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The Newsdesk 01.07.09 – A Baby Girl for Ben and Jen; Tron Has Its Lead

• Newcomer Garrett Hedlund (who?) beat out Ryan Gosling, Chris Pine, and Cloverfield‘s Michael Stahl-David for the lead in the upcoming Tron sequel. Hedlund has previously appeared in such movies as Friday Night Lights and Georgia Rule. If he could survive that latter debacle, he’ll do just fine against an evil supercomputer.

• Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck welcomed a new baby girl. This is the second child for the couple, after three-year-old daughter Violet. No word on a name for the new arrival yet, but we imagine it’ll fall somewhere in the color spectrum.

• Footage has surfaced of Jeffrey Wright being tasered by police
while Josh Brolin recovered from a pepper-spray attack during the actors’ arrest in Shreveport, LA. this past summer.
(Something tells us this won’t end up as an extra on the W. DVD.) Charges against both actors, stemming from a bar fight they were involved in, have been dropped.

• There’s just no time to be an indie star when you’re the idol of teenage girls everywhere, as Twilight‘s Robert Pattison discovered when he was forced to drop out of the independent film Parts per Billion in order to begin work on New Moon. Don’t worry Robert, there’s only four books in the Twilight series.You’ll be free to score some indie cred sometime around 2014.

• In other swoony romance news, James Mangold (Walk the Line) will helm Juliet, about a woman who discovers she’s a descendant of the infamous tragic lovers. Meanwhile DJ Caruso (Eagle Eye) will tackle an adult take on Jack and the Beanstalk with Jack the Giant Killer. You heard it here first: Offbeat literary fantasy is the new comic book movie.

• Are you a fan of remakes and Terminator: Salvation helmer McG? Well, then you’re in luck, as the filmmaker has signed on to direct a remake of Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Knowing the Mouse House, they’ll probably add in a bunch of pirates for no reason.

• Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables keeps getting more testosterone-heavy by the day, with The Wrestler‘s Mickey Rourke now on board. Rourke joins Stallone, Jet Li, Forest Whitaker, Jason Statham,  Dolph Lundgren and Sir. Ben Kingsley (what?) in an action flick about a team of “expendable” mercenaries sent to overthrow a South American dictator. Everything about this movie screams “’80s throwback” in the best possible way.

• Looks like you can blame Speed Racer for one more thing, as screenwriter John August (Big Fish) confirmed that the Shazam! movie he was working on for Warner Bros. is officially dead now thanks to the family film’s burnout at the box office. Seems gee-whiz dogooders like Captain Marvel just don’t have a place in the grim and gritty post-Dark Knight world.



Lionsgate to acquire TV Guide Network and

from L.A. Times – TV News

The studio will pay $255 million in a surprise move that
derails a previously announced deal.

Hollywood swag on the decline

from – Golden Globes News

Golden Globes News: Economy poses major challenge to gifting
suites — The suite life will continue this year — with at least six Golden
Globes gifting suites scheduled over the weekend. But organizers say putting
the events together during the economy’s freefall has been a mighty challenge.


Will Fox Be Narnia’s New Home?

from Box Office Boffo

Now that Disney has cut ties with Walden Media’s “The
Chronicles of Narnia” franchise, some are speculating that 20th Century
Fox is the natural next home.


SAG delays cable deal bargaining


Labor Issues: Members advised to continue working — The
Screen Actors Guild has quietly delayed bargaining on its basic cable pact —
which expired three weeks ago.


Palm Springs basks in the glow of a starry awards night

from Life – Top Stories

They’re getting serious awards buzz, but stars at the Palm
Springs Film Festival on Tuesday were happily humble.


Damien Rice, John Rzeznik, others to play at Sundance

from Top Stories from

( Damien Rice [ tickets
], Goo Goo Dolls [ tickets
] frontman John Rzeznik, Wynonna [ tickets
], Rachael Yamagata [ tickets
] and Gin Blossoms [ tickets
] are among the acts who’ve joined the lineup of performers for the Sundance
ASCAP Music Cafe, part of this month’s Sundance Film Festival.


Pixar Animation pioneer Catmull earns Oscar

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

LOS ANGELES (AP) — One of the digital wizards behind such
cartoon smashes as “WALL-E,” “Ratatouille” and
“Finding Nemo” is getting an Academy Award….

