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The Newsdesk 12.16.08 – New Moon Rising, SAG Strike Looming

Ah to be young and in love and a vampire. The Twilight sequel has a release date. New Moon rises November 20, 2009. Series author Stephenie Meyer, meanwhile, is asking her fan base to stop screaming and give Chris Weitz a chance.

• It just keeps getting worse. Spielberg helped his friend Katzenberg invest with his friend and financial advisor Breslauer who then steered both into investments with Bernard Madoff. Oops.

• The potential SAG strike is getting ugly. No one wants to see Mel Gibson in a fight with Tom Hanks. Charlize Theron and Eva Longoria Parker on the other hand…oh wait they’re on the same side.

Milk, set in San Francisco, was the big winner of the 2008 San Francisco Critics Circle Awards but The Dark Knight, set in Gotham, won for Best Supporting Actor (Heath Ledger) and Best Cinematography (Wally Pfister).

• Box Office Mojo, the popular website that made film grosses sound sexy was acquired by IMDB. Sorry other media companies – you snooze, you lose – the attractive target is off the market.

To subscribe to the AMC News RSS feed click here. More of today’s news is available after the jump.



WSJ Reports Madoff Financial Fraud Hurt Spielberg And
Katzenberg In The Millions

from Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily by Nikki Finke

Tomorrow’s edition of The Wall Street Journal reports
that Hollywood financial adviser Jerry Breslauer steered his two
top clients, Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg, into
investments with New York
money manager Bernard Madoff, and now the pair have been hurt in the widening
$50B fraud scandal.

IMDB linking links up with Mojo


Technology News: Film database to incoporate box office data
— IMDB is getting some mojo at the B.O.


It’s Tom Hanks vs. Mel Gibson as SAG Splits Into Strike Camps

from E! Online – Movie News

All work and no contract has made members of the Screen
Actors Guild a surly bunch. While support for an actors’ strike was already
running thin thanks to the industry-wide burnout…

Stars protest possible SAG strike

from Entertainment News –

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 15 (UPI) — More than 130 Hollywood
celebrities, including George Clooney and Tom Hanks, have signed a letter
discouraging the Screen Actors Guild from striking.

Rosenberg Nixes Urgent SAG Board Confab

from Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily by Nikki Finke

To: SAG National Board of DirectorsPlease be advised that
the notice of board meeting for Friday, December 19, 2008, has been withdrawn. There
will be no board meeting on that date.As some of you know, we held a regularly
scheduled meeting of the National Executive Committee last week. Shortly after
the meeting began, and prior […]


‘I Love You, Man’ to open SXSW
from Hollywood Reporter by Staff report
DreamWorks comedy “I Love You, Man,” directed by
John Hamburg and starring Paul Rudd, Jason Segel and Rashida Jones, will open
the 2009 SXSW Film Conference and Festival, which runs March 13-21 in Austin, Texas.

‘Slumdog Millionaire’ sweeps New York online critics’ kudos
from L.A. Times – Movie News
“Slumdog Millionaire” hit the jackpot with the New
York Film Critics Online, winning the group’s awards for best picture,
director, screenplay, cinematography and music score.


from Google Alerts – “sundance film festival”
8, 2008
This year, the Sundance Film Festival
will highlight an exclusive selection of 10 short films over 10 days on the
iTunes Store

Sundance fills Screenwriting Lab
Film Festivals: 12 films selected for annual workshop at
fest — The Sundance Institute has selected 12 feature film projects for the
annual January Screenwriters Lab running Jan. 9-14 at the Sundance Resort in Utah.

CITY ’09 | Sundance Selects Screenwriters’ Fellows

from Google Alerts – “sundance film festival” by peter

The projects selected for the Lab join an impressive list of
Feature Film Program-supported films, including 10 films which will screen at
the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. They include the Dramatic Competition
selections “Sin Nombre,”


No shortage of shorts at Slamdance

from Hollywood Reporter by By Gregg Kilday

The Slamdance Film Festival will feature 86 short films in
four competition categories: documentary, narrative/experimental, animation and
music video.


Milk Sweeps 2008 San Francisco Critics Circle Awards

from /Film by

The San Francisco
Critics Circle
(which I’m sadly not a part of) has announced their 2008 Award Winners:

Best Picture: Milk
Best Director: Gus Van Sant, “Milk”
Best Original Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black, “Milk”
Best Adapted Screenplay: Peter Morgan, “Frost/Nixon”
Best Actor: TIE: Sean Penn,
“Milk”/Mickey Rourke, “The Wrestler”
Best Actress: Sally Hawkins, “Happy-Go-Lucky”
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight”
Best Supporting Actress: Marisa Tomei, “The Wrestler”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Let the Right One In”
Best Documentary: “My Winnipeg”
Best Cinematography: Wally Pfister, “The Dark Knight”


Rourke rolls with punches, lands winning role in ‘Wrestler’

from Life – Top Stories

Mickey Rourke’s face is a mess. More than usual, that is.
His once-boyishly handsome mug has never been the same after he took …

Peter Morgan retackles Tony Blair


Inside Moves: Writer’s directing debut will complete film
trilogy — “Frost/Nixon” playwright and screenwriter Peter Morgan is
lining up his directorial debut, a film that would be the third movie in the
Tony Blair trilogy launched in 2003 by Stephen Frears’ British TV movie
“The Deal” and followed by “The Queen.”


