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The Newsdesk 01.09.09 – Watchmen Producers Speak; A Dark Knight at the DGAs

• The war of words over Watchmen continues, with producer Lloyd Levin defending Warner Bros. right to make the movie in an open letter. Meanwhile, Larry Gordon, the producer at the center of the courtroom tussle, fired off an angry letter of his own to the judge arbitrating the case, blaming 20th Century Fox and his own lawyers. The plot thickens, but won’t be resolved until January 20.

The Dark Knight continues to gain Oscar heat, this time with Christopher Nolan scoring a Director’s Guild of America nomination. Slumdog Millionaire, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, and Milk also scored nods for their respective helmers. This is could definitely be the best picture line-up come Oscar night.

• Meanwhile, Slumdog Millionaire is starting to look like this year’s “little movie that could,” winning best picture at the Critics’ Choice Awards. Hope you aren’t award season-ed out yet–we still have the Golden Globes, the SAGs, the Independent Spirit Awards, the Golden Raisinets… OK, I made that last one up.

• As the Travolta family mourned the loss of son Jett at a private memorial service, Tom Cruise spoke about the tragedy on The View

• Speaking of the Globes, an error on the Golden Globes website awarded Anne Hathaway the best actress prize a few days early. Did the Hollywood Foreign Press tip their hand, or was it just a goof-up?

• Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess, and Atonement‘s Saoirse Ronan have all signed on to Peter Weir’s latest film, The Way Back. Weir (Witness, Master and Commander) doesn’t make movies all that often, so when he does, they tend to attract A-list talent.



Box Office ’08: Not ‘recession-proof’

from Movies

By Joshua Rich
Joshua Rich goes inside the numbers: While the year had big receipts (thanks,
Batman!), attendance dropped


Netflix To Greenlight a Movie

from /Film by

Netflix has announced that they will be holding their own
Project Greenlight of sorts.

Get Ready to Pay Big Fees: Live Nation Ticketing Service

from Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily by Daniel Kreps

After splitting with Ticketmaster and locking down massive
360 deals with Madonna and Jay-Z, Live Nation has finally launched its own ticketing service.

Death Row returning to auction block

from The Hollywood Reporter – Music by Mariel Concepcion and Ed
Christman, Billboard

The assets of Death Row Records, once the thriving home to
artists such as Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg, are going back on the auction
block Jan. 15 as part of a Chapter 11 proceeding.

Dupri is out at Island Records

from – Music News

Music News: Rapper-producer-mogul exits music unit —
Jermaine Dupri is out as president of Island Records Urban Music division, a
unit he ran for almost two years.

Obama backs extending digital TV cutoff date (Reuters)

from Yahoo! News: Entertainment News

Reuters – President-elect Barack Obama backs a move to delay
a mandatory switch to digital television signals on fears viewers are
unprepared and as the government has run out of coupons to help pay for
converter boxes.



from Google Alerts – “sundance film festival”

the Los Angeles-based “jam” band featuring Dave Navarro (ex-JANE’S
bassist, current CIRCUS DIABLO vocalist), Matt Sorum (VELVET REVOLVER, ex-GUNS N’
ROSES), Donovan Leitch (son of legendary folk singer Donovan), and Chris Chaney
(JANE’S ADDICTION, ALANIS MORRISETTE) — will perform at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah on January 19. The group
writes on its web site, “The gig is at Harry O’s on Main Street. The band have appeared at
the festival on a few occasions and as usual, will bring a friend or two with
them. Wrap up warm!!”

Sundance Fest may not be about sales this year

from Movies

The chance of finding a “Little Miss Sunshine”
seems highly unlikely particularly in this difficult economy.

Sundance Film Festival: The rebel and the Empress

from Google Alerts – “sundance film festival” by Independent

Empress Farah, the widow of the Shah of Iran, is set to be
an unlikely star of the Sundance Film Festival.



from Google Alerts – “sundance film festival” by Park
City Television

Sundance Institute today announced the lineup of
music-themed films and events at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

MySpace to Host MySpace Café at The Sundance Lift

from Google Alerts – “sundance film festival” by WELT
ONLINE – Germany

MySpace Café is an official media partner of The Sundance
Lift at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. The MySpace Café is open to celebrities
and industry


Let Them Eat Awards Shows

from NYT > Movies

As Hollywood heads into the
heart of its awards season, movie stars and their handlers have a decision to
make: to preen or not to preen.

The Carpetbagger: The Globes Are Nice, but the Directors Guild
May Set the Oscar Pace

from NYT > Movies

All eyes are trained on Sunday night, when the Golden Globes
will winnow the herd.

