The trailer for Universal and Focus Features‘ Fifty Shades Of Grey is due to drop on Thursday this week, but Beyoncé evidently wanted to get a jump on the action, posting a short teaser on Instagram featuring a lot of heavy breathing. The singer’s involvement in the film has not been confiremd, although when some footage was screened at CinemaCon in March, her “Haunted” was heard in the background. The handsy clip below has a remix of Beyoncé’s “Crazy In Love”, but no recognizable shots of leads Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson. Awareness of Fifty Shades is already through the roof (97% Want To See on Rotten Tomatoes), and given the performer’s 13,936,206 Instagram followers, it’s a wonder she didn’t break the internet, again. The Sam Taylor-Johnson directed pic starts its global rollout on February 11. Here’s a little foreplay for your Monday:
HBO will present Beyonce and Jay Z in their first collaborative tour and their first HBO concert event in September, HBO programming president Michael Lombardo announced today at TCA. Taping September 12 and 13 at Stade de France in Paris on the only international leg of their current tour, the special will feature the superstars performing more than 40 songs. “This is a major musical event that belongs on HBO,” said Lombardo in a statement. “It’s going to be a night to remember.” said of the ongoing tour: The coordination is not just remarkable, it’s the absolute best way that two of the world’s best performers can deliver a show that proves why they are on top together.”
Although the music stars have recorded together, this is the first time the married couple has toured together on the same bill. The tour began June 26 in Miami.
At least Beyoncé didn’t lip-sync for “Love on Top” or “Crazy In Love” or “Halo” or with Destiny’s Child for “Bootylicious” and “Independent Woman” or “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)”. But I was underwhelmed. You? Just not enough whiz, bang, wow factor surrounding such talent compared to the shows put on for Prince, Madonna, and U2. Something needs to liven up this runaway Super Bowl XLVII – and quick:
Pepsi and Beyoncé are teaming on a $50 million multiyear campaign that could portent the direction celebrity endorsements are headed. The deal, reported today by the New York Times, will include standard advertising like commercials as well as a multimillion-dollar fund to support the singer’s chosen creative projects. The campaign will include a new TV ad, and her face will be on a limited-edition line of soda cans. But the less traditional aspects will include collaborative creative projects that may or may not have a specific connection to Pepsi products. They are still at the brainstorm stage but could include live events, videos, “a cool photo shoot” or almost anything else, Lee Anne Callahan-Longo, GM of Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment, told the Times. The deal also will involve sponsorship of Beyoncé’s world tour next year.
Related: Beyoncé To Direct Own Docu For HBO
HBO will air the as-yet-untitled feature-length documentary on February 16, 2013 which will feature onstage and offstage access to the singer-actress, some of which she shot on her laptop. The film will shed light on Beyoncé‘s childhood and capture the demands of prepping for live performances, running a business, and taking care of her family after the birth of her daughter earlier this year. “Everybody knows Beyoncé’s music, but few know Beyoncé the person,” HBO Programming president Michael Lombardo said. “Along with electrifying footage of Beyoncé onstage, this unique special looks beyond the glamour to reveal a vibrant, vulnerable, unforgettable woman.” Beyoncé is also exec producing the movie. She is repped by ICM Partners, which negotiated the sale of the project along with attorney Gretchen Rush.
The official announcement is expected tomorrow, but we can confirm that Beyonce has signed on to play the halftime show of Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans on February 3, live on CBS. There’s always plenty of hype surrounding this choice, and for good reason: Madonna last year drew more average viewers for her halftime performance than the overall average of the game (and a good game at that, with the Giants knocking off the Patriots). Officials have been more careful with their halftime choices since Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” back in 2004, with the likes of mainstays Paul McCartney, Rolling Stones, Prince, Bruce Springsteen, The Who and Tom Petty getting the call post-Janet. But Beyonce is at the top of her game right now — and she can bring Jay-Z to boot.
2nd UPDATE, 7:34 PM: President Obama raised millions tonight in New York at two fundraisers, and he also got in his second visit with David Letterman since taking office. His Late Show With David Letterman appearance went from the fun (the President’s weight and Clint Eastwood’s chair interview of an invisible Obama at the RNC) to the serious (the violence resulting from the anti-Islamic film Innocence Of Muslims). Obama’s visit with Letterman, his seventh overall, will be broadcast tonight (see the promo below). Afterward, the President spoke to a $12,500-per-family crowd of about 200 at a campaign event at the Waldorf Astoria. He kicked off his speech with a dig at Eastwood: “Hello, everybody! Hello! (Applause.) Hello, New York! (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you so much. If you have a chair, go ahead and use it. If you don’t then — don’t.”, he said according to a transcript of his remarks released by the White House. The visit to the Big Apple was crowned by a $40,000-a-ticket dinner tonight hosted by Beyoncé and her husband Jay-Z. Two attendees didn’t have to pay the going rate: Kindergarten teacher Ericka Dungee was the winner of NYC With Barack contest. Dungee brought her husband Bill with her. The dinner was at the 40/40 Club, which Jay-Z owns. The campaign pulled in $4 million from the dinner.
