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The Animatrix Network is an anime & manga fan club located in the Southwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. We usually meet on the fourth Saturday of each month (except when holidays or conventions coincide). The meetings are free and open to the public. Join us for a day filled with anime.

This site provides news, reviews, commentaries, and previews of the world of anime and everything it inspires, such as live-action films, comics, music, art, and other weird things to enjoy and contemplate.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Newsletter - March 2012

March 2012
News Collected and Edited by Octavio Soto
Kamen Rider/Tokusatsu TV Director Atsuo Okunaka Passes Away posted on 2012-02-18 02:00 EST
Episode director for Judo Icchokusen, Ganbare!! Robocon, Akumaizer 3
Atsuo Okunaka, episode director of Kamen Rider V3 and other live-action special effects (tokusatsu) television series, passed away from heart failure on Friday. He was 81. Okunaka directed select episodes from many live-action television series including Judo Icchokusen, Ganbare!! Robocon, Akumaizer 3, and J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai. A Funeral service will be held in Niiza, Saitama Prefecture on Thursday.

Funimation.com to Launch Mobile Video App in March posted on 2012-02-18 22:39 EST Funimation announced at its Katsucon panel on Saturday that the company will launch a dedicated mobile video app for its Funimation.com video platform. The app, which will be available in late March, will allow users to view Funimation.com content on mobile devices. The company did not specify which mobile platform the apps would be available on.
The apps will be available in free or paid versions. Both allow Elite Video Subscription holders to view all content on Funimation.com with no ads. Without the subscription, the free app will include promotional episodes, clips, trailers and will feature banner ads, while the paid version will feature whole series with no banner ads. The pricing for the paid app has not yet been decided.

Man Arrested for Uploading Madoka Magica via Share Program posted on 2012-02-21 23:33 EST
On February 21, police in Gunma Prefecture arrested an unemployed 27-year-old man from the prefecture's Itakura Town on suspicion of using the Share file-sharing software to upload the Puella Magi Madoka Magica anime online without the permission of its copyright holders.
According to authorities, he is suspected of uploading the anime to an unspecified large number of people around November 16 of last year, and has admitted to the charge.

Funimation Channel Asks Fans to Petition to Stay on FiOS posted on 2012-02-21 22:53 EST
In a Monday blog post, American anime distributor Funimation asked fans to contact the television service provider Verizon in support of FUNimation Channel. Verizon announced its plans to stop carrying channel in its FiOS television service last week, citing "very low viewership."
The blog post asked fans to call Verizon at 1-800-VERIZON, and tweet to Verizon's Twitter accounts @FiOSTV and @Verizon, as well as post on the Verizon FiOS Facebook page. FUNimation Channel also posted a petition to keep the channel, but cautions that calls and Twitter and Facebook posts are the most effective.
Verizon currently plans to drop the channel on or after March 15.

D.C.'s Smithsonian to Host Metal Gear Solid's Hideo Kojima posted on 2012-02-22 10:55 EST
Game designer to appear at art exhibition's "GameFest!" event on March 17
Washington D.C.'s Smithsonian American Art Museum will host the Metal Gear Solid game series designer Hideo Kojima at "The Art of Video Games" art exhibition's "GameFest!" event on March 17. The "GameFest!" event will take place from March 16 to 18, and the art exhibition will run from March 16 to September 30 at the museum.
"A conversation with Hideo Kojima" will be held from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the McEvoy Auditorium. Although admission will be free, visitors must register for a ticket online beginning on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. EST. The Smithsonian museum will also stream the session on the day of the event.
Kojima Productions, Konami's game development studio helmed by Kojima, launched a recruitment page on Wednesday for the "next" Metal Gear Solid project. The 65th issue of the United Kingdom's official PlayStation magazine also published an interview with Kojima on November 29. The designer discussed his past and future game projects including plans for a new Metal Gear Solid 5 game.

Warner Develops Live-Action Film of Tite Kubo's Bleach Manga posted on 2012-02-22 18:00 EST
Wrath of the Titans writer Dan Mazeau, Get Smart's Peter Segal, actor/producer Masi Oka attached
The Variety entertainment trade news source is reporting on Wednesday that American film studio Warner Brothers licensed the live-action feature rights to Tite Kubo's supernatural action manga and anime Bleach. Warner is now developing the project and has assigned Dan Mazeau (Wrath of the Titans remake) to write a script. Peter Segal (Get Smart remake, The Longest Yard remake, Anger Management) is attached as a producer with a possibility of being the director as well.
The other producers include Segal's Callahan Filmworks partner Michael Ewing, actor Masi Oka (Heroes, Get Smart), and Jason Hoffs (The Terminal) at Viz Productions (a subsidiary of Bleach's North American publisher Viz Media). Branon Coluccio will be an executive producer.
The manga follows a 15-year-old boy named Ichigo Kurosaki who becomes a Soul Reaper — a "Shinigami" or "God of Death" who protects humans from the "Hollow" spirits that prey on them. The manga has sold over 75 million copies in Japan.
Shueisha publishes the manga in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in Japan, and Studio Pierrot has been adapting the manga on television and in movie theaters since 2004. The Adult Swim programming block of America's Cartoon Network and Canada's YTV channel ran the anime on television.
Segal told Variety, "I've always been a huge fan of Bleach and have great respect for its creator Kubo-sensei and the truly original and amazing world he has created in this manga."
Oka, who acted in Heroes and Segal's Get Smart film, is a well-known manga fan. He drew inspiration from Dragon Ball for his Heroes character Hiro Nakamura, and he describes himself as a Naoki Urasawa and Shonen Jump "geek." He brought the project to Callahan Filmworks.
The Hollywood Reporter newspaper's Heat Vision blog reported in 2010 that Warner Brothers was "in the process of securing the movie rights to" Bleach. Heat Vision had reported then that Segal was lining himself up to produce, but not direct.
Warner Brothers has already acquired the rights to adapt Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata's Death Note supernatural suspense manga, which — like Bleach — is published by Weekly Shonen Jump in Japan and by Viz Media in North America. Along with Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way production company, Warner Brothers is also developing adaptations of Yoshiaki Kawajiri and Mad House's Ninja Scroll action anime film and Katsuhiro Otomo and Kodansha's Akira science-fiction manga. Viz set up an office in Hollywood in 2008 to promote Viz's properties to Hollywood interests.

Forbes: Sony Develops Next Console with AMD Graphics posted on 2012-02-23 23:55 EST

The website of Forbes magazine reported on Wednesday that Sony is developing its next home videogame console with AMD graphics technology, according to "former AMD employees." Microsoft used AMD for the Xbox 360's graphics, while Sony used Nvidia for the PlayStation 3's graphics. Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) Chairman Kazuo Hirai already confirmed last month that his company will not announce a new home console at this year's E3 event.

Kodansha to Support Simultaneous Print/Digital Releases in Japan posted on 2012-02-22 23:20 EST
Kodansha President Yoshinobu Noma announced at a company press conference on Monday that the publisher will begin implementing a system in June that will allow them to release titles simultaneously in both print and digital form, given an author's permission. Noma added that this does not necessarily mean that all new titles will be released simultaneously when possible, as a digital release may be delayed, as "sales strategies will be taken into consideration," and because "it is uncertain if simultaneous release will necessarily maximize profits," explaining that the company would like to use trial and error to pursue an "appropriate" strategy.

Gonzo to Establish Okinawa Studio in April posted on 2012-02-22 23:14 EST
The Ryukyu Shimpo newspaper reported on Thursday that the anime studio Gonzo will establish a local subsidiary in Ginowan City, Okinawa, roughly 1,500 kilometers or nearly a thousand miles from its Tokyo headquarters. The studio will include digital production facilities for computer graphics production and editing work. The company will hire 10 employees at first for the local studio, and plans to develop and introduce methods there for further optimizing the animation production process through digital technology. Shinichiro Ishikawa, the company's executive vice president, stated that he would like to create a multifaceted media industry in Okinawa that will attract international projects to the prefecture.

Bleach TV Anime Ending on March 27 posted on 2012-02-23 03:27 EST
Animation director Hiroki Takagi acknowledges TV program listings
A recent television program listing in Japan reports that the Bleach television anime series will end its run in TV Tokyo's 6:00 p.m. Tuesday timeslot on March 27. When a Twitter follower of Bleach animation director Hiroki Takagi sent him an image of the listings, Takagi responded by saying, "So quick. I was going to paste it… /(^o^)\"
Shueisha, the publisher of Tite Kubo's original manga, had already announced that the weekly Naruto SD: Rock Lee no Seishun Full-Power Ninden anime will premiere on TV Tokyo on Tuesday, April 3 at 6:00 p.m.

Man Arrested for Uploading Kamen Rider Fourze to Sites posted on 2012-02-23 21:51 EST
On Thursday, police in Gunma Prefecture arrested a 44-year-old male company employee from Sapporo City on suspicion of uploading the live-action television programs to video sites without the permission of their copyright holders. According to the police, the suspect said under deposition that he uploaded about 1,700 videos since the fall of 2010.
According to authorities, he is suspected of uploading Kamen Rider Fourze and two other works from December 2010 to November 2011. The police investigators discovered the allegedly uploaded videos while on cyber patrol.
According to the Association of Copyright for Computer Software (ACCS), the suspect allegedly uploaded the 10th Kamen Rider Fourze episode to the streaming servers of Pandora.TV, a site installed and administered in Seoul, South Korea. He also allegedly used the Japanese website F2 Dōga.

Blockbuster to Close 500 U.S. Video Rental Stores posted on 2012-02-27 23:55 EST
Joe Clayton, CEO of Dish Network, announced on Friday that his company would close an additional 500 Blockbuster Video stores in the first half of 2012. Clayton stated that underperformance, store size, and landlord flexibility as issues in determining which stores would be closed. Dish Network purchased the bankrupt video rental and sales chain last year. The closures would reduce the chain to roughly 1,000 locations. The chain has been breaking even in the last three quarters, according to Dish Network's financial statements.

Twitch Site: Elizabeth Olsen Offered Role in Oldboy Remake posted on 2012-02-28 20:00 EST
Spike Lee-directed remake to star Josh Brolin, no date announced
The film website Twitch reported on Tuesday that actress Elizabeth Olsen (The Silent House, Martha Marcy May Marlene) has been offered the female lead role in Spike Lee's remake of Park Chan-Wook's live-action film Oldboy. Park's film was itself inspired by Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi's manga Old Boy.
Olsen, who is the younger sister of twins Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, is best known for her recent work in the art house film Martha Marcy May Marlene, about a girl trying to re-assimilate to normal life after fleeing an abusive religious cult. Her other roles have included the horror film Silent House and indie drama Peace, Love, & Understanding.
According to Twitch, Rooney Mara (The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo remake) and Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland, Jane Eyre, The Kids Are All Right) were previously offered the female lead role in Oldboy, but both had turned it down. Director Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing, Jungle Fever, Malcolm X) signed onto Mandate Pictures' American remake of Oldboy in July, and Josh Brolin is slated to play the male lead. Mandate Pictures is developing the project with producers Doug Davison and Roy Lee (The Ring, Dark Water [2005], Death Note and Godzilla remake plans) of Vertigo Entertainment and Lee's 40 Acres & A Mule Productions. Mark Protosevich (Thor, I Am Legend) wrote a script, and Mandate Pictures President Nathan Kahane is serving as executive producer. The trade magazine Variety earlier described the Korean film's story about "a man who's kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years. When he's finally released and begins looking into the reason for his captivity, he soon finds out that his kidnapper has even more torturous plans for him." (The original manga has the protagonist imprisoned for a different number of years and does not have the Korean film's added plot twist ending.) Dreamworks had plans in 2008 to adapt the manga with director Steven Spielberg and actor Will Smith. Soon after Spielberg's planned involvement was made public in 2009, Smith told the Film School Rejects website that Spielberg's team would be adapting the original Oldboy manga, and not remaking Park's film version.

