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18 items from 2007


With a waive, Spirit Awards go forward

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

Thanks to a waiver from the WGA, Film Independent's Spirit Awards show will go on as planned. The indie-oriented ceremony is set to be broadcast live by the Independent Film Channel on Feb. 23.

Film Independent acknowledged the waiver Thursday as part of an announcement that Rainn Wilson, who plays salesman Dwight Schrute on The Office, will host this year's show and contribute as a writer on the program. Wilson, making his first appearance at the awards, is a WGA member.

The waiver raises the possibility that the informal Spirit ceremony, which takes place in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica, could upstage the 80th annual Academy Awards, scheduled for the following day at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland, if the strike is not resolved by late February.

The WGA has signaled that it does not plan to grant a similar waiver to allow the Oscar show to use WGA writers, which means that some stars would be free to attend the Spirit Awards, then bypass the Oscars. »

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Reitman has the jump on Cody's 'Body'

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

Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody, the respective director and writer of Fox Atomic's buzzed-about feature Juno, are joining forces again.

Reitman and producing partner Dan Dubiecki are coming aboard to produce Jennifer's Body, Cody's comedic horror movie recently set up at Atomic.

Fox Atomic pre-emptively picked up the Cody spec last month with Transformers star Megan Fox on board to star. Mason Novick also is producing.

Reitman and Dubiecki will produce through their shingle, Hard C, which is housed at both Fox Searchlight and Atomic.

"We're here because Diablo's voice and our voice align," Dubiecki said.

Body tells the story of a cheerleader who is possessed by a demon and starts feeding off the boys in a Minnesota farming town. Her "plain Jane" best friend must kill her, then escape from a correctional facility to go after the Satan-worshiping rock band responsible for the transformation.

Throwing horror onto the Hard C slate isn't that much of a stretch for the company, which was built on the success of Thank You for Smoking and is developing the comedy Bonzai Shadowhands with Rainn Wilson at Searchlight. »

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Reitman has the jump on Cody's 'Body'

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

CORRECTED 6 p.m. PT Nov. 15, 2007

Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody, the respective director and writer of Fox Atomic's buzzed-about feature Juno, are joining forces again.

Reitman and producing partner Dan Dubiecki are coming aboard to produce Jennifer's Body, Cody's comedic horror movie recently set up at Fox Searchlight.

Fox Atomic pre-emptively picked up the Cody spec last month with Transformers star Megan Fox on board to star (HR 10/23). Mason Novick also is producing.

Reitman and Dubiecki will produce through their shingle, Hard C, which is housed at Fox Searchlight.

"We're here because Diablo's voice and our voice align," Dubiecki said.

Body tells the story of a cheerleader who is possessed by a demon and starts feeding off the boys in a Minnesota farming town. Her "plain Jane" best friend must kill her, then escape from a correctional facility to go after the Satan-worshiping rock band responsible for the transformation.

Throwing horror onto the Hard C slate isn't that much of a stretch for the company, which was built on the success of Thank You for Smoking and is developing the comedy Bonzai Shadowhands with Rainn Wilson at Searchlight. »

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For most part, the shows go on

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

There was little visible disruption of TV production on Day 1 of the writers strike, though the absence of writers surely was felt on the sets of the scripted shows. Film production proceeded without interruption.

The few shows impacted Monday included NBC's The Office, the syndicated The Ellen DeGeneres Show and CBS' Cane.

Meanwhile, writers are beginning to feel the financial impact from the walkout.

Most studios Monday began sending out suspension letters to scribes with overall deals. Some writers were seen packing up their stuff.

In another strike-related development, ABC has pushed the premiere date of its midseason drama Cashmere Mafia.

The show, originally scheduled to debut at 10 p.m. Nov. 27, following the one-hour finale of Dancing With the Stars, will now be launched after Jan. 1. Sources said that with the uncertainty surrounding the strike, the network opted to hold onto the show until next year and give it a proper launch then.

Dancing will be extended to two hours on Nov. 27. Beginning Dec. 4, ABC will air specials Tuesdays at 9 p.m. where Cashmere was scheduled to air.

Several Office cast members, led by star Steve Carell, didn't show up for work Monday on the hit NBC comedy.

Reps for Carell, who also has a background as a writer, declined comment on whether Carell's action was in support of the strike. It wasn't clear Monday night if Carell would report to work Tuesday.

Co-star Rainn Wilson called in sick, while B.J. Novak and Mindy Kaling, who also are writers on the show, were on strike, as was Office showrunner Greg Daniels, who was spotted on the picket lines.

Without Carell and Wilson, only two scenes of Office were shot Monday, sources said.

Ellen DeGeneres also did not show up Monday to shoot her daytime talker.

"Ellen did not go to work today in support of her writers," publicist Kelly Bush said.

