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The Newsdesk 02.13.09 – Bees Tops Image Awards; James Hits the Zoo

Kevin James will follow his Paul Blart: Mall Cop success with The Zookeeper, about a zoo caretaker who gets along better with animals than humans. Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison will produce.

• The trailer for the upcoming remake of The Taking of Pelham One Two Three has leaked. Denzel Washington and John Travolta star in the new version.

The Secret Life of Bees won outstanding film at the NAACP Image Awards. Will Smith and Rosario Dawson won acting awards for Seven Pounds, while Taraji P. Henson scored a win for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Jonah Hill sold his script for Adventurer’s Handbook, which he will also star in opposite Jason Schwartzman. Akiva Schaffer ( Hot Rod ) will direct.

The Berlin Film Festival is in full swing. So far, there is no front-runner for the Golden Bear.

Oliver Stone has dropped out of the Fox’s Wall Street remake, which the studio is fast-tracking.

• Fox will debut three minutes of X-Men Origins: Wolverine during prime time.

• The director of Joaquin Phoenix’s new romantic comedy, Two Lovers, is baffled by his star’s awkward appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman.

Mel Gibson squelched rumors of a fifth Lethal Weapon movie
by saying, “I think we got everything we could out of it.” No one is
more relieved than Danny Glover, who is literally too old for this sh–.



Viacom Profit Plunges 69% in Q4

from The Wrap RSS by sharon waxman

Media conglomerate Viacom’s net profit plummeted 69% last
quarter to $173 million as a result of a tough ad market and plunging DVD
sales, the company reported.

Bankruptcy a reality for more media firms

from Hollywood Reporter by By Georg Szalai and Paul Bond

Cable operator Charter Communications and video game
publisher Midway Games on Thursday provided a Chapter 11 double-whammy for the
media and entertainment industry.

Now, No Overtime At CAA

from Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily by Nikki Finke

I hear CAA is cutting overtime for some and literally
kicking them out of the building so they don’t work past 8 hours a day. This is
for the assistants to lower-level agents, not for the partners’
assistants, of course.

GOVERNATOR KEEPS PROMISE: New California Budget Blueprint
Contains Showbiz Tax Breaks; Will They Pass?

from Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily by Nikki Finke

Under the newly negotiated terms contained in the bipartisan
plan to close the state’s $42 billion revenue shortfall, film companies would
get tax breaks totaling $100 million annually to keep their productions in
California even though funding for schools, colleges, and public transportation
would be cut back.

Now North Carolina Expanding Its Studios

from Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily by Nikki Finke

The latest rival to California for film/TV production is
North Carolina where the EUE/Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington is investing $15
million right now to construct a 37,500-square-foot “Dream Stage 10”
scheduled to open this spring. It’s an expansion to the largest film and
relevision lot east of California.

N.Y. production incentives in danger


Gotham: Program no longer considering new projects —
Sensing they had struck gold with tax incentives that helped lure films
including “Enchanted” and TV shows such as “Ugly Betty” to
Gotham, New York state lawmakers dramatically expanded the program last year.


SXSW Film Festival Adds 500 Days of Summer, Treevenge and More

from /Film by (

The 2009 South By Southwest Film Festival has announced
their short film line-up as well as added a hand-full of additional feature
films, the biggest of which is the Sundance Film Festival sensation 500 Days of
Summer. Other notable features include the documentary Dungeon Masters, Broken
Lizard’s Slammin’ Salmon and My Generation. Jason Eisener’s awesome short
Treevenge is included in the short film selection.

127 short films make cut on SXSW’s lineup

from Hollywood Reporter by By Jay A. Fernandez

The South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival on
Thursday announced the short-film lineup for this year’s fest, which runs March
13-21 in Austin, Texas.

Tori Amos, PJ Harvey, Katy Perry Added to SXSW 2009

Indie Wire – 12 hours ago
Total coincidence that three of the big headliners added to the SXSW
Music Festival lineup are: Tori Amos, PJ Harvey, and Katy Perry.

Duds outweigh discoveries at Berlin film festival

from Reuters: Entertainment News

BERLIN (Reuters) – Duds stuck in the memory more than
discoveries at the Berlin film festival, where critics were underwhelmed by the
quality of the main competition line up.


