R.I.P. Director Dirk Craft

By | Wednesday March 26, 2014 @ 4:20pm PDT

Dirk CraftThe veteran director who worked as an AD on dozens of TV and film projects ranging from Mixology, Rizzoli & Isles and ER to Running With Scissors and the Shaquille O’Neal starrer Steel died Monday after a long illness. Dirk Wallace Craft was 48. A 1991 grad of the DGA Trainee Program, he served as an assistant director on more than 50 productions and also directed episodes of Nip/Tuck and Burn Notice. The Pontiac, MI, native’s AD credits also include TV’s Detroit 1-8-7, Alien Nation, VIP and numerous telefilms as well as the 1996 feature The Crucible starring Daniel Day-Lewis. Survivors include his wife Sande Alessi Craft, who runs Sande Alessi Casting in Hollywood; their children Shaelyn and Kai; his mother Juanita Craft Hawisher; and sister Krista Craft Strongman.

A celebration of Craft’s life is set for March 28 in Agoura Hills. Details: sandealessisocialmedia@gmail.com. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Mariposa School of Global Education: payable to CAPTNS, 6050 Calmfield Ave, Agoura Hills, CA 91301, or online here.

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Ellen DeGeneres Gets Mixed Reviews For First Post-MacFarlane Oscars

By | Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 11:40pm PST

LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198For the third time in her career, Ellen DeGeneres was asked to host a Hollywood awards ceremony after a tragedy — this time the tragedyOscars 2014 Show being Seth MacFarlane’s Hollywood-savaging Oscars hosting of a year ago. Ellen hosted the twice-delayed Emmy Awards after the September 2001 terrorist attacks and, four years later, after Hurricane Katrina. Tonight she hosted the first Academy Awards since MacFarlane opened the Oscars with “We Saw Your Boobs” and followed it up with a crack about John Wilkes Booth (rather than nominee Daniel Day-Lewis) being the actor who best got into President Lincoln’s head.

“For those of you watching us around the world, it’s been a tough couple of days for us. It has been raining. We’re fine – thank you for your prayers,” DeGeneres joked as she opened tonight’s ABC broadcast — a nod to her deft hosting of the aforementioned Emmy broadcasts, including that twice-postponed ’01 Emmys, which she’d opened with the observation: “What would bother the Taliban more than seeing a gay woman in a suit surrounded by Jews” to gales of laughter.

Related: OSCARS: Deadline’s Live Blog

OscarSelfieWhen tonight’s disjointed show finally ended, a minute or two into Monday morning for about a third of the country’s TV viewers who live on the East Coast, DeGeneres had reminded us she’s likeable as all get out, but her improvised bits did not work so well – Amy Poehler and Tina Fey did it much better at the Golden Globes. She’d called Liza Minnelli  “sir”, complimented “him” on his great Liza Minnelli impersonation; shamed Harvey Weinstein into putting $200 bucks into Pharrell’s hat, which she was passing around to collect money to pay for the product-placement pizza she ordered for the A-listers in the front rows; pocketed and used best supporting actress winner Lupita Nyong’o’s pizza-collection contribution (a lip gloss); and maybe crashed Twitter shortly after piling about a dozen celebrities into one selfie during the broadcast in an attempt to break the record for most re-tweets (it was pushing 2 million by the time the trophy show was over, causing the Motion Picture Academy to apologize for contributing to the Twitter traffic jam). Read More »

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OSCARS: The Full List Of Presenters

By | Monday February 24, 2014 @ 5:35am PST

oscarBEVERLY HILLS, CA – Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron today announced the complete slate of stars who will present Oscars at the ceremony. The Oscars®, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, will air on Oscar Sunday, March 2, live on ABC.