New episodes of Ellen that had been filmed last week were set to air Monday and Tuesday. »

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Creative Arts Emmy presenters set

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

Kristen Bell, David Boreanaz, Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus, Tim Daly, Josh Duhamel, Omar Epps, America Ferrera, Marcia Gay Harden, Tom Green, Seth Green, Greg Grunberg, Rex Lee, Mekhi Phifer, Jennifer Morrison, Rob Morrow, Neil Patrick Harris, Emily Procter, Yeardly Smith, Maura Tierney, Stanley Tucci, Blair Underwood, Michael Urie and Rainn Wilson have been confirmed as presenters for the 2007 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards.

The ceremony, hosted by Carlos Mencia, is set to take place Saturday at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles and will be broadcast as a two-hour special at 8 p.m. Sept. 15 on E! Entertainment Television.

The 2007 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards is set to highlight more than 75 categories of Emmy Awards, including guest actor/actress in a comedy series and guest actor/actress in a drama series. »

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Uni pickup is fair play for jesters

24 August 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Universal Pictures has picked up "Renaissance Men", a comedy Rainn Wilson is co-writing with fellow actor Matt Ross. Wilson, who snagged his first Emmy nomination for his work on NBC's "The Office", also will topline and produce the feature with Jay Roach.

The story follows two down-and-out community theater actors who think they've accidentally killed a co-star. In a panic, they go on the lam and hide out in a Renaissance fair.

Wilson has long been fascinated by "Ren fairs", attending them with his family during his teenage years, when he also played "Dungeons and Dragons" and fought with broomsticks and garbage-can lids in his backyard.

Wilson and Ross attended the same drama classes at the University of Washington, where Ross also took up fencing and swordfighting.

Both eventually made their way south to Hollywood, where after bit parts in movies like "Almost Famous" and TV shows Wilson found success as apparatchik Dwight Schrute on "Office". Ross has appeared in such movies as "American Psycho" and "The Aviator" and is now gaining attention for his work on HBO's "Big Love", where he plays the villainous Alby Grant. »

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Recognition 'wonderful,' Wolf says

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

Dick Wolf was happy for Law & Order: SVU co-star Mariska Hargitay's nomination for lead actress in a drama series. "It's wonderful to think that people are starting to recognize the consistent level of acting that takes place on all three ('Law & Order') series," he said. "It's hard for procedurals to get Emmy nominations because they're not showy; they're more about the story." NBC's "SVU" also garnered noms for guest stars Marcia Gay Harden and Leslie Caron.

Sally Field initially found out about her Emmy nomination for lead actress in a drama series from her teenage son. "He ran into the house yelling, 'Mom, you were nominated, ' " said Field, who garnered her seventh Emmy nomination for her role as Nora Walker on ABC's freshman series "Brothers & Sisters." Field, who would follow the news by going about the day in her normal fashion -- commuting to work from Malibu to Burbank -- said it's the devotion to her family that her character has, despite everything that she thinks she has, that resonated with audiences. "It's about a mother who has gone through some changes and loves her children more than anything. It's about love, hate and all that's involved with these people you are bound to for your entire life." Field added that she hasn't really tapped into what it is about playing this particular character that stands out from the myriad others she has played. "I really won't know that 'til I'm sitting on the porch some day," she said. But when asked how she'd celebrate her Emmy win, Field replied with one word: "Work". "I'm glad to be working", she said.

The prolific Nigel Lythgoe, executive producer of Fox's American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, both of which scored nominations Thursday, said the news of his nomination was "delightful, isn't it? I'm really happy with it. The live finale of 'So You Think You Can Dance' is tonight, so it's a tough day!" Idol, nominated 29 times since its 2003 start and with no wins to date, is a team effort, he said. "The worst thing is when you're not nominated. It's sort of a ritual and it's terrific and fantastic to be nominated and we don't think, 'We're going to win!' Each year, we say it can't be 'The Amazing Race' again and then we go congratulate 'The Amazing Race.' It's a shame we all start with the same 'A' vowel. My ass is always half off of the seat when they start to read the winner and you hear the 'Aaaa' sound." Remarking on the previous season of Idol, Lythgoe said, "With 'Idol Gives Back, ' we really went to town and had some good mentors: the editors, the camera teams, the director, Bruce Gowers, who doesn't know what's going to hit him every week." Shooting for four days in Africa and locations in the U.S. like New Orleans he said, "was like two finales and we were continuing to do the show and a lot of hard work went into it." Next up, Fox's "The Search for the Next Great American Band."

