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As Academy executives hunt for new Oscar producers after the departure of Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, they should think less about Steven Spielberg and James Cameron, and more about Espn president John Skipper.
Whenever the job opens up for an Academy Awards producer, Oscar fans point out that this is the film industry’s biggest event and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences should corral a big name, since it has access to the greatest filmmakers in the world.
But even though the awards are a celebration of film, the Oscarcast is a television event. And producing live TV requires a very specific skill set, which is different from handling film, so Acad honchos should think outside the box and consider men and women who have produced live television: sports events, newscasts, talkshows and TV concerts.
Skipper, as president of Espn, has insights into multiple producers of sports events, »
- Tim Gray
While word of this got out a few weeks ago, it’s now been confirmed via Deadline that producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan will not be returning to produce the Oscars next year. The duo has produced the last three ceremonies in a row, beginning with the disappointing Seth MacFarlane-hosted show in 2013, which was followed by the forgettable but inoffensive Ellen Degeneres-hosted ceremony. I can’t say I’m sad to see Meron and Zadan go. Their obsession with music filled each telecast with performances that had nothing to do with any of the nominees (remember the Dreamgirls tribute?) and made for bloated runtimes, and their hosts didn’t really have a whole lot to do. But Meron and Zadon did bring a couple of new traditions to the Oscars that I hope continue: unveiling every single nomination on TV was a nice way to highlight categories that often get overlooked, »
- Adam Chitwood
With principal photography getting underway on Ip Man 3, The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson has signed on to appear alongside Donnie Yen in the cast of the film, while Bruce Lee is also set to make an appearance, with the film’s producers employing CGI technology to create a young version of the martial arts icon.
“Two years ago Mike Tyson opened up a Weibo [the Chinese microblogging site] account and the first question he asked was, ‘Who is the best fighter in China?'” producer Raymond Wong tells THR. “Someone answered him ‘Donnie Yen,’ and that gave me an idea. For the third installment in the Ip Man series, we want to have an explosive fight, and Mike Tyson versus Donnie Yen fits the bill.”
According to the report, Tyson will play a property developer and street fighter, »
- Gary Collinson
Pacific Rim: Tales from the Drift
Legendary Comics has unveiled the first details on the upcoming comic "Pacific Rim: Tales from the Drift". Joshua Fialkov penned the four issue title which will debut in November this year and is expected to help fill the gaps between the first film and the upcoming sequel due out April 2017. [Source: Shh]
Friday the 13th
Nick Antosca, a writer on TV series like "Teen Wolf" and "Believe" and co-producer on "Hannibal," has been set to write a new draft of the script for the "Friday the 13th" reboot at Paramount Pictures and Platinum Dunes. The film is currently targeting a May 13th 2016 release.
David Bruckner will helm the new film which will deal with the decades-old question of why slasher Jason Voorhes can't be killed. Richard Naing and Ian Goldberg wrote the previous draft. [Source: Heat Vision]
Paris Call Girl
Commercials director Jake Nava is set to »
- Garth Franklin
Here’s a news story that may send shivers down the spine of martial arts fans – and indeed movie fans – everywhere…
According to Aint It Cool News, director Brett Ratner (Rush Hour, X-Men: The Last Stand) is keen on remaking Enter the Dragon, the 1973 classic which made Bruce Lee a global sensation. Ratner apparently revealed his ambitions during a screening of Rush Hour at the New Beverly, with the site reporting that:
“According to a few attendees I’ve spoken to, [Ratner] reassured the audience that he wasn’t trying to find the next Bruce Lee or anything crazy like that. Evidently, he only brought up the remake after professing his love for Lalo Schifrin’s amazing score, and seemed to indicate that his film would be a reimagining of Robert Clouse’s iconic showcase for Lee’s talents.”
- Gary Collinson
Sentinel financed the development of “Paris Call Girl,” an original pitch from Matthew Ian Cirulnick, which tells the story of two star-crossed lovers and the wild, dangerous journey they must take through Paris to start a new life together. Kseniya is a young European woman fleeing the high-end call girl ring she was recently forced into and Rob is a young American man with a tragic past.
