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The Newsdesk 02.04.09 – Pacino to Tackle Lear; Phoenix Insists He’s a Real Rapper

• Al Pacino will play King Lear in a new film from Merchant of Venice director Michael Radford.

• Robert Downey Jr. claims that Mickey Rourke has not been cast as Crimson Dynamo in Iron Man 2. Hey, Rourke, how about taking over as The Thing in the Fantastic Four movies?

• Joaquin Phoenix insisted that his new hip hop career is not a hoax while promoting his new movie Two Lovers.

The Dark Knight producer Charles Roven is developing Damascus Gate, a political thriller set in modern-day Jerusalem. At this point, he could probably get the phone book greenlit.

• A judge denied a restraining order that would have halted the still stalled SAG talks. The lawsuit involved reinstating recently ousted chief contract negotiator Doug Allen. No word on when talks will resume.

Jessica Biel will host this year’s Scientific and Technical Oscars. She joins Jessica Alba, Scarlett Johansson and many others, in the long line of attractive actresses who have been forced to hang out with tech geeks for a night.  

• John Carpenter has cast All The Boys Love Mandy Lane star Amber Heard in his next horror film The Ward. It’s either a creepy thriller about a mental hospital, or a Burt Ward biopic.

• The assistant director on Terminator: Salvation commented on Christian Bale’s onset tirade. Meanwhile, Harry Knowles defended him, while a DJ remixed him.



More infighting at SAG

from – Entertainment

Instead of resuming contract talks to prevent a Hollywood
movie and TV production shutdown, Screen Actors Guild (SAG) members were in
court Tuesday fighting over who should lead those negotiations.

Court denies SAG injunction

from Entertainment News –

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 3 (UPI) — A Los Angeles Superior Court
judge Tuesday denied the Screen Actors Guild’s request for an injunction to
restore Doug Allen to his leadership post.

Remember IATSE/AMPTP Tentative Pact? There Looks Like Lotsa
Trouble Ahead…

from Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily by Nikki Finke

I’m told that January saw a lot of pushback from the various
guild members and even board members angry over negotiated terms of the
IATSE/AMPTP tentative contract in advance of what will be ratification
ballotting this month.

‘Twilight’ studio Summit unlikely to merge with Lionsgate

from Entertainment Weekly’s Hollywood Insider by Nicole Sperling

Reports that Summit
— the studio behind the Twilight movie (pictured) — and Lionsgate, the makers
of the Saw franchise, are discussing a merger have been greatly exaggerated, EW
has learned.

SXSW unveils all 2009 films
360, TX – Feb 1, 2009
By Chris Garcia | Sunday, February 1, 2009, 09:33 PM SXSW has announced
its full 2009 roster of films

SXSW Movie Trailer: Sorry, Thanks

from /Film by
In our continuing series to preview some of the little indies (or what some
people would call “real independent films”) that will be playing at
the 2009 SXSW Film Festival, I give you the trailer for mumblecore producer (Mutual
Appreciation, Nights and Weekends
) Dia Sokol‘s feature directorial
debut Sorry, Thanks.

SXSW Movie Trailer: Breaking Upwards
/FILM, MA – Feb 2, 2009
The reason why I like the SXSW Film Festival is because it contains a
lot of smaller films, movies that speak to people of my generation, and the
even more


SXSW Announces Social Networking Platform
PR Newswire (press release), NY – Feb 2, 2009
2 /PRNewswire/ — Today South By Southwest (SXSW), announced the launch
of my.SXSW, the official social networking and scheduling tool for the


Documentaries spotlighted at AFI Dallas 2009

from Hollywood Reporter by By Gregg Kilday

The AFI DALLAS 2009 International Film Festival, which runs
from March 26-April 2, will include the world premieres of the documentaries
“One Nation,” “Playground” and “Rock Prophecies.”

NYFF sets venue, sidebars

from The Hollywood Reporter – Awards by By Gregg Kilday

The New York Film Festival will return to its traditional
home, the newly renovated Alice Tully Hall, for its 47th edition, scheduled
Sept. 25-Oct. 11.

