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The Newsdesk 02.27.09 – Drew Barrymore in Talks for Eclipse; Murphy Could Play Pryor

Dreamgirls director Bill Condon is shopping around a Richard Pryor biopic with Eddie Murphy attached to star.

• Jim Carrey and Jake Gyllenhaal will star in a contemporary version of the musical Damn Yankees. OK, now who’s playing Lola?

Antonio Banderas is joining the cast of Woody Allen’s next project alongside Naomi Watts, Josh Brolin, and Slumdog Millionaire lead Freida Pinto.

Drew Barrymore is on the list of directors for Eclipse, the third film in the Twilight saga.

The Coen Bros. latest project is an environmental public service announcement mocking the coal industry.

• The next Friday the 13th outing is already in the works. This time, Jason meets Madea.  



Q&A: Jeffrey Katzenberg

from Hollywood Reporter by By Georg Szalai

The Hollywood Reporter posed a few questions to DreamWorks
Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg,
who rang the Nasdaq opening bell Thursday in New York to celebrate the debut of
the company’s stock there after moving over from the New York Stock Exchange.

Los Angeles May Appoint a Film Czar

from The Wrap RSS by sharon

After years of declining movie production in Los Angeles County,
the city may finally get an official devoted to keeping Hollywood here, and happy.

At Eminem’s Trial: How Is an Online Music Sale Different?

from The Wrap RSS by admin

The legal battle between Universal Music Group (UMG) and
Eminem’s publishing company continued Thursday, as the music company tried to
prove in a downtown Los Angeles
courtroom that a record sale is the same in both the physical and online world.

SAG, AMPTP crisis to linger


Business News: Contract’s expiration date at center of
stalemate — The SAG stalemate is here to stay for at least a few more weeks,
as it’s unlikely that either side is going to budge on the issue of when the
feature-primetime contract expires.

Two Virgin Megastores to close

from The Hollywood Reporter – Music by By Ed Christman,

The six-unit Virgin Megastore chain will close two more
stores, the Union Square location in New York City at the end of May and the
Market St. store in San Francisco at the end of April.


California tax breaks: A game changer?

from Hollywood Reporter by By Borys Kit and Georg Szalai

With California‘s
new package of tax breaks for in-state shoots and budget trouble in other
states, there could be a shift in the production landscape.

Bailed-out GM Unlikely to Back ‘Transformers’ Sequel

from Advertising Age – Madison+Vine by

LOS ANGELES ( — When Paramount’s sequel
“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” blasts into theaters this July
Fourth weekend, General Motors may not be alive in its present form to reap the
benefits of what is expected to be another worldwide blockbuster. And wither
the movie studio, which often relies on marketing partners such as GM to help
sell films during the crowded summer action-movie season?

What Cable Can Teach Broadcast

from Media News by Lacey Rose

Booming cable television has lessons for network execs
willing to listen.


‘Chris Isaak Hour’ Makes Debut With New Ad Format

from Advertising Age – MediaWorks by Steinberg)

Another TV network is trying to get advertisers to pay more money for shows
that have fewer commercials. After News Corp.’s Fox launched sci-fi drama
“Fringe” this past fall with fewer TV ads behind it, A&E
Networks’ Bio Channel will test a similar concept with a new variety show
featuring Chris Isaak that launches tonight.

ABC Made $72 Million on 26 Minutes of Oscar Ads

from Advertising Age – MediaWorks by Lafayette)

( — ABC sold 26 minutes
of advertising time for about $72 million in its Feb. 22 Academy Awards
broadcast, the most since 2004, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

More About That WMA/Endeavor Merger

from Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily by Nikki Finke

UPDATED: There’s been a lot of news coming in to me about
the progress of a WMA/Endeavor merger. Some sources are saying there’ll be a
WMA board meeting soon to discuss it. Others tell me that the tax consequences
are looking difficult to overcome.

