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The Newsdesk 05.08.09 – Diesel Revs Up Wheelman; Keanu Is Jekyll

• Vin Diesel will stay in the driver’s seat for the racing movie The Wheelman. The live-action adaptation of the popular video game will be directed by John Singleton (2 Fast 2 Furious). Diesel is also the basis for the character in the recently released video game. Synergy!

Keanu Reeves will star in Jekyll, a modern-day retelling of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic. Ironically, both sides of Keanu say “whoa” a lot.

• A Los Angeles judge rejected Roman Polanski’s bid to have his 1978 sex case dismissed because the filmmaker refuses to show up in court.

Disney/Pixar will launch a new animation studio in Vancouver to accommodate their many upcoming projects. Someone has to animate A Bug’s Life 2: Still Buggin’.

• A new photo of Robert Downey Jr. in the Iron Man 2 armor has been released. Neat. But what’s the deal with the giant donut?

• Mickey Carroll, one of the last surviving Munchkins from The Wizard of Oz has passed away at the age of 89. The Lollipop Guild is a little less jolly today.

BIZ

Series Let Advertisers ‘Boldly Go’ Where Few Have Gone Before
from Advertising Age – Madison+Vine by bsteinberg@adage.com(Brian Steinberg)
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — Want to buy a vowel? In these days of changing technology
and economic strife, you can have that and so much more. Walt Disney’s ABC,
known in marketing circles for its resistance to giving advertisers flamboyant
tie-ins to its most popular shows, is — in certain cases — putting the
“O” in “Lost” up for sale.

Nielsen IAG Product Placement Activity Report
from Advertising Age – Madison+Vine
“The Celebrity Apprentice” was the highest scoring show and AT&T
top brand in the latest Nielsen IAG product-placement activity report.

CBS Expects to Get Price Increases During Upfront
from Advertising Age – MediaWorks by bsteinberg@adage.com(Brian Steinberg)
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — Yes, advertisers, CBS will ask for
price hikes in this year’s TV upfront marketplace.

Pixar to Open New Animation Studio in Vancouver
from /Film by orfilms@gmail.com (slashfilm.com)
Disney has announced that Pixar Animation will build a 20,000 square-foot animation
studio in Vancouver, British Columbia.

George Lucas Plans To Build Digital Film Production Studio in
Northern California

from /Film by orfilms@gmail.com (slashfilm.com)
George Lucas wants to build a new state of the art digital film production
studio in Northern California. Lucas has asked Marin County to consider plans
to build a 262,728-square-foot building that would house a maxim of 340
employees at the former Grady Ranch in Lucas Valley.

Hot promotions: Summer movies inspire creative tie-ins
from Film Journal by Anita Watts
It’s that time again: hot weather and summer vacations. What
does it mean for the U.S. cinema industry? More leisure time to make a trip to
the movies, and the studios have quite a lineup for the 2009 summer season.

Minka Kelly joins ‘Roommate’
from Hollywood Reporter by Borys Kit
Minka Kelly has joined Leighton Meester to topline Screen
Gems’ thriller “The Roommate,” being directed by Christian E.
Christiansen.

‘Saw’ helmer to revisit Troma hit
from Hollywood Reporter by Borys Kit
Just in time for Mother’s Day, Twisted Pictures, the Genre
Co. and Rat Entertainment have lined up a financing deal with LightTower
Entertainment to remake Charles Kaufman’s 1980 Troma cult classic
“Mother’s Day.”

CBS Corp. posts loss, sees positive signs
from Hollywood Reporter by Georg Szalai
CBS Corp. swung to a first-quarter loss as the recession
continued to drag down various advertising businesses. But management echoed
other industry biggies after the market close Thursday in saying it is seeing
signs of stabilizing advertising trends.

Cablevision posts Q1 profit, adds subscribers
from Hollywood Reporter by Anthony Crupi, Mediaweek
Cablevision swung to a first-quarter profit, as the company
added more digital-phone and Internet subscribers and saw a lift in ad sales
dollars at its Rainbow Media programming unit.

FESTIVALS
Virgin Music Fest Expands To Five Canadian Cities

from Billboard News – All by Robert Thompson, Toronto
The Virgin Music Festival will hit five Canadian cities this
summer, including Montreal, the event’s organizers announced today.

World’s best music fests
from CNN.com – Entertainment
A list of events and who will be performing at them

AFI Fest ’09 dates set
from Hollywood Reporter by Staff report
AFI Fest 2009, headquartered at Mann’s Chinese Theatre in
Hollywood, will run from Oct. 30 – Nov. 7 in Hollywood.

