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The Newsdesk 01.06.09 – Pegg and Frost in for Tintin; PGA Nominations Announced

• Despite hitting budget snags, casting is going ahead on Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg’s 3D performance-capture Tintin film. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are confirmed to star as bowler-hat wearing detective duo Thomson and Thompson, while Andy Serkis (Gollum) will portray Captain Haddock. No Tintin yet however, as actor Thomas Sangster had to drop out. This will be one interesting project — if it ever comes out.

• Oscar handicappers take note: The Producers Guild of America just announced their nominations for Best Film of the year. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Slumdog Millionaire getting nods is no surprise, but The Dark Knight‘s nom definitely ups the comic book epic’s chances for Oscar glory. 

• The director of Horton Hears a Who has signed on to helm Jonah Hex, an adaptation of the DC Comics character. Hex, whose gritty adventures often take a supernatural turn, was previously in the hands of Crank gurus Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. This latest choice makes about as much sense as Rob Zombie directing an episode of Gossip Girl.

• In Hollywood gossip news, Lindsay Lohan denied splitting up with Samantha Ronson, even though everyone else says they’re done. Lohan once again released a statement through her MySpace blog, something which must drive her publicist crazy.

• Forrest Whitaker may get physical for the action thriller The Expendables opposite Sylvester Stallone. Jet Li and Jason Statham are already in the tough guy flick while, alas, Sandra Bullock has dropped out. All eight of us hoping for that Demolition Man reunion just had our dreams dashed.

• John Waters has written a script treatment for Hairspray 2 that reportedly has Zac Efron’s character taking acid, among other crazy stuff. Director Adam Shankman said that a lot of what Waters has come up with won’t get used, though he will keep (spoiler!) a weight-loss storyline that finds John Travolta’s Edna getting hooked on diet pills.

• Speaking of Shankman, he’ll be staying in his musical comfort zone by helming a remake of Bye Bye Birdie, the sort of straight-laced musical throwback that Waters so cheekily tweaked with Hairspray.



Directors and studios sharing economic pressure

from Reuters: Entertainment News

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Catherine Hardwicke had
every reason to celebrate as her latest film, “Twilight,” opened to
nearly $70 million in November.

LG high-def TVs to stream Netflix videos directly

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

NEW YORK (AP) — Netflix Inc.
has come up with another way to get movies to people without sending DVDs in
the mail….

Blu-ray’s future may be bright, but short

from Entertainment News –

NEW YORK, Jan. 5 (UPI) —
Blu-ray may be the format of choice to succeed DVDs, but it’s unclear for how
long it will do so before discs becomes obsolete, some industry experts say.



Palm Springs International Film Festival has its own star power

from L.A. Times – Movie News

Dustin Hoffman, Sean Penn are being honored at the showcase
for 210 independent films from 73 countries.


The 2009 Shorts: Long on Innovation and Style

from 2009 Sundance Festival | News

“With submissions topping over 5,600 this year, I can
assure you we have some good ones” – this guarantee comes certified by the
entire Festival shorts programming team, which I’m a member of. We saw a 10%
rise in shorts submissions this year and found a record-breaking 96 films of
all styles, sensibilities, genres, countries, and demographics to program for
the Festival. Mittens off, badges on, this year marks one of the finest
selections of shorts at the Festival that we’ve ever had.

Sundance Survival Guide: Tickets and Transport

from 2009 Sundance Festival | News

As you map out your days and firm up your screening
strategy, here are some suggestions about how best to get yourself around historic Park City.

’09 INTERVIEW | Premieres: “Mary and Max” Director Adam Elliot

by indieWIRE (January 6, 2009)

EDITORS NOTE: This is part of a series of interviews,
conducted via email, profiling dramatic and documentary competition and
American Spectrum directors who have films screening at the 2009 Sundance Film
Mary and Max” will kick off the 2009 Sundance
Film Festival. A claymation animation by Academy award-winning filmmaker Adam
(“Harvie Krumpet“), it tells the simple story of a
20-year pen-pal friendship between two very different people.

’09 INTERVIEW | American Spectrum: “World’s Greatest Dad” Director
Bobcat Goldthwait

by indieWIRE (January 6, 2009)
Director Bobcat Goldthwait‘s film “World’s Greatest Dad
is a dark comedy about Lance Clayton (Robin Williams), a high school poetry
teacher who dreams of becoming a rich and famous writer.