Jennifer Hudson wins big at Image Awards

from Hollywood Reporter by By Gregg Kilday and Paul J. Gough

Recording artist Jennifer Hudson was among the big winners
at the NAACP Image Awards, but drama-plagued Chris Brown and Rihanna were

Peter Gabriel Mad At Oscar Producers And Won’t Perform At
Academy Awards

from Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily by Nikki Finke

EXCLUSIVE: I’m told that Peter Gabriel just pulled out of
performing at the Academy Awards show. In a letter to the Academy Of Motion
Picture Arts And Sciences, the co-writer and performer of Wall-E’s “Down
To Earth” says he doesn’t think the nominated songs, and their
writers and performers, are getting enough respect during this year’s […]

In Praise of Oscar Long Shots

from NYT > Movies by By DAVID CARR

When some people say they are thrilled just to be nominated,
they really mean it, and we should be thrilled along with them.


Daily Box Office: Wednesday, February 11, 2009

from Box Office Mojo – Current Box Office Results

He’s Just Not That Into You tops Wednesday’s box office with
$1.8 million


the World Roundup

from Box Office Mojo – Top Stories by by Conor Bresnan

At the foreign box office last weekend, The Curious Case of
Benjamin Button matured to the top spot, grossing $32 million.

Classic horror films are coming back to life, profitably

from Movies – Top Stories

Like the villains they showcase, classic horror films refuse
to die.

‘Friday the 13th’ looks to top long weekend

from Hollywood Reporter by By Carl DiOrio

VIDEO: Exhibitors and distributors are smacking their lips
over the prospect of a torrid four-day frame, with Warner Bros.’ R-rated
“Friday the 13th” expected to be No. 1.

Hollywood eyes more play dates with toy industry

from Reuters: Entertainment News

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) – Spock and Captain Kirk will
jockey for position with Transformers, Harry Potter and Wolverine. SpongeBob is
looking to outcharm Dora the Explorer and the Simpsons.

“Slumdog” turns spotlight on Mumbai’s biggest slum

from Reuters: Entertainment News

MUMBAI (Reuters) – A slum portrayed in the award-winning
film “Slumdog Millionaire” is at the center of a land controversy in
Mumbai that has highlighted the challenges facing a booming India as it tries
to modernize its cities.

Danny Boyle’s Next Quest

from Peter Bart

A filmmaker’s career can be paralyzed by great success as
well as great failure. I was speaking with Danny Boyle the other day and found
him urgently aware of this dilemma

TEASER: ‘The People vs George Lucas’

from Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily by Nikki Finke

This upcoming feature documentary, The People vs George
Lucas, intrigues me because it features so many Industry types talking about
Lucas in a negative way as they debate his legacy.

Cruise and Stiller to star in ‘Hardy Men’

from Entertainment News –

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 13 (UPI) — “Men in Black”
screenwriter Ed Solomon has been hired to pen “Hardy Men,” a comedic
adaptation of the classic “Hardy Boys” kids’ novels.

Teen Web networking thriller in the works

from Entertainment News –

NEW YORK, Feb. 12 (UPI) — Dimension Films says it is developing
an untitled thriller based on an original idea from U.S. actress Sara Rue and
her producing partner Robert Green.

Kevin James to star in ‘The Zookeeper’

from Entertainment Weekly’s Hollywood Insider by Nicole Sperling

Now that Kevin James (Paul Blart: Mall Cop) has been
declared the new every man, it’s of little surprise that he’s turning his
attention from the shopping mall to the zoo in MGM’s upcoming film The

Curtis Hanson in negotiations to direct ‘Gemini Man’

from Entertainment Weekly’s Hollywood Insider by Nicole Sperling

Curtis Hanson has tackled Los Angeles gangsters (L.A.
Confidential), Eminem (8 Mile), and sibling rivalry (In Her Shoes). Now the
director is turning his sights to the future, climbing aboard the
action-thriller Gemini Man at Disney.

Jonah Hill script sells for seven figures to Universal

from Entertainment Weekly’s Hollywood Insider by Nicole Sperling

You got to love it when Hollywood pretends they are in the
CIA. Just yesterday, Jonah Hill and writing partners Max Winkler and Matthew
Spicer turned over a super-secret script that only Hollywood’s top studio heads
were allowed to read.

New Transformers 2 Movie Trailer – What Did You Think?

from /Film by (

The first offical Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
movie trailer is attached to Friday the 13th, which is in theaters this


The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 Movie Trailer

from /Film by (

Columbia Pictures has released the movie trailer for The
Taking of Pelham 123
, which will be attached to The International this

Iron Man 2: Eliza Dushku Wants to Be The Black Widow

from /Film by (
Eliza Dushku appeared on the Howard Stern Show on Sirius/XM Radio this
morning to promote her new television show Dollhouse. Things got interesting
when the topic of conversation went to Robert Downey Jr and Iron Man. Dushku
explained that she would love to play The Black Widow in Iron Man 2.