“I love the edgy romance of our seemingly mismatched young couple at the center of the action, the way the narrative twists, compelling them both to fight for each other and »
- Dave McNary
#shenanigans with @courtneylove and @brettrat A photo posted by Mariah Carey (@mariahcarey) on Mar 22, 2015 at 9:46pm Pdt What a vision! Mariah Carey went for a fan-favorite throwback look on Sunday, March 22, while out on a dinner date with Courtney Love and director Brett Ratner. The “Heartbreaker” diva wore a yellow leather jacket and black dress with thigh-high boots. Carey wore her thick hair curled in an homage to her 1990 “Vision of Love” music video. Mimi posted a shot from the outing at Craigs in Hollywood [...] »
And the award for Most Unexpected Dinner Table goes to -- Mariah Carey and Courtney Love ... in a Brett Ratner production. The director broke bread with Mariah and Courtney last night at Craig's in West Hollywood ... and we can only imagine the stories Brett walked away with after sitting between those two. Perhaps they chatted about Courtney's "Empire" appearance -- after all, she said she was channeling her inner Mariah ... plus Mariah is one of »
- TMZ Staff
Sometimes you hear a piece of news so mind bogglingly stupid, you wonder how these people ever got into the movie industry and made a name for themselves. Up to the plate steps Brett Ratner. At a screening of Rush Hour in La over the weekend, he revealed during the ensuing Q&A that he wants to remake Enter The Dragon. Now, if someone like Gareth Evans had said that, you'd entertain the idea for a few seconds, mulling over how cool Iko Uwais would look taking down someone in a room of mirrors, before dismissing the idea, because really no one should ever go near that movie. There are some things that should be beyond the reach of present day Hollywood and Bruce Lee's seminal movie, a film that genuinely changed cinema, is one of those few gems. Ratner wouldn't get into specifics, only indicating that he wants »
- email@example.com (Dave Higgins)
2Nd Update, 4:42 Pm: Warner Bros said today that The Water Diviner also will screen in Imax theaters starting April 24. Updated, November 7: Warner Bros just said it plans an April 24 limited release for The Water Diviner. Previously, November 7: Russell Crowe’s first feature as a director, The Water Diviner, will fall under the Warner Bros. distribution flag, Brett Ratner just said during a financing panel at the American Film Market. The film, which was unveiled at last… »
Week in Review rounds up the past week in film news in one easy place. Check back this weekend for round-ups for TV and gaming.
Oh Hai Tommy Wiseau. You’re making something of a comeback, aren’t you? Several months back we reported that you were working on a TV sitcom that you had written, directed, and starred in (naturally) called The Neighbors, but that in the same way that you would start throwing around a football and then completely forget about it a moment later, it seemed like that was just a whim. Sure enough, The Neighbors was picked up on Hulu, and this week you did a Reddit Ama to promote it. Looks like people are finally starting to recognize your genius.
Stepping away from my conversation with Mr. Wiseau for a moment, if you’ve ever actually gotten an opportunity to attend a late night screening »
- Brian Welk
Every year the Academy Awards take place, and pretty much every year the ceremony is too long, saddled with segments that should've been cut or are included because of tradition. And every morning following the Oscars, many commentaries point out multiple ways the show is dull or should be improved. Needless to say, the Oscars needs a serious creative rewrite, and Will Ferrell had a great idea and offered to host the 2012 show, and of course the producers said no. The context: In November 2011, it was announced that Eddie Murphy would not host after Brett Ratner, the director who had recently worked with Murphy, was relieved of producing duties after he had used a gay slur. Brian Grazer then stepped in to take over the show, Ferrell's manager got in touch, and this is what happened. "We [meaning himself and Zach Galifianakis; the two were making "The Campaign" at the time] will host the Oscars if you do a »
- Kevin Jagernauth
This Week in TV News is a compliment to the Week in Review feature, which will now be focused on film news.
AMC has guaranteed two seasons to the prequel companion series of The Walking Dead, as per THR. The announcement was made earlier this week, and comes as somewhat unsurprising news. The Walking Dead continues to be one of the channel’s highest rated shows, with its popularity showing no signs of waning as the show’s fifth season rolls along. In addition, AMC has found similar commercial and critical success with Better Call Saul, its new series that is itself a spinoff of Breaking Bad.