After receiving a nomination for supporting actor in a comedy series, Neil Patrick Harris has decided it is time to start acting like a star. "I've decided to be an absolute monster on-set," he said. "Or at least, now, my monstrous behavior is well justified." The co-star of CBS' How I Met Your Mother said he is still numb to the good news. "It's such a communal experience working on a show," he said. "We're all big fans of each other. We have great writers, and there are a lot of people that made it happen. To get a nomination reflects the show's worth." The former child actor is thrilled to be acknowledged for his work in an adult role. "It's a different chapter. It's nice to commit to a part and take a big strong stab at it and take recognition for it." Next up, Harris will appear as himself in New Line Cinema's Harold & Kumar 2 and participate in reading of The Marriage of Bette and Boo, which he hopes will lead to more theater work. "I love doing stage, and it complements the sitcom well," he said. "It's a nice way to keep flexing your muscles."

There are a lot of perks that come with an Emmy nomination, but The Office co-star Rainn Wilson said he is most excited about the title. "Now anytime anyone mentions my name they're going to say 'Emmy-nominated Rainn Wilson ... table for two.' " Wilson, who is shooting Fox Atomic's The Rocker, a film about a heavy metal drummer who gets a second shot at fame with his nephew's high school band, said he felt stunned and grateful when everyone from producers to publicists called to tell him about his nomination for supporting actor in a comedy series for the NBC show. Wilson said it's only a matter of time before his character, Dwight, has his unmistakable face on Mount Rushmore. "I was at an airport, and a baggage handler showed me a text on his phone that said, 'I can and do cut my own hair, ' which is a Dwight quote. He said, 'My daughter and I send Dwight quotes back and forth.' I'm iconic!" Until he returns to The Office set Aug. 6, Wilson is writing a film for Jason Reitman (Thank You for Smoking), in which he will star as a down-and-out ninja.

Mary-Louise Parker said that she was just glad it wasn't an emergency when the phone rang at 5:45 a.m. Thursday at her Los Angeles home. Instead, it was her publicist notifying her of her new status as a double Emmy nominee -- for lead actress in a comedy series for her role as the pot-dealing mom Nancy Botwin on Showtime's Weeds and for lead actress in a miniseries or movie as Zenia Arden on Oxygen's The Robber Bride. "It was really early here", Parker said. "Honestly, I was completely surprised -- I'm always surprised." Parker said she's also amazed that her Weeds character has gone over so well with audiences. "I'm not really sure why -- I really thought people were going to object to the ('Weeds') character and find her controversial," Parker said. "A lot of people must smoke pot or something because nobody has really objected to it." To celebrate, Parker is taking part in a Southern California summer tradition: "I'm taking my boy to Disneyland tomorrow," she said. "I guess I'll get some extra cotton candy or something."

Tim Daly was driving to work to shoot the first day of ABC's Grey's Anatomy spinoff Private Practice when his publicist called to tell him about his nomination for outstanding guest actor in a drama series as J.T. Dolan on HBO's The Sopranos. "It was a total surprise. I didn't even know the nominations were coming out," Daly said. "I know it's very cliche, but the people with whom I share this nomination are just unbelievable." Daly, who comes from a clan of esteemed actors, chalked up his first nom to the family genes. "My father (James Daly) was nominated for an Emmy, and my sister (Tyne Daly) has won a million, so it's one of the happy side effects of the congenital disease in my family I guess," he said. "It's certainly better than a sharp stick in the eye." He said that he would be looking forward to September's Emmy ceremony. "I don't think of acting as a competition sport. It's just nice for people to be acknowledged and to see people in a nice suit," Daly said. "Beyond that, it's all sort of silliness."

Anna Paquin was lying in bed having her coffee, watching a little TV and checking e-mails when the phone rang early in the morning. "I was curious to why someone was calling," said Paquin, who was nominated for supporting actress in a miniseries or movie for her role in HBO's Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee but didn't even know the Emmy noms were being announced. "After I found out I thought, 'OK, that's really awesome.' That's the best way to find out about something so nice -- for it to be unexpected." Paquin, who recently finished shooting the HBO pilot True Blood, said she was proud to be a part of the docudrama that garnered 17 nominations, including nods for fellow castmembers Aidan Quinn and August Schellenberg. "I'm so glad a story is out there that took the viewpoint of one of the many Native Americans who were influenced by such tragedies," she said. »

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Fox Atomic fattens up with 'Lean'

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

Fox Atomic has picked up Don't Lean on Me, a comedy from Ryan Jaffe. John Berg, Todd Komarnicki and Matthew Weinberg of Two Guys Walk Into a Bar are producing.

The story follows an assistant high school gym teacher with no interest in education who is forced into his worst nightmare -- a promotion to high school principal.

Fox Atomic president of production Debbie Liebling will oversee the project with executive Zak Kadison.

Jaffe also is the writer of Fox Atomic's currently shooting comedy The Rocker, which stars Rainn Wilson. Jaffe is repped by Endeavor and Principato/Young.

