A new 'Benji' film is planned
This time it's our beloved Benji! A dog that anyone under the age of 32 probably doesn't remember ... "Benji who? Is he in the Black Eyed Peas?"
No, he's a lovable cinematic dog from the 1970s every child wept over when he didn't come home. And now we're set for Benji in the 2010s. Aw, why not? Everyone loves Benji.
And besides, the new Benji will be cast not from some top-notch animal trainer and breeder, but from a dog shelter. So it's at least making the world a better place for dogs. More mutts on film!
Here's more from Coming Soon:
"Benji is aiming to return to the big screen courtesy of Walden Media, reports Variety.
"With a first film released in 1974, 'Benji' spawned several sequels over the next few decades in both theaters and as television specials. The character of Benji, originally played by a mixed-breed pound rescue named Higgins, has no specific mythology, and sometimes appeared as more or less an animal actor under his stage name, such as was the case in 1980's 'Oh! Heavenly Dog,' where Benji (played by Higgins' daughter, Benjean) was billed opposite Chevy Chase.
"A 13-episode television series, 'Benji, Zax & the Alien Prince,' aired in 1983, featuring a science-fiction take on the character. Most recently, a 'Benji' reboot was attempted in 2004's 'Benji: Off the Leash!,' offering a somewhat post-modern take on the canine hero, featuring, in part, the fictionalized story of filmmakers trying to reboot the franchise.
Leading roles, cameos and the next 'Clash of the Titans'
He's a much-loved actor, and he's really cranking up his IMDB page, spreading his range to so many different projects that it's almost confusing.
I wonder how James Franco feels about this?
Anyway, here's more from Variety:
"He's hoping to take the lead in a low-budget indie project that director Brad Silberling is trying to set up, 'An Ordinary Man.' The role would be a rare departure to the dark side, a fugitive war criminal modeled on former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic who's being hidden by his supporters."
And here's more from Coming Soon:
"Neeson can currently be seen in a cameo role in 'The Next Three Days.' He again voices Aslan in 'The Chronicles of Naria: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader' later this month and also has the thriller 'Unknown' coming out in February. He has small roles in 'The Hangover Part II' and 'Battleship,' and he'll return for 'Clash of the Titans 2' as well.
"In January, Neeson will start shooting Joe Carnahan's 'The Grey' and then he's committed to play a sheriff on the U.S./Mexican border in Ji-Woon Kim's 'Last Stand.'"
'The Kids Are All Right,' 'Winter's Bone' rack up most noms
Here's more from TheWrap:
"'Winter's Bone' and 'The Kids Are All Right' led a very mainstream batch of Film Independent Spirit Award nominations, with seven and five nods, respectively, while '127 Hours,' 'Black Swan' and 'Greenberg' were also nominated for the top prize. The nominations were announced on Tuesday morning by actors Jeremy Renner and Eva Mendes, as well as Film Independent executive director Dawn Hudson.
"Those five films are competing for Best Feature, while the Best Director category includes Darren Aronofsky ('Black Swan'), Danny Boyle ('127 Hours'), Lisa Cholodenko ('The Kids Are All Right'), Debra Granik ('Winter's Bone') and John Cameron Mitchell ('Rabbit Hole')."
Streaming video of the nominations
The great, unique comic actor passes away
As far as I'm concerned, Leslie Nielsen should have lived forever. He was a one-of-a-kind. His delivery, his use of stiffness for humor, his ability to poke fun at himself is utterly unique. There was no other comic (and serious actor, earlier in his career) like him.
"Leslie Nielsen had the somber demeanor and stone-serious face that were just right for dramatic roles. They proved even better for comedy.
"'Surely you can't be serious,' an airline passenger says to Nielsen in 'Airplane!' the 1980 hit that turned the actor from dramatic leading man to comic star.
"'I am serious," Nielsen replies. 'And don't call me Shirley.'
"The line was probably his most famous — and a perfect distillation of his career.Nielsen, the dramatic lead in 'Forbidden Planet' and 'The Poseidon Adventure' and the bumbling detective in 'The Naked Gun' comedies, died on Sunday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He was 84."
Enjoy one, of many, of his funniest lines. From "Police Squad."
Tom Hanks will be working with Kathryn Bigelow
The story was told, exclusively, to ComingSoon.
Read more here:
"Tom Hanks is the first official cast member to join Triple Frontier, producer Charles Roven confirmed to ComingSoon.net this morning in an exclusive interview.
"'Tom Hanks is starring in the film,' Roven said, 'and we're still looking to cast the other roles. We're hoping to start shooting the movie sometime in mid-March.'
"The film, the follow-up from 'The Hurt Locker' director and writer Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal, is an ensemble picture set in the notorious border zone between Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil where the Igazu and Parana rivers converge -- making 'la triple frontera' difficult to monitor and a haven for organized crime."
And ... Elizabeth Taylor
Good job, Vanity Fair.
But I particularly love this observation from Depp regarding his "Tourist" co-star:
"Depp compares Angelina to another famous leading lady. 'I’ve had the honor and the pleasure and gift of having known Elizabeth Taylor for a number of years,' he says. 'You know, you sit down with her, she slings hash, she sits there and cusses like a sailor, and she’s hilarious. Angie’s got the same kind of thing, you know, the same approach.'"
'The Empire Strikes Back' director passes away at 87
Irvin Kershner, who helmed "The Empire Strikes Back," has died at age 87.
Here's more from The Los Angeles Times:
"Kershner died Saturday at his Los Angeles home following a 3½-year battle with lung cancer, said longtime friend and Hollywood publicist Dick Guttman.
"Kershner already had made a number of well-received movies when he was hired by George Lucas to direct "Empire," which was the second produced but fifth in the "Star Wars" chronology.
"The 1980 production was a darker story than the original. In it, hero Luke Skywalker loses a hand and learns that villain Darth Vader is his father. The movie initially got mixed reviews but has gone on to become one of the most critically praised.
"Kershner told Vanity Fair in October that he tried to give the sequel more depth than the original.
"'When I finally accepted the assignment, I knew that it was going to be a dark film, with more depth to the characters than in the first film,' he said. 'It took a few years for the critics to catch up with the film and to see it as a fairy tale rather than a comic book.'
"Kershner said he had only one sharp disagreement with Lucas. The script originally called for the heroine, Princess Leia, to tell space pilot Han Solo 'I love you' and for him to reply 'I love you, too.'
"'I shot the line and it just didn't seem right for the character of Han Solo,' Kershner said.
Instead, actor Harrison Ford improvised the reply: 'I know.'
"Lucas wanted the original line but after test previews agreed to leave in Ford's reply, which has gone on to be one of the best-known lines in the series.
"'The world has lost a great director and one of the most genuine people I've had the pleasure of knowing,' Lucas said in a statement, adding that he considered Kershner to be a mentor."