiavelli wrote. "Abstract story ideas, such as those here, are not copyrightable."

Benjamin, a producer on the Oscar-winning film Ray, along with Alise Benjamin, John Schalter and Sheldon Cohn sued Disney in 2005, claiming that the 2002 movie starring Reese Witherspoon was an unauthorized adaptation of their screenplay.

The lawsuit alleged that the film's producer Stokley Chaffin and writer C. Jay Cox had access to the script via a tracking system in place at Chaffin's production company. »

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Holiday tale: Two singers, one swinger

17 December 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Jon Favreau and country music stars Tim McGraw and Dwight Yoakam are hoppin' in the saddle with Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn for New Line Cinema's romantic comedy Four Christmases.

Favreau and McGraw will play Dallas and Denver, respectively, two bullying siblings who delight in tormenting their brother, Brad Vaughn), during the holidays.

Yoakam will play Pastor Phil, the overly zealous partner of Brad's new wife Kate's (Witherspoon) mother (Mary Steenburgen). He persuades the young couple to act in his church's nativity play, one of many chaotic events during their visits to different sets of parents.

Sissy Spacek, Kristin Chenoweth and Robert Duvall also star in the Spyglass Entertainment production for director Seth Gordon.

Matt Allen and Caleb Wilson wrote the original screenplay, with revisions by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore. Jonathan Glickman, Roger Birnbaum and Gary Barber are producing the film with Witherspoon and Vaughn.

Christmases is set for release during next year's holiday season. Michael Disco and Mark Kaufman are overseeing production for New Line. »

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Witherspoon & Vaughn Clash On Set

14 December 2007 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Fighting between Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn is reportedly threatening to disrupt filming on their new movie Four Christmases. The actors co-star in the romantic comedy, but according to reports the shoot is being hampered by the pair's arguments over Vaughn's laid-back attitude to work. Witherspoon is allegedly furious the Wedding Crashers star refuses to adhere to her super-efficient acting methods. A source tells the New York Daily News, "Vince rolls onto set in the morning looking like he just came in from a night out, while Reese will arrive early looking camera-ready. Then Reese tries to force Vince into blocking out each scene and running through their lines as Vince tries to convince her that he's an ad-libber and wants to play around and see where the scene goes. She's a one-take perfectionist and Vince likes to try it a few different ways. Sometimes Vince will be standing behind her and he has this look on his face that he just wants to kill her!" »

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Phillippe and Cornish Dating?

7 December 2007 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Actor Ryan Phillippe has sparked reports of a romance with Australian star Abbie Cornish, after they were spotted out and about in Los Angeles recently. The couple was alleged to have had a brief fling while co-starring in the forthcoming Stop Loss while Phillippe was still married to Legally Blonde beauty Reese Witherspoon - a claim both parties have denied. But according to the New York Daily News, the pair have now become more than just friends. A close pal says, "They are a real couple. (The relationship) has really grown. She's spending time with his kids (Ava, eight, and Deacon, four) - it's not like she's on the side. She's part of the family." And Phillippe's children appear to have warmed to Cornish, after they were snapped Christmas shopping together last weekend. A witness tells Us Weekly magazine, "Ava seemed very comfortable with Abbie. Ava picked a wreath, and Abbie put it around her head as a joke. They both were laughing." Another source adds, "Going out together and leaking a few photos is their discreet way of letting the public know it's official. It's not like you can send out a press release about these things." »

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Witherspoon Tops Highest-Paid List