The presenters, including several past Oscar winners and nominees, will be:

Amy Adams
Kristen Bell
Jessica Biel
Jim Carrey
Glenn Close
Bradley Cooper
Penélope Cruz
Benedict Cumberbatch
Viola Davis
Daniel Day-Lewis
Robert De Niro
Zac Efron
Sally Field
Harrison Ford
Jamie Foxx
Andrew Garfield
Jennifer Garner
Whoopi Goldberg
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Anne Hathaway
Goldie Hawn
Chris Hemsworth
Kate Hudson
Samuel L. Jackson
Angelina Jolie
Michael B. Jordan
Anna Kendrick
Jennifer Lawrence
Matthew McConaughey
Ewan McGregor
Bill Murray
Kim Novak
Tyler Perry
Brad Pitt
Sidney Poitier
Gabourey Sidibe
Will Smith
Kevin Spacey
Jason Sudeikis
Channing Tatum
Charlize Theron
John Travolta
Christoph Waltz
Kerry Washington
Emma Watson
Naomi Watts

“We are very excited that the Hollywood community will be turning out in force for Sunday’s Oscar ceremony,” said Zadan and Meron. “We sought to include a tremendous diversity of stars to represent not only this year’s nominees, but the legacy of the motion picture business as well.”

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OSCARS: Christoph Waltz Set To Present

By | Thursday February 20, 2014 @ 9:10am PST

UPDATE, 9:10 AM: Two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz is returning this year as a presenter, joining previously announced Daniel Day-Lewis, Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lawrence. From today’s release:

Oscars 2014BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Two-time Oscar® winner Christoph Waltz will present at this year’s Oscars, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. The Oscars, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, will air on Sunday, March 2, live on ABC.

Last year Waltz won his second Oscar for his supporting performance in “Django Unchained.” He received his first in 2009 for his supporting role in “Inglourious Basterds.” Waltz’s other feature credits include “Carnage,” “The Green Hornet” and “Water for Elephants.” Waltz will next be seen in “Big Eyes“ and “Horrible Bosses 2.”

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Steven Spielberg To Receive Lincoln Leadership Prize

By | Tuesday January 28, 2014 @ 7:53am PST

spielbergThe Lincoln Leadership Prize, awarded annually by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, honors outstanding individuals for a lifetime of service in the spirit of 16th President Abraham Lincoln. Honorees are described as those who manifest great strength of character, individual conscience, and an unwavering commitment to the defining principles of democracy. Steven Spielberg will receive the award during a dinner March 19 at the Hilton Chicago, presented by Sally Field. ”This is an extraordinary honor. For me, Lincoln’s unprecedented commitment to the cause of democracy is one of the most important examples of leadership our nation has ever seen,” said Spielberg. “I am humbled to receive an award that embodies both his legacy and the profound contributions he made to this country.”

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R.I.P. Saul Zaentz

By | Friday January 3, 2014 @ 7:32pm PST

Saul Zaentz deadUPDATED: The producer who won Best Picture Oscars in three different decades died tonight in the Bay Area. Saul Zaentz was 92. He won the Academy’s biggest prize for One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), Amadeus (1984) and The English Patient (1996), and produced such other films as The Unbearable Lightness Of Being, Goya’s Ghosts and the 1978 animated version of The Lord Of The Rings directed by Ralph Bakshi. He also received the Academy’s Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, the Producers Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award and BAFTA’s Academy Fellowship.

Over his long career, Zaentz produced several notable films adapted from literary works, including Cuckoo’s Nest (based on Ken Kesey’s novel), which earned he and then-young producer Michael Douglas five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It was Douglas’ first feature film producing credit. Cuckoo’s Nests Oscar wins were notable because it was the first film since 1934′s It Happened One Night to win all five top Oscar categories. It also earned Jack Nicholson and Douglas their first Academy Awards.

When he joined with Cuckoo’s Nest director Milos Forman again for 1984′s Amadeus, about the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, they again swept the Academy Awards — this time winning eight including Best Picture, Director and Actor for F. Murray Abraham. And in 1997, Zaentz produced The English Patient, which for third time during his career led to a sweep of the Academy Awards, winning nine Oscars including for Best Picture, Best Director for Anthony Minghella (who died in 2008), a Best Actor nomination for the young Ralph Fiennes and Best Supporting Actress for Juliette Binoche (who worked with Zaentz years earlier in The Unbearable Lightness of Being).

