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20 items from 2007


'State' subs Affleck for Norton role

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

State of Play has undergone another player substitution.

Edward Norton has dropped out of the Kevin Macdonald-directed drama, and Ben Affleck is set to step into Norton's role in the Universal/Working Title film.

The news of Norton's departure follows the high-profile exit in November of Brad Pitt, who left the production citing script concerns. That, in turn, led Universal to raise the possibility of legal action against Pitt.

Russell Crowe was quickly recruited to replace Pitt in the film written by Lions for Lambs scribe Matthew Michael Carnahan. With Crowe on board, the film's production start date was moved from November to January.

Because of the change in start date, Norton, who also is set to produce and star in the indie comedy Leaves of Grass, found himself with a schedule conflict. So he asked Universal if he could be replaced so that he could fulfill his commitment to the Tim Blake Nelson-directed Leaves.

Affleck, who like Norton is repped by Endeavor, stepped in to take over the role of an ambitious politician who finds himself engrossed in a murder conspiracy. »

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Crowe Saves 'State of Play'

5 December 2007 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Russell Crowe has been confirmed as Brad Pitt's replacement in political thriller State Of Play after Hollywood-strike related issues forced the Troy star to pull out of the project. Director Kevin MacDonald flew to Crowe's native Australia in a bid to persuade him to take the role immediately as production begins this month. Pitt, 43, was onboard the film for months, but pulled out citing concerns with the script - sparking Hollywood fears the actor may face legal action from studio bosses at Universal Pictures after walking away from a film that was stalled by a strike. A star-studded cast including Edward Norton, Dame Helen Mirren and Rachel McAdams have already signed on to the film, an adaptation of the 2003 British TV miniseries. »

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Crowe To Replace Pitt in Political Thriller?

27 November 2007 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Russell Crowe is in negotiations to replace Brad Pitt in political thriller State Of Play after Hollywood strike-related issues forced the Troy star to pull out of the project last week. According to industry reports, studio executives at Universal spent the weekend meeting with Crowe in a bid to persuade him to take over the role immediately. Pitt had been onboard the film for months after agreeing to play a journalist who uncovers a murder scandal that implicates a political heavyweight he used to work for. But the movie star felt compelled to walk away from the film when executives refused to await a resolution to the ongoing writers' strike - now in its fourth week - before commencing filming. Pitt also insisted on a script rewrite, which was refused. Trade paper Daily Variety reports Pitt may face legal action from the studio bosses after walking away from a film that was stalled by a strike. As WENN went to press, Helen Mirren and Edward Norton were still attached to supporting roles in the film, which was supposed to have started filming on November 17. »

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Pitt no longer in 'Play'

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

Brad Pitt has pulled out of Universal's political thriller State of Play because of script concerns.

The move comes after a couple of weeks of meetings between Pitt and director Kevin Macdonald in an attempt to iron out the concerns. The script cannot be worked on due to the writers strike.

Universal is on the fast track to replace the star. Sources said the studio is looking at Johnny Depp, whose own movie Shantaram just got postponed at Warner Bros., as well as Russell Crowe.

Pitt was set to star with Edward Norton, Helen Mirren, Rachel McAdams, Jason Bateman and Robin Wright Penn in the Matthew Michael Carnahan-scripted adaptation of the British miniseries. He was playing a political consultant-turned-journalist who heads a newspaper's murder investigation involving a fast-rising politician (Norton).

Sources said the studio is mulling its legal options and might sue the actor.

Universal confirmed Pitt's departure in a statement: "Brad Pitt has left the Universal Pictures production of 'State of Play.' We remain committed to this project and to the filmmakers, cast members, crew and others who are also involved in making the movie." »

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Interview: Tony Kaye

6 October 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- You wouldn’t think films such as American History X and Lake of Fire would come from a man so soft-spoken, with a slew of nervous mannerisms.  Also hard to believe, was that this was the man who eagerly fought to have his named changed to Humpty Dumpty on the American History X credits, after Ed Norton went in and re-cut the film for more screen time.Kaye self-financed this new documentary on Abortion and has been compiling footage for the past fifteen years.  A harrowing, honest look at the situation Kaye interviewed individuals from all sides of the debate including Norm Chomsky, Randall Terry, Alan Dershowitz, Norma McCorvey (aka Jane Roe) and Frances Kissling.  Most haunting is the footage of Paul Hill, a seemingly diplomatic, yet extremely vocal, pro-choice zealot who wound up being executed by the state of Florida after gunning down an abortion doctor and his assistant. »

