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The Newsdesk 12.22.08 – The Dark Campaign Gets Going, Mockingbird Director Dies

• For your consideration: An unofficial grassroots effort to support The Dark Knight for the 2008 Academy Awards called The Dark Campaign has launched.

• For the Oscar “in memoriam” montage: Robert Mulligan passed away Friday at age 83. He earned a best director nomination for To Kill A Mockingbird and directed five different actors in Oscar-nominated performances; Gregory Peck, Mary Badham, Natalie Wood, Ruth Gordon and Ellen Burstyn all shined in his films with Peck winning the best actor prize for To Kill A Mockingbird.

It’s an honor just to be presenting. Seth Rogen, Amy Poehler Jennifer Lopez and Salma Hayek will all be presenters at the 66th Golden Globe Awards.

The Canada Revenue Agency lowered the percentage that can be claimed for producer fees but didn’t tell Canadian producers about the change. In case you haven’t heard: There’s now a maximum 10% cap on claims for producer fees with a 10% write-off for corporate overhead. At least the sinking Loonie means there’s work in Vancouver.

All those press appearances by Mickey Rourke are paying off. At least, for the movie. The Wrestler did great business in its debut Wednesday at four theaters in New York and Los Angeles.


ENTERTAINMENT NEWS 12/22/08


BIZ

Tax rebate changes rile producers

from Film Journal by Adina Lebo

Canadian producers are up in arms over a move by the Canada
Revenue Agency to shrink their tax rebate checks.



Down Under production rises with fall of Aussie, N.Z. dollars

from Film Journal by David Pearce

The falling Kiwi and Oz dollars mean more film production
coming Down Under. During early 2008, the Australian and New Zealand
dollars increased in value against the U.S. dollar, almost reaching parity at
one stage.



Summit up! ‘Twilight’ marks new dawn for fast-rising studio

from Film Journal by Doris Toumarkine

It’s impossible to write a word about Summit Entertainment
LLC without referencing the phenomenal success of its surprise fangirl hit Twilight,
adapted from the first of author Stephenie Meyer’s popular book series.



Political ads boost local TV station revenue

from Hollywood Reporter by By Paul J. Gough

Political ad revenue eased what has been a tough year for
local TV stations.

SAG STRIKE?

No holiday break for SAG

from Variety.com

Business News: Battle
over strike continues — Even with much of the town now on vacation, the
feverish battle over the SAG strike authorization vote will continue through
the holidays.



SAG president Alan Rosenberg: We shall overcome

from Entertainment Weekly’s Hollywood Insider by Lynette Rice

Despite increased rancor from east coast members, SAG
president Alan Rosenberg remains resolute in his hope to secure a strike
authorization vote in the new year.

FESTIVALS

Palm Springs fest unveils lineup

from The Hollywood Reporter – Awards by By Gregg Kilday

Joel Hopkins’ “Last Chance Harvey,” starring
Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson, will screen as the opening-night film at the
20th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival.



Berlinale unveils first Perspectives

from The Hollywood Reporter – Awards by By Scott Roxborough

“Distance,” a drama from first-timer Thomas
Sieben, will open the Perspectives on German Cinema sidebar at the 2009 Berlin
International Film Festival.

 

SUNDANCE

Doors Documentary Revisits ‘Strange’ Days

from Billboard News – All by Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

As first tipped here in May, the Doors documentary
“When You’re Strange” will premiere Jan. 17 at the Sundance Film
Festival.



Stars and snow are draws at Sundance Film Festival

from Google Alerts – “sundance film festival” by Seattle
Times – United States

By Leigh Dyer CAROLYN KASTER / AP Jay Moses of Park City, Utah,
hangs movie posters for HBO on a kiosk along Main Street during the Sundance Film Festival.


AWARDS

Stars will orbit Globes

from Variety.com

TV News: Rogen, Poehler, Hayek to present — Seth Rogen, Amy
Poehler, Jennifer Lopez and Salma Hayek have been tapped as presenters for the
66th Golden Globe Awards.



‘Doubt’ leads SAG nominations

from CNN.com – Entertainment

The nominations for the 15th annual Screen Actors Guild
Awards were announced Thursday morning. “Doubt” earned nominations
for each major member of its cast as well as an overall outstanding cast
nomination, and “Frost/Nixon” and “Benjamin Button” also
did well.



