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Super Bowl XLVIII: The Good, The Bad, The Ads

Super Bowl 2014Super Bowl XLVIII: total bust as a game, middling year for ads –  though outrage was tearing up Twitter by the time the game sputtered to a close over a Coke commercial in which “America the Beautiful” was sung in many languages over images of people of many ethnic and religious backgrounds spending quality time with family and friends.  Rants ranged from :

Nice to see that Coke likes to sing an AMERICAN song in the terrorist’s language. Way to go Coke. You can leave America


Glad to see the that #boycottcoke thing. That way we can clearly spot every bigot, racist and moron in the country & keep them from our kids.

The ad, ironically, called “It’s Beautiful,” also marked the first time a gay couple had been included in a Super Bowl ad, according to GLAAD, but that kind of got drowned out in all the mud-slinging under the banners #SpeakAmerican and #BoycottCoke.

The game started strong with Joe Namath, in a fly 70′s fur coat, botching the coin toss, which we didn’t think could be done. Namath’s coat went on to bigger and better things, becoming a hashtag phenomenon on Twitter. Despite high prices paid for A-list celebrity endorsements, it was Rob Riggle who seemed to get the most career mileage out of this year’s crop of game ads — including  screen time in both a faux movie trailer, Escape to East Rutherford, and a Ford Fusion … Read More »

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Super Bowl Ad: James Franco To Play Rob Riggle Selling Ford Vehicles: Video

By | Wednesday January 29, 2014 @ 3:32pm PST

Add James Franco to the list of Hollywood glitterati taking over the Super Bowl, ad-wise. Franco will play an alternate version of Rob Riggle in the final 60 seconds of a 90-second ad hawking the Ford Fusion Hybrid. Riggle plays himself in the first 30-seconds. Still with me? The ad will appear for the first time on Sunday, between the coin toss and the kick-off. Between the coin toss and the kick off, commercial time costs less, reports AdAge — about $3 million compared to $4 million this year for ads between kickoff and final whistle. But Ford needed to save money somewhere — they’ve hired James Franco.  Anyway, here’s a 15-second tease for Franco’s 60-second presence in Rob Riggle’s 90-second Ford ad:

Super Bowl Ad: ‘Full House’ Guys Reunite
Super Bowl Ad: Brit Movie Bad Guys Pitch Jaguar

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Sundance: Well, Wake The Gimp! James Franco Finally Finds Distributor For Last Year’s Fest Docu ‘Kink’

By | Sunday January 19, 2014 @ 1:04pm PST
Mike Fleming

kinkHow long should it take for a Sundance film to find distribution, with James Franco behind it and the subject matter kinky sex? How about a year for the film to climax in a deal? Just got a press release that MPI Pictures acquired North American rights and plans a late summer theatrical release for Kink, the documentary that played at Sundance 2013, about the San Francisco fetish website Franco exec produced, Vince Jolivette produced through their Rabbit Bandini banner, and Christina Voros directed it. She worked with Franco as cinematographer on As I Lay Dying and Child Of God. The film was repped by Preferred Content‘s Kevin Iwashina. Pic tells the story of sex, submission and big business as seen through the eyes of the unlikely pornographers whose 9-to-5 workdays are spent within the confines of the San Francisco Armory building. That’s the home to the sprawling production facilities of, the world’s largest producer of pornography with BDSM themes. Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: ‘Her’ Strong; ‘August: Osage County’ Holds; ‘Interior. Leather Bar.’ Rings In Quiet Start To 2014

