Samuel L. Jackson has signed to return as host of Spike TV‘s Video Game Awards, which will air live December 7 and be produced again by Mark Burnett. The event, dubbed VGA Ten this year to celebrate its 10th anniversary, hands out honors and features world premieres of upcoming titles. Burnett, Casey Patterson and Carol Donovan will executive produce. Jackson, who pulled the same duty for Spike’s VGAs from 2005-2007, also is hosting the BET Awards on July 1.
Samuel L. Jackson has been tapped to host the BET Awards, which will air live July 1 on BET from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. He currently is riding the wave of starring in Disney/Marvel’s box office biggie The Avengers.
Most of the critics were very positive about Marvel’s The Avengers opening at midnight tonight — which is why Samuel L. Jackson (aka Nick Fury) is so furious with The New York Times‘ negative review. The actor let his 825,315 followers on Twitter today know it. “#Avengers fans, NY Times critic AO Scott needs a new job! Let’s help him find one! One he can ACTUALLY do!”. The NYT’s AO Scott in his review of the Joss Whedon-directed Disney film said, “The Avengersis hardly worth raging about, its failures are significant and dispiriting.” Scott also called Jackson’s role as the head of superspy agency S.H.I.E.L.D “more master of ceremonies than mission commander” in his review.
GLENDALE, Calif., Feb. 24, 2012 — DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (Nasdaq: DWA) today announced that Ryan Reynolds will lead an all-star cast including Paul Giamatti, Michael Pena, Luis Guzman, Bill Hader, Richard Jenkins, Ken Jeong, Michelle Rodriguez, Maya Rudolph, Ben Schwartz, Kurtwood Smith, Snoop Dogg and Samuel L. Jackson in the Company’s upcoming original film Turbo, which tells the story of an ordinary garden snail with dreams of racing greatness. Turbo is scheduled to come to the big screen on July 19, 2013.
David Soren (Merry Madagascar), a DreamWorks Animation veteran as a story artist, voice actor and director, is set to direct the film based on his own original concept. Soren is co-writing the script with Robert Siegel (The Wrestler) and Darren Lemke (Shrek Forever After). Lisa Stewart (Monsters vs. Aliens, Almost Famous) is producing with Susan Rogers serving as co-producer.
New York, NY (November 30, 2011) – IFC Films announced today that the company is acquiring U.S. rights to THE SAMARITAN, starring Academy Award® nominated Samuel L. Jackson, produced by Andras Hamori and directed by David Weaver from a screenplay by Weaver and Elan Mastai. THE SAMARITAN also stars Luke Kirby (TAKE THIS WALTZ), Ruth Negga (LOVE/HATE) and Oscar nominated Tom Wilkinson (MISSION IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL).
EXCLUSIVE: WME has just signed Tom Hiddleston, who reprises his Loki character from Thor in the upcoming Joss Whedon-directed The Avengers. Hiddleston, who was last repped in the U.S. by ICM, had a year in which he also starred in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, as well as Steven Spielberg’s upcoming War Horse. All the agencies were after him. In The Avengers, Hiddleston’s Loki takes on Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Hiddleston continues to be repped by UK agents Mikey Symons and Christian Hodell, and manager Jon Rubenstein.
Django Unchained director Quentin Tarantino has offered the role of wealthy plantation owner Spencer Bennett to Don Johnson, and they are negotiating for Johnson to join a cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson and Kurt Russell. The picture shoots this fall with The Weinstein Company distributing domestically and Sony foreign. Tarantino is always good for a surprise or two when he goes beyond the obvious casting lists and taps talent from his memory banks, something he has done with the likes of John Travolta and the late David Carradine. Putting the former Miami Vice and Nash Bridges star into a villainous role here seems inspired. The liberated slave Django (Foxx) and his bounty hunter partner (Waltz) meet the evil plantation owner in pursuit of a bounty, and he turns the table on them. Tarantino has been talking to Johnson some time about the role. Johnson most recently played a character called Miles Deep in the recent comedy Bucky Larson: Born To Be A Star, but soon his most recent credit will be a big Tarantino film.
Marvel Studios has released its first full trailer for The Avengers, its Joss Whedon-directed dream teaming of Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and team leader Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), who team up against Loki (Tom Hiddleston), who emerged as a villain in the first Thor film. Whedon has the fanboy cred and they’ve done nothing here to dampen enthusiasm for a film that Disney releases May 4, 2012.