’09 INTERVIEW | American Spectrum: “Everything Strange and New”
Screenwriter/Director Frazer Bradshaw

by indieWIRE (January 4, 2009)

has a job, a wife, two kids, and a house. He’s living the American Dream.
There’s a fine line, however, between a dream and nightmare, and Wayne finds himself at
odds with the life he has and preoccupied by the life he thinks he wants.

’09 INTERVIEW | American Spectrum: “La Mision” Screenwriter/Director
Peter Bratt

by indieWIRE (January 4, 2009)

Feared, yet respected, as the baddest Chicano on the block,
Che (Benjamin Bratt), a reformed inmate and recovering alcoholic, resorts to
violence and intimidation to get what he wants.

’09 INTERVIEW | Doc Competition: “Art & Copy” Director Doug Pray

by indieWIRE (January 4, 2009)

Art & Copy” takes us inside a
powerful, yet surprisingly unknown, industry to reveal the most influential
creative forces tapping the zeitgeist of our time.

Ashley Greene Eager To ‘Shrink’ Sundance With Kevin Spacey

from MTV Movies Blog by Larry Carroll

The 10 Most Eagerly Anticipated 2009 Films From the
“Twilight” Stars
. One of the entrants is “Shrink,” an
under-the-radar indie that began building buzz recently when it was chosen for
this month’s Sundance Film Festival. Within hours, Twilighters began wondering
about this dramedy that stars not only Kevin Spacey and Keke Palmer, but their
very own Ashley Greene.


Meet this year’s Golden Globe nominees

from Movies – Top Stories

Click through this year’s movie and television nominees,
check out clips and let us know who you’re rooting for this awards season.

Diaz, Lange, Rock to be Globes presenters

from Entertainment News –

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 5 (UPI) — Cameron Diaz, Jessica Lange and
Chris Rock have signed up to be presenters at “The 66th annual Golden
Globe Awards” gala in Los Angeles,
organizers said.


Producers Guild nominations announced

from Entertainment Weekly’s Oscar Watch by Dave Karger

The Producers Guild listed The Curious Case of Benjamin
Button, The Dark Knight, Frost/Nixon, Milk, and Slumdog Millionaire as their
five nominees today, further sharpening this year’s Oscar race. The last five
years, the PGA matched four of the five…

‘Milk,’ ‘Slumdog’ tops in Vancouver

from – Award Central News

Award Central News: Fincher, Boyle make directors cut — Gus
Van Sant’s “Milk,” Danny Boyle’s “Slumdog Millionaire” and
Pixar toon “Wall-E” topped the list for the Vancouver Film Critics
Circle, who announced their nominations for the best of 2008.



January is the saddest movie month of the year

from Movies

If you’re a moviegoer, the transition from December to
January is a rough one, like falling asleep in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory
and waking up in the dystopia of “Blade Runner.”


A Discussion with The Best Directors of 2008 

from /Film by

The Hollywood Reporter recently held a roundtable
discussion with the six of this year’s Best Director hopefuls: Ron Howard
(Frost/Nixon), Gus Van Sant (Milk), Ed Zwick (Definace), Darren Aronofsky (The
Wrestler), Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) and Clint Eastwood (Gran Torino).
David Fincher and Christopher Nolan apparently weren’t available for the sit

Adam Shankman in for ‘Birdie’ remake

from Hollywood Reporter by By Steven Zeitchik and Borys Kit

Fresh off the success of his fairy tale hit “Bedtime
Stories,” Adam Shankman is giving a boost to a Birdie.

Daunting figure was ‘hopeless’ at small talk

from – Entertainment

Though Sir David Frost doesn’t see his 1977 interviews with
former President Richard Nixon as “an intellectual ‘Rocky’ ” — in
the words of “Frost/Nixon” playwright and screenwriter Peter Morgan
— he does agree that the sessions had their “adversarial” moments.
The former president himself was an “enigma,” says Frost.

Frank Langella: Sex, lies and Watergate

from Film News from Times Online

Frank Langella strides into a freezing hotel room. An
elegant man whose golden skin is set off by a crisp navy shirt. He walks, talks
and breathes with a certainty in himself, a comfort in his own skin, a contrast
to the man I’d seen on screen the previous evening as the sweaty-faced
President Nixon.


EXCLUSIVE: ‘Twilight’ Star Edi Gathegi Joins The Law In Our
Second ‘My Bloody Valentine 3-D’ Clip!

from MTV Movies Blog by Brian Jacks

Last week we brought you the very first clip from the upcoming horror film “My
Bloody Valentine 3-D,” and now we’re back with a second helping. This time
we’re in the sheriff’s office with “Twilight” star Edi Gathegi, who
receives a potentially gruesome package.