Two Guys is in production on the Eddie Murphy comedy Starship Dave and were behind the Will Ferrell comedy Elf. »

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Comedia taps Atkinson, Corddry pics

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

MONTREAL -- Rowan Atkinson, Rob Corddry and Marlon Wayans will next month headline Comedia, the Just for Laughs comedy festival's film sidebar, organizers said Tuesday.

Britain's Atkinson will be in Montreal to introduce a screening of "Mr. Bean's Holiday" while Corddry will stump for his latest feature, "The Ten". Also bound for the 11th installment of Comedia is French director Michel Boujenah ("Three Men and a Baby"), who will preview his latest comedy, "3 Amis", as well as the French version of "Hairspray".

Wayans will host "The Best of Comedia" showcase on July 18.

Just For Laughs COO Bruce Hills told reporters that Comedia, set to run July 12-22, is the largest festival of comic shorts worldwide.

Hills described this year's lineup as "by far the most ambitious festival to date," with a record 125 short films from 16 countries unspooling.

Also on tap for Montreal, as part of Comedia's "Big Stars, Short Films" program, is "My Wife is Retarded", an off-the-wall exploration of mariage from Sean Astin; "I Am Bob?" which portrays rock star Bob Geldoff auditioning for the role of a Bob Geldof impersonator; and a mockumentary from Rainn Wilson ("The Office") titled "Lance is a Jerk", in which he plays the personal assistant of cycling legend Lance Armstrong. »

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Applegate plays lead in 'Rocker'

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

Christina Applegate has been cast as the female lead opposite Rainn Wilson in The Rocker, which Peter Cattaneo is directing for Fox Atomic. Shawn Levy and Tom McNulty are producing via their 21 Laps Entertainment banner.

Also joining the cast of the music-themed comedy are Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Emma Stone (Superbad), musician-actor Teddy Geiger, Jason Sudeikis (Saturday Night Live), Jane Lynch (The 40-Year-Old Virgin) and Demetri Martin (The Daily Show With Jon Stewart).

The film centers on a failed, over-the-hill drummer (Wilson) who, 20 years after getting booted out of his now uber-famous band, gets a second chance at fame with a new act, a high school garage band headed by his nephew (Josh Gad).

Applegate plays Wilson's love interest and the mother of the lead guitarist in the garage band.

Ryan Jaffe wrote the original screenplay, while Wallace Wolodarsky and Maya Forbes are penning the most recent draft.

Principal photography is set to begin June 18 in Toronto.

President of production Debbie Liebling is overseeing the project for Atomic. »

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Gad lands 'Rocker' gig at Fox unit

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

Josh Gad will star opposite Rainn Wilson in The Rocker, a music-themed comedy Peter Cattaneo is directing for Fox Atomic. Shawn Levy and Tom McNulty are producing via their 21 Laps Entertainment banner.

The film tells the story of a failed, over-the-hill drummer (Wilson) who, 20 years after getting booted out of his now uber-famous former band, gets a second chance at fame with a new band.

Gad plays Wilson's nephew and head of a high school rock band that Wilson ends up joining.

Ryan Jaffe wrote the original screenplay, while Wallace Wolodarsky and Maya Forbes are penning the most recent draft.

Principal photography is set to start June 18 in Toronto.

President of production Debbie Liebling is overseeing the project for Atomic.

Gad took over Dan Fogler's Tony Award-winning role as William Barfee in "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" on Broadway in 2006. This fall, he stars alongside Kelsey Grammer, Patricia Heaton and Fred Willard in Fox's Back to You, scheduled to air Wednesdays. »

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Morgan is Guys' guy for Spike awards

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

Tracy Morgan has been tapped to host Spike TV's inaugural Guys Choice awards show, set to air at 10 p.m. June 13.

The awards, decided on by viewers, honor "the things guys love most" in the worlds of sports, music, film, TV and the Internet. The two-hour show, set to tape June 9 at CBS Radford in Los Angeles, also will feature tributes to veteran entertainers and rockers and include stand-up comedy and musical performances.

Each category features only two nominees, so it can be settled "mano a mano," Spike says. Nominees include Beyonce vs. Adriana Lima for hottest girl on the planet, Will Ferrell vs. Sacha Baron Cohen for "funniest M.F." and The Office's Rainn Wilson vs. Heroes' Masi Oka for coolest geek. In addition, James Gandolfini and George Clooney will vie for the kingpin award for guy of the year.