Related: In Memoriam: Notable Deaths Of 2013

Never one to shy away from what he believed in, Zaentz became involved in a heated battle for many years with Miramax Films over monies owed from The English Patient and was outspoken about it not only for himself but on behalf of the actors and his director Minghella. But that was not his first legal wrangling. He was unafraid and unabashed to go head to head against companies for artists and himself. He also always went on the record with journalists, never hiding behind anonymity. He led a colorful and eventful life and was part of the Greatest Generation of those who served in the Army in World War II and, at one point, he made a living as a gambler. He was born Feb. 28, 1921, in Passaic, N.J., and relocated to St. Louis during his teens before moving to San Francisco.

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Santa Barbara Film Festival To Honor Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey will receive the festival‘s Montecito Award for her performance in Lee Daniels’ The Butler and a celebration of her overall career. The Tribute to Winfrey is set for February 5 at the Arlington Theatre. Previous recipients of the award, given in recognition of a performer who has given a series of classic and standout performances, has gone to the likes of Daniel Day-Lewis, Geoffrey Rush, Julianne Moore, Kate Winslet, Javier Bardem, Naomi Watts and Annette Bening. Winfrey’s most recent work includes her moving portrayal of supportive wife Gloria Gaines in Lee Daniels’ The Butler. The historical drama stars Forest Whitaker as a White House butler who served seven American presidents over three decades. “Ms. Winfrey, the actress, inhabits Gloria Gaines with such gusto – she makes you forget Oprah the impresario,” says SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. “Her performance is career-defining and reason to rejoice.” The festival runs January 30-February 9.

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Palm Springs To Honor Matthew McConaughey With Desert Palm Achievement Award

Palm Springs, CA (November 8, 2013) – The 25th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Matthew McConaughey with the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor at its annual Awards Gala. Each year the festival selects an actor and actress to receive this award. Presented by Cartier and hosted by Mary Hart, the Awards Gala will be held Saturday, January 4 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs January 3-14.

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Contenders 2013: ‘Captain Phillips,’ ‘American Hustle,’ ‘Tim’s Vermeer,’ ‘Before Midnight,’ ‘Saving Mr. Banks,’ ‘Lone Survivor,’ ‘Despicable Me 2’ & ‘The Croods’ Bid For Oscar

Anna Lisa Raya is a Deadline contributor.

The second half of Deadline’s 3rd annual Contenders event at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills got off to an energized start after lunch on the outdoor terrace. Deadline Awards columnist Pete Hammond returned with Captain Phillips star Barkhad Abdi, who had one of the bigger moments of the day when he revealed he ad-libbed his momentous “I am the captain now” line in the Sony film, essentially stealing the scene from Tom Hanks. The film’s producers, Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti, were spotted in the audience joining in the roaring applause.

Related: Deadline’s Contenders 2013 – Morning Panels

Anyone who’s been waiting for David O. Russell’s follow-up to last year’s Oscar-nominated Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle (also for for Sony), will be happy to know the film was locked down today. This is per one of the film’s producers, Richard Suckle, who was on hand to discuss the genesis of the film which is loosely based on the ABSCAM scandals of the 1970s. One of his funnier reveals was that star Bradley Cooper — not wanting to perm his hair for the film — spent hours in hair and makeup every day getting it curled. Co-star Christian Bale, on the other hand, gained 40 lbs. for his role and shaved the crown of his head to perfect his character’s outlandish comb over.

Julie Delpy, co-writer and star of Sony Pictures ClassicsBefore Midnight, had a lot to say about the intense writing and preparation that went into making the film appear as improvised and natural as it does. Acting the role was “extremely stressful,” she told Hammond. “There’s no plot. There’s nothing to hold onto but character and emotional arc.” Also for SPC is Tim’s Vermeer — a documentary about one man’s attempt to recreate a Johannes Vermeer painting — which was uncharacteristically directed by Teller (better known as the other half of Penn & Teller). He was thankful for his editor, Patrick Sheffield, who made sense of the over 2,400 hours of footage. Writer Kelly Marcel was on-hand to discuss Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks, the only film ever allowed to feature Walt Disney as a character. She called the studio “unbelievably brave” in how hands-off they were with her and director John Lee Hancock.

