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Over The Cannes Transom: Emma Thompson, Daniel Bruhl ‘Alone In Berlin’; Nic Cage, Jack Huston In ‘The Trust’, More

emmThe big challenge for the journos on the Croisette is keeping up with the fusillade of film press releases for projects being sold at Cannes. Here are a couple: Emma Thompson, Daniel Bruhl, Mary Rylance to star in Vincent Perez’s Alone In Berlin, a fact-based WWII story about German parents who, after their son is killed on the front lines, begin anti-Hitler postcards hammering his evil regime. It becomes a cat and mouse game to stay a step ahead of the Gestapo. Alison Thompson’s Sunray Films is selling in Cannes.

Related: Cannes: Paramount Wins ‘Story Of Your Life’ Auction For Fest Record $20M

Cannes2014_badgeNicolas Cage and Jack Huston will star in The Trust, a crime thriller directed by Alex and Ben Brewer that will be sold at Cannes by Highland Film Group. Two evil cops discover a hidden and guarded safe and their greed leads them to a well of corruption and double crossing.

Bachelorette producers BCDF Pictures begins production on the high school comedy The Outskirts, described as Mean Girls meets Revenge Of The Nerds. Peter Hutchings directs and Red Granite International is selling.

Relativity said Gerard Butler is set to star in the heist drama now titled Den Of Thieves. Christian Gudegast is set to direct and write the film from a script written by Gudegast and Paul Scheuring. Mark … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: Emma Thompson & Pierce Brosnan In ‘The Love Punch’

By | Tuesday April 22, 2014 @ 1:46pm PDT

“Kidnap? Crashing a wedding? Stealing a diamond? All right, we’re in.” Well, that and Emma Thompson and Pierce Brosnan as a divorced couple who head to Paris after being screwed out of their pension by their company’s new owners. Will the City of Light charm the former spouses as they try to right the corporate wrong? Timothy Spall, Celia Imrie, Louise Bourgoin and Laurent Lafitte co-star in the pic from writer-director Joel Hopkins. Ketchup Entertainment, which acquired the comedy after its Toronto premiere last year, will open it May 23. Here’s a peek:

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Gillian Anderson-Starring Drama ‘Sold’ To Open Indian Film Festival LA

By | Wednesday March 5, 2014 @ 5:55pm PST

Gillian Anderson Sold MovieThe 12th annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles will open with Sold, an Indian child trafficking drama starring Gillian Anderson and executive produced by Emma Thompson. The festival runs April 8-13 at the ArcLight Hollywood and will mark the debut of the event’s first artistic director, former AFI Fest director and indie producer Jasmine Jaisinghani, whose appointment was announced today. David Arquette and Seema Biswas co-star in Sold, directed by Jeffrey D. Brown. It centers on the topic of child trafficking in India as viewed through one girl’s journey. It is an adaptation of the Patricia McCormick novel based on true accounts, which has been translated into 32 languages.

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Bruce Dern To Receive SBIFF’s Modern Master Award, Steps In For Emma Thompson

By | Tuesday January 28, 2014 @ 6:56am PST

dern2Santa Barbara, CA – The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will honor Academy Award-nominated actor Bruce Dern with the Modern Master Award at the 29th edition of the Fest, which runs January 30 – February 9, 2014, it was announced today by SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. The Tribute will take place on Saturday, February 8, 2014 at the historic Arlington Theatre and is sponsored by Adobe.

Emma Thompson, who was slated to receive the Modern Master Award, is unfortunately now not able to be in attendance as she is required for rehearsal in London on the New York Philharmonic staging of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, which will be directed by Lonny Price.

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OSCARS: Who Got Snubbed By Academy?