Apple's iBooks Electronic Book Service Adds Manga Section posted on 2012-02-28 23:58 EST
Section contains graphic novels, manga-related books from Seven Seas, others
Consumer electronics maker Apple posted a new section to its iBooks electronic book store for comics and graphic novels. The section also includes a subsection labeled "manga," with titles from Seven Seas Entertainment. Other items in the subsection include several Korean- and American-produced manga-influenced comics, cosplay guides, manga-based language books from the publisher Japanime, and several instructional art books. There is a pre-order listing for The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya volume 12, which is published by Yen Press and scheduled for release on May 29.
Also in the section are several independent comics, some of which are not in English. Purchases in iBooks can be read on any Apple device that supports iOS 4 or later, which includes all iPads, all iPhones except the original model, and all iPod Touch devices except the first model. They cannot be read on a personal computer.

Yamato 2199 Not Planned for TV Until 2013 or Later posted on 2012-02-27 23:54 EST
Space Battleship Yamato 2199, the remake of the first Yamato anime series, will not air in Japan until 2013 or later. The first Blu-ray Disc/DVD volume will go on sale in stores on May 25, after first being sold at theatrical screenings on April 7. Subsequent volumes will also be released on Blu-ray/DVD and in theaters.

Master Keaton Manga to Get Sequel After 18 Years posted on 2012-02-29 10:08 EST
Original detective series' Naoki Urasawa to launch Master Keaton Remaster this March
The wraparound jacket band on the 8th "complete edition" volume of Hokusei Katushika and Naoki Urasawa's Master Keaton manga revealed on Wednesday that the detective story will receive a sequel. Urasawa will return to draw Master Keaton Remaster with a story by Takashi Nagasaki (Monster, Pluto, Billy Bat). The new series will debut in Shogakukan's Big Comic Original on March 19, 18 years after the first manga concluded in the magazine.
The new manga will be set 20 years after the end of the original Master Keaton story. The series will again follow the half-Japanese, half-English father and multi-talented sleuth as he investigates more cases in Europe.
The first Master Keaton manga launched in Big Comic Original in 1988. The series inspired a television anime adaptation in 1998, and a original video anime (OVA) continuation in 2004. Geneon released the television series and OVA in North America. Urasawa has been drawing his Billy Bat manga in Kodansha's Morning magazine since 2008. Nagasaki supervised and edited Urasawa's manga Monster, collaborated with the creator on Billy Bat, and produced Urasawa's Pluto. He also supervised the Monster television anime adaptation and planned the 20th Century Boys live-action film adaptation based on Urasawa's manga.

All Nippon Entertainment Works Names CEO, COO posted on 2012-02-29 23:42 EST
All Nippon Entertainment Works, a joint venture between Japanese anime industry members and Hollywood funded by the public-private partnership Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ), announced on Wednesday that it has named Sanford R. Climan, former President of Worldwide Business Development at Universal Studios as its CEO. Sony veteran and former President of Nikkatsu Pictures International Yusuke ("Kenny") Kurokawa has been named the venture's COO.
The company began operations last November and was seeking to hire a project manager last December.

Lupin III Event Lists 'New TV Series Premiering in April' posted on 2012-03-01 12:00 EST
40th anniversary screening lists promotional video for new TV series
TOHO Cinemas' announcement for a 40th anniversary Lupin III anime event lists a promotional video for a "new television series premiering in April." According to the announcement, TOHO Cinemas Roppongi Hills theater will also screen the new "Lupin Ikka Seizoroi" (Lupin Family Lineup) short from this month's Lupin III Master File Blu-ray Disc/DVD release, as well as the top-ranked episode from each of the first three Lupin III television series. Lupin III manga creator Monkey Punch and "surprise guests" are scheduled to attend the March 18 event.
A NTV television ad announced last April that a "new television series of Lupin III" would air last fall. However, NTV then told ANN that the new Lupin III TV project would be a special, Lupin III: Chi no Kokuin Eien no Mermaid, which would eventually air last December. Then, the official website for the 40th anniversary announced on January 28 that a "new project is launching this spring," but gave no further details.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Lawsuit Settled Between 4Kids, ADK, TV Tokyo posted on 2012-03-01 19:30 EST
"Amicable" settlement of licensing dispute over anime
American production company 4Kids Entertainment announced on Thursday that there is an amicable settlement of the lawsuit between 4Kids Entertainment and Asatsu-DK (ADK) and TV Tokyo over the license of the Yu-Gi-Oh! property. According to 4Kids, the licensing agreement between the three parties will continue to be "in full force and effect with 4Kids continuing to serve as the exclusive licensing agent for the merchandise licensing, television broadcast, and home video rights to the Yu-Gi-Oh! property throughout the world outside of Asia." The lawsuit was filed by TV Tokyo and Nihon Ad Systems last March, accusing the North American media distributor of "underpayments, wrongful deductions, and unmet obligations" and stating that 4Kids owed the companies US$4,792,460.36. Last December, a bankruptcy judge ordered that 4Kids' license of the Yu-Gi-Oh! series was still in effect, after earlier ordering a stay that barred ADK and TV Tokyo from selling the international license of the new Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal anime series to other companies.

Man Arrested for Uploading Haganai+ Manga via Share Program posted on 2012-03-01 23:39 EST

The website for the Japanese Association of Copyright for Computer Software (ACCS) reported that on Tuesday, the Hiroshima police arrested a 25-year-old male graduate student in Japan's Yamaguchi prefecture for allegedly uploading the fourth chapter of the Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai+ manga to others via the Share file-sharing program without authorization.
As copyright infringement is a crime in Japan that requires copyright holders to lodge a complaint before police action is taken, the Hiroshima police contacted the copyright owners of the manga through ACCS and acted after receiving authorization from Shueisha and two creators of the manga.

Golden Boy's Egawa Wins Inheritance Suit Against Brother posted on 2012-03-01 23:43 EST
The Nagoya District Court ruled on Wednesday that manga creator Tatsuya Egawa's (Golden Boy, Tokyo University Story) older brother must pay roughly 23.7 million yen (about US$292,000) to him by March 1, concluding an inheritance dispute between the two that occurred after their father died in 1999. Egawa originally sued for roughly 35.2 million Yen (about US$433,000), and Judge Shinya Kurata determined that one half of their father's savings as well as the income derived from the rental of his real estate, about 29.1 million yen (about US$358,000), was Egawa's share of the inheritance. After accounting for withdrawals Egawa made from his father's account, the figure of 23.7 million yen was reached. The suit was filed in May of 2009 when, according to Egawa's lawyer, arbitration in the Nagoya Family Court regarding the issue failed to resolve the issue adequately.

Yamato 2199 #1 Previewed on TV on April 6 posted on 2012-03-01 23:55 EST
The Family Gekijou cable and satellite channel will preview the first episode of the Space Battleship Yamato 2199 television series on April 6 at 9:00 p.m. A special program about the new anime will also run on that day, along with all the episodes of the first two Space Battleship Yamato television series. The first theatrical showing of the first two episodes will follow a day later on April 7. The rest of the episodes will not run on television until 2013 or later.

Kadokawa Signs Ebook Agreement With Amazon Japan posted on 2012-03-01 23:48 EST
The website for the publishing industry trade journal Shinbunka reported on Thursday that Kadokawa Group has signed a contract with Amazon Japan for Kindle, PC, and smartphone distribution of ebook versions of titles published by all of the companies that are part of their group, including Kadokawa Shoten, ASCII Media Works, Enterbrain, Kadokawa Gakugei Shuppan, Fujimi Shobo, and Media Factory. As part of the contract, Amazon will be given the right to determine the price of titles distributed under the agreement. The negotiations for this contract reportedly took approximately one year, and it marks the first time a major Japanese publisher has entered into such an agreement. Kadokawa has been distributing ebooks on its Book Walker app for iPhone and other iOS devices in Japan since last year. Kadokawa purchased manga and light novel publisher Media Factory last October for 8 billion yen.

Lupin III Event Page Removes Mention of 'New TV Series' posted on 2012-03-02 23:15 EST
The TOHO Cinemas announcement for a 40th anniversary Lupin III anime event, which earlier this week had listed a promotional video for a "new television series premiering in April," has been revised. The event's page now only mentions a promotional video for a "new work." The event featuring Lupin III manga creator Monkey Punch and other "surprise guests" will take place in Japan at 7:30 p.m. on March 18.
An NTV television ad announced last April that a "new television series of Lupin III" would air last fall. However, NTV then told ANN that the new Lupin III TV project would be a special, Lupin III: Chi no Kokuin Eien no Mermaid, which would eventually air last December. The official website for the 40th anniversary has since announced on January 28 that a "new project is launching this spring," but gave no further details.

Pray for Japan Documentary to Have Anime Sequence by DEEN posted on 2012-03-03 19:15 EST
3.5-minute opening sequence directed by Mushi-Shi's Nagahama for Stu Levy's film
Director Stu Levy announced that his documentary film Pray For Japan will feature a newly produced opening anime sequence. The film chronicles the aftermath of the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami that devastated much of the country's northeast coast on March 11, 2011. The sequence, which runs for about three and a half minutes long according to Levy, was produced at Studio DEEN under the supervision of studio president Kazunori Noguchi. The animation depicts life in the devastated region prior to the earthquake, is stylized in reference to tenogui (traditional Japanese decorative cotton towel) art prints. The sequence was directed by Hiroshi Nagahama (Mushi-Shi, Detroit Metal City), and features music by Tamio Okuda (Honey and Clover, Shin Mazinger Shōgeki!).
The production services of Studio DEEN, as well as assisting studios Artland, Production I.G, Studio Comet, Korean studio E-Cho Animation and Chinese studio China Animation Co., were provided to the project for free.
A feature-length documentary, the film focuses on the rescue and clean-up operations following the disaster, as well as humanitarian efforts by volunteers. The film also interviews survivors of the disaster about their lives since the incident took place. Pray for Japan will have its world premiere on March 6 in Japan at the Cinem@rt Shinjuku, Tokyo. AMC Theaters will screen the documentary in 17 North American cities on March 14 at 7:00 p.m. local time, with proceeds benefiting the Japan Emergency NGO (JEN). More information is available at the Pray for Japan website.
•Chicago, IL: AMC River East 21

Dentsu to Create Industry's 1st Think Tank to Study Otaku posted on 2012-03-03 22:30 EST
Institute to analyze what makes something an otaku megahit to make new hits
In mid-March, the leading Japanese advertising firm Dentsu is establishing a think tank dedicated to researching passionate fans of idols, anime, and other interests — in other words, otaku. According to the news source Sankei, this is the industry's first research institute on otaku.The think tank will analyze what becomes a megahit among otaku in order to develop new hits. Sankei's source at Dentsu said that if Dentsu can outline and categorize otaku "tastes," it can develop and anticipate "Made-in-Japan" hits both at home and throughout the world. According to Dentsu, the stigma attached to the label "otaku" has diminished. A Dentsu survey asked people if they are otaku, and 38% said "I think so" or "I've been called that." The Yano Research Institute posted a report on the Japanese "otaku marketplace" with similar results last year. Sankei cited the examples of the idol group AKB48 with six million-selling CDs and Natsumi Iwasaki's hit business/baseball novel Moshi Kōkō Yakyū no Joshi Manager ga Drucker no "Management" o Yondara (Moshidora). Dentsu once owned Geneon Entertainment until it transfered its majority ownership to NBC Universal's Universal Pictures International Entertainmnent (UPIE) in 2008. It has sponsored many anime titles over the years, and its recently established Dentsu Entertainment USA subsidiary is now pitching Monsuno and Level 5's Little Battlers eXperience (Danbōru Senki).