AFI Fest Goes Free in ’09
from indieWIRE News
In an unprecented move for a major U.S. film festival, AFI
Fest in Los Angeles will offer free tickets to all screenings at this year’s
event, set for October 30th to November 7th.  Also, the festival is moving
from the Arclight to Mann’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood this year, while also
featuring a weekend of showings in Santa Monica, pegged to the annual AFM.

“Burma VJ” Leads SFIFF Winners
from indieWIRE News
Anders Østergaard’s “Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed
Country” took home the Golden Gate Award for best investigate documentary,
which comes with a $25,000 cash prize, last night as the 52nd San Francisco
International Film Festival came to a close.

6 Films to Watch for from the 52nd San Francisco International
Film Festival

from indieWIRE News
The oldest film festival on North American soil continues to
buck trends, innovate, and focus on quality over commerce as it plows ahead
seemingly unencumbered by a slumping economy that has sharply altered and
downsized (and in some cases bankrupt) its peers.

Stiller and Ramis Head To Nantucket
from indieWIRE News
Harold Ramis has been announced as the recipient the The
14th Annual Nantucket Film Festival’s annual Screenwriters Tribute.

Hamptons fest to spotlight docs
from Variety.com
Film Festivals: ‘The Cove’ kicks off SummerDoc series — The
Hamptons Film Festival is going public with its SummerDocs series.

MOVIES
Twitter Assault on the Studios — and Movie Critics

from The Wrap RSS by Maria Russo
A new site called Flicktweets has just launched, produced by the Movie Review
Query Engine. It collects real-time tweets about movies onto one page.

Daily Box Office: Wednesday, May 6, 2009
from Box Office Mojo – Current Box Office Results
X-Men Origins: Wolverine tops Wednesday’s box office with
$4.0 million

Box Office Preview: ‘Star Trek’ will rocket to No. 1…but can
it beam up non-Trekkers?

from Entertainment Weekly’s Hollywood Insider by Nicole Sperling
Okay, it’s not your father’s Star Trek. We get the campaign.
We love the campaign. But what will happen at this weekend’s box office when
J.J. Abrams’ reinvention of the classic Star Trek franchise takes on reigning
champ X-Men Origins:

Leonard
Nimoy Talks ‘Star Trek’

from Access Hollywood – Movies
“Star Trek” star Leonard Nimoy chats with Access’ Scott
“Movie” Mantz about the highly anticipated reboot of the “Trek” franchise and
how it feels to play Spock again.

Movie Review | ‘Star Trek’: A Franchise Goes Boldly Backward
from NYT > Movies by By MANOHLA DARGIS
The latest spinoff from the influential TV show is a
testament to television’s power as mythmaker.

First Look: Robert Downey Jr.’s ‘Iron Man 2’ Armor
from Access Hollywood – Movies
The first glimpse of Iron Man’s new armor has arrived. In a
new behind-the-scenes photo, Robert Downey Jr. takes a moment from battling
evildoers in his “Iron Man 2” role as Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man – and shows off
his latest super-outfit.

‘Terminator’ spoiler: The classic T-800 is back
from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Well, he said he’d be back. In some
form, anyway

Pirated ‘Wolverine’ downloaded 4M times
from Entertainment News – UPI.com
LOS ANGELES, May 7 (UPI) — Twentieth Century Fox says an
unfinished copy of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” illegally posted on the
Internet has been downloaded 4 million times since March 30.

Katie Holmes cast in del Toro thriller
from EW.com: Movies
By Clark Collis
Variety: Actress to star in ”Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark,” about family
sharing their home with devilish creatures

Newsweek: Has ‘Star Trek’ lost its moral relevance?
from MSNBC.com: Movies
The original “Star Trek” series dealt with
important issues of the day, but the new film is all explosions and action.
What happened?

Brett Ratner No Longer Directing Conan
from /Film by orfilms@gmail.com (slashfilm.com)
Hack director Brett Ratner might not have a chance to ruin the legacy of Conan
after all.

Movie Review | ‘Julia’: Unbearable to Watch, Impossible to
Evade

from NYT > Movies by By MANOHLA DARGIS
“Julia,” starring Tilda Swinton, is a perverse blend of
sadism (the director’s, Julia’s) and masochism (ours, Julia’s).

Robert Rodriguez Says Sin City 2 Could Shoot As Early As Next
Year

from /Film by orfilms@gmail.com (slashfilm.com)
I think most everyone has given up the idea of a Sin City sequel,
especially after Frank Miller’s The Spirit tainted the memory of the
original Robert Rodriguez co-directed comic book adaptation.

Movie Review | ‘Rudo y Cursi’: How the Ball Bounces, on the
Field and Off

from NYT > Movies by By A. O. SCOTT
In “Rudo y Cursi,” two brothers struggle with fame, wealth
and the caprices of life in a media-saturated consumer culture.

