R.I.P. Leslie Nielsen, Oscar Hosts Revealed, and much more.

November 29th, 2010 | by Marlow Stern | 1 Comment »

R.I.P. LESLIE NIELSEN, 84.

Actor Leslie Nielsen passed away today at a Ft. Lauderdale, Florida hospital, according to his agent John S. Kelly. He died of complications from pneumonia at the age of 84. Born on February 11, 1926, Nielsen is best known for his deadpan roles in spoof comedies such as “Airplane!” and “The Naked Gun” films, as well as “Forbidden Planet” (1956) and “The Poseidon Adventure” (1972). His agent sent out the following statement:

We are saddened by the passing of beloved actor Leslie Nielsen, probably best remembered as Lt. Frank Drebin in THE NAKED GUN series of pictures, but who enjoyed a more than 60 year career in motion pictures and television.”

Mr. Nielsen, 84, died of complications of pneumonia in a hospital near his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, surrounded by his lovely wife and dear friends at 5:34pm EST today.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in his name to the charity of your choice.

Nielsen appeared in over 100 films and over 1,500 TV programs during his career. Here are some classic Nielsen moments:

FRANCO and HATHAWAY to HOST OSCARS.

James Franco and Anne Hathaway will serve as co-hosts of the 83rd Academy Awards®, Oscar telecast producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer announced today. Both have previously appeared on the telecast but not in hosting capacities.

“James Franco and Anne Hathaway personify the next generation of Hollywood icons — fresh, exciting and multi-talented. We hope to create an Oscar broadcast that will both showcase their incredible talents and entertain the world on February 27,” said Cohen and Mischer. “We are completely thrilled that James and Anne will be joining forces with our brilliant creative team to do just that.”

Franco, who currently can be seen in “127 Hours,” will be making his second appearance on an Oscar telecast. Hathaway will be making her fifth appearance on an Academy Awards telecast, and was recently seen in “Alice in Wonderland” and currently can be seen in “Love and Other Drugs.”

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2010 will be presented on Sunday, February 27, 2011, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.

BIEBER MANIA!

Paramount Pictures announced a sneak preview event for the biopic JUSTIN BIEBER: NEVER SAY NEVER, happening on February 9th:

Moviegoers across the U.S. and Canada may be among the first to experience the new 3D film, “JUSTIN BIEBER: NEVER SAY NEVER,” at exclusive “sneak preview” screening events set for Wednesday, February 9th at 6pm at specially selected RealD® 3D equipped movie theaters across the country.

Each complete Sneak Preview Gift Pack is priced at $30.00 (plus shipping) and includes:

•One ticket to the movie sneak preview Wednesday, February 9th at 6pm
•A pair of limited edition purple “JUSTIN BIEBER: NEVER SAY NEVER” RealD® 3D glasses
•A souvenir VIP event lanyard
•Official “JUSTIN BIEBER: NEVER SAY NEVER” branded glow stick and bracelet

For event locations around the country, to purchase tickets, or to learn more about this exclusive event, please go to: JB3DPreview.com. Limit is 6 tickets per credit card transaction. Supplies are limited.

MICHELLE WILLIAMS is MARILYN.

London’s The Daily Mail is currently obsessed with BBC Films’ Marilyn Monroe movie MY WEEK WITH MARILYN, which just finished filming at Pinewood Studios with the Weinstein Company planning on distributing the movie stateside. The paper has a new interview with star Michelle Williams tying into the completion of filming with the actress talking at length about playing the iconic screen legend, Marilyn Monroe, with a new photo (below) from the movie accompanying that interview. “At a certain point, something else does take over. I don’t quite feel myself these days,” she told the paper. Co-starring Eddie Redmayne, Judi Dench, Julia Ormond, Dougray Scott, Dominic Cooper and more, the film focuses on Monroe’s relationship with Colin Clark (Redmayne), a well-to-do British laborer on the set of her 1956 movie “The Prince and the Showgirl” with whom she had a romance.

UPCOMING FILM PROJECTS.

Atlas Entertainment announced it is rebooting the beloved franchise, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, with Warner Bros. Pictures. Atlas’ Charles Roven and Steve Alexander will produce the feature film alongside Doug Davison and Roy Lee of Vertigo Entertainment (The Ring, How to Train Your Dragon, The Departed). Whit Anderson is writing the script. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” first appeared as a film in 1992, subsequently becoming a cult hit and spawning the wildly popular television series starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and David Boreanaz, among many others.

Creator Joss Whedon responded to the announcement, saying, “This is a sad, sad reflection on our times, when people must feed off the carcasses of beloved stories from their youths—just because they can’t think of an original idea of their own, like I did with my Avengers idea that I made up myself.”

Walt Disney Pictures has confirmed that Gore Verbinksi is now officially signed on for Disney’s THE LONE RANGER. Verbinksi, who has worked with Johnny Depp on the first three “Pirates of the Caribbean” films and the upcoming “Rango,” will re-team with the actor, currently attached to play the Lone Ranger’s sidekick, Tonto. The Lone Ranger’s origin story begins with a group of Texas Rangers chasing down a gang of outlaws led by Butch Cavendish. The gang ambushes the Rangers, seemingly killing them all. One survivor is found, however, by an American Indian named Tonto, who nurses him back to health. The Ranger, donning a mask and riding a white stallion named Silver, teams up with Tonto to bring the unscrupulous gang and others of that ilk to justice.

Mark Wahlberg has confirmed to MTV that he will play Nathan Drake in the David O. Russell-directed UNCHARTED: DRAKE’S FORTUNE video game adatptation and that Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci may have roles as well. Wahlberg told MTV he hopes to reteam with his “The Fighter” and “Three Kings” director next year. “The idea that he has is just insane,” Wahlberg said about Russell. “So hopefully we’ll be making that movie this summer.” He added: “That’s who he wants to write the parts for. I talked to Pesci about it and I know David’s people have talked to [Robert De Niro]… I’m obviously in whatever David wants to do but the idea of it is so off the charts: De Niro being my father, Pesci being my uncle. It’s not going to be the watered-down version, that’s for sure.” The story will allegedly have something to do with antiquities dealers in New York.

CASTING NEWS.

Gael Garcia Bernal will play boxing champ Roberto Duran in HANDS OF STONE, reports TheWrap. Al Pacino is also circling the role of boxing trainer Ray Arecel in the biopic. Jonathan Jakubowicz (“Secuestro Express”) will write, direct and produce the project with Ben Silverman. The site says the film “will focus on the boxing champion and will tell the inside story of the ‘No Mas’ fight.” In the closing seconds of the fight’s last round, Duran turned his back to Leonard and quit, saying “no mas” (“no more”). Duran beat Leonard in an earlier welterweight championship bout. They would meet again in a 1989 middleweight championship fight in Las Vegas. Leonard won that fight in 12 rounds.

Until next week!

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