Emmy-winning producer Joel Gallen of Tenth Planet Prods. and Casey Patterson, senior vp event production and talent development at Spike, will executive produce. »

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The Last Mimzy

31 January 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

This review was written for the festival screening of "The Last Mimzy". PARK CITY -- New Line Cinema honcho Robert Shaye makes a rare appearance in the director's chair (his first since 1990's "Book of Love") bringing the well-regarded short story "Mimsy Were the Borogoves" to the big screen as the family-friendly fantasy "The Last Mimzy".

In the process the Lewis Padgett piece, first published in a 1943 science-fiction collection, has been turned into a reasonably engaging movie filled with fun visual effects and an appealing tone reminiscent of a certain Spielberg movie about an out-of-his-element extraterrestrial.

While the Shaye picture, which was given an advance preview in conjunction with a New Line 40-year retrospective conversation hosted by Sundance director Geoffrey Gilmore, won't be phoning home those "E.T". figures, "Mimzy" packs sufficient whimsy to make it a solid performer when it lands in theaters on March 23.

Despite the spelling change, screenwriters Bruce Joel Rubin ("Ghost") and Toby Emmerich ("Frequency") are unlikely to offend many purists in their update of the original work, about a box of educational toys that have been sent back from the future to the present. The original title took its cue from a line in Lewis Carroll's poem "Jabberwocky".

Here, the Mimzy in question is an innocuous-looking, well-traveled toy bunny found among mysterious items in a box that turns up floating behind the Wilder family waterfront vacation home in Seattle.

Opting not to share their discovery with their workaholic dad (Timothy Hutton) and overly cautious mom (Joely Richardson), siblings Noah (Chris O'Neil) and Emma Rhiannon Leigh Wryn) soon discover that playing with the newfound objects has a profound effect on their intelligence levels.

It's a development that doesn't go unnoticed by Noah's teacher, Mr. White ("The Office's" Rainn Wilson), who detects a higher purpose in the boy's complex geometric doodles that bear an eerie resemblance to the ancient configurations that keep popping up in his dreams.

Emma, meanwhile, has been picking up telepathically on Mimzy's warnings regarding the survival of the inhabitants of the future and has to act fast before special government agent Nathaniel Boardman Michael Clarke Duncan), who's investigating the source of a citywide blackout, gets to her.

Viewers willing to go along for the ride should be agreeably charmed by the yarn. And whenever developments threaten to push the boundaries of credibility a little too far, Wilson's character reins in the excess with his sardonic line delivery.

But even he can't salvage a jarringly clunky bit of product placement concerning Mimzy's internal make-up that yanks older viewers out of the mythology with little time left to bring them back into the fold.

Fortunately, Shaye ultimately manages to win enough of them over with the help of his inventive visual effects team, his energetic cast and a gently expansive Howard Shore score, assuring "Mimzy" a promising future.

THE LAST MIMZY

New Line Cinema

New Line Cinema, Michael Phillips Prods.

Credits:

Director: Robert Shaye

Screenwriters: Bruce Joel Rubin, Toby Emmerich

Based on the short story "Mimsy Were the Borogoves" by Lewis Padgett

Producer: Michael Phillips

Executive producers: Robert Shaye, Justis Greene, Sara Risher

Director of photography: J. Michael Muro

Production designer: Barry Chusid

Editor: Alan Heim

Costume designer: Karen Matthews

Music: Howard Shore

Visual effects supervisor: Eric Durst

Cast:

Jo Wilder: Joely Richardson

David Wilder: Timothy Hutton

Nathaniel Boardman: Michael Clarke Duncan

Larry White: Rainn Wilson

Naomi: Kathryn Hahn

Noah Wilder: Chris O'Neil

Emma Wilder: Rhiannon Leigh Wryn

Running time -- 90 minutes

MPAA rating: PG »

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The Last Mimzy

31 January 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

PARK CITY -- New Line Cinema honcho Robert Shaye makes a rare appearance in the director's chair (his first since 1990's "Book of Love") bringing the well-regarded short story "Mimsy Were the Borogoves" to the big screen as the family-friendly fantasy "The Last Mimzy".

In the process the Lewis Padgett piece, first published in a 1943 science-fiction collection, has been turned into a reasonably engaging movie filled with fun visual effects and an appealing tone reminiscent of a certain Spielberg movie about an out-of-his-element extraterrestrial.

While the Shaye picture, which was given an advance preview in conjunction with a New Line 40-year retrospective conversation hosted by Sundance director Geoffrey Gilmore, won't be phoning home those "E.T". figures, "Mimzy" packs sufficient whimsy to make it a solid performer when it lands in theaters on March 23.

Despite the spelling change, screenwriters Bruce Joel Rubin ("Ghost") and Toby Emmerich ("Frequency") are unlikely to offend many purists in their update of the original work, about a box of educational toys that have been sent back from the future to the present. The original title took its cue from a line in Lewis Carroll's poem "Jabberwocky".

