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Close up: Harvey Weinstein brings Butter to Michele Bachmann's Tea Party

15 September 2011 11:02 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Weinstein Company boss makes an uncharacteristically frank criticism of right-wing favourite at the Toronto launch of his new film

The big story

For one of Hollywood's loudest voices, Harvey Weinstein is normally quite quiet when it comes to politics. Imagine the surprise this week when the movie mogul used the Toronto film festival screening of The Weinstein Company's new film, Butter, to take a surprise swipe at right-wing favourite Michele Bachmann (via a statement read by Butter star Olivia Wilde) .

"In 20 years of coming to the Toronto film festival, I've never released a statement for a film," read Wilde for Weinstein. "But I would like to take this moment to formally invite Republican congresswoman from Minnesota and Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann to co-host with me the big premiere of Butter in Iowa in a few months from now. We could take some math classes in the morning to help balance the budget, »

- Henry Barnes

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Casting Bits: Whitney Houston Returns to Acting with ‘Sparkle’ Remake, Brit Stars Sign Up for Dustin Hoffman’s ‘Quartet’, Ashley Greene in Modern-Day ‘Oliver Twist’

14 September 2011 6:00 AM, PDT | Slash Film | See recent Slash Film news »

[1] Whitney Houston is set to return to the big screen for the first time in 15 years for Sparkle, a remake of the 1976 drama based on the real-life tale of Diana Ross and The Supremes (yes, kind of like Dreamgirls, only Sparkle came first). The story follows the rise and fall of fictional girl group Sister & the Sisters, the members of which find their personal lives falling apart even as their act reaches ever higher levels of fame and success. Houston, who's also set to executive produce, will play the "not-so-encouraging" mother of the girls in the band. Houston has actually been attached to the project since back when it was supposed to star Aaliyah, who passed away in 2001. Also in the cast are Jordin Sparks making her cinematic debut in the title role, and Mike Epps in the part of destructive comedian Satin. Salim Akil (Jumping the Broom) is set »

- Angie Han

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Dustin Hoffman Begins Shooting 'Quartet'

13 September 2011 11:50 PM, PDT | FilmInk.com.au | See recent FilmInk.com.au news »

According to The Collider, shooting has just begun in and around Buckinghamshire on what may end up being Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut, Quartet, a film about four celebrated but retired opera singers.   To bring the story to life, Hoffman has assembled a cast of British veteran acting talent that includes Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Tom Courtenay, Pauline Collins, Sheridan Smith, and Michael Gambon. The screenplay is by celebrated writer Ronald Harwood (The Pianist, The Diving Bell & The Butterfly, Australia), based on his own play.   Connolly and Courtenay play lifelong buds, who together with their former colleague played by Collins, reside at Beecham House, a home for retired opera singers. »

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Dustin Hoffman Begins Work On Directorial Bow ‘Quartet’

13 September 2011 10:40 AM, PDT | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

The legendary Hollywood star Dustin Hoffman has today begun production on his debut feature as director with the British drama Quartet. Having worked with the likes of Sam Peckinpah (Straw Dogs), Sydney Pollack (Tootsie), Steven Speilberg (Hook) and John Schlesinger (Midnight Cowboy) over the course of his career, Hoffman now seems that he is ready to take charge with an adaptation of the Ronald Harwood stage play.

Hoffman has assembled some of the cream of British acting with the likes of Dame Maggie Smith (Gosford Park), Michael Gambon (Harry Potter), Tom Courtenay (Nicolas Nickleby) and Billy Connelly (The Last Samurai) for the movie that will be produced by BBC Films.

The synopsis, via a press release, goes as follows…

Lifelong friends Wilf (Billy Connolly) and Reggie (Tom Courtenay), together with former colleague Cissy (Pauline Collins), are residents of Beecham House, a home for retired opera singers. Every year on Giuseppe Verdi’s birthday, »

- Craig Hunter

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Muggle Dustin Hoffman to Direct Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon

13 September 2011 8:53 AM, PDT | NextMovie | See recent NextMovie news »

Dustin Hoffman is getting ready to pop his director's chair cherry with the veddy British production of "Quartet," a movie all about retired opera singers. Really! Will it be a drama, a comedy, a musical, or some crazy combo of all three?

