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8 items from 2007

Animals and humans join 'G-Force'

21 November 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Nicolas Cage, Steve Buscemi and Tracy Morgan will be three of the lead voices in G-Force, for Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films.

Bill Nighy and Will Arnett also have joined the ranks of the human actors in the live-action/CG film, which marks the directorial debut of Oscar-winning visual effects innovator Hoyt Yeatman.

The story follows a group of ultra-intelligent animal commandoes who work for a government agency trying to prevent an evil billionaire from taking over the world. Cage will play Speckles, a mole; Buscemi will portray Bucky, a hamster; and Morgan will voice Blaster, a guinea pig. Nighy will portray an industrialist, and Arnett will play an FBI agent.

Live-action leads also include Zach Galifianakis, Kelli Garner, Gabriel Casseus and Jack Conley.

Production is currently under way in Los Angeles. Jerry Bruckheimer is producing. Executive producing are Bruckheimer Films' Mike Stenson and Chad Oman, along with Duncan Henderson.

"It's a good story; it's unique characters, it's half animation, half live action," Bruckheimer told The Hollywood Reporter. »

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'Pirates' and 'High School Musical 2' Triumph at Teen Choice Awards

28 August 2007 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End triumphed at the annual Teen Choice awards - winning four top prizes including three individual awards for stars Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley and Bill Nighy. The final film in the swashbuckling franchise won Choice Movie Action Adventure, while High School Musical 2 was awarded the Choice TV Movie award, with stars Zac Efron and Vanessa Anne Hudgens also honored for their roles in the teen sequel at the ceremony at the Gibson Ampitheater at Universal Studios, Hollywood, on Sunday night. Singer Justin Timberlake took home three awards including Choice Music: Male Artist, Choice Music: Payback Track for "What Goes Around," and was given the Ultimate Choice award - Teen Choice's equivalent of a lifetime achievement honor. Actress Sophia Bush equaled Timberlake's award haul, topping three categories at the awards hosted by Hilary Duff and Nick Cannon - Choice Movie Breakout, and two Choice Movie Actress wins for her roles in horror The Hitcher and comedy John Tucker Must Die. »

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Van Houten & co. board Valkyrie

19 June 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- Screen Daily reportered that Dutch actress Carice Van Houten had joined the project, and now THR and Variety are reporting that further members will round out the cast for Bryan Singer's Valkyrie. Van Houten has been cast as the wife of Tom Cruise's character, while newbies include Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy and Eddie Izzard.Written by Chris McQuarrie and Nathan Alexander, this is set in WWII and is based on actual events and depicts an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler at the height of World War II. This will be a huge tent-pole film for Tom Cruise's United Artists and might fill up the recently reopened coffers of MGM in 09'.    »

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Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

24 May 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

This review was written for the theatrical release of "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End."For what it's worth, the trilogy-capping "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," represents a considerable step up from the soulless "Dead Man's Chest."

Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow's in fine flighty form and the enterprise as a whole has reconnected with some of that fun stuff that made it such a pleasant excursion when it first set sail back in 2003.

Of course, even if that wasn't the case, those legions of "Pirates" fans wouldn't really care, having previously ignored critics' warnings to the tune of $423 million in North America alone.

So they'll likely overlook the fact that it still takes an awfully long time (two hours and 47 minutes) getting to where it needs to go and you could make yourself seasick trying to untangle all those confusing plot lines (at least 15, according to our count).

In other words, "At World's End," which hits in this end of the world Thursday night, shouldn't have any problems beating its previous openings, though that expansive running time could take a nip out of its record-breaking potential.

Cutting to the chase, "World's End" finds Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) and Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush, who only made a brief appearance at the end of "Dead Man's Chest") setting sail on a quest to gather together the Nine Lords of the Brethren Court in a bid to defeat the pirate-hating Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander) and Admiral Norrington (Jack Davenport).