Here, the Mimzy in question is an innocuous-looking, well-traveled toy bunny found among mysterious items in a box that turns up floating behind the Wilder family waterfront vacation home in Seattle.

Opting not to share their discovery with their workaholic dad (Timothy Hutton) and overly cautious mom (Joely Richardson), siblings Noah (Chris O'Neil) and Emma Rhiannon Leigh Wryn) soon discover that playing with the newfound objects has a profound effect on their intelligence levels.

It's a development that doesn't go unnoticed by Noah's teacher, Mr. White ("The Office's" Rainn Wilson), who detects a higher purpose in the boy's complex geometric doodles that bear an eerie resemblance to the ancient configurations that keep popping up in his dreams.

Emma, meanwhile, has been picking up telepathically on Mimzy's warnings regarding the survival of the inhabitants of the future and has to act fast before special government agent Nathaniel Boardman Michael Clarke Duncan), who's investigating the source of a citywide blackout, gets to her.

Viewers willing to go along for the ride should be agreeably charmed by the yarn. And whenever developments threaten to push the boundaries of credibility a little too far, Wilson's character reins in the excess with his sardonic line delivery.

But even he can't salvage a jarringly clunky bit of product placement concerning Mimzy's internal make-up that yanks older viewers out of the mythology with little time left to bring them back into the fold.

Fortunately, Shaye ultimately manages to win enough of them over with the help of his inventive visual effects team, his energetic cast and a gently expansive Howard Shore score, assuring "Mimzy" a promising future.

THE LAST MIMZY

New Line Cinema

New Line Cinema, Michael Phillips Prods.

Credits:

Director: Robert Shaye

Screenwriters: Bruce Joel Rubin, Toby Emmerich

Based on the short story "Mimsy Were the Borogoves" by Lewis Padgett

Producer: Michael Phillips

Executive producers: Robert Shaye, Justis Greene, Sara Risher

Director of photography: J. Michael Muro

Production designer: Barry Chusid

Editor: Alan Heim

Costume designer: Karen Matthews

Music: Howard Shore

Visual effects supervisor: Eric Durst

Cast:

Jo Wilder: Joely Richardson

David Wilder: Timothy Hutton

Nathaniel Boardman: Michael Clarke Duncan

Larry White: Rainn Wilson

Naomi: Kathryn Hahn

Noah Wilder: Chris O'Neil

Emma Wilder: Rhiannon Leigh Wryn

Running time -- 90 minutes

MPAA rating: PG

»

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Paley TV fest looks at 'Idol,' 'Simpsons'

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

A celebration of the phenomenon that is "American Idol" will kick off the 24th annual William S. Paley Television Festival, presented March 1-15 in Los Angeles by the Museum of Television & Radio.

This year's festival plans include an evening with "Star Wars" guru George Lucas on March 3 and panel sessions on NBC's "The Office" and "Heroes", ABC's "Brothers and Sisters" and "Ugly Betty", CBS' "Jericho", TNT's "The Closer", Showtime's "Dexter", FX's "Nip/Tuck" and Fox's "Prison Break".

The Paley Festival will close with a tribute to Fox's enduring animated comedy "The Simpsons" on the occasion of its landmark 400th episode. The night will include a preview of the show's upcoming summer theatrical release, "The Simpsons Movie".

"By connecting actors, directors, producers, media personalities, and TV fans in engaging public forums, (the museum) continues to drive the discussion about the creative and social relevance of television and emerging media in today's world," MT&R president Pat Mitchell said in announcing this year's lineup.

All Paley Festival events will be held at the DGA Theater in Hollywood.

The complete schedule follows:

American Idol

Thursday, March 1 at 8:00 p.m

In Person: Paula Abdul (Judge), Cecile Frot-Coutaz (Executive Producer), Randy Jackson (Judge), Nigel Lythgoe (Executive Producer), Ryan Seacrest (Host), and Ken Warwick (Producer). Additional panelists to be announced.

The Office

Friday, March 2 at 7:00 p.m.

In Person: Leslie David Baker ("Stanley"), Brian Baumgartner ("Kevin"), Creed Bratton ("Creed"), Greg Daniels (Executive Producer/Director/Writer), David Denman ("Roy"), Jenna Fischer ("Pam Beesly"), Kate Flannery ("Meredith"), Melora Hardin ("Jan"), Ed Helms ("Andy"), Rashida Jones ("Karen"), Mindy Kaling ("Kelly"/Producer/Writer), Angela Kinsey ("Angela"), Howard Klein (Executive Producer), John Krasinski ("Jim Halpert"), Ken Kwapis (Director), Paul Lieberstein ("Toby")/Coexecutive Producer/Writer), B.J. Novak ("Ryan"/Producer/Writer), Oscar Nunez ("Oscar"), Craig Robinson ("Darryl"), Benjamin Silverman (Executive Producer), Phyllis Smith ("Phyllis"), and Rainn Wilson ("Dwight Schrute").