Actress Elizabeth Olsen Discusses Oldboy After Reported Offer posted on 2012-03-05 20:45 EST
Actress speaks highly of Korean film, director Lee while avoiding questions on ending
In a video posted to MTV's website on Monday, actress Elizabeth Olsen (Silent House, Martha Marcy May Marlene) discussed her possible involvement with the upcoming Oldboy adaptation to be directed by Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing, Jungle Fever, Malcolm X). The Twitch film website reported last week that Olsen was offered the female lead role in the film. The trade magazine Variety reported in October that actress Rooney Mara (The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo remake) passed on the same role.
In the interview, Olsen spoke very highly of the film and of director Spike Lee, while also doing her best to avoid speaking about the ending of the new film, a major point of interest for many fans of Park Chan-Wook's film adaptation of Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi's original manga. In a previous interview, when asked about the ending of the remake compared with Chan-Wook's original ending, director Lee said that "the ending will be something that the audiences will all be... especially the fans of the original will be very happy with. In fact, some may consider it to be a bit darker."
In January, Variety reported that production on the film has been delayed until late summer or early fall because of actor Josh Brolin's press commitments for his Men in Black 3 film. Brolin is slated to play the male lead in the film.
Mandate Pictures is developing the project with producers Doug Davison and Roy Lee (The Ring, Dark Water [2005], Death Note and Godzilla remake plans) of Vertigo Entertainment and Lee's 40 Acres & A Mule Productions. Mark Protosevich (Thor, I Am Legend) wrote a script, and Mandate Pictures President Nathan Kahane is serving as executive producer.
Variety earlier described the Korean film's story about "a man who's kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years. When he's finally released and begins looking into the reason for his captivity, he soon finds out that his kidnapper has even more torturous plans for him." (The original manga has the protagonist imprisoned for a different number of years and does not have the Korean film's added plot twist ending.)

Ponyo Singer Nozomi Ōhashi Leaves Entertainment Business posted on 2012-03-05 13:15 EST
Agency cites her studies as the reason; Daisuki na Kutsu o Haitara film cancelled
The Japanese talent agency Central Group announced on Monday that Ponyo theme song performer Nozomi Ōhashi is ending her entertainment career at the end of the month. According to the public statement that was dated on March 1 but posted on March 5, Ōhashi and her family decided that she would enroll into middle school in April and concentrate on her studies. (April is the traditional start of the school year in Japan.) Central Group added that Daisuki na Kutsu o Haitara, a film in which Ōhashi was slated to star, has been cancelled due to "circumstances on the production side."
Ōhashi became famous for singing the title song to Hayao Miyazaki and Ghibli's 2008 film Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea with the Fujimaki Fujioka duo. (Noah Cyrus and Frankie Jonas performed the English version of the song for the film's North American release.) Ōhashi and Fujimaki Fujioka performed the song live for what was to be the final time during the Kōhaku Uta Gassen (Red and White Song Battle) singing contest program on New Year's Eve in 2008

ADK, TV Tokyo to Pay 4Kids US$8 Million posted on 2012-03-06 14:30 EST
Payment part of settlement over Yu-Gi-Oh! license lawsuit
The Hollywood Reporter trade magazine reported on Monday that plaintiffs Asatsu-DK (ADK) and TV Tokyo will pay US$8 million to the American production company 4Kids Entertainment as a part of their settlement. 4Kids had announced last Thursday that there was an amicable settlement of the lawsuit between the company and ADK and TV Tokyo over the license of the Yu-Gi-Oh! property. The lawsuit was filed by TV Tokyo and Nihon Ad Systems last March, accusing the North American media distributor of "underpayments, wrongful deductions, and unmet obligations" and stating that 4Kids owed the companies US$4,792,460.36. The Hollywood Reporter noted that ADK and TV Tokyo had accused 4Kids of making "an agreement with Funimation Productions to exploit the [Yu-Gi-Oh!] series on home video before conspiring to hide much of the income from the Japanese companies." However, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Shelley Chapman ruled that Funimation was a distributor, not a sublicensee, noting that it is common for home video companies to use outside companies to physically manufacture and distribute home video products. Chapman added that in regard to the alleged 4Kids underpayment that led ADK and TV Tokyo to cancel their licensing agreement with 4Kids, that ADK and TV Tokyo's "purported basis for termination – 4Kids' failure to promptly pay the royalty underpayment reflected in the audit – was improper because the amount owed to Plaintiffs, if any, was nowhere near the US$4.819 million amount asserted in the termination letter and the purported notices of breach." 4Kids will continue to have the rights to distribute the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise outside of Asia.

New Lupin III TV Anime's Staff, Cast, Title Revealed (Updated) posted on 2012-03-07 17:26 EST
Sayo Yamamoto to direct, Takeshi Koike to serve as animation director; series to premiere April 4
A new Lupin III television anime series will air starting in April for the first time in 27 years. The new series, titled Lupin the Third - Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna (Lupin III - The Woman Called Fujiko Mine), will air on NTV starting on April 4 at 1:29 a.m.
Sayo Yamamoto (Michiko to Hatchin) will direct the 13 episode series, making her the first female director on the Lupin III series. Redline director Takeshi Koike will serve as animation director and character designer, and AnoHana's Mari Okada will handle the series composition. Kanichi Kurita will play Lupin, Kiyoshi Kobayashi will play Daisuke Jigen, Daisuke Namikawa will play Goemon Ishikawa, Miyuki Sawashiro will play Fujiko Mine, and Kouichi Yamadera will play Inspector Zenigata.
Last October, the voice cast for the Lupin III anime franchise changed for the first time in 16 years. The voice cast for Lupin the Third - Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna is reflecting that change. The series revolves around the character of Fujiko Mine, depicting her and the rest of the Lupin III cast during their younger days. The series will reportedly capture the "sensuality" present in Monkey Punch's original Lupin III manga in its "daring interpretation" of the franchise.
A NTV television ad announced last April that a "new television series of Lupin III" would air last fall. However, NTV then told ANN that the new Lupin III TV project would be a special, Lupin III: Chi no Kokuin Eien no Mermaid, which would eventually air last December. Last week, TOHO Cinemas' announcement for a 40th anniversary Lupin III anime event listed a promotional video for a "new television series premiering in April." The last Lupin III television anime series was Lupin III: Part III, which aired from 1984-1985.

D.C.'s Cherry Blossom Festival to Hold Ghibli Film Marathon posted on 2012-03-07 23:42 EST
The National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. announced on Wednesday that it will host a Ghibli film marathon in honor of the festival's centennial. Four feature films will be shown at the event: Ponyo, Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away. The marathon will be held on April 15 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Smithsonian Institution's Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. The event is free of charge.

Gundam W's Lady Une Voice Actress Sayuri Passes Away posted on 2012-03-08 07:00 EST
Also played The Simpsons' Japanese Itchy & Maude, Shin-chan's Nanako, Gaogaigar's Ikumi
Voice actor Nobuyuki Kobushi and The Simpsons Fan Club of Japan reported that voice actress Sayuri passed away on March 6 due to cancer. Her agency Production Agumi is handling inquiries on her services.
Her many roles included Lady Une in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing and The Simpsons' Japanese dub voice of Itchy and Maude Flanders. She played Nanako Ohara in the Crayon Shin-chan, Ikumi Kaidō in GaoGaiGar: King of Braves, and "Twilight" Suzuka in Outlaw Star.

Robert Pattinson Says He's 'Too Old' To Continue 'Twilight' Franchise February 18th, 2012 3:30pm EST
Robert Pattinson fears he will be "too old" to star in another "Twilight" movie if author Stephenie Meyer ever decides to add a new installment to the hit vampire series. The British hunk has portrayed vampire Edward Cullen in the movie adaptations of Meyer's popular books since the first film hit cinemas in 2008. The fourth and final book in the "Twilight" saga, as it stands, has been split into two film releases, and "Breaking Dawn - Part 2," is due to be released in theatres later this year.
Meyer has flirted with the idea of revisiting the characters in her vampire fantasy in the future, but should any additional novel get turned into a movie, 25-year-old Pattinson worries he'll look past his prime to star as the ever-youthful Cullen.
Speaking at a press conference at the Berlin Film Festival on Friday, he said, "I'd be curious what Stephenie would write, but I just think I'd probably be too old. I'm already too old. But yeah, it'd be kind of interesting."

Angelina Jolie Hosts Dinner Party For Film Crew February 19th, 2012 1:39pm EST
Angelina Jolie hosted a lavish dinner for the cast and crew of her movie In The Land Of Blood And Honey during her trip to Bosnia this week. The Hollywood actress directed and co-wrote the film, which tells the story of a romance between a Serbian soldier and a Bosnian woman during the 1990s war in the region, and she premiered the picture in the Bosnian city of Sarajevo on Tuesday. Following the screening and subsequent reception, Jolie, who was accompanied by her partner Brad Pitt, threw a private dinner party for 30 people who worked on the project at the Zetra Sports Hall. Guests were treated to traditional Bosnian dishes as thanks for their hard work, according to Usmagazine.com.

Jennifer Aniston Wasn't Recognized While Filming 'Wanderlust' In Rural Georgia February 19th, 2012 2:00pm EST
Jennifer Aniston relished her time shooting Wanderlust in rural Georgia because nobody in the area recognized her.
The Friends actress, who began dating her co-star Justin Theroux after they met during work on the movie, enjoyed the slow pace of life as she filmed in the small city of Clarkesville, and the experience has made her consider a move to the country.
She tells Britain's The Sun, "Going to Clarkesville gave me a huge change - it was an eye opener. It was the greatest experience because I felt like I gained my anonymity back. "When I got there I felt my body decompress and relax. I was like, 'God, I'm so paranoid and pent up'. The toxic clutter was just alleviated. It was a nice feeling and I took it home with me.
"You realize how paranoid and guarded and non-trusting (you become)... there was a sigh of relief to be able to walk around like a normal person and feel like I've got my anonymity back. "I would love to move to the country. I think it's always good to have a place that's away."