Vin Diesel Takes The Wheel, Burns Rubber For ‘The Wheelman’
from MTV Movies Blog by Elisabeth Rappe
When your name is Vin Diesel, you have two “Fast and Furious” installments
under your belt, and a video game is designed around your heroic visage, the
chances are good that you’ll nab the leading part when it’s turned into a
movie.

Keanu Reeves is Jekyll
from /Film by orfilms@gmail.com (slashfilm.com)
Keanu Reeves will star in Jekyll, a modern day retelling of Robert Louis
Stevenson’s 1886 classic novella The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
for Universal Pictures.

It’s Going To Be ‘A Very Harold And Kumar Christmas’
from MTV Movies Blog by Adam Rosenberg
When “Harold & Kumar” star Kal Penn traded in his bong for a ranking post in the
Barack Obama administration recently, most fans naturally concluded that the
stoner comedy franchise conceived by Jon Hurwitz
and Hayden
Schlossberg
had officially gone up in smoke. Penn may or may not be out,
but that didn’t stop Warner Bros from announcing today that “A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas” will hit theaters on
November 5, 2010.

TELEVISION
Reality King Mark Burnett Takes on the History Channel

from Advertising Age – Madison+Vine by ahampp@adage.com(Andrew Hampp)
A Q&A with Mark Burnett, who will soon premiere his first original
series for a cable network in years, History Channel’s “Expedition Africa:
Stanley and Livingstone,” which he described as “one of my most
favorite projects ever.”

Television Review | ‘The Alzheimer’s Project’: The Disease That
Steals Your Self

from NYT > Television by By ALESSANDRA STANLEY
“The Alzheimer’s Project,” a deeply affecting documentary
series on HBO that begins on Sunday, seeks to comfort and encourage those
affected by the disease.

`Simpsons’ cast, crew unveil show’s postal stamps
from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 … by By MICHAEL CIDONI
LOS ANGELES (AP) — “The Simpsons” now has the
U.S. government’s stamp of approval.

iPhone Beams In Galaxy of ‘Star Trek’ Apps
from Wired: Entertainment by John Scott Lewinski
From alien almanacs to tricorder simulators, these apps put
one of sci-fi’s greatest worlds in the palm of your hands.

New comedy `Modern Family’ set for ABC next season
from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …
LOS ANGELES (AP) — ABC says it has picked up a
mockumentary-style comedy about family life for next season.

HGTV programming reflects hard economic times
from L.A. Times – TV News
The cable network made its mark featuring grand homes and
designs. But ‘$250,000 Challenge’ helps struggling middle-class families pay
the bills.

ABC sets Aisha Tyler talk show
from Hollywood Reporter by Nellie Andreeva
Aisha Tyler has been tapped to host a talk show pilot for
ABC.

‘Wizard of Oz’ Munchkin Mickey Carroll dies at 89
from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 … by By CHERYL
WITTENAUER
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Mickey Carroll, one of the last surviving
Munchkins from the 1939 beloved film “The Wizard of Oz,” died
Thursday. He was 89.

Obama drama
from Hollywood Reporter by John Consoli
Networks are taking a stand against the president’s
primetime pre-emptions.

Susan Boyle on Monday’s ‘Oprah’: Report
from EW.com: TV
By Annie Barrett
E! Online: ”Britain’s Got Talent” sensation will be interviewed and guide a
tour of her Scotland home

Fine on CNN: “It’s Time To Embrace A New Prime-Time
Ethos”

from mediabistro.com: TVNewser
Jon Fine
writes an open letter to “CNN
management” in his latest Businessweek column. “Bravo for ’08,”
he begins, but “in prime time it’s not enough to lean on CNN’s
advantages.” Fine has a plan for a new prime time focused on debate.

HBO: Drew Peterson not welcome on brothel show
from USATODAY.com Television – Top Stories
HBO says there’s no chance Drew Peterson will appear on
Cathouse, its reality television show set in a Nevada brothel.http://feeds2.feedburner.com/%7Er/UsatodaycomTelevision-TopStories/%7E4/RDK2m6TTzUE

The Madoff Affair
from Variety.com
TV Reviews: It’s perhaps time for a sober, streamlined look
at what “Frontline” calls “The Madoff Affair.”

MUSIC
Lynyrd Skynyrd bassist ‘Ean’ Evans dead at 48

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …
COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) — Bassist Donald “Ean” Evans
of the Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd has died after a battle with cancer.

Depeche Mode tops Euro chart again
from The Hollywood Reporter – Music by By Paul Sexton, Billboard
Depeche Mode’s “Sounds of the Universe” (Mute/EMI)
starts a second week at the European Top 100 Albums summit, and it’s an 11th
week at No. 1 on European Hot 100 Singles for Lady Gaga’s “Poker
Face” (Interscope/Universal).