EXCLUSIVE: Kevin Costner has dropped out of Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, an exit I’m told is due to a combination of scheduling and personal reasons. Costner had agreed to play the supporting role of Ace Woody in the Sergio Leone-style Spaghetti Western. The problem was it would have tied up about two months of his schedule even though he’s not in that many scenes. Costner is playing Pa Kent in the Superman reboot Man of Steel, and doing the miniseries The Hatfields and McCoys for History (which he’s also producing) and it was a bit much. It’s too bad, because the role would have been a real departure for an actor who has mostly played good guys. Costner was going to play Woody, a humorless and sadistic trainer of the male fighting slaves who entertain the white patrons of Candyland, a hellhole that also used female slaves as prostitutes. Candyland is the club and ranch owned by Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), and Ace Woody is the one who pits the “mandingo” fighters against one another, and who has little qualms about mistreating and even killing the slaves who don’t measure up. Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson star, with Foxx playing the title character, a slave-turned-bounty hunter who must take on those villains to free his slave wife. Tarantino is still testing …
In the latest round of script sales, ABC has nabbed a high-concept light drama from No Ordinary Family co-creator/executive producer Jon Feldman. Described as Moonlighting meets Early Edition, the project centers on a charming ex-con (think George Clooney in Ocean’s Eleven) who realizes that he’s receiving video links to the news reports of the beautiful, ambitious TV crime reporter who once upon a time put him away. The only catch: He’s getting her news stories before she actually films them, giving this unlikely duo 24 hours to prevent the crimes from taking place. Feldman is writing the script and is executive producing with fellow No Ordinary Family executive producer Bob Sertner for ABC Studios where the two are based with overall deals.
Through his deal at CBS TV Studios, Samuel L. Jackson has sold a legal show to CBS. Written by Rob Bragin (Greek), the untitled project centers on a father and a son. Jackson and Bragin are executive producing for CBS Studios and Jackson’s UppiTV.
EXCLUSIVE: Quentin Tarantino never has trouble putting together good casts for his films, but his Sergio Leone-style Spaghetti Western Django Unchained is turning out to be quite something. Kevin Costner is in negotiations to join a cast that is headed by Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson and Leonardo DiCaprio. Costner is in talks to play Ace Woody, and it’s a real surprise turn for an actor most associated with good guy roles. He’s the sadistic trainer of the male fighting slaves who entertain the white patrons of Candyland as well as the female slaves who are forced to be prostitutes. The club and ranch are owned by Calvin Candie (DiCaprio) and Ace Woody is the one who pits the “mandingo” fighters against one another, and has little qualms about mistreating and even killing the slaves who don’t measure up. The roles that DiCaprio and Costner will play are every bit as sadistic as the one that Waltz played in Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds, and while Costner is still doing fine work, this could shine a light on him the way that Pulp Fiction did for John Travolta.
Foxx will play the title character, a slave-turned-bounty hunter who must take on those villains to free his slave wife. It’s looking like Tarantino might make a discovery on that role, a character named Broomhilda. The Weinstein Company will put the picture into production in the early fall, with Sony Pictures …
EXCLUSIVE: Talks are about to get underway for Leonardo DiCaprio to play the role of villainous ranch owner Calvin Candie in Django Unchained, the Sergio Leone-style spaghetti Western that Quentin Tarantino wrote and will direct as his next film. DiCaprio is being courted to play a charming but ruthless proprietor of Candyland, a despicable club and plantation in Mississippi where female slaves are exploited as sex objects and males are pitted against each other in “mandingo” style death matches. Candie is a slave’s worst nightmare and the freed slave Django must cross him in order to reclaim his wife.
Now, deal making discussions are just getting underway, but I’m told there is a much higher likelihood of DiCaprio taking part in the film at this point than Will Smith, who had been reported as lead candidate to play the title role of DJango, a slave who is liberated and taught the tricks of the trade by a German dentist-turned-bounty hunter. That role is expected to be played by Christoph Waltz, who won an Oscar playing Hans Landa in Tarantino’s last film, Inglourious Basterds. Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction star Samuel L. Jackson is also expected to play the role of Stephen, Candie’s valet who keeps the slaves in line at Candie’s residence. Tarantino turned in his script in late April to The Weinstein Company’s Harvey Weinstein, and Sony Pictures signed on …
While there is currently uncertainty over the status of the Paul Greengrass-directed Martin Luther King Jr film Memphis and the Lee Daniels-directed MLK film Selma, Samuel L. Jackson has just committed to playing the civil rights leader on Broadway in The Mountaintop. The move was long-rumored, but he will not be joined by Halle Berry, whose child-custody issues will keep her from joining Jackson. He becomes the latest film star to take a stage turn, and Broadway has been the better for it. Here’s the official announcement:
New York, NY – It was announced today that Samuel L. Jackson will make his Broadway debut starring as Dr. Martin Luther King in the Broadway production of the new play, The Mountaintop, by Katori Hall directed by Tony Award Nominee Kenny Leon (Fences, A Raisin in the Sun). The Mountaintop will begin performances on September 22, 2011, at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre (242 West 45th Street), with an official opening on Thursday, October 13, 2011. Tickets for The Mountaintop will go on sale at a later date.
The Mountaintop is produced by Jean Doumanian Productions, Sonia Friedman Productions, Ambassador Theatre Group, Jerry Frankel, Ted Snowdon, Bob Bartner, and Tom Wirtshafter.