All we know is that it's jam-packed with British talent of the highest caliber, such as "Harry Potter" favorites Dame Maggie Smith (Professor McGonagall) and Michael Gambon (Dumbledore, duh), as well as Billy Connolly, Tom Courtenay, and Pauline Collins.

And most of them have some pretty good lungs on 'em, too.

Drama is as drama does, so we can only imagine what happens in a retirement home for opera singers. Actually, we don't have to, because Hoffman's movie takes place in one! Naturally, the residents of Beecham House throw a big shindig every year to celebrate the birthday of the famous composer Verdi, but when an old colleague »

- Jenni Miller

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Hoffman To Direct Quartet

12 September 2011 3:06 PM, PDT | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Dustin Hoffman is planning to make his directorial debut with a film adaptation of Ronald Harwood's acclaimed play Quartet.

Great Brits Michael Gambon, Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly and Tom Courtenay will star in the production, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The film revolves around four ageing opera stars who are living in a retirement home. »

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Dustin Hoffman To Make Directorial Debut With ‘Quartet’

12 September 2011 2:27 PM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Dustin Hoffman has been a prolific actor for over 40 years now. He made his big break with 1967′s The Graduate and won two Academy Awards for his performances in Kramer vs Kramer and Rain Man. He has worked with such acclaimed directors as Mike Nichols, Alan J. Pakula, Arthur Penn, Bob Fosse, and Marc Forster. Today, at 74 years of age, he remains a big name and is still in high demand. Given all that, it may surprise you that he has never once tried his hand at directing, something that many actors seem to take a fancy to.

However, it looks like Hoffman has decided that it’s now or never, with the announcement (via ThePlaylist) that filming started today on his directorial debut, Quartet. The cast features a host of great British talent, including Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Michael Gambon, Billy Connolly, and Pauline Collins. Hoffman himself has decided against starring. »

- jpraup@gmail.com (thefilmstage.com)

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Dustin Hoffman To Direct Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, And Billy Connolly In Quartet

12 September 2011 12:23 PM, PDT | cinemablend.com | See recent Cinema Blend news »

Dustin Hoffman is one of the great American actors. His legacy includes legendary performances in films like The Graduate, Midnight Cowboy, Tootsie, Marathon Man, and Rain Man, But according to The Hollywood Reporter, Hoffman is ready to venture behind the camera for the first time in his career. The two-time Oscar winner will be directing a film adaptation of Ronald Harwood.s stage play Quartet, set to open in 2012. The story centers on a group of former opera singers now residing in a retirement home. It appears Hoffman is putting together quite an outstanding cast for his directorial debut. So far the cast of Quartet boasts Michael Gambon, Maggie Smith, and Billy Connolly as well as Pauline Collins and Tom Courtenay. We are talking about some of the finest actors Britain has to offer. It.s almost like The Expendables with The Royal Shakespeare Company. It's not all that surprising »

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Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut ‘Quartet’ starts shooting in the U.K.

12 September 2011 10:44 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Dustin Hoffman's (Rain Man, Hook) first movie as a director begins filming in Buckinghamshire this week for two months, with a starry cast of British actors. Maggie Smith (Harry Potter, Gosford Park), Michael Gambon (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Sleepy Hollow, Gosford Park), Billy Connolly (The Last Samurai, Mrs Brown), Tom Courtenay (Doctor Zhivago, The Golden Compass) and Pauline Collins (Shirley Valentine, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger) all appear in Quartet, a film about growing old with hope.

Hoffman’s movie is based on Ronald Harwood’s stage play of the same name and Harwood has written the screenplay for the film as well. Headline Pictures describe the film’s story: “Cecily, Reggie and Wilfred are in a home for retired opera singers. Every year, on October 10th, there is a concert to celebrate Giuseppe Verdi's birthday and they take part. Jean, who used to be married to Reggie, »

- flickeringmyth

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Dustin Hoffman Making Directorial Debut With Quartet Starring Maggie Smith and Billy Connolly

