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The Newsdesk 08.28.09 – Zombie to Remake Blob; Robin Williams Gets Banned

• Robin Williams will star in the romantic comedy Wedding Banned for Touchstone. Shouldn’t Robin be kept away from this sort of movie after License to Wed?

• Rob Zombie (Halloween) will tackle a remake of The Blob. The first thing the filmmaker plans to do is turn the blob red. Funny, that’s the same color fans of the original will be seeing when they hear Rob Zombie is directing the remake.

• Maggie Grace will join Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise in the spy thriller Wichita. Grace was last seen running from kidnappers in Taken.

• The first trailer for the George Clooney fall movie The Men Who Stare at Goats has been released. Needless to say, it’s a comedy. With a title like that, it’s not exactly going to be Michael Clayton 2.

• The Hobbit movies will reportedly be released in 3D. This time, the “precious” that Gollum wants will be your popcorn.

• A TV version of the movie Heathers is in the works. Gag me with a chainsaw please, Heather.


BIZ

A&E Television to acquire Lifetime

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

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A&E Television Networks said
Thursday it is acquiring Lifetime Entertainment Services, bringing the home of
“Project Runway” into a stable of profitable channels that includes
A&E and the History channel.

TW Cable to test TV on the Internet

from Hollywood Reporter by By S. John Tilak, Reuters

Time Warner Cable Inc has signed up at least seven large
media companies for a test that will offer television programs on the Internet
to paying subscribers, the Wall Street Journal said on Thursday, citing people
familiar with the matter.

DirecTV in talks to put cable shows online

from Hollywood Reporter by Associated Press

DirecTV Group is in talks with the TBS and TNT cable
networks to offer their shows online, according to two people familiar with the
discussions.

North Carolina ups production tax credit

from Hollywood Reporter by By Georg Szalai

North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue on Thursday signed a bill
allowing production companies a 25% tax credit for film projects, up from the
previous 15%.

Money not easy for filmmakers

from Hollywood Reporter by By Georg Szalai and Paul Bond

Despite a credit crunch that has wealthy investors hiding
cash under their mattresses rather than risking it on films and Wall Street
retreating from financing studio slates, Hollywood isn’t running out of money.

NYC considers fee for filming on city property

from Hollywood Reporter by By Georg Szalai

New York City is discussing proposals that would introduce a
$3,200 administrative fee for filming in interior spaces at city properties
under the jurisdiction of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services.

Groundbreaking set for Mich. movie studio

from Hollywood Reporter by Associated Press

Ground is to be broken Thursday afternoon on a 104-acre
movie studio complex in Allen Park, Mich.


FESTIVALS

Toronto Adds Two Premieres

from indieWIRE News

Two late additions to the 34th Toronto International Film
Festival were announced today, joining the now 273 features strong lineup for
the September 10-19 event. The North American premiere of Iranian filmmaker
Hana Makhmalbaf’s “Green Days” joins the Vanguard program, while Zhuangzhuang
Tian’s “The Warrior and the Wolf” will screen as a Speical Presentation.

Documentaries are in at Austin film fest

from Hollywood Reporter by By Jay A. Fernandez

The Austin Film Festival and Conference, which runs Oct.
22-29, released a sampling of its feature lineup Wednesday.

Santa Barbara fest to honor Tarantino

from Hollywood Reporter by Staff report

Quentin Tarantino will be honored with the Santa Barbara
International Film Festival’s fourth annual Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence
in Film at a black-tie dinner at the Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara on
Oct. 22.

Telluride is rock solid

from Variety.com – Film Festivals

Film Festivals: Colorado fest attracts stars, movie lovers
— The Telluride Film Festival has attracted some of the biggest names in
Hollywood — from James Stewart and Jack Nicholson to this year’s guest
director, Alexander Payne.

Festivals scoured for next ‘Slumdog’

from Variety.com – Film Festivals

Film Festivals: Awards season now a global hunt for film gem
— Is there a small film heading unnoticed for Venice, Telluride or Toronto
that could become this year’s “Slumdog Millionaire”?