In a joint statement, Ms. Doumanian and Ms. Friedman said, “The Mountaintop is a brilliantly conceived gem of a play. An ambitious work of fiction that is powerful, heartbreaking, humorous and exhilarating. We are thrilled to be bringing Katori Hall’s remarkable, Olivier-winning work to New York, and to present a singular new American voice to Broadway audiences. And we are honored to be presenting the Broadway debut of the great Samuel L. Jackson.”
EXCLUSIVE: Before donning Nick Fury’s eye patch in The Avengers, Samuel L Jackson is starring in The Samaritan, a neo-noir thriller directed by David Weaver. Luke Kirby (Shattered Glass) and Ruth Negga (Color Me Kubrick) co-star. Filming starts on location Sunday in Toronto, Canada and Rio De Janiero. Jackson plays Foley, a grifter trying to escape from his past having spent 20 years in prison. But he gets ensnared in the plans of a young protege and it becomes all too clear to Foley that some wrongs can never be made right. Andras Hamori of Los Angeles-based H20 Motion Pictures is producing with Eli Selden and Geoffrey Brandt exec producing with Mark Musselman (Barney’s Version). UK-based financier Quickfire Films is backing the project alongside Canadian state fund Telefilm Canada, the Harold Greenberg Fund and the Ontario Media Development Corporation. Entertainment One has already taken The Samaritan for Canada. H20 has also pre-sold the movie to Germany, South Africa and Switzerland.
Tyler Perry won bigtime in the movie and TV categories, while Prince was a surprise guest to give Halle Berry the Best Actress award for Frankie & Alice as the 42nd NAACP Image Awards were announced tonight during the live broadcast from LA’s Shrine Auditorium on Fox. The special was hosted by Holly Robinson Peete and Wayne Brady while performers and Presenters included Halle Berry, LL Cool J, Affion Crockett, Kimberly Elise, Kerry Washington and Vanessa Williams, Angela Bassett, NAACP Chairwoman Roslyn M. Brock, actress Loretta Devine, singer Jason Derülo, actress/singer Kat Graham, actor Dulé Hill, actor Anthony Mackie, Judge Greg Mathis, actresses Tia and Tamera Mowry, actress Sandra Oh, comedian Russell Peters and actress Anika Noni Rose. The special celebrated the accomplishments of people of color working in the fields of literature, music, television and film. Special honors included the Chairman’s Award recipient Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin and President’s Award recipient General Colin L. Powell.
Outstanding Motion Picture
“For Colored Girls” (Lionsgate/34th Street Films)
Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Denzel Washington – “The Book of Eli” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Halle Berry – “Frankie & Alice” (Freestyle Releasing)
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Samuel L. Jackson – “Mother and Child” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Kimberly Elise – “For Colored Girls” (Lionsgate/34th Street Films)
Outstanding Independent Motion Picture
“Frankie & Alice” (Freestyle Releasing)
Outstanding Foreign Motion Picture
“Biutiful” (Roadside Attractions)
Outstanding Documentary (Theatrical or Television)
“For Love of Liberty: The Story of America’s …
I’m hearing that How I Met Your Mother star Cobie Smulders has emerged as the front runner for the role of SHIELD Agent Maria Hill in the Joss Whedon-directed The Avengers and that a deal could be done before the weekend is out. The role has been the subject of high speculation since Samuel L. Jackson gave it up in an interview with Jimmy Fallon that he would be reading as Nick Fury alongside five actresses vying for an unidentified female sidekick role. That audition happened yesterday. Reports had V’s Morena Baccarin, Jessica Lucas and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as other candidates. Smulders wasn’t completely unknown to Whedon. In fact, he liked her as a candidate for Wonder Woman when he was working on that superhero film. Deadline has learned that the role is Maria Hill, who in the comics was the ruthless interim executive director of SHIELD, who was not above blackmailing and bullying superheros to get her way. She was eventually supplanted in that top job by Tony Stark aka Iron Man. As with all Marvel movies, the deal comes with a pile of options for appearances in future superhero films. She’s repped by UTA and Roar. Marvel Studios starts production in April, which presumably falls into Smulders’ TV hiatus on the CBS sitcom.
The Avengers will be released by Disney May 4, 2012, and it shapes up as …
Samuel L. Jackson gave an interview to Jimmy Fallon last night that has the geek crowd salivating and speculating. Jackson said his Nick Fury character will be getting a new female sidekick for The Avengers movie that will pool all the Marvel Comics superheroes. Jackson said that he’ll test with five young actresses this Friday. I’m sure that the Marvel suits aren’t happy that Jackson revealed this. But having had the pleasure to do The Playboy Interview once with Sam, I can tell you that this is why Jackson left me wishing I could ring him up every week. He tells it like it is. Here’s the video (please excuse the annoying ad that precedes it):