3 December 2007 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Walk The Line star Reese Witherspoon is officially the highest-paid actress in Hollywood. The 31-year-old Oscar winner has beaten the likes of Angelina Jolie, Cameron Diaz and Nicole Kidman to claim the number one spot in the Hollywood Reporter's annual female rich list - receiving a staggering $15-$20 million paycheck per picture. Tomb Raider star Jolie, 32, comes in second, though her salary for the current Beowulf picture was said to be a "mere" $8 million. Diaz, 35, is placed third, with a $15 million-per-movie salary demand, though her take-home earnings from the recent Shrek The Third are pegged at a very healthy $30 million. Last year's number two, Nicole Kidman, 40, fell to fourth place, with an asking price of $10 million to $15 million a film. Also in the $10 million to $15 million club are Renee Zellweger, Sandra Bullock and Julia Roberts, despite an absence from the screen since 2004. The full list is: 1. Reese Witherspoon - $15 million-$20 million; 2. Angelina Jolie - $15 million-$20 million; 3. Cameron Diaz - $15+ million; 4. Nicole Kidman - $10 million-$15 million; 5. Renee Zellweger - $10 million-$15 million; 6. Sandra Bullock - $10 million-$15 million; 7. Julia Roberts - $10 million-$15 million; 8. Drew Barrymore - $10 million-$12 million; 9. Jodie Foster - $10 million-$12 million; 10. Halle Berry - $10 million. »

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Berry is top 'Choice' for awards noms

9 November 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Halle Berry tops of the list of nominees for the 34th annual People's Choice Awards which were announced Thursday.

The Favorite Female Movie Star nominee will go head to head with fellow nominees Sandra Bullock and Reese Witherspoon during a live CBS broadcast at the Shrine Auditorium on Tuesday, Jan. 8.

Other nominees include Johnny Depp, Denzel Washington and Bruce Willis for Favorite Male Movie Star and Favorite Movie contenders, The Bourne Ultimatum, Pirates of the Caribbean: At Word's End, and Transformers.

Nominees in 38 categories across television, film and music platforms were selected by a sampling of men and women, ages 18-49 from a list compiled by Knowlege Networks, a market research company, and members of the People's Choice Community. Fans can vote for their favorites at PCAvote.com. »

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Cold reception at boxoffice for most openers

23 October 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

30 Days of Night, the Josh Hartnett starrer adapted from the graphic novel about Alaskan vampires, bled $16 million to open atop the domestic rankings, but there were few signs of life elsewhere during the weekend at the boxoffice.

Fox Atomic's sports spoof The Comebacks rung up $5.6 million to debut in fifth place, while Miramax's Gone Baby Gone, a thriller written and directed by Ben Affleck, bowed in sixth with $5.5 million.

Disney opened a 3-D version of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas in 534 theaters to gross $5.3 million in eighth. New Line's Rendition, a CIA thriller starring Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal, grossed just $4.1 million in a ninth-place debut.

Three films opened outside the top 10: DreamWorks/Paramount's Things We Lost in the Fire, with Benicio Del Toro and Halle Berry, took in $1.6 million; Freestyle's supernatural yarn "Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour" unspooled with just $586,283 from 1,121 playdates; and Rocky Mountain's animated The Ten Commandments opened with $478,910 from 830 engagements.

Industrywide grosses totaled $97 million, or 8% less than during the same weekend last year. »

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Star wattage waning at Rome fest

23 October 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

ROME -- Last-minute cancellations left the European premiere of Sidney Lumet's Before the Devil Knows You're Dead minus most of its star power Monday, even as the festival geared up for the arrival of Robert Redford and Tom Cruise.

The festival had previously announced the participation of Lumet but on Monday said he would be unable to attend because of illness. None of the film's stars -- Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke and Marisa Tomei -- made the trip, leaving producer Brian Linse to represent the film alone.

There has been a smattering of other no-shows over the festival's first days: Art house star Daniel Auteuil left the job of promoting Le Deuxieme Souffle (The Second Wind) to Monica Bellucci on the festival's opening night, and Meryl Streep stayed home, leaving Jake Gyllenhaal and Reese Witherspoon to walk down the red carpet ahead of the Sunday premiere of Rendition.