There’s no set title for the series as of yet, and working titles have included Fear The Walking Dead and Cobalt. The first season, much like the show that spawned this spinoff, will consist of six episodes, with creator Robert Kirkman working »
- Deepayan Sengupta
RelatedPilot Season ’15: Scoop on This Fall’s (Possible) New Shows, Who’s In Them
Justin Hires (Key and Peele) will play Carter, an “irreverent and wildly confident” Lapd detective whose “unorthodox methods” often land him in trouble with his higher-ups. He joins Jon Foo (Batman Begins), recently cast as Carter’s Hong Kong-born partner Lee.
Hires had a small part in 2012’s “21 Jump Street” and more recently has made appearances on Comedy Central’s “Key and Peele.” In the Warner Bros. TV pilot he’ll play a cocky, maverick Lapd detective who is assigned to work on a case with a stoic detective from Hong Kong. Jon Foo has already been cast in the role played by Jackie Chan opposite comedian Tucker in three “Rush Hour” features.
Comedy scribes Bill Lawrence and Blake McCormick penned the script for the TV redo and are exec producing with the director and producer of New Line Cinema’s “Rush Hour” pics — Brett Ratner and Arthur Sarkissian — and Jeff Ingold of Lawrence’s Doozier Prods. Jon Turteltaub is directing the pilot and also exec producing.
Hires got »
- Cynthia Littleton
Foo’s previous credits include bit parts in the likes of Batman Begins and Universal Soldier: Regeneration, while he also starred as Jin Kazama in the Tekken movie, as well as Ryu in the acclaimed fan film Street Fighter: Legacy.
The Rush Hour pilot is being directed by Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure), while series Bill Lawrence (Scrubs) and Blake McCormick (Mad Men) write and executive producer alongside Rush Hour helmer Brett Ratner and producer Arthur Sarkissian.
- Gary Collinson
CBS has found one of their two lead actors for the Rush Hour pilot, bringing on Jon Foo to play Detective Lee, the same character played by Jackie Chan in the hit Rush Hour movie trilogy. The show has yet to cast the cocky Lapd detective Carter, originally played by Chris Tucker. Much like the film franchise, the show will follow these two cops, forced to pair up when Lee gets assigned to a case in Los Angeles.
Detective Lee is described by Deadline as, "a dedicated professional and master martial artist, a man of few words who knows how to get the job done." Series creator Bill Lawrence revealed last month that the show will follow a new plot with the same types of characters. He also hinted that he may not hire a martial artist to play Lee, but, now, that is not the case.
Jon Foo, a »
Tom Rothman has been named head honcho of Sony Pictures, taking over from Amy Pascal who "stepped down" after that recent email hack fiasco. Even if you don't recognize his name, you will most definitely remember his work. Rothman ran Fox back when the likes of Daredevil, Elektra and the previous Fantastic Four movies were released. He fast-tracked X-Men: The Last Stand, forcing Bryan Singer to abandon the project, and then placed Brett Ratner at the helm. Word is he also micromanaged X-Men: Origins: Wolverine into such a mess that the film wasn't even recognizable to its director, Gavin Hood. Some say Rothman dislikes comic book movies in general, only having a hand in producing the ones he did because of how lucrative they are, and is allegedly one of the main reasons there is such bad blood between Fox and Marvel Studios these days. So you see, probably not »
The Vanity Fair Oscar party has found a new home in Beverly Hills. The locale is a glass-walled, Basil Walter-designed, 6500-square-foot glass walled structure that filled North Crescent Drive below Santa Monica Boulevard adjacent to the Wallis Annenberg Center. “We’re here for the next three years,” said editor Graydon Carter, “and I’m happy with it.” Despite the openness of the space, it was still a packed room. “Brett Ratner just touched my crotch,” said MTV co-founder Tom Freston. “And you can use that.” Considering the Oscars are about film, it was
- Bill Higgins
In a Twitter monologue that gave remarkable insight into what it was like backstage at the all-star SNL 40 special, Norm Macdonald, the former Weekend Update host and the man known as Turd Ferguson, spent two hours and over 100 tweets detailing his experience from the reunion. Macdonald covered everything from writing the "Celebrity Jeopardy" sketch »
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