London Film Festival sets date

from – Film Festivals

Film Festivals: Event to take place on Oct. 14 – 29 — The
53rd Times BFI London Film Festival will take place Oct. 14-29. The dates
announcement was made Tuesday by artistic director Sandra Hebron.



Daily Box Office: Monday, February 2, 2009

from Box Office Mojo – Current Box Office Results

Taken tops Monday’s box office with $2.2 million

Al Pacino to star in ‘King Lear’

from – Film News

Film News: Michael Radford to direct film — Al Pacino will
play the title role in “King Lear,” an adaptation of the Shakespeare
play that will be directed by Michael Radford.


Shocker! Dakota Fanning Hasn’t Read New Moon!

from E! Online – Movie News

This just in: Dakota Fanning thinks it would be, like,
“really cool” to be in the sequel to Twilight–even though she hasn’t
read the book.

Where is this year’s ‘Best Picture Bump’?

from Entertainment Weekly’s Oscar Watch by Dave Karger

Dave Karger on lukewarm post-nomination box office for
”Milk,” ”The Reader,” and ”Frost/Nixon”

Mickey Rourke is NOT Crimson Dynamo

from /Film by

When MTV approached the subject of Rourke playing Dynamo, Robert
Downey Jr
. was quick to say “That’s actually incorrect.”

Sorry, girlfriend, he’s just not that into you

from L.A. Times – Movie News

The phrase no woman wants to hear was an off-hand comment
attributed to comedian Greg Behrendt. Then it got legs. And a book. And a

‘Wall-E’ Won’t Be Charging Up For Sequel, Says Film’s Director

from MTV Movies Blog by Eric Ditzian

At the end of “WALL-E,”
the intergalactic Buy n Large cruise ship returned to an Earth freshly
blossoming with life after several centuries of garbage-strewn toxicity. Our
loveable title character and his high-tech hottie girlfriend EVE looked well on
their way to some version of robotic bliss. What happens next we’ll never know:
there won’t be a sequel.


Study: Ads make TV more pleasurable

from Hollywood Reporter

A surprising new study concludes that viewers find TV more
pleasurable when they watch commercials.

Tough economy is good for evening newscasts

from Television

Tough economic news and the new Obama administration have
helped bring more viewers to evening news shows, a TV staple that’s been
written off many times in the past.


ABC to drop names of ‘DWTS’ cast Sunday

from Entertainment News –

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 3 (UPI) — The names of the cast members
of the next edition of “Dancing with the Stars” are to be dropped
throughout ABC’s Sunday night lineup, the U.S. network said.

Kendra Wilkinson to Star in Her Own Series

from Latest News by Stephen M. Silverman

The bride-to-be will spin off from Girls Next Door to a new
show this fall


22M tune in for ‘The Office’ special

from Entertainment News –

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., Feb. 3 (UPI) — About 22 million
people tuned in for Sunday’s special one-hour episode of the U.S. comedy series
“The Office,” NBC said.

Ratings: 3-D ‘Chuck’ scores, ‘Heroes’ still less than super

from Entertainment Weekly’s Hollywood Insider by Tim Stack

NBC promoted its Monday night lineup all throughout Sunday’s
Super Bowl but only ended up with mildly successful results. The action comedy
Chuck, armed with a 3-D episode and a guest turn by Lost’s Dominic Monaghan,
earned 8.4 million viewers,…

Bob Costas on deck for MLB Network

from Hollywood Reporter by By Paul J. Gough

Emmy-winning sportscaster Bob Costas is leaving HBO and will
join the MLB Network as a host and play-by-play announcer.

Oscars Suspense: Will People Watch?

from NYT > Television by By MICHAEL CIEPLY

Some of Hollywood’s most prominent players are privately
grumbling that the rituals of Oscar night have outlived any real sense of excitement
about the event.