Oscars 2.0: The film academy revamps its Web site

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

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Want to hear Cameron Crowe’s thoughts on
winning an Oscar or see how king-sized movie posters are assembled? How about a
sneak peek at some of the exclusive exhibitions held at the film academy’s Beverly Hills

`Dark Knight,’ `Iron Man’ battle for effects Oscar

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Superheroes Batman, Iron Man and Hellboy
are mixing it up with Brad Pitt, Nicole Kidman and an ancient mummy for the visual-effects Academy Award….

‘Journey,’ ‘Mummy’ eligible for FX Oscar

from Entertainment News –

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Jan. 6 (UPI) — Two action films starring Hollywood actor Brendan Fraser are among the seven movies
in the running for the Visual Effects Oscar, it was announced Tuesday.

Jonas Brothers to be Globes presenters

from Entertainment News –

The Jonas Brothers have agreed to be presenters at “The 66th annual Golden
Globe Awards” show in Hollywood,
organizers said.


Brad Pitt to Present at People’s Choice?

from E! Online – Movie News

Brad Pitt could be a surprise guest at tomorrow night’s
People’s Choice Awards.

‘Iron Man’ an original for Scripter

from Hollywood Reporter by By Borys Kit

The screenwriters of “Iron Man” and the scribes
behind more literary fare “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,”
“The Reader” and “Revolutionary
” join the “Slumdog
Millionaire” team as finalists for the 21st annual USC Libraries Scripter

2008 ‘Razzies’ Nominees Include Indy 4, Paris Hilton And Tom
Cruise – How Would You Vote?

from MTV Movies Blog by Larry Carroll

Is it just me, or was 2008 one of the worst years for movies
ever? Well folks, the time has finally come to vent. It’s one of my
favorite days of the year, as my Razzie ballot just arrived in the mail. As a
registered voter, I take my obligation very seriously, and it’s always
interesting to see what the annual
awards for bad filmmaking
have nominated for the worst of the worst.


Hollywood producers unveil best film nominees

from Reuters: Entertainment News

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Producers Guild of America on
Monday unveiled nominees for their film and television awards with “The
Dark Knight” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” among
nominees for best-produced movie.



Daily Box Office: Monday, January 5, 2009

from Box Office Mojo – Current Box Office Results

Marley and Me tops Monday’s box office with $1.6 million

Robert Pattinson Drops Out Of New Film, Citing ‘Twilight’

from MTV Movies Blog by Larry Carroll
Well, today’s big news just went live over at, and it’s something that
will probably sadden most Twilighters: Robert Pattinson has dropped out of “Parts Per

‘Twlight’: Taylor Lautner still Jacob?

from Today’s Latest Headlines

After a monster of a casting dilemma, it appears likely that
the actor will howl in ‘Twilight’ sequel ‘New Moon’


Mickey Rourke joins ‘Expendables’


Gotham: Actor added to cast
of Stallone’s action film — Mickey Rourke has joined the ranks of “The
Expendables,” joining the ensemble of the Sylvester Stallone-directed
action adventure for Nu Image/Millennium Films.

Simon Pegg And Nick Frost Confirmed For Roles In ‘Tintin’?

from Splash Page by Elisabeth Rappe

Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the classic ‘Tintin’ comics
isn’t having an easy time making it to the big screen. Production is only a
month away, but the film lacks all but one cast member: Andy Serkis as Captain
Haddock. But Ain’t
It Cool News
is reporting that the film finally has a grand total of three
cast members — and the newest additions are as close to geek gods as you can
get: Nick Frost and Simon Pegg.


Angela Bassett Talks ‘Notorious’

from Access Hollywood – Movies

Angela Bassett talks about the challenges of playing the
part of Voletta Wallace, the mother of rapper Notorious B.I.G.

Derek Luke Talks ‘Notorious’

from Access Hollywood – Movies

Derek Luke talks about being personally picked by Sean Combs
to play the part of Puff Daddy in the new Notorious B.I.G. biopic.

Newest ‘Watchmen’ Trailer Has An Aggrieved Warner Bros. Turning

from Defamer by Kyle Buchanan
Fox and Warner Bros. may currently be locked in a fanboy-torturing Watchmen legal battle, but that
isn’t going to stop WB from releasing Watchmen’s final, full
trailer…in Japan.