Related: PHOTOS: Contenders 2013 Gallery
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Telluride Film Festival Unveils 2013 Lineup

By | Wednesday August 28, 2013 @ 7:09am PDT

The 40th annual Telluride Film Festival‘s lineup includes North American premieres for the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis, Robert Redford‘s tour-de-force work in J.C. Chandor’s All Is Lost, and Alexander Payne‘s Nebraska. The Coens and Redford will be honored with Silver Medallions along with Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof. As per usual, more sneak previews are expected outside the main program and will be announced soon (last year’s surprise additions included Ben Affleck’s Argo, which went on to win the Best Picture Oscar). The anniversary edition features an extra day of programming, a new venue in the Werner Herzog Theatre, and six guest directors instead of the usual one (Don Delillo, Buck Henry, Phillip Lopate, Michael Ondaatje, film scholar B. Ruby Rich and Salman Rushdie). Festivities kick off tonight with a concert honoring Inside Llewyn Davis featuring Punch Brothers. Here’s the main lineup followed by the full release:

ALL IS LOST (d. J.C. Chandor, U.S., 2013)

BEFORE THE WINTER CHILL (d. Philippe Claudel, France, 2013)

BETHLEHEM (d. Yuval Adler, Israel, 2013)

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (d. Abdellatif Kechiche, France, 2013)

BURNING BUSH (d. Agnieszka Holland, Czech Republic, 2013)

DEATH ROW: BLAINE MILAM + ROBERT FRATTA (d. Werner Herzog, U.S., 2013)

FIFI HOWLS FROM HAPPINESS (d. Mitra Farahani, U.S., 2013)

THE GALAPAGOS AFFAIR: SATAN CAME TO EDEN (d. Dan Geller, Dayna Goldfine, U.S., 2013)

GLORIA (d. Sebastián Lelio, Chile, 2013)

GRAVITY (d. Alfonso Cuarón, U.S./U.K., 2013)

IDA (d. Pawel Pawlikowski, Poland, 2013)

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS (d. Joel and Ethan Coen, U.S., 2013)

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN (d. Ralph Fiennes, U.K., 2013)

LABOR DAY (d. Jason Reitman, U.S., 2013)

THE LUNCHBOX (d. Ritesh Batra, India, 2013)

LA MAISON DE LA RADIO (d. Nicolas Philibert, France, 2013)

MANUSCRIPTS DON’T BURN (d. Mohammad Rasoulof, Iran, 2013)

THE MISSING PICTURE (d. Rithy Panh, Cambodia/France, 2013)

NEBRASKA (d. Alexander Payne, U.S., 2013)

PALO ALTO (d. Gia Coppola, U.S., 2013)

THE PAST (d. Asghar Farhadi, France/Italy, 2013)

SLOW FOOD STORY (d. Stefano Sardo, Italy, 2013)

STARRED UP (d. David Mackenzie, U.K., 2013)

TIM’S VERMEER (d. Teller, U.S., 2013)

TRACKS (d. John Curran, Australia, 2013)

UNDER THE SKIN (d. Jonathan Glazer, U.K., 2013)

THE UNKNOWN KNOWN (d. Errol Morris, U.S., 2013) Read More »

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New York Film Festival Unveils Docu And Revival Sidebars

By | Monday August 26, 2013 @ 2:49pm PDT

Three documentary sections — Applied Sciences, Motion Portraits and How Democracy Works Now — and a Revivals lineup will help fill out the main slate of the 2013 New York Film Festival, which runs September 27-October 13. Among the recently restored works in the later sidebar, previously known as Masterworks, include Martin Scorsese‘s The Age Of Innocence (1993), Nicholas Ray’s They Live By Night (1948) and The Lusty Men (1952), and Alain Resnais’ English-language Providence (1977). The fest opens September 27 with Captain Phillips and will hold tributes to Cate Blanchett and Ralph Fiennes before closing with Spike Jonze’s Her. Here are the full docu and revival lineups: Read More »

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A Replay Of A Few Minutes With The Late, Great Elmore Leonard: On Movies, iPads, And ‘Freaky Deaky’

