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Obama To Eastwood: ‘This Seat’s Taken’

By | Thursday August 30, 2012 @ 11:11pm PDT

Here’s an image from Twitter of President Obama’s tweeted response to Clint Eastwood’s speech at the Republican National Convention. During his speech Eastwood carried on a mock dialogue with an empty chair that represented the Democratic incumbent.

Related: Clint Eastwood Tells Republican Convention Hollywood Has Lots Of Conservatives

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Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Great Expectations’, HBO Goes Nordic, ‘Touch Of The Light’

By | Thursday August 30, 2012 @ 10:45pm PDT

‘Great Expectations’ To Close London Fest
In addition to screening next month in Toronto, director Mike Newell’s version of Great Expections has been selected as the closing night presentation of the 56th BFI London Film Festival. The Dickens classic adapted by David Nicholls will screen October 21 at the Odeon Leicester Square. It stars Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes and Jeremy Irvine as Pip, the orphan who’s given a chance to rise from humble beginnings owing to a mysterious benefactor. It also stars Holliday Grainger, Robbie Coltrane, Ewen Bremner, Jason Flemyng, Sally Hawkins, David Walliams and Tamzin Outhwaite. Great Expectations is produced by Number 9 Films partners Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley. Producers for Unison Films are Emanuel Michael and David Faigenblum. The movie was financed by BBC Films, the BFI Film Fund, Lipsync Productions, Unison Films and Hart/Lunsford Pictures.

HBO Launches Web-Only Service In Nordic Markets
HBO will launch a streaming service in Nordic countries that won’t require customers to be signed up with a cable or satellite pay TV. HBO Nordic, a joint venture between Time Warner’s HBO and Parsifal International, will roll out both a premium TV service and the Web service in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland from mid-October. HBONordic.com compete with with Netflix which is expected to launche its own Nordic streaming service soon. All of HBO’s shows including Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire will be available on the HBO Nordic streaming service for less than 10 euros (about $12.50) a month. In the U.S. HBO has resisted consumer calls to offer HBO Go online without requiring subscriptions to cable or satellite packages. Meanwhile the company is roling out HBO Go on-demand movies to subscribers in nine European countries.
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EMMYS: Miniseries/TV Movie Supporting Acting Handicap

By | Thursday August 30, 2012 @ 10:00pm PDT
Pete Hammond

After this year’s one last hurrah, say goodbye to the longform supporting actor categories at the Emmys. The Board of Governors of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences voted to do away with the categories and “merge” them with the lead actor and actress contests in a bid to reduce some of the primetime categories and save time on the telecast. So, for the last time, here is a rundown of the chances for this year’s nominees:

SUPPORTING ACTOR

TOM BERENGER (Hatfields & McCoys, History)

Emmy Pedigree: Chicago-born Tom Berenger’s credits go back to the mid-’70s–dozens of TV shows and movies (from Platoon to Inception)–but he’s received just one previous Emmy nomination for a guest-starring role on Cheers in 1993.

What We Say: As Devil Anse Hatfield’s Uncle Jim Vance, Berenger is almost unrecognizable in his gruff get-up and is authentic throughout. However, the role doesn’t stand out as much of some of the others in this category so he’s only got a small chance to actually win over flashier competing roles in the category.

MARTIN FREEMAN (Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia, PBS)

Emmy Pedigree: It’s the first Emmy nomination for British-born Freeman, but the role is iconic. Freeman plays Dr. Watson, friend and assistant to super-sleuth Sherlock Holmes.

What We Say: Already the winner … Read More »

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‘The Ambassador’, ‘For A Good Time, Call…’ ‘Little Birds’: Specialty Box Office Preview

Brian Brooks is managing editor of MovieLine.

The dog days of summer are coming to a close as Venice, Telluride and Toronto gear up with dozens of titles that will eventually make their way to U.S. screens — at least those that receive a theatrical release. For Labor Day weekend audiences, a string of past festival pics are headed for their box office run. Sundance titles The Ambassador, For A Good Time, Call and Little Birds make their bows this holiday. Austrian filmmaker Karl Markovics’ Breathing debuts in the U.S. after screening last year at Cannes. China Lion’s The Bullet Vanishes heads to North America, targeting Chinese audiences.