Cash for Trash

from Media News by Lacey Rose and Lauren Streib

Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein have made millions from Hollywood‘s castoffs.

Time Warner Cable spinoff set for March 27

from Hollywood Reporter by By Georg Szalai

Time Warner said late Thursday that it will complete the
separation of Time Warner Cable via a tax-free spinoff March 27.



Top Executive Exits Tribeca Film Festival

from Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily by Nikki Finke

Tribeca Film Festival today announced that Peter Scarlet has
stepped down from his position as Artistic Director of the Festival, effective
immediately, after 7 years.


Ang Lee to head Venice Film Festival jury

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

VENICE, Italy (AP) — Director Ang Lee, who
twice won the Venice Film Festival’s prestigious Golden Lion award, will head
its jury this year.

Rachael Ray to return to SXSW

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

NEW YORK (AP) — Rachael Ray
is bringing more music and mojitos to the South by Southwest Music and Media
Conference this year.


France honors Dustin Hoffman

from Movies

Culture Minister Christine Albanel made the two-time Oscar
winner an honorary commander in France’s National Order of Arts and Letters and
tied a green medallion around the 71-year-old actor’s neck.


Daily Box Office: Wednesday, February 25, 2009

from Box Office Mojo – Current Box Office Results

Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail tops Wednesday’s box office
with $1.5 million

‘Twilight’: Is Drew Barrymore a candidate to direct third
movie, ‘Eclipse’?

from Entertainment Weekly’s Hollywood Insider by Nicole Sperling

As Summit Entertainment looks to lock in a director for the
third installment of the Twilight series, Eclipse, the company is talking to a
select group of directors — including actress-turned-helmer Drew Barrymore, EW
has learned.

‘Australia’ sets record Down Under

from – Film News

Film News: Luhrmann epic is second-highest grossing film
ever — Baz Luhrmann’s outback romance “Australia” this week surpassed
Chris Noonan’s “Babe” to become the second-highest grossing Aussie
film at home.


Antonio Banderas joins Woody Allen pic

from Hollywood Reporter by By Jay A. Fernandez

Woody Allen has been throwing some international flavor into
his latest casting gumbo.

EXCLUSIVE: First ‘Stretch Armstrong’ Movie Details — Will
Feature Live-Action, Reluctant Superhero

from Splash Page by Brian Warmoth

When MTV News told you a few weeks ago that writer Steve
Oedekerk (“Bruce Almighty”) will pen the big-screen debut of Hasbro’s Stretch
Armstrong doll, the pairing made a certain amount of sense. The man who has
written for real-life rubberman Jim Carrey tackling a classic toy with many of
the same abilities could in theory make for some inventive action and situation
comedy. Now, new details suggest the movie will translate Stretch’s toy-chest
drama into physical superhero hijinks.


Filming the Unfilmable: Behind the Scenes of the Watchmen Movie

from Wired: Entertainment by Adam Rogers

Some of the most important scenes in the seminal
comic book Watchmen take place in the secret basement headquarters
of a washed-up ex-superhero called Nite Owl. It’s a damp, vaulted space packed
with avian-themed costumes and machine tools, a boys’-own-adventure clubhouse.
At its center is the Owlship–a UFO-looking aircraft with two round windows that
look like big shiny eyes.


First Look: ‘Funny People’

from Access Hollywood – Movies

Adam Sandler plays a comedian who’s forced to re-evaluate
his life after getting some bad news in this new film, co-starring Seth Rogen.

Seth Green on mission to ‘Mars’

from Hollywood Reporter by By Borys Kit

Seth Green will star in “Mars Needs Moms,” Disney
and Robert Zemeckis’ ImageMovers’ adaptation of the Berkeley Breathed
children’s novel.

Next ‘Friday the 13th’ in the works

from Hollywood Reporter by By Steven Zeitchik

Don’t look now, but Jason could be coming back. New Line and
Platinum Dunes are moving forward on a new “Friday the 13th.”

