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The Newsdesk 01.08.09 – The Dark Knight Is the People’s Choice; Rourke Eying Iron Man 2

• The people have spoken (via the awards show named after them), crowning The Dark Knight their favorite movie at the People’s Choice Awards. Brad Pitt was named “favorite leading man” for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, while Angelina Jolie won “favorite female action star” for Wanted — the only award that movie’s going to win this year.

• Now that he’s Hollywood’s comeback kid, Mickey Rourke is going to be playing a supervillian in Iron Man 2. Rumor has it Rourke will play a Russian bad guy who goes by the villainous moniker “Whiplash.” (Some reports have Rourke playing Crimson Dynamo instead.) Sam Rockwell is also reported to be signing on as an industrialist who causes trouble for Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark/Iron Man.

• Special message to all the tween Twilight fans: OMG! Taylor Lautner is totes returning for New Moon! Ahem, thanks to fan campaigning, actor Taylor Lautner will reprise his role as Jacob Black. There was some concern over the young Lautner continuing with the character, who ages to 25 between books and grows a foot taller. The special effects gurus will definitely have their work cut out for them.

• Lest Oscar voters think him a philandering cad, Brad Pitt made it clear in the pages of “W” magazine that he did not cheat on Jennifer Aniston with Angelina Jolie on the set of Mrs. and Mrs. Smith. Honestly, I think they keep dredging all this up just so Mr. and Mrs. Smith will stay healthy on the rental charts.  

• The Writer’s Guild of America announced their best screenplay nominations, with Woody Allen scoring his 19th nod for Vicky Christina Barcelona. Veterans like Eric Roth (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and Joel and Ethan Coen (Burn After Reading) were honored alongside the newcomer scribes behind The Wrestler and The Dark Knight. Score one more for The Dark Knight‘s Oscar prospects.

• With studios tightening their belts, many indie films, like the Renee Zellweger/Kevin Bacon drama My One and Only, are trying to score a sale before screening at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival. Industry experts predict a scaled down festival, with fewer big sales and less champagne by the hot tub. 

• The first images of Jim Carrey as Ebenezer Scrooge in Robert Zemeckis’ A Christmas Carol have leaked. Shot with 3D performance capture technology, ala Zemeckis’ Polar Express, the movie already looks better and creepier that Carrey’s Grinch.

• Here’s an interesting breakdown of how the rushed production caused by last year’s writer’s strike could affect summer movies like Wolverine and Terminator: Salvation. Michael Bay writing Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on set can’t possibly be a good thing. 



Paramount extends Brad Grey contract

from Hollywood Reporter by By Gregg Kilday and Jay A. Fernandez

Brad Grey’s tenure as Paramount Pictures Motion Pictures
Group chairman and CEO received a vote of confidence Wednesday as Viacom
extended his contract, which was set to expire next year, into 2014.

ReelzChannel pulling up stakes

from Hollywood Reporter by By Paul J. Gough

Movie-focused digital cable ReelzChannel is pulling its the
bulk of its operations out of Los Angeles and Minneapolis and moving to new headquarters in Albuquerque.

Mess Over DTV May Mean Postponement

from Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily by Nikki Finke

News reports say Consumers Union late today asked the heads
of the U.S.
Congressional committees with telecommunications oversight, as well as the
current and future administrations, to consider delaying the February 17th
transition from analog to digital TV because of all the money problems and
coupon delays.

William Morris Signs 2 CAA Actor Clients

from Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily by Nikki Finke

Kurt Russell went to WMA’s Jim Wiatt and Antonio Banderas
went to Ed Limato. Interestingly, Limato repped Banderas at the start of the
actor’s career.


DiCaprio, Eastwood are Palm Springs film winners

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

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) — The world economy is in dire
straits, but you sure wouldn’t know it from the red carpet at the 20th-annual
Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala….

18th annual Jewish Film Festival showcases 32 features

from Film Journal

The Jewish Museum and The Film Society of Lincoln Center
will present the 18th annual New York Jewish Film Festival at The Film
Society’s Walter Reade Theater, The Jewish Museum, and two other New York venues, Jan.
14-29, 2009.

Santa Barbara tells ‘Truth’

from Hollywood Reporter by By Gregg Kilday

The 24th edition of the Santa Barbara Film Festival will
kick off Jan. 22 at the Arlington Theatre with Rod Lurie’s political thriller
“Nothing but the Truth,” starring Kate Beckinsale.


