To Our Readers We wanted to thank you for being loyal readers over the years by sending out a full newsletter today. Also, we have to ask, do you miss us? If so, please show your support by heading to the website and signing up for the daily newsletter again. It is only $4.99 per month (which averages out to less than 25 cents each day), and is specially gathered and curated for your daily reading pleasure. Projects Announced Pam Grier’s Life Will Be Actually Told “In Three Acts”
Via a press release, it’s been announced thatmovie rights to Pam Grier’s autobiography “Foxy: My Life In Three Acts” – in which she talks about, amongst other things, her early relationships with Richard Pryor, Freddie Prinze & Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and how Richard Pryor put cocaine on his penis before having sex with her – has been optioned by Imprint Entertainment. Eunetta Boone (who’s worked primarily in TV) has been hired to adapt the book into a screenplay.
Even if you don’t follow sports at all and can’t tell basketball from rugby to save your life, you’ve still likely heard about Jeremy Lin. Taking over from Tim Tebow as the hot sports topic of the moment, the New York Knicks point guard has become a media sensation. And as befitting any flash in the pan figure whose 15 minutes could run out at any moment, a documentary is in the works. 24 Frames reports that Evan Jackson Leong – former assistant to “Fast Five” helmer Justin Lin (no relation), and friend of Jeremy’s – is helming the pic that will chronicle the athlete’s background, faith (he’s a staunch Christian) and his rise from Harvard graduate, to knockabout player in the NBA, bouncing from team-to-team, to improbable star. Leong has apparently been filming Lin for years but the timing couldn’t be better. The point guard is currently sidelined by an injury that required knee surgery, and is a free agent after this season.
Project Updates It's Now Official: Bale And Affleck To Play Brothers In “Out of the Furnace”
Christian Bale and Casey Affleck are officially on board to star as brothers in the Rust Belt drama “Out of the Furnace,” Relativity Media said Thursday. They will be joined by Zoe Saldana, who will play Bales’s love interest, and Sam Shepard, who will play the two leads’ uncle. In the film, Affleck is lured into a dangerous crime ring after his brother sent to prison. The film is set in an economically depressed section of the northeastern United States and will be directed by Scott Cooper.
David Michod Has A New Project To Direct. It’s Called “The Rover”
After plugging away for years with shorts and other jobs, director David Michôd burst onto the wider cinematic scene in 2010 with excellent rites of passage thriller “Animal Kingdom.” We’ve been waiting to see what he’d do next in terms of features, and he’s locked in his follow-up directing job, “The Rover.” While few details have leaked yet, Variety did learn that the story will follow a man who hunting for his stolen car, which he desperately wants back because of what’s lurking within it.
Nicole Kidman To Play Grace Kelly: Cue Public’s Reaction
Nicole Kidman is lining up to play Grace Kelly in the brewing film “Grace Of Monaco” from “La Vie En Rose” director Olivier Dahan. Easily one of the most beautiful and iconic actresses of all time, this film is not a biopic but instead focuses on a specific, and pretty curious moment in her life. Penned by Arash Amel, the story is set during 1962 when the city-state of Monaco got into a heated dispute with France, which had grown tired of the small principality being a tax haven. Charles De Gaulle gave Kelly’s husband Prince Rainer III six months to change his tax laws, and she maneuvered behind the scenes to save Monaco from a coup.
Cassandra Freeman has joined the cast of the Queen Latifah-produced hour-long VH1 dramedy series “Single Ladies” which revolves around the romantic relationships of three friends. Freeman will play a character named Morgan Hayes, but no word on what her relationship will be to the others in the cast. Maybe those of you who watched the series’ first season have some idea.
Lead role casting is currently underway for the planned Ashley Walters-directed film, “The Charlatans.” This will be Walters’ directorial debut. A casting announcement for this film also revealed that “this film will be beautifully shot in a similar style to the hit US TV shows Entourage and Heroes, intercut with fast-paced action, witty dialogue, beautiful locations and an amazing upbeat soundtrack.
Now titled “Being Mary Jane” (previously titled “Single Black Female”), the upcoming new hour-long scripted drama series from Mara Brock and Salim Akil, which stars Gabrielle Union has added another actress to its cast – Lisa Vidal. She will play Kara, the lead producer for Mary Jane’s show and Mary Jane’s friend.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt Is Out Of Tarantino’s “Django Unchained”
It’s looked for a long while that Joseph Gordon-Levitt was going to have a very good year in 2012. After major roles in hits “(500) Days Of Summer” and “Inception,” and an acclaimed turn last year in “50/50,” the actor has a number of major parts lined up for the coming months. He’s leading actioner “Premium Rush,” he’s got a key, still-top-secret part in “The Dark Knight Rises,” he’s reunited with Rian Johnson for sci-fi “Looper,” and he’ll crop up among the ensemble cast of Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln.” All that, and he’s got his collaborative wet project hitRECord, and he’s looking to get underway on his directorial debut, “Don Jon’s Addiction,” with Scarlett Johansson and Julianne Moore, very shortly. But sadly, it looks like the latter has meant that the actor’s had to drop out of another of the year’s most anticipated films, which he had a small role in. Gordon-Levitt had been pegged for a minor part in Quentin Tarantino’s revenge Western “Django Unchained,” joining Anthony LaPaglia as part of a trio of Australian bandits in the film’s later stages, but the actor tells MTV that his busy schedule, particularly when it comes to prepping for “Don Jon’s Addiction,” has meant that he’s had to drop out of the film.
Ken Jeong is reuniting with Michael Bay for “Pain And Gain,” the director’s dark-comedy action thriller for Paramount. The project is based on the true story of body builders in Miami Beach who headed a kidnapping and extortion ring that went awry. Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson are starring in the pic alongside Ed Harris, Tony Shaloub, Anthony Mackie and Bar Paly. Character details are being kept close to the vest, but Jeong will play a character named Johnny Wu.
Sorry “Avatar” Fans! There Is More Wating Before That Sequel Comes Our Way
James Cameron’s eagerly anticipated follow-up to “Avatar” is going to be delayed until at least 2015, producer Jon Landau said Thursday. Contrary to previous statements that indicated Avatar 2 would arrive in theaters in December 2014 and Avatar 3 would follow in 2015, Landau revealed that the first of two proposed sequels probably won’t be ready within the next two years.
Sam Shepard had joined the cast of the drama “Out of the Furnace,” Relativity Media co-president Tucker Tooley said Thursday. Shepard will play the uncle of Rodney Baze Jr. (Affleck), and Bale plays his older brother Russell. Saldana is the love interest. The film revolves around brothers in an economically depressed part of the American Rust Belt. When one brother goes to prison, the other is lured into a ruthless gang.
Don’t Worry People! There Is Enough Jennifer Lawrence For Both "X-Men" And "Hunger Games"!
There appears to be a resolution to the question of whether 20th Century Fox and Lionsgate will fight over the services of in-demand actress Jennifer Lawrence. Fox is informing talent agencies Thursday that the studio plans to begin shooting its in-development sequel to “X-Men: First Class” in January. That means Lionsgate could move forward with an August-September start date for the “Hunger Games” sequel “Catching Fire” without a conflict for Lawrence, who is set to star in both.
Pilot Season David Walton Will Star In A New Comedy Pilot For CBS
“Bent” star David Walton has a new gig. “Bent” star David Walton has a new gig. Walton will star in Greg Berlanti’s untitled comedy CBS pilot. He replaces the previously cast Bryan Greenberg and will star opposite JoAnna Garcia as a womanizer who realizes he’s in love with his friend of 15 years.
Thomas, Glass, Wilson, Team Up With HBO For A New Series Called “Thrillsville”
HBO is working with Rob Thomas, Ira Glass and Owen Wilson to develop a segment from a 2010 radio episode into a scripted drama called (at least for now) “Thrillsville.” The story, “Midlife Cowboy,” is from the “Saves the Day” episode that originally aired in March of 2010, and told the tale of James Spring. On the verge of turning 40, the San Diego man felt his life was “unremarkable in almost every way,” and decided what he wanted to do to celebrate his birthday was to do something major to help someone. After reading about a meth-addicted couple on the run in Mexico for murder with their two daughters, one of whom they’d kidnapped from her grandparents, Spring decided to go down to Baja and rescue the girls.
Acquisitions/Film Festivals Paladin Is Getting “Mansome” With Morgan Spurlock’s New Doc
Paladin has taken US theatrical rights to Morgan Spurlock’s new documentary “Mansome,” which will take a look at the wild world of contemporary male grooming. The film, which premieres later this month at the Tribeca Film Festival, uses some of the biggest stars in comedy to explore the manscaping landscape: Paul Rudd, Zach Galifianakis, Adam Carolla, Judd Apatow, John Waters, Will Arnett and Jason Bateman all appear.
Business/Legal News Jimmy Smits Makes A Stop At “Sons of Anarchy”
Jimmy Smits is heading for outlaw territory. Former “NYPD Blue” star Smits has signed on for a season-long arc on FX’s biker drama “Sons of Anarchy.” Smits will play Neron “Nero” Padilla, a gang member who ends up mentoring newly installed SAMCRO president Jackson “Jax” Teller.
Cool! James Cameron To Make A Series About Fighting Robots With Mark Burnett
James Cameron and Mark Burnett are joining forces for a new series called “Robogeddon,” Discovery announced at its up-front presentation Thursday. The series from Oscar-winning director Cameron and reality TV mastermind Burnett will feature mechanical robots fighting, as on the Comedy Central show “BattleBots.” Engineer Donald Hutson, the two-time Super Heavyweight Champion of “BattleBots” who is also competing on “Robogeddon,” was on hand to show off his handiwork.
Viacom won a victory in its long-running copyright battle with YouTube on Thursday when a federal appeals courts reversed a lower court’s decision to throw out the $1 billion case. Viacom has been seeking remunerations from YouTube by arguing that the online video portal is hosting videos on its site that infringe Viacom copyrights. A district court had ruled in 2010 that while YouTube was hosting said videos, it was not breaking the law as long as it was unaware of the videos. It cited the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s “safe harbor” provision, which exonerates a file-hosting site if it is unaware of the illegal content. The idea behind the provision is that sites like YouTube are responsible if they condone the uploading but that they can’t be responsible for every user’s activity. The appeals court rejected that ruling on Thursday on grounds that YouTube might be aware of said violating videos.
The Season 12 finale of CBS’ “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” is shaping up to be jam-packed with guest stars. The veteran procedural has tapped former “Frasier” star Peri Gilpin for a multiepisode arc to play the wife of Ted Danson’s D.B. Russell.
It’s often said that the law has trouble keeping up with new technology, but perhaps it’s also the case that insurance has trouble keeping up with new law. On Wednesday, Hulu was sued by its insurer, Hartford Casualty Insurance Company, which is seeking a confirmation that it doesn’t have to provide coverage on claims that Hulu is violating consumer privacy by tracking users’ online activity with cookies and other identifiers on users’ computers. At issue in the insurer’s lawsuit is whether insurance concepts like “bodily injury” and “property damage” apply to the alleged harm that entertainment fans experience when watching their favorite TV shows and movies online.
Embattled film financier David Bergstein is going to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals over a judge’s refusal to overturn a bankruptcy case. Bergstein brought new evidence that purports to show that his former attorney, who switched sides, destroyed evidence in the case, provided privileged documents to assist Aramid Entertainment Fund in forcing his companies into bankruptcy, and is participating in a conspiracy against him. Last month, Bergstein filed a new motion that describes how after two years of hard-fought discovery battles in the litigation over his bankrupt film companies, he had uncovered evidence proving his arguments why terminating sanctions were warranted.
Writing duo Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins are going to work for ABC Studios. The pair, who most recently penned the Natalie Portman-produced feature “Booksmart” for 20th Century Fox, has inked a two-year overall deal to develop new projects for the studio.
Marco Bassetti will step down as president of Endemol Group after nearly fifteen years with the independent production company. The production company has scored big hits with its “Big Brother” and “Fear Factor” franchises, but has also run into financial difficulties since going public in 2005. The announcement of Bassetti’s departure comes two days after former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s broadcasting company Mediaset said it had sold its stake in Endemol for $94 million.
Disney Interactive has launched this new original web series designed for gamers. The weekly show on Disney.com is hosted by YouTube celebrity, Christina Grimmie, and will cover a wide range of game-related topics, including reviews of popular console, mobile, social and casual games. The series will also feature comedic sketches featuring other YouTube stars and original songs from the host. The series can also be viewed on Disney’s YouTube page, Disney Mobile and Xbox LIVE. To celebrate the launch of the series, as well as the launch of the “Kinect Rush: A Disney/Pixar Adventure” video game (Kinect is the official sponsor of the series), Disney is allowing players to enter the Power Up Sweepstakes for a chance to win a family trip to San Francisco and receive a private tour of Pixar Animation Studios, a behind-the-scenes look into the making of the game and a chance to play the game with Christina Grimmie.