The only problem is, one of those Lords, Jack Sparrow, is still trapped in Davy Jones' Locker, and, in order to get to him, Turner, Swann and company must first make a stop in Singapore to secure a ship and some handy maps from formidable Chinese pirate Sao Feng (Chow Yun-Fat).

And with everybody having their own personal agendas, the voyage turns into one big crazy game of Who Do You Trust?

It all feels more than a tad overstuffed, as if director Gore Verbinski, along with writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, shared with "Spider-Man" franchise director Sam Raimi the need to cram everything in here, in the event that this would be his last time calling the shots whether or not the movies would continue.

But while it still lacks the giddy zip of "Curse of the Black Pearl", the new edition delivers its share of entertaining sequences, especially wherever Depp is concerned.

His otherworldly confinement in Davy Jones Locker gives way to absurdist flights of fancy that suggest a meeting of the minds of Chuck Jones, Tim Burton and Salvador Dali, and bring something novel to the "Pirates" table.

More than ever, Depp masterfully keeps the enterprise afloat, even when the sheer weight of all those other characters threatens to throw it off-course.

In addition to the above-mentioned, the extensive passenger list also includes Bill Nighy as the heavily tentacled Davy Jones, Stellan Skarsgard as Turner's imprisoned dad Bootstrap Bill, Naomie Harris as Tia Dalma, the gypsy queen who turns out to be a true force of nature, and, most notably, Keith Richards in a brief but memorable turn as crusty Keeper of the Code and Sparrow's mentor, Captain Teague.

Production values are typically shipshape, with production designer Rick Heinrichs and visual effects supervisors John Knoll and Charles Gibson again delivering on those trademark gargantuan set pieces, while composer Hans Zimmer manages to add some fresh flourishes to the familiar "Pirates" mix.


Buena Vista

A Walt Disney Pictures presentation in association with Jerry Bruckheimer Films


Director: Gore Verbinski

Writers: Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio

Based on characters created by Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio and Stuart Beattie and Jay Wolpert

Producer: Jerry Bruckheimer

Executive producers: Mike Stenson, Chad Oman, Bruce Hendricks, Eric McLeod

Director of photography: Dariusz Wolski

Production designer: Rick Heinrichs

Music: Hans Zimmer

Costume designer: Penny Rose

Editors: Craig Wood, Stephen Rivkin

Visual effects supervisors: John Knoll, Charles Gibson


Jack Sparrow: Johnny Depp

Will Turner: Orlando Bloom

Elizabeth Swann: Keira Knightley

Captain Barbossa, Bootstrap Bill: Stellan Skarsgard

Davy Jones: Bill Nighy

Captain Sao Feng: Chow Yun-Fat

Commodore James Norrington: Jack Davenport

Governor Weatherby Swann: Jonathan Pryce

Tia Dalma: Naomie Harris

Lord Cutler Beckett: Tom Hollander

Captain Teague: Keith Richards

Running time -- 167 minutes

MPAA rating:PG-13 »

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'300' & 'Dead Man's Chest' Lead MTV Movie Award Nominations

