Friday, September 30, 2011

Pinewood backs 'Last Passenger'

ScottLONDON -- Train thriller "Last Passenger" has become the second project backed by U.K. studio group Pinewood Shepperton, under its plan to invest in low-budget films by new British directors."Last Passenger," written and directed by Omid Nooshin, stars Dougray Scott as a doctor caught on a runaway commuter train. The $2.5 million pic started shooting on Thursday at Shepperton Studios.Pinewood is investing alongside Future Films, the BFI Film Fund and Japan's Fel Corp. Pathe is handling international sales. Producers are Zack Winfield and Ado Yoshizaki of NDF Intl.Pinewood's first investment was "A Fantastic Fear of Everything," a $5 million paranoid comedy starring Simon Pegg, which shot at Shepperton this summer. It's co-directed by Crispian Mills and Chris Hopewell, with Universal taking multi-territory rights and Indomina providing gap finance. Pinewood's commercial director Nick Smith has been inundated with scripts since announcing plans in March to start making equity investments in low-budget British projects.The studio group is aiming to back four films a year from first-timers, with a combined budget of around $13 million."We've always had an appetite for first-time directors to be our customers, but we've not previously given them the tools to help them come and use our facilities," Smith said. "We would like to help people trying to get their foot on the first rung of the ladder." Contact the Variety newsroom at

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ashton Kutcher: Dont Believe The Hype

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Amid spiraling rumors of trouble between Ashton Kutcher and wife Demi Moore and allegations of infidelity against the new Two and a Half Men star Ashton has spoken out regarding the latest scandal sort of. Early Thursday morning, the 33-year-old actor Tweeted a link to Public Enemys 1988 hit, Dont Believe the Hype, on his Spotify account. Ashton spoke out more directly later Thursday, Tweeting, When you ASSUME to know that which you know nothing of you make an ASS out of U and ME. As for Demi, the usually outspoken star has remained silent since photos surfaced of her husband partying at FLUXX in San Diego, Calif., on Friday (the day before her and Ashtons six-year wedding anniversary). However, Demi, 48, Tweeted a seemingly cryptic message on Friday, writing, When we are offended at any mans fault, turn to yourself & study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger. Epictetus. This is not the first time Ashton has been faced with cheating accusations. In 2010, Star magazine claimed Ashton stepped out on his marriage twice first with a woman at Los Angeles Madeo Restaurant in July, and later, with a woman he allegedly met at Lucky Strikes Lanes in Hollywood. The actor addressed the first round of cheating rumors on his Twitter writing, I think Star magazine calling me a cheater qualifies as defamation of character. I hope my lawyer agrees STAR magazine - you dont get to stand behind freedom of the press when you are writing fiction. Demi also chimed in on the matter at the time, Tweeting, Excellent point my love! In September, 2010, Ashtons attorney, Marty Singer denied the allegations, telling Access Hollywood, Star Magazine continuously publishes lies about Ashton Kutcher and many other celebrities. This is not the first, nor will it be the last time they engage in reckless conduct. At the time, a rep for Star told Access, Star stands by its story. Copyright 2011 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Fall TV Premiere Week: The Individuals who win and Nonwinners

