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Q&A: Peter Jackson On His Middle Earth Exit, How The Beatles And Stanley Kubrick Nearly Did LOTR, And A Disguise That Let Him Haunt Comic-Con

Mike Fleming

Q&A: Peter Jackson On His Middle Earth Exit, How The Beatles And Stanley Kubrick Nearly Did LOTR, And A Disguise That Let Him Haunt Comic-ConPeter Jackson is coming to the end of a stay in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth that has dominated a quarter of the 53-year-old director’s life, right into middle age. The result: three Lord Of The Rings films and two installments of The Hobbit that have grossed $4.89 billion in worldwide box office.

By the time The Battle Of The Five Armies, the finale to The Hobbit trilogy, plays out, Jackson’s six films may reach $6 billion, and better the current hardware haul of 17 Oscars including Best Picture for Return Of The King, and 35 other noms. Unless James Cameron has something to say about it with his new Avatar trilogy, we may never see anything again in our lives to match Jackson’s cinematic accomplishment, all done with the same creative team.

If he’s feeling the weight of that, he wore it well at Comic-Con. Mostly, he battled jet lag after the long trip to San Diego from New Zealand, where the last film waits for him to finish. He’s tired enough when I enter his hotel room that he suggests I get in bed next to where he’s resting. Then he thinks better, unsure he can stay awake unless upright. I tell him I had the same problem the night before at a very funny live Chris Hardwick-hosted game show my son was desperate to see, only to nudge me again and again for snoring too loud. Our chat started with middle-age sleep apnea and moved to Middle Earth, how close The Beatles came to doing The Lord Of The Rings with Stanley Kubrick, and how Jackson will handle leaving Middle Earth, a place he almost didn’t get to visit at all.

JACKSON: So you almost ruined your son’s time by snoring? I once flew coach class from New Zealand to London, and my friends informed me they’d gotten a ticket for the theater at the West End stage. My friend had to elbow me because not only could they see me from the stage, they could probably hear me as well. When I worked as a newspaper photo engraver in the only job I ever had, many years ago, I’d get the train home to Pukerua Bay where I was staying with my parents. An hour ride, 16 stops and almost always I’d have automatic wake-up, seconds before we pulled into my station. Travel makes you tired more than anything, and Friday was my daughter’s 18th birthday and we celebrated here.

indexDEADLINE: One of those tiny gorgeous kids we watched grow up in glimpses during Lord Of The Rings films?
JACKSON: She was 3 when we made The Fellowship Of The Ring. Katie and Elijah Wood were talking today and they figured out she was 3 when he first met her. She’s 18. Kids, more than anything in life, chart time for us.

DEADLINE: Movies and sports do it, too. It’s easy to be cynical, but I am so charmed by these Comic-Con people and how the proceedings bring out the child versions of themselves. Total lack of cynicism. Do you get to appreciate that still?
JACKSON: There’s a certain reality to me going out now. I’d get six paces, no further, and it would be selfies, and nothing else. In the old days, people asked you to sign something, and half would be too nervous to ask. Now, there’s an aggression to it, like they want you as a trophy on their web page. It’s a social coup to nail you on their cell phone. It changed everything. I get six paces and then can’t walk another. But I went anyway, yesterday, found a way to walk all the way around the convention center.

DEADLINE: How did you manage that?
JACKSON: Oh, I got myself a secret identity. I became the Evil Jester. You can look at the photos on my Facebook page. Read More »

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R.I.P. Louis C. Blau, Stanley Kubrick’s Attorney For Over 40 Years

By | Monday June 2, 2014 @ 12:46pm PDT

Stanley Kubrick, Louis C. Blau Entertainment Attorney,Entertainment attorney Louis C. Blau, who repped such distinguished filmmakers as Stanley Kubrick and Francois Truffaut, died Friday. He was 99. His clients included such showbiz names as Walter Matthau, Lana Turner, Fernando Lamas, Richard Widmark, Dan Duryea, Arlene Dahl, Richard Basehart as well as such 1950s Italian cinema personalities as Alida Valli, Valentina Cortese, Rossano Brazzi and Pier Angeli. His music clients included Motown founder Berry Gordy, Donald O’Connor and Mitzi Gaynor. Blau was a senior partner at Loeb & Loeb for decades until his retirement in the late 1990s. He also worked with such notable authors as Pulitzer Prize winner Alex Haley, Danielle Steel, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Alvin Toffler, Larry Gelbart and Barnaby Conrad. Read More »

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Steven Spielberg Developing Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Napoleon’ As TV Miniseries

By | Sunday March 3, 2013 @ 2:09pm PST

It was a screenplay first written by Stanley Kubrick back in 1961 and now Steven Spielberg says he’s working with the late filmmaker’s estate on the project. “I’ve been developing Stanley Kubrick’s screenplay, for a miniseries not for a motion picture, about the life of Napoleon,” Spielberg recently told the French TV network Canal+. Kubrick left behind extensive research archives - location photos, notes and boxes of other details which provided a book on the subject. But studios balked at the expensive project. (Kubrick eventually made Barry Lyndon which takes place 15 years before the Napoleonic wars.) Spielberg’s 2001 A.I. began as a Kubrick project. The Napoleon news comes after Spielberg delayed RobopocalypseRecently named jury president for the Cannes Film Festival in May, he’s producing Jurassic Park IV in 3D for June 2014, and developing another HBO series with Tom Hanks. Still pending is whether he’ll take on the Moses epic Gods And Kings for Warner Bros.