By | Tuesday August 20, 2013 @ 9:13am PDT
Mike Fleming

I’m starting a week off today, and woke up to the depressing news that the great Detroit author Elmore Leonard has died at 87. Like so many who push words around for a living, even if it is in a much inferior fashion, I was in awe of Leonard’s ability to write as only he could. He just made you want to try harder, no matter what kind of writing you did. You could go back to the likes of Mickey Spillane and Raymond Chandler, but I’m hard pressed to think of a crime fiction author who influenced so many. I swear that after a Leonard book came out, I could feel the influence even on daily journalists who read him. For instance, I read sports columnist Mike Lupica all the time and noticed after every Leonard book came out, Lupica would temporarily incorporate Leonard’s penchant for starting sentences in odd places, and clipping the quotes of his subjects to liven up the dialogue like Leonard did.

His influence on Hollywood is profound and I think he helped make dialogue in crime dramas better. Great dialogue screenwriters like Quentin Tarantino drew from his well, and not just when Quentin turned Leonard’s book Rum Punch into Jackie Brown. Hollywood used to screw up his novels all the time when studio guys, screenwriters and directors thought they knew better than the master. They borrowed his plots but made them super-serious, not understanding that it wasn’t the plots as much as the dialogue and interplay between those great characters that made his books memorable. It got so bad that Leonard stopped writing scripts because he tired of taking orders from inferiors, and preferred to focus on books, where final cut belonged to him.

But then things started to get better for Leonard after the release of Get Shorty, which celebrated the cool wit and humor that was present in all of Leonard’s work. Barry Sonnenfeld’s movie didn’t paint the bad guys with black hats, but let them reveal themselves slowly and playfully. That made it possible to sympathize not only with John Travolta’s loanshark-turned-movie producer Chili Palmer character, but also a stuntman hired as a thug (James Gandolfini), who, after being demoralized by a beating from Palmer, caught his breath and started excitedly describing to his film nut nemesis all the movies he did stunts in. I remember Scott Frank telling me that when he first tried to adapt that Leonard novel as a script, he went through the book and underlined what he felt was vital, in green hi-light marker. By the time he finished, Frank had underlined pretty much the entire book. But Frank and his cohorts managed to start a trend, where filmmakers began to realize that Leonard’s dialogue was pure gold and didn’t need a rewrite.

Frank and Jersey Films producers Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher nailed it yet again when they collaborated with Steven Soderbergh to make Out Of Sight. That film had trademark flawed heroes and tremendous badasses, and for my money the sexiest courtship scene (between George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez) that I’d seen in a film since Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe formed their bond in Michael Mann’s The Last Of The Mohicans. And both those films had Dennis Farina. More recently, Graham Yost captured Leonard’s spirit in the FX series Justified, based on the gunslinging deputy U.S. marshal Raylan Givens whom Leonard hatched as a secondary character in the novels Pronto and Riding the Rap. The dialogue written for Timothy Olyphant’s Raylan Givens, Walton Goggins’ Boyd Crowder, Nick Searcy’s Chief Deputy Marshal Art Mullen, and all the bad guys, so captured Leonard’s wit that he told me it had restored his faith in Hollywood, or at least made the earlier slights less bothersome.

I got the privilege of spending some time with Leonard twice. Once in person, as a kid reporter at New York Newsday, when I peppered him with endless questions and recall him telling that one reason his scenes lined up differently than other writers is that he would write the same scene numerous times, each from the vantage point of different characters. He’d then choose the vantage point the felt right, and use that one. Three years ago, I spent time on the phone with him at Deadline, when director Charlie Matthau hooked us up while they were working on an adaptation of Freaky Deaky. Here is a replay of that interview: Read More »