AWARDS

Beyonce to perform at the MTV Video Awards

from USATODAY.com Music – Top Stories

Beyonce (bee-AHN’-say) is set to give a dreamy performance
at the MTV Video Music Awards.

FILM

Daily Box Office: Wednesday, August 26, 2009

from Box Office Mojo – Current Box Office Results

Inglourious Basterds tops Wednesday’s box office with $3.6
million

‘Avatar’ tickets go on sale four months early

from Entertainment Weekly’s News Briefs by Adam Markovitz

Following the buzz around last week’s Avatar preview
footage, theater chain AMC has begun selling tickets for the movie’s Dec. 18
midnight screenings.

‘Mad Men’ star Christina Hendricks joins ‘Life as We Know It’

from Entertainment Weekly’s News Briefs by Adam Markovitz

Christina Hendricks, best known as Joan Holloway on AMC’s
Mad Men, has joined Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel in the romance Life as We
Know It, according to Variety.

Steven Spielberg takes on ‘Pirate Latitudes’

from Hollywood Reporter by By Jay A. Fernandez

It’s a seven-year-old boy’s dream team — Steven Spielberg,
Michael Crichton and David Koepp moving on from rampaging dinosaurs to
marauding pirates.

Blake Lively tapped for Ben Affleck’s ‘The Town’

from Entertainment Weekly’s News Briefs by Adam Markovitz

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gossip Girl star Blake
Lively is set to join the cast of The Town, a crime thriller directed by Ben
Affleck. Adapted from Chuck Hogan’s novel Prince of Thieves, the movie follows
a bank manager (Rebecca Hall) who falls for a robber (Affleck) with an FBI
agent (Jon Hamm)

Mike Leigh Now Filming His Top Secret 2009 Project

from /Film by orfilms@gmail.com (slashfilm.com)
Wednesday 26th August 2009 marked the first day of photography on Mike Leigh’s
latest picture.

Robin Williams crashes ‘Wedding’

from Hollywood Reporter by By Borys Kit

Robin Williams is getting on one knee for “Wedding
Banned,” a romantic comedy for Touchstone.

Unmasking Anna Wintour: R.J. Cutler On His “September” Subject

from indieWIRE News

“I had no relationship to this world before the film,” “The
September Issue” director R.J. Cutler told indieWIRE earlier this week. “I’ll
be honest with you. To me Vogue was a magazine that my Mom read when I was a
kid that I just couldn’t find my way through. I couldn’t even find the table of
contents.


TV

VH1’s future: Less love, more redemption

from Los Angeles Times – Celebrity News

The network’s president on Ryan Jenkins: “This is not
what I signed up for.”

Ratings: ‘Crash Course’ premieres, America’s still got talent

from Entertainment Weekly’s Hollywood Insider by Annie Barrett

Boosted by a Wipeout lead-in, the premiere of ABC’s new
obstacle-course-for-cars reality series, Crash Course, drew in an average of
5.1 million viewers, but did lose about a million over the course of the hour.
CBS and ABC both aired hour-long news specials to the passing of Massachusetts
senator Ted Kennedy.

Kennedy Coverage Not Made for Prime Time

from Advertising Age – MediaWorks by jrash@cmithun.com(John Rash)
MINNEAPOLIS (AdAge.com) — Beyond the Beltway and Midtown media organizations,
how did the Kennedy coverage play? Ratings reflect that while Americans surely
caught the coverage in some capacity, most still use prime time to escape the
world’s woes, including the death of the senate’s most influential member.

Heidi And Spencer To Contemplate Kids On ‘The Hills’

from MTV News

Stephanie Pratt says Heidi Montag has ‘baby fever’ too soon.

Laura Linney joins Showtime series ‘The C Word’

from Entertainment Weekly’s News Briefs by Leah Greenblatt

Three-time Emmy-winner (and three-time Oscar nominee) Laura
Linney has signed on to star and executive produce The C Word, set to debut on
Showtime. The series follows a woman struggling with cancer while balancing a
husband and family in the suburbs.