But there have been plenty of big names over the festival's first four days -- Sophia Loren, Francis Ford Coppola and Cate Blanchett attracted plenty of attention -- and the festival's star power should return to its normal wattage Tuesday, with the arrival of Redford and Cruise for the highly anticipated world premiere of Lions for Lambs.

The Redford-helmed film, which features Cruise as a power-hungry senator, will be the most visible feature Tuesday, though it was already creating a buzz Monday before the limited press screening that took place late in the evening. »

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Vampires' kiss: $16 mil for '30 Days of Night'

22 October 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Sony's vampire film 30 Days of Night sunk its teeth into moviegoers during the weekend, with the R-rated comic book adaptation grossing an estimated $16 million to open atop the domestic heap.

But the busy frame's other wide openers fell like so many autumn leaves as the seasonal boxoffice continued to wilt. Collectively, industry grosses notched a fifth consecutive downtick compared with year-earlier weekends.

Gone Baby Gone, Ben Affleck's directing-and-writing project from Miramax, bowed with $6 million in fifth place, while Fox Atomic's The Comebacks, a PG-13 pigskin comedy, grossed $5.9 million to finish sixth overall.

New Line's CIA-themed Rendition, starring Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal, rung up just $4.2 million in ninth place. And DreamWorks/Paramount's Things We Lost in the Fire, with Benicio Del Toro and Halle Berry, scratched out $1.6 million in bowing outside the weekend top 10. Finding even less boxoffice spark were Freestyle's Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour, barely registering with $560,000 from 1,121 playdates, and Rocky Mountain's The Ten Commandments, with $474,760 from 830 engagements.

Also debuting in 564 theaters was Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas 3D, Disney's 3-D version of the 1993 animated feature, which grossed $5.1 million in eighth place.

Industrywide grosses totaled an estimated $98 million, 7% less than during the same weekend last year, according to data tracker Nielsen EDI. Yet there was some good news for a couple of holdovers in the frame.

Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married? from Lionsgate finished No. 2 in its second session, grossing $12.1 million, good for a $38.9 million cume. And Disney's family comedy The Game Plan, starring Dwayne The Rock Johnson, grossed $8.1 million to finish third and move its four-week cume to $69.2 million.

In another positive development, Warner Bros.' George Clooney starrer Michael Clayton dropped just 32% from its first frame in wide release to finish with $7.1 million in fourth place with a $22 million cume. Despite the soft launch for the well-reviewed legal drama, execs remain hopeful that the slow starter will build toward an awards-season peak. »

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Witherspoon Denies Romance with Gyllenhaal

22 October 2007 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Reese Witherspoon has hit out at rumors she has been romancing Rendition co-star Jake Gyllenhaal. The pair have been photographed enjoying each other's company on numerous occasions, but Witherspoon - newly divorced from Ryan Phillippe - insists their relationship is purely platonic. Walk the Line Oscar winner Witherspoon says, "I have known Jake for years through different friends and he is just wonderful. He's very kind, generous and funny. It's been nice these past days to laugh a little bit. Yeah, he's great and I look forward to maybe making another film with him."

»

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Phillippe & Witherspoon Marriage Officially Over

11 October 2007 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Actors Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon are officially single - their marriage was declared legally over on October 5. The Legally Blonde star, 31, filed for divorce from the 33-year-old Crash star in November 2006, citing irreconcilable differences. But the couple, who appeared onscreen together in Cruel Intentions, will need to reach an agreement over their finances and custody of their two children, eight-year-old daughter Ava and three-year-old Deacon, before the divorce can be finalized, according to Tmz.com. Phillippe and Witherspoon, who were married for seven years, are both seeking shared custody. »

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Diaz, Beyonce, Holmes & Cruz Top Best Dressed List