Charlie Sheen Apologizes To Ashton Kutcher February 21st, 2012 8:00am
Charlie Sheen has written an open letter to Ashton Kutcher apologizing for his recent criticism of the actor, admitting his comments were "disrespectful". Sheen hit headlines last week when he called in to internet news show TMZ Live to rant about his Two and a Half Men replacement, saying, "I'm tired of pretending the show doesn't suck... I'm tired of pretending Ashton doesn't suck." "It's nothing personal... I just feel bad for him... He's saddled with such bad writing."
Sheen has now issued an apology to Kutcher, but he stands by his criticism of the show.
In an open letter, obtained by TMZ.com, Sheen writes, "Dear Ashton, My bad. I was disrespectful to a man doing his best. I got excited and I threw you into the crossfire, but the rest of my statement I stand behind."
"You however, deserve better. Safety in your travels good sir."
Sheen was fired from the show last March after months of erratic behavior and Kutcher was subsequently hired to take over.

Lindsay Lohan Cast As Elizabeth Taylor In Lifetime Biopic February 21st, 2012 9:28am EST
By: SheKnows Entertainment
Lindsay Lohan has been cast as legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor in a made-for-TV movie. Liz and Dick is expected to go into production for broadcast on the Lifetime network later this year. Now all Lindsay has to do is stay out of prison.
Lindsay Lohan will set off a long-delayed career comeback playing the lead role in Lifetime's Elizabeth Taylor telepic, Access Hollywood has learned. Liz and Dick is billed as a retelling of Taylor's controversial love affair with her Cleopatra co-star, Richard Burton. The starlet hasn't appeared on the small screen since her 2008 guest arc on Ugly Betty and a turn in the ABC Family comedy Labor Pains later that year. Lohan outfoxed her Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen nemesis Megan Fox for the coveted role as the late screen dame. Lifetime, which prides itself on broadcasting "Television for Women," placed producer Larry Thompson in charge of casting. But the Hollywood vet confessed he was having a tough time choosing between the two actresses. "I've been talking to Lindsay Lohan directly and with her reps and have been in conversations with other actresses, including Megan Fox. It's a very serious selection. It's like casting for Hollywood royalty," he said last month.
After some deliberation, Thompson decided to give the role to Lohan… provided she can keep out of trouble past next week.
In recent years, Lohan's once-promising career has been eclipsed by her addictions to drugs and alcohol and her well-documented legal woes. The one-time Disney Kid attempted a comeback last year by appearing in a nude pictorial on the pages of Playboy magazine. Lindsay's probation on various counts of driving under the influence, shoplifting and violating probation is scheduled to end next month. Per the terms of her contract with Thompson, Lindsay must stick to the rules of her probation and continue to follow the judge's orders if she wants to keep her job. The Liz role isn't the only career-reviving gig headed for LiLo's resume. She's still booked for a role in an upcoming John Gotti biopic, starring John Travolta and Joe Pesci. She'll also serve as a guest host on Saturday Night Live March 3. Production on Liz and Dick is expected to begin this spring. An air date has not yet been announced. Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor: Good call?

Selena Gomez Laments End Of 'Wizards Of Waverly Place' February 21st, 2012 11:39am EST
Selena Gomez misses the "safety net" of hit TV show Wizards Of Waverly Place following its finale last month.
The singer/actress shot her final scenes for the popular children's series last year and almost 10 million viewers tuned in when the last episode aired on January 6th. Gomez admits wrapping the show after four years was "one of the hardest things" she's ever experienced, but she has only fond memories of her time spent with her co-stars and workers.
She tells London's Evening Standard, "Ending the show was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I love everybody involved with Wizards. I love everybody in the cast and everybody in the crew. They all helped me grow up and become the person I am today. I'm really going to miss that safety net." "Working on Wizards Of Waverly Place has been an amazing experience and I will always remember the fun times we had shooting in front of a live studio audience. We'd perform every week and I really enjoyed it. It became easy and I was very comfortable with the show."

Bret Michaels Sues Tony Awards Producers For Broadcasting Onstage Accident February 21st, 2012 2:34pm
Rocker Bret Michaels is stepping up his legal battle against TV producers behind the 2009 Tony Awards, accusing them of broadcasting his onstage accident just to boost ratings. The Poison frontman was performing at the Big Apple prize giving, which honors the best of Broadway, when a large stage prop fell and hit him in the face, leaving him with a broken nose, cut lip and life-threatening head injuries. On Monday, Michaels filed a $50 million lawsuit against award bosses and CBS network executives for neglecting to censor the incident, which caused him much pain and humiliation, according to the New York Post.
An excerpt from the Manhattan federal court filing reads, "(CBS officials) could have prevented the footage... from airing via the standard seven-second broadcast delay. The defendants took no such measures - presumably because the incident could lead to greater publicity and ratings for the show." This is the rocker's second lawsuit against Tony Award producers - last year he sought unspecified damages claiming show bosses were ultimately responsible for the brain hemorrhage and mild stroke he suffered after the horrific incident

Sean 'Diddy' Combs Launchs His Own Cable TV Channel February 21st, 2012 3:39pm EST
Rap mogul Sean 'Diddy' Combs is launching his own cable network.
The I'll Be Missing You hit-maker has teamed up with executives at Comcast to create new music channel Revolt TV.
Announcing the news during a personalized YouTube.com video on Tuesday, he said, "When I was growing up I used to watch television all the time and I used to wonder why don't those people look like me, or talk like me, or walk like me, so thank you to Comcast - my hat goes off to you for being the first to step up... because Revolt TV is bringing the revolution that TV needs..." "I had a dream that one day I would get a chance and opportunity to show my perspective coming from a musical standpoint. I take a lot of pride in having experience, credibility, authenticity and the relationships to make Revolt TV the number one name and home for music on television. I'm gonna give the artists this channel... A channel that will give new artists an opportunity to get seen and to get heard (sic)..." "This network will represent the soul of music that's been missing for a long time. I got a lot of work to do, it's gonna be a marathon not a sprint but I will not stop until we on top (sic)."
Revolt is slated for a 2013 launch. Comcast chiefs have also inked deals with basketball legend Earvin 'Magic' Johnson and Hollywood director Robert Rodriguez to create their own TV networks. Retired Johnson will launch 24-hour black network Aspire in June and filmmaker Rodriguez will premiere El Rey, an English-language channel aimed at Latino audiences, in 2014. All three business ventures reflect a recent Comcast Corp. agreement with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in which the cable operator's executives vowed to diversify their line-up with the launch of 10 new networks by 2018.

Aubrey O'Day Sued Over Reality TV Show Song February 22nd, 2012 9:12am EST
Singer-turned-reality star Aubrey O'Day is facing legal action over allegations she used unauthorized music on her cable show without permission. O'Day is being sued over a segment in her Oxygen reality show All About Aubrey, in which she sings on a track produced by Adonis Shropshire. According to a lawsuit filed by a music company, the star had no right to use the tune as it was destined for another singer and Shropshire was not given permission to pass it on, according to TMZ.com. Aubrey, Shropshire and bosses at the network are being sued for unspecified damages.

Woody Harrelson Suffered From Paranoia While Filming 'Rampart' February 20th, 2012 11:35am
Actor Woody Harrelson suffered an "intense time" while playing a twisted cop in new movie Rampart and often snapped at friends for no reason as he dealt with the paranoid feelings the role evoked. The Natural Born Killers star portrays an unhinged Los Angeles Police Department officer in the drama, but getting into character took its toll on Harrelson. He tells The Guardian Weekend magazine, "It was an intense time. The problem was being seeped in paranoia because that was so much the attitude of the character. That really affected me because I don't normally do paranoia. Well, sometimes, of course. But it's an emotion I try not to affect myself with." "I had weird s**t happening. Not stuff I'd care to talk about. But (sic) being aggressive and strange with friends who had not been offensive, but I took it as offensive. A couple of friends said, 'I can't wait till you're done with this role because I know this ain't you doing it.'"

Antonio Banderas To Play Pablo Picasso February 21st, 2012 8:36am EST
Antonio Banderas is set to play famed artist Pablo Picasso in a new biopic.
The star, who was born in the same city of Malaga as Picasso, will portray the celebrated painter and sculptor in "33 Days," about the emotional struggle he endured while working on his 1937 masterpiece, Guernica.
In an interview with Spain's El Pais newspaper, Banderas says, "He is a character that followed me for a long time, but (I) had always rejected it. He deserves a lot of respect because I am Malagan. I was born four blocks from where he was born. It has always fascinated me." Carlos Saura will direct the movie, which will also detail Picasso's romance with French artist Dora Maar, according to trade paper Daily Variety.

Naked Robert De Niro Stunned Co-Star Paul Dano On 'Being Flynn' Set February 22nd, 2012 9:16am EST
Actor Paul Dano didn't know where to look while shooting new movie Being Flynn with Robert De Niro because the Hollywood icon had stripped completely nude for a bath scene. De Niro plays a con man who encounters his drug addict son Nick Flynn, portrayed by Dano, working in a homeless shelter in Boston, Massachusetts. The opening scene sees De Niro answer the door to the actor after climbing out of a bathtub - and his lack of clothing left Dano red-faced.
The 27 year old tells WENN, "I think he was (naked) but he was covered in suds (soap bubbles)! I tried to avert my eyes. Bob went for it. He was really committed and prepared. "I think he's amazing in the film. We don't totally get along in the film so Bob was very warm and welcoming and kind to me off set, but when we were at work we got to business. There wasn't a lot of hanging around the craft service table. I wasn't calling him Bobby D by the end of the movie but he's a sweet guy!"
"Being Flynn" is based on the 2004 memoirs of Nick Flynn, titled Another Bulls**t Night in Suck City.

Helena Bonham Carter Honored With CBE February 22nd, 2012 11:23am EST
The King's Speech star Helena Bonham Carter met real-life royalty on Wednesday as she was honored with a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) medal at Buckingham Palace in London. The actress played the late Queen Elizabeth in the 2010 movie and she was the guest of honor at her daughter Queen Elizabeth II's royal residence, where she was recognized for her services to drama. Bonham Carter, who wore a striking Vivienne Westwood tartan dress, was given the award to recognize her career achievements. Colin Firth, her co-star in The King's Speech, received the same honor last month.
Record producer Steve Lillywhite also received a CBE medal on Wednesday, while novelist Maggie Gee was handed an Order of the British Empire (OBE).

Leo DiCaprio Helps Academy Museum Bosses Buy Judy Garland's Ruby Slippers February 22nd, 2012 10:45pm EST
Judy Garland's ruby slippers from The Wizard Of Oz have a new home at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, thanks to Leonardo DiCaprio. The iconic shoes were sold at auction by collector Debbie Reynolds last year and now Academy officials have revealed DiCaprio led a group of 'angel donors' whose gifts to the Academy Foundation enabled the purchase.
Bob Iger, president and CEO of the Walt Disney Co. and chairman of the capital campaign for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, says, "The ruby slippers occupy an extraordinary place in the hearts of movie audiences the world over. This is a transformative acquisition for our collection."
Academy CEO Dawn Hudson adds, "Leo's passionate leadership has helped us bring home this legendary piece of movie history. It's a wonderful gift to the Academy museum project, and a perfect representation of the work we do year-round to preserve and share our film heritage."
The slippers are one of four pairs from the film known to exist - but the Reynolds item is believed to be in the most pristine condition. It is widely believed that these are the slippers Garland wore in close-ups and insert shots, most famously when Dorothy clicks her heels three times to return to Kansas.