12 September 2011 10:34 AM, PDT | Collider.com | See recent Collider.com news »

Dustin Hoffman is looking to finally try his hand at directing, as the Academy Award-winning actor is set to make his feature directorial debut with Quartet. Based on the stage play of the same name, the film centers on a quartet of celebrated opera singers whose yearly plans to put on a concert in order to raise funds for their opera singers-only retirement home go awry when four of the finest singers in English operatic history living under one roof leads to trouble. Hoffman has assembled a cast of British veterans that includes Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Tom Courtenay, Pauline Collins, Sheridan Smith, and Michael Gambon. Production got underway today in and around Buckinghamshire and will last for nine weeks. Hit the jump to read the full press release. Here’s the full press release: London, 12th September 2011... Dustin Hoffman has assembled a cast of Britain’s most virtuoso actors »

- Adam Chitwood

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Dustin Hoffman Making Directorial Debut with British Drama 'Quartet'

12 September 2011 10:00 AM, PDT | firstshowing.net | See recent FirstShowing.net news »

After working with some of the finest filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg, Sydney Pollack, and Mike Nichols, Oscar-winning actor Dustin Hoffman is ready to try his hand at directing. In a press release from BBC Films and Dcm Productions, it was revealed that Hoffman will be at the helm of an adaptation of Ronald Harwood's stage play Quartet. In addition, Hoffman has assembled some impressive talent for the adaptation including Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Tom Courtenay, Pauline Collins, Sheridan Smith and Michael Gambon starring in the film which began production in Britain today. Here's the official synopsis for the film straight from the press release: Lifelong friends Wilf (Billy Connolly) and Reggie (Tom Courtenay), together with former colleague Cissy (Pauline Collins), are residents of Beecham House, a home for retired opera singers. Every year on Giuseppe Verdi’s birthday, the residents unite to give a concert to raise funds »

- Ethan Anderton

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Smith, Connolly, More Join "Quartet"

12 September 2011 9:53 AM, PDT | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly and Pauline Collins are all joining "Quartet", Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut feature which begins shooting this week.

Based on Ronald Harwood’s stage play, the story follows the residents of an old folks home for retired opera singers.

Every year on Verdi’s birthday, the residents unite to give a concert to raise funds for their home. A new resident comes in and upsets the balance as old rivalry’s appear.

Sheridan Smith and Michael Gambon also star in the film which will shoot over the next nine weeks around Buckinghamshire. Finola Dwyer and Stewart Mackinnon will produce. »

- Garth Franklin

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Dustin Hoffman Picks A Quartet

12 September 2011 8:57 AM, PDT | EmpireOnline | See recent EmpireOnline news »

Dustin Hoffman has brought his talents to the screen and stage for nearly five decades but, unlike many A-listers, he's bided his time before trying this hand on the other side of the camera. The biding*, however, is at an end. Hoffman gets the cameras rolling on Quartet, his debut feature, this week in Buckinghamshire.The actor-turned-helmer has assembled a terrific cast of British acting talent - many of whose careers span those five same decades - including Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Michael Gambon, Billy Connolly and Pauline Collins.Courtenay, Connolly and Collins play three ex-opera stars who live together in Beecham House, a home for retired opera singers. Every year they throw a party to celebrate the birthday of Giuseppe Verdi. This year, however, their plans are thrown into flux by the arrival of Jean Horton (Smith), a former grande dame of the opera who's run into hard times. »

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Britain's best join Dustin Hoffman's 'Quartet'

12 September 2011 7:17 AM, PDT | EW - Inside Movies | See recent EW.com - Inside Movies news »

Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut, Quartet, now boasts an acclaimed quartet of actors. The film, which kicks off principal photography today, will star Maggie Smith (Harry Potter), Tom Courtenay (Doctor Zhivago), Billy Connolly (The Last Samurai), and Pauline Collins (Shirley Valentine). It’s quite a list — there are nine Oscar nominations among the four of them, and two wins. (Though, you must mostly credit Smith, who has been nominated six times and won twice.)

Also starring in the feature: Sheridan Smith (Legally Blonde, The Musical) and Michael Gambon (Harry Potter). Quartet follows a group of retired opera singers whose relationships »

- Kate Ward

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Dustin Hoffman in the UK to direct a talented Quartet

12 September 2011 5:44 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Us actor begins filming his directorial debut about a group of elderly opera stars, played by Billy Connolly, Maggie Smith, Pauline Collins and Tom Courtenay

Veteran actor Dustin Hoffman is due to start filming in the UK today on his directorial debut, Quartet, based on a play by The Pianist scriptwriter Ronald Harwood.