This piece appears inside the new problem in the Hollywood Reporter. Clickhereto start to see the cover.our editor recommendsMelissa McCarthy Concentrating on Comedy with 'The Help' Director How 'SNL' Made Her CryWhy Fox is Depending on Zooey Deschanel'Pan Am' Among Season's Most high-listed Pilots'Dancing While using Stars' Cast: Who's J.R. Martinez?Related Subjects•Fall Television Preview And so they're off! Which TV horses look most effective in the gate and that ought to go lower. THE Individuals who win Comedy Since the U.S. teeters round the precipice from the double-dip recession, laughter truly might be the very best medicine. Ashton Kutcher's Sept. 19 debut on CBS' two and a half Males created a football-sized 29 million audiences, as well as the second week's 20.5 million still assigned last season's average with Charlie Sheen. Generate An Earnings Met Your Mother first turned up double amounts, and two Broke Women, which accomplished good success in the monster Males lead-in, attracted inside an astounding 7.1 rating inside the 18-to-49 demo. On Fox, the Sept. 20 premiere of latest Girl bested its Glee lead-in and gave the network its finest-rated fall sitcom debut since the Bernie Mac Show in November 2001. The Next-season premiere of recent Family on Sept. 21 shipped ABC's top-rated season debut in six years, and lead-within the center hit a collection high. Even Whitney, eviscerated by experts, enhanced on Community's 2010 premiere inside the slot, though NBC's other Thursday comedies -- plus a Steve Carell-free Work -- were lower. PHOTOS: Fall TV's 12 Most Anticipated Shows Friday The systems were up 16 percent in aggregate in contrast while using first Friday this past year. Caveat alert: A year ago, Fox was DOA round the evening getting an individual Target rerun and not successful drama The Truly Amazing Males. So gains this year for Kitchen Bad dreams or nightmares and Fringe offset slight declines elsewhere. CBS ongoing to win by getting an exciting-original choice of the Gifted Guy, CSI: NY and Blue Bloods. Meanwhile, NBC's Dateline is really beating ABC's 20/20 at 10 p.m. it absolutely was up twenty five percent year-over-year due to its Sept. 23 season opener. And beginning March. 21, ABC and NBC will program original content round the extended-neglected evening. Extreme Transformation: Home Edition will lead off for ABC Chuck and Grimm can do the identical for NBC. PHOTOS: Fall TV Preview 2011: 10 Fresh Faces to know Fox The first time, Fox won premiere week inside the 18-to-49 demo, despite a nearly thirty percent drop for your Sept. 20 premiere of Glee together with a somewhat soft 12.5 million audiences for your X Factor -- especially thinking about that relate's stratospheric ad rates (around $400,000 for just about any 30-second place). Though New Girl on the rousing start and X Factor nonetheless juicing Wednesday and Thursday, Fox was up 26 % when compared with week among 2010-11 -- though Terra Nova's middling debut Sept. 26 can be a disappointment. PHOTOS: Fox's Year Tv Shows: 'Terra Nova,' 'The X Factor' plus much more THE Nonwinners Reality Franchises Just about any returning competition show bowed to lows: The Sept. 19 Dwts on ABC notched its least expensive-rated premiere, falling apart 24 percent when compared with last fall's opener. NBC's The Sing-Off was lower thirty percent-also in comparison having its previous bow in December. CBS' Survivor notched its least expensive-rated fall premiere. The Sept. 20 bow of NBC's The Finest Loser was lower twenty percent. And X Factor was beaten by Modern Family, compelling Family co-creator Steve Levitan to tweet, "It's very satisfying the scripted comedy finally beat an overhyped karaoke contest." PHOTOS: 'Dancing While using Stars' Season 13: Rehearsals 10 p.m. Dramas While CBS' Hawaii Five- remains time-slot leader on Monday, its Sept. 19 premiere was lower 13 percent year-over-year and off fifty percent in the 2 Broke Women lead-in. NBC's over-blown The Playboy Club was off thirty percent in contrast while using bow in the canceled Chase. Really, Playboy tied the 2008 drama Crusoe as NBC's least expensive-rated fall premiere inside the slot. Similarly, the Sept. 20 debut of ABC's Body of Proof was lower 26 % in contrast having its series premiere in March. As well as the 10 p.m. Wednesday slot did CSI no favors since the moved CBS drama's Sept. 21 premiere fell 9 % year-over-year no matter the debut of Ted Danson. CBS' The Mentalist was off 18 percent, and NBC's Prime Suspect, starring Maria Bello, marked NBC's least expensive-rated Thursday fall series debut ever. Two exceptions at ABC: Castle elevated double amounts, and Revenge got an excellent start from Family to greater than double premiere of last season's The Whole Truth. PHOTOS: Fall TV Dying Pool: Will 'Charlie's Angels,' 'Whitney' or 'How to become Gentleman' Be Axed First? NBC No. 4 network ended the initial week lower ten percent inside the 18-to-49 demo when compared with a year ago -- just before the shake-from the entertainment division. Yes, NBC can blame your competitors -- Kutcher on Males and double doses of Family, The Big Bang Theory and the way I Met Your Mother -- and a lot of its schedule reaches development before Bob Greenblatt needed over. However when the initial ratings really are a sign, NBC's turnaround is greatly an item happening. Related Subjects Maria Bello Ted Danson Zooey Deschanel Dwts CBS Kitchen Bad dreams or nightmares two and a half Males Fox Broadcasting Corporation Generate An Earnings Met Your Mother New Girl CSI: Crime Scene Analysis Fringe Fall TV Preview