Oscar Watch: Can Dark Knight Fans Make the Difference?

from E! Online – Movie News

Coolest New Campaign (That’s Not Costing Warner Bros. a
Dime): Dark Campaign, a self-described grassroots effort to score a Best
Picture nomination for The Dark Knight



Oscar Roundup: Dec. 19

from Entertainment Weekly’s Oscar Watch by Dave Karger

This week sees the opening of one film that’s sure to score
at least a couple Oscar nominations (The Wrestler) and one that’s a very
deserving long shot in two acting categories (Nothing But the Truth) but has
the misfortune…

 

‘Slumdog’ leads London critics’ noms

from Hollywood Reporter by By Stuart Kemp

Danny Boyle’s “Slumdog Millionaire” continued to
wow critics, leading the field for next year’s London Film Critics’ Circle
awards.



Dallas critics love ‘Slumdog’

from Variety.com – Award Central News

Award Central News: ‘Wendy and Lucy’ given Russell Smith
prize — The Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Assn. has tabbed “Slumdog
Millionaire” as the best pic of 2008. Helmer Danny Boyle also won for top
director.



Toronto critics love ‘Lucy’

from Variety.com – Award Central News

Award Central News: Reichardt’s feature named best film of
2008 — “Wendy and Lucy,” Kelly Reichardt’s feature about a transient
woman and her dog, beat “Rachel Getting Married” and
“Wall-E” to win the Toronto Film Critics Assn.’s best picture award,
the organization will announce today.

 

Chicago critics laud ‘Wall-E’

from Variety.com – Award Central News

Award Central News: Animated feature wins four awards — The
Chicago Film Critics Assn. has named Disney/Pixar’s “Wall-E” the best
pic of 2008. In addition to top honors, the toon also picked up prizes for
original screenplay (Andrew Stanton and Jim Reardon), score (Thomas Newman) and
animated feature.


MOVIES

Weekend Box Office: December 19-21, 2008

from Box Office Mojo – Current Box Office Results

Yes Man tops the box office with an estimated $18.2 million



‘Madagascar 2’ dethrones ‘Earth’ overseas

from Hollywood Reporter by By Hy Hollinger

Madagascar:
Escape 2 Africa” hurdled to the forefront
overseas with a weekend blast of $33.5 million from 5,959 screens in 56
territories.

 

Mickey Rourke’s ‘The Wrestler’ Opens Big!

from Box Office Boffo

This just in: Darren Aronofsky’s Mickey Rourke
starrer “The Wrestler” did great business in its debut Wednesday at
four theaters in New York and Los Angeles.



Marisa Tomei: A no-holds-barred acting job in ‘Wrestler’

from USATODAY.com Life – Top Stories

She shows almost all in The Wrestler, but in person, Marisa
Tomei is the anti-exhibitionist. She’s self-contained and soft-spoken, …



Mike ‘Mad Dog’ Bell found dead

from Entertainment Weekly’s Hollywood Insider by Mike Bruno

Former pro wrestler Mike “Mad Dog” Bell, whose
substance abuse was featured in this year’s documentary Bigger, Stronger,
Faster (directed by Mad Dog’s brother Chris Bell), was found dead earlier this
week at a rehab home in Newport Beach, Calif….



Robert Mulligan dies at 83

from Hollywood Reporter by By Duane Byrge

Robert Mulligan, who directed “To Kill a
Mockingbird” and “Summer of ’42,” among other films, died Friday
of heart disease at his Connecticut
home. He was 83.



‘Seven Pounds’ can be a bit of a load

from L.A. Times – Movie News

Will Smith stars in a romantic mystery that is more downbeat
than his recent output.



Will Smith: Road to ‘Seven Pounds’

from EW.com: Movies

By Gretchen Hansen

See how the star built his powerhouse career, from his
”Fresh Prince” days to ”Ali” to soaring, superhero-style, over L.A., in ”Hancock”

 

Frank Miller eyes big-screen ‘Buck Rogers’

from Hollywood Reporter by By Steven Zeitchik and Borys Kit

Frank Miller and Odd Lot Entertainment are close to teaming
again on the classic sci-fi property “Buck Rogers.”



