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The Newsdesk 03.03.09 – Penn Lobbies for “Harvey Milk Day”; Boyle in for Bond?

• Paul Giamatti, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Reese Witherspoon have all signed on for Alexander Payne’s (Sideways) social satire Downsizing. Hopefully Payne can bring some freshness to the upcoming flurry of economic woe comedies.

Woody Allen’s Whatever Works will open the Tribeca Film Festival on April 22. The movie — which stars Larry David, Evan Rachel Wood, and (yes!) Ed Begley Jr.– is Woody’s first to film in New York City since 2004.

Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle has reportedly been offered the chance to take over the James Bond franchise. Honestly. we’re surprised it took this long. The guy has been more than qualified to direct a Bond since his Trainspotting days.

• The new Terminator: Salvation trailer is awesome and all, but could still use a little more Christian Bale ranting.

• Terence Malick’s (The Thin Red Line) next film The Tree of Life looks to feature Sean Penn, Brad Pitt, and dinosaurs. Malick makes a movie about every ten years — so if he wants dinosaurs, let him have dinosaurs.

• The New York film and television industry is seeking a 30 percent production tax credit amid fears the economic downturn could lead to fewer productions filming in the Big Apple.

• Oscar winner Sean Penn is lobbying California to celebrate Harvey Milk Day on the slain activist’s birthday.

Slumdog Millionaire stars Dev Patel and Freida Pinto are rumored to be having an offscreen romance. See, your aunt was right about those two crazy kids.


ENTERTAINMENT NEWS 3/3/09

BIZ
All Virgin Megastores Set to Close As Last Big National Music
Chain Folds

from Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily by Daniel Kreps
Last week’s news that Virgin Megastores in New York’s Union Square and San
Francisco were closing was evidently the tip of a very sharp iceberg.
Billboard.biz reports today that the multi-media chain’s only three remaining
stores in Denver, Orlando and Los Angeles will also be shuttered by this
summer.

The 25 Best Cities For Indie Moviemakers
from Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily by Nikki Finke
MovieMaker magazine has announced the 25 Best U.S.
Cities To Ride It Out As An Independent Moviemaker this year. Chicago
was named No. 1 (beating out last year’s winner, Austin).

TV Everywhere — As Long As You Pay for It
from Advertising Age – MediaWorks by Michael Learmonth
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — Jeff Bewkes hopes to put more TV on
the internet, but he’s going to make consumers prove they’ve paid for it.

The Stock Market Is Down But the Movie Business Is Up 14% Over
2008

from /Film by orfilms@gmail.com (slashfilm.com)
Hollywood is off to a staggering, record-breaking start in 2009 led by Clint
Eastwood’s most successful wide opening ever, a French action import and a
chubby guy on a Segway. Hot on the heels of the biggest January in history with
over $1 billion in domestic sales, February has exceeded $750M in the US. The
industry’s all-time best January followed by the all-time biggest February on
the books puts total domestic box office for the year at almost $1.8 billion.

Fandango movie-ticket sales up
from Hollywood Reporter by By Paul Bond
Fandango is set to report Monday that it sold 15% more
tickets in the first two months this year than it did in the same frame a year
ago, while advertising revenue jumped 13%.

MPAA budget takes $20 million hit
from Hollywood Reporter by By Carl DiOrio
Member studios cut more than $20 million from the MPAA
budget this year, forcing broad staff and program reductions in a series of
steps expected to permanently reduce the scope and size of the six-member
studio group.

Advertising: Product Placements, Deftly Woven Into the Story
Line

from NYT > Television by By BRIAN STELTER
A new show on BET, “Harlem Heights,” will incorporate
Listerine, Zyrtec, Splenda and other Johnson & Johnson products into the
show.

Biz pleads to keep tax credits in N.Y.
from Hollywood Reporter by By Georg Szalai
Harvey Keitel, Jason O’Mara and Michael Imperioli joined
N.Y. labor leaders Monday to push legislators to continue the funding of state
production tax credits.

Sony Pics Entertainment Plans Layoffs
from Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily by Nikki Finke
Horrible news. According to my sources inside the
studio, the layoffs are coming. But probably not this week, and
probably not a big number. But my sources outside the studio hear the
layoffs will hit all departments, and international especially.

Actor Activists To Protest Fox Wednesday
from Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily by Nikki Finke
The rally is 11AM to 2PM at Fox Studios at 10201
Pico Blvd. (Unvalidated free parking across the street at Rancho Park.)
“Peter Chernin, CEO of Fox, has stated that there will be no reruns on Fox
network and all programs will go directly to streaming on the Internet,
eliminating our residuals and contributions to health coverage

FESTIVALS
ArtsBeat: Woody Allen Film to Open Tribeca Festival

from NYT > Movies by By DAVE ITZKOFF
The Tribeca Film Festival will open with the world premiere
of Woody Allen’s “Whatever Works,” starring Larry David.

Sam Raimi’s Drag Me To Hell To Premiere at SXSW
from /Film by orfilms@gmail.com (slashfilm.com)
South By Southwest has announced that Sam Raimi will premiere a
work-in-progress print of Drag Me To Hell, and Jonathan Demme will
premiere his new Neil Young performance film, Neil Young Trunk Show, at
the upcoming 2009 film festival.