Are the Golden Globe Awards the Stupidest Movie Prizes Ever?

from Rolling Stone: The Travers Take

Don’t get me wrong I love the Golden Globes TV show. You can
see it this Sunday on NBC. What other awards telecast sits dressed-to-thrill
stars at tables and serves up booze in large quantities prompting loose lips
and the delicious possibility of embarrassing acceptance speeches?

Boyle, Fincher & Nolan get DGA nods

from Entertainment News –

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 8 (UPI) — The Directors Guild of America
has nominated Danny Boyle, David Fincher, Ron Howard, Christopher Nolan and Gus
Van Sant for its top film honor.

‘Burn,’ ‘Milk’ up for WGA screenplay award

from Entertainment News –

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 8 (UPI) — The Writers Guild of America
has nominated “Milk,” “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” and
“The Visitor” for its best original screenplay prize.

Berry, Perry named Image Award show hosts

from Entertainment News –

BEVERLY HILLS , Calif., Jan. 8 (UPI) — Actress Halle Berry and
screenwriter/actor Tyler Perry have been named the hosts of next month’s 40th
NAACP Image Awards show in Los Angeles,
organizers said.


People’s Choice? Hardly…

from Today’s Latest Headlines by Whitney Pastorek

Forget ”bests and worsts” — Whitney Pastorek says these ”awards”
are pandering, artificial hooey

Sandra Bullock and Zac Efron Join Golden Globe Lineup

from Film Awards: News & Videos about Film Awards –

The actors join list of stars who will present at Sunday’s

BAFTA’s long lists led by ‘Button’ and ‘Frost/Nixon’

from L.A. Times – Movie News

The final five contenders in each category will be announced
Jan. 15.


Daily Box Office: Wednesday, January 7, 2009

from Box Office Mojo – Current Box Office Results

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button tops Wednesday’s box
office with $1.4 million


First Look: ‘All About Steve’

from Access Hollywood – Movies

Access has your first look at Sandra Bullock’s new romantic
comedy where she falls hard for the perfect guy, and she’ll follow him

Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Che’ Expanding Its Roadshow Run

from Box Office Boffo

Exclusive: IFC
Films will announce later today that Steven Soderbergh’s two-part
“Che” biopic will not only expand to additional markets, but the two
films will continue to be shown together.

‘Quantum of Solace’ Biggest Bond Of All Time In North America

from Box Office Boffo

Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ — At the motion picture box office, there is one man who
keeps showing that nobody does it better: Bond. James Bond.

How ‘Slumdog’ was filmed

from – Entertainment

It was the smell. That was what really hit Danny Boyle the
first time he went into a slum in India.

‘Che’: the EW review

from Today’s Latest Headlines

Owen Gleiberman on Steven Soderbergh’s studiously eccentric
drama. Plus: ”Bride Wars,” ”Bashir,” more

Fighting Movie Trailer

from /Film by

Rouge Pictures has released the first trailer for Fighting
action drama set in the world of underground street fighting.

New Watchmen Website: The New Frontiersman

from /Film by

I just got word that a Watchmen viral website has launched –

Kristen Johnston steals the scene

from L.A. Times – Movie News

The comic actress is in her element as the friend of Anne
Hathaway’s ‘Bride Wars’ character.

The Next Object Of Your ‘Twilight’ Obsession: Edward Cullen

from MTV Movies Blog by James Montgomery

We’re already cringing at the implications of this one, but
now you can get your hands all over a fully poseable version of Edward Cullen.


Guillermo Del Toro Unveils Plots For His ‘Epic’ Vampire Novels

from MTV Movies Blog by Shawn Adler

When news was came recently that director Guillermo del Toro
was writing a series of vampire novels with author Chuck Hogan, headlines and
columns across the internet rang out in chorus: committed for the next four years to “The Hobbit” and some half
dozen projects after that, del Toro was already straining, spreading himself
too thin. He would never — how could he ever — possibly find the time?


Darren Aronofsky Discusses ‘Lone Wolf And Cub’ Movie Status

from MTV Movies Blog by Casey Seijas

FROM SPLASH PAGE: On the very short list of
“Directors We’d Like To See Tackle A Comic Book Movie,” Darren
Aronofsky has a permanent spot among the top three names.

Review | ‘Bride Wars’: Two Weddings and a Furor

from NYT > Movies

Do Hollywood studio
executives think that women have a gene for tulle? Neural receptors just for
Vera Wang? I wondered this as I was watching “Bride Wars.”