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Eddie Redmayne To Play Stephen Hawking In Working Title’s ‘Theory Of Everything’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: After crushing it on Les Miserables, Eddie Redmayne is being fought over for his next lead role. I heard that he’s going to land on Theory Of Everything, and that he’ll play physicist Stephen Hawking in the film that Working Title is fast assembling with director James Marsh, who shared the Best Documentary Oscar for Man On Wire. The film focus is on the relationship between Hawking and his wife and it marks a re-team of the actor and Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner from Les Miserables. They are actively discussing the female lead, with an early fall start being eyed. Redmayne has also been courted to star with Carey Mulligan and Matthias Schoenaerts in the Thomas Vinterberg-directed Far From The Madding Crowd, but I believe that his priority is the Hawking project written by Anthony McCarten. It is a potential tour de force role as Hawking, who has achieved so much despite his affliction with ALS. This opens the opportunity for the kind of work Daniel Day-Lewis turned in in My Left Foot and Mathieu Amalric in The Diving Bell And The Butterfly. Read More »

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Cannes: Actors To Watch

Amitabh Bachchan
The Indian icon, known at home as Big B, may seem like an odd choice for a “to watch” piece, but the series of vignettes I’m doing this week is about keeping an eye on interesting people here in Cannes, not solely newcomers. And, Amitabh Bachchan, who has made more than 180 films at home, has only just made his Hollywood debut with a cameo in Baz Luhrmann’s Cannes opening night film The Great Gatsby. Bachchan has said that the short scene in which he appears with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire was a “friendly gesture” towards Lurhmann whom he had met a few years back. He also says he did not take any compensation: “What commerce can one consider for work for a single day!” he recently wrote on the blog he updates religiously. Luhrmann called him “one of the best actors” he’s ever worked with at the Gatsby press conference yesterday. (He also got a shoutout during a scene on Fox’s New Girl last week.) Bachchan has said he would consider other Hollywood roles if they were offered. Here in Cannes, he also stars in a section of Bombay Talkies, which is screening in honor of the 100th anniversary of Hindi cinema. An Indian producer says, “We’ve grown up watching his versatility and there’s nothing he cannot do. An absolute all-rounder. He’s our Al Pacino, Daniel Day-Lewis and Robin Williams all rolled into one.”

Related: Cannes: Producers To Watch Read More »

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President Slams Media But Conan Softballs Obama At Lame WH Correspondents Dinner

3RD UPDATE – FINAL: (See Conan and Obama videos here and here.) We warned you not to expect much from tonight’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner. And true to form it failed to deliver. Bland to a fault Conan O’Brien didn’t lay a glove on celebrity-in-chief Barack Obama. (Bring back Seth Meyers…) But the President got an easy laugh with a showbiz joke that couldn’t have made Comcast too happy. (He noted that, of 22 recent basketball shots, he had 2 hits and 20 misses. “The executives at NBC asked, ‘What’s your secret?’” POTUS said.) O’Brien’s best line of the night was comparing the relationship between Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner to a blind date between Anderson Cooper and Rachel Maddow. (“In theory they understand each other’s positions. But deep down you know nothing’s ever going to happen.”) Obama got in the nastiest media dig. Noting that CNN has “taken some knocks” – because of errors during reporting on the Boston Marathon bombings -  he said, “Fact is I admire their commitment to cover all sides of a story – just in case one of them happens to be accurate.” Obama even stabbed his liberal media cronies. He said saying seeing David Axelrod going to work for MSNBC was “a nice change of pace since MSNBC used to work for David Axelrod”.

Steven Spielberg – whom Obama called “my wonderful friend” - played a pivotal role in a video claiming the … Read More »

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Video: President Obama (As Daniel Day-Lewis) In Steven Spielberg’s Next Movie

At tonight’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, President Obama premiered the next Steven Spielberg movie about a U.S. President. It stars Daniel Day-Lewis in the title role. Kinda:

Related: President Slams Media But Conan Softballs Obama

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Hollywood List For WH Reporters Dinner

By | Friday April 26, 2013 @ 3:40pm PDT

3RD UPDATE, 3:40 PM: Psy is the only act to get 1 billion hits on YouTube with his “Gangnam Style” video, and his follow-up video “Gentleman” is already past 232M views. He has been tapped to join CBS News’ table at tomorrow’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner alongside the likes of Homeland‘s Claire Danes and her husband, Hannibal‘s Hugh Dancy.