1 May 2007 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

War epic 300 and sequel Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest are leading the nominations for the 2007 MTV Movie Awards with five and four nods apiece. Both films have been nominated for the Best Movie award, alongside Blades Of Glory, Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan and Little Miss Sunshine. 300 star Gerard Butler is up for Best Performance and Best Fight, while Lena Headey and Rodrigo Santoro have been nominated for Breakthrough Performance and Best Villain respectively. Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest actors Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley have also both picked up nods for Best Performance, while Bill Nighy is up for Best Villain. The nominations are: Best Movie: 300, Blades of Glory, Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan, Little Miss Sunshine, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Best Performance: Gerard Butler - 300; Johnny Depp - Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest; Keira Knightley - Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest; Jennifer Hudson - Dreamgirls; Beyonce Knowles - Dreamgirls; Will Smith - The Pursuit Of Happyness Breakthrough Performance: Emily Blunt - The Devil Wears Prada; Abigail Breslin - Little Miss Sunshine; Lena Headey - 300; Columbus Short - Stomp The Yard; Jaden Smith, The Pursuit Of Happyness; Justin Timberlake - Alpha Dog Best Comedic Performance: Emily Blunt - The Devil Wears Prada; Sacha Baron Cohen - Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan; Will Ferrell - Blades Of Glory; Adam Sandler - Click; Ben Stiller - Night At The Museum Best Kiss: Cameron Diaz & Jude Law - The Holiday; Will Ferrell & Sacha Baron Cohen - Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby; Columbus Short & Meagan Good - Stomp The Yard; Mark Wahlberg & Elizabeth Banks - Invincible Marlon Wayans & Brittany Daniel - Little Man Best Villain: Tobin Bell - Saw III; Jack Nicholson - The Departed; Bill Nighy - Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest; Rodrigo Santoro - 300; Meryl Streep - The Devil Wears Prada Best Fight: Jack Black & Hector Jimenez vs. Los Duendes (Wrestling Match) - Nacho Libre; Gerard Butler vs. 'The Uber Immortal' (The Spartan/Persian Battle) - 300; Sacha Baron Cohen vs. Ken Davitian (Naked Wrestle Fight) - Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan; Will Ferrell vs. Jon Heder (Ice Rink Fight) - Blades of Glory; Uma Thurman vs. Anna Faris (Super Girl Fight) - My Super Ex-Girlfriend Best Summer Movie You Haven't Seen Yet: Evan Almighty ; Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer ; Hairspray; Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix ; Rush Hour 3 ; Transformers »

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Hot Fuzz

20 April 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

LONDON -- It's fast and furious, loud and there's lots of gunplay, but screenwriters Edgar Wright (who directs) and Simon Pegg (who stars) fail to deliver the comic goods or thrills in their cop show lark Hot Fuzz the way they did in the zombie spoof Shaun of the Dead.

Everyone can relate to a zombie picture, but Hot Fuzz is Point Break meets The Vicar of Dibley. It's most unlikely that outside the U.K. the twain's devotees know one another. Non-Brit action fans won't know or care about the village stereotypes, and those who find the excitement of Midsomer Murders quite sufficient will be turned off. The film has done well at home, so there could be a quick and possibly healthy boxoffice return in its U.S. release based on the promise of Shaun. It's more likely to enjoy a longer life on DVD.

A good lampoon requires affection as well as a sharp eye for mockery, but it appears that Wright and Pegg love their shoot-'em-up flicks a touch too much. When Pegg, as an ace city cop assigned to a rural backwater, and Nick Frost, as a bumbling village constable, get their shotguns pumping and 9mms blazing, comedy goes out the window.

The film begins promisingly enough with all-action copper Sgt. Nicholas Angel (Pegg) solving crimes and catching villains across London. He's so good that he makes the rest of the Metropolitan Police look bad. He has this explained to him drolly in quick succession by senior officers played by Martin Freeman, Steve Coogan and Bill Nighy. If the story had played out in the capital with those actors involved, things might have gone better.

But Wright and Pegg have smaller fish to fry. Angel is assigned to a quiet and sedate West Country spot that has been named village of the year for as long as anyone can remember. He soon meets the local uniforms: Jim Broadbent as a police inspector with Frost, Paddy Considine, Bill Bailey and Olivia Colman among his force. The initial encounters bode well, though probably not for teenage moviegoers waiting for the guns to go off.

When that happens, the killings get truly gory as Angel uncovers a plot in which locals are murdering anyone who might get in the way of the village winning its annual prize. The filmmakers evidently took great satisfaction in casting performers well known to British television viewers and theatergoers as village folk with a taste for high-powered weapons. It's doubtful that audiences in the U.S. will recognize many beyond Stephen Merchant and Timothy Dalton.