Specialty Box OfficeLet’s hope the first weekend of 2014 is just a blip in the calendar. As newcomers are mostly hiding out, some holdovers have held steadfast in a freezing cold weekend for a huge chunk of the country. TWC’s August: Osage County held its base in five theaters as TV commercials touted the Golden Globes nominated pic. The Meryl Streep/Julia Roberts starrer grossed almost $141K, averaging $28,177. When it opened last weekend, the feature averaged $35,895 in the same number of reporting locations. It expands wide next week. Sony Classics added one theater for its Charles Dickens film The Invisible Woman, grossing over $30K in four theaters. It averaged $30,151 for a two week cume approaching $117K. Her Warner Bros.’ Her is playing very strong the weekend before it expands from 47 venues to 1,700 so the studio is well set for a wider release. Her opened initially on the 18th of last month in six theaters and on Christmas day expanded to its current 47 venues. The Spike Jonze pic is getting high accolades and positive word of mouth so is up 11% from last weekend and is the only one at the moment that did not fall weekend to weekend on the same number of screens. It’s per screen rose to an estimated $15,361 this weekend on a total take of .722. It’s cume to … Read More »

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2013 LA Film Critics: ‘Gravity’ & ‘Her’ Tie For Best Picture (Winners List)

LAFCA LogoUPDATED, 2:35 PM: The LA Film Critics Association held its annual end-of year awards vote today, handing Best Picture to WB pics Gravity and Her in one of multiple ties. The big surprise of the day went down as Best Supporting Actor award resulted in a tie between Oscar contender Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) and James Franco (Spring Breakers). Also tying for LAFCA honors were Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine and Adèle Exarchopoulos for Blue Is the Warmest Color, while Nebraska‘s Bruce Dern was named Best Actor and Alfonso Cuaron beat Spike Jonze for Best Director.

Scroll down for full winners.

Runner-up: The Great Beauty

BEST PICTURE (tie): Gravity and Her

BEST ACTRESS (tie): Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine and Adèle Exarchopoulos, Blue Is the Warmest Color

BEST SCREENPLAY: Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Before Midnight
Runner-up: Spike Jonze,

BEST ACTOR: Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Runner-up: Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave

BEST DIRECTOR: Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Runner-up: Spike Jonze, Her Read More »

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James Franco, Chris O’Dowd Debut On Broadway In ‘Of Mice And Men’

By | Tuesday November 26, 2013 @ 3:04am PST
Mike Fleming

James Franco and Chris O’Dowd have signed on to make their Broadway debuts in Of Mice And Men, the first new production of the John Steinbeck novel in 40 years. It will be directed by Anna D. Shapiro, who won the Tony for August: Osage County. Franco, who has now tried just about every outlet an actor can try, will play George, while The Sapphires star O’Dowd will play Lennie. The play will be staged at the Longacre Theatre with previews starting March 19. It officially opens April 16 and will run through July 27. They’ll start selling tickets January 11. David Binder is producing Of Mice And Men with Darren Bagert, Kate Lear and Barbara Whitman.

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UPDATED: Slain TSA Agent With Warner Bros. Ties ID’d; LAX Shooting Leaves News Networks Cautious, Celebrities Cub-Reporting, ‘Mad Men’ Crew Stranded

By and | Saturday November 2, 2013 @ 10:00am PDT

UPDATED: TSA has ID’d its slain officer as Gerardo I. Hernandez, who was the husband of Warner Bros.’ Manager of Worldwide Marketing Budgets Ana Machuca.

PREVIOUS UPDATE, FRIDAY PM: Cable news networks exercised extreme caution covering the shootout at LAX this morning when a gunman opened fire with a high-powered rifle at a security area and made his way deep into Terminal 3 before being wounded and apprehended — a shooting that left one TSA agent dead, and actors and network execs reporting for news operations.

In the cable news First To Bulletin Race: Fox News Channel broke in first, at 12:42:43 PM ET, followed by CNN at 12:44:38 and MSNBC 12:46:34 to cover the shooting that left injured seven — six of whom were sent to local hospitals, including the gunman, who was shot multiple times in the chest by an LAPD officer.

