New images
AICN: a Lemony Snicket teaser poster?

Coming Soon:
CG Tom Hanks from The Polar Express

Torque, Dawn of the Dead, Thunderbirds, Van Helsing, Chronicles of Riddick, The Bourne Supremacy, Alien Vs. Predator, The Day After Tomorrow, I, Robot, Garfield, Taxi, The Girl Next Door, Ben Stiller's Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story 

a cute—dare I say it—Garfield poster

Latino Review: Van Helsing, Wimbledon, Thunderbirds, The Bourne Supremacy, Two Brothers, The Chronicles of Riddick, Connie and Carla, Along Came Polly, Dawn of the Dead; posters for Taking Lives, Scooby Doo 2: Blah Blah Blah

Movieweb: Disney’s Teacher’s Pet, Along Came Polly

Orlando Multimedia:
Haven set pics

Superhero Hype: Son of the Mask poster

Upcoming Horror Movies:
2001 Maniacs

Z Review: Torque, Constantine, Uptown Girls, Northfork, Goodbye Lenin!, Ned Kelly

Trailers and multimedia

Apple: Secret Window

Empire Online:
Shaun of the Dead

Jo Blo:
Butterfly Effect clips

The Movie Box: The Clearing (Robert Redford, Willem Dafoe), Jersey Girl, Butterfly Effect clips, The Perfect Score clips and music video

Trailer Park: Blueprint (Franka Potente), A Cinderella Story

Casting calls and future films

Quick casting

Backwaters: Billy Zane, Erika Eleniak, Jeff Trachta, dir. Jag Mundhra (Dark Horizons)

Batman: Laurence Fishburne as Lucius Fox? (CHUD)

Will Ferrell, Nicole Kidman (old news basically reaffirming that they’re still on) (Sci-Fi Wire)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:
Bill Nighy (Underworld, Love Actually), Martin Freeman (“The Office”) (Moviehole)

Horizon: Kevin Costner will write, star, and direct (CHUD)

Kingdom of Heaven: Jeremy Irons, Alexander Siddig (Cinescape)

Logan’s Run:
Matt Damon? (AICN)

The Mask 2:
Bob Hoskins? (Moviehole)

Mozart and the Whale: Josh Hartnett, possibly Rachel Weisz (CHUD)

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer:
dir. Tom Tykwer, possibly Orlando Bloom (AICN)

Selma Blair? (Superhero Hype)

Walk On: Jessica Simpson (Dark Horizons)

When Will I Be Loved: Neve Campbell (naked, apparently), dir. James Toback (Jo Blo)


Catch and Release:
Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich) will make her directorial debut; she’s currently looking at actresses even as she writes a new draft. (Cinescape)

More films

A Day with Wilbur Robinson: William Joyce’s children’s book will be adapted by Disney’s remaining animation department into a CG film. (Cinescape)

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:
…is shooting in Iceland? (Cinescape)

John Woo musical: “We have almost got a finished script right now, [he tells Empire Online]. It is an ambitious project. I have been dreaming of making this for seven years. It is an American gangster story, based on a true story. In the 1920s there was a gang boss who was also a great dancer. It’s also a love story – this guy was in love with two women. So it’s a new kind of challenge, a new kind of experiment…. There’s going to be a lot of dance and a lot of action. Sometimes the action will look pretty much like dance and the dance will look pretty much like action." (Empire Online)

Kingdom of Heaven: Dark Horizons has a few set reports.

Matt Helm: Robert Luketic (Legally Blonde) wants to dust off the old Dean Martin secret agent movie. Be warned: accompany picture of Martin is truly terrifying. (Cinescape)

Musical remakes: Dark Horizons reports: “The Denver Post indicates that in payment for his Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights cameo, Patrick Swayze will appear in one of Miramax's three musicals in development - Damn Yankees, Pippin or Rent. Swayze is also desperate to ‘make sure An American In Paris gets remade - with me in it.’”