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Mirren, McAdams & Wright Penn getting ready to 'Play'

26 September 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- Now that the men have been cast (Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Jason Bateman), Variety reports that the Universal Pictures project is now setting their casting bars high aiming to bring excellent thesps like Rachel McAdams, Helen Mirren and Robin Wright Penn on board.  Directed by Kevin Macdonald who is no stranger these days to political controversy, this is written by Matthew Carnahan, the Americanized adaptation of the acclaimed British miniseries is about two friends, one a member of Parliament and the other a journalist (Pitt). Norton will play a congressman whose speedy political rise is threatened by an investigation into the death of his mistress. Pitt plays a politico-turned-journalist whose relationship with the solon is compromised when he oversees his newspaper's investigation into the murder and develops a relationship with the pol's estranged wife.McAdams will play the youngest reporter at Washington Globe, who gets caught up in a murder conspiracy. »

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'Play' date: McAdams, Mirren, Wright Penn

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

Rachel McAdams, Helen Mirren and Robin Wright Penn are in negotiations to join Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and Jason Bateman in "State of Play", Working Title and Universal's adaptation of the BBC miniseries. Kevin Macdonald is directing.

The story follows a congressman (Norton) and his former campaign manager-turned journalist (Pitt) who find themselves on opposite sides after the politician's research assistant and mistress turns up dead.

McAdams will play the youngest reporter at Washington Globe, who gets caught up in a murder conspiracy. Mirren is the newspaper's tough editor, and Wright Penn is the congressman's ex-wife.

Matthew Michael Carnahan and Tony Gilroy worked on the script.

Working Title's Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan are producing along with Andrew Hauptman. Paul Abbott is exec producing.

McAdams is shooting "The Time Traveler's Wife" for New Line, in which she stars opposite Eric Bana. She recently wrapped Neil Burger's "The Return" opposite Tim Robbins and Michael Pena. She is repped by UTA, Magnolia Entertainment and attorney Howard Fishman. »

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'Fight Club' Duo Reunite

13 September 2007 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Edward Norton is reuniting with his Fight Club co-star Brad Pitt in new movie State Of Play. The pair starred in the violent 1999 drama - and will share the screen again in the American film adaptation of the BBC miniseries, reports Moviehole.net. Norton will play a U.S. congressman facing an investigation over the death of his mistress - while Pitt plays the journalist who follows the case. »

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Marvel's dark anti-hero to return to the silver screen

4 August 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- The Punisher, aka Frank Castle, has been my favorite comic book character since childhood, so naturally I was excited this week when news broke of a third silver screen adaptation of Marvel Comic’s vigilante anti-hero. It does strike me as odd though, practically remaking a film only 3 years after the last adaptation. Even odder? They are doing the same thing with another Marvel hero, The Hulk, to be played in human form by Ed Norton. It worked well for Batman, whose film franchise was in death throes before Christopher Nolan started afresh with Batman Begins. For those of you unfamiliar with the origins of The Punisher: he was a Vietnam vet whose wife and children were gunned down in the crossfire of a mob hit in Central Park. When the police and courts failed to bring the killers to justice, Frank Castle tracked down the killers and exacted his own brutal revenge, »

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Universal's 'Incredible Hulk' bulking up with Nelson

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

Tim Blake Nelson has joined the cast of Marvel Studios' "The Incredible Hulk".

The movie, which Louis Leterrier is directing, sees Bruce Banner/Hulk on the run, trying to avoid capture long enough to cure the condition that turns him into a monster.

Nelson will play a scientist named Samuel Sterns. In Hulk lore, Sterns, aka "The Leader", is one of the Hulk's major antagonists, a menial worker in a chemical research plant who is bombarded with gamma radiation. He emerges from his accident not only green-skinned but also superintelligent, with an oversized brain.

Nelson joins a strong comic book movie cast that includes two-time Oscar nominee Edward Norton (Banner), Liv Tyler (Betty Ross), Tim Roth (villain Emil Blonsky/the Abomination) and William Hurt (General Ross, Betty's father).

Zak Penn wrote the latest big-screen adventure of the green goliath, which Universal Pictures is distributing domestically June 13, 2008.

