Updated Thursday 1/29/04, 11:55 pm CST

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SAST: stills from the missing Voice of Saruman scene

Oscar nominations column (with idiotically brave predictions for the winners)

Dailydigest @ Livejournal: Cinefex article on visual effects selection process; EW article on Oscar nominees’ reactions

See Short Attention Span Theater for daily reports on updates and housekeeping, or our Yahoo Group for email alerts and newsletters.

Top stories

Gothenburg Film Festival: Correspondent Vladimir reports from Sweden all this week—as a juror, no less.

Pixar walks out on Disney after a year of negotiations: …causing you to wonder, exactly what was Disney stupid enough not to give them? (IGN DVD)

Oscar Watch: Sean Penn to Attend Oscars!; More Letters/Reactions/Corrections

New images

Dark Horizons: The Final Cut, Before Sunset

Empire Movies:

Scarlett Johansson and Erika Christensen in The Perfect Score

UIP: Shrek 2

Trailers and multimedia

Apple: Good bye, Lenin!, Kill Bill Vol 2, Taking Lives, Johnson Family Vacation

Coming Soon:
video of Halle Berry as Catwoman

IGN: Big Bounce clips and interviews

The Movie Box: Breakin’ All the Rules (Quicktime)

Trailer Park: Episode III footage

Casting calls and future films

Release dates

King Kong: December 14, 2005 (my birthday!) (Empire Online)

Quick casting

American Pastoral:
Jennifer Connelly, Paul Bettany, Evan Rachel Wood. From the Philip Roth novel. Here’s hoping it does better than The Human Stain. (Jo Blo)

The Black Dahlia: Scarlett Johansson, Mark Wahlberg, Josh Hartnett (Jo Blo)

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: If you'd like to try out for the role of Cho Chang, click the link. WE AT THE DIGEST CANNOT HELP YOU GET INTO A HARRY POTTER MOVIE. IF YOU EMAIL US ASKING FOR HELP, THE REQUEST WILL BE IGNORED (AND POSSIBLY MOCKED ON SAST). THANK YOU, THAT IS ALL. (Coming Soon)

Seed of Chucky: John Waters (spoilers at article) (Fangoria)

Superman: Beyoncé is out; Johnny Depp may still be under consideration. (SAST) Update: Is Depp actually being considered (as in “they haven’t actually talked to him yet”) for Jor-El, not Luthor? (SHH)

Tulia: Halle Berry will play “an attorney who investigates the [1999] arrest of 10% of a Texas town’s black population during a dubious drug bust… [in which] no drugs were actually found.” (CHUD)


King Kong:
Philippa Boyens (LOTR) talks about script progress to the LA Daily News. (Movieweb)

Tortured Souls: Clive Barker tells Fangoria that he’ll direct and will turn in the script in four weeks.

More films

3001: Empire Online: “The most intelligent man on Earth… is apparently Luke Wilson.” No, really: “Wilson plays an ordinary guy who is selected for a top-secret hibernation programme and put to sleep for a thousand years. He awakes to find that he is the most intelligent person on the planet after society has completely dumbed down. Obviously civilisation spent too much time watching ‘I’m A Celebrity - Get me Out of Here!’ and not enough watching The West Wing.” The film is not related to any work of Arthur C. Clarke’s.

Batman: “Take it with a grain of salt,” says SHH, but they have a scooper who provides several new details on casting (Morgan Freeman in a different role, Cillian Murphy as Jonathan Crane, Guy Pearce tested for Harvey Dent), a different description of the Batmobile, and a different description of the costume.

GI Joe: IGN and Cinescape have, between them, what appear to be story spoilers. I’m a girl, so I don’t care.

The Grudge: Yet another Japanese horror remake started production today. Just for novelty, they’re actually filming this one in Tokyo: “The movie, based on the hit Japanese horror franchise Ju-On, stars Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jason Behr, KaDee Strickland, Clea DuVall, William Mapother and Bill Pullman, and some of the original Ju-On stars will reprise their roles, including Takako Fuji as Kayoko and Yuya Ozeki as Toshio.” (SciFi Wire)

Kingdom of Heaven: From the latest Popbitch newsletter: “Orlando Bloom is scared of pigs. He's filming The King [sic] Of Heaven in Spain, with Liam Neeson,  where he plays the blacksmith's son, and in a scene where one of the pigs escaped from the herd Orlando got scared and ran away.”

Skeleton Key: Cinescape has a rundown of the characters in the script. Peter Sarsgaard and Kate Hudson were announced as starring earlier this week.