Rob Zombie Unveils New Face Of Michael Myers For ‘H2’

from MTV Movies Blog by Brian Warmoth

Rob Zombie’s follow-up to his 2007 “Halloween”
remake will put a new face on the franchise when it hits in 2009. Now, the official MySpace page for the film has a headshot of
exactly what that face will be.


Daniel Craig On Filming ‘Defiance’ — ‘They Told Us [The Swamp]
Was Clean, But Who Knows?’

from MTV Movies Blog by Jocelyn Vena

He may play suave James Bond, but in his new film, “Defiance,” Daniel
Craig is tackling more serious topics than martinis and espionage with sexy

‘Hairspray 2: White Lipstick’ Director Plans To Sober Up Zac
Efron, Subtract A Big Star

from MTV Movies Blog by Larry Carroll

Last month, we broke big news on John Waters’ bizarre, top-secret script treatment blueprinting
the upcoming “Hairspray 2.”
The details were so weird, in fact,
that as news spread across the Web some people thought composer/producer Marc
Shaiman was joking.


Shooting Down the Legal Eagles

from Peter Bart

The legal battle over which studio releases
“Watchmen” has taken on a surreal twist with Warner Bros. and Fox
each denigrating its rival’s marketing prowess.


What to Watch for week of January 5 to 11

from TV

By Jessica Shaw

A day-to-day guide to notable programs*


New Showtime series to debut at Netflix

from Entertainment News –

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 5 (UPI) — The new Showtime series
“United States of Tara” is to make its debut at Netflix before it
premieres on television, Netflix, Inc. announced.


New `Bachelor’ Jason Mesnick says he’s engaged

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

NEW YORK (AP) — Though he
wasn’t picked in the finale of “The Bachelorette,” Jason Mesnick
isn’t just giving love another shot – he says he’s found it….

Ratings: Football and ‘Desperate Housewives’ score strong
weekend numbers

from Entertainment Weekly’s Hollywood Insider by Jennifer

TV awoke from its holiday nap Saturday with the San Diego
Chargers’ overtime win against the Indianapolis Colts on NBC scoring the best
ratings for a primetime Wild Card playoff ever ??? 23.8 million viewers,
according to preliminary Nielsen estimates….

‘Scrubs’ boss cuts loose!

from Today’s Latest Headlines by Michael Ausiello

Show’s candid creator tells Michael Ausiello about how it
all (sorta) ends, leaving NBC, and…Hillary Duff?

USA picks up ‘Royal Pains’

from Hollywood Reporter by By Kimberly Nordyke and Nellie

USA Network is moving forward with “Royal Pains,”
giving a series pickup to the show starring Mark Feuerstein as an on-call
doctor to the Hamptons

Duo goes ‘Mad’ for David E. Kelley

from Hollywood Reporter by By Nellie Andreeva

David E. Kelley has cast 27-year-old English actress Charity
Wakefield as the female lead in his new legal drama for NBC. Jon Seda also has
been cast.

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews to decide soon on Senate bid

from L.A. Times – TV News

Hardball host Chris Matthews is expected to let his bosses know
in the coming weeks whether he s going to pursue a Senate run in Pennsylvania

Taking 3-D to a new dimension: the TV

from L.A. Times – TV News

Electronics makers and film studios are seeking a way to
bring the technology from the theater to the home.

TV legends’ histories just a mouse click away

from L.A. Times – TV News

The Archive of American Television’s trove of videotaped
interviews grows, with hundreds of hours of the talks accessible online.

Television Review | ‘The City’; ‘Bromance’: West Coast
Fashionista Takes On Manhattan, Manolos in Tow

from NYT > Television

The pleasures of the new series “The City” are
greater than any attempted in “Bromance,” a completely unwatchable
reality show.

Michelle Trachtenberg to Return to Gossip Girl

from Latest News

The actress will reprise her role as crazy Georgina
toward the end of the season

TLC, NASCAR will track checkered lives

from Reuters: Entertainment News

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – TLC is gearing up a new
reality show tracking the spouses of NASCAR drivers.