Thursday, September 22, 2011

'Monsieur Lazhar' to open Abu Dhabi

LONDON -- The fifth edition of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival is set to open with Philippe Falardeau's "Monsieur Lazhar," toplining Mohamed Fellag, Emilien Neron and Sophie Nelisse, on Oct. 13. Pic follows the tale of an Algerian immigrant, who is hired to replace an elementary school teacher who tragically died. Additionally, this year's fest will include eight world preems: Abdolreza Kahani's "Absolutely Tame as a Horse," Sam Neave's "Almost in Love," Amr Salama's "Asma'a," Michael Brandt's "The Double," Safinez Bousbia's "El Gusto," Nawaf Al-Janahi's "Sea Shadow," Timothy Greene's "Skeem" and Pedro P. Rosado's "Wilaya." Competitions in this year's edition will offer cash prizes totalling $1 million. Narrative, New Horizons, Documentary, Our World Competition and the Showcase strand will all offer up cash to winners. Venice and Toronto fest pics such as "Albert Nobbs," "Contagion" and "The Ides of March" will screen in the Showcase section, while titles in the Narrative Feature section include "Chicken With Plums," from "Persepolis" duo Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi, David Cronenburg's "A Dangerous Method" and Oren Moverman's "Rampart." The festival runs Oct. 13-22. Contact Diana Lodderhose at

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Maisel talks 'new wave' of bigscreen games

Forget superheroes. The next wave of major movie franchises may come from casual games, starting with ''Angry Wild wild birds.''That was this content shipped by former Marvel Art galleries chairman David Maisel, who's now an effective consultant to ''Angry Birds'' creator Rovio.Maisel, who oversaw the launch of Marvel Studios' movie franchise with ''Iron Guy,'' noted that up to now movie versions of game game titles weren't consistent individuals who win, with 23 films calculating about $35 million domestic box office. ''They've happened by businesses that will decrease your budget and continue to hit only one, instead of the homer you obtain from an 'Avatar' or possibly a hero film.'' With console games, mentioned Maisel, ''the chance of large entertainment franchises wasn't as great.''''With casual gaming, everyone is playing them, In my opinion it's the first time we'll see massive brands being launched of the sport world and superceding what gaming remains.''Rather than changing superheroes this is often a chance to start a brand new wave. Rather than changing superheroes this is often a chance to start a brand new wave.''Maisel mentioned the selling potential of casual games may also be huge. ''It was formerly inside your create a global merchandisable property was using a blockbuster picture or using a really effective global cartoon show. Both people the situation is really pricey and hard to do. Despite a film enable you to get observed don't normally sell much merchandise round the first movie, it's round the follow-up.''But ''Angry Wild wild birds,'' he mentioned, is creating interest unlike anything he ever saw within the movie career. ''It really helps to make the statistics in the (''Angry Birds'') movie harder, because we are in a position to probably sell the product without any movie.''Maisel mentioned he hopes ''Angry Birds'' will illustrate for the movie business the opportunity of ''massive brands coming within the gaming realm.'' ''I think the awareness was already getting away . there this new technology and an opportunity to experience our phones can launch massive brands with techniques that's never been done before.'' Contact David S. Cohen at

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Roland Emmerich Sets Sights On JFK Movie 'Happy Birthday Mr. President'

As someone who knows his way around special effects, director Roland Emmerich could be a great candidate to use the digital aging technology that has been used for special effects in films like "The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button," "Watchmen" and "X-Men 3." The subject came up when MTV News caught up with Emmerich at the Toronto Film Festival to talk about his upcoming period thriller, "Anonymous," which employs two sets of actors to play the same roles at different ages. We asked Emmerich if he might be interested in de-aging an actor digitally, or even better/more challenging, bringing one back from the dead, FX re-animator, lost footage style and he revealed he's already at work on a movie that relies heavily on that very technology. "I am. I'm totally into that," Emmerich admitted. "I have one project which actually tries to do that, but I think we're not there yet. I made some tests that didn't turn out very well, so I think we have to wait another five years." And what might the mystery project be? "The title will tell you everything, it's called 'Happy Birthday Mr. President.'" True to his word about the revealing title, Emmerich admitted the future film would revolve around Marilyn Monroe's famous birthday serenade for President John F. Kennedy, and likely the relationship surrounding it. Emmerich said that the film is a long way away from being made, however, at least until the proper aging technology is mastered. "Yes, one day, one day," Emmerich said hopefully. "People are kind of courageous to do something like that." What do you think of Emmerich taking on JFK and Marilyn? Tell us in the comments or on Twitter!

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mickey Rourke, Jason Statham and 50 Cent Play Russian Roulette in Trailer for '13' (VIDEO)

With U.S. distribution locked down last week, Gela Babluani's '13' now has a brand-new trailer. A remake of Babluani's own '13 Tzameti,' '13' revolves around a group of seriously desperate men who enter an underground, winner-take-all Russian roulette tournament in the hopes of making it out alive -- and being all the richer for it. The film stars Sam Riley, Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Michael Shannon, Ray Winstone, Alexander Skarsgard, and Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, and -- if the trailer ahead is any indication -- most of them will probably die. Didn't any of these guys watch 'The Deer Hunter?' We're sticking with the penny slots. Look for '13' in theaters on Nov. 8. [via Yahoo! Movies]

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