The Ambassador
Director: Mads Brügger
Writers: Maja Jul Larsen, Mads Brügger
Cast: Mads Brügger
Distributor: Drafthouse Films

Documentary filmmaker Mads Brügger made a splash Stateside back in 2010 at the Sundance Film Festival where his The Red Chapel won the World Cinema documentary prize. His latest, The Ambassador, features the Danish filmmaker-journalist posing as a European diplomat as he goes under cover to investigate the blood diamond trade in Africa. “[We] were big fans of Mads because of Red Chapel, and The Ambassador was one of our big targets for Sundance this year,” Drafthouse Films exec James Shapiro said. “Corruption in Africa isn’t a revelation but he really throws himself in the thick of it and risks everything including his life to show an account of modern day colonialism. It hit us right in the gut and … next thing we know, we’re making an offer to Trust Nordic,” the sales company. Read More »

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UPDATE: Clint Eastwood Tells Republican Convention Hollywood Has Lots of Conservatives

By | Thursday August 30, 2012 @ 7:21pm PDT

UPDATE, 7:21 PM:  “Save a little for Mitt,” joked Clint Eastwood to Republicans’ enthusiastic cheers to his primetime appearance onstage in Tampa, Florida before the Presidential nominee. Right off the bat, Eastwood tackled the notion that Hollywood supports Democrats not the GOP. “What’s a movie tradesman doing here? They’re all left-wingers out there. Left of Lenin,” the Oscar winner said. Eastwood then added, “that’s what people think, but that’s not really the case. There’s a lot of conservative people, moderate people in Hollywood but, by their very nature, conservative people play it close to the chest.” After noting the presence of fellow star Jon Voight among the GOP crowd and some brief remarks about the hope that he felt when President Barack Obama was first elected, Eastwood then did a mock interview to an empty chair that represented the incumbent. The star slammed Obama, making fun of his broken promise to close Guantanamo Bay, the idea of potentially trying terrorists in New York City, his environmental polices and the war in Afghanistan. Eastwood also took a swipe at some of the verbal gaffs of Vice President Joe Biden. “We all know Biden is the intellect of the Democratic Party, kind of a grin with a body behind it,” he said to Republican roars. Voicing his strong support for Mitt Romney, Eastwood told the delegates, “we own this country.” He added that Romney needed to replace Obama … Read More »

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Reagan Hologram Developer Didn’t Want To Distract From Mitt Romney: Report

By | Thursday August 30, 2012 @ 7:20pm PDT

That holographic projection of former President Ronald Reagan we’ve been hearing about really is in the works, according to Yahoo News, which reports it was intended to debut outside the halls of the Republican National Convention this week. But the unveiling has been put on hold. “It wasn’t officially going to be part of the convention,” Tony Reynolds, founder of crowdsourcing website A KickIn Crowd, told Yahoo News by phone today. “It was going to be outside of the convention at the Lakeland Center.” But Reynolds said Republican activists asked him to wait out of concern it would distract from GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech. Reynolds obtained rights to a Reagan speech about small businesses. He plans to use the hologram to promote the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act. He has been working with AV Concepts, one of the companies behind the Tupac Shakur hologram that was shown at the Coachella Music Festival. Reynolds surmises that rumors about the Reagan hologram probably resulted from his contacts with media organizations about fundraising efforts. “Digital Domain was involved in creating the Tupac hologram as well, but I think the media organizations just reached out to the wrong company,” he suggested, attempting to explain why some reports claimed the hologram was a hoax.

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ABC Buys Megan Holley-Penned Adaptation Of Book ‘My Life, Deleted’ & Medical Drama

By | Thursday August 30, 2012 @ 6:15pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

ABC has bought two more hourlong projects.