Sacha Baron Cohen Not Banned From The Oscars February 23rd, 2012 8:09am EST
A representative for the Academy Awards has denied Sacha Baron Cohen has been banned Sunday night's ceremony over his plans to show up dressed as The Dictator. The British comic reportedly made it clear to Oscar bosses that he wanted to walk the red carpet in the guise of the wacky alter-ego from his latest film, which is loosely based on late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
The star is due to appear at the prizegiving to support Martin Scorsese's Hugo, in which he co-starred, as the film competes for the coveted Best Picture trophy, and rumors suggested Academy chiefs didn't want his antics to overshadow the glitzy night.
However, a spokesperson for the organization insists Cohen has not been told to stay away from the ceremony, but admits they are still waiting to find out what he has planned. The rep says, "We have not banned him. We're just waiting to hear what he's going to do." Cohen has courted controversy at previous industry events by turning up in character. He caused a stir in 2006 by arriving at the Toronto Film Festival in Canada as Borat on a cart pulled by peasant women, and at the 2009 MTV Movie Awards, he dropped from the ceiling as flamboyant fashion reporter Bruno, with his bare behind landing inches from rapper Eminem's face.

Sacha Baron Cohen Responds To Oscars Banishment Controversy February 24th, 2012 11:27am EST
British funnyman Sacha Baron Cohen has responded to the controversy over his appearance at the Oscars by posting a spoof video in character as The Dictator demanding the return of his tickets.
The Bruno star hit headlines this week after he was reportedly banned from turning up at the Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday in costume as Admiral General Aladeen, the leader of fictional country Wadiya, from his latest movie.
Oscars bosses spoke out to insist he hadn't been told to stay away, but Cohen has now released a video to address the controversy. He appears in character in the film and orders Oscars chiefs to "lift sanctions" and return his tickets by 12pm on Sunday. He says, "Good morning... On behalf of the nation of Wadiya, I am outraged at being banned from the Oscars by the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences. "While I abhor the Academy for taking away my right to free speech, I warn you that if you do not lift your sanctions and give me my tickets back by 12pm on Sunday, you will face unimaginable consequences..." He goes to add, "On top of all of this, I paid Hilary Swank $2 million to be my date and she will not refund a penny. My Sunday calendar is now as empty as a North Korean grocery store... Death to the west, death to America and good luck (Oscars host) Billy Crystals (sic). You are fantastic."

Sacha Baron Cohen Allowed To Hit The Oscars Red Carpet As 'The Dictator' February 25th, 2012 11:00am EST
Sacha Baron Cohen has been given permission to terrorize Oscar nominees and presenters as The Dictator on the red carpet at the Academy Awards on Sunday. Reports suggested the zany British comic had been banned from the big night after revealing he planned to arrive in character as his latest comedy creation, but Oscar bosses insisted they simply wanted to know what he had planned before agreeing to let him walk the red carpet. It's still not clear exactly what Cohen will do, but Oscars producer Brian Grazer appears to be more than happy to let him turn up as the bearded tyrant. He says, "We're thrilled to have him and he'll be on the red carpet dressed as The Dictator." Cohen previously issued a video message in character promising to punish the "Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Zionists" if Oscars officials did not issue him tickets to the show.
He has now posted an online picture of himself in character holding up his Oscars tickets, with the statement, "Victory Is Ours!... The Academy have surrendered and sent over two tickets and a parking pass! Today Oscar, tomorrow Obama!"
Cohen was invited to the Oscars as a castmember of nominated movie Hugo.

Sacha Baron Cohen Spills Ashes @ Oscars Red Carpet As 'The Dictator' February 26th, 2012 8:22pm EST
Funnyman Sacha Baron Cohen lived out his threat to arrive at the Oscars in character as The Dictator - and he dropped fake ashes all over the red carpet.The comic turned up at the Academy Awards on Sunday as Admiral Aladeen, the leader of fictional country Wadiya, flanked by two busty beret-wearing, flower-wielding female soldiers.
Dressed all in white and wearing sunglasses and a bushy beard, Cohen's alter-ego carried an urn containing what he claimed were the remains of late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il as he chatted to the media, refusing to come out of character.
Talking about the contents of his gold jar, he joked, "It was his dream to come to the Oscars and to be sprinkled over the red carpet and over Halle Berry's chest." Cohen caused a commotion just minutes after arriving, when he tipped the urn's ashes all over E!'s Live From The Red Carpet host Ryan Seacrest. Bogus security guards pretended to escort him away as a bemused Seacrest told TV viewers, "Part of me thought he would be up to something... I had an idea something was coming."
Co-host Kelly Osbourne thought the moment was hilarious, stating, "Unbelievable... That was probably the most priceless moment on TV that I've shared with you ever."Cohen, who was invited to the Oscars as part of the posse supporting Martin Scorsese's Hugo, had initially irked Oscars bosses when he announced his plans to promote his new film in character on the red carpet - but they agreed to let him continue with his plans after getting the lowdown on what he had in mind.

Demi Lovato To Star In MTV Special February 22nd, 2012 12:33pm EST
Demi Lovato has teamed up with bosses at MTV for an upcoming motivational TV special.
The Disney star has the words 'Stay' and 'Strong' inked on her wrists to cover self-harming cuts, and Lovato is using her motto as the basis for the documentary next month. In a post on her Facebook.com page, she writes, "I'm SO excited to tell you guys about my first ever special on MTV! Hope you guys all tune in!" Stay Strong will air on March 6th.

Conan O'Brien Signs Two Year TBS Deal February 23rd, 2012 12:20pm EST | By: SheKnows Entertainment
Oh, happy day. Conan O'Brien has signed a new deal that keeps his late-night show, Conan, on TBS until the year 2014.
We have recent ratings trends to thank for the extension of Conan O'Brien's late-night talk show, Conan.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, TBS announced Conan O'Brien will stick around until 2014, reasoning, "Conan has been a hit with TBS's core audience of young adults." It's not the overall ratings that were examined while making the decision, it was the recent ratings that played a factor. The network said, "The success of Conan also extends well beyond the show's TBS telecasts to include widespread DVR, online and mobile viewing, interaction through Twitter, Facebook and TeamCoco.com."
Head of programming for TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies, Michael Wright, added of the deal, "We are proud to be in business with Conan O'Brien for the long run. Night after night, Conan and his team have put together terrific shows that draw a young and fiercely loyal audience." He went on, "As if that weren't enough, they have also built a dynamic online presence that keeps fans engaged like no other show in late night." As for the man himself, Conan O'Brien said of the new deal, "I am excited to continue my run with TBS because they have been fantastic partners." O'Brien also joked: "This means I'll be taping episodes of Conan well into the Ron Paul presidency." Never one to miss a joke. Congrats on the deal, Conan! Head over to our comments section and tell us what you think of Conan O'Brien's new TBS deal...Are you Team Coco?

Jennifer Aniston Felt 'Surreal' About Receiving Hollywood Walk Of Fame Star February 23rd, 2012 8:22am EST

Jennifer Aniston was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Wednesday.
Her "Just Go With It" co-star Adam Sandler and "Wanderlust" castmates Malin Akerman and Kathryn Hahn were among those saluting the star at the ceremony as her boyfriend and "Wanderlust" co-star Justin Theroux and father, actor John Aniston, looked on. Unveiling her star, the actress said, "It feels very surreal to be honest. I was born here and it's sort of something you went and saw as a kid and got excited about just walking and seeing the names. To imagine that you're going to be there is really special. It's fun."

Justin Timberlake To Play Elton John In New Biopic February 23rd, 2012 10:00am EST
A biopic of Elton John's colorful life starring Justin Timberlake as the Rocket Man is all ready to go as soon as they find a director the pop star is comfortable working with. The veteran musician is preparing to turn his life story into a major movie-musical with help from his film producer partner David Furnish and "Billy Elliot" writer Lee Hall. Elton previously named Timberlake as his first choice for the lead role after the former N'Sync hunk played him in one of his music videos, and Furnish has now revealed the singer-turned-actor is onboard, as long as he has "chemistry" with the movie's chosen director.
He tells E!Online, "We're searching for a director. It's important we all share the same vision. Elton and Justin have had conversations about it. Justin also says he has to feel comfortable with the director and the director has to be comfortable with Justin. The chemistry is really important. There's no race to make this. We're just going to take the time to make it right."

George Clooney Fundraises For Retired & Sick Showbiz Professionals February 24th, 2012 9:16am EST
George Clooney has launched a new fundraising drive to help entertainers who have fallen on hard times.
The star and film producer Jeffrey Katzenberg hope to raise $350 million to benefit the Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF), which provides heath care and other services to struggling showbusiness professionals and retirees. Clooney says, "I was raised to believe that, as a community, we should be judged by how we take care of people who can't take care of themselves. This is our community. This is our commitment." The campaign has already raised $200 million, thanks to numerous contributions made by the likes of Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg, however the group is hoping stars will continue to dig deep. MPTF executive Bob Beitcher adds, "The fact is that today we can't anticipate what kind of help and support they'll need from MPTF. But we can be certain that there will continue to be needs that otherwise won't be filled without the support of our charity." The non-profit organization was founded in 1921 by Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, among others.

Billy Crystal Reveals The Moment He Decided To Return As Oscars Host February 25th, 2012 8:30am EST
Billy Crystal knew the time was right for him to return as the host of the Oscars when Anne Hathaway and James Franco failed to comment on Best Supporting Actress winner Melissa Leo's swear word gaffe last year.
Leo became the censors' worst nightmare when she uttered the 'F' word during her acceptance speech a year ago, and funnyman Crystal was dumbfounded when co-hosts Hathaway and Franco failed to mention it immediately afterwards.
The actor who will return as the Academy Awards shepherd on Sunday, tells Entertainment Weekly magazine, "They didn't say a word! That's when I knew maybe I should come back. It's fun to be out there when moments like that happen.
"You really have to want to be up there (onstage) and those who haven't you could tell they really didn't embrace it the way you have to." Crystal, who received a standing ovation at the Oscars last year when he stepped onstage to present a tribute to legendary entertainer and fellow Academy Awards host Bob Hope, agreed to lead the 2012 ceremony and telecast when Eddie Murphy dropped out as host late last year.

Former Police Officer Says 'Safe House' Plot Was Stolen From His Book February 25th, 2012 3:00pm EST
A former police officer is attempting to end Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds' run at the top of the box office by launching a lawsuit against the producers of their hit thriller "Safe House." Retired Chicago, Illinois cop Marty Christopher Lawson is requesting an injunction to stop Universal executives from further distributing the movie, which hit the top of the film charts last week. He claims the plot of and characters in the film were stolen from his book, "Truth or Treason," which detailed his efforts to uncover an alleged police conspiracy. Lawson insists the movie has caused him "pain and suffering".

Emma Thompson To Play Queen Elizabeth II February 25th, 2012 9:30am
Emma Thompson is set to follow in Helen Mirren's royal footsteps after signing up to play the Queen in a new British TV drama. The Oscar-winning actress will portray Her Royal Highness in the project, "Walking The Dogs," which is centered around intruder Michael Fagan's infamous meeting with The Queen at her London home, Buckingham Palace, in July, 1982.
Unemployed Fagan, then-31, spent 10 minutes chatting with The Queen in her bedroom after illegally gaining entrance to the palace's private chambers. He was charged with the theft of a bottle of wine and committed for psychiatric evaluation. The theft charge was later dropped at Fagan spent six months in a mental hospital. Eddie Marsan will portray Fagan, while Russell Tovey will play the part of a palace guard who steps off duty to walk the Queen's dogs in the film.