An Evening with George Lucas

Saturday, March 3 at 7:00 p.m.

In Person: George Lucas.

Brothers & Sisters

Monday, March 5 at 7:00 p.m.

In Person: Dave Annable ("Justin Walker"), Jon Robin Baitz (Creator/Executive Producer), Greg Berlanti (Executive Producer), Sally Field ("Nora Holden Walker"), Calista Flockhart ("Kitty Walker"), Balthazar Getty ("Thomas Walker"), Rachel Griffiths ("Sarah Walker Whedon"), Rob Lowe ("Senator McAllister"), Sarah Jane Morris ("Julia Walker"), Ken Olin (Executive Producer), John Pyper-Ferguson ("Joe Whedon"), Matthew Rhys ("Kevin Walker"), Ron Rifkin ("Saul Holden"), and Patricia Wettig ("Holly Harper").

The Closer

Tuesday, March 6 at 7:30 p.m.

In Person: G.W. Bailey ("Detective Lieutenant Provenza"), Michael Paul Chan ("Lieutenant Mike Tao"), Raymond Cruz ("Detective Julio Sanchez"), Tony Denison ("Detective Andy Flynn"), James Duff (Executive Producer), Gil Garcetti (Consulting Producer), Robert Gossett ("Commander Taylor"), Gina Ravera ("Detective Irene Daniels"), Corey Reynolds ("Sergeant David Gabriel"), Michael M. »

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Paley fest honors TV, from 'Idol' to 'Simpsons'

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

A celebration of the phenomenon that is "American Idol" will kick off the 24th annual William S. Paley Television Festival, presented March 1-15 in Los Angeles by the Museum of Television & Radio.

This year's festival plans include an evening with "Star Wars" guru George Lucas on March 3; panel sessions on NBC's "The Office" and "Heroes"; ABC's "Brothers and Sisters" and "Ugly Betty"; CBS' "Jericho"; TNT's "The Closer"; Showtime's "Dexter"; FX's "Nip/Tuck"; and Fox's "Prison Break".

The Paley Festival will close with a tribute to Fox's enduring animated comedy "The Simpsons" on the occasion of its landmark 400th episode. The night will include a preview of the show's upcoming summer theatrical release, "The Simpsons Movie".

"By connecting actors, directors, producers, media personalities, and TV fans in engaging public forums, (the museum) continues to drive the discussion about the creative and social relevance of television and emerging media in today's world," MT&R president Pat Mitchell said in announcing this year's lineup.

All Paley Festival events will be held at the Directors Guild of America Theater in Hollywood.

The complete schedule follows:

American Idol

Thursday, March 1 at 8:00 p.m

In Person: Paula Abdul (Judge), Cecile Frot-Coutaz (Executive Producer), Randy Jackson (Judge), Nigel Lythgoe (Executive Producer), Ryan Seacrest (Host), and Ken Warwick (Producer). Additional panelists to be announced.

The Office

Friday, March 2 at 7:00 p.m.

In Person: Leslie David Baker ("Stanley"), Brian Baumgartner ("Kevin"), Creed Bratton ("Creed"), Greg Daniels (Executive Producer/Director/Writer), David Denman ("Roy"), Jenna Fischer ("Pam Beesly"), Kate Flannery ("Meredith"), Melora Hardin ("Jan"), Ed Helms ("Andy"), Rashida Jones ("Karen"), Mindy Kaling ("Kelly"/Producer/Writer), Angela Kinsey ("Angela"), Howard Klein (Executive Producer), John Krasinski ("Jim Halpert"), Ken Kwapis (Director), Paul Lieberstein ("Toby")/Coexecutive Producer/Writer), B.J. Novak ("Ryan"/Producer/Writer), Oscar Nunez ("Oscar"), Craig Robinson ("Darryl"), Benjamin Silverman (Executive Producer), Phyllis Smith ("Phyllis"), and Rainn Wilson ("Dwight Schrute").

An Evening with George Lucas

Saturday, March 3 at 7:00 p.m.

In Person: George Lucas.

Brothers & Sisters

Monday, March 5 at 7:00 p.m.

In Person: Dave Annable ("Justin Walker"), Jon Robin Baitz (Creator/Executive Producer), Greg Berlanti (Executive Producer), Sally Field ("Nora Holden Walker"), Calista Flockhart ("Kitty Walker"), Balthazar Getty ("Thomas Walker"), Rachel Griffiths ("Sarah Walker Whedon"), Rob Lowe ("Senator McAllister"), Sarah Jane Morris ("Julia Walker"), Ken Olin (Executive Producer), John Pyper-Ferguson ("Joe Whedon"), Matthew Rhys ("Kevin Walker"), Ron Rifkin ("Saul Holden"), and Patricia Wettig ("Holly Harper").

