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10 items from 2004


Affleck Rejects TV Cameo

26 November 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Ben Affleck has turned down the chance to make a cameo appearance in Canadian TV show Degrassi: The Next Generation, despite director pal Kevin Smith's desperate attempts. Jersey Girl director Smith will fulfill a life-long ambition when he appears in three episodes of the show, a spin-off of his favourite childhood programme Degrassi: Junior High, which ran from 1986-1991. Smith has convinced Canadian singer Alanis Morissette - who starred in his 1999 film Dogma - to make a cameo appearance and hoped Affleck would join them. But the actor wants to stay out of the limelight following his split from Jennifer Lopez and a succession of movie flops. Smith explains, "Affleck, honestly, could use the work right now. What better way to reboot your career than starring in a Canadian melodrama? He was just like, 'You know what, dude? I'm a little too high profile right now. I'm trying to scale back.' He was just feeling the burn. It's been a bad f**king year for him, and he keeps getting the s**t kicked out of him. I'm not gonna add to this dude's misery right now, where you know the episode would air and people would be like, 'Affleck winds up in Canadian teen soap opera.' And they'd somehow tie it into Jennifer Lopez." »

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77th Oscars ready for Rock

14 October 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Funnyman Chris Rock has been selected to host the next Oscars. Gil Cates, producer of the 77th Academy Awards telecast, made the announcement Thursday. Although the winner of both Emmy and Grammy awards has performed hosting duties for other awards shows, this will be Rock's first stint as Oscar host. Rock, a veteran of TV's Saturday Night Live and In Living Color, and the star of several movies, made his mark via comedy specials and a series on HBO. "He always has something interesting to say," said Cates in a news release. "Chris represents the best of the new generation of comics. Having him host the Oscars is terrific. I can't wait." Rock currently is shooting The Longest Yard with former SNL castmate Adam Sandler. His other film credits include Head of State, Bad Company, Down to Earth, Nurse Betty, Osmosis Jones, New Jack City, Lethal Weapon 4 and Dogma. The ceremonies take place Sunday, Feb. 27, 2005. »

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77th Oscars ready for Rock

14 October 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Funnyman Chris Rock has been selected to host the next Oscars. Gil Cates, producer of the 77th Academy Awards telecast, made the announcement Thursday. Although the winner of both Emmy and Grammy awards has performed hosting duties for other awards shows, this will be Rock's first stint as Oscar host. Rock, a veteran of TV's Saturday Night Live and In Living Color, and the star of several movies, made his mark via comedy specials and a series on HBO. "He always has something interesting to say," said Cates in a news release. "Chris represents the best of the new generation of comics. Having him host the Oscars is terrific. I can't wait." Rock currently is shooting The Longest Yard with former SNL castmate Adam Sandler. His other film credits include Head of State, Bad Company, Down to Earth, Nurse Betty, Osmosis Jones, New Jack City, Lethal Weapon 4 and Dogma. The ceremonies take place Sunday, Feb. 27, 2005. »

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Weinsteins buy '9/11' from Miramax

31 May 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 moved a step closer to distribution Friday as Miramax Films' co-chairmen Bob and Harvey Weinstein and the Walt Disney Co. finalized a deal that will allow the Weinsteins to buy the film back from Disney. The Weinsteins, who are setting up a new company, the Fellowship Adventure Group, to handle the documentary, have not yet finalized a deal with a new distributor, although Lions Gate Films, which has been in the mix of companies interested in handling domestic distribution, appears to be closing in on a deal. A Miramax spokesman would not address that possibility, and Lions Gate execs could not be reached for comment. Other distributors such as Newmarket Films, Focus Films and ThinkFilm are reported to have also had discussions with Miramax, although Lions Gate has an existing record of handling Miramax's hot potatoes, having taken over distribution of Dogma and O. »

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ThinkFilm ponders '9/11' release

16 May 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

CANNES -- ThinkFilm on Saturday became the latest possible contender to release Michael Moore's controversial documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, screening In Competition at Cannes. As the movie mogul siblings are nearing their recently announced deal with Miramax parent Walt Disney Co. to personally buy back the project, multiple sources said ThinkFilm is now in the running to climb aboard. Newmarket Films, Focus Features and Lions Gate are already said to be in the mix. Miramax and ThinkFilm declined comment on the new development. While ThinkFilm's distribution apparatus is indeed smaller than some of the other possible suitors, its U.S. distribution chief, Mark Urman, hails from Lions Gate, where Miramax pulled off a very similar deal with Kevin Smith's too-hot-to-handle Dogma. Moore is known to be friendly with Urman and ThinkFilm has had previous success with a docu in Spellbound. »