The film is being produced by Avi Arad, Gale Anne Hurd and Kevin Feige, while Jim Van Wyck, David Maisel, Ari Arad and Stan Lee executive produce. »

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20 Century claws onto hot director for 'Wolverine'

20 July 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- Despite the Academy being smitten by it, I thought that Tsotsi (best foreign film of 06’) was a badly packaged, button-pushing, and a less impressive knock-off of the stunningly more powerful City of God. I’ll be a better judge of Oscar-winning director Gavin Hood’s talent once I get to see his upcoming thriller Rendition. New Line Cinema releases the film in October with a red carpet splash at the Toronto Film Festival - apparently it was one of the better scripts floating around before New Line got involved. Variety reports that Hood’s success streak has continued - some folks got to see his latest film a bit earlier, and 20th Century Fox have set the director has the helmer for the “part 4” of the X-Men franchise.  Hood has two items working for him that might make this a comic-book movie worth seeing. One, Wolverine easily wins the »

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Hurt hurtling to 'Hulk' cast

13 June 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

William Hurt has joined the all-star cast of Marvel Studios' The Incredible Hulk.

The movie, which Louis Leterrier is directing, sees Bruce Banner/Hulk on the run, trying to avoid capture long enough to cure the condition that turns him into a monster. Hurt will play Gen. Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross, the man who has dedicated his life to capturing the Hulk -- and who also is the father of Banner's love interest, Betty Ross.

Hulk is shaping up to having one of the stronger comic book movie casts in quite a while as Hurt joins two-time Oscar nominee Edward Norton, who is playing Banner, Liv Tyler as Betty and Tim Roth as villain Emil Blonsky/the Abomination.

Zak Penn wrote the latest big-screen adventure of the green goliath, which Universal Pictures is distributing.

The film is being produced by Avi Arad, Gale Anne Hurd and Kevin Feige, while Jim Van Wyck, David Maisel, Ari Arad and Stan Lee executive produce. »

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Bana Praises Norton Casting in New Hulk Film

22 May 2007 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Actor Eric Bana has praised movie bosses for replacing him with Edward Norton in upcoming sequel The Incredible Hulk. Bana, who played Bruce Banner in filmmaker Ang Lee's original 2003 movie Hulk, is pleased he wasn't offered the role as he may not have subsequently landed critically acclaimed parts in movies such as Munich. He tells Australia's Herald Sun newspaper, "If it came up in the right amount of time I might have (done it) but, you know, in an ideal world it has not been a bad thing for me. I think it's even better that they've got a new guy and better again that they've got someone of the caliber of Edward Norton. You know, I can't wait to see it. And I suppose if they had come back in the right amount of time I wouldn't have been doing films like Munich." But Bana insists he never considered making more than one Hulk movie when he signed up to appear in the original film. He adds, "I never went into the first one thinking I was going to do three films. I didn't think the word franchise, or the word sequel. To me it always appeared as a one-off opportunity." Shooting on The Incredible Hulk is scheduled to begin this summer in Toronto, Canada. »

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Roth to play 'Hulk' heavy

10 May 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Tim Roth is in negotiations to star opposite Ed Norton and Liv Tyler in Marvel Studios' "The Incredible Hulk".

Universal Pictures is distributing.

Roth would play Emil Blonsky, a vicious mercenary who turns into the Abomination, a gamma-spawned being stronger than the Hulk. Louis Leterrier is directing the latest big-screen rendition for the jade juggernaut from a Zak Penn screenplay.

The story begins with Hulk-houser Bruce Banner on the run, trying to avoid capture long enough to cure the condition that turns him into a monster.

In comic book annals, the Abomination was a KGB agent who deliberately exposed himself to radiation to gain strength. The character, who was created in the 1960s, did not appear in the 2003 Ang Lee movie "Hulk".

Shooting for the new "Hulk" is slated to begin in June in Toronto.

Avi Arad, Gale Anne Hurd and Kevin Feige are producing. Jim Van Wyck, David Maisel, Ari Arad and Stan Lee are executive producing.

Roth, the indie darling who hails from London, next stars in Francis Ford Coppola's "Youth Without Youth", which was just picked up for distribution by Sony Pictures Classics. »

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Norton To Play Hulk?