One Step Behind: Paul Verhoeven will try to redeem himself with this adaptation of one of Henning Mankel’s Kurt Wallander books. Premise: “The story has [police inspector] Wallander investigating the murder of three college girls.” (CHUD)

Saw: Lions Gate has bought up the rights to this thriller:  “Starring Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Monica Potter and newcomer/screenwriter Leigh Whannell, SAW is about the search for a serial killer. Known as "Jigsaw" by the police because of the puzzle-shaped piece branded into the flesh of his victims, the movie kicks into overdrive when a doctor and another man (Elwes and Whannell) awake to find themselves chained to the wall of a room and have no idea how they got there. Realizing they are slated to be the next victims of the Jigsaw killer, the pair try to find a means of escape and to stay alive before the killer can return.” (Cinescape)

Star Wars: Episode III: Movieweb has the latest on ILM’s progress with the effects.

Trumpet of the Swan:
Paramount is working on a live-action version of the E.B. White children’s book. (Empire Movies)

Reviews (Here be spoilers!)


Smilin’ Jack Ruby goes gaga for a rough partial cut of Hellboy

Dark Horizons:
Weather Man script, Hellboy, Mindhunters, The Butterfly Effect, Thunderstruck, Torque

Film Jerk:
The Weather Man (script)

Latino Review: Ocean’s Twelve (script)

Salon: Chasing Liberty; Yves Saint Laurent: His Life and Times; Yves Saint Laurent: 5, Avenue Marceau, 75116 Paris

Upcoming DVDs

DVD Fanatic: Underworld, The Order, Alex and Emma, features on Matrix Revolutions and American Pie

DVD File: Underworld, The Office: First Series, To Live and Die in LA

DVD Savant:
Ikiru, Aswang & the Living Corpse, Blackmail Is My Life, A Brief Vacation, La Terre, I Was a Male War Bride

IGN DVD: Once Upon a Time in Mexico

Interviews and profiles
Monet Mazur, Ice Cube (Torque)

Dark Horizons: Jennifer Aniston, Debra Messing (Along Came Polly)

Latino Review:
Ice Cube (XXX 2, Are We There Yet?), Ben Stiller, Jennifer Aniston (Along Came Polly)

Moviehole: Jennifer Aniston, Debra Messing (Along Came Polly), Ashton Kutcher (The Butterfly Effect)

Salon: Toni Collette (Japanese Story), Saadi Yasef (The Battle of Algiers)

Other news

Oscar voting chaos in Britain; US producer plans Loch Ness Monster horror movie; Families back Omagh film; Nighy and Freeman for Hitchhikers

Chicago Sun-Times:
'LOTR' final installment the Critics' Choice for best picture; 'Big Fish,' 'Lord' in photo finish for box office lead

CHUD Media Reports:
Premiere, EW, Stuff, Movieline Hollywood Life, Cinefex

Film Jerk: Who’s bought Super Bowl movie spots?

IMDB: Ross' Drunk-Driving Plea Bargain; Massive Support for Jackson Court Appearance; Kidman's Controversial Gift; Aniston Pokes Fun at the Paparazzi; Ben and Jen Will Keep Wedding Secret; Mariah To Duet With Archrival J.Lo?; Cameron's Chilly Response to Chile; Depp Plagued by On-Set Admirers; Neve Loses Out qith New Film; Cruise's Family Tree Treat

Jam Showbiz: 'Rings' star Astin courts Oscar; 'Rings' estate wins domain name; Baldwin, Basinger in custody battle; Kutcher, Moore marriage on hold; Oscar screener ends up on Internet; Actor-writer Spalding Gray missing; Disney closes animation studio; Critics select best in film; Campbell loses money with 'Company'; 'Rings' wins box office reversal

USAToday: Ashton and Demi? So 2003: New year, new hookups; Jacksons rally the faithful; Dr. Kovac as Spartacus?; Spalding Gray missing

Yahoo: NC-17 Film by Bertolucci to Be Released; Actor-Writer Spalding Gray Missing; Oscar Screener Copy of Movie Found Online; 'Return of King' rings in New Year strongly; Lions Gate Stalks Horror Pic 'Saw'

Zap2It: Kutcher Quashes Wedding Rumors; '10 Directors' Party at Sundance Film Fest; Paul Robeson Stamp Issued by Postal Service; Disney Closes Animation Studio; 'Hitchhiker's Guide' Casts Last Human on Earth; Basinger - Baldwin Custody Battle Set; Spalding Gray Reported Missing

Fun and games

Fametracker: Ian McKellen's Fame Audit

Short Attention Span Theater: “Gondor calls for pants!" "And Rohan will answer!"

Parting shot

EW: “Academy targets actor in piracy probe”

** When the Motion Picture Association of America decided this fall to fight piracy by banning studios from sending out ''screener'' videos of eligible movies to awards voters, it carved out an exception for Academy members. But it seems that even Oscar voters can't be trusted. According to the Los Angeles Times, an Academy probe traced an uploaded copy of ''Something's Gotta Give'' to a screener cassette that the studio had sent to an Academy member. The Academy didn't name the member, but a person familiar with the probe identified him as Carmine Caridi, a character actor whose resume includes ''The Godfather Part II'' and the role of Det. Vince Gotelli on ''NYPD Blue.''

The Academy said it learned of the illicit web copy of the film last week from ''Something'''s distributor, Sony, and used the electronic watermark imprinted on the image to trace the video leak. The uploaded ''Something'' -- a movie that contains a likely Best Actress nominee in Diane Keaton -- was the first known instance of an Oscar member's screener copy being identified as the source of a pirated duplication.

In imposing the screener ban (which was overturned in court last month), the MPAA made an exception for Oscar voters, arguing that the Academy was capable of policing itself. To receive screeners this year, Academy members had to sign a pledge (only 80 percent of them agreed to do so), promising not to circulate the tapes or allow them to be copied, on pain of possible expulsion from the Academy.

Academy executive director Bruce Davis told the Times he'd spoken briefly on the phone with the accused voter, who Davis said promised to call back and explain his actions fully but never did. A formal letter from the Academy also received no response. The Times reported that it was unable to reach the 69-year-old actor for comment.

Sony told the Times it was considering legal action, though the studio would wait to make a decision until the Academy probe was completed. ''I still have trouble believing that anybody would take the care of a 2003 screener lightly,'' Davis told the Times. ''It never occurred to me that anybody would ever let this happen. It's risking the whole ability of the Academy members to get their screeners next year.''
Updated Tuesday 1/13/04, 9:30 pm CST

Monday 10/27/03Thursday 10/30/03Tuesday 11/11/03Wednesday 1/7/04Thursday 1/8/04Friday 1/9/04
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Subdirectory overhaul: I have finally gotten a clue and have started moving hundreds of pages to various subdirectories so that the site's easier to manage. The most important links have been corrected, but you're still very likely to hit one that's broken if you're going through old news stories. To help with that, our 404 page has now been redesigned as a site map/troubleshooter. Indices of all news pages will be up soon.

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Top stories

Box office:
No matter what you heard or Sony said earlier this week, ROTK is still on top.

Missing: Actor/writer Spalding Gray. (Yahoo)

Disney’s feature hand-drawn animation studio in Orlando closed yesterday: “Some artists will be transferred to Burbank, California, where Disney's corporate headquarters is located, but most of the employees [as many as 260], whose credits include the films Brother Bear and Lilo & Stitch, are expected to lose their jobs.” (Yahoo)

The Dreamers: …will be released as with an NC-17. This is a smart move, really, because it’s not like all that many people are going to go see such a small art movie, and those who would have gone to see this one will be less interested if all “the good stuff” is taken out. This way, the sheer infamy of being the first NC-17 of the century will draw in at least a few moviegoers.  (CHUD)

Golden Globes presenters: …will include Jim Carrey, Nicole Kidman, Jack Nicholson, Uma Thurman, Richard Gere, Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep and Renee Zellweger. (Coming Soon)

Oscar Watch:
The ASC Noms are Here!; Hollywood Reporter Puts out Annual Critics' Picks; AMPAS Announces Makeup Finalists; The BFCA's (Critics Choice) and Their Impact/Seabiscuit and the NY Times; Diary of a Hobbit Friend Continues; Mike Prill on Picture and Director Post-DGA/PGA; Jeff Lelek Sees ROTK and Likes It; BFCA's Vote Counts

ASC (cinematography) noms:
Russell Boyd, ACS ("Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World")
Andrew Lesnie, ACS ("The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King")
John Schwartzman, ASC ("Seabiscuit")
John Seale, ASC, ACS ("Cold Mountain")
John Toll, ASC ("The Last Samurai")

Movies eligible for Best Makeup:
"Cold Mountain"
"The Last Samurai"
"The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"
"Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World"
"Peter Pan"
"Pirates of the Carribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl"

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