Lucy Liu To Play Dr. Watson In Sherlock Holmes Series 'Elementary'? February 28th, 2012 8:45am EST

Lucy Liu is set to play Sherlock Holmes' first female Dr. Watson in a modern TV update of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective stories, according to new internet reports. The Charlie's Angels star will team up with British actor Jonny Lee Miller for new series Elementary. Set in New York, Liu's Watson will be a former surgeon and Holmes' sober companion as he struggles with life after rehab, according to Deadline.com. The drama is loosely based on the hit British show Sherlock, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as the updated literary sleuth and his sidekick.

AnnaSophia Robb To Play Carrie Bradshaw In 'Sex And The City' Prequel February 28th, 2012 8:52am EST
"Charlie & The Chocolate Factory" star AnnaSophia Robb has landed the coveted role of Carrie Bradshaw in a prequel to the "Sex And The City" TV series. The young actress, who recently portrayed real-life surfing shark attack victim Bethany Hamilton in "Soul Surfer," joins Stefania Owen among the cast of the new high school drama, "The Carrie Diaries," which is set in the 1980s. "Sex And The City" creator Candace Bushnell will be one of the show's executive producers.

Lady Gaga To Make Cameo In 'Men In Black III' February 28th, 2012 8:48am
Lady Gaga is set to make her big screen movie debut in the upcoming "Men In Black" sequel, according to a Brazilian movie news website. Editors claim Will Smith let it slip that the singer would appear in the film during a promotional trip to Rio last week. He reportedly told ElCorilloRD.com, "We have a couple of celebrity cameos, but I cannot reveal who they are. We must keep as a surprise that Lady Gaga appears." The website reports Smith has been told not to reveal any of the other cameos lined up for the film, which will feature Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones and Emma Thompson as alien-fighting secret agents.

Meryl Streep Slammed For Forgetting Margaret Thatcher In Oscars Acceptance Speech
February 28th, 2012 8:33am EST

One of Margaret Thatcher's former aides has criticized Meryl Streep for failing to mention the ex-British Prime Minister in her Oscars acceptance speech. The Hollywood icon walked away with her third Academy Award after winning the Best Actress prize at Sunday's ceremony for her portrayal of the U.K.'s first female leader in The Iron Lady.
Streep thanked her husband, Don, and her Hollywood pals, but did not remember Thatcher in her emotional speech, and Lord Norman Tebbit, who served with Thatcher in government for six years, has been left fuming by the exclusion.
He tells Britain's The Sun, "I'm not at all surprised she didn't mention her. The film was about Meryl Streep, not Lady Thatcher. If Margaret Thatcher had been like the woman portrayed by Meryl Streep, she wouldn't have lasted six months as Prime Minister." Meanwhile, Thatcher's former press spokesperson Sir Bernard Ingham also slammed the movie for focusing on her deteriorating health and battle with dementia. He adds, "I don't propose to see somebody making money out of somebody's age. I think it demonstrates poor taste."

Rihanna Up For Whitney Houston Biopic? February 27th, 2012 10:35am EST | By: SheKnows Entertainment
Rihanna could be set to play Whitney Houston. The "We Found Love" hit-maker has topped a shortlist of stars tapped to potentially play Houston in a motion picture tribute to the tragic singer. Rihanna has shot to the top of a shortlist of actresses being courted to play Whitney "Nippy" Houston on the silver screen. The story of the "I Will Always Love You" songstress' childhood on the tough streets of Newark and Orange, New Jersey and her subsequent rise to pop superstardom is allegedly being turned into a biopic by her mentor Clive Davis. And get this: We hear the "Rude Boy" pop princess is in the running for the role of Whitney. Davis discovered Houston as a teenage gospel phenomenon in the early 1980s. The music mogul signed the Jersey Girl to his label and spearheaded her eponymous 1985 blockbuster. Now he's at the helm of a proposed movie about her life, , Britain's The People said Sunday. Clive's been working on the script of a Whitney biopic for months, according to insiders. "Clive wants to get the script done and start filming as soon as possible. Whitney knew about the project and was excited to see where it would lead," a spy squealed to The People.
"It's hoped the biopic will be as successful as [the] Tina Turner movie What's Love Got To Do With It, which landed two Oscar nominations for Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne, who played Tina and Ike Turner."
In 2010, Rihanna turned down the role of Rachel Marron in a remake of Houston's 1992 film The Bodyguard. The island-born beauty instead opted to make her cinema premiere blowing up alien water robots in the upcoming April blockbuster Battleship.
The singer, a frequent Tweeter, hasn't commented on the dish linking her to the Whitney role.
RiRi's facing stiff competition for the part, however; also on the wish-list to play Whitney are Jennifer Hudson -- who performed a moving tribute to Whitney at this month's Grammy Awards -- and former American Idol Jordin Sparks, Houston's co-star in the summer movie musical Sparkle.
"Whip My Hair" hit-maker Willow Smith, the 11-year-old celebutot of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, is reportedly being lined up to play young Whitney. Vivica A. Fox's name has also been tossed around as a potential casting.
But if you ask '90s teen star Brandy Norwood, no one can play "The Voice" quite like she can. "The Boy is Mine" songstress, now 33, grew up worshipping Whitney. She watched The Bodyguard on repeat and often practiced her own crooning with the help of Houston's pop hits.
When Brandy released her own self-titled debut album in 1994, she cited Whitney, 48, as an influence for its Grammy-winning sound. The singer/actress finally got to work with her idol in the 1998 made-for-TV musical Cinderella.
Before the pop queen's death, the former Moesha star threw her hat into the ring for the lead role in a potential Whitney biopic.
"My dream role would be to play Whitney Houston. I would love to play Ms. Whitney. I have her personality down pat, her 'isms' down pat," said Brandy, who is the older sister of Whitney's on-again/off-again beau, singer/reality star Ray J.
"Nobody can play Whitney like me," she added.
Houston was found dead in the bathtub of a suite at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Feb. 11. Her death remains under investigation. The results of toxicology tests are expected in the next two months.

Dan Aykroyd: 'I Don't Need Fame Anymore' February 28th, 2012 8:54am EST Dan Aykroyd has hinted he'll never shoot another Hollywood movie - unless the long-awaited third Ghostbusters film gets off the ground. The Blues Brothers actor has been enthusiastic to get cameras rolling on another sequel to his 1984 comedy classic, but the project has repeatedly stalled because of co-star Bill Murray's busy schedule. Now, Aykroyd has confessed his days of starring in blockbuster movies are over - and he'll only be tempted out of retirement by the right film. The funnyman tells Seven magazine, "I don't need fame anymore... I'm happy my day is done. It's over... I don't want to work anymore really in film. I'd have to be called up by triple-A superstars. I get offers all the time from filmmakers, but they are unknown quantities. I don't go there and do experiments." "I've read some terrific scripts, but opportunities that have quality present themselves less and less. Everyone who wants to work goes on auditions and makes impassioned pleas... But it doesn't interest me to pursue like that anymore."

J.J. Abrams Fuming Over 'Star Trek' Sequel Photo Leak February 28th, 2012 11:19am EST
Super-secretive director J.J. Abrams was furious after pictures from his upcoming Star Trek sequel leaked online. The photos showed Zachary Quinto and Zoe Saldana in costume as Spock and Uhura respectively, battling the film's new villain, played by British actor Benedict Cumberbatch. Saldana reveals Abrams was not impressed with the photos after working tirelessly to keep casting and script details under wraps. She tells MTV News, "J.J. was very upset. I have to say that. It's not going to stop people from intruding, but they are, and it's such a bummer because it only hurts them by stealing away the surprise." Quinto has also assured fans the shots aren't representative of what actually happens in the forthcoming sci-fi film.
He adds, "That was not an actual scene that will be featured. The cameras weren't even rolling so... imagine what it'll look like when we're actually doing it. That happens, I guess. We're on incredibly big set pieces in the middle of somewhere and people sort of got wind of it." The as-yet-untitled follow-up to the hit 2009 blockbuster is due for release in May 2013.

Jonah Hill Re-teams With Brad Pitt For 'True Story' February 28th, 2012 10:48pm EST
Moneyball co-stars Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill are to reteam for a new movie about New York Times journalist Michael Finkel.
The actors became friends while shooting the Oscar-nominated baseball film, based on a real-life story, and Pitt has now helped Hill line up his next acting job in True Story, a big screen adaptation of Finkel's memoir.The Oscar nominee will portray Finkel, who was fired from the publication in 2002 after he was found to have made up an account in an investigative article about child laborers in Africa. Days later, in a strange twist, fugitive murder suspect Christian Longo was arrested in Mexico, where he had been living under Finkel's identity. Longo gave the disgraced writer a chance to redeem himself when he named Finkel as the only journalist he was willing to tell his story to in a bid to prove his innocence.James Franco will play Longo, according to Deadline.com. Pitt will make the film via his Plan B production company.

Neither Rihanna Nor Jennifer Hudson Tapped To Play Whitney Houston February 29th, 2012 8:41am EST

A representative for music mogul Clive Davis has shot down reports he has shortlisted Jennifer Hudson and Rihanna to portray late superstar Whitney Houston in a rumored biopic. Davis, who discovered the soul singer and mentored her throughout her career, was allegedly planning to make Houston's life the subject of a new big screen film following her tragic death earlier this month. A Daily Mail report on Monday stated Davis "wants to get a script finalised as soon as possible so filming can begin", with Rihanna and Hudson - who paid tribute to Houston at the Grammy Awards - were "in the running for the lead role". But the rumours have proved to be completely false. A spokesperson for Davis tells GossipCop.com, "There is no truth to this. Clive is not putting together a biopic."

Dan Aykroyd Says Bill Murray Won't Be Part Of 'Ghostbusters 3' February 29th, 2012 8:15pm EST
Actor Dan Aykroyd has given up all hope of trying to persuade Bill Murray to reprise his Ghostbusters character for a third movie, insisting the film will have to be made without the funnyman. Aykroyd, co-star Harold Ramis and director Ivan Reitman have been waiting for Murray to sign on for the sequel for over a year, but the frustrated Blues Brothers star now accepts the project will have to go ahead without him. He tells The Telegraph, "It's a surety that Bill Murray will not do the movie." He adds, "The studio, the director Ivan Reitman and Harold Ramis feel there must be a way to do it, but Bill Murray will not do the movie. He doesn't want to be involved. He's got six kids, houses all over America. He golfs in these tournaments where they pay him to turn up and have a laugh. He's into this life and living it. "I know we'd have a lot of fun but I can't be mad at him. He's a friend first, a colleague second. We have a deep personal relationship that transcends business and he doesn't want to know."

Cuba Gooding Jr. To Star In New TV Series February 29th, 2012 8:31am EST Cuba Gooding, Jr. is returning to his TV roots with a starring role in a new drama series.
The "Jerry Maguire" star has been cast in "Guilty," about a defense attorney who loses his licence to practice law after being falsely accused of fraud, reports TheWrap.com. The Oscar winner is no stranger to TV - early on in his career, he made appearances on action series "MacGyver," drama "Hill Street Blues" and comedy "Better Days."

Emma Watson Joins Sofia Coppola's 'Bling Ring' Movie March 1st, 2012 8:28am EST
Emma Watson is set to steal the limelight in Sofia Coppola's new movie after signing up to play one of the 'Bling Ring' gang.
The Lost In Translation director's new project is based on the true story of a group of teens who stole from the homes of stars including Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Orlando Bloom in 2008 and 2009. The Harry Potter star has agreed to appear in the movie and it is one of several new projects she is working on after the wizard franchise came to an end in 2011. Watson will work with Potter director David Yates again in new drama Your Voice in My Head, and she is also in talks to play Belle in a big screen adaptation of Beauty and the Beast with Mexican moviemaker Guillermo del Toro.

Gerard Butler Joins 'Brilliant' After Eric Bana Drops Out March 1st, 2012 9:07am EST
Gerard Butler's acting career appears to be back on track after his recent rehab stint - he will replace Eric Bana in diamond heist thriller "Brilliant." Butler began 2012 battling a painkiller addiction, but he recently checked out of a treatment facility and is now keen to get back to work. He'll team up with his "Ugly Truth" director Robert Luketic to headline the new movie, according to Variety. Filming is set to start in Massachusetts in May.

Jack Black Commits Mild-Mannered Murder In 'Bernie' March 1st, 2012 9:11am EST | By: NextMovie

Jack Black is just your average friendly neighborhood killer -- complete with ultra-moustache.
Black and his "School of Rock" director, Richard Linklater, have reunited for "Bernie," a pitch-black crime comedy based on a real-life 1996 murder case in Carthage, Texas. Black plays the title role, a mortician whose reputation as the nicest guy in town doesn't get tarnished too much after he offs an elderly millionaire widow (Shirley MacLaine), an intolerable shrew whom most of the townsfolk believe had it coming. The trailer doesn't make "Bernie" look like anything special, but it's good to see Linklater working again (this is his first film since 2008's "Me and Orson Welles"), and Black looks to be having fun in a mellower-than-usual kind of role. Linklater's "Dazed and Confused" pal, Matthew McConaughey, also has some good bits as Danny Buck Davidson (a McConaughey-ish character name if there ever was one), the local district attorney determined to bring Bernie to justice."Bernie" premiered last year at the Los Angeles Film Festival and will screen later this month at, appropriately enough, SXSW before hitting theaters on April 27.

Brett Butler Signs Up For Charlie Sheen's 'Anger Management' February 29th, 2012 9:33pm EST  
Beloved TV star Brett Butler has joined the cast of Charlie Sheen's new comedy Anger Management.
The Grace Under Fire star will play a bartender at Sheen's baseball player-turned-counselor's favorite bar, according to Deadline.com. Selma Blair has signed on to play a therapist who falls for Sheen's character, and Shawnee Smith will portray his ex-wife.The comedy will debut in June.

Goldie Hawn Drops Out Of 'The Viagra Diaries' March 2nd, 2012 2:16pm EST
Actress Goldie Hawn has reportedly dropped out of her upcoming TV show The Viagra Diaries. Hawn has not been seen onscreen since the release of The Banger Sisters a decade ago and she was slated to make her big return as a newly single woman, who finds herself alone after 35 years of marriage. However, the veteran star has now pulled out of the HBO network project after allegedly falling out with TV bosses, according to Deadline.com. The Viagra Diaries, created by Sex and the City producer Darren Starr, will now continue on without Hawn under the direction of Bridesmaids filmmaker Paul Feig.

Robert De Niro Disguised Himself As A Homeless Man For Shelter Visit March 1st, 2012 8:33pm EST A heavily disguised Robert De Niro spent a day at a homeless shelter in Boston, Massachusetts as he researched his new role in Being Flynn. His make-under was so successful, the movie star had a full conversation with a regular at the shelter - about himself. Director Paul Weitz explains, "We did spend time at Pine Street Inn homeless shelter, where Nick Flynn, who wrote the memoir, had worked. It was interesting to see him kind of blend into the woodwork, which he did very well. "He had a cap pulled over his eyes and he pretended to have a cold so he could cover up his face. "There was a very odd moment where somebody who worked at the shelter said, 'Oh, maybe Bob De Niro could play me!' He had heard something about how we were doing a movie and he did not realize that Bob De Niro was standing seven feet from him. "Bob likes to play real people so he was trying to get a sense of the reality there. In the shelter he observed the people staying there and their body language wasn't downtrodden. They had erect posture and didn't want to appear to be marks and get robbed or beaten up so that's how he appears in the film." De Niro also hit New York's Financial District in disguise to get a sense of what it was like to be an invisible homeless person in the busy Big Apple. Weitz tells WENN, "I got a weather report that it was going to be snowing the next day and I called Bob up and said, 'How would you feel about getting into costume and trudging around the streets tomorrow if it snows?' So four weeks before shooting I went with him in a car and with a camera guy and we shot Bob walking around different neighborhoods in his homeless gear. "We chose different places where we hoped people would ignore a huge movie star. So we went down to the Financial District when everyone is arriving at work so they don't give a damn; they'd pretty much run anyone over to get to work."

The Osbournes Returning To Television For Animated Series March 5th, 2012 2:47pm EST
Rocker Ozzy Osbourne and his family are returning to TV to voice themselves in a new animated series.
The Black Sabbath frontman, his wife Sharon and their two children Kelly and Jack, first opened up the doors to their home for The Osbournes, an MTV program which ran from 2002 to 2005.
And now, after a short hiatus, the family has signed up to share its day-to-day life with fans again in The F'n Osbournes.
Recently engaged Jack, who is also due to become a first-time father this year, will produce the project with his TV presenter mom and bosses at Canadian animation company Cuppa Coffee. Each member of the family will voice their own character and plans are currently in place to create a total of 20 episodes, according to GossipCop.com. The F'n Osbournes will be pitched to network executives in April.

Scarlett Johansson Screams For 'The Making Of Psycho' March 2nd, 2012 8:04am EST | By: NextMovie
Scarlett Johansson is ready for her big shower scene.
The shower scene to end all shower scenes, in fact, as the "Avengers" beauty will be playing actress Janet Leigh in the behind-the-scenes Hollywood drama, "Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of 'Psycho,'" according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"Hitchcock" tracks how the renowned filmmaker (Anthony Hopkins) had to raise the funding for his low-budget horror movie himself after no studio would touch such a lowly endeavor. The film, written by John McLaughlin ("Black Swan") from the book by Stephen Rebello, also focuses on the relationship between the filmmaker and his wife, Alma Rainville (Helen Mirren).
This project just got a lot more interesting, as we're most certainly looking forward to seeing Johnasson recreate some of Janet Leigh's scenes ... particularly that one in the hotel bathroom.
Scarlett Johansson was recently seen as a conveniently single animal lover in Cameron Crowe's "We Bought a Zoo" and will next be seen as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow in "The Avengers," opening May 4. She'll also appear as a space alien in (a very attractive) human form in Jonathan Glazer's "Under the Skin" later this year and is attached to both John Carney's "Can a Song Save Your Life?" and Joseph Gordon-Levitt's directorial debut.
"Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of 'Psycho'" is actually one of two biography films about "The Master" that's currently in the works. BBC 2 is producing a television movie, "The Girl," that chronicles the obsessive relationship between Hitchcock (Toby Jones) and model Tippi Hedren (the perfectly cast Sienna Miller), who starred in "The Birds."
"Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of 'Psycho'" will commence with production later this year under the direction of Sacha Gervasi ("Anvil! The Story of Anvil").

Ted Danson Eyeing 'Downton Abbey' Role March 6th, 2012 8:35am
Actor Ted Danson has reached out to the makers of Downton Abbey in the hope of landing a cameo role after becoming "completely hooked" on the TV show. The former Cheers star reveals he and his wife Mary Steenburgen love the British period drama and dream of appearing in the series. He tells Britain's Radio Times, "We're watching the second year and my wife and I are completely hooked. It's so sad that you guys only make six or seven episodes a year... "If we could go to England, the two of us, and be in Downton Abbey, we'd be the happiest people on the planet." However, Danson could be facing tough competition for a role - actor David Boreanaz is also eyeing a part and took to his Twitter.com page last month to urge creator Julian Fellowes to cast him in an upcoming episode.

Olivia Wilde Says She Was 'Too Sexy' For 'Lovelace' Role March 2nd, 2012 1:45pm EST Hollywood beauty Olivia Wilde pulled out of the biopic of porn icon Linda Lovelace because she's too sexy for the role.
Amanda Seyfried plays the adult movie star in the upcoming film, titled simply Lovelace, opposite Peter Sarsgaard and Sarah Jessica Parker. House actress Wilde was originally in the running for the title role but she pulled out, insisting her established status as a screen sex symbol was at odds with the real Lovelace's innocence. Wilde tells British GQ magazine, "I pulled out of the Linda Lovelace biopic. I decided that it should go to someone who is not already sexualized by the public - Linda Lovelace was an innocent. Amanda will do an amazing job." "I would like to play roles that are in no way sexualized."

'The Hobbit' Cast & Crew Avoided Severe Weather, Flooding March 3rd, 2012 9:30am EST

"Hobbit" director Peter Jackson was forced to halt filming on his prequels in December when local police issued a severe weather warning and urged him and his crew to pack up as driving rains and floods hit their remote New Zealand location.
The filmmaker has posted footage of the storms in his latest behind-the-scenes video blog from the set of the top secret movie, which has been shot across his native New Zealand for the past eight months. Jackson explains he was shooting scenes of dwarves floating down the Pelorus River for the second sequel when blue skies clouded over and the weather took a change for the worse. In the taped video footage, he says, "Our location shooting came to a pretty dramatic end because the police arrived and said they were about to issue a severe weather warning. I've never seen a crew pack up their gear so quickly. "The very next day, everywhere where we were standing... was under floodwater. That was incredibly dramatic. The rise of the river level was, like, 20 or 30 feet." Jackson and his crew also faced adversity when they shot scenes on the slopes of Mount Taranaki - they had to create an elaborate scaffolded walkway for the cast so ancient vegetation growing in the world's second oldest national park wasn't disturbed.

Protesters Disrupt Filming On Kathryn Bigelow's Osama Bin Laden Movie March 2nd, 2012 6:36pm EST
Production on director Kathryn Bigelow's Osama Bin Laden movie in northern India was disrupted by protests on Friday after Hindu locals became angry that their city had been transformed to portray sworn enemy Pakistan. The Hurt Locker filmmaker has been forced to shoot the new project, about the hunt for the Al Qaeda leader, in India after being denied permission to film in neighboring Pakistan, where the terrorist mastermind was shot and killed by U.S. troops last year. Crewmembers were subsequently forced to use Chandigarh to mirror the Pakistani city of Lahore, but the transformation has infuriated members of right-wing religious organization Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and they made their feelings known by taking to the streets around the set on Friday. Some protesters were even seen arguing with the cast and crew as police moved in to deal with the trouble, according to Reuters.However, the campaigners are remaining defiant and are determined to shut down the production for good. VHP leader Vijay Bhardwaj says, "They have made Chandigarh like Pakistan, as if it is Pakistan. We strongly oppose this and we will not let them put Pakistani flags here and we will not let them shoot for the film." Hindus in India have long clashed with Muslims in Pakistan since both gained independence from Britain in 1947. The movie, titled Zero Dark Thirty, stars Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Joel Edgerton and his director brother Nash, and is due to be released later this year.