13 September 2007 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Cameron Diaz, Beyonce Knowles, Katie Holmes and Penelope Cruz have all landed on People magazine's coveted Best Dressed List, while Bond girl Eva Green earns her the publication's Worst Dressed dishonor. Jessica Biel, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Lopez, Reese Witherspoon, Gwen Stefani and Ali Larter complete the Best Dressed top 10, while David Beckham, Johnny Depp, Terrence Howard, Brad Pitt and George Clooney set the male style standard. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale and parents-to-be Halle Berry and Gabriel Aubry top the magazine's Best Dressed Couples list. »

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Witherspoon's Water Nightmares

12 September 2007 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon has recurring nightmares about drowning after watching her mother rescue kids from watery graves. The Rendition actress, who admits she has a fear of water, often wakes up in a panic after dreaming she is drowning. She tells Elle magazine, "(I have) those dreams where you're drowning and nobody's helping you and people are just standing on the bank watching you drown? (It's) not really funny. I remember three occasions where my mother dove into a pool to save a child that was drowning. Watching children by the pool, I have nightmares." »

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Rendition

7 September 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

This review was written for the festival screening of "Rendition".Toronto International Film Festival

TORONTO -- In "Rendition", a major moral and political issue confronting the American public runs up against the filmmakers' commercial agenda. There is a crying need to publicly explore the U.S. government's policy of "extraordinary renditions," the abduction of foreign nationals deemed security threats and their transportation to overseas prisons for brutal interrogations. But "Rendition" tackles the concern in a heavy-handed thriller with simplistic characters and manipulative story lines.

The film, directed by Gavin Hood in his first outing following the Oscar-winning "Tsotsi", aims for none of the moral ambiguity of Steven Spielberg's examination of Israeli anti-terrorism in "Munich". Rather he settles for a contrived melodrama, emotionally jerry-rigged to ensure audiences arrive at the proper conclusion.

The well-produced film, due for release October 19 by New Line, will attract considerable attention and commentary from non-entertainment media, so along with a solid cast of bankable young actors such as Jake Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard and Reese Witherspoon the film should enjoy good boxoffice numbers opening week. Disappointed word-of-mouth, though, may prevent much carry over into the following weeks.

"Rendition" does little to resolve and even shed light on a program most Americans find morally repugnant but are divided on when it comes to its potential for preventing terrorist attacks. In the fictional case in question, the CIA clearly has the wrong guy from the get-go but, ratcheting up the emotional manipulation even more, the guy is an American green card holder who lives in Chicago with an American wife and child -- make that a pregnant wife -- whose only crime apparently is his Egyptian birth.

Meanwhile, the CIA head of anti-terrorism, played by Meryl Streep at her devilish worst, and the North African torturer (Igal Naor) are cartoon villains with just enough personality quirks to make them seem almost human. A thriller may have been the wrong way to go here because screenwriter Kelley Sane feels the need to up the tension and emotional ante further by playing a trick on the audience with the story's structure and sequence of events.

A suicide bomb goes off in an unnamed North African city square, claiming as one of its victims a CIA case officer. The bewildered CIA has no real leads but nevertheless snatches a U.S. resident, Egyptian-born chemical engineer Anwar El-Ibrahimi (Omar Metwally), from the Washington, D.C. airport moments after he arrives on a flight from Cape Town, South Africa. Their only evidence is a possibly coincidental use of cell phone number.

When the CIA understandably gets no information from him at the airport, he is hooded and dragged aboard a secret flight to the very country where the bomb went off for an appointment with a talented torturer.

This is where the movie ensnares itself in a particular sticky set of connections and circumstances of scant credibility. Anwar's distraught wife (Witherspoon) just happens to have an old college friend -- more than a friend, the movie implies -- in Alan Smith (Sarsgaard), who is top deputy to her Illinois Senator (Alan Arkin), who just happens to be on a committee briefed weekly by the CIA anti-terrorist head (Streep) who ordered the rendition. So he is in prime position to learn all sorts of dirty state secrets for the wife.