Here’s my condensed and edited version of the White House Pool reports of Obama’s remarks at the Beyoncé and Jay-Z event. Pool reports of the Letterman appearance follow:
“I usually don’t email you — but I have an amazing invitation I have to share. Jay and I will be meeting up with President Obama for an evening in NYC sometime soon. And we want you to be there,” said the Dreamgirls actress in an email sent out by the Obama campaign today. “Don’t worry about the airfare and hotel, it’s taken care of. And you can bring a guest,” the email added. A similar donor appeal for the dinner with Beyoncé, Jay-Z and the President also appeared on the Obama campaign website today. While the appeal gives no date or NYC location, the New York Post reports the event is scheduled for September 18 at Jay-Z’s 40/40 club. Obama’s GOP rival for the White House will be having his own celebrity encounter: Mitt Romney and wife Ann have been scheduled to appear in a pre-taped segment on Live! With Kelly & Michael.
Like past celebrity contests the Obama campaign held with George Clooney on May 10 and Sarah Jessica Parker on June 14, donors can give as little as $3 to the Beyoncé dinner to win a chance to meet the President and his Hollywood pals. Otherwise, tickets for such events have gone for around $40,000 apiece. Unlike past dinners with Obama contests, the timeline for this one is very short — ending at midnight tonight.
Beyonce, Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, Amanda Seyfried, Steven Tyler Lead Voice Cast For Fox Animated Film ‘Epic’
EXCLUSIVE: 20th Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios have set its voice cast for Epic, the new 3D CG-animated film by the makers of Ice Age and Rio. The Dan Shere-scripted film, which had been developed under the title Leafmen, will star Beyonce Knowles as Queen Tara, Colin Farrell as Ronin, The Hunger Games‘ Josh Hutcherson as Nod, Amanda Seyfried as Mary Katherine, Johnny Knoxville as Mandrake, Aziz Ansari as Mub, rapper Pitbull as Bufo, Jason Sudeikis as Bomba, and Aerosmith and American Idol frontman Steven Tyler as Nim Galuu. Blake Anderson and Judah Friedlander are also in the cast.
The film is directed by Ice Age helmer Chris Wedge, with Lori Forte and Jerry Davis producing. It is described as a battle deep in the forest between the forces of good and evil. When a teenaged girl finds herself magically transported into this secret universe, she must band together with a rag-tag team of fun and whimsical characters to save that world, which in turn saves the real world. Epic will be released May 24, 2013.
This becomes the first movie project for Beyonce since she took time off for maternity leave. She is also attached to star in the Clint Eastwood-directed remake of A Star Is Born for Warner Bros.
The network is bringing the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards to Staples Center for the first time on September 6. The show will air at 8 PM PST. No word on a host or the lineup (Russell Brand is hosting the 2012 MTV Movie Awards on June 3), but it will need some real chart-toppers to hit the record 12.4 million viewers it drew last year with performances from the likes of Beyoncé, Bruno Mars and Adele. The VMAs will be broadcast across all of MTV’s more than 60 channels worldwide with an audience reach of 600 million households.
EXCLUSIVE: Tom Cruise is talking to Clint Eastwood about joining Beyonce in A Star Is Born, the Warner Bros remake. This comes after Cruise morphed into an Axl Rose-like 80s rock icon in Rock of Ages, so he’d be able to handle the singing part of that comes with playing an over the hill musician who helps launch the star of an ingenue he falls in love with and who watches him slide while her star soars. We have no idea if Cruise will say yes, or if the schedules will mesh since he’s just beginning shooting on the Joseph Kosinski-directed Oblivion, followed by the Doug Liman-directed All You Need Is Kill Are for Warner Bros. The film has drawn the interest of top talent, but it has taken a long time. Some of that had to do with Beyonce’s pregnancy, but she’s ready to shoot as soon as June. The studio at various times has discussed everyone from Will Smith to Christian Bale, Eminem and Russell Crowe, and the addition of Eastwood makes the whole thing more attractive. Deadline revealed that Cruise might take on Rock of Ages at an early stage, so who knows?