By | Thursday January 16, 2014 @ 5:48am PST

Oscar Snubs and Surprises

A big part of Hollywood woke up early this morning to Oscar dreams of getting an Academy Awards nomination. Some like 12 Years A Slave for Best Picture, Dallas Buyers Club’s Matthew McConaughey and Gravity‘s Sandra Bullock for Best Actress were a lock. Unfortunately, for some others, they’d barely wiped the sleep out of their eyes before there was nothing to do but go back to bed in disappointment at having not made the cut. Once again, the Academy proved there’s still a wild card factor to who will and won’t get a nomination. Having said that, after all the campaigning, all the encouraging words and all the hopes, even against the odds, it still sucks to be one of those left holding a losing hand. Here’s some of the deserving actors, directors and films who were overlooked in today’s nominations announcement by AMPAS President Cheryl Boone Isaacs and Thor himself Chris Hemsworth:

imagesOprah Winfrey – The former talk show queen returned to the big screen with Lee Daniels’ The Butler in a stellar performance after a 15-year absence and the Academy negates her? The SAG Awards, the BAFTAs and the Critics Choice Awards all gave Oprah a nomination for her role as boozy Gloria Gaines, the Butler’s wife, but not the Academy? What are they drinking over there?

Inside Llewyn Davis - The folksy Coen brothers’ film didn’t get a lot of love from the Guilds but the Grand Prix winner at last year’s Cannes Film Festival certainly did warrant one of the 10 possible Best Picture spots.

Related: OSCARS: 86th Academy Award Nominations

Robert Redford – He didn’t say a lot in All Is Lost but as an old man battling the sea and a lot more, the Sundance founder spoke volumes in the J.C. Chandor-helmed pic. He won a Gotham Award, a New York Film Critics Circle Award and got an Independent Spirit nomination in the process. However, 40 years after Redford last was nominated for Best Actor for The Sting, that all obviously fell on deaf ears with Academy members.

Fruitvale Station Bursting out of last year’s Sundance Film Festival, this remarkable debut by director Ryan Coogler of the last day of Oscar Grant III on January 1, 2009 was picked up by the Weinstein Company and found fans everywhere – including the White House. Yet nothing for Coolger, nothing for star Michael B. Jordan and nothing for the film – that’s just a crime.

tom hanksTom Hanks – Maybe there is a limit to how many Oscars one man can have but the actor’s performance in Captain Phillips as the taken hostage merchant mariner was certainly more than sea worthy of a nom today.

Related: OSCARS: Nominations By Picture

Emma Thompson – Not even a spoon full of sugar will help this bitter pill go down. Saving Mr. Banks was Ms. Thompson’s film. Her turn as the difficult, to say the least, Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers should have seen her as one of the ladies getting that nomination today.

August: Osage County - Yes Meryl Streep got her 18th Oscar nomination for her role as the pill popping sharp tongued widow but there was no Best Picture nor Best Adapted Screenplay for August: Osage County. Some people might not like the truth telling, but those oversights are just plain wrong.

Daniel Brühl – The German actor’s performance as Formula 1 ace Niki Lauda in Ron Howard’s Rush picked up Golden Globes, BAFTA and SAG Awards nominations for Best Supporting Actor. Sure he lost out to Jared Leto at Sunday’s GG ceremony but the Academy didn’t even put him on the track today.

Lee Daniels’ The Butler Coming out in the year of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, the hit White House-based Civil Rights drama had a story for our times as well as strong performances from Forrest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey. Maybe the last film to be produced by Laura Ziskin was too epic, maybe it was too black or maybe the dust-up the Weinstein Company had with Warner Bros and the MPAA over the initial The Butler title rubbed some people the wrong way but the powerful pic deserved better.
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Global Showbiz Watch 16 – The Emma Thompson Backward Glance Episode

Listen to (and share) episode 16 of Deadline’s audio podcast Global Showbiz Watch, With Nancy Tartaglione. Deadline’s international editor talks from London with host David Bloom about a series of UK-based stories the past several days, including the very big audiences that turned out for Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary celebration on the BBC, BBC America and in dozens of other countries; what the BBC has planned at Christmas time for the newest doctor in Doctor Who, and the much-awaited third season of Sherlock; Oscar winner Emma Thompson’s long look back with BAFTA at her career so far, even as her latest film, Saving Mr. Banks, builds its own awards buzz; and Pinewood Shepperton, busy counting its cash after a strong quarter, presses for approval of a major expansion of its London facilities amid a serious studio capacity crunch that’s turning away work in the city.