Watchmen Video Journal: The Minutemen

from /Film by

Earlier today we posted a kick *** Japanese Watchmen movie
trailer, totally forgetting that it was the 6th of the month. And you probably
know by now that every month on the 6th Warner Bros releases a new Watchmen
Video Journal.


John Woo takes Chinese epic to Western audiences

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

HONG KONG (AP) — John Woo is preparing to introduce his
first Chinese-language film in 16 years to foreign audiences after the
historical epic proved a massive success in Asia….

McG in negotiations for ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ remake

from Entertainment Weekly’s Hollywood Insider by Nicole Sperling

To prove once again that there are no new ideas in Hollywood,
Disney is remaking its 1954 classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and is in
negotiations with McG (Terminator: Salvation) to come aboard to direct.

First Look: Channing Tatum and Terrence Howard in Dito
Montiel’s Fighting

from /Film by
Rouge Pictures has released the first two photos from Dito Montiel‘s
follow-up to A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints – an action drama set in the
world of underground street fighting. Fighting stars Channing
as a small-town boy Shawn MacArthur, who has come to New York City with nothing.

First Look: Judd Apatow’s Funny People

from /Film by
Universal has the first official production photo from Judd Apatow‘s
upcoming dramedy Funny People. The film stars Adam Sandler as a 42-year
old comic named George Simmons, who one day he learns that he has a rare
untreatable blood disorder, and only has six months to a year left to live. Seth
Rogen plays Ira, a 25-year-old deli counter worker and aspiring stand-up
comedian who George takes under his wing

Chris Pine puts his own spin on ‘Trek’s’ Kirk

from Movies

Pine believes the new movie will give audiences a sense of
hope — something he feels has been lacking in other sci-fi box office hits.


Lex Luthor Not Returning For ‘Superman Returns’ Sequel?

from Splash Page by Brian Warmoth

Perhaps an atomic non-story today, rumors have popped up
that Lex Luthor may be out as the main villain for the potential sequel to “Superman Returns” (possibly titled
“Man of Steel”).


World War II rages on at the multiplex

from Life – Top Stories

World War II never dies. It doesn’t even fade away. It lives
forever in the creative fields of Hollywood.



Better Than the Fall? A Host of TV Series, New and Not

from NYT > Television

The first few months of 2009 will be rich with new and
returning shows.

HBO lands rights to inaugural ceremony

from Hollywood Reporter by By Paul J. Gough

HBO has snagged the exclusive telecast rights to the opening
ceremony of President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration week.

Kelsey Grammer to star in ABC pilot


TV News: Tucker Cawley writing comedy for network — Kelsey
Grammer is taking another stab at a sitcom.

NBC, John Wells on ‘Police’ beat

from Hollywood Reporter by By Nellie Andreeva

NBC is looking to keep a John Wells-branded drama on the air
after the March finale of “ER” with an offer for an episodic order to
Wells’ new cop drama pilot “Police” (formerly “LAPD”).

Sanjay Gupta offered Surgeon General post

from Hollywood Reporter by By Paul J. Gough

CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta will likely
be nominated the nation’s new Surgeon General in the Obama administration.

Lahti, Sneed check into USA’s military hospital

from Hollywood Reporter by By Nellie Andreeva

Emmy winner Christine Lahti and Johnny Sneed have joined the
cast of USA Network’s 90-minute pilot “Operating Instructions,”
directed by “Hitch” helmer Andy Tennant.

Review: ‘Frontline: The Old Man and the Storm’

from L.A. Times – TV News

Three and a half years after the floodwaters rose and
swallowed New Orleans, popular culture doesn’t quite know what to do with
Hurricane Katrina and its ongoing effect on the city’s and the country’s

’24’ ups the ante in Washington, D.C.

from Television

A little over a year ago, Sutherland and the crew of his
popular Fox TV series, “24,” came to the nation’s capital to film
segments of the show’s seventh season.


A&E reality show has cops chasing ghosts

from The Live Feed by hollywoodreporter

Who you gonna call? How about 911?A&E is seeking to
one-up Sci Fi’s “Ghost Hunters” with a new series that blends
paranormal investigation with law…

ABC fields ‘Superstars’


Exclusives: Network gives six-episode order to series — ABC has given a six-episode order to a new celeb
take on the sports-themed franchise “Superstars.”