Full ‘Che’ for two more frames

from Hollywood Reporter by By Carl DiOrio

Moviegoers are getting another chance to cha-cha-cha to the
full four-hour-plus version of Steven Soderbergh’s “Che.”



EXCLUSIVE: Baz Luhrmann Going ‘Gatsby’

from Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily by Nikki Finke

He just paid tribute to his home country in the epic Australia, but director Baz Luhrmann is landing
next on Long Island. Yes, it’s true: I
can report that Baz Luhrmann’s next project is definitely The Great
Gatsby.



David Fincher and ‘Benjamin Button’

from L.A. Times – Movie News

The director of blood-spattered ‘Se7en,’ and ‘Fight Club’
takes a heart-rending turn.



‘The Tale of Despereaux’

from L.A. Times – Movie News

Lovable rodents and a fussy French chef — there’s a soupçon
of “Ratatouille” in “The Tale of Despereaux,” but this
old-fashioned fable cares not a whit about culinary competition or
entrepreneurial triumph. It revolves around matters as elemental as grief and
longing, the stuff of fairy tales.



Stephen
Chow No Longer Directing ‘The Green Hornet’

from Splash Page by Elisabeth Rappe

Seth Rogen‘s remake of “The Green
Hornet
” has just hit a snag, like all of the Hornet adaptations before
it. According to Variety, it lost its director, Stephen Chow.

TELEVISION

TV: Best & worst of ’08

from EW.com: Today’s Latest Headlines by Ken Tucker

Ken Tucker rates ”Mad Men,” ”Fringe,” and a trio of
late-night shows in top 10. Plus: The five worst

 

Another Late-Night Contender Emerges

from NYT > Television

Spike Feresten is about to be anointed, more or less, the
great night hope for Fox — late night, that is.



Chiklis is creating a drama about investor fraud

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 … by By FRAZIER MOORE

NEW YORK (AP) — Michael
Chiklis didn’t lose any money in the escalating Bernard Madoff scandal. But he
did fall victim to another Ponzi scheme early this year. And now, sadder but
wiser, he’s developing a TV series fueled by his experience…



NBC News’ Todd, Guthrie to cover White House

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

NEW YORK (AP) — NBC News has
named Chuck Todd as chief White House correspondent, with Savannah Guthrie
joining him on the beat…



Chris Matthews eyeing return to NBC

from Hollywood Reporter by By Paul J. Gough

MSNBC may find out soon whether “Hardball” host
Chris Matthews returns to the channel, which has been invigorated in the
ratings.

 

NAACP report find TV networks lagging in diversity

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 … by By LYNN ELBER

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nearly a decade after the NAACP
condemned a “virtual whiteout” in broadcast TV, the civil rights
group said major networks have stalled in their efforts to further ethnic
diversity on-screen and off….

 

‘Canadian Idol’ canceled in 2009

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

TORONTO (AP) — Canada‘s
version of “American Idol” won’t be produced in 2009 because of the
slowing economy…



Bruckheimer, Bay ready for ‘Cocaine’

from Entertainment News – UPI.com

NEW YORK,
Dec. 20 (UPI) — U.S. directors
Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael
Bay
have both signed onto
the upcoming HBO drama “Cocaine Cowboys,” industry sources say.

 

GSN reviving ‘The Newlywed Game’

from Entertainment News – UPI.com

CULVER CITY, Calif., Dec. 20 (UPI) — The once popular U.S.
TV game show “The Newlywed Game” will soon breathe new life on the
Game Show Network, a producer says.



‘Dollhouse’: Exclusive sneak peek!

from EW.com: Today’s Latest Headlines by Michael Ausiello

Joss Whedon fans! Michael ”Santa Claus” Ausiello has a
gift for you: a clip of Eliza Dushku from episode 1



Billy Zane joins ‘Samantha Who?’

from EW.com: Today’s Latest Headlines by Michael Ausiello

Michael Ausiello confirms exclusively that the ”Titanic”
baddie will replace Timothy Olyphant as Sam’s ex



‘Ugly Betty’ hires Henry 2.0

from EW.com: Today’s Latest Headlines by Michael Ausiello

Michael Ausiello confirms exclusively that a seemingly
Henry-esque hottie has been cast — with big plans

 

Fox Business Network suing Treasury

from Hollywood Reporter by By Paul J. Gough

The Fox Business Network is suing the U.S. Treasury
Department in federal court under the Freedom of Information Act after the Bush
administration failed to hand over details about the bailout.