Anwar's torturer (Naor) just happens to have a rebellious daughter (Zineb Oukach) who is romantically involved with an Islamic militant (Moa Khouas) who is connected to the attack. It gets better. The dead CIA case officer is temporarily replaced by an analyst, Douglas Freeman (Gyllenhaal), who is so new to this game he still has a conscience and becomes sickened over the water-boarding and electric shocks delivered to a man who has no information to surrender.

Characters make political statements and stake out fierce positions that are meant to ponder the issue of torture in the name of anti-terrorism. Yet these arguments are mostly loaded by clearly appalled, liberal-minded filmmakers.

The reality of these situations is much messier. Victims seldom if ever have friends in high places. They are not U.S. residents, nor are they always guilt free. The real questions, touched upon ever so lightly here, concern the value of any information so derived, the violation of constitutional law by outsourcing dirty work and the potential for radicalizing moderate Islamic elements through these tactics.

The film also contains an unappetizing whiff of anti-Arab sentiment. The good Arab, the film's victim, is thoroughly Westernized. But the old country Arabs are either American lackeys and therefore backward and sadistic or terrorists and therefore brainwashed fundamentalists and bigots.

The film benefits from good location work in Marrakech, Morocco, along with D.C. and Cape Town, a slick (perhaps too slick) production and a score infused with North African musical themes.

RENDITION

New Line Cinema

New Line Cinema presents in association with Level 1 Entertainment an Anonymous Content Production

Director: Gavin Hood

Writer: Kelley Sane

Producers: Steve Golin, Marcus Viscidi

Executive producers: Toby Emmerich, Keith Goldberg, David Kanter, Keith Redman, Michael Sugar, Edward Milstein, Bill Todman Jr., Paul Schwake

Director of photography: Dion Beebe

Production designer: Barry Robison

Costume designer: Michael Wilkinson

Music: Paul Hepker, Mark Kilian

Editor: Megan Gill

Cast:

Douglas Freeman: Jake Gyllenhaal

Isabella El-Ibrahimi: Reese Witherspoon

Sen. Hawkins: Alan Arkin

Alan Smith: Peter Sarsgaard

Anwar El-Ibrahimi: Omar Metwally

Abasi Falwal: Igal Naor

Corrinne Whitman: Meryl Streep

No MPAA rating, running time 121 minutes

»

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Rendition

7 September 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Toronto International Film Festival

TORONTO -- In "Rendition", a major moral and political issue confronting the American public runs up against the filmmakers' commercial agenda. There is a crying need to publicly explore the U.S. government's policy of "extraordinary renditions," the abduction of foreign nationals deemed security threats and their transportation to overseas prisons for brutal interrogations. But "Rendition" tackles the concern in a heavy-handed thriller with simplistic characters and manipulative story lines.

The film, directed by Gavin Hood in his first outing following the Oscar-winning "Tsotsi", aims for none of the moral ambiguity of Steven Spielberg's examination of Israeli anti-terrorism in "Munich". Rather he settles for a contrived melodrama, emotionally jerry-rigged to ensure audiences arrive at the proper conclusion.

The well-produced film, due for release October 19 by New Line, will attract considerable attention and commentary from non-entertainment media, so along with a solid cast of bankable young actors such as Jake Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard and Reese Witherspoon the film should enjoy good boxoffice numbers opening week. Disappointed word-of-mouth, though, may prevent much carry over into the following weeks.

"Rendition" does little to resolve and even shed light on a program most Americans find morally repugnant but are divided on when it comes to its potential for preventing terrorist attacks. In the fictional case in question, the CIA clearly has the wrong guy from the get-go but, ratcheting up the emotional manipulation even more, the guy is an American green card holder who lives in Chicago with an American wife and child -- make that a pregnant wife -- whose only crime apparently is his Egyptian birth.

Meanwhile, the CIA head of anti-terrorism, played by Meryl Streep at her devilish worst, and the North African torturer (Igal Naor) are cartoon villains with just enough personality quirks to make them seem almost human. A thriller may have been the wrong way to go here because screenwriter Kelley Sane feels the need to up the tension and emotional ante further by playing a trick on the audience with the story's structure and sequence of events.