Through the Moebius Strip: Coming Soon reports, “Senator International will handle worldwide sales rights to French artist Jean Giraud's sci-fi fantasy adventure Thru the Moebius Strip. The CG feature is set in the distant future. The sci-fi family adventure written by Jim Cox and Paul Gertz concerns a boy who travels to a magical, alien world of giants to find his long-lost father and realize his own destiny. Pre-production on the film began in Los Angeles in 2000 with a team of artists led by Giraud. Further pre-production and the entire CGI production moved to China in 2001. ‘Moebius,’ now in post-production, will be completed this year. Actors signed on to voice the feature include Mark Hamill, Chris Marguette, Michael Dorn, Kellie Martin, Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Jean Simmons.”

Van Helsing: Apparently “Abraham” isn’t good enough for director Stephen Sommers; he’s changed his title character’s name to “Gabriel.” Gahhhh. Just go ahead and call him “Josh Van Helsing” and be done with it.

Reviews (Here be spoilers!)

Barbershop 2, Salem’s Lot, Gozu, Zebraman

Dark Horizons: Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!

Film Jerk: On the Run: Trilogy One, 3001 (script, 2 reviews)

Jo Blo: The Big Bounce

No Dawn: Salt, The Rage in Placid Lake, Pearls and Pigs, Suburban Virgin

Upcoming DVDs

DVD Fanatic: Jeremiah (S1), Dilbert, Radio, 21 Grams cover art, City of God pushed back

DVD File: The Kiss, Labyrinth

DVD Talk: Capturing the Friedmans, Doctor at Sea, Sitcom, The Magic of Fellini, The Douglas Fairbanks Collection, Friends (S6), All-Purpose Cat Girl Nuku Nuku Dash Mode 2

Empire Movies: Open Range

IGN DVD: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Interviews and profiles

Cinema Confidential: Erika Christensen (The Perfect Score), real kids talk about the SAT

CHUD via Dark Horizons: Brett Ratner on his upcoming slate

IGN: Erika Christensen (The Perfect Score), Jonathan Hensleigh (The Punisher)

Milla News via Movieweb:
Milla Jovovich video interview (Resident Evil: Apocalypse)

Moviehole: Robert Rodriguez (Madman, Predator 3, Desperado 4)

MTV: Thomas Jane (The Punisher)

SciFi Wire: Stephen Sommers (Van Helsing), Jonathan Hensleigh (The Punisher)

Other news

Madonna and Ritchie accused of stealing [Swept Away] film idea [dude… it was a remake]; Johansson lines up Hollywood starlet murder movie; Rings leads nominations for Empire Awards

E! Online: Michael Jackson’s “Jesus Juice”

Empire Online:
First Annual Directors Guild of Great Britain Awards announced

IMDB: Berry Recovers Well from 'Catwoman' Accident; Penn To Attend First Oscars; James Brown Arrested; Courtney Love's Hearing Postponed Again; Affleck "Called Off" Christmas Wedding to J.Lo; Trial Date Set for Madonna's 'Swept Away' Case; Hilton To Marry Carter?; Ryan Hits Back at "Hostile" British Interviewer; Lopez "Accosted by Reporter; Murray Flies Into Globes, And Back Again

Jam Showbiz: Halle Berry to play lawyer in film; Robin Givens runs over elderly woman; Ron Howard shooting boxing film in T.O.; Wilson gets sleepy in Judge's '3001'; Johansson cast in De Palma's 'Dahlia'; 'Ginger Snaps' star reveals darker side; Cheating pays off for Erika Christensen; Actor sued over movie screeners; Stars come out for Ann Miller funeral

Sci Fi Wire: Yoda Stolen He Is

USAToday: Enough glitz for everyone: Oscar producer promises this year, the show won’t bore you

Yahoo: Pixar, Disney Partnership Talks Collapse; U.N. Gives OK for Movie at Headquarters; Jennifer Garner to Host Sci-Tech Oscars; Many Worry About New Mel Gibson Movie; Freeman Plays Practical Joke on Movie Set; Eszterhas Memoir Details Hollywood Life; Someone Steals Statue of Yoda

Zap2It: Gellar Gets Her ‘Grudge’ On; Wood Is Bad Seed in 'Pastoral'; 'Samurai' Screener Pirates Sued; 'Hitchhiker' Picks Up Sundance Stars; Judge Tells Wilson to Take a Long Nap; Garner to Host Academy's Sci-Tech Awards; Cat People Scratch Warning to Halle

Fun and games

Short Attention Span Theater: "Gondor Joins the U.N."; "The Punisher is the mother of all revenge stories"; international Oscar party

Parting shot

Popbitch's latest newsletter: Best. Comeback. Ever.

** "Bishop and the Biscuit: Harold handles heckler"

A reader recently went on a tour of the Neighbours set in Melbourne. The tour group was disappointed that the cast member assigned to accompany them turned out to be church-going old gimmer Harold Bishop.

After conducting the tour Harold (aka actor Ian Smith) did the usual Q&A about the series. An Australian tourist raised his hand and asked, "Harold, why are you such a fat bastard?"

Harold's reply: "Because every time I f---ed your mum she gave me a biscuit."**

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