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Peter Bart: Gay Talese’s Famed “Frank Sinatra Has A Cold” Becomes Hot Movie Project

57 minutes ago

It is every journalist's dream: Publish an article and movie producers start chasing the film rights. That's the situation Gay Talese finds himself in, but there's a twist: He wrote the article for Esquire over 50 years ago. It was called "Frank Sinatra Has A Cold" – not a very promising title, but the piece acquired its own mythology, becoming a model for a breakout genre called "The New Journalism." I came upon the Talese-Sinatra deal saga (details later) in a… »


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CAA Take Action Day: Barbara Boxer On Meryl Streep, Kevin McCarthy On The Question Trump Asked Him Four Times

3 hours ago

Updated with more details: At the Golden Globes this year, Meryl Streep openly criticized President Donald Trump for, among other things, making fun of a disabled reporter. The comments made during her speech while accepting the Cecil B DeMille Award started a firestorm across the country. Asked by CAA agent Michael Kives today at the agency’s all-day Take Action Day about Middle America's backlash against the Hollywood elite, and what is the best way for people like… »


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Matt Ross To Direct TriStar’s Futuristic Crime Thriller ‘Tomorrow And Tomorrow’

3 hours ago

Captain Fantastic writer-director Matt Ross has been tapped to direct Tomorrow and Tomorrow, a futuristic crime thriller set up at Sony’s TriStar based on Tom Sweterlitsch’s 2014 novel. Mark Gordon is producing via the Mark Gordon Company along with Entertainment 360 and Ross’ Captain Fantastic producer Lynette Howell Taylor. Entertainment 360 found the book and brought it to Gordon, who sold it to TriStar in a competitive auction. The plot explores… »


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Charlize Theron & Seth Rogen Topline Comedy ‘Flarsky’

3 hours ago

Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen are set to star in and produce Flarsky, a comedy feature written by Dan Sterling and directed by Jonathan Levine. It centers on an unemployed journalist (Rogen), battered by his own misfortune and self-destructive ways, who endeavors to pursue his childhood crush and babysitter who now happens to be one of the most powerful and unattainable women on Earth (Theron). Point Grey principals Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver will produce… »


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Illumination COO Natalie Fischer Stepping Aside; Ex-Jim Henson Boss To Replace Her

3 hours ago

Natalie Fischer, a key figure in the launch of Chris Meledandri’s Illumination and its chief operating officer since 2012, will be stepping aside later this year to move into an advisor role. The Universal-based company made the announcement today and said that former Jim Henson Company president Peter Schube has been tapped to replace her. The news comes as Illumination also announced the hires of YouTube exec Scott Broock as Evp Digital Strategy and Innovation, and… »


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Fox & Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps Acquire ‘Three Dark Crowns’

4 hours ago

Exclusive: Fox has acquired feature rights to Three Dark Crowns, the bestselling Kendare Blake novel published by Harper Teen Books. Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps Entertainment will produce. It is the second recent big book deal for Fox and Levy: they just won an auction for A People’s History of the Vampire Uprising. Three Dark Crowns is the first of four planned volumes, a fantasy series about magically gifted triplet queens who must use their powers against each other in a… »


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WGA & AMPTP Set Date For Start Of Contract Talks

4 hours ago

The WGA West and East and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers said today that they will begin formal contract negotiations March 13 at the AMPTP headquarters in Sherman Oaks. The current Minimum Basic Agreement expires on May 1. As reported here yesterday, the guilds' chief goals in the talks will be to increase compensation for series TV writer-producers; stop the decade-long decline in screenwriters' earnings; and stabilize its ailing health… »

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‘The Commuter’: Lionsgate Moves Liam Neeson Thriller To January

5 hours ago

Lionsgate said today that The Commuter, its thriller starring Liam Neeson, has moved from an October bow to January 12. Vera Farmiga co-stars as a mysterious woman who boards a commuter train and proposes an enticing opportunity to Neeson's character — one that has dire circumstances if he accepts. The film has Hitchcock-ian elements like North by Northwest and Strangers on a Train. Patrick Wilson, Sam Neill, Elizabeth McGovern and Jonathan Banks co-star in the film from… »


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Sienna Miller, Giancarlo Giannini Join ‘The Catcher Was A Spy’

5 hours ago

Exclusive:  Sienna Miller and Giancarlo Giannini have joined The Catcher Was A Spy, the Ben Lewin-directed drama that stars Paul Rudd, Guy Pearce, Paul Giamatti and Jeff Daniels. Robert Rodat adapted the script from Nicholas Dawidoff’s bestselling book that tells the true story of Moe Berg, a major league ballplayer who was an important spy against the Nazis in WWII. While they call catcher’s equipment “the tools of ignorance,” Berg was the extreme exception, an Ivy… »


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John Gay Dies: ‘Run Silent Run Deep’ Screenwriter Was 92

5 hours ago

John Gay, whose writing credits for film and TV include big-screen fare like Run Silent Run Deep and The Courtship of Eddie’s Father and, on the small screen reach back to television’s Golden Age and continued through the 1980s and ’90s with such mini-series as Fatal Vision and Cruel Doubt, died February 4 in Santa Monica. He was 92. His death was announced by the Writers Guild of America, West. Gay co-wrote a 2008 autobiography Any Way I Can – 50 Years in Show Business… »