Global Showbiz Watch, Episode 16 (.MP3 version)
Global Showbiz Watch, Episode 16 (.M4A version) Read More »

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Emma Thompson Mulls “Hierarchical” Hollywood, Ang Lee’s Brutal/Funny Notes, Oscars & More In BAFTA Career Chat

By | Sunday November 24, 2013 @ 1:40pm PST

Following in the recent footsteps of her Saving Mr Banks co-star Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson sat down in London on Sunday afternoon for a trip down memory lane. At a BAFTA Life in Pictures event at the British Academy’s headquarters, Thompson spoke of the important role that comedy played in her early career, and touched on her collaborations with the likes of Merchant Ivory, Richard Curtis and Ang Lee. The Oscar-winning actress and screenwriter also peppered in some stark feelings about Hollywood.

Thompson has steadily worked across borders since the 90s and while she feels there’s no real difference between great actors in the States and Britain – “Dustin Hoffman is as exquisite as Anthony Hopkins” – the star system in Hollywood “is not a good system.” Thompson called it “hierarchical” and said it was “just revolting for people who are actors to become grand and unattractive to watch.” She recalled that while working on Last Chance Harvey, Hoffman had been stuck in traffic one day and, so concerned with being late to set, ran there in his socks once he’d arrived at the location. “Those are the people you want to work with. You find some young actors who really can’t be bothered and you think well, let someone else do it,” she said to the largely British crowd. Thompson noted that “some of the most intelligent people” she knows live in Hollywood, but lamented that the town “always finds a way to make you feel bad.” At parties, there’s “always some bit that’s penned off that you’re not allowed into,” she mused, adding that it’s the “better than/less than judgment you’re making upon yourself and others that Hollywood is particularly good at and that’s the one thing I really hate.” Read More »

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Emma Thompson To Receive Modern Master Award At Santa Barbara

By | Tuesday November 19, 2013 @ 7:28am PST

Santa Barbara, CA – The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will honor actor, screenwriter and producer Emma Thompson with the Modern Master Award at the 29th edition of the Fest, which runs January 30 – February 9, 2014, it was announced today by SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. The Tribute will take place on Saturday, February 8, 2014 at the historic Arlington Theatre and is sponsored by Adobe.

The Modern Master Award is the highest honor presented by SBIFF. Established in 1995, it was created to pay tribute to an individual who has enriched our culture through his/her multi-faceted accomplishments in the motion picture industry. Thompson joins an illustrious group of past recipients including Ben Affleck, Christopher Nolan, Michael Douglas, Jodie Foster, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Diane Keaton, Sean Penn, Jeff Bridges, Peter Jackson, George Clooney, Will Smith, Cate Blanchett, Clint Eastwood, Christopher Plummer and James Cameron.

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George Clooney, ‘Hunger Games’, ‘Mary Poppins’ And More On A Dizzying Awards Season Friday Night

Pete Hammond

Any doubt that awards season has not kicked into full gear even though it’s only early November were firmly erased Friday night as I kept running into the same Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Academy members as we dashed from an AFI Fest pre-party for The Weinstein Co.‘s August Osage County premiere in Hollywood, to a Lionsgate holiday (!) celebration at Spago, to Disney‘s Mary Poppins sing-a-long for Saving Mr. Banks at the Beverly Hills Hotel. And that doesn’t even count Sony‘s  tribute to their American Hustle David O. Russell for the AFI Fest at the Egyptian. When the picture isn’t ready to show why not just throw a tribute with clips instead? (they sneaked the first six minutes).  Deadline’s Jen Yamato was there and reports Jane Fonda and his Oscar winning Silver Linings Playbook star Jennifer Lawrence showed up for the pre-reception. Just down the street at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Gravity star Sandra Bullock was holding court doing a Q&A for SAG nominating committee members after a screening of the film (Warner Bros. had a separate Gravity press cocktail reception Wednesday night in West Hollywood which drew director Alfonso Cuaron and son, co-writer Jonas, along with producer David Heyman).