James Franco was on the scene — of course he was — though stuck in a plane at LAX. “At #lax Some S**tbag shot up the place” he tweeted, also Instagramming a pic of himself stuck on the plane. Tim Daly called in to CNN and delivered one of the most colorful initial reports from the scene. He’d been in a VIP lounge at Terminal 3 when the gunman was wounded and apprehended very nearby, in the vicinity of Gate 35, he said. Very quickly after the shooting “The LAPD burst into the lounge…weapons drawn, herding everybody together to make sure there were no bad guys in the lounge,” he described, noting that “having a gun pointed at you” in real life is a harrowing experience. He complimented authorities for doing “an outstanding job trying to keep people calm” and said he and others were locked in the lounge for “almost an hour” and when they were brought out, he saw a rifle and several clips on the ground about 30 feet away, as well as a blood and broken glass. Authorities told them to be careful not to disturb the blood or glass as they moved to the tunnel.

But Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters personality Tory Belleci is credited with breaking the new that something was up at LAX when he tweeted at 9:23 AM:”Something crazy is doing down at LAX. People running everywhere. We just got evacuated.” He and Mythbusters colleague Grant Imahara were in Terminal 3 at the time of the shooting, en route to Delaware for the filming of Discovery’s Punkin Chunkin. The two are tentatively booked to tell their stories to CNN’s Anderson Cooper tonight; Belleci was closer to the shooting, at Gate 33, while Imahara was also in the Virgin Airlines lounge. “During evac, I counted officers from Airport Police, LAPD, Homeland Security & other local PDs. All calm, all working together. Thanks guys!” Imahara tweeted about two hours after the gunfire.

AMC’s Lionsgate period drama Mad Men was the only thing filming at the airport today, according to officials at the LAX film office. The crew of about 20-30 had just completed the scene they were filming, at Terminal 4, before shooting occurred and, like many others at LAX, were held in limbo while authorities investigated the shooting. Only late this afternoon was the crew at the airport –able to get the last of their equipment out of the airport, and they had to literally walk it out – no trucks allowed.

Read More »

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James Franco’s ‘Child Of God’ Acquired By Spotlight Pictures

By | Wednesday October 23, 2013 @ 9:45pm PDT

The film premiered at Venice and later screened as a special presentation at Toronto. Spotlight Pictures has taken international rights to director-star James Franco‘s Child Of God, an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s novel about an outsider-turned-serial killer (Scott Haze) in 1960s Tennessee. Jim Parrack and Tim Blake Nelson also star. Franco co-wrote the screenplay with his RabbitBandini Productions partner Vince Jolivette. Spotlight also took international rights to RabbitBandini’s Tar (2012) and Sal (2011).

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James Franco Visits ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ To Talk Shakespeare, Tarantino, His New Book: Video

By | Tuesday October 22, 2013 @ 6:11am PDT

James Franco explained his new book, Actors Anonymous, on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night. Some of the chapters are lists of statements:

- I was alive when Shakespeare wrote all that crap.

- I am all actors.

- When they get older some actors that were once respected become clowns.

- Quentin’s best films are Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. They had heart and soul. His new movies are fantasies. He’s an authority on the LA underworld and B movies. Somewhere along the way his characters became their dialogue and lost some of their heart.

“Now, is that true?” Kimmel asked.

“I wouldn’t say that’s, like, fully me, but — I mean, I loved Django,” Franco tap-danced.

Watch here:

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Hot Trailer: Sly Stallone-Penned ‘Homefront’ Red Band

By | Friday October 18, 2013 @ 4:25pm PDT

Open Road’s Homefront stars James Franco and Jason Statham from a script by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Sylvester Stallone. The Gary Fleder-directed action thriller follows a widowed ex-fed who moves his daughter to a small town to start rebuilding. Nice idea, anyway. It opens just in time for Thanksgiving. Here’s the red band trailer, complete with gunshots to the face, impalings, explosions and more f-bombs than Madonna on Letterman. If you like your job, keep the volume down:

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Hot Trailer: James Franco’s ‘Sal’

By | Monday September 30, 2013 @ 5:00pm PDT

James Franco directs the pic about 1950s teen idol and Oscar-nominated actor Sal Mineo, who rocketed to fame with his turns in Rebel Without A Cause and Otto Preminger’s Exodus before he was stabbed to death at age 37. Sal, scripted by Stacey Miller with a story by Miller, Franco, Vince Jolivette, and Val Lauren from Michael Gregg Michaud’s book on the actor, follows Mineo in his final hours as he struggles to regain career momentum. Lauren stars as Mineo alongside Franco, Jolivette, Miller, Jim Parrack, Trevor Neuhoff, and Raymond T. Williams. Tribeca Films will release the pic on VOD and iTunes on October 22 followed by a limited theatrical run November 1:

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James Franco Parts Ways With Longtime Manager

By | Friday September 27, 2013 @ 9:11am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: James Franco and his manager of almost two decades Miles Levy have split, Deadline has learned. He continues to be repped by CAA, but for now he will go without a manager and it’s unclear whether he will seek another one. Franco is plenty busy with projects and is currently shooting the William Faulkner adaptation The Sound And The Fury in Mississippi. He wrote the script and is starring as well as directing.

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Fox Gives ‘The Mindy Project’ Early VOD/Digital Debut

By | Tuesday September 10, 2013 @ 7:39am PDT

In a move we’ve come to expect for freshman series — but for returning ones, not so much — Fox will preview the season debut of The Mindy Project on VOD and digital platforms beginning today. That’s a full week in advance of its primetime debut on the broadcast network. In the debut episode, Schulman & Associates welcomes its new resident OB/GYN, Dr. Paul Leotard, played by guest star James Franco — a charming, former model who also happens to be a sex therapist and offers sex therapy advice to Danny (Chris Messina) and Christina (guest star Chloe Sevigny). So if the Comedy Central roast/love letter of/to Franco didn’t give you your Franco-fill, you can now catch the season premiere episode on, Fox Now, HULU, Fox on Demand, Xbox 360, Samsung, Windows 8 and Roku, and online distributors including iTunes, Amazon, Microsoft, Samsung, Vudu and YouTube.

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Deadline’s Best TV Stories Of The Week

Did you miss some of Deadline’s top TV stories of the week? Check them out here:

CW In Talks For ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Drama By ‘Heroes” Creator Tim Kring
By Nellie Andreeva - EXCLUSIVE: The summer of Wizard Of Oz continues with another sale of a high-profile Oz-themed drama project.

Ryan Seacrest Booed By Broncos Fans During NBC’s NFL Pregame Show: Video
By Lisa De Moraes - NBC continues its Overexposing Ryan Seacrest campaign — this time the network had The Man Who Can’t Say No open NBC’s regular-season NFL football franchise kickoff last night, in which he got loudly booed by Broncos fans in Denver’s Sports Authority Stadium.

Were Consumers The Biggest Losers In The CBS-Time Warner Cable Dispute?
By David Lieberman - It sure looks that way. Millions of Time Warner Cable customers lost CBS-owned stations and channels for a month, and will still probably see their monthly rates rise to accommodate the deal that the companies made last night.

Fired ‘Storage Wars’ Star Scores A Win Over A&E In Lawsuit
By Dominic Patten – Dave Hester can move forward with the wrongful termination portion of his wide-ranging lawsuit against A&E and the producers of Storage Warsa judge ruled today. Read More »

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James Franco No Challenge To Charlie Sheen Ratings Record At Comedy Central Roast

By | Tuesday September 3, 2013 @ 11:51am PDT

James Franco: no Charlie Sheen.

About 3.1 million people watched the Comedy Central Roast Of James Franco last night — 2.4 million of them being adults 18-49, and 1.9 million in 18-34, with 1.2 million of that group being guys. Yes, Franco’s roast is up double digits compared to last year’s Roseanne roast, like Comedy Central said this afternoon — including the not-surprising 64% lift among 18-34 guys and the even less surprising 88% spike among 18-24 guys. But Franco wasn’t in the same league as Sheen, who’d clocked 6.4 million viewers when Comedy Central skewered him the same night CBS unveiled Sheen’s Two And A Half Men replacement, Ashton Kutcher. If you add in Comedy Central’s two replays of the Franco bashing/lovefest last night, during which he took a lot of heat for his epic Oscar sleep-hosting, the cume climbs to 5.2 million — still not up to Sheen’s premiere stats. The Franco roast premiere also did not match the 3.5 million who’d tuned in for Comedy Central’s David Hasselhoff roast in 2010 or the 3.48 million who caught the Donald Trump roast in 2011. And, in Roseanne’s defense, her Comedy Central bashing had aired at the same time NBC was clocking 30 million viewers with the Closing Ceremony of the London Olympics. Read More »

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‘This Is The End’ Returning To Theaters In Quest For $100M

By | Tuesday September 3, 2013 @ 9:53am PDT

Sony Pictures said today it is re-releasing the Sony/Columbia raunch comedy in about 2000 theaters beginning Friday. The ensemble comedy about what happens to six pals trapped in a house as the apocalypse begins outside stars James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Michael Cera and Emma Watson and has grossed $96.8 million to date at the domestic box office since it bowed June 14 opposite Man Of Steel. This Is The End was marketed squarely at a young adult male audience and was situated on the release schedule to counterprogram the Superman pic. “This Is The End really struck a chord with comedy moviegoers this summer”, said Rory Bruer, president of Worldwide Distribution for Sony Pictures, in the release announcing the plans. “For everyone who didn’t get a chance to see it — or saw it and loved it and wants to see it again on the big screen — we are thrilled to have it back in theaters.” Rogen and Evan Goldberg directed their screenplay and produced with James Weaver.

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Hot Festival Trailer: ‘Palo Alto’

Gia Coppola‘s feature directing debut Palo Alto is playing Telluride today and Venice‘s Horizons section on Monday. It heads to Toronto next week. Coppola, granddaughter of Francis Ford Coppola, wrote the screenplay based on the collection of short stories written by James Franco. Franco also stars in the drama that follows a group of teenagers navigating high school in the suburbs. Emma Roberts, Nat Wolff, Jack Kilmer and Val Kilmer also star. There is no U.S. distributor yet.

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Hot Trailer: James Franco’s ‘Child Of God’

By | Wednesday August 28, 2013 @ 12:11pm PDT

EXCLUSIVE: Child Of God marks James Franco‘s third consecutive major fest as a director after taking Interior. Leather Bar to Sundance and As I Lay Dying to Cannes earlier this year. Scott Haze (As I Lay Dying) stars in the Cormac McCarthy adaptation about an outsider-turned-serial killer in 1960s Tennessee. Child Of God premieres this week in competition in Venice before screening as a special presentation at Toronto. Franco, Jim Parrack, and Tim Blake Nelson also star; screenplay is by Franco and Rabbit Bandini partner Vince Jolivette. Check out Deadline’s exclusive teaser:

Watch this video on YouTube.

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James Franco To Host Show About Art On Ovation TV

By | Wednesday August 21, 2013 @ 7:19am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

As he teased yesterday, actor James Franco announced on Twitter/Instagram this morning a new show he is doing for arts cable network Ovation TV.James Franco Presents is a one-hour, weekly series,” he wrote over an image of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” with his face transposed over the painting. Franco will host and executive produce the 10-episode series, which “explores art everywhere in our lives.” It is set to premiere in November. The network said today the show will document Franco’s explorations of the world of art, from his gallery exhibits to his students’ films. It also will offer up Franco’s point of view on his most personal passion projects, most of which have not been seen by the public, culling from thousands of hours from Franco’s personal video library including video diaries, documentary footage from his art films and interactions with his heroes from every artistic genre. The series could help boost profile of the obscure network. Responded a fan to Franco’s announcement on Twitter, “Congrats, I’ve never heard of Ovation.” Franco is set to be roasted by Comedy Central this Sunday.

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