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Stanley Kubrick To Be Honored By Motion Picture Academy

By | Monday October 29, 2012 @ 2:19pm PDT

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will celebrate the life and career of filmmaker Stanley Kubrick on Wednesday, November 7, at 7:30 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Hosted by Malcolm McDowell, the evening features film clips and personal remembrances by his friends and collaborators, including Paul Mazursky, Ryan O’Neal and Matthew Modine. The salute is presented in association with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), leading off its retrospective screening series “2012: A Kubrick Odyssey,” and in conjunction with its exhibition “Stanley Kubrick.”

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Fox’s Spanish-U.S. Series, Kubrick Restoration, Dinard Festival

By | Wednesday September 12, 2012 @ 11:29pm PDT

Fox Developing Thriller With Paco Plaza For Spain, U.S. TV
Paco PlazaFox Television Studios has entered into a development deal with acclaimed Spanish writer-director Paco Plaza for the series Hamelin, a one-hour horror/thriller to air in Spain. Concurrently, Plaza will work with Fox to adapt the project in English for the U.S. market. Hamelin, inspired by the tale of the Pied Piper, follows a team of FBI agents trying to solve the disappearance of five children in a small town. In the process detectives uncover a terrifying series of supernatural threats. Plaza is perhaps best known for writing and directing one of the most successful global horror movie franchises: REC and REC2. The Plaza-directed prequel REC: Genesis screened earlier this year at South By Southwest.

Kubrick’s Rarely Seen First Film Restored For Home Video
Blu-ray and DVD editions of a restored version of Stanley Kubrick’s first feature Fear And Desire will be released in late January 2013 as one of Eureka Entertainment’s Masters Of Cinema Series. The restoration carried out by The Library of Congress in conjunction with Kino Lorber marks the movie’s home video debut in the United Kingdom. Fear And Desire is the story of a mysterious war between unidentified forces in which a plane carrying four soldiers crashes behind enemy lines. The Eureka edition will also see a fresh release of Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange.
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1st Kubrick U.S. Museum Retrospective

By | Thursday August 16, 2012 @ 10:53am PDT

(Los Angeles-August 16, 2012) The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (The Academy) are pleased to co-present the first U.S. retrospective of filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, developed in collaboration with the Kubrick Estate and the Deutsches Filmmuseum, Frankfurt. The exhibition provides access to the director’s extraordinary vision and working methods while illuminating the network of influences and conditions that came together to make his films universally regarded as modern masterpieces. The Los Angeles presentation is made possible by a generous gift from Steve Tisch.

“By featuring this legendary filmmaker and his oeuvre in his first retrospective within the context of an art museum, Stanley Kubrick will reevaluate how we define the artist in the twenty-first century, and simultaneously expand upon LACMA’s commitment to exploring the intersection of art and film,” said Michael Govan, CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director of LACMA. “We are also pleased to honor Kubrick’s impact on film and art history at our 2012 Art + Film Gala, along with artist Ed Ruscha, on October 27.”

“Stanley Kubrick represents the perfect opportunity to collaborate with LACMA on the presentation of film in a museum setting,” said Dawn Hudson, Academy CEO. “It is a taste of things to come when we open the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in the historic Wilshire May Company building on the LACMA campus.”

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IFC Midnight Picks Up Stanley Kubrick ‘Shining’ Documentary ‘Room 237′

By | Monday April 23, 2012 @ 11:09am PDT

Stanley Kubrick Room 237New York, NY -April 23 2012 – IFC Midnight announced today that the company is acquiring North American rights to director Rodney Ascher’s highly acclaimed documentary ROOM 237 which concerns the theories surrounding and within Stanley Kubrick’s film THE SHINING. The film, which was produced by Tim Kirk and scored by Jonathan Snipes and William Hutson, recently played at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. IFC Midnight plans to release the film theatrically this year.

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Sundance Kubrick Doc ‘Room 237′ Lands At IFC Films

By | Wednesday February 8, 2012 @ 10:00am PST

Exclusive: IFC Films has picked up Sundance ’12 Stanley Kubrick doc Room 237. A world premiere in the festival’s New Frontier section, the experimental documentary directed by Rodney Ascher explores the numerous theories about the “real meaning” of Kubrick’s film The Shining. Word has it the film will screen this Spring in the New Directors/New Film series in New York and Cannes is a likely bet to debut the film across the Atlantic. IFC Films will roll out the film later this year via a theatrical/day and date VOD release.

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