BREAKING: While Clint Eastwood was expected to follow directing J Edgar by directing A Star Is Born with Beyonce, her pregnancy has put that project off. Instead, I hear he’s seriously looking at starring in Trouble With The Curve, a project at Warner Bros that will mark the feature directorial debut of his Malpaso partner Robert Lorenz. The Randy Brown-scripted film is about an aging baseball scout, who’s losing his sight, and heads on a last road trip to Atlanta with his daughter to scout a hotshot prospect. They will lock Eastwood and Lorenz’s deals before setting an actress to play the daughter. Malpaso will produce.
Aside from being Eastwood’s longtime business partner, Lorenz has been assistant director on many of Eastwood’s films, including Million Dollar Baby, Mystic River and Blood Work.
EXCLUSIVE: I hear Clint Eastwood is using his time with Leonardo DiCaprio on the J Edgar Hoover biopic to discuss the director’s new Warner Bros project A Star Is Born. Clint is hoping to team Leo with Beyoncé, who’s already set for the musical. Clint is producing through Malpaso as well as helming the script by Will Fetters. Producers are Billy Gerber and Basil Iwanyk and Jon Peters (who made the infamous version with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson). The project has been at WB for several years, and there’d been talk of pairing Beyoncé and Will Smith. But casting Leo as the male lead would make for a much more interesting movie. There have been a trio of A Star Is Born versions made since the 1930s, the last one coming in 1976 with Kristofferson playing the boozer and Streisand the wannabe. Or even #4 if you consider What Price Hollywood (1932) made by George Cukor, which is often forgotten.
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has made a preemptive pitch deal for a science fiction action project to be written by Aaron Guzikowski that will reunite Sam Worthington with his Clash of the Titans producer Basil Iwanyk. The logline is being kept under wraps but I’m told it’s a grounded space war film. Through his Thunder Road banner, Iwanyk is in production on the Clash of the Titans sequel. He also produced The Town and is prepping the Jeff Bridges-starrer Seventh Son and the Clint Eastwood-directed A Star is Born with Beyonce, all for Warner Bros. Guzikowski wrote Prisoners, the Black List script that sold to Alcon Entertainment and just got Incendies helmer Denis Villeneuve aboard to direct. He also scripted the Contraband remake that just wrapped with Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsale and Ben Foster starring for Universal and Working Title, and he’s writing Awake for USA Network and The Descendants for HBO. He’s repped by Verve and Madhouse Entertainment. Worthington is repped by CAA and Anonymous Content.
Adria Petty, the daughter of singer Tom Petty, has been set to make her narrative feature directing debut on Suffocate, a Ben Olson-scripted thriller for Radar Pictures. Petty has directed commercials campaigns for McDonald’s, Target and Converse and helmed videos for Beyonce, Regina Spektor and Anjulie. She directed the documentary Paris, Not France, which played the 2008 Toronto Film Festival, and directed a recent Live in London concert film with Spektor. Suffocate is a thriller about a group of city workers who enter a hoarder’s condemned brownstone and find it loaded with deadly traps, and an unrelenting killer. The group is forced to use their wits–and demolition tools–to stay alive. Petty is repped by Gersh and Kaplan/Perrone.
This is a real shocker, and not just Hollywood but the rest of America should love it. What a coup for Warner Bros getting The Man on this, the 4th version of A Star Is Born. Of course, Clint Eastwood will produce (as always through Malpaso) as well as direct the script by Will Fetters along with producers Billy Gerber and and Basil Iwanyk and Jon Peters (who made the infamous 3rd version of A Star Is Born with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson). No male lead is cast yet, but the possibilities are endless. The project, which has been at WB for several years, had hoped to pair Beyoncé and Will Smith. But how about P Diddy (who’s turning into a surprisingly fine actor along with Beyoncé’s husband Jayz), Eddie Murphy (reteaming with Beyoncé after Dreamgirls), or any white guy imaginable though Robert Downey Jr and Jon Hamm are names that have been floating?
Hey, I’m one of those huge fans who thinks Clint can do anything. And Beyoncé scored at the box office for Screen Gems — one of its biggest — in Obsessed. (And, yes, I do happen to think she can act.) This is going to be a high profile film but low cost since Eastwood is at the helm. The idea is to start shooting in the Fall.
Of course, Clint has had a huge interest in music off and on screen. He intended to major in music theory in college. He learned how not to do a musical when starring in the dreadful Paint Your Wagon (1969). He played that super-cool jazz DJ in Play Misty For Me, his 1971 directorial debut. He sdirected and starred alongside his son Kyle in 1982′s Honkytonk Man about a Depression-era aspiring country music singer. He directing Bird (1988), a biopic starring Forest Whitaker as jazz musician Charlie “Bird” Parker. He more recently has been doing all his own scores for his movies, including Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby and Changeling. Eastwood also partly scored Gran Torino with his son Kyle and Jamie Cullum.
Warner Bros’ idea of a 4th version of A Star Is Born has been floating around for some time now.