Nicole Kidman Replaces Rachel Weisz In 'The Railway Man' March 5th, 2012 8:40am EST
Nicole Kidman has stepped in to replace Rachel Weisz in upcoming movie The Railway Man after the British actress dropped out. The Mummy star was due to play Colin Firth's onscreen wife in the new drama about a prisoner of war who reunites with one of his Japanese captors 30 years later. However, Weisz was forced to exit the project to complete extra filming on upcoming action movie The Bourne Legacy, and Kidman has stepped up to take her place, according to Variety.com. The Railway Man will start shooting in Scotland later this year, before moving to Australia's Gold Coast. It is due for 2013.

Jake Lloyd, AKA Anakin Skywalker, Turns His Back On Acting March 5th, 2012 8:55am EST
Former Star Wars child actor Jake Lloyd has told how he quit acting after school bullies mocked his Hollywood career and made life a "living hell." Lloyd decided on an early retirement from acting because he was struggling to fit in after playing Anakin Skywalker in "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace" when he was just eight years old. He subsequently destroyed all his Star Wars memorabilia, and only ever stepped in front of the camera again to reprise his role as Anakin for five video games.
He recalls, "Other children were really mean to me. They would make the sound of the light saber every time they saw me. It was totally mad. My entire school life was really a living hell - and I had to do up to 60 interviews a day." Lloyd, who is now aged 22 and a budding filmmaker, only makes rare appearances at sci-fi conventions. He says, "I've learned to hate it when the cameras are pointed at me."

Harvey Weinstein's 'Bully' Petition Gains 150,000 Signatures March 6th, 2012 11:33am EST
More than 150,000 film fans have signed an online petition demanding a lower age rating for Harvey Weinstein's new movie Bully. The movie mogul was outraged when censors at The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) slapped the documentary with a restrictive R rating, which bans young children from seeing it without their parents. He argued kids need to watch Bully because of the sensitive issues involved, and Katy Butler, a high school student from Michigan, subsequently started a petition backing Weinstein's age-rating plea. The poll, posted on Change.org, has now received more than 150,000 signatures. Butler, who was bullied herself, tells FOX411's Pop Tarts column, "I can't believe the MPAA is blocking American teenagers from seeing a movie that could literally save thousands of lives. The MPAA needs to give Bully a PG-13 so the students being bullied and bullies themselves can see this film and schools can show it as well. ""It's awful. Everyone either gets bullied or is a bully. We need to change this, and showing this film is one way of doing that." Weinstein recently revealed stars including Lady Gaga and Johnny Depp had reached out to him in support of his Bully campaign.

Steven Seagal Hit With Another Lawsuit Over 'Lawman' TV Show March 8th, 2012 2:43pm EST

Actor Steven Seagal has been hit with a new lawsuit for allegedly arresting an Arizona man for TV ratings.
The Under Siege star, who is a reserve deputy sheriff, was filming an episode of Steven Seagal: Lawman in March, 2011, when he allegedly helped raid the home of Jesus Llovera, who was believed to be raising fighting roosters, which is a felony.
Cops carried out a search of the man's property and then arrested the Phoenix resident after finding dangerous accessories and more than 100 chickens. He was later charged with raising animals for cockfighting and illegal possession of veterinary drugs.
Llovera has maintained his innocence, insisting he raised the roosters for show, and on Tuesday he filed a civil lawsuit against Seagal and members of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, claiming his arrest was staged to make good television.
Llovera, who is seeking unspecified damages, tells local publication AZ Central, "What they showed up for was to make a show, and they made one." The episode in question was set to air on January 4th but the show's third season was pulled.

Keanu Reeves Confirms New 'Bill & Ted' Movie Is On The Way March 6th, 2012 9:30pm EST
Keanu Reeves has confirmed a new Bill & Ted movie is planned and the script is 'bodacious'. The movie star tells The Independent he's just waiting for a start date. He says, "We have a script. We're trying to put it together. It's a good script too."
Reeve's Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure co-star Alex Winter also can't wait to reprise his time-traveling character, adding via Twitter.com, "Script done? Check. We love it? Check. Green light? Working on it!" The original Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure came out in 1989 and there was a sequel, Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey in 1991. The franchise also enjoyed success on TV thanks to an animated series.

'Project X' Plans To Party Hearty A Second Time March 7th, 2012 9:25am EST | By: NextMovie
Warner Bros. is keeping the party going. What happens when a movie that cost about five bucks to produce takes in over $21 million at the box office over its opening weekend? That movie gets a sequel, of course -- and the second phase of "Project X" has already commenced with deployment, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "Project X," which at least one publication described as "'Girls Gone Wild' meets 'Black Hawk Down,'" follows three high school losers as they plan to throw the party to end all parties in order to get girls and become cooler. Their shindig turns into an epic maelstrom that achieves almost supernatural levels of debauchery, the likes of which that would make even Dionysus himself blush with pride, envy and embarrassment. Michael Bacall, who wrote the story for "Project X" and co-wrote the screenplay with Matt Drake, is writing a treatment for the sequel. No word on whether the three lead actors (Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper and Jonathan Brown) will be reprising their roles as the bacchanal masterminds, though we don't see why that wouldn't be the case. The premise for the sequel is also unknown, but we have a feeling it might involve the next logical step: a college party to end all college parties. Oh dear. Bacall is the hot writer of the moment, as he also had a hand in the script for "21 Jump Street," which opens March 16. Meanwhile, Warner Bros. would do well to lock the thespian trio of "Project X" into sequel contracts now unless they want another "Hangover" situation on their hands when it comes time to talk salaries. Hey, college tuition is expensive, after all.

'Glee' Planning An 'Amazing' Whitney Houston Tribute? March 9th, 2012 2:44pm EST
Glee creator Ryan Murphy is planning an all-Whitney Houston episode to pay tribute to the late star, according to reports.
The producer/director paid homage to the tragic superstar with a note at the end of the Glee episode which aired the week after the singer's February 11th death - and featured Amber Riley's pitch perfect rendition of Houston's I Will Always Love You signature tune. And now he's planning to showcase eight of the soul star's hits in an episode that will revolve around Houston's music, according to Eonline.com. A source tells the website the show will use the music "as a way to say goodbye, a way to respectfully say thank you for her music." And Glee star Lea Michele appears to have confirmed the news in a tweet on Thursday. She wrote, "Starting a new episode today. A very special tribute to one of the world's most amazing singers."
"Very excited about this one."

Wesley Snipes Plans Acting Comeback Following Prison Release March 7th, 2012 8:32am EST
Wesley Snipes is "in great shape" in jail and is plotting his comeback, according to close friend Spike Lee.
The star began a three-year prison sentence in December 2010 for neglecting to file income tax returns, and moviemaker Lee visited his pal in prison in Pennsylvania on Monday. Updating fans about the star's wellbeing, he insists Snipes is doing well and is looking forward to life as a free man. In a series of posts on Twitter, Lee writes, "Yesterday I Went To McKean Federal Correctional Institute in West Hell, Pennsylvania To Spend 2 Great Hours With My Man Wesley Snipes.
"Mr.Snipes Is In Great Shape, Mentally, Physically & Spiritually. We Laughed & Joked For The Whole 2 Hour Visit. He Said When He Gets Out - It's On." When asked by a fan about a joint project with Snipes in the future, Lee replied, "We talked 'bout it." Snipes has always maintained his innocence and insists he was duped by tax advisors.

Emily Blunt Chased A Child Fan Who Didn't Recognize Her From 'Devil Wears Prada'
March 7th, 2012 1:50pm EST | By: Fred Topel

Celebrities are used to getting recognized all the time. They expect it and learn to deal with it. Sometimes though they get disappointed. Emily Blunt recalled a traumatizing experience with a child fan while she was promoting her new movie, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. “Kids just crush you with that,” Blunt said. “I had a girl come up to me and she went, ‘Are you the girl from Bridge to Terabithia?’ And I was like, ‘I’m not actually.’ And she went, ‘Are you the girl from the Gilmore Girls?’ And I went, ‘No, no, I’m not.’ And then she went ‘Mmm.’ And she walked away and I heard myself go, ‘But I was in The Devil Wears Prada.’ And she turned around and [made a face and] ignored me. Kids just crush you.”
That kid may be kicking herself when she becomes a teen and sees Blunt’s starmaking role. Other fans often misquote her famous line “I’m one stomach flu away from my goal weight.” “I would say it happens every other day. Or it’s one of the quotes. It just depends, if you’re traveling it’ll be someone on a plane and it’s lovely because those lines I was given in that film were just heaven. That’s why I loved playing that part. It was just a gift truly. It was wonderful. So I don’t mind when people quote it but sometimes they get the quote wrong and you feel you have to correct them. They’re like, ‘I’m just one stomach virus away from..’ and I’m like, ‘No, that’s not it. That’s not it, never mind.’”
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen opens Friday.

First Look: Johnny Depp And Armie Hammer In 'The Lone Ranger' March 8th, 2012 11:40am EST | By: NextMovie

We've got just one thing to say about the first photo from the upcoming film "The Lone Ranger:" Hi-yo, Captain Jack Sparrow! Away! Not that this is the latest mashup from Seth Grahame-Smith or anything — though we'd love to see "Cowboys and Indians and Pirates" — but once you get a look at Johnny Depp as Tonto in this picture, you'll have to agree that some of the spirit of old Captain Jack is definitely present. "The Lone Ranger," as you know, is a revival of the classic old west masked hero who reached the height of his popularity back in the '50s thanks to a hit TV show. Now he's being given a modern makeover courtesy of "The Social Network" star Armie Hammer, with Depp on board as the Ranger's loyal partner in crimefighting, Native American warrior Tonto. Of course, with the white face paint he's showing here, Depp does look a little bit more like "The Crow" than Crowfoot and not just because he has, well, a giant crow on his head. But one look at the expression on his face and it's clear that somewhere in therae, the heart of a pirate is still beating. Check it out, thanks to Jerry Bruckheimer's Twitter feed.

Ice Cube Campaigns To Get Chris Tucker To Do 'Friday' Sequel March 10th, 2012 12:30pm EST
Ice Cube has urged fans of his "Friday" film franchise to bombard his co-star Chris Tucker with messages on Twitter to convince the comedian to sign on for another sequel. The 1995 cult favorite, about a pair of street-smart slackers, spawned two sequels and helped to launch the hip-hop star as a movie mogul. Ice Cube is currently writing a new installment of the fun comedy, a follow-up to 2002's "Friday After Next," and he's eager to get Tucker on board too. During an appearance on TV's "106 & Park" earlier this week, he said, "Everybody twitter (sic) Chris Tucker and make sure he's in this movie. We want him back, we want him back. Everybody just let him know how much we love him in Friday, you know... He gotta (sic) come back for his fans. I'm gonna write him in there and hopefully he'll do it. If he wants to be a part of it, we got open arms for him."

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