Downhill racer

from Hollywood Reporter by By Steven Zeitchik

What if Sundance isn’t about the sales anymore?

SPC hits Sundance running for ‘Rudo’

from Hollywood Reporter by By Steven Zeitchik and Jay A.

The Sundance Film Festival won’t begin for another eight
days, but already it has seen its first prominent acquisitions target enter the
negotiation phase.

McGregor to be honored at Sundance

from Entertainment News –

Jan. 7 (UPI) — Scottish actor Ewan McGregor is to be honored with the 7th
annual Ray-Ban Visionary Award at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival, it was

Ashton Kutcher and Anne Heche in ‘Spread’: Exclusive sneak

from Entertainment Weekly’s Hollywood Insider by Hollywood Insider

In the sex comedy Spread (showing later this month at the Sundance
Film Festival), Ashton Kutcher stars as a lothario who sleeps his way to the
top of the L.A. food chain while living at the Hollywood Hills home of…

YouTube’s Project:Direct Winner Announced : The Reel Ninja

from Google Alerts – “sundance film festival”

As the grand prize winner Edwards receives $2500 and will
spend five days at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, where his winning
film will screen at an event at the festival.”

Sundance to screen a leaner, quieter festival

from Google Alerts – “sundance film festival” by Salt
Lake Tribune – United States

Ever since its first success 20 years ago with the bombshell
“sex, lies and videotape,” the Sundance Film Festival has grown in
size, attendance and Hollywood influence — sometimes at odds with Sundance
Institute founder Robert Redford’s desire to maintain a festival focused on the

FIRST LOOK: Lee Daniels Ready For Big ‘Push’ At Sundance –
Black …

from Google Alerts – “sundance film festival”

As filmmaker Lee Daniels gears up to take his latest movie,
‘Push,’ to the Sundance Film Festival next week, has
obtained an exclusive image from the gritty drama — sure to make everyone take
notice in Park City Utah.

MCODB Mariah Carey: Lee Daniels Ready For Big ‘Push’ At

from Google Alerts – “sundance film festival” by Oscar

Filmmaker Lee Daniels gears up to take his latest movie,
‘Push,’ to the Sundance Film Festival next week. The eagerly anticipated
film, based on the best-selling book of the same name, boasts an all-star cast
including Mo’Nique

New Location, A-List Film Premiere Parties Take the Stage in

from Google Alerts – “sundance film festival” by PR
Newswire (press release) – New York,NY,USA

“We’ve always had a great presence at the Sundance
Film Festival
, but this year’s venue is really outstanding,” said
David Daniels , product manager,

Four Indie Documentaries Not To Miss At The 2009 Sundance Film

from Google Alerts – “sundance film festival”

The small town of Park City, Utah is once again
preparing for the inundation of indie film lovers, as the opening curtain of
the Sundance Film Festival.


Watch 10 Short Films from Sundance ’09 for FREE! « SOCIAL VOX

from Google Alerts – “sundance film festival”

Sundance Film Festival – Taking Chance Sundance
Film Festival
– Taking Chance · Sundance Short Films · Hotel Chevalier
Prologue FREE through iTunes · Criterion launches Online Cinematheque for
online movie rentals


‘Mad Men’ rages into award season

from L.A. Times – TV News

Spearheaded by Jon Hamm’s acting and Matt Weiner’s smart
storytelling, the critics’ darling gathers Golden Globe and SAG Award

Combat Fatigue on the Kudo Circuit

from Peter Bart

This is Globes Week, and combat fatigue already is setting

‘The Dark Knight’ wins big at People’s Choice Awards

from Entertainment Awards: News & Videos about Entertainment
Awards –

“The Dark Knight” took home top honors at the
People’s Choice Awards Wednesday night, walking away with five awards.

Applegate wins PCA for fave female TV star

from Entertainment News –

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 7 (UPI) — Christina Applegate was named
favorite female television star at the People’s Choice Awards in Los Angeles Wednesday

Witherspoon wins People’s Choice Award

from Entertainment News –

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 7 (UPI) — Reese Witherspoon was named
favorite female movie star at the People’s Choice Awards show in Los Angeles Wednesday

Sandler wins fave funny male star award

from Entertainment News –

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 7 (UPI) — Adam Sandler picked up the
prize for favorite funny male star at the People’s Choice Awards in Los Angeles Wednesday

Writers Guild nominations announced

from Entertainment Weekly’s Oscar Watch by Dave Karger

The Writers Guild of America just announced their nominees
for Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay of the year. Most of
the top Oscar contenders made the list: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,
Slumdog Millionaire, Milk, Frost/Nixon, The…

Beyonce, Tyler Perry dominate NAACP Image nominations

from Reuters: Entertainment News

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Singers Beyonce, Alicia Keys and
Jennifer Hudson, along with the cast of TV comedy “Tyler Perry’s House of
Payne”, were among top nominees for the NAACP Image Awards, the oldest U.S. civil
rights organization said on Wednesday.

