BREAKING: Woody Allen has changed the title of his new Rome-set film from the confusing The Bop Decameron to the much catchier Nero Fiddled. Allen got tired of all the blank stares he received when telling people the title of his film, and found something that better conveys the locale. He shot the film this summer and starred in it with Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penelope Cruz, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig and Ellen Page. The film is a Gravier Productions comedy produced by Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum. It’s the first Allen film funded by the Italian production/distribution company Medusa Film. Nero Fiddled will be released next year. Allen’s most recent film, Midnight In Paris, crossed $50 million to become his career highest-grosser in North America.
NBC’s Saturday Night Live kicked off its 37th season tonight with Alec Baldwin breaking Steve Martin’s record with a 16th stint as host. Here is Baldwin’s opening monologue featuring Martin and Seth Rogen, a parody of Thursday night’s GOP debate with Baldwin as frontrunner Rick Perry, and an All My Children wrap party skit. (AMC ended its 41-year run on ABC this week.)
EMMYS: Fox Nixes Alec Baldwin Joke About News Corp Phone-Hacking Scandal In Opening Bit; Baldwin Walks, Replaced By Leonard Nimoy
EXCLUSIVE: The opening video for tonight’s Primetime Emmy Awards on News Corp-owned Fox was supposed to feature 30 Rock star Alec Baldwin playing a fictional president of television. But after a joke about News Corp topper Rupert Murdoch and the ongoing UK phone-hacking scandal involving his media empire was cut from the pretaped bit, Baldwin pulled out. He was replaced at the last minute by Star Trek veteran Leonard Nimoy, who re-did the skit sans the News Corp joke. Baldwin vaguely referenced the incident in a Sept. 17 tweet. “I did a short Emmy pretape a few days ago. Now they tell me News Corp may cut the funniest line.” Sources say that Baldwin worked with the writers who penned the script for the skit. He taped it, but after hearing that the Murdoch joke was being cut, he told the network that he prefers if the bit with him doesn’t air at all.
Steve Carell, The Office
Why He Was Nominated: It’s Carell’s sixth consecutive nomination for his role as the dunderheaded Michael Scott on The Office, and his departure from the NBC comedy this past spring spawned a big-time farewell. Credit network marketing as well as the fact Carell has wide popularity throughout the industry. You get the feeling that he could have stayed on this show for 15 years and been nominated every time.
Why He Has To Win: It literally is now or never, and Carell’s submission for the Emmy (his swan song, “Goodbye, Michael”) was a potent blend of pathos, tears and mirth that also generated a nod for writer/exec producer Greg Daniels’ teleplay. If that isn’t enough, there’s the feeling that Carell’s body of work on a show that began life as a warmed-over imitation of the British edition deserves a golden sendoff. “Carell didn’t try to squirm out of his TV contract even after becoming a feature guy,” a writer and academy member notes. “That scores big points.” Historically, both Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex and the City) and Michael J. Fox (Spin City) have won trophies on their final lap.
Why He Can’t Possibly Win: Well, he hasn’t taken the thing home in five previous tries, so it’s possible Carell simply has a big “Bridesmaid” tattoo etched on his forehead. The Office is also seen as having lingered a bit too long at the dance by some. It’s possible that he already blew his best shot here: when the series earned top comedy honors in 2006. And sentiment doesn’t always carry the day, as the perpetually passed-over John Goodman (0-for-7 for Roseanne) could attest.
Deadline told you Monday that Warren Beatty was getting behind the camera for the first time since Bulworth. Paramount and Beatty are keeping details under wraps, but here’s what I’ve heard: He will play Howard Hughes, but it’s not …
EXCLUSIVE: So let’s update the Alec Baldwin vs Rock Of Ages small drama. Yes, the actor showed up in Miami for the full run-through of …
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions have gone top shelf in trying to get its Jack Ryan franchise relaunch to the starting line. The studio has hired David Koepp to rewrite the film. I’m told that Koepp will be paid 7-figures to redraft the script by Adam Cozad. The project still has Lost‘s Jack Bender aboard to direct and Chris Pine to play Ryan. Pine has long been attached to play the character created by Tom Clancy, one who has been played by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck in various incarnations at Paramount. The studio’s desire to get the script right prompted Paramount to shuffle the start dates of Ryan with Pine’s other Par franchise, Star Trek 2. That move was prompted by the exit of Steve Zaillian, who scripted the 1994 Ryan film Clear and Present Danger and did uncredited rewrite work on Patriot Games. Zaillian made a deal to rewrite the reboot script but had a change of heart and withdrew before getting started. Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mace Neufeld are producing and Mark Vahradian is executive producer. David Ellison, whose Skydance will co-finance the film under its overall Paramount deal, will also be involved in a producing capacity.
Ellen Page has made a deal to join Woody Allen’s next film. Deadline told you Monday about Alec Baldwin and Jesse Eisenberg starring, and Penelope Cruz had been announced in early April. The pic shoots in Rome.
Page has been …
Speaking of Alec Baldwin, he and The Office’s John Krasinski are among a group who’ve shot trash-talking baseball rivalry spots that are about to begin airing. The spots are directed by Bryan Buckley. Here’s the one that Baldwin and Krasinski shot: