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New Photo and Concept Art from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland March 13, 2009 3:59 am

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Movies, News.
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aliceinwonderland-aliceandconceptart-031309The latest issue of the new Disney magazine, Disney Twenty-Three, has an article about Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland which features images from the film (including of star Mia Wasikowska in her Alice outfit) and concept art from the film.  Click the linked image above to head on over to Tim Burton Collective News to see the rest of the magazine scans.

Fallon Finishes His First Week #1 March 13, 2009 3:56 am

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in CBS, NBC, News, Nielsen TV Ratings, Television.
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jimmyfallonlatenight-031309Jimmy Fallon’s first week as host of NBC’s Late Night was a successful one, with the late-night program beating all cable and broadcast competition as well as Conan’s season average.  For the week of March 2-6 the program averaged nearly 2.4 million viewers and more than 1.2 million adults 18-49, out-rating its nearest competitor (CBS’s Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson) by 25% among viewers and 60% among adults 18-49.

Additionally, Fallon’s debut week ranked as the most-watched ever in the last decade, besting the bows of The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson (2M viewers in January 2005), ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live (1.7M in January 2003) and The Late Show With Craig Kilborn (1.5M in March/April 1999).

Source: Variety

New Line Developing Second 3D Journey to the Center of the Earth March 13, 2009 3:47 am

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Movies, New Line, News, Walden Media, Warner Brothers.
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journeytothecenteroftheearth3d-031309New Line has decided to take another 3D Journey to the Center of the Earth.  The film grossed a respectable $240.6 million worldwide (its budget was just $60M), but New Line wanted to wait and see how the DVD numbers turned out before committing to a sequel.  Turns out the performance on DVD was strong enough to warrant pushing along with a sequel.

Contrafilm’s Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson are returning as producers along with Walden Media and Charlotte Huggins.  Eric Brevig, who directed the first film, will also be back and will this time be involved in the development of the script

Because the source material is based on just one book from Jules Verne, THR reports that the sequel’s story came together when a spec script by Richard Outten landed at Walden.  Titled Mysterious Travels, the adventure tale was based on the fantasy that the literary tales Gulliver’s Travels, Treasure Island and Verne’s own Mysterious Island all occurrred on the same island.  The producers all fell for the idea and are now repurposing the script to fit the ‘Journey’ characters (played by Brendan Fraser and Josh Hutcherson–both of whom are expected to reprise their roles).

So Is Juan Antonio Bayona Directing ‘Eclipse’ Or Not? March 13, 2009 3:33 am

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Movies, News, Summit Entertainment.
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eclipsenovel-031309There are conflicting reports about the accuracy of a piece written by Nikki Finke of Deadline Hollywood Daily (and later confirmed by Variety) that Juan Antonio Bayona is directing The Twilight Saga’s Eclipse.

Here’s the quick rundown.  Yesterday, I reported on news that Summit Entertainment had settled on a director for The Twilight Saga’s Eclipse, and the director would be Bayona.  But now comes word from Summit (via a piece in the LA Times) that the reports were inaccurate and that the studio hasn’t settled on director to helm the film.  From the LA Times:

“The ‘Eclipse’ directing job hasn’t been offered to Juan Antonio or anyone else,” Erik Feig, president of production at Summit said. “We’ve met with three or four talented filmmakers and we’ll be meeting with three or four more other candidates before we make any decision. No one has been offered the job.”

For her part, Finke stands by her original story and points out that in her original piece she was careful to note that the announcement was being kept under wraps for the time being: “I can confirm that Summit Entertainment is telling Hollywood privately that Juan Antonio Bayona will direct Eclipse.”

So it seems to me that Bayona will be the director, it’s just that Summit wants to be the one to make it all official.

The Twilight Saga’s Eclipse hits theaters on June 30, 2010.  The film will be preceded by the second film in the franchise, The Twilight Saga’s New Moon on November 20, 2009.

WB Bringing Stephen King’s It to the Big Screen March 13, 2009 3:15 am

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Movies, News, Warner Brothers.
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itpennywise-031309Stephen King’s horror novel It is headed to the big screen.  Warner Bros. has announced that they are adapting the property with Lin Pictures and Vertigo Entertainment.

Dave Kajganich has been hired by the studio to pen the script, which according to THR, will follow a group of kids called the Losers Club that encounter a creature called It, which preys on children and whose favorite form is that of a sadistic clown called Pennywise. When the creature resurfaces, the kids are called upon to regroup again, this time as adults, even though they have no memory of the first battle.

While the novel was set in 1958 and 1985, the feature-film version will be set in present day.  The best-selling 1986 novel had a successful small screen adaptation in 1990, airing as a miniseries on ABC.

Marvel Sets Date for Spider-Man 4, Pushes Back Thor and The Avengers March 12, 2009 5:57 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Marvel Studios, Movies, News, Release Dates, Sony Pictures.
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marvel-031209Sony and Marvel have announced that Spider-Man 4 will be released on May 6, 2011.  But three other Marvel films have been pushed back.  The studio has announced that Thor, originally scheduled to be released on July 16, 2010, will now hit theaters on June 17, 2011.  The First Avenger: Captain America is staying in 2011 but being pushed back by about two months from May 6, 2011 to July 22, 2011.  And finally, The Avengers is being pushed back from July 15, 2011 to May 4, 2012.

There have been no changes to the release of Marvel’s other high-profile property, Iron Man 2, which remains set for a May 7, 2010 release.

Sources: THR and Variety

NBC Announces Summer Schedule March 12, 2009 5:48 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in 2008/2009 TV Season, NBC, News, Television.
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nbclogo-513NBC has unveiled their summer schedule, announcing key dates for new scripted projects including The Philanthropist, overseas co-productions including the BBC series Merlin and the CTV (from Canada) series The Listener as well as two new miniseries (The Meteor and The Storm) and two new reality series (I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! and Great American Road Trip).  Here’s the schedule (shows in CAPS are new):

MONDAY, JUNE 1
“I’M A CELEBRITY…GET ME OUT OF HERE!” — premiere (8-9 p.m.)
“Medium” season finale (10-11 p.m.)

TUESDAY, JUNE 2
“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” — season finale (10-11 p.m.)

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3
“Law & Order” — season finale (10-11 p.m.)

THURSDAY, JUNE 4
“THE LISTENER” — premiere (10-11 p.m.)

SUNDAY, JUNE 7 and JUNE 14
“METEOR” — miniseries (9-11 p.m.)

MONDAY, JUNE 8
“Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (NBC season premiere; 9-10 p.m.)
“Dateline NBC” (10-11 p.m.)

SUNDAY, JUNE 21
“MERLIN” (premiere 8-10 p.m.; June 28 airs 8-10 p.m.; July 5 resumes regular time 8-9 p.m.)

TUESDAY, JUNE 23 and WEDNESDAY, JUNE 24
“AMERICA’S GOT TALENT” (9-10 p.m. both nights)

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 24
“THE PHILANTHROPIST” – premieres (10-11 p.m.)

WEDNESDAY, JULY 1
“GREAT AMERICAN ROAD TRIP” — premieres (8-9 p.m.)

SATURDAY, JULY 4
“MACY’S 4TH OF JULY FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR” (9-10 p.m.)

SUNDAY, JULY 19 and SUNDAY, JULY 26
“THE STORM” – miniseries (9-11 p.m.)

The full press release, which includes official show descriptions, follows after the jump. (more…)

Taken 2 and American Version of District 13 In the Works March 12, 2009 5:34 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Movies, News.
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taken-031209Screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen tells the LA Times that he’s working on a sequel to the hit action film Taken as well as an American version of District 13, based on a popular 2004 thriller produced by Besson:

“I get to work with the world’s greatest filmmaker without ever worrying about being replaced,” he says with an exuberance you rarely hear in a screenwriter’s voice. “I feel like I died and went to writer’s heaven, which is a place where you don’t get rewritten and you can always get a three-star meal. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

This is awesome news.  Taken was great fun and featured a terrific performance from Liam Neeson.  The film has done incredibly well at the box office (it was #3 this weekend even after five weeks of release) and has grossed $119.6 million domestically and is nearing $200M worldwide ($192.7M).

Jericho Comic on the Way March 12, 2009 5:26 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Comics, News, Television.
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jericho-031209Devil’s Due Publishing has announced that they’ve cut a deal with CBS Consumer Products to publish a comic based on the canceled-CBS series Jericho.  The comic will pick up where the series left off and pledges to answer many of the story’s still lingering questions.

“’Jericho’ is alive and well, thanks to the amazing fans who’ve driven us to find new and fresh ways to tell the Jericho story,” said Dan Shotz, co-executive producer of the show. “Josh Blaylock and the DDP team are great partners and have shown a true love for our show. We are so thrilled about this comic book series and the endless possibilities for the future of ‘Jericho.’”

This looks like it’ll be a faithful extension of the Jericho brand as the series’ original producing team of Jon Turteltaub, Carol Barbee, Karim Zreik and Jon Steinberg will be involved with Shotz.

Star Trek Trailer #3 Beats Apple.com Download Record March 12, 2009 1:26 am

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Movie Trailers, Movies, News.
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startrek-031209The new Star Trek trailer for J.J. Abrams Star Trek has broken all existing records on Apple.com with over 1.8 million downloads during the first 24 hours on the site.  The trailer also broke the weekly download record with over five million downloads since its exclusive debut on the site on March 6th.

Check out the full press release after the jump.  And if you haven’t seen the trailer yet, or just want to relive the epic awesomeness of it, watch it after the jump.

Star Trek hits theaters on May 8, 2009. (more…)

Charisma Carpenter Joins Cast of Sly Stallone’s The Expendables [UPDATE] March 12, 2009 1:17 am

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Casting, Movies, News.
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charismacarpenter-031209UPDATE: Variety confirmed the casting and also announced that former WWE wrestler “Stone Cold” Steve Austin has also been added to the cast.

Original article follows below.

I don’t know how I missed this news from a few days ago.  According to TV Guide, Charisma Carpenter (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) has been cast in Sylvester Stallone’s star-heavy action pic The Expendables. She’ll be playing the girlfriend of co-star Jason Statham.

In addition to Carpenter and Statham, The Expendables stars writer/director Sylvester Stallone, Eric Roberts, Mickey Rourke, Jet Li, Randy Couture, Dolph Lundgren and Forest Whitaker.

via MovieWeb

Juan Antonio Bayona Tapped to Direct The Twilight Saga’s Eclipse March 12, 2009 1:08 am

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Movies, News, Summit Entertainment.
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juanantoniobayona-031209Summit Entertainment has settled on Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona to helm the studio’s third film in the Twilight franchise, The Twilight Saga’s Eclipse.  According to Variety, Summit is expected to make the official announcement shortly.

Bayona is best known for directing the Spanish-language horror/thriller The Orphanage, which was executive produced by Guillermo Del Toro.  His next project is the Universal Pictures thriller Hater, with Del Toro and Mark Johnson on board to produce.

Production on the second film in the franchise, The Twilight Saga’s New Moon, is expected to begin shortly.  That’s set to hit theaters this November 20th.

The Twilight Saga’s Eclipse is scheduled to hit theaters on June 30, 2010.

Skeet Ulrich ‘Back’ At CBS March 12, 2009 1:00 am

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in CBS, News, Television.
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skeetulrich-031209Jericho star Skeet Ulrich is back at CBS, landing a role as the lead in the network’s drama pilot Back.  From CBS Paramount, Back centers on a man (Ulrich) who returns home to discover he was reported missing eight years earlier, after September 11th.  He must reconnect with his family and a world that has moved on without him.

The pilot’s script was written by Dean Widenmann who will be executive producing with producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Hairspray).  Mark Pellington is directing.

Da Vinci Code Blu-ray to Offer Glimpse at Angels & Demons March 12, 2009 12:53 am

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Blu-ray, Movies, News, Sony Pictures.
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angelsanddemons-031209Customers who purchase The Da Vinci Code: Extended Cut on Blu-ray April 28th will be treated to an exclusive five-minute scene from the upcoming prequel, Angels & Demons, which hits theaters two weeks later on May 15th.

The scene will be made available only on the Blu-ray version of The Da Vinci Code: Extended Cut and will feature an introduction by director Ron Howard.  The new Blu-ray release will also include $10 in movie cash good towards the purchase of Angels & Demons tickets as well.

The Da Vinci Code: Extended Cut includes 28 minutes of new footage from the 2006 film.

Source: Variety

Mickey Rourke and Scarlett Johannson Sign On To Iron Man 2 [UPDATE] March 11, 2009 9:21 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Casting, Movies, News.
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mickeyrourke-031109Update: Variety has confirmed the casting with a few more details about the role.  Rourke “He’ll play Whiplash, a character that includes elements from that comicbook villain and Crimson Dynamo, another Russian baddie.”  Interestingly enough, Variety adds that Rourke has already met with director Jon Favreau and screenwriter Justin Theroux and has been involved in the development of his character.

Original article follows below.

After at first being low-balled by Marvel Studios, the studio has signed Mickey Rourke for the role of a Russian villain in Iron Man 2. According to Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood Daily, Rourke’s agent David Unger negotiated that original low-ball offer to a “significant” level.

Finke reports that Marvel isn’t expected to confirm the casting “until all the i’s are dotted and t’s crossed on the contracts.”

In a separate post, Finke also reports that Scarlett Johannson has officially replaced Emily Blunt to play the Black Widow.  But Finke reports that the deal, unlike the one just signed by Rourke, is not a good one:

“[It’s] just the opposite, a terrible deal made by CAA,” one of my insiders says. “It’s as bad as any deal that I’ve heard. It’s lowball money. And it ties her to countless movies, including that ensemble The Avengers, which is what makes this brutal for a lot of actors.”

Bruno Footage Screening at SXSW March 11, 2009 8:22 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Movies, News.
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bruno-031109Universal Pictures has announced that they will be showing a sneak preview screening of some Bruno footage this weekend at South by Southwest (SXSW) 2009 in Austin.  The footage will be screened on Sunday, March 15th at 11:00pm.

Bruno, starring Sascha Baron Cohen, hits theaters on July 10, 2009.

Source: MovieWeb

Cold Case and Without a Trace In Danger of Cancellation? March 11, 2009 8:03 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in CBS, News, Television.
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coldcase-031109This may surprise some folks.  Multiple sources confirm to Michael Ausiello of EW that CBS has informed the producers of both Cold Case and Without a Trace are facing possible cancellation come May.:

“They no longer have the type of ratings that justify the massive overhead,” points out an Eye source, who adds that the Trace and Case bean counters at Warner Bros. are looking for ways to trim costs and avoid getting the axe. That includes convincing the casts of both shows to take salary cuts — or at the very least forfeit their annual raises.

Even if they can negotiate some of those changes, Ausiello’s insider stresses that “it’s not a given that either show will be back.” Reps for CBS and Warner Bros. declined to comment for this story.

The issue with both shows ratings, and many of CBS’s other shows as well, is that while they often average solid total viewer averages, they rate lower among the key A18-49 demographic.

Universal Sets May 2010 Release Date for Robin Hood March 11, 2009 7:55 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Movies, News, Release Dates.
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universalpictures-031109Universal Studios has set a May 14, 2010 release date for Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood project.  There’s no other film currently in that date, but Iron Man hits the week before (5/7/2010) and the rest of the month is already filled (Shrek Goes Fourth on May 21st and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time on May 28th).

Synopsis
Russell Crowe plays Robin of Loxley in an origin story of Robin Hood that hews close to historical facts of the period. Abandoned as a child, he finds community with the common people of Nottingham. Robin’s abandonment and trust issues hamper his ability to fall in love. He meets his match in Marian (Blanchett), a strong, independent woman.

Open Letter To The Fans from Watchmen Screenwriter David Hayter March 11, 2009 7:36 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Movies, News, Warner Brothers.
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davidhayter-031109Watchmen screenwriter David Hayter has written an open letter to the fans, asking them to go see the film again.  Hayter insists his plea isn’t to get beef up the fim’s box office, but instead to ensure that in the future, more films like Watchmen get made.  Read a few excerpts from the letter after the jump. (more…)

CBS Orders Four Additional Scripts for ‘Mother’; Renewal Likely March 11, 2009 6:29 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in CBS, News, Nielsen TV Ratings, Television.
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howimetyourmother-031109CBS has ordered four additional scripts for its comedy series How I Met Your Mother, a very positive first sign towards the likeilhood of the show receiving a renewal for next season.

The scripts are for the 2009-10 season and will give the show’s producers an opportunity to get a head start on the fifth season.  So yeah, it’s extremely likely that the show is coming back for another season.

In recent years a renewal has been much more in doubt, but the show, coupled with lead-in The Big Bang Theory, has helped put the network in a dominant position on Monday nights

The network is rumored to be in discussions with Warner Bros. (who produces the shows) over multiseason renewals for fellow Monday night comedies The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men as well as another comedy on the network, The New Adventures of Old Christine, which is just a few episodes away from tallying up enough episodes for syndication.

If you’re interested, full season ratings data for the three key Monday night comedies (The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother and Two and a Half Men) follows after the jump. (more…)

The Dark Knight and Lost Lead Saturn Nominations March 11, 2009 6:06 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Awards, News, Television.
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lostdarknight-031109ABC’s Lost led the way at the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films’ 35th annual Saturn Awards nominations.  The ABC series received 11 total nominations including best network TV series, TV actor (Matthew Fox) and TV actress (Evangeline Lilly).

NBC’s Heroes followed with the second most nominations, grabbing six (including best network TV series) and SCI FI’s Battlestar Galactica and Fox’s Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles each with four nominations.

In the film category, it was WB’s The Dark Knight leading the field, also with 11 nominations, including for bBest Adventure/Thriller Film, actor (Christian Bale), actress (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and supporting actor (Aaaron Eckhart and Heath Ledger).

A complete list of nominees can be found here. The awards will be presented June 25.

You can view a complete list of nominees at SaturnAwards.org.

Arnold Talks Terminator and Expendables March 11, 2009 2:48 am

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Movies, News.
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schwarzeneggeterminator-031109California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was at his annual Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio over the weekend and was asked by TheArnoldFans.com about his cameos in McG’s Terminator Salvation and Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables.

While confirming his cameo for Terminator Salvation, Schwarzenegger really downplayed the appearance.  He’s concerned that the studio would overreach to promote his appearance in the film (which he says he’s seen only a working print of–without the sfx, etc.), something he’s not interested in being involved in.  Click through the jump to read what Arnold had to say. (more…)

Comedy Central Cancels Chocolate News March 11, 2009 2:26 am

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Cancellations, News, Television.
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davidalangrierchocolatenews-031109Fans of David Alan Grier will have to hope the comedian does well in his gig on Dancing With the Stars, because they won’t be seeing him on Chocolate NewsThe NY Times has been informed by a Comedy Central rep that the network has decided not to renew Grier’s news/sketch-comedy series, confirming a report that appeared on the website of The Baltimore Sun newspaper.

The series debuted on October 15th and ran for just 10 episodes.

Disney Moves Up The Release of Princess and the Frog March 11, 2009 2:16 am

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Movies, News, Release Dates, Walt Disney Pictures.
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theprincessandthefrog-031109Disney has decided to move up the release of The Princess and the Frog from its original Christmas Day, 2009 release date to December 11, 2009.  The animated musical will open in limited release exclusively in New York and Los Angeles 16 days earlier on November 25th.

Disney made the decision, so they could take the film out of competition with 20th Century Fox’s family friendly Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel.  In its new date, it’ll face off against Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones from DreamWorks and Paramount.

Vin Diesel on Third ‘Riddick’ Movie March 11, 2009 2:04 am

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Movies, News, Video Games.
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chroniclesofriddickassaultondarkathena-031109During an interview with GameSpot about the upcoming video game The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena (follow-up to the hit 2004 game ‘Escape From Butcher Bay’), Vin Diesel revealed that plans are underway for a third installment in the ‘Riddick’ film franchise:

Maybe we’re too tight-lipped about the next Chronicles of Riddick film, and I think circa the release of [Dark Athena] that’s probably when you’ll start hearing more about the next Riddick film. It is underway and I almost think it’s a coincidence that we haven’t heard anything, that there hasn’t been a lot of public stuff on the Riddick movie.

Diesel later added that Pitch Black/The Chronicles of Riddick screenwriter David Twohy “is finishing up the next script.”

‘Assault on Dark Athena’ will be released on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 on April 7, 2009.