My Life, Deleted, from ABC Studios and Matthew Gross’ studio-based Gross Entertainment, is based on Scott Bolzan’s bestselling memoir about navigating life after suffering a severe case of permanent retrograde amnesia. Without any memory of his family, his past, or even the relationship between a husband and wife, 46-year-old Bolzan had to completely rebuild his life. Megan Holley, writer of indie Sunshine Cleaning starring Amy Adams and Emily Blunt, will pen the adaptation. It will use Bolzan’s life story as a jumping point, centering on a successful business man who suffers a head injury that wipes away all of his memories. Read More »

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Venice: Terrence Malick To Remain Filmdom’s Most Famous Recluse?

It’s been confirmed to me by a knowledgeable source that Terrence Malick will not be in Venice OR Toronto for screenings of his latest film, To The Wonder, which debuts Sunday on the Lido. While that’s not really such a wonder, the notoriously reclusive director did come to Cannes a little more than a year ago when Tree Of Life screened — and ultimately won the Palme d’Or. That year, people were practically taking bets on whether he’d show for the movies’s official launch. He didn’t come to the press conference at the time, it was said, because he wanted the film to speak for itself. True enough. If Malick had been there that would have been the story — Brad Pitt’s presence notwithstanding. But later that day in 2011, I sat down in Cannes president Gilles Jacob’s office for a chat and it turned out Malick had been keeping my seat warm for me. Jacob told me the director had just sat for two hours in the same chair as they discussed all and sundry. At the time, Jacob said the director would likely not do the Tree Of Life red carpet since he suffered from “extreme timidity.” However, Malick ended up making a split-second appearance in Cannes’ Lumière theater that night, it was reported at the time. Can we expect something similar for this festival circuit? As one person who knows Malick well put … Read More »

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UPDATE: Is Sarah Palin’s Public Stance A Negotiating Tactic With Fox? – Report

By | Thursday August 30, 2012 @ 5:17pm PDT

UPDATE, 5:17 PM Thursday:  Sarah Palin’s comments on Facebook about her Republican Convention speech being canceled may be part of an elaborate negotiating tactic, according to New York magazine. Palin’s contract is supposedly up in January, and Fox News is considering what kind of new deal they will sign, if they decide to keep Palin at all. At roughly $1 million a year, Palin is Fox’s highest-paid contributor, the magazine said. Additionally Fox execs have been underwhelmed by Palin’s ratings. And Palin hasn’t been happy when Fox hasn’t given her top billing. Sources cited by New York say things have been so touchy that all communications have been through her husband Todd Palin, currently one of the contestants on NBC’s reality series Stars Earn Stripes. Additionally, Palin’s Facebook commentary likely did not endear her to Fox News chief Roger Ailes, who values discipline and loyalty. For now though they appear to have made peace. Despite being suddenly removed from FNC’s rundown on Wednesday, Palin is now scheduled to  be on with Sean Hannity tonight.

PREVIOUSLY, 4:44PM Wednesday: Sarah Palin took to Facebook today to complain about Fox News removing her as a talking head for the network’s GOP convention coverage. Fox News tells Deadline there’s no conspiracy theory. ”Our plans changed based on the fact that the RNC condensed the schedule of speeches from four nights to three. We look forward to having Governor … Read More »

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UPDATE: CNN Camera-Woman Says Convention Incident Should Be Wake-Up Call: Report

By | Thursday August 30, 2012 @ 4:55pm PDT

UPDATE THURSDAY 4:55 PM: The CNN camerawoman who was pelted with peanuts by attendees at the GOP Convention in Tampa yesterday has told Journal-isms that she was not surprised by the incident and that it should serve as a wake-up call to black people. “This is Florida, and I’m from the Deep South. You come to places like this, you can count the black people on your hand. They see us doing things they don’t think I should do,” she said. Two people were removed from the arena yesterday after they threw peanuts at the camera operator, while saying to her, “This is how we feed the animals.”