All the action is staged with energy, but it gets relentless without anything really funny going on. Pegg shoots for laughs by playing it right down the middle like Dan Aykroyd doing Dragnet. Again, Pegg's stupid fat sidekick, Frost, remains bereft of any observable talent for comedy. When the two start flying through the air with automatics kicking, you'd bet they would give anything to be in a Robert Rodriguez film and not in a comedy at all.


Rogue Pictures

Working Title


Director: Edgar Wright

Screenwriters: Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright

Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Nira Park

Executive producer: Nathascha Wharton

Director of photography: Jess Hall

Production designer: Marcus Rowland

Music: David Arnold

Costume designer: Annie Hardinge

Editor: Chris Dickens


Sgt. Nicholas Angel: Simon Pegg

PC Danny Butterman: Nick Frost

Sgt. Turner: Bill Bailey

Treacher: Tim Barlow

Mr. Webbley: David Bradley

Inspector Frank Butterman: Jim Broadbent

Tim Messenger: Adam Buxton

PC Doris Thatcher: Olivia Colman

DS Andy Wainwright: Paddy Considine

Metro Police Inspector: Steve Coogan

Mr. Merchant: Ron Cook

Simon Skinner: Timothy Dalton

Mary Porter: Julia Deakin

Sgt. Tony Fisher: Kevin Eldon

Annette Roper: Patricia Franklin

Metro Desk Sergeant: Martin Freeman

Running time -- 121 minutes

MPAA rating: R


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Globes feel pretty with TV nods

16 January 2007 10:00 AM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. ushered in the new on the comedy side and stuck with the old in the drama field, bestowing top TV honors to ABC's blockbuster drama hit "Grey's Anatomy" and hot freshman comedy "Ugly Betty."

"Betty" star America Ferrera and Alec Baldwin -- star of another rookie comedy, NBC's "30 Rock" -- won the top comedy acting prizes, while the leads of established hits, Hugh Laurie of Fox's "House" and Kyra Sedgwick of TNT's "The Closer," were named top actors in the drama races.

ABC's leading three trophies were matched by HBO, whose Emmy-winning period drama "Elizabeth I" was the most-heralded TV program with three Golden Globes -- for best miniseries or TV movie, star Helen Mirren and supporting actor Jeremy Irons.

This is the second consecutive year that ABC and Touchstone TV swept the top series categories at the Globes, having accomplished the feat last »

- By Nellie Andreeva

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Hudson, Murphy, Streep among Globe winners

15 January 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Film newcomer Jennifer Hudson won the award for best supporting actress in a movie musical or comedy at the Golden Globe Awards on Monday for her powerful performance as a singer scorned in "Dreamgirls". Her more experienced co-star, Eddie Murphy, was named best supporting actor for his role as Jimmy "Thunder" Early in the musical.

Hudson, fighting back tears, called it a honor.

"Oh, my God. Thank you so much", she said. "Wow. I have always dreamed but never, ever this big. This goes far beyond anything I could ever have imagined."

The awards, which are voted on by nearly 90 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, are a major stop on the road to the Feb. 25 Academy Awards because winners here often go on to compete for Oscars -- the film industry's top awards.

Meryl Streep was named best actress in a comedy or musical for "The Devil Wears Prada". Director Clint Eastwood's Japanese-language World War II drama "Letters From Iwo Jima" won in the best foregin-language film category.  Disney/Pixar's "Cars" was named best animated feature film. "The Song of the Heart", from the animated "Happy Feet", won for best original song in a motion picture. Alexandre Desplat won best original score honors for "The Painted Veil". Peter Morgan won the best screenplay prize for "The Queen".

In the television categories so far: HBO's "Elizabeth I" was named best miniseries or motion picture made for television while its star, Helen Mirren, won best actress honors and Jeremy Irons won the award for supporting actor. Bill Nighy won in the lead actor, miniseries or movie category for "Gideon's Daughter" and Emily Blunt took home supporting actress trophy for her role in the same project.

ABC's freshman "Ugly Betty" was named best comedy series with its star America Ferrera crowned best lead actress in a comedy. »

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