Young ‘Slumdog’ stars back in Mumbai slums

from – Entertainment

On Sunday night, Azharuddin Ismail and Rubina Ali were in Hollywood, California,
getting celebrity treatment as eight Oscars were awarded to the movie they
starred in, “Slumdog Millionaire.”

“Slumdog” Child Actor Beaten By Dad

from Entertainment on by The Huffington Post
News Team

THESE shocking images show Oscar winning Slumdog actor
Azharuddin Mohammed receiving a vicious beating at the hands of his father.

Only days after walking down the red carpet in Hollywood the
ten-year-old film star was slapped and kicked by dad, Ismail, after refusing to
be put on display like a trophy.


Inside The ‘Slumdog’ Slums

from Access Hollywood – Movies

The Indian government and director Danny Boyle pledged to
give “Slumdog” kids Rubina and Azhar new homes. Up until now, they lived in the
real life slum — Access takes you inside the dilapidated region.

Hopkins’ ‘King Lear’ film scrapped

from Entertainment News –

Feb. 26 (UPI) — A planned film version of William Shakespeare’s play
“King Lear,” starring Welsh actor Anthony Hopkins, was scrapped,
reportedly for economic reasons.


Dish Of Salt: ‘Jonas Brothers: The 3D Experience’ Premiere

from Access Hollywood – Movies

Laura Saltman catches up with The Jonas Brothers at the
premiere of their new film where they discuss their surprise visits to theaters
across the U.S. Plus, did Wonder Woman really show up at their home asking for
an autograph?

Schwarzenegger set for ‘Expendables’ cameo

from Entertainment News –

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 26 (UPI) — California Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger has signed on to play himself in a cameo in Sylvester Stallone’s
upcoming movie, “The Expendables,” E! News said.


First Look: ‘The Informers’

from Access Hollywood – Movies

Oscar-nominee Mickey Rourke plays a kidnapping thug in “The
Informers” — a sprawling drama set in Los
in 1983. The film also stars Billy Bob
Thornton, Kim Basinger, Winona Ryder and Brad Renfro in his last role.

New Wolverine Poster and Promo Photos

from /Film by
IMPAwards has a lame new French poster for X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Also, XMenFilms has three new promo photos. Head on over to the respective
websites to see the photos in higher resolution.

Martin Sheen gets political with new film

from Movies

His latest movie “Echelon Conspiracy” sees the man best
known for his 7-year stint on “The West Wing,” at the heart of a modern
electronic surveillance conspiracy.

Jake Gyllenhaal And Jim Carrey Are ‘Damn Yankees’

from MTV Movies Blog by Elisabeth Rappe

It looks like Hugh Jackman and his Oscar top hat were right
— the musical IS back. Variety reports that Jake Gyllenhaal and Jim Carrey are
going to take Jackman at his word, and star in a remake of “Damn Yankees.” It
will be the first musical for both actors and yes, they will sing.


Eddie Murphy to Play Richard Pryor in Bill Condon’s Biopic

from /Film by

Bill Condon had his biopic Richard Pryor: Is It
Something I Said?
in development at The Weinstein Company, but they put
it into turnaround so now Condon has attached Eddie Murphy as star and
gone out to court the studios for a new deal.


Here’s Your Host, Jimmy Fallon — and Some Subtle Promotion
From NBC

from Advertising Age – Madison+Vine by Steinberg)

the wee hours next Tuesday morning, late-night TV viewers will get their first
glimpse of comedian Jimmy Fallon as the host of NBC’s “Late Night.”
And shortly afterward, potential viewers around the nation could encounter parts
of a barrage of promotional efforts NBC has at the ready to help it maintain
dominance in the time period — even as it changes the personalities who have
helped it achieve that status.

With a Two-Hour ‘Idol,’ Fox Wins Wednesday

from Advertising Age – MediaWorks by Rash)

MINNEAPOLIS ( — If Tuesday was all about the
American president, then Wednesday was all about “American Idol,” as
Fox ran a two-hour version that belted out a 9.1/23 rating and share in the
ad-centric 18-to-49 demographic, drowning out ABC
and CBS, which tied for second with a 2.7/7, and NBC and the CW, which finished
fourth and fifth, respectively, with a 2.2/5 and .3/1.

Gwen Stefani & Crew to Visit Gossip Girl

from Latest News

No Doubt will be the first chart-topping band to perform on
the CW show


Kanye West’s Radiohead Tirade, Chris Brown Comments Cut From
VH1 Show

from Entertainment on by The Huffington Post
News Team

During the taping, according to a Reuters reporter, West was
aggrieved that Radiohead singer Thom Yorke had allegedly snubbed him backstage
at the Grammys five days earlier. That hurt, West told the audience, because he
idolizes the British band, and considers it one of his few creative rivals.


Ausiello: Callie’s gal a ‘Grey’s’ keeper!

from TV

By Michael Ausiello

Michael Ausiello confirms exclusively Jessica Capshaw signs
on for rest of this season — and more?


MC Hammer to focus on family, business in TV show

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 … by By RYAN J. FOLEY

(AP) — Viewers of MC Hammer’s new reality TV show shouldn’t expect to see him
lounging around the house in baggy pants.

“The Simpsons” Renewed Through Season 22, Sets Record

from Entertainment on by The Huffington Post
News Team

LOS ANGELES — Fox says it’s renewing “The
Simpsons” for another two seasons, which will secure its place as TV’s
longest-running prime-time series. Now in its 20th season, “The
Simpsons” already had tied record-holder “Gunsmoke.” The Western
drama series aired for two decades on CBS before it ended in 1975.


Matt Groening looks to the future

from – Entertainment

Matt Groening laughs — a lot. Sometimes it’s a chuckle of
uncertainty, but mostly it’s a big, rollicking guffaw. It’s the sound of a man
who still can’t quite believe how much fun he gets to have at work — work that
includes “The Simpsons,” still going strong after 20 years,
“Life in Hell” and “Futurama.”

‘At the Movies’ critics dish it out, take it too

from Movies

“At the Movies” critics Ben Mankiewicz and Ben
Lyons have been taking criticism as well as dishing it out since joining the
movie-review show last fall.


Bad knees won’t keep Jewel off ‘DWTS’

from Entertainment News –

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 26 (UPI) — Singer Jewel says she won’t
let her injured knees prevent her from competing on the next edition of the U.S. television
show “Dancing with the Stars.”

Brittany Snow to star in ‘Gossip Girl’ spinoff

from Hollywood Reporter by By Nellie Andreeva

It seems like the “Gossip Girl” spinoff has found
its Lily. Brittany Snow is in final negotiations to topline the project, a
prequel chronicling the wild teen years of Lily van der Woodsen (Kelly
Rutherford) in Los Angeles
during the 1980s.

Four pilots flesh out casts

from Hollywood Reporter by By Nellie Andreeva

Denis O’Hare has joined Fox’s untitled Ian Biederman drama,
David Morse has entered ABC‘s
Empire State,” Lloyd Owen has been added
to ABC‘s drama “Inside the
Box,” and Ben Feldman has been cast in ABC‘s
drama “See Cate Run.”

‘Slumdog’ folks helping IFC

from Hollywood Reporter by By James Hibberd

production of “Bollywood Hero” starring Chris Kattan has tapped
“Slumdog Millionaire” partner Take One Prods. to supply the crew for
the three-part miniseries’ India-based efforts.

ABC navigates ‘Crash Course’

from Hollywood Reporter by By James Hibberd

ABC is getting
into the auto-reality race. The network is joining forces with the producers of
“Hell’s Kitchen” for a project in which contestants navigate a
dangerous and outrageous obstacle course.

‘Survivor’ renewed for two more cycles

from Hollywood Reporter by By Nellie Andreeva

CBS has ordered two more cycles of its hit reality series
“Survivor” to run next season.

Philipps, O’Donnell, Byrd land pilots

from Hollywood Reporter by By Nellie Andreeva

Busy Philipps is joining Courteney Cox on ABC‘s comedy pilot “Cougar Town,”
while Chris O’Donnell has closed his deal to star in CBS’ “NCIS”


‘Horizon’ evolves with U2’s audacity, creativity, innovation

from Music – Top Stories

U2’s 12th album, ‘No Line on the Horizon,’ is a
kaleidoscopic quest that rivals 1991’s Achtung Baby for audacity and

Steven Page explains why he left Barenaked Ladies

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

(AP) — Singer-guitarist Steven Page says he decided to leave the Barenaked
Ladies because he felt that his contributions as a songwriter were being

Def Leppard returns to road, but may take break

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

NEW YORK (AP) — Def Leppard
has become a fixture on the touring circuit over the last few summers, and this
year is no different. The classic rock group plans to go out on the road again,
this time with Poison and Cheap Trick.

Rare photos of Beatles to be shown

from Entertainment News –

Feb. 26 (UPI) — The manager for The Beatles’ and Rolling Stones’ first U.S. tours says he is exhibiting his collection
of photos of the bands at a New York

Axl Rose says Slash is “a cancer”

from Reuters: Entertainment News

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The handful of optimistic Guns N’
Roses fans still holding out for a reunion of the band’s classic lineup can
probably call it a day.


Jay Leno hauled before Writers Guild trial committee

from L.A. Times – TV News

The late-night host is accused of having violated union
rules when he penned his own monologues during a 100-day work stoppage that
ended in early 2008. Leno says he’s done nothing wrong.

Up, up and away: Rare Superman comic for sale

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

— A rare copy of the Action comic book that launched Superman as the first
superhero is coming up for auction.

Jeremy Piven Cries, Escapes Punishment

from Defamer by Ryan Tate
Jeremy Piven convinced five other actors his mercury poisoning is real,
deadlocking a union hearing and sparing Piven penalties for leaving Speed the
Plow. How did he do it? Maybe with some crying.


Facebook to let users give input on policies

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

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is
trying its hand at democracy.

NFL’s Brady marries model Gisele Bundchen

from – Entertainment

Brazilian model Gisele Bundchen married National Football
League star Tom Brady Thursday in an “intimate” sunset ceremony, US
Weekly magazine reported on its Web site.

Robin Williams Coming To Broadway

from Entertainment on by The Huffington Post
News Team

NEW YORK — First Will
Ferrell. Now Robin Williams is coming to Broadway this season. The comedian
says he will perform his one-man show, “Weapons of Self-Destruction,”
for five performances at the Neil
Simon Theatre
April 28 through May 3.


Jodie Foster Busted Speeding, Isn’t Happy

from Entertainment on by The Huffington Post
News Team

A crew from truTV’s reality show “Speeders” –
which rides with highway patrols to film motorists getting caught speeding and
then trying to talk their way out of a ticket – was with the Beverly Hills cops
last weekend when they clocked a Prius allegedly going 54 mph in a 35 mph zone.
When an officer and the camera crew approached the car, they found Foster –
winner of Best Actress Oscars for “The Silence of the Lambs” and
“The Accused” – sitting behind the wheel.


Jake Gyllenhaal And Ron Howard Star In Hip Hop Video

from Entertainment on by The Huffington Post
News Team

Ron Howard and Jake Gyllenhaal (wearing a black trilby) can
now add music video eye candy to their resumes.The pair, along with Forest
Whitaker, Quincy Jones and Samuel L. Jackson, are all players in Jamie Foxx’s
latest music video, “Blame It,” directed by Hype Williams and also
featuring T-Pain.


Tyler Perry Plans Private Island Purchase for His 40th

from Latest News by Tiffany McGee

The lure of uninterrupted work and no paparazzi
appeals to the “loner by nature”

Read More