Quartet is set in a retirement home for former musicians, and features Billy Connolly, Tom Courtenay, Pauline Collins and Maggie Smith as the reunited members of a once-celebrated opera-singing quartet as they prepare to put on a concert.

Albert Finney was originally cast in Connolly's role, but had to leave the production due to illness.

Dustin HoffmanBilly ConnollyAndrew Pulver

guardian.co.uk © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds »

- Andrew Pulver

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Dustin Hoffman to direct opera movie Quartet starring Maggie Smith

23 May 2011 3:44 PM, PDT | The Geek Files | See recent The Geek Files news »

Dustin Hoffman is preparing to get behind the camera to direct some of Britain's finest acting talent.

The 73-year-old actor has unveiled plans to come to the UK this summer to shoot an independent movie.

"In six weeks I'm going to make a movie there," he revealed at the Hollywood premiere of Kung Fu Panda 2, in which he voices Shifu.

"It's called Quartet and it's with Tom Courtenay and Maggie Smith," he said. "It's about retired opera singers and we're going to shoot it all on location in Buckinghamshire."

But don't expect Dustin to be belting out any arias."No, no, unless I say acccctttiiiiiooon," he sang jokingly.

The star had also been set to act alongside another British acting great, Sir Anthony Hopkins, on The Song Of Names.

"That didn't work out," Dustin admitted. "I actually called him this morning because I'm directing something that I want to »

- David Bentley

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Key Players in the 2011 Cannes Market: Hanway Films

13 May 2011 6:00 AM, PDT | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

The U.K team only have one film in the Cannes competition in Takashi's Miike's Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai, but its the more than one item in Hanway Films upcoming slate that has me salivating. They've got Steve McQueen's Shame, Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights and David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method all in the oven. If there is a break-in at the Hanway offices this week, I don't want anyone thinking it was me. Here's the full list for ya: A Dangerous Method by David Cronenberg - Completed Hara-kiri: Death Of A Samurai by Takashi Miike - Completed Shame by Steve McQueen - Production 13 Assassins by Takashi Mike - Completed Chico And Rita by Fernando Trueba - Completed Distant Thunder by Mark Deeble - Pre-Production Essential Killing by Jerzy Skolimowski - Completed Girls' Night Out by Michael Hoffman - Pre-Production Kon Tiki by Joachim Roenning - Pre-Production »

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Hoffman's "Quartet" Shoots This Year

19 January 2011 6:28 AM, PST | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut "Quartet" is set to begin shooting later this year in the UK reports Digital Spy.

Producer Finola Dwyer ("An Education") says "He is shooting on an HBO series, Luck, the Michael Mann series at the moment. As soon as he's done with that he'll come to London and we'll shoot it in the Autumn."

Dwyer confirmed that Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay and Albert Finney are attached to star in this story about retired opera singers who plan a gala concert to celebrate Verdi’s birthday.

She also says "[Hoffman] is brilliant on script - a great script by Ronnie Harwood. He's very precise - all those years of experience and his brilliance and genius is [a] delight." BBC Films is funding the project. »

- Garth Franklin

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Dustin Hoffman's Directorial Debut 'Quartet' To Shoot This Fall

19 January 2011 6:16 AM, PST | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

First announced early last year, Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut--an adaptation of Ronald Harwood's stage comedy "Quartet"--is now set to begin production this fall after the actor-turned-director wraps up on the David Milch-backed HBO horse-racing drama "Luck." The project is shaping to be a real actor's film boasting a powerful leading trio with English thespians Maggie Smith, Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay for the story of "four retired opera singers living in a retirement home, who decide to sing once more at a gala concert to celebrate Verdi's birthday." And it looks like some more accomplished talent may be joining the… »

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Hoffman's 'Quartet' to shoot this Autumn

18 January 2011 6:50 AM, PST | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Producer Finola Dwyer has revealed that Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut Quartet will film later this year in the UK. Dwyer, who produced An Education and is also chair of BAFTA's Film Committee, told Digital Spy that Hoffman will commence work on Quartet - about three retired opera singers - after he finishes work on Us TV series Luck. "He is shooting on an HBO series, Luck, the Michael Mann series at the moment," she said. "As soon as he's done with that he'll come to London and we'll (more) »

- By Simon Reynolds

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