BAFTA unveils foreign film shortlist

from – Award Central News

Award Central News: Nominations include two animated films
— “The Baader Meinhof Complex,” “Gomorrah,”
“I’ve Loved You So Long” and animated pics “Persepolis
and “Waltz With Bashir” will vie for foreign pic laurels at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts

‘Button,’ ‘Frost’ lead BAFTA longlist

from – Award Central News

Award Central News: Nine films boast 10 or more nods —
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “Frost/Nixon”
lead in the longlists for the British Academy Film Awards with 14 nominations


Daily Box Office: Tuesday, January 6, 2009

from Box Office Mojo – Current Box Office Results

Marley and Me tops Tuesday’s box office with $1.5 million

Bollywood bids Bush goodbye with a parting shot

from Reuters: Entertainment News

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Barely
two weeks before George W. Bush leaves the White House, Bollywood is ready with
a farewell present — a film that takes pot shots at the outgoing U.S. president.


Mickey Rourke’s Box Office Resurrection Continues: In Talks To
Join ‘Iron Man’ Sequel

from Box Office Boffo

Variety’s Michael Fleming is reporting
that Mickey Rourke is in final talks to play the villain in Marvel
Entertainment and Paramount‘s “Iron
Man 2.”

Calling All Fanboys, Tron 2.0 Tracks Down Star

from E! Online – Movie News

The sequel to Tron is ramping up on the casting front. Per
the Hollywood Reporter, relative unknown Garrett Hedlund has been tapped to
topline Disney’s follow-up to the 1982 cult…

First Look: Jim Carrey as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol

from /Film by
MarketSaw has a photo of a promotional poster for Robert
A Christmas Carol, which features a first look at Jim
as Ebenezer Scrooge. I took the image into photoshop and realigned
the angle for better presentation.


Judge to Decide Watchmen’s Fate on January 20th

from /Film by

20th Century Fox and Warner Bros have decided to forgo a
jury trial and let US
District Court Judge Gary Allen Feess decide the fate of Watchmen
on January 20th 2009.


5000Seconds solicits for user-generated feature film

from Film Journal

The Toronto-based website “5000Seconds” announced
a call for short submissions from people across the globe for an unusual
online, user-generated feature film.

Fathom to reveal ‘The Secret’ in cinemas

from Film Journal

Fathom and Anthem Pictures announce “Beyond The
Secret”–a follow-up discussion to the DVD and book The Secret that
sold over seven million copies nationwide.

Bielski descendants inspired by family’s ‘Defiance’

from L.A. Times – Movie News

The story of a Jewish resistance group inspires a movie, and
a proud granddaughter.

Meet Liev Schreiber, the new intelligent action hero

from Film News from Times Online

Liev Schreiber is describing the ghastliest scene you will
never see in the new Second World War movie Defiance. “It’s called a Bielski
enema,” says the 41-year-old actor (pronounced Lee-Ev), who stars opposite
Daniel Craig and Jamie Bell as the real-life Bielski brothers, leaders of a
unique and often ruthless Jewish resistance who operated from the dense woods
of Belarus.

Daniel Craig takes break from Bond

from Reuters: Entertainment News

LONDON (Reuters) – British
actor Daniel Craig has taken a break from playing James Bond with World War Two
drama “Defiance,”
based on the true story of Jewish brothers who fled the Nazis and formed a
partisan group.

Minutemen of ‘Watchmen’ featured in video

from Hollywood Reporter

With the ever-increasing interest in Warner Bros.
“Watchmen,” the studio released another look at the Legendary
Pictures-produced  film.

Get Your First Look At ‘Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert

from MTV Movies Blog by Jocelyn Vena

“Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience” is
that much closer to coming to a theater near you, and MTV News has a little
peak at what you can expect from it.

DiCaprio set to ‘Beat the Reaper’


Front Page: New Regency nabs rights to Josh Bazell novel —
New Regency is acquiring screen rights to “Beat the Reaper,” eyed as
a star vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio.