MUSIC

Music industry drops effort to sue song swappers

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 … by By RYAN NAKASHIMA

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The group representing the U.S. recording
industry said Friday it has abandoned its policy of suing people for sharing
songs protected by copyright and will work with Internet service providers to
cut abusers’ access if they ignore repeated warnings….

 

U2 Looks Toward New ‘Horizon’

from Billboard News – All by Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

U2’s twelfth studio album, “No Line on the
Horizon,” will arrive March 3 from Interscope. A track list for the set,
which was produced by Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois and Steve Lillywhite, has not
been announced.



Edge says new U2 album sounds different

from Entertainment News – UPI.com

LONDON, Dec. 21
(UPI) — U2 guitarist, The Edge, says the Irish rock band’s newest album,
“No Line on the Horizon,” offers a different musical approach.

 

Morrissey Inks U.S. Deal, Plots Spring Tour

from Billboard News – All by Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

Morrissey has inked a U.S. deal with Lost Highway for the release of his new
album, “Years of Refusal,” Billboard can reveal. Due Feb. 17, the
project will be issued in conjunction with the former Smiths frontman’s own
Attack imprint.

Boom in music video games helps original artists

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 … by By RYAN NAKASHIMA

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “This song is dedicated to Debbie
Harry,” flinty-eyed Lisa Hsuan purrs into a microphone on the red-lit
stage of Hyperion Tavern. It’s a cozy dive where patrons drink Coke and beer
from bottles and a fading chandelier dangles overhead…

 

Joel, John Tour Tickets Selling Briskly

from Billboard News – All by Ray Waddell, Nashville

In a positive sign for the 2009 touring season, sales for
the upcoming Billy Joel/Elton John co-headlining tour are “through the
roof,” according to Wilson Howard, president, Live Nation Music Southeast,
who calls the tour “a smash.”



Barenaked Ladies Assembling Boxed Set

from Billboard News – All by Gary Graff, Detroit

After a tumultuous year, particularly for its two lead
singers, Barenaked Ladies are looking ahead to a 2009 in which the Canadian
quintet will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a boxed set and, hopefully,
some new music.



Pop top-10 lists, and 2008’s recommended albums

from L.A. Times – Music News

In the grand tradition of top-10 list-making, we bring you
rankings from each Pop & Hiss contributor.

ETC

Police: Hilton’s home burglarized, jewelry missing

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles police are investigating a
burglary at Paris Hilton’s home they say left her bedroom ransacked and about
$2 million in jewelry missing…



Jermaine Dupri says Janet Jackson is not pregnant

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

NEW YORK (AP) — Jermaine
Dupri wants to clear up some misconceptions. In an entry on his blog, the music
producer says he and girlfriend Janet Jackson haven’t split up – and she isn’t
pregnant. Dupri writes: “As you all know Janet is a very private person
… the only reason you see her as much as you do on my YouTube vlog is because
of me. LOL. But I hear yall and your questions. … No she is not pregnant and
yes we’re still together.”…



Aretha Franklin To Sing At Obama Inauguration

from Billboard News – All

Aretha Franklin will sing, the Rev. Rick Warren will pray
and more than 11,000 U.S.
troops will be watching over inauguration ceremonies in case of an attack
during President-elect Barack Obama’s swearing-in on Jan. 20.



Paris court OKs ‘Les Miserables’ sequels

from Entertainment News – UPI.com

PARIS, Dec. 21
(UPI) — The Paris High Court says two books deemed sequels to the novel
“Les Miserables” don’t threaten the French classic’s integrity.



Warner Music videos removed from YouTube

from L.A. Times – Music News

Negotiations over licensing fees stall.  Warner
Music Group’s videos began disappearing from YouTube this weekend, the casualty
of a contract impasse between the music company and the Internet’s dominant
video site.

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