At Hollywood and Highland’s The Grill, August Osage County co-producer George Clooney was clearly the star attraction taking photo after photo with excited (mostly female) members of the HFPA who swarmed around him at the intimate, but crowded event before the North American premiere of the film at the Chinese. If anyone knows how to work a room like this, it is Clooney. When I managed to catch his eye he told me the film has been reworked a bit since I saw it at its Toronto Fest debut in September and that, after the balancing act of getting the adaptation of a 3 1/2 hour play down to a tight – and funny – two hours (it’s entered in the Golden Globes as a comedy),  both Harvey Weinstein and director John Wells are happy with it, as Wells also confirmed. The director said he worked on honing the script for over two years with Pulitzer Prize and Tony winner Tracy Letts (also at the reception).  As Clooney explained they had to take a rather insular play and open it up a bit which wasn’t easy, but the film I saw played like gangbusters in Toronto and was well-received at AFI, I am told by some who saw it last night for the first time.  Co-stars Juliette Lewis, Julianne Nicholson, Dermot Mulroney and Chris Cooper who has a couple of scenes that stop the show were also at the reception before hitting the red carpet (stars Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep were absent). Read More »

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AFI Fest: A “Practically Perfect” U.S. Premiere For Disney’s ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ Steps Up Oscar Talk

By | Friday November 8, 2013 @ 9:53am PST
Pete Hammond

The 2013 AFI Fest opening night at Hollywood’s famed, newly IMAX’d Chinese Theatre was as AFI president and CEO Bob Gazzale said “practically perfect in every way” — thanks in no small part to nabbing the North American premiere of Disney’s surefire Oscar contender Saving Mr. Banks. It was a no-brainer on AFI and Disney’s part to launch this holiday release (it opens domestically December 13) which chronicles the turbulent relationship of Walt Disney and Mary Poppins creator P.L. Travers during the the making of that 1964 musical classic which had its premiere at the very same theatre a half century ago. Director John Lee Hancock noted that in his opening remarks: “My life just keeps folding around. Just like in Mary Poppins it seems what happened has happened before. Fifty years ago there was a premiere here for Mary Poppins. About a year ago we were here filming the re-creation of that premiere, and now here we are again so it all just feels right,” he said. By the way, Poppins itself returns to the Chinese when AFI Fest hosts a red-carpet screening Saturday with stars Dick Van Dyke, Karen Dotrice and Oscar-winning composer Richard Sherman attending.

Related: ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ World Premieres In London – Can It Be Heading For Oscar Night?

Disney chair Alan Horn was taking congrats for the film he actually inherited when he came to the studio, and production president Sean Bailey was also singled out for praise in making this happen. Of course stars Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson were there, but both skipped the Hollywood Roosevelt after-party where Sherman was the main attraction. I told Horn this is a word-of-mouth movie if ever there was one and should be a big hit for the studio. How it fares in the Oscar race will be interesting considering the last three Best Picture winners — Argo, The Artist and The King’s Speech — all seem to be films that make audiences feel good about themselves with the former two having a special Hollywood connection just like this one. Banks seems to fit the same bill that Oscar voters have been responding to recently, effortlessly blending laughs, tears, comedy, drama and emotion. This was my second viewing in three weeks (I saw it at a small screening shortly before it had its world premiere at the London Film Festival) and it holds up. Hanks and Thompson are slam-dunk nominees here and the film has many possibilities — but it is facing weightier fare in frontrunners 12 Years A Slave, Gravity and Captain Phillips (another film with Hanks, which could make him a double nominee this year). Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Adopt Films Acquires ‘Zurich’ For U.S.; Mongrel Media Bringing ‘Bethlehem’ To Canada; More

By | Wednesday November 6, 2013 @ 7:35pm PST

Adopt Films Picks Up ‘Zurich’ For U.S.
New York-based Adopt Films has acquired all U.S. rights to Frederik Steiner’s Zurich. The drama had its world premiere at the HOF Film Festival in Munich last month and is scheduled for a wide theatrical release in Germany in the spring. Zurich is Adopt’s third German acquisition in two years following Christian Petzold’s Barbara and Caroline Link’s Exit Marrakech. The film is about a bright, independent-minded 20-year-old woman who’s had cystic fibrosis since birth. After watching her brother suffer through the same disease, she hatches a plan to travel to a private clinic in Zurich where she can end her life legally. Newcomer Liv Lisa Fries stars with Kerstin de Anna and Lena Stolze. The original screenplay is by Barbara te Kock. The movie will go out in the U.S. next summer. Read More »

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London Film Festival: Disney’s ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ World Premieres – Can It Be Heading For Oscar Night?