A suicide bomb goes off in an unnamed North African city square, claiming as one of its victims a CIA case officer. The bewildered CIA has no real leads but nevertheless snatches a U.S. resident, Egyptian-born chemical engineer Anwar El-Ibrahimi (Omar Metwally), from the Washington, D.C. airport moments after he arrives on a flight from Cape Town, South Africa. Their only evidence is a possibly coincidental use of cell phone number.

When the CIA understandably gets no information from him at the airport, he is hooded and dragged aboard a secret flight to the very country where the bomb went off for an appointment with a talented torturer.

This is where the movie ensnares itself in a particular sticky set of connections and circumstances of scant credibility. Anwar's distraught wife (Witherspoon) just happens to have an old college friend -- more than a friend, the movie implies -- in Alan Smith (Sarsgaard), who is top deputy to her Illinois Senator (Alan Arkin), who just happens to be on a committee briefed weekly by the CIA anti-terrorist head (Streep) who ordered the rendition. So he is in prime position to learn all sorts of dirty state secrets for the wife.

Anwar's torturer (Naor) just happens to have a rebellious daughter (Zineb Oukach) who is romantically involved with an Islamic militant (Moa Khouas) who is connected to the attack. It gets better. The dead CIA case officer is temporarily replaced by an analyst, Douglas Freeman (Gyllenhaal), who is so new to this game he still has a conscience and becomes sickened over the water-boarding and electric shocks delivered to a man who has no information to surrender.

Characters make political statements and stake out fierce positions that are meant to ponder the issue of torture in the name of anti-terrorism. Yet these arguments are mostly loaded by clearly appalled, liberal-minded filmmakers.

The reality of these situations is much messier. Victims seldom if ever have friends in high places. They are not U.S. residents, nor are they always guilt free. The real questions, touched upon ever so lightly here, concern the value of any information so derived, the violation of constitutional law by outsourcing dirty work and the potential for radicalizing moderate Islamic elements through these tactics.

The film also contains an unappetizing whiff of anti-Arab sentiment. The good Arab, the film's victim, is thoroughly Westernized. But the old country Arabs are either American lackeys and therefore backward and sadistic or terrorists and therefore brainwashed fundamentalists and bigots.

The film benefits from good location work in Marrakech, Morocco, along with D.C. and Cape Town, a slick (perhaps too slick) production and a score infused with North African musical themes.

RENDITION

New Line Cinema

New Line Cinema presents in association with Level 1 Entertainment an Anonymous Content Production

Director: Gavin Hood

Writer: Kelley Sane

Producers: Steve Golin, Marcus Viscidi

Executive producers: Toby Emmerich, Keith Goldberg, David Kanter, Keith Redman, Michael Sugar, Edward Milstein, Bill Todman Jr., Paul Schwake

Director of photography: Dion Beebe

Production designer: Barry Robison

Costume designer: Michael Wilkinson

Music: Paul Hepker, Mark Kilian

Editor: Megan Gill

Cast:

Douglas Freeman: Jake Gyllenhaal

Isabella El-Ibrahimi: Reese Witherspoon

Sen. Hawkins: Alan Arkin

Alan Smith: Peter Sarsgaard

Anwar El-Ibrahimi: Omar Metwally

Abasi Falwal: Igal Naor

Corrinne Whitman: Meryl Streep

No MPAA rating, running time 121 minutes

»

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'Penelope' slides to Summit

6 September 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

More Toronto fest news

TORONTO -- In a journey as bizarre as the one taken by its heroine, producer Reese Witherspoon's fable "Penelope" has landed at Summit Entertainment.

Summit has picked up North American rights to Mark Palansky's $15 million feature debut. Christina Ricci stars as a pig-snouted girl looking for love, with a cast that includes James McAvoy, Catherine O'Hara, Richard E. Grant, Peter Dinklage and Witherspoon. Summit plans a Feb. 1 release.