‘Batman 3’ Update: Christopher Nolan & David Goyer
‘Talking,’ Says ‘Dark Knight’ Producer

from Splash Page by Rick Marshall

During last night’s People’s Choice Awards, “The Dark
” producer Chuck Roven cleared up some of the speculation
surrounding the sequel to the celebrated Batman blockbuster, telling MTV that
director Christopher Nolan and writer David Goyer are indeed
“talking and thinking” about the next film


‘Dark Knight’ Writer David Goyer Says DC Comics Movies ‘On
Hold’ At Warner Bros.

from Splash Page by Splash Page Team
If you’re one of the DC Comics faithful and were hoping the dual box office
successes of “Iron Man” and “The Dark
” would mean more familiar properties on the big screen, you
might be disappointed. According to “Dark Knight” scribe David Goyer,
many DC Comic films in development at Warner Bros. are currently in a holding
pattern — including his planned adaptation of “The Flash” and his Green Arrow
prison-break caper “Super Max.”


New Era in Politics, New Focus for ’24’

from NYT > Television

When “24” begins its seventh season on Sunday with
a two-night, four-hour premiere, much will have changed in the world since Jack
Bauer was last on the job.

Joan, Melissa Rivers set for ‘Apprentice’

from Entertainment News –

8 (UPI) — Joan and Melissa Rivers, Clint Black, Andrew Dice Clay, Scott
Hamilton and Jesse James have signed up for Season 2 of “The Celebrity
Apprentice,” NBC said.

Ratings: Barbara Walters’ ‘Patrick Swayze: The Truth’ sets ABC

from Entertainment Weekly’s Hollywood Insider by Annie Barrett

ABC‘s Barbara
Walters Special Patrick Swayze: The Truth was Wednesday night’s most-watched
show in a night peppered generously with reruns.

‘Gossip Girl’: Nate’s new cousin?

from Today’s Latest Headlines by Michael Ausiello

Michael Ausiello reports casting is under way for an
easy-on-the-eyes ”relative” of Chace Crawford


‘Psych’: 10 reasons we love it

from Today’s Latest Headlines by Marc Bernardin

sly sleuths are back with new episodes — see why we love Shawn, Gus, and
pretending to be psychic

‘Real World: Brooklyn’: Tour the house

from TV

By Lindsay Soll

Roommates Katelynn and Chet show Lindsay Soll around, and
promise a season ”not at all like anything you guys have ever seen before”


‘Morning Show’ will end in September

from Hollywood Reporter by By Kimberly Nordyke

Twentieth Television has opted not to renew its syndicated
talker “The Morning Show With Mike and Juliet,” citing economic

Discovery aims for big splash with slate

from Hollywood Reporter by By James Hibberd

Discovery Channel is set to unveil a sweeping new
programming slate that includes a series about infomercial pitchmen and a rare
venture into scripted programming with a movie inspired by the success of
“Deadliest Catch.”


Phish announce summer tour dates

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

NEW YORK (AP) — The Phish
reunion is in full swing: The band just announced plans for a summer tour….

Cardigans’ singer on life after ‘Lovefool’

from – Entertainment

The breathy vocals of Nina Persson helped launch The
Cardigans onto the music scene in the 1990s. The band developed its dreamy pop
sound in the Southern Swedish town of Malmo.

‘Just Dance’ is No. 1 on U.S. record chart

from Entertainment News –

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 8 (UPI) — Lady GaGa’s “Just
Dance” is No. 1 on the U.S.
record chart this week, reported Thursday.

Jonas Brothers ‘Fear’ Grammy Night

from Latest News by Michelle Tan

The first-time nominees are psyched – and slightly scared –
about the show

“Led Zeppelin Are Over,” Jimmy Page’s Manager

from Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily by Daniel Kreps

The plan for Led
‘s Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham to tour and record
an album with a singer other than Robert Plant is “completely over now,” Page’s manager Peter
Mensch tells Music Radar

Dolly Parton headed to gospel Hall of Fame

from The Hollywood Reporter – Music by Associated Press

Dolly Parton, Michael W. Smith, Dr. Bobby Jones, the Dixie
Hummingbirds and producer Lari Goss will be inducted into the Gospel Music
Association Hall of Fame next month.



Obama and Spider-Man appear in comic together

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

WASHINGTON (AP) — Spider-Man has a new sidekick: The

Justin Timberlake to Show at Fashion Week

from Latest News

The star designer’s William Rast line will be making its
Bryant Park debut on Feb. 16


Jamie Spears gets permanent control over Britney

from Los Angeles Times – Celebrity News

Britney Spears is gonna be Daddy’s Little Girl forever.

Kevin Costner Briefly Hospitalized

from Latest News by Ken Lee

The actor felt lightheaded while driving and called 911, but
tests showed everything was normal

Real Housewives Star Sheree Ready to Be ‘Single & Hot’

from Latest News

The Atlanta
star “cannot wait” for her divorce to be final

Ugly Betty’s Ana Ortiz Is Pregnant

from Latest News

“They are thrilled and ecstatic,” a friend says of
the actress and her husband

Fergie and Josh Kick Off Their Wedding Week

from Latest News by Rennie Dyball

The couple throw a joint bachelor-bachelorette party in Santa Monica

Read More