WEDNESDAY: The Republican Party is responding to an incident yesterday in which two attendees at the GOP’s Tampa convention threw peanuts at a female African-American CNN camera operator and said, “This is how we feed animals”. The RNC released a statement today: “Two attendees tonight exhibited deplorable behavior. Their conduct was inexcusable and unacceptable. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated”. Several people reportedly witnessed the exchange which was first tweeted by David Shuster and confirmed by Talking Points Memo (TPM). RNC security and police removed the two people from the Tampa Bay Times Forum. No word yet on their identities. CNN later acknowledged the incident: “CNN can confirm there was an incident directed at an employee inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum earlier this afternoon. CNN … Read More »

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CBS News Declines To Identify Author Of Book About Osama Bin Laden Raid

By | Thursday August 30, 2012 @ 4:40pm PDT

CBS News says it won’t reveal the identity of a retired Navy SEAL who wrote a book about the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden, even though other media outlets have done so. CBS News Chairman Jeff Fager told The Associated Press that the author is “an American hero” and the network believes it has a responsibility to protect him. Fager also said he’d make the same decision to withhold the identity even if the network hadn’t gotten an exclusive interview with him that’s set to air September 9 on 60 Minutes. The book, titled No Easy Day was written by one of the men in the room when the al-Qaida leader was killed in the May 2011 raid under the pseudonym of Mark Owen. The Navy Seal Team 6′s hunt for bin Laden also is the subject of the Kathryn Bigelow-directed film Zero Dark Thirty, slated for release on December 19. Mark Boal penned the script.

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OSCARS: Short Subject Documentary Entries Due September 4

By | Thursday August 30, 2012 @ 4:32pm PDT

The Academy has announced that Tuesday, September 4, 5 PM PDT is the deadline for short subject documentary entries and all required paperwork to be submitted for consideration for the 85th Academy Awards. You can read the details below:

To be eligible, the documentaries must complete a seven-day commercial run in a theater in either Los Angeles County or in the Borough of Manhattan in New York, between January 1, 2012, and December 31, 2012. Films completing their qualifying run after September 4 must still complete and submit all paperwork, including legal contracts, by the deadline.

Each completed entry form must be accompanied by supporting materials, including an English-language synopsis of the film, a list of film credits, filmographies of the director(s), 30 DVD copies of the film, and proof of seven-day qualifying exhibition.

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CBS Eyes David E. Kelley Workplace Comedy Starring Robin Williams

By | Thursday August 30, 2012 @ 4:30pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Thirty years after the end of Mork & Mindy, Oscar and Emmy winner Robin Williams is plotting a return to series television with a comedy written by Emmy winner David E. Kelley. The untitled single-camera comedy, written by The Practice and Ally McBeal creator, is set in the world of advertising and would star Williams as a brilliant ad executive working alongside his daughter.

As he often does, Kelley wrote the script before taking the project out, and CBS is now in talks to pick it up. 20th Century Fox TV, where Kelley was based for 22 years before moving to Warner Bros. TV in 2008, is producing. Kelley’s frequent collaborator Bill D’Elia will serve as an executive producer with him.

A deal with CBS would bring Kelley back to the network where he created his first show to score a best series Emmy win, drama Picket Fences. It was followed by wins for The Practice and Ally McBeal, which made him the only creator to score a best comedy and drama series Emmys in the same year. The ad agency project also would bring Kelley back to the half-hour genre where he co-created his first series, Doogie Howser, MD. Kelley most recently created legal dramedy Harry’s Law, which ran on NBC for two seasons, and medical drama Monday Mornings, which premieres on TNT next year.

Williams, Oscar winner for Good Will Hunting, … Read More »

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Julia Ormond To Star In Lifetime Pilot ‘Witches Of East End’

By | Thursday August 30, 2012 @ 3:19pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: In her first series regular role, Emmy winner Julia Ormond is set to star in the hourlong Lifetime pilot Witches Of East End. Based on Melissa de la Cruz’s best-selling novel, Witches Of East End centers on the adventures of Joanna Beauchamp (Ormond) and her two adult daughters. Joanna is a sexy, warm, artistic, tough, ethereal beauty who has been concealing a shocking secret from her daughters — namely, that they are witches born and bred. Having put her magical past and powers on hold, Joanna is now living a quiet life as a small town art teacher, but in the face of a grave and immediate danger, it seems the only way out is for the trio to rediscover their skills. Maggie Friedman, who shepherded ABC’s witch-themed Eastwick, wrote and will executive produce Witches Of East End with Erwin Stoff for Fox 21 and 3 Arts.