2ND UPDATE, 8:10 AM: One day before the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Fox News Channel has said who from Hollywood it is bringing to the event — and it’s a big list. While Greta Van Susteren is passing on this year’s dinner, Fox News stars Bill O’Reilly, Chris Wallace, Geraldo Rivera and Bret Baier will be in attendance, as will the likes of Oscar-winner screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and a contingent from sister studio Fox’s latest X-Men movie: director Bryan Singer and producer-writer Simon Kinberg. See who will be sitting at FNC’s 14 tables below. Also check back for more last-minute additions as we head into the final hours before Saturday’s dinner.

UPDATE, THURSDAY PM: TV comedy king Chuck Lorre will be making his first White House Correspondents’ Dinner appearance this year while waiting for series-pickup news for his hot CBS pilot Mom. Lorre, who is behind the CBS series The Big Bang Theory, Two And A Half Men and Mike & Molly, will be sitting with former Secretary of State Madeline Albright.

Related: Conan O’Brien Tweets Pic From DC

PREVIOUSLY: Hollywood is again the guest everyone seems to want at their table for this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Returning headliner Conan O’Brien is set to take up the court-jester role that Jimmy Kimmel played last year and news organizations have begun to reveal guest lists for the April 27 event. There’s a lot of Tinseltown glitter already set alongside generals and top-tier cabinet secretaries — as well as power players like Harvey Weinstein. We know President Obama and the first lady will be there; here’s who else we know is going from Hollywood so far: Read More »

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Martin Scorsese To Make Noise On ‘Silence’ At Cannes; Emmett/Furla Funding The Film

By | Friday April 19, 2013 @ 12:32pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Martin Scorsese will finally realize his long-held dream to direct Silence, an adaptation of the Shusaku Endo novel about 17th century Jesuits who risk their lives to bring Christianity to Japan. Financing for the film has been secured by Emmett/Furla Films and Paul Breuls and his Corsan Films. The plan is to shoot in Taiwan in July 2014, depending on cast, from a script by Jay Cocks and Scorsese.

I’m told that things are moving fast on this and that they are all making plans for Scorsese to come to Cannes and launch the picture. Talks are underway with Graham King for his ownership stake in the script. Numerous sales companies have been vying to handle foreign rights, but that task will fall to Len Blavatnik and Stuart Ford, who’ll jointly handle foreign on the film for Emmett/Furla through their respective Axis Films and IM Global.

The film will be produced by Irwin Winkler, Emmett and Furla, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Checchi Gori, and Barbara DeFina, with Niels Juul exec producing. Scorsese will jump into the film after he completes The Wolf Of Wall Street.

Scorsese has wanted to make Silence since 1991. He has gotten close numerous times, with actors like Daniel Day-Lewis, Benicio Del Toro and Gael Garcia Bernal among those mentioned over the years. But the pic has always gotten pushed, and there was even a lawsuit over how long it all took. Even that didn’t dampen Scorsese’s passion. It is not the easiest or most commercial project, but when a master like Scorsese is so passionate about a movie that it sticks with him more than 20 years, he’s going to find a way to make it, and now he has. He’s repped by WME and Rick Yorn. This is another big step for Emmett/Furla, which has films upcoming that include the Peter Berg-directed Lone Survivor and the Denzel Washington-Mark Wahlberg-starrer 2 Guns. Getting in business with Scorsese is a prestige play, and with the reticence of major studios to take big chances on proven filmmakers, it shows the opportunity for an indie company with backing and balls. Read More »

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‘Avengers’, ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ Top 2013 MTV Movie Awards

By | Sunday April 14, 2013 @ 8:41pm PDT

The Weinstein Co.’s Silver Linings Playbook and leading duo Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper came up big at the 2013 MTV Movie Awards, nabbing Best Female Performance, Best Male Performance, and Best Kiss at the annual fan-driven ceremony. Marvel’s The Avengers took home three awards including Movie Of The Year, while host Rebel Wilson and her breakout summer pic Pitch Perfect also garnered kudos. Meanwhile, Taylor Lautner of Summit’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2 snagged a win out of the film’s lone nomination: Best Shirtless Performance. Here’s the full list of winners, highlighted in bold:
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