Springsteen Goes Free With Amazon, ‘Guitar Hero’

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

Bruce Springsteen is offering free downloads through and “Guitar Hero” in the run-up to the Jan. 27 release of
his next Columbia album, “Working on a Dream.” Rumors are also
swirling that the Boss will co-headline at the Bonnaroo and Glastonbury festivals.

Radiohead Snags Kraftwerk For Spring Shows

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

Radiohead has drafted legendary German electronica act
Kraftwerk to support its spring tour of Latin America, which begins March 15-16
in Mexico City.
Kraftwerk will also play headlining shows April 25-26 in Wolfsburg, Germany.

Lance Bass Hopeful For ‘N Sync Reunion

from Billboard News – All by Gary Graff, Detroit

He may be dancing with the stars this winter, but Lance Bass
says he can foresee an ‘N Sync reunion somewhere down the road.

Robyn, Lykke Li Guest On New Royksopp Album

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

Norwegian electronica duo Royksoop’s first album in
three-plus years, “Junior,” will arrive March 23 internationally and
the following day in the United
via Astralwerks.

Ohio Players Founder Robert Ward Dies

from Billboard News – All

Robert Ward, a Georgia blues musician who played
with some of Motown’s biggest artists, died Dec. 25. He was 70.

Anthony, Rubio to sing at Inaugural Gala

from Entertainment News –

Jan. 5 (UPI) — Singers Marc Anthony and Paulina Rubio are among entertainers
slated to perform at the upcoming Latino Inaugural Gala in Washington,
organizers said.

Taylor Swift set to perform on ‘SNL’

from Hollywood Reporter by By Ken Tucker, Billboard

Taylor Swift, who ended 2008 as the top selling artist with
just over 4 million albums sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan, will kick off
2009 as the musical guest on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.”


Hollywood’s Musicians Institute teaches the endangered art of A
& R

from L.A. Times – Music News

In the troubled music industry, many labels have cut or
eliminated their artists-and-repertoire staff. But instructors at MI are
determined to teach the skill of making a musical connection.


‘Gossip Girl’ creator helms web series

from – Music News

Music News: Music, love and ambition in ‘Rockville, Ca’ —
Take a collection of twentysomethings, mix in love, lust, ambition and music
from some of the hottest indie acts, and you’ve got “Rockville, CA,”
the new Web series from “Gossip Girl” and “The OC” creator
Josh Schwartz.


Jett Travolta died of seizure disorder

from Entertainment News –

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 5 (UPI) — An autopsy conducted on the son
of Hollywood movie stars John Travolta and
Kelly Preston indicated his death was caused by a seizure disorder, a source


Report: Arquette and Jane to divorce

from Entertainment News –

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 5 (UPI) — Television actress Patricia
Arquette has filed for divorce from actor Thomas Jane, her husband of two
years, in Los Angeles County Superior Court, TMZ said.


QVC will sell memorabilia at Obama inauguration

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 … by By DAVID BAUDER

(AP) — QVC is traveling to Washington
to mark President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration this month – and is
bringing along plenty of coins, stamps, jewelry and even a small handbag to


Spears, Obama hit by Twitter tampering

from Entertainment News –

LONDON, Jan. 5 (UPI) —
Hackers tampered with the accounts of President-elect Barack Obama,
pop star Britney Spears and actor Stephen Fry, Britain‘s Daily Telegraph said.

Jennifer Love Hewitt and Fiancé Split

from Latest News by Alexis Chiu

The engagement is off between the Ghost Whisperer star and
Ross McCall


Rebecca Romijn gives birth to twin girls

from Entertainment News –

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 5 (UPI) — U.S. actress Rebecca Romijn has
given birth to twin girls named Dolly Rebecca Rose and Charlie Tamara Tulip,
People magazine said it confirmed Monday.

Pat Hingle, Batman’s Commissioner Gordon, Dead

from E! Online – Movie News

Lower the Bat-Signal. Pat Hingle, the veteran character
actor best remembered by fanboys as Gotham
‘s Commissioner
Gordon in Tim Burton’s Batman movie and its three sequels,…

Bernie Hamilton, TV Actor, Is Dead at 80

from NYT > Television

Mr. Hamilton played the no-nonsense police captain on the
1970s TV series “Starsky and Hutch.”

Queen Latifah to Continue as Jenny Craig Spokesperson

from Latest News

After shedding 20 pounds last year, she signs on for another
year with the company.

Lindsay Lohan Denies Split With Samantha Ronson

from Latest News by Mike Fleeman

“We did NOT break up!” the actress says on her
blog in response to media reports

Read More