On TV, Ormond has done arcs on such series as Mad Men, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Nurse Jackie as well as TV movies, including HBO’s Temple Grandin, which earned her an Emmy Award. She is again nominated this year for her guest stint on AMC’s Mad Men. Witches Of East End reunites Ormond, repped by Gersh and Creative Partners, with Lifetime where she toplined the 2010 LMN original movie The Wronged Man, produced by Gale Anne Hurd.

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R.I.P. Steve Franken

By | Thursday August 30, 2012 @ 3:15pm PDT

Steve Franken, who played the snobby, rich kid Chatsworth on the 1960s TV show The Many Lives Of Dobie Gillis, has died after battling cancer, the New York Times reports. He was 80. His wife says Franken passed away August 24 at home in Los Angeles. In a television and film career that spanned more than 50 years, Franken appeared on numerous TV shows including Bewitched, Love, American Style, The Lieutenant and Seinfeld. Franken was born in Queens in 1932, graduated from Cornell University and began his acting career on the stage in New York City. He nabbed the role of Chatsworth when he went to Los Angeles to appear in José Ferrer’s production of Edwin Booth. Franken’s film credits include The Party, The Fiendish Plot Of Dr. Fu Manchu, Which Way To The Front?, Hardly Working, The Missouri Breaks and The Americanization Of Emily.

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OSCARS: Ron Yerxa, Bruce Davis Named Co-Chairs Of Foreign-Language Committee

By | Thursday August 30, 2012 @ 2:34pm PDT

Bruce Davis, former executive director of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, and producer Ron Yerxa are the new co-chairs of the Oscar foreign-language committee. The Academy confirmed that Davis and Yerxa are replacing producer Mark Johnson, who headed the committee for a dozen years. The new co-chairs will likely face continuing calls for tweaks to the selection process and eligibility requirements, which have evolved to include more well-reviewed and well-known movies. Yerxa’s producing credits include Little Miss Sunshine and Ruby Sparks.

Related: Oscar: New Rules Affect Music, Foreign Language, Makeup, Visual Effects Categories

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OSCARS: Academy Approves New Music Rules For 85th Awards

By | Thursday August 30, 2012 @ 1:58pm PDT

At least partly in response to criticism of Academy rules that resulted in the exclusion of potential nominees in music or song categories, the Motion Picture Academy today announced the following changes:

Beverly Hills, CA –The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has approved additional rules for the 85th Academy Awards. The most significant changes affect the Original Song category, in which there will now be five nominees.

During the nominations process, all voting members of the Music Branch will receive a Reminder List of works submitted in the category and a DVD copy of the song clips. Members will be asked to watch the clips and then vote in the order of their preference for not more than five achievements in the category. The five achievements receiving the highest number of votes will become the nominations for final voting for the award.

Additionally, upon the recommendation from the Designers Branch (formerly the Art Directors Branch), the Art Direction award will be known as the Production Design award.

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Sapphires’

By | Thursday August 30, 2012 @ 1:57pm PDT

Here’s the Toronto International Film Festival trailer for The Weinstein Company’s Cannes pickup The Sapphires. The movie about an Aboriginal girl group stars Chris O’Dowd as an unlikely talent scout, Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, Shari Sebbens and Miranda Tapsell. Screenplay is by playwright Tony Briggs, whose mother and family members were part of the original Sapphires, and Keith Thompson. Directed by actor and theater director Wayne Blair, The Sapphires is also screening this weekend in Telluride.


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Hot Trailer: ‘The Iceman’

By | Thursday August 30, 2012 @ 12:59pm PDT

Here’s the trailer for The Iceman, which is screening at Venice, Telluride and Toronto. Directed by Ariel Vromen, the movie about mob hit man Richard Kuklinski features Michael Shannon as the title character, plus Winona Ryder, James Franco, Ray Liotta, Chris Evans, David Scwimmer, Robert Davi and Danny Abeckaser:

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