Sundance + Big Stars = a Bad Mix?
from The Wrap RSS by admin
A number of festival hits are finding themselves faced with
a tough sale, thanks to a lack of mainstream appeal.

AWARDS
The Flaming Lips take Oklahoma rock song prize

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 … by By RON JENKINS
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A song by the alternative rock band
The Flaming Lips has been given a big statewide kiss in Oklahoma.

TV Land Awards name Harris host
from Variety.com – Award Central News
Award Central News: Awards show will take place April 19 —
Neil Patrick Harris has been tapped to host this year’s TV Land Awards.

MOVIES
Watchmen

from EW.com: Movie Reviews
Reviewed by Owen Gleiberman

Newsweek: ‘Watchmen’ is too loyal to the graphic novel
from MSNBC.com: Movies
Snyder has appropriated Moore’s doomsday themes without any
sense of how to animate them. That’s the trouble with loyalty. Too little, and
you alienate your core fans. Too much, and you lose everyone–and
everything–else.

‘Watchmen’ Midnight Shows Selling Out
from Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily by Nikki Finke
Watchmen doesn’t open until Friday, but Fandango is already
seeing the film snap up 61% of the online ticket site’s sales. Dozens of
Thursday midnight showtimes for the film are already sold out from New York
City to Dallas to San Diego.

Next ‘Narnia’ gets date in December
from Variety.com
Exclusives: ‘Dawn Treader’ returns franchise to winter —
Twentieth Century Fox and Walden Media will release “The Chronicles of
Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” on Dec. 10, 2010.

Dwayne
Johnson Talks ‘Race To Witch Mountain’

from Access Hollywood – Movies
Laura Saltman sits down with Dwayne to talk about his new
action-packed sci-fi movie, but when she asks him about the film being more
violent than a normal Disney film, how does he respond? Plus, what cartoon is
Dwayne thinking about remaking?

New project reunites Bateman and Reitman
from Entertainment News – UPI.com
LOS ANGELES, March 2 (UPI) — U.S. actor Jason Bateman is
reuniting with his “Juno” director, Jason Reitman, for the big-screen
adaptation of Walter Kirn’s novel “Up in the Air.”

Knightley signs up for ‘Never’ role
from Entertainment News – UPI.com
LOS ANGELES, March 2 (UPI) — British actress Keira
Knightley has signed on to star in the science-fiction thriller “Never Let
Me Go,” slated to start shooting next month, Variety.com said.

‘Gran Torino’ is a hit for Clint in U.K.
from Entertainment News – UPI.com
LONDON, March 2 (UPI) — “Gran Torino” gave Clint
Eastwood his biggest weekend box-office haul in the United Kingdom and Ireland
last weekend, Warner Bros. said Monday.

FIRST LOOK: Angelina Jolie Goes Undercover In ‘Salt’
from Entertainment on HuffingtonPost.com by The Huffington Post
News Team
Angelina Jolie begins work today on “Salt,” in
which she plays a rogue CIA operative trying to clear her name after being
accused of working for the Russians.

McG To Get Medieval On Your Bottom
from /Film by orfilms@gmail.com (slashfilm.com)
The ever-wonderful Production Weekly have Tweeted up their latest uncovering.
It’s short enough to quote in its entirety, so here goes: McG is
attached to direct Medieval, a spec script by Mike Finch & Alex
Litvak, described as The Dirty Dozen set in medieval times.

Judd Apatow Producing Ghostbusters 3?
from /Film by orfilms@gmail.com (slashfilm.com)
Production Weekly is reporting that Ghostbusters 3
is now officially being produced by Judd Apatow Productions.

‘Hannah Montana’ Movie Will Feature ‘Very Big’ Guest Stars,
Says Co-Star

from MTV Movies Blog by Larry Carroll
Disney’s unstoppable juggernaut hit “Hannah Montana” is
nearing the finish line for the April 10th release of Miley Cyrus’ feature
length debut movie, aptly titled “Hannah Montana: The Movie.” And now, one of
her co-stars is spilling details on some of the top-secret stars who’ll be in
one of the year’s most anticipated films.

TELEVISION
What to Watch for week of March 2 to 8, 2009

from EW.com: TV
By Jessica Shaw
A day-to-day guide to notable programs*

The Donald No Match for ‘Brothers & Sisters’
from Advertising Age – MediaWorks by jrash@cmithun.com (John Rash)
MINNEAPOLIS (AdAge.com) — Trump Entertainment is bankrupt. That’s
a business headline. But to NBC and Donald Trump, the other headline that
matters is how “Celebrity Apprentice” did in the Nielsen ratings
race.

Jimmy Fallon makes his debut as ‘Late Night’ host
from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 … by By FRAZIER MOORE
NEW YORK (AP) — As Jimmy Fallon prepared to debut as host
of NBC’s “Late Night,” he found his predecessor, Conan O’Brien, in
his dressing room, still packing up.