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Temperatures rise as 'Fahrenheit 9/11' race heats up

13 May 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

CANNES -- A tight race is now developing among a handful of distributors interested in Michael Moore's documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, following the announcement late Wednesday that Bob and Harvey Weinstein are close to an agreement with the Walt Disney Co. to buy back Miramax's interest in the film. According to several sources close to the situation, the outfits leading that pack are Universal Pictures' specialty division Focus Features and Newmarket Films, where president Bob Berney recently took over distribution of the equally controversial The Passion of the Christ for Mel Gibson's Icon. Lions Gate Films could be a contender as well, according to several sources, because that indie banner has previously rolled out such too-hot-to-handle Miramax fare as Dogma. In their statement acknowledging the current discussions with Disney, the Weinsteins specifically mentioned "providing Disney a term sheet based on the deal previously done on 'Dogma.' " »

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Weinsteins near deal to buy back Moore '9/11' docu

13 May 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

CANNES -- Miramax Films co-chairmen Harvey Weinstein and Bob Weinstein are nearing a deal with Miramax parent The Walt Disney Co. to personally buy back in full Miramax's interest in Michael Moore's documentary Fahrenheit 9/11. The Weinsteins would then be free to find another distributor to release the film, which is scheduled to have its world premiere Monday at the Festival de Cannes. Under the deal currently being discussed, the Weinsteins in effect would reimburse Miramax the $5 million-$6 million that Miramax advanced Moore last year. The arrangement is said to be similar to one that the Weinsteins struck in order to take Kevin Smith's 1999 religious comedy Dogma to distributor Lions Gate after Disney refused to allow Miramax to distribute the film, which faced protests from some Catholics over its content. A Miramax spokesman in New York released a statement Wednesday saying, "We are very happy that Disney has agreed to sell 'Farenheit 9/11' to Bob and Harvey. (Miramax) is providing Disney a term sheet based on the deal previously done on 'Dogma.' Bob and Harvey look forward to promptly completing the transaction." »

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Moore Eyes New US Distributor

12 May 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Controversial director Michael Moore may have found a distributor for his new documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 despite Disney banning Miramax from releasing it - the Weinstein brothers themselves. According to American newspaper New York Daily News, Miramax owners Harvey and Bob Weinstein may buy the film as individuals. Last week the Dude, Where's My Country? author announced Disney had forbidden Miramax from distributing Fahrenheit 9/11, which criticizes American President George W Bush's dealings before the Iraq war and links his political family to that of terror chief Osama Bin Laden. The film is set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival this month and has secured a contract with Optimum Releasing to be distributed in the UK. A source told the New York Daily News the Weinsteins could buy the film and sell the distribution rights to another company. The source says, "There's a precedent for that - they did that with Kids and Dogma." Miramax spokesman Matthew Hiltzik denies the film is unpatriotic, explaining, "It's very respectful of the troops." »

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Smith: Affleck's Hair Is Real

18 February 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Film-maker Kevin Smith has hit out at reports his pal Ben Affleck is going bald. Smith, who has worked with Affleck on such projects as Dogma, Chasing Amy and the upcoming film Jersey Girl, insists the former fiance of Jennifer Lopez has all his own hair. He says, "That is totally the man's natural hair. We were shooting Jersey Girl, and I came in one day and was like, 'Dude, I read on the net last night that you don't have real hair - that you got into a bar brawl with Vince Vaughn and he pulled your wig piece off.' And he was like, 'I haven't seen Vince Vaughn in two years. Let alone in the bar. Let alone do I have fake hair.'" »

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Affleck Throws Himself Into Damon Screenwriting Collaboration

27 January 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Newly-single superstar Ben Affleck is throwing himself into a new screenwriting collaboration with best pal Matt Damon, following his split with fiancee Jennifer Lopez. The Good Will Hunting Oscar-winners burst into Tinseltown in 1997 with their acclaimed script about a math genius and his troubled relationships - and now the pair hope to repeat their success with a brand new project. Sources say that Dogma star Affleck is desperate to reclaim his credibility after spending much of 2003 the subject of salacious gossip columns thanks to this romance with J.Lo. And in an effort to lower his profile, the hunky star plans to concentrate on "spending more time behind the camera, writing, directing, producing". An insider says, "The script is along the same lines as Good Will Hunting. It's set in Boston and deals with relationships. He's tired of his face being on the National Enquirer and wants to dial it all back a bit." »

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10 items from 2004


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