The Closer

Tuesday, March 6 at 7:30 p.m.

In Person: G.W. Bailey ("Detective Lieutenant Provenza"), Michael Paul Chan ("Lieutenant Mike Tao"), Raymond Cruz ("Detective Julio Sanchez"), Tony Denison ("Detective Andy Flynn"), James Duff (Executive Producer), Gil Garcetti (Consulting Producer), Robert Gossett ("Commander Taylor"), Gina Ravera ("Detective Irene Daniels"), Corey Reynolds ("Sergeant David Gabriel"), Michael M. »

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Berlin's Generation turns 30

12 January 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

MUNICH -- Generation, the children's and young people's sidebar at the Berlin International Film Festival, will feature a slate of 25 feature films from 22 countries in addition to 21 short films from 13 countries, organizers announced Friday.

The sidebar, which marks its 30th anniversary this year, will have three world premieres and ten international premieres in its two sections, Generation Kplus (formerly the Kinderfilmfest) and Generation 14plus.

The Generation Kplus competition will open Feb. 9 with the international premiere of Robert Shaye's fantasy adventure "The Last Mimzy", starring Timothy Hutton and Rainn Wilson.

The youth film competition, Generation 14plus, opens the same day with Tata Amaral's Brazilian hip-hop drama "Antonia". Amaral's 1996 film "Um Ceu de Estrellas" (A Starry Sky) appeared at the Berlinale in the Forum section.

A complete list of titles follows.

Generation Kplus

"Bloede Muetze!" (Silly's Sweet Summer) by Johannes Schmid, Germany; "Dek Hor" (Dorm) by Songyos Sugmakanan, Thailand; "Forortsungar" (Kidz in da Hood) by Ylva Gustavsson and Catti Edfeldt, Sweden; "Ice Keh-ki" (Ice Bar) by Yeo In-gwang, South Korea; "Iszka Utazasa" (Iska's Journey) by Csaba Bollok, Hungary; "Je m'appelle Elisabeth" (Call Me Elisabeth) by Jean-Pierre Ameris, France; "Kruistocht in Spijkerbroek" (Crusade in Jeans) by Ben Sombogaart, The Netherlands/Germany /Luxembourg/Belgium; "The Last Mimzy" by Robert Shaye, U.S.; "Leiutajatekula Lotte"(Lotte from Gadgetville) by Heiki Ernits and Janno Poldma, Estonia/Latvia; "Mukhsin" by Yasmin Ahmad, Malaysia; "Razzle Dazzle" by Darren Ashton, Australia; "Sipur Hatzi Russi" (Love & Dance) by Eitan Anner, Israel; "Trigger" by Gunnar Vikene, Norway/Sweden/Denmark; "U" by Gregoire Solotareff & Serge Elissalde, France

Generation 14plus

Adama Meshuga'at (Sweet Mud) by Dror Shaul, Israel/Germany/France/Japan; "Antonia" (Antonia) by Tata Amaral, Brazil; "Cum mi-am petrecut sfars, itul lumii" (The Way I Spent the End of the World) by Catalin Mitulescu, Romania/France; "Cheonhajangsa Madonna" (Like a Virgin) by Lee Hae-young and Lee Hae-jun, South Korea; "Eagle vs. »

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Wilson, Odenkirk serve 'Rhodes'

5 January 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

MTV Films has picked up "Kanan Rhodes: Unkillable Servant of Justice," a comedy from Rainn Wilson and Bob Odenkirk. Wilson will star in "Rhodes", while Odenkirk will direct. Odenkirk is producing along with Naomi, his wife and partner at their newly formed Type-O Prods. shingle.

Written by Odenkirk, B.J. Porter and Scott Aukerman, "Rhodes" follows the misadventures of a man who serves subpoenas with the suaveness, intensity and conviction of James Bond, though that is where the similarity ends.

"It's a souped-up 'Pink Panther'-slash-'Ace Ventura' and overflowing with comic characters," Odenkirk told The Hollywood Reporter. "The appeal of Rainn is that Rainn can play a character who is absolutely sure of himself, who is full of bravado and braggadocio, and in the course of being that guy, he's hilarious and extremely sympathetic."

Odenkirk said the script was written seven years ago and sat on the shelf "because we couldn't find anyone who could pull it off. Until we got Rainn in our brain! A lot of actors would come off as dicks, but when he does it, it's sweet and kind of sad."

The plan is to do a quick rewrite and then to shoot in May, during Wilson's hiatus from "The Office", in which he plays one of the show's breakout characters, the fascist assistant Dwight. »

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