OscarWatch: AFI’s top 10 of ’08

from Movies

By Dave Karger

American Film Institute honors boost ”Iron Man” and two
indies, snub ”Doubt” and ”Revolutionary



‘Twilight’ Author To Fans: New Director ‘Wants To Keep You All
Extremely Happy’

from Access Hollywood – Movies

Fans of “Twilight” need not fear – new director
Chris Weitz is the right man to guide the franchise’s upcoming sequels, series
author Stephenie Meyer said.

“I’ve had the chance to talk to Chris, and I can tell you that he is excited
by the story and eager to keep the movie as close to the book as
possible,” Meyer wrote on her official Web site. “He is also very
aware of you, the fans, and wants to keep you all extremely happy. (Torches and
pitchforks are not going to be necessary).”

Tom Cruise taking risk with new film `Valkyrie’

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

(AP) — A Nazi-filled Christmas is not an easy sell. That’s just one of the
challenges Tom Cruise faces with his new World War II thriller
“Valkyrie,” which opens Dec. 25. In the film, which portrays the
seldom-recalled German resistance to Adolf Hitler, Cruise plays would-be Hitler
assassin Col. Claus von Stauffenberg….

New Moon Rises Next November

from E! Online – Movie News

Fanggirls, mark your calendars. Yesterday, you officially
got a director, and today, you officially have a release date: New Moon will
cross the horizon on November 20,…

EXCLUSIVE: We Interview J.J. Abrams And Unveil A New ‘Star
Trek’ Banner!

from MTV Movies Blog by Brian Jacks

We’ve been all over J.J. Abrams’ upcoming “Star
Trek,” including an exclusive photo of Kirk and the first look at the Enterprise bridge, and now
we’ve got something else special…the premiere of the film’s banner.


Rob Zombie to Direct Halloween Sequel H2

from /Film by

Dimension Films has signed Rob Zombie to direct a
sequel to his 2007 remake/prequel/reboot of Halloween. The studio
is rushing H2 into production for a March start and a hopeful
October 2009 release. The film will be a direct sequel to the Zombie’s 2007
film, and will not be a remake of 1981’s Halloween II.


Jennifer Lopez going with ‘Plan B’


Los Angeles:
CBS Films seeking director for project — Jennifer Lopez has signed on to star
in the fertility-themed romantic comedy “Plan B” for CBS Films.

Cheech and Chong get animated

from Hollywood Reporter by By Jay A. Fernandez

As Cheech and Chong’s stand-up tour fires out nationwide,
Big Vision Entertainment said it will produce an animated film featuring the
stoned duo with Chambers Bros. Entertainment.

Frank Lloyd Wright film in the works


Exclusives: Lionsgate acquires rights to ‘Loving Frank’ —
Lionsgate has acquired screen rights to “Loving Frank,” a historical
novel about architect Frank Lloyd Wright by Nancy Horan.

Brooks casts Witherspoon in comedy


Front Page: Untitled Columbia
film eyes March start date — Helmer James L. Brooks is set to team with Reese
Witherspoon on an untitled comedy for Columbia Pictures.


Nielsen’s year-end top 10 ratings lists

from The Live Feed by hollywoodreporter

According to Nielsen, the scripted show that averaged the
highest percentage of U.S homes all year was … CBS’ new drama “The
Mentalist.” The No….

‘American Idol’: Change is a comin’

from L.A. Times – TV News

Producer Ken Warwick discusses the first hints of what looks
to be the biggest shake-up in “Idol” history.

Jack Black to guest-star on ‘The Office’

from Entertainment News –

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 15 (UPI) — U.S. actor Jack Black has signed on
to guest-star in the upcoming post-Super Bowl episode of “The
Office,” NBC announced Monday.