The Late-Night Battle Isn’t Only Between Dave and Conan

from Advertising Age – MediaWorks by bsteinberg@adage.com(Brian Steinberg)

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — While David Letterman and Conan
O’Brien grab more of the headlines in TV’s late-night wars, a third combatant
— ABC’s newsy “Nightline” — is taking steps to make sure viewers
are mindful of its presence.

‘Smallville’ creators and Michael Bay to adapt James Frey book

from Entertainment Weekly’s News Briefs by Jennifer Armstrong

Smallville creators Al Gough and Miles Millar are adapting
the unpublished sci-fi novel I Am Number 4, co-written by A Million Little
Pieces author James Frey and Jobie Hughes, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Rod and Patti Blagojevich to guest on ‘The View’

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

NEW YORK (AP) — ABC says Rod Blagojevich
(blah-GOY’-uh-vich), the indicted former governor of Illinois, will be a guest
next month on “The View.” He’ll be joined by his wife, Patti….

‘Heathers’ TV show in development

from Entertainment Weekly’s News Briefs by Jennifer Armstrong

Fox is developing a TV version of the 1989 film Heathers,
according to Variety.

Sam Raimi swings toward primetime

from Hollywood Reporter by By Nellie Andreeva

Sam Raimi is making a move in primetime television. Raimi
and Joshua Donen’s Stars Road Entertainment has inked a two-year, first-look
deal with Sony Pictures TV and has tapped CBS senior vp drama Robert Zotnowski
to spearhead the company’s TV efforts.

‘Office’: Jim-Pam wedding scoop!

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

Calling all Niagara Falls-based Ausholes: Michael Ausiello
hears some special guests are in town…

‘Southland’ debut pushed back to October

from EW.com: TV

By Michael Ausiello
Michael Ausiello: Insider says the move gives NBC four more weeks to promote
the critical fave

MUSIC

New ‘Look’ for Whitney Houston

from Variety.com – Music News

Music News: Album crafted as year’s biggest comeback story
— Anybody looking to fashion a narrative for Whitney Houston on the eve of the
release of her first album of new material in seven years need look no further
than the songs on “I Look to You.”


Madonna booed in Bucharest for defending Gypsies

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 … by By ALINA WOLFE
MURRAY

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — At first, fans politely applauded
the Roma performers sharing a stage with Madonna. Then the pop star condemned
widespread discrimination against Roma, or Gypsies – and the cheers gave way to
jeers….

‘Feeling’ remains U.S. record chart topper

from Entertainment News – UPI.com

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 27 (UPI) — The Black Eyed Peas’s “I
Gotta Feeling” is No. 1 on the U.S. record chart for a ninth week,
Billboard.com reported Thursday.

Rivers Cuomo: We Ripped Off “The Sweater Song” From Metallica

from Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily by Andy Greene
Last week Rolling Stone chatted up Rivers Cuomo about Weezer‘s
new album Raditude. Near the end we asked about the 15th anniversary of their debut single “Undone – The
Sweater Song,” which he now admits is “almost a complete rip-off” of
Metallica’s 1986 classic “Welcome Home (Sanitarium).”

Kings of Leon Plotting Remix Album, Live DVD

from Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily by Daniel Kreps
Kings of Leon have recruited Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams and Mark
Ronson to give their Only By the Night the dance floor treatment with an
upcoming remix LP, Billboard reports.

Kings of Leon Channel Radiohead on New Songs

from Spin magazine’s Daily Noise by Matt Kiser
With 2008’s Only By the Night, Kings of Leon fused their characteristic
Southern rock guitars with more exploratory studio sounds — but the boys
haven’t satisfied their experimental side just yet. The Tennessee quartet have
been writing songs for a new album during sound checks of their current tour,
and according to drummer Nathan Followill, the band is more sonically
adventurous than ever.

ETC…

Stars keep spotlight on New Orleans

from CNN.com – Entertainment

Long before the levees broke, celebrities the world over had
a special place in their hearts for New Orleans. But something about Hurricane
Katrina — something about the city — spurred an unprecedented response from
the entertainment world that continues four years later.

Read More