ABC Music Lounge: No cocktails, but nonstop music
from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 … by LYNN ELBER
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Cocktails won’t be served, but ABC says
a new online “music lounge” will offer a full menu of songs and
artists featured on its shows.

Van Halen Confirmed For ‘Guitar Hero,’ New Music Games Coming
from Billboard News – All by Antony Bruno, Denver
Activision Blizzard is releasing three new music-based games
this year: “DJ Hero,” “Guitar Hero 5” and “Band
Hero,” and also confirmed the existence of “Guitar Hero: Van
Halen.”

Financial crisis inspires Tori Amos’ latest album
from Reuters: Entertainment News
NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. singer and songwriter Tori Amos
says she was inspired by the financial crisis to question the definition of
power and success in relationships on her latest album “Abnormally
Attracted To Sin.”

Exclusive: Spinal Tap Debuts Song, Comes ‘Back From The Dead’
For Album

from Billboard News – All by Gary Graff, Detroit
Harry Shearer — who crafted Tap with partners Christopher
Guest and Michael McKean and director Rob Reiner — tells Billboard.com the
25th anniversary of the hit parody “This is Spinal Tap” meant
“we should probably do it again. There were still a lot of Spinal Tap
songs that had never been recorded.”

Steve Earle Ready To Take ‘Townes’ On The Road
from Billboard News – All by David J. Prince, London and Rob
Levine, N.Y.
Steve Earle, whose new album of Townes Van Zandt songs
arrives in stores next week, is set to hit the road later this month.

Jack White Says New White Stripes “Won’t Be Too Far Off”
from Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily by Chris Harris
When Jack White announced he was starting up another new
band, the Dead Weather, earlier this year, White
Stripes
fans wondered when they’d see another album of Jack and Meg songs.

Green Day Announces New York Club Gig
from Billboard News – All by David J. Prince, London
Green Day will celebrate the release of its much-ballyhooed
“21st Century Breakdown” album with an intimate club show – or two –
in New York City.

Third Eye Blind Finds Second Life Of Success
from Billboard News – All by John Benson, Cleveland
After the title track from its December 2008 E.P. “Non
Dairy Creamer” found success at alternative radio, Third Eye Blind
guitarist Tony Fredianelli tells Billboard.com the rock act is confident about
the prospects for not one but two studio Sony albums – “Ursa Major”
and “Ursa Minor” – it plans on releasing over the next year.

Perry Farrell ‘Can’t Wait For People To Hear’ New Jane’s
Addiction Songs

from Billboard News – All by Gary Graff, Detroit
As it prepares to begin its five-week tour with Nine Inch
Nails, the reunited Jane’s Addiction is sitting on a pair of brand new songs
frontman Perry Farrell “can’t wait for people to hear” — although
there are no plans for that to happen yet.

Apple Approves NIN iPhone App
from Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily by Chris Harris
The delayed update to Nine
Inch Nails
‘ iPhone application has finally been approved by Apple,
according to a Tweet
from the band’s tech-savvy mastermind, Trent Reznor.

Kylie Minogue announces N. American tour
from Entertainment News – UPI.com
LONDON, May 7 (UPI) — Australian pop star Kylie Minogue has
announced on her Web site plans for her first North American concert tour.

‘Pow’ still No. 1 on U.S. record chart
from Entertainment News – UPI.com
LOS ANGELES, May 7 (UPI) — “Boom Boom Pow” by the
Black Eyed Peas is No. 1 on the U.S. record chart for a fifth week,
Billboard.com reported Thursday.

Q&A: The Decemberists’ Meloy on Metal, Musicals and Scary
Jobs

from Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily by Christopher R.
Weingarten
Already renowned for their ambitious narratives and literary bent, Portland
indie rock band the Decemberists have topped themselves with an hour-long
story-album based on the themes of British folk songs.

Summer Movie Preview 2009: Peter Travers Ranks the Best and
Worst

from Rolling Stone: The Travers Take
The current issue of *Rolling Stone* features Peter Travers’
Summer Movie Preview, a look at the “money season” where studios
dredge up stale sequels and prequels for desperate moviegoers trying to beat
the heat.

ETC…
Chris Brown’s Lawyer Wants LAPD Records

from Billboard News – All
Chris Brown’s attorney is seeking police records to try to
find out who leaked information about the alleged beating of Rihanna.

Kiefer Sutherland charged with assault
from CNN.com – Entertainment
Actor Kiefer Sutherland has been charged with misdemeanor
assault after he was accused of head-butting fashion designer Jack McCollough
at a New York nightclub early Tuesday, police said.

Fawcett’s dad flies in to say goodbye
from Los Angeles Times – Celebrity News
Farrah’s condition has allegedly worsened.

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