Cowboy reality series in the works

from Entertainment News –

NEW YORK, Dec. 15 (UPI) — Spike TV has
announced it is searching for the next big superstar in U.S. rodeo with
“Toughest Cowboy,” a new eight-episode series from producer Mark

‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’: Season 2 is on deck

from Entertainment Weekly’s Hollywood Insider by Tanner Stransky

Prepare for more drama between NeNe and Kim! Bravo just
revealed to exclusively that the network has picked up season 2 of The
Real Housewives of Atlanta. It’s no surprise, really, considering that the Atlanta edition of Real


Current TV stew adds Rotten Tomatoes

from Hollywood Reporter by By Kimberly Nordyke

Current Media has inked a deal with Rotten Tomatoes to
create a series based on the movie-review Web site.

Fox Reality is wed to ‘Househusbands’

from Hollywood Reporter by By James Hibberd

Fox Reality Channel has ordered a new series that puts an
attention-getting gender twist on the trophy-spouse reality genre.

Review: ‘Momma’s Boys’ on NBC

from L.A. Times – TV News

This dating game features three young men, with the help or
hindrance of their mothers, who pursue mates.

” Momma’s Boys ,” which premieres tonight on NBC, is a dating game in
which three young men, with the help or hindrance of their mothers, each choose
a young woman to be their everlasting second-fiddle love.

Sharon Osbourne accused of hair-pulling

from Reality TV

Sharon Osbourne, wife of rock star Ozzy Osbourne, has been
accused of coming to blows with a contestant on her reality television show
about etiquette.

CNN’s “Planet in Peril” endangered in ratings

from Yahoo! News: Entertainment News

Reuters – It’s not just the “Planet in Peril.” The
ratings for CNN’s two-hour environmental special last week were also in crisis.


Pearl Jam Bringing “Ten” to “Rock Band”

from Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily by Daniel Kreps

As if the reissue of Pearl Jam’s Ten wasn’t massive
enough, the Seattle
quintet revealed today that the 1991 album will be playable in its entirety on Rock
Band 2

Metallica confirms ‘Guitar Hero’ game

from The Hollywood Reporter – Music by By Jonathan Cohen,

Metallica has finally confirmed “the worst-kept secret
in rock ‘n ‘roll” and unveiled details of the upcoming “Guitar
Hero” game devoted to the band.


Hospital music therapy room named for AC/DC singer

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

(AP) — A new music therapy room at a hospital on Florida‘s
Gulf Coast is being named for AC/DC lead
singer Brian Johnson….

DMB Tour Launching In Tandem With New Album

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

Dave Matthews Band will launch its spring tour April 14 at New York‘s Madison
Square Garden
the same day its new studio album arrives from RCA. The as-yet-untitled set is
being produced by Rob Cavallo.

Blogger Pleads Guilty To Guns N’ Roses Leak

from Billboard News – All

A man accused of leaking nine unreleased tracks from the
Guns N’ Roses album “Chinese Democracy” has pleaded guilty to a
federal copyright violation.

Stars Unite For AIDS Benefit Album

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

Some of the biggest names in independent music have banded
together to record exclusive songs for “Dark Was the Night,” a
double-disc album whose proceeds will benefit the Red Hot organization’s work
with AIDS research.

The future of music retail is … ice cream?

from L.A. Times – Music News

Taylor Swift is recession proof, having spent four straight
weeks near the top of the U.S.
pop charts.

T.I.’s ‘Like’ tops MySpace ’08 stream list

from Entertainment News –

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 15 (UPI) — “Whatever You Like”
by U.S.
hip-hop artist T.I. was the most frequently streamed song on MySpace Music in
2008, the social networking Web site said Monday.

Album review: Fall Out Boy’s ‘Folie a Deux’

from L.A. Times – Music News

Fall Out Boy isn’t one to thwart its fans or the fame


Album review: Jamie Foxx’s ‘Intuition’

from L.A. Times – Music News

Jamie Foxx would be justified in continuing his efforts as a
singer if for no other reason than…

Album review: All-American Rejects’ ‘When the World Comes Down’

from L.A. Times – Music News

The best thing about the All-American Rejects is how
unambitious the pop-emo quartet is.


Cruise learned a lesson from ‘Today’ chat

from Entertainment News –

, Dec. 15 (UPI)
Hollywood film star Tom Cruise admitted on
NBC’s “Today” that he came across as arrogant during his last
interview with the morning program three years ago.

‘Slumdog’ novelist’s next book optioned

from Hollywood Reporter by By Jonathan Landreth

The next novel from Vikas Swarup, author of
“Q&A” — on which Dubai International Film Festival closer
“Slumdog Millionaire” was based — has been optioned by British
producer Paul Raphael’s Starfield Prods. and BBC

Arena football punts on ’09

from Hollywood Reporter by By Paul J. Gough

The Arena Football League’s 2009 season has become a
casualty of the recession.

Web-based tries to stand out in crowded field

from Life – Top Stories

For Hollywood
scribe Peter Hyoguchi, it was just another day on last year’s Writers Guild
picket line when the idea hit him like …

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