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Jeffrey Nachmanoff To Helm Jackie Chan In Sony’s ‘Five Against A Bullet’

5 hours ago

Exclusive: Sony Pictures has set Jeffrey Nachmanoff to direct Five Against A Bullet, the action thriller that is anchored by Jackie ChanMatt Corman and Chris Ord (Covert Affairs) are writing the latest draft under Nachmanoff’s supervision. Nachmanoff most recently wrapped the Keanu Reeves-starrer Replicas. Here, five bodyguards from around the world, with a variety of complementary skills and abilities — led by the infamous Frank (Chan) — are hired by a Latin American… »


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‘Split’ Shows Personality With $200M+ At Worldwide Box Office

5 hours ago

Amid its continued craze at the domestic and international box office, M Night Shyamalan’s Split has crossed $200M global. The milestone for the James McAvoy-starrer came with Wednesday grosses. Domestically, the psychological thriller has taken $126.3M and overseas has banked $74.1M. The worldwide total stands at $200.4M. Split marks Universal's second collaboration with Shyamalan and Blumhouse Productions following 2015's breakout hit The Visit, reinvigorating the Sixth… »


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As You Read Here, Matt Reeves Is New ‘Batman’ Director

6 hours ago

Warner Bros has made official that Matt Reeves will be the director who relaunches the next iteration of Batman. There were reports this might not happen, but this amounted to a hiccup in negotiations where the studio tried to pay him a salary lower than he could have gotten for doing another movie.  While 20th Century Fox would have loved for this to unravel so that it could tie him down for a third Planet Of The Apes installment (pre-buzz on his second film in the… »


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Oscars: Pete Hammond’s Absolutely Final Final Predictions In Every Category

7 hours ago

According to La La Land's opening song, "It's just another day of sun" in Los Angeles. And for the 14-time-nominated musical, the Oscars might be "just another award" to win on what we actually hear is going to be just another day of rain. But will Oscar also rain on La La Land’s impressive record this awards season or will it continue its reign? So far it has swept just about every major precursor honor there is, and in very convincing style. But the Oscar isn't just… »


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Shia Labeouf’s Anti-Trump Project Shut Down After Reports Of Gunfire – Update

8 hours ago

Update, 9 Am: Shia Labeouf tweeted this morning that his anti-Trump exhibit “He Will Not Divide Us” was taken down after reports of gunfire in the area. “We have taken the stream down after shots were reported in the area,” Labeouf wrote on Twitter Thursday morning. “The safety of everybody participating in our project is paramount.” The exhibit, co-created with Luke Turner and Nastja Säde Rönkkö, moved to its new location at the El Rey Theater in Albuquerque, Nm, after… »


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SXSW Apollo Documentary ‘Mission Control’ Rockets To Gravitas Ventures

9 hours ago

Gravitas Ventures has acquired worldwide rights to Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes Of Apollo, a documentary about the controllers and support teams inside Nasa’s Apollo space program who helped make it tick. The pic, which is making its world premiere next month at SXSW, will hit theaters and VOD on April 14. David Fairhead directed the docu, which was produced by Keith Haviland and Gareth Dodds. The trio was behind The Last Man On The Moon, the story of astronaut Gene… »


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‘Beauty And The Beast’ Roars On To Tracking, Looking To Shake Up March Records – Box Office

10 hours ago

As of this morning, the anticipated opening for Disney’s live-action take on Beauty And The Beast is looking absolutely gorgeous, with tracking easily indicating a three-day weekend of $100 million when it twirls into theaters March 17. Projections from various sources even have it busting past $120M. Arguably, Disney began rebooting live-action fairy tales in its canon with Alice In Wonderland, which opened to $116.1M in March 2010 (and finaled at $334.1M). That Tim… »


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China’s Recon Buys 51% Of Millennium Films For $100M

10 hours ago

In a deal that was mooted earlier this month, China’s Recon Holding has reached an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Millennium Films. Tony Xia's Beijing-based Recon, part of the Recon Group which also owns the Aston Villa Football Club, is taking a 51% share for $100M in the company that’s known for such franchises as The Expendables and Rambo. Recon retains the opportunity to acquire the remaining 49% in the future. Under the terms of the deal — yet another… »


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AMC Networks Shares Jump After Q4 Earnings Top Expectations – Update

12 hours ago

Update with stock trading info: AMC Networks shares soared about 13% this morning after the programmer reported Q4 earnings that topped Wall Street expectations. CEO Josh Sapan said in December that advertising in the year-end period looked lighter than he had anticipated. Some analysts followed by slashing their ad sales estimates, figuring that the number would be roughly flat with last year. But today’s report shows that domestic ad sales were up 3.1%, with price hikes… »

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India Censor Denies Release Of ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’; Cites “Lady Oriented” Story

12 hours ago

India's Censor Board of Film Certification has refused to certify Alankrita Shrivastava's award-winning female-empowerment drama Lipstick Under My Burkha for a theatrical release. The Cbfc cited the "lady oriented" story that puts "fantasy above life" and contains "sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and a bit sensitive touch about one particular section of society." While Indian indie cinema has grown in the past few years to include gritty, thoughtful and… »


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