Gertz, Reeser join ‘Entourage’ cast
from Entertainment News – UPI.com
LOS ANGELES, March 3 (UPI) — U.S. actresses Jami Gertz and
Autumn Reeser have signed up for recurring roles on the show biz-themed comedy
series, “Entourage.”

Report: ‘Mars’ won’t be back for Season 2
from Entertainment News – UPI.com
NEW YORK, March 3 (UPI) — The New York-set police drama
“Life on Mars” isn’t being renewed for a second season, multiple
sources told EW.com.

A Fill-In on Cable News Is Thrust Into Host’s Chair
from NYT > Television by By BRIAN STELTER
The sudden assignment of Jane Velez-Mitchell to a permanent
slot in the Headline News nightly schedule became a surprising success for the
network.

‘Bachelor’ star proposes to, dumps Melissa
from Entertainment News – UPI.com
LOS ANGELES, March 3 (UPI) — “The Bachelor” star Jason Mesnick
proposed to one woman on Monday night’s finale of the U.S. show but he walked
away with another at the end of the episode.

Arts, Briefly: Sarah Silverman Threatens to Quit Show
from NYT > Television by Compiled by DAVE ITZKOFF
A dispute over money has at least temporarily brought a halt
to the Comedy Central series, “The Sarah Silverman Program.”

Chris Harrison on ‘Bachelor’ finale
from EW.com: Today’s Latest Headlines by Chris Harrison
Host explains how Jason’s decision unfolded, what Melissa
and Molly knew, and when they knew it

Sharon Osbourne Sued Over ‘Charm School’ Fight
from Entertainment on HuffingtonPost.com by The Huffington Post
News Team
LOS ANGELES — A former contestant on Sharon Osbourne’s “Rock of Love Charm
School” has sued over an altercation with Osbourne during an episode of
the VH1 show.

CBS picks up years of ‘Men’ and ‘Big Bang’
from The Live Feed by hollywoodreporter
CBS is close to giving a major commitment to the
highest-rated comedy on television, “Two and a Half Men,”

‘Life on Mars’: Canceled!
from EW.com: Today’s Latest Headlines by Michael Ausiello
Michael Ausiello confirms from multiple sources that ABC
advised producers it will not order a season 2

Rush Limbaugh A Weekend Cable Draw
from mediabistro.com: TVNewser
Fox News and CNN each aired Limbaugh’s keynote speech to the CPAC Saturday
afternoon. It was the biggest draw all weekend on cable news.


MUSIC
Spinal Tap to reunite on tour without wigs

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …
WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (AP) — The amps won’t be turned up
to 11 for Spinal Tap’s reunion tour.

China cancels upcoming Oasis gigs
from Entertainment News – UPI.com
BEIJING, March 3 (UPI) — Oasis says the Chinese government
has canceled the British band’s April gigs in Beijing and Shanghai after
deeming the rockers unsuitable for Chinese audiences.

Prince to Sell Three-CD Set Through Target
from Pitchfork Media – Today by Tom Breihan
If you come face-to-face with a life-size cutout of a
silk-scarved funkateer of indeterminate age (and, sometimes, gender) the next
time you go shopping for discount housewares, don’t be alarmed. It’s just the
forces of commerce at work.

The Flaming Lips’ “Do You Realize??” Named Official
Oklahoma Rock Song

from Pitchfork Media – Today by Ryan Dombal
Denizens of Oklahoma, time to break out the fake blood and
hand puppets: After a rigorous nomination process, the Flaming Lips’Do
You Realize??” is now the state’s Official Rock Song by the order
of Oklahoma’s state legislature, Tulsa World reports.

ETC…
Jon Robin Baitz: The Future of the National Endowment for the
Arts

from Entertainment on HuffingtonPost.com by Jon Robin Baitz
The much beleaguered L.A. Times recently asked a number of
artists/cultural figures, etc, what they might do if they ran the N.E.A. This
is well timed, as the new administration is about to make a decision on the
matter.

Cut! Actors take five to Twitter their fans
from L.A. Times – TV News
Celebrities using the blogging site to mold their online
image might help the service hit the mainstream. But can it make money?

Penn to lobby for Harvey Milk Day in California
from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Fresh from his best actor Oscar for
his performance as Harvey Milk, Sean Penn is pushing California to officially
recognize the late gay politician’s birthday.

Obama kicks up White House entertaining
from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 … by By DARLENE
SUPERVILLE
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is the place to be on
Wednesdays.

Greatest Web pioneer you’ve never heard of
from CNN.com – Entertainment
In an underground bunker in the heart of New York City a
unique experiment is taking place.

Game on: 50 Cent releases new video game
from CNN.com – Entertainment
Most fans picturing rapper 50 Cent operating a joystick
would probably envision the hip-hop star blasting away opponents in his latest
video game release. Those same fans might be surprised to learn the hardcore
rapper also has a soft spot for old-school throwbacks like “Tetris”
and “Pac-Man.”

Lauren Conrad Reveals Details of Her New Novel
from People.com Latest News by Marla Lehner
L.A. Candy will focus on a girl who unexpectedly becomes the
star of a reality show

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