Ratings: ‘Scrubs’ debuts on ABC to solid ratings

from Entertainment Weekly’s Hollywood Insider by Mandi Bierly

Clearly, Tuesday is still all about CBS: The Mentalist grabbed
a season high 19.6 million viewers and, should overnight numbers hold, also
nabbed the title of Night’s Top Program away from its lead-in, NCIS (19.1

‘90210’: Here comes Donna!

from Today’s Latest Headlines by Michael Ausiello

Michael Ausiello confirms Tori Spelling is in ”final
negotiations” to return for multiple episodes

Chris Matthews won’t make Senate run

from Hollywood Reporter by By Paul J. Gough

After months of will-he or won’t-he speculation, MSNBC
“Hardball” host Chris Matthews has opted not to run for Senate in his
native Pennsylvania.

Major networks keep anchors home for Gaza story

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

and NBC haven’t sent their top news anchors to the Middle East to cover Israel‘s conflict with Hamas, even though each
network did so in 2006 when Israel
fought a war with Hezbollah….

3 Ball takes chance on lottery game show

from Hollywood Reporter by By Nellie Andreeva

The California State Lottery has teamed with “The
Biggest Loser” co-producer 3 Ball Prods. for “Make Me a
Millionaire,” a new lottery game show to be hosted by Mark Walberg of
Fox’s “Moment of Truth.”

TNT picks up ‘Line’ and ‘Time Heals’

from Hollywood Reporter by By Nellie Andreeva

TNT has picked up two pilots to series, Jerry Bruckheimer’s
cop drama pilot “The Line” and the Jada Pinkett Smith starrer
“Time Heals.”

Television Review | ‘The Real World’: The Show That Put the
‘Real’ in Reality TV

from NYT > Television

“The Real World: Brooklyn” the latest version of
the reality television progenitor that has aired on MTV for 17 years, places
its young cast in a loft in Red Hook.

Television Review | ‘Damages’: Suspenseful Corporate Litigation
Returns (if It Ever Left)

from NYT > Television

“Damages,” a hit in its first season for FX, is
back but the intrigue is not as intriguing the second time around.

CNN to show documentary ‘I.O.U.S.A.’


Gotham: Network to air
theatrically released feature — CNN will run the docu “I.O.U.S.A.”
on Saturday at 2 p.m. The telecast will include periodic breaks for a panel
discussion on issues raised in the docu about the perils of the nation’s
ballooning debt.


‘Fearless’ remains atop U.S. album chart

from Entertainment News –

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 7 (UPI) — Taylor
Swift’s “Fearless” is No. 1 on the U.S. album chart for a fifth
non-consecutive week, reported Wednesday.


New McCartney song set for ‘Crash’ finale

from Entertainment News –

ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Jan. 7 (UPI) — The season finale of the
U.S. television drama “Crash” will feature Paul McCartney’s new
single “Nothing too Much, Just out of Sight,” Starz Entertainment said.

FIRST LISTEN: Jesse McCartney and Ludacris Collaborate on Remix

from Latest News by Jessica Herndon

“I’ve been a fan of Luda‘s
throughout his career,” McCartney says

Bruce Springsteen to play inaugural event

from The Hollywood Reporter – Music by By Cortney Harding,

The Washington Post is reporting that Bruce Springsteen will
perform at Washington D.C.‘s National Mall on Jan. 18 as part of
the Barack Obama inauguration festivities.

Jay-Z to perform on eve of inauguration

from The Hollywood Reporter – Music by Associated Press

Jay-Z isn’t performing at President-elect Barack Obama’s
inauguration, but he is planning to make a big splash on the eve of the event.

Phish reunion tour taking shape

from The Hollywood Reporter – Music by By Jonathan Cohen,

Although an official announcement is pending, Phish’s first
tour in five years is beginning to take shape.

Low vs Diamond plots co-headlining tour with Strokes bassist

from Top Stories from

( Alt-rockers Low vs Diamond [ tickets
] have lined up a co-headlining tour later this month with Nickel Eye, a side project
of Strokes bassist Nikolai Fraiture…. continued


Joe the Plumber to become war correspondent

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Joe The Plumber is putting down
his wrenches and picking up a reporter’s notebook….

Brad Pitt says he was faithful to Jennifer Aniston (AP)

from Yahoo! News: Entertainment News

AP – Brad Pitt is extracting himself from the tabloid love
triangle: The actor says his relationship with current flame Angelina Jolie
began sometime after splitting from Jennifer Aniston.

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