How to Save Rock & Roll

from Rolling Stone: Features

Nine insiders who are reshaping the music biz for 2009 and

The Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton found dead at 60

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

(AP) — Ron Asheton, the guitarist for the Stooges whose raw sound helped
inspire the first generation of punk musicians, has died. He was 60….

Amy Winehouse drops drug case appeal in Norway

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

OSLO, Norway (AP) — British singer Amy
Winehouse dropped her appeal in a Norwegian drug case and will accept a fine
for illegal marijuana possession in 2007, her attorney said Tuesday….

New Eminem, 50 Cent Songs Hit Radio, Web

from Billboard News – All by Hillary Crosley, N.Y.

There’s still no solidified release dates for upcoming
Interscope albums from Eminem and 50 Cent, but new music from both acts has
emerged in the past 24 hours. Eminem’s “Crack a Bottle,” which
features 50 as well as Dr. Dre, leaked online today (Jan. 6), while 50’s “I
Get It In,” debuted last night on New
radio station Hot 97.

Stars Set For Super Bowl Party Performances

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

Top music acts have begun lining up performances in
conjunction with Super Bowl XLIII, to be held Feb. 1 in Tampa, Fla.

Gets Back To Work After ’08 Break

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

After its members spent most of 2008 recovering from a
variety of medical ailments, Aerosmith is ready to return to work on its next
studio album, according to a Web post yesterday (Jan. 5) from drummer Joey


Dumps DRM, Adds Variable Pricing

from Billboard News – All by Chris M. Walsh, N.Y.

At the MacWorld conference today (Jan. 6) in San Francisco,
Apple Inc. confirmed reports that all four majors were now onboard to deliver
DRM-free music through the iTunes Music Store.

Soulja Boy Web cartoon to debut this month

from Entertainment News –

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 6 (UPI) — Soulja Boy Tell’em introduced his upcoming Web
series via his latest video for the song “Soulja Boy Tell’em”
Tuesday, Interscope Records said.

Rihanna taking no wardrobe risks for Malaysia show

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

— The good girl gone bad has promised to be good for one night….

Scoop: Britney’s tour gets off to shaky start

from Gossip

According to Us Weekly, Britney Spears just doesn’t have the
work ethic she used to and it’s affecting her upcoming tour.



Small Fla. town embraces Travolta during tragedy

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

OCALA, Fla. (AP) — This
small central Florida town is about as far
from Hollywood
as you can get. Maybe that’s why actor John Travolta moved his family here….

Kevin Smith’s Los Angeles Comic Book Store to Close

from /Film by

Writer/director Kevin Smith runs two comic book stores, one
in his home town of Red Bank, NJ and the other in Los Angeles.


Ferrell taking Bush spoofs to Broadway, HBO

from – Entertainment

Will Ferrell, the man who invented “strategery”
and other Bushisms, is taking his spoofs of the 43rd president to Broadway and

Josh Brolin, Jeffrey Wright Cleared in Bar Brawl

from E! Online – Movie News

Looks like there’ll be no need for a presidential pardon for
this W. crew. Prosecutors in Shreveport,
, have reached a deal with
attorneys for Josh Brolin and Jeffrey Wright

Garner gives birth to 2nd daughter

from Entertainment News –

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 6 (UPI) — U.S.
actress Jennifer Garner gave birth to a second daughter in Los Angeles Tuesday, a source told

Madonna stars in Louis Vuitton ads

from Entertainment News –

LONDON, Jan. 6 (UPI) — U.S. pop star
Madonna is the star of Louis Vuitton’s sexy new advertising campaign, the Daily
Telegraph reports.

Bruce Lee’s home to become a museum

from Hollywood Reporter by Reuters

A philanthropic bid by a Hong Kong
tycoon to preserve the one-time residence of kung fu legend Bruce Lee and
transform it into a tourist attraction honoring the film icon was approved

‘Idol’-less inauguration planned

from Los Angeles Times – Celebrity News

Contrary to rumors circulating last week, Jennifer Hudson
will not be performing at the presidential inauguration.

Scared Swayze says may have only 2 years to live

from Reuters: Entertainment News

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Actor Patrick Swayze, in his first
television interview since being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year,
said he was scared, angry and “going through hell” and may only have
two years to live.

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