By | Sunday October 20, 2013 @ 3:26pm PDT
Pete Hammond

Could Disney finally be on track for a Best Picture Oscar winner of its own making? Who knows, but judging from the very enthusiastic reaction to the world premiere tonight of Saving Mr. Banks at London’s Odeon Leicester Square theatre on the closing night of BFI London Film Festival, it’s off to a good start. Deadline’s International Editor Nancy Tartaglione reports there was about four minutes of sustained applause as the end credits began and word at the Old Billingsgate after-party was unanimously upbeat with premiere-goers loving it. Initial reviews also seem to be strong. Before the film rolled an organist onstage warmed up the first-nighters with the score for Mary Poppins, the film that serves as the inspiration for this tale of how Walt Disney led a two-decades-long quest to bring notoriously reticent P.L. Travers’ classic book to the screen. Director John Lee Hancock, producers Alison Owen and Ian Collie and stars Colin FarrellTom Hanks, Ruth Wilson and Emma Thompson were then introduced to the crowd. Thompson remarked, “it’s very moving to have the film premiere in London… so let’s watch the damn thing”. There’s even a reference to the Leicester Square theatre in the movie.

Related: Tom Hanks Retraces A Life In Pictures At BAFTA Event Read More »

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Millennium Sets Milla Jovovich, Emma Thompson, Pierce Brosnan, Angela Bassett For ‘Survivor’ Thriller Pic

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Millennium Films has set Milla Jovovich, Pierce Brosnan, Emma Thompson and Angela Bassett to star in Survivor, a thriller that James McTeigue will direct starting January 20 in London. Charles Winkler and Irwin Winkler are producing. Phil Shelby wrote the script.

Jovovich plays a State Department employee newly posted to the American embassy in London, where she is charged with stopping terrorists from getting into the U.S. That puts her right in the line of fire and she is targeted for death and framed for crimes. Discredited, she is forced to go on the run while she tries to clear her name and stop a large-scale terrorist attack set for New Year’s Eve in Times Square.

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Global Show Briefs: Venice Fills Out Its Lineup; ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ To Close London Fest; More

Venice Film Festival Rounds Out Lineup, Adds Carrie Fisher To Jury
The 70th Venice Film Festival’s lineup is complete with the addition of five titles including Une Promesse, writer-director Patrice Leconte drama starring Rebecca Hall, Alan Rickman, and Richard Madden, which will screen Out of Competition. The fest also announced that the collective film Venezia 70 – Future Reloaded — composed of 70 short films lasting 60 to 90 seconds made by 70 directors from all over the world to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the festival — will be the second opening film at the inaugural ceremony. Also, Carrie Fisher and Mexican director Amat Escalante have been added to the International Jury. The fest runs August 20 to September 7.

‘Saving Mr. Banks’ Set For Closing Night At BFI London Film Festival
The 57th BFI London Film Festival will close with the European premiere of Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks. Tom Hanks stars as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers in John Lee Hancock’s drama about the effort to bring Mary Poppins to the screen. The fest, which runs October 9-20, will open with the continental bow of another Hanks film, the Somali pirate drama Captain Phillips from director Paul Greengrass. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Saving Mr. Banks’

By | Thursday July 11, 2013 @ 10:18am PDT

Yesterday we got the first image of Tom Hanks as Walt Disney in Saving Mr. Banks. Today, we get the first trailer. Hanks plays Walt Disney, and Emma Thompson plays prickly Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers, in the true story of how the ultimate classic made it to the screen. John Lee Hancock directs the picture that also stars Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, B.J. Novak, Rachel Griffiths and Kathy Baker. Saving Mr. Banks goes out via Disney on December 13 in limited release and goes wide on December 20.

Trailer: Saving Mr. Banks on Disney Video

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First Look Photo: Tom Hanks As Walt Disney In ‘Saving Mr. Banks’

By | Wednesday July 10, 2013 @ 11:06am PDT

Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson star in Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks which goes out in limited release on December 13. It’s based on the true story of how Mary Poppins made it to the screen — and the testy relationship that Walt Disney had with author P.L. Travers that almost derailed it. Per Time, here’s the first picture of Hanks as Disney and Thompson as Travers on a walk through Disneyland in 1961:

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Sky Creates Content Distribution Arm With Acquisition Of Parthenon Media Group

By | Friday July 27, 2012 @ 1:40am PDT

As it increases its investment in original British fare, Sky has acquired Parthenon Media Group to establish an international distribution arm within the company. Parthenon founder and CEO Carl Hall will oversee the new business. Sky has said it intends to up its annual spend on British content creation to £600M by 2014. Funds generated by sales of its original programming will be funneled back into UK production. Among shows commissioned this year are dramas and comedies starring Hayley Atwell, Brenda Blethyn, Stephen Fry, Richard E. Grant, John Hurt, Eddie Marsan, Stellan Skarsgård, David Tennant, Emma Thompson and Olivia Williams. Sky1 comedies Stella, Starlings and Trollied have all been ordered for a second run and drama Hit & Miss, starring Chloe Sevigny, started its run in May. The indie Parthenon has distributed and produced factual and children’s programming since 2002 and has 1,400 hours in its catalog, according to its website. As of June 30, 2011 it had gross assets of £18.2M, although financial terms for the Sky deal were not disclosed.

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Tom Hanks Now Getting Serious For ‘Saving Mr. Banks’

By | Monday April 9, 2012 @ 4:12pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Deadline told you back in February that Tom Hanks was in the mix to play Walt Disney in the John Lee Hancock directed and Kelly Marcel-scripted saga of how Walt Disney waged a 14-year courtship to persuade Australian author P.L. Travers to sell him rights to make a film out of Mary Poppins. Now, things are heating up with Hanks to potentially star with Emma Thompson (Meryl Streep was also being courted) for Disney, which in February made a deal to acquire the Black List script, which is set up with producer Alison Owen of Ruby Films. Disney seems a natural place for the script, considering the studio owns many rights from making the 1964 classic film that starred Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke and David Tomlinson, the latter of whom played Mr. Banks in the film.

The heart of this script comes from how close Travers felt to her story of a nanny with magical powers. Mary Poppins was highly personal, and reflected hardships in her own life and her relationship with her father, who died when she was 7. Disney finally persuaded her to let him make the film, but she was prickly all the way to the end. While Mary Poppins was lauded immediately, she hated the animated sequences in the film so much that she refused to sell any of her other works to Disney.

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Emma Thompson, David Tennant, Olivia Williams Lined Up For New U.K. Series

By | Friday February 24, 2012 @ 4:15am PST

The UK’s Sky Arts, which earlier this year announced it would triple its budget, has commissioned a series of one-off original TV dramas and comedies that will fall under the Playhouse Presents label. Among the notable projects, Walking The Dogs sees Emma Thompson play Queen Elizabeth in a comedy-drama about an intruder who made his way into her bedroom in 1982. Walking The Dogs is based on the night Michael Fagan broke into Buckingham Palace, entered the Queen’s boudoir and chatted with her for a while until the police took him away. The title refers to Fagan’s window of access – a guard who was supposed to be positioned outside the Queen’s door was out walking her dogs. Eddie Marsan (Tyrannosaur, Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows) and Russell Tovey, who has a role in the Emma Thompson-penned Effie, are co-stars. Other shows just announced by Sky Arts, part of the BSkyB group of channels, will include such British talent as David Tennant, Olivia Williams, Stephen Fry and Hayley Atwell along with some non-Brits like Stellan Skarsgard and Harry Shearer. The latter is starring in Nixon’s The One, a verbatim account of Richard Nixon’s Read More »

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