TNT’s ‘Trust Me’ tumbles


TV News: USA’s original series fare well against networks —
After enjoying a string of successful series launches, TNT is struggling with
its latest entry, ad agency drama “Trust Me.”


Adele, Brown to perform at Grammys show

from Entertainment News –

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 3 (UPI) — Adele, Chris Brown and
Sugarland have agreed to perform at the 51st annual Grammy Awards show in Los
Angeles, CBS said Tuesday.

Nickelback leads noms for Juno Awards

from Reuters: Entertainment News

TORONTO (Hollywood Reporter) – Canadian rock group
Nickelback led the musical pack Tuesday, picking up five nominations for the
38th annual Juno Awards, Canada’s top music honors.

Spinal Tap Plot New Material in 2009

from Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily by Daniel Kreps

Get ready to turn the amp back up to 11: Spinal Tap
are hoping to record new songs this year, which would mark the semi-fictional
band’s first batch of new material since their 1992 album Break Like the

Lily Allen takes over U.K. singles chart

from The Hollywood Reporter – Music by By Paul Sexton, Billboard

Lily Allen and Bruce Springsteen are the new champions on
the U.K. singles and album charts. Allen’s “The Fear”
(Regal/Parlophone/EMI) debuted atop the singles chart, while Springsteen’s
“Working on a Dream” (Columbia/Sony BMG) entered the album survey at
No. 1.

Elton John to close Las Vegas show

from Life – Top Stories

Elton John is playing his final notes on the red piano in
Las Vegas.


Obama campaign manager getting 7-figure book deal

from Life – Top Stories

Obama campaign manager David Plouffe has agreed to a
seven-figure deal to write a book about last year’s presidential election.

Phoenix Confirms He’s Walking The Hip-Hop Line

from Access Hollywood – Movies

Joaquin Phoenix says there’s no hoax about it: He really has
given up acting to become a hip-hop artist.

Octuplets: Eight is enough (for TV)

from TV

By Lynette Rice

Nadya Suleman, mother of eight newborns, hires L.A.
publicists to field offers — does TLC have them on speed-dial yet?


Octuplets mom wants $2 million for story

from Los Angeles Times – Celebrity News

Oh, and she would also like a TV career as a child-care

Ticketmaster, Live Nation close to merger

from The Hollywood Reporter – Music by Reuters

Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc. and Live Nation Inc. may
unveil a merger as soon as this week, creating a music industry powerhouse with
a combined market value of more than $700 million, a source briefed on the
talks told Reuters on Tuesday.


Kennedy Center to help struggling arts groups

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

WASHINGTON (AP) — With the nation’s nonprofit arts
organizations suffering in the dismal economy, the stalwart John F. Kennedy
Center for the Performing Arts is offering crisis consulting to see them

Morning Jot: Scarborough has book out in May

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

NEW YORK (AP) — Cable television isn’t enough for MSNBC’s
Joe Scarborough. He has a book coming out in May.

Blagojevich, the spoof, debuts in Chicago

from Entertainment News –

CHICAGO, Feb. 3 (UPI) — Chicago’s Second City comedy troupe
is turning Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s impeachment into a one-act musical.

Bale tirade becomes YouTube sensation

from Entertainment News –

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 3 (UPI) — A recording of Welsh-born actor
Christian Bale losing his temper while working on a movie has been set to
various types of music on YouTube.

Costner becomes part owner of ball team

from Entertainment News –

ZION, Ill., Feb. 3 (UPI) — A minor league baseball team,
partly owned by actor-director Kevin Costner, is set to move into a new stadium
in Lake County, Ill., in the summer of 2010.

Bobby Brown: Clean, Sober and About to Be a Dad Again

from Latest News by Tiffany McGee

“I’m really excited about my addition to my
family,” the singer, whose girlfriend/manager is pregnant, tells PEOPLE

Sam Lutfi Sues Britney Spears and Her Parents

from Latest News by Ken Lee

The singer’s former manager is claiming defamation and
breach of contract

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