3 Minutes of X-Men Origins: Wolverine to Air on Fox

from /Film by (

20th Century Fox has begun airing a promo , which features
some new footage.

Universal eyeing another Robert Ludlum book

from Hollywood Reporter by By Steven Zeitchik and Borys Kit

Universal could have a new Robert Ludlum spy. The company is
eyeing Ludlum Cold War novel “The Parsifal Mosaic” as its next
development project, with Imagine Entertainment potentially boarding to

‘Transformers’ sequel gets new date

from Hollywood Reporter by By Carl DiOrio

Paramount has moved up the release of its action sequel
“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” two days to June 24.

Review: ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’

from L.A. Times – Movie News

A charming Isla Fisher stars in a knockabout farce opposite
Hugh Dancy.

Review: ‘The International’

from L.A. Times – Movie News

Be careful what you bank on. This movie doesn’t always pay a
return on expectations. Still, it has style.

Review: ‘Friday the 13th’

from L.A. Times – Movie News

The remake misses the point: Slasher flicks should be gory,
giddy and full of lusty teens.

Review: ‘Two Lovers’

from L.A. Times – Movie News

Joaquin Phoenix and Gwyneth Paltrow star in director James
Gray’s dark and unsettling contemplation of love.

We Hit The ‘Sherlock Holmes’ Set And Chat Up Robert Downey Jr.!

from MTV Movies Blog by Brian Jacks

Director Guy Ritchie and his star Robert Downey Jr. have
some mighty big goals. Between the two of them (and fellow co-stars like Jude
Law), the group plans to give the iconic literary franchise a modern reboot.


Oliver Stone Drops Out Of ‘Wall Street’ Sequel, Still Hopes To
Visit ‘Pinkville’

from MTV Movies Blog by Eric Ditzian

One man who will not be coming to save “Wall
Street” is Oliver Stone. Last fall, as the economic situation went from
bad to straight up scary, Fox announced it was fast-tracking development of a sequel to
the director’s 1987 classic about ruthless businessmen in shiny suits. Now, in
an exclusive interview with MTV News, Stone revealed he will have nothing to do
with the project.


New ‘Astro Boy’ Images Get Wide Release

from Splash Page by Rick Marshall

Last week, we brought you some new images from “Astro Boy,” Summit
Entertainment’s CGI-animated feature based on the popular anime/manga
character. Today, Summit released a few more images from “Astro Boy,”
and even though some of them have been seen around the ‘Net already, we thought
we’d post some of the lesser-publicized images here, just in case you missed
one or two of ’em.


Hayek fires up for ‘Freak’ with facial hair

from Movies – Top Stories

For her next movie, Salma Hayek shows her hirsute side. The
Mexican actress sports facial hair in Cirque du Freak


T.R. Knight, Katherine Heigl Not Leaving Grey’s Anatomy

from Latest News

Reports that the two are leaving are “not true,”
says the show’s creator

Nielsen: ‘Lost’ most popular online show

from The Live Feed by hollywoodreporter

Making its first public release of individual online program
rankings, Nielsen announced that ABC’s “Lost” was the most popular
program on the Web in December.


Alcohol, sex ads get prime TV time

from L.A. Times – TV News

The airwaves are getting more grown-up, and it’s not just
the shows.

Fred D. Thompson set for TV return

from Entertainment News –

NEW YORK, Feb. 13 (UPI) — Actor and former U.S.
presidential candidate Fred D. Thompson is set to make his return to television
in an episode of “Life on Mars,” ABC announced.

Ausiello: ‘Starter Wife’ reaches end

from TV

By Michael Ausiello

Michael Ausiello confirms exclusively USA Network is pulling
the plug on Debra Messing original series.


‘DWTS’: Denise Richards, meet Maks!

from TV

By Annie Barrett

Annie Barrett checks out the official pairings for ”Dancing
With the Stars” — watch out for Lil’ Kim and Derek Hough


‘AbFab U.S.’ finds its Eddie

from TV

By Nicholas Fonseca

Nicholas Fonseca has no complaints about the casting of
Kathryn Hahn, an underappreciated talent due for a break


E! looking for ‘Hot Girls in Scary Places’

from Hollywood Reporter by By James Hibberd

E! has ordered a reality project that puts an all-girl spin
on the paranormal investigation genre.

TV Review: Eastbound & Down

from Hollywood Reporter by By Ray Richmond

At a time when even a PBS salute to George Carlin can be
scrubbed of naughty language with bleeps and self-censorship, it’s f-ing
refreshing to see a comedy as divertingly politically incorrect as HBO’s new
“Eastbound & Down,” about a self-destructive major leaguer who
has hit rock bottom.

Joss Whedon’s ‘Dollhouse’ seems too empty

from L.A. Times – TV News

A group of people who have had their memories erased, led by
Eliza Dushku’s Echo, can be hired to do just about any task. But there’s no
emotional connection.

More pilots greenlighted at NBC, ABC, CBS

from Hollywood Reporter by By Nellie Andreeva

Three more multicamera comedy pilots took off Thursday
night. NBC ordered an untitled family comedy from writer Justin Adler, ABC gave
the thumbs-up to an untitled couples comedy from Jeff Strauss, and CBS
greenlighted the female buddy comedy “Good Girls.”

Has cable found its next Chappelle?

from Hollywood Reporter

“Important Things With Demetri Martin” was Comedy
Central’s most-watched series premiere since “Chappelle’s Show” in

FX gives ‘Rescue Me’ a sixth season

from Hollywood Reporter by By James Hibberd

The fifth season of Denis Leary’s “Rescue Me”
doesn’t premiere for two months, but FX is already ordering a sixth round.

Fox picks up ‘Cop House’

from Hollywood Reporter by By Nellie Andreeva

Fox on Thursday handed out a pilot order to a comedy pilot
from writer Adam Resnick (“The Larry Sanders Show”).

‘Sit Down, Shut Up’ has an arresting ‘Development’ feel

from Life – Top Stories

Fox crushed fans of Arrested Development by canceling the
Emmy-winning cult comedy. But its stars and producer are reuniting …


Madonna the top-earning musician of 2008

from Reuters: Entertainment News

NASHVILLE (Billboard) – If anyone had any doubt that touring
is where the money is in today’s music business, a look at Billboard’s top
moneymakers of 2008 should hammer the point home.

Report: Jackson suffering from infection

from Entertainment News –

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 13 (UPI) — U.S. pop star Michael Jackson
is being treated with intravenous antibiotics for a serious staph infection,
sources told The Sun newspaper.

Simple Minds releasing new CD

from Entertainment News –
LONDON, Feb. 13 (UPI) — The Scottish rock band Simple Minds has announced
plans to release its first new album in four years this spring.

Chris Brown seeking crisis expert?

from Entertainment Weekly’s Hollywood Insider by Lynette Rice

Multiple sources have confirmed to EW that representatives
of Chris Brown are on the lookout for a crisis-management expert to help the
pop star rehabilitate his image in light of his Feb. 8 arrest on felony battery

Santogold’s name change: Is it enough?

from Los Angeles Times – Celebrity News

Santo Rigatuso claims to be the real Santo Gold.

Ozzy recording new album, Ozzfest on hold

from Top Stories from

Ozzy Osbourne is in a Los Angeles studio at work on his 10th
studio album, which he’s co-producing with Kevin Churko, according to a press
release. The forthcoming set will be the follow-up to 2007’s Top 10 release,
“Black Rain.”

Gavin DeGraw is a ‘Free’ man on third album

from Life – Top Stories

Singer/songwriter Gavin DeGraw says his new third album,
‘Free,’ is all about the content.


Nude photo of Madonna goes for $37,500

from – Entertainment

A nude photograph of pop singer Madonna was sold for $37,500
Thursday afternoon at a Christie’s Art House auction.

Usher’s wife recovering after cardiac arrest

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

SAO PAULO (AP) — The wife of R&B singer Usher continues
to recover in a Sao Paulo hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest shortly
before undergoing plastic surgery, the spokeswoman of the doctor who was to
perform the procedure said Thursday.

NY’s blind governor: `SNL’ insensitive to disabled

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

MORRISVILLE, N.Y. (AP) — The legally blind governor of New
York says a second parody of him on the television show “Saturday Night
Live” promotes insensitivity against the disabled.

Life of Anna Nicole Smith to get opera treatment

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

LONDON (AP) — The fine line between opera and soap opera
just got blurrier.

Anne Hathaway set for Central Park ‘Twelfth Night’

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

NEW YORK (AP) — From Academy Award nominee to spirited
Shakespeare heroine.

“Da Vinci Code” author finishes new book: report

from Reuters: Entertainment News

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “The Da Vinci Code” author
Dan Brown has finished a new book based on the fictional Harvard symbologist
Robert Langdon, television show “Entertainment Tonight” reported on

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