"Penelope" was the belle of the ball at last year's Toronto International Film Festival, where it had a world premiere at one of the fest's Gala screenings. It was a centerpiece of ICM's burgeoning indie division, produced by Stone Village Pictures' Scott Steindorff with Type A Films' Jennifer Simpson and Witherspoon. "Penelope" seemed to have a happy ending in October, when it was picked up for theatrical release by IFC Films and home video and TV distribution by the Weinstein Co. in North America. »

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Damon Is Hollywood's "Best Value"

8 August 2007 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Matt Damon has been named Hollywood's best investment, giving the best box office returns for his salary. Damon, who plays a former CIA hitman in The Bourne Identity franchise, offers twice the value of Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks, making $29 for each dollar he is paid, according to Forbes magazine. Damon's role in the first two Bourne films have made $850 million, with the third now top of the US box office. Brad Pitt came second on the list, making $24 for each dollar of his salary, while Vince Vaughn was third, tying with Pirates Of The Caribbean star Johnny Depp. Rumor Has It star Jennifer Aniston was the highest-ranked actress on the list at number five. The top ten is as follows: 1. Matt Damon; 2. Brad Pitt; 3. Vince Vaughn & Johnny Depp; 5. Jennifer Aniston; 6. Angelina Jolie; 7. Renee Zellweger; 8. Reese Witherspoon; 9. Ben Stiller; 10. Sandra Bullock. »

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Gyllenhaal & Witherspoon Back Together Again?

2 August 2007 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Reese Witherspoon have reportedly rekindled their romance following a series of top secret dates. The couple, who met on the set of upcoming movie Rendition, never confirmed a relationship and went their separate ways in June, but have now got back together again. In the last few days Gyllenhaal and Witherspoon have been photographed enjoying each other's company on numerous occasions. Their brief separation reportedly came about when Witherspoon, who separated from husband Ryan Phillippe last year, wanted to spend more time with her two children. But a source tells American magazine Us Weekly, "Reese came to terms with the fact that she can have a relationship and spend time with her kids." »

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Vaughn, Witherspoon in holiday spirit

27 July 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon are in final negotiations to star in New Line Cinema's comedy Four Christmases.

In the film, Vaughn and Witherspoon will play a couple who struggle to visit all four of their divorced parents' homes during the Christmas holidays.

The project is based on a screenplay by Matt Allen and Caleb Wilson. Producing are Spyglass Entertainment's Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum and Jon Glickman. Vaughn and Witherspoon also will produce.

A director is not yet attached to the project, which is expected to be produced for release during fourth-quarter 2008.

New Line production president Toby Emmerich and production executives Mark Kaufman and Michael Disco will oversee the project for the company.

Christmases originally was picked up as a spec and set up at Sony Pictures, which eyed it for holiday release in 2004, but the project was put into turnaround when it conflicted with another holiday comedy, Revolution's Christmas With the Kranks. New Line picked it up in the fall with Adam Shankman attached to direct. »

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Hood takes on Fox 'Wolverine'

20 July 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Gavin Hood is suiting up to direct Wolverine, 20th Century Fox's X-Men spinoff that will star Hugh Jackman.

David Benioff wrote the screenplay, which will explore the origins of the lone-wolf superhero, one of the most popular characters in comics. Wolverine has a mutant healing power that allows him to recover from any wound, which led him to survive an experiment in which his skeleton was bonded with an unbreakable metal. The process also installed retractable metal claws.

Lauren Shuler Donner, Jackman and John Palermo are producing the movie, which is eyeing a fall start date.

Marvel Studios is executive producing.

Hood, who won a foreign-language Oscar in 2005 for directing Tsotsi, recently wrapped Rendition, New Line Cinema's political thriller starring Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Hood is repped by WMA and Anonymous Content. »

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