17 April 2007 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Hollywood actor Edward Norton may be set to play comic hero The Hulk in a new movie, according to media reports. The Fight Club star is rumored to take over the role from Troy actor Eric Bana, reports Hollywood film publication Variety. The 2003 film, which starred Bana alongside Jennifer Connelly and directed by Ang Lee, was a commercial flop and received mixed reviews. Marvel Studios insist the sequel, which is tentatively set to be released next summer, will "be less serious than the first one and more in tune with the comic book series." The new installment will be directed by The Transporter's Louis Leterrier. Norton, twice nominated for an Oscar, was seen last year in both The Illusionist and The Painted Veil. »

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Edward Norton follows the Green trail

16 April 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- If Batman can do it - so can the Hulk.   Like the Warner Bros. re-launch of the Batman franchise, it didn’t take 3 or 4 sequels and an Arnold Schwarzenegger/Jim Carrey   appearance for Universal to press the restart button. While I was one among a dozen or so who thought that the comic book to movie adaptation had actually taken an interesting turn under the hand of auteur filmmaker Ang Lee, at the request set by the folks at Marvel, the comic book company wanted Universal to “think again”. Part one was the hiring of the action-specialist filmmaker Louis Leterrier (Unleashed).   If Bana can do it so can Edward Norton.   The actor certainly had an aura about him in The Illusionist – we totally believed in his Eisenheim character and since magicians sort of look like crazy scientists and since Norton has proven that he can generate rage on screen »

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Honors set at ninth annual Sarasota fest

26 March 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Edward Norton will receive the Humanitarian Award and Brian Koppelman (Ocean's Thirteen) will get the Excellence in Screenwriting Award at the ninth annual Sarasota Film Festival, set for April 13-22 in Sarasota, Fla. Other honors include an Excellence in Producing Award for IFC Entertainment president Jonathan Sehring, a Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Filmmaking for director Norman Jewison, a Breakthrough Performer Award for Michelle Trachtenberg and the Heineken Red Star Award for first-time feature director Chad Lowe. Marcia Gay Harden and Joe Pantoliano also will appear to discuss their careers and new film, Canvas. »

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Stars Line Up To Take Part in Brando Documentary

1 February 2007 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Late, great movie icon Marlon Brando is to be honored by his friends and peers as part of a new two-part documentary to air on TV in America in May. James Caan, Al Pacino, Martin Scorsese, Angie Dickinson, Edward Norton and Dennis Hopper will join family and friends to reminisce and pay tribute to the On The Waterfront star in Brando. The revealing documentary will also feature never-before-seen footage of Brando at work and play, and a series of rarely-seen in-depth interviews with the actor. It will also look at Brando's involvement in civil rights and features interviews with Native American leaders and Black Panther officials, who the movie legend worked with and befriended. But the real highlight of the documentary, which will air on the Turner Classic Movies network on May 1 and 2, will be an interview with Sacheen Littlefeather, the Native American actress who took the stage at the 1973 Academy Awards to reject Brando's Oscar for The Godfather. »

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Interview: Edward Norton

15 January 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- Edward Norton (The Illusionist, Fight Club, Death to Smoochy) stars as Walter Fane, an English bacteriologist who moves himself and his adulterous wife Kitty (Naomi Watts -- 21 Grams) to a remote region of 1920’s China racked by a Cholera outbreak in The Painted Veil, directed by John Curran (We Don’t Live Here Anymore). The script is adapted from the novel by W. Somerset Maugham by screenwriter Ron Nyswaner (Philadelphia) and Norton, who have been collaborating for over six years to perfect the script and also get the project off the ground. The finished project is well worth their time – filmed on location in China in cooperation with the China film Bureau, The Painted Veil is part love story, part adventure film, and epic both visually and dramatically. I had the chance to meet Ed Norton and discuss The Painted Veil while he was in New York City prior to the film’s release. »

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Swank Set To Sell Off Freebie Collection

8 January 2007 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Double Oscar winner Hilary Swank has vowed to give away the freebies she's picked up at awards shows in recent years as her leading New Year's resolution. The actress feels awful taking home gift bags because when she was a struggling actress she was so broke she had to buy outfits for auditions and take them back to the store the next day. She says, "Now, I'm getting all these free things thrown at me and it's so strange. My New Year's resolution is to get rid of some stuff because I bring it in and I can't get rid of it. With my background, and how I grew up; I didn't grow up with a lot of stuff and now I just have this terrible thing." Swank isn't the only celebrity sparking a backlash against the freebies handed out at awards shows - Edward Norton is campaigning to get gift baskets banned at leading awards ceremonies. In a recent TV interview, he revealed, "A lot of us have talked to the Academy Awards producers about this and I think they're actually going to scuttle the gift baskets and that kind of stuff. I mean the gift baskets, worth amounts of money that a low income family could live on for a year, (are given to) people who have so much already. It gets depressing." »

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20 items from 2007


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