Finally, the MPAA did something right. The Classification and Rating Appeals Board overturned the NC-17 rating given to the movie BLUE VALENTINE. The Classification and Rating Administration (CARA) had assigned the movie the NC-17 rating for “a scene of explicit sexual content.” The film is now rated R, on appeal, for “strong graphic sexual content, language, and a beating.” In the appeal brought by The Weinstein Company, the Appeals Board heard statements on behalf of Blue Valentine from Harvey Weinstein, Co-Chairman of The Weinstein Company, and Alan Friedman, Counsel to The Weinstein Company. The Classification and Rating Administration was represented by Chairman Joan Graves. Directed by Derek Cianfrance, the romantic drama stars Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, Mike Vogel, John Doman and Maryann Plunkett. It is scheduled for a December 31 release.
R.I.P. BLAKE EDWARDS
Blake Edwards passed away at 88 due to complications of pneumonia, The Associated Press has confirmed. A classic Hollywood talent, Edwards spent more than six decades working as a writer, director and producer, bringing to the screen films like “The Pink Panther,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” and “Days of Wine and Roses” among many others. Though his last credited film was 1993’s “Son of the Pink Panther,” Edwards has been a long-celebrated talent, earning a lifetime achievement Oscar in 2004. Edwards is survived by five children and his wife, actress Julie Andrews. The pair had been married since 1969 and collaborated on a number of films, including “Darling Lili” and “10.” The clip below features the classic final scene of Audrey Hepburn starring in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”:
Like “There Will Be Blood’s” amazing score before it, the Academy has decided to deem four Oscar-worthy scores ineligible, reports Variety. “Black Swan” and “True Grit” have been deemed ineligible as “scores diluted by the use of tracked themes or other pre-existing music,” according to sources inside the Academy music-branch executive committee. “The Kids Are All Right” and “The Fighter” are expected to be disqualified as scores “diminished in impact by the predominant use of songs,” following another of the Academy’s stringent music rules.
THE BLACK LIST
Film executive Franklin Leonard has released his annual list of “most liked” “unproduced” screenplays in Hollywood. We put quotes around unproduced as some of these projects have already been picked up by studios and a film like Margin Call is already ready to be shown at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival, for example. THE BLACK LIST began in 2004 as a survey with contributions from 75 film studio and production company executives. In 2009, over 300 executives contributed their opinion. Since its inception, dozens of screenplays that appeared on the list have been optioned, produced, and released, many to great commercial success. Two of the top three screenplays on the inaugural 2005 list – JUNO by Diablo Cody and LARS AND THE REAL GIRL by Nancy Oliver – went on to be nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the 2008 Academy Awards, with JUNO winning the Oscar.”
You can view the BLACK LIST here.
It was announced that Miramax and The Weinstein Company have forged an agreement to produce sequels to some of Miramax’s biggest and most popular films with sequels to the dark comedy BAD SANTA, the poker drama ROUNDERS and the Oscar-winning SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE being at the forefront of those plans. The new alliance will also work on creating potential television shows and special products for home entertainment, which could essentially mean straight-to-video spin-offs of other Miramax films. Other films named in the press release about the collaboration that could warrant sequels either released theatrically or on DVD/Blu-ray include BRIDGET JONES’ DIARY, which already saw one sequel, the police drama COPLAND, Robert Rodriguez’s FROM DUSK TIL DAWN–which already had a direct-to-video prequel and sequel–Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau’s breakout SWINGERS, Kevin Smith’s CLERKS, which also already had a sequel, SHALL WE DANCE, and THE AMITYVILLE HORROR, previously remade by MGM. The two companies are already working on the upcoming SCREAM 4 (out April 15), SPY KIDS 4: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD (out August 19), as well as a SCARY MOVIE 5, of which no details have been released as of yet.
UPCOMING FILM PROJECTS
TheWrap is reporting that Electronic Arts is developing a sports comedy based on the MADDEN CURSE, which is believed to strike NFL players who appear on the cover of EA’s “Madden” video game series. The site says the film “will follow a former Madden video game champion who is forced out of retirement just as he finds himself on the corner of the game’s cover — and subject to the curse.”
Jon Favreau will not be returning to the Marvel Universe for IRON MAN 3, Vulture reports. It was later confirmed that Favreau is not returning for the third movie after he posted the following on his Twitter account: “It’s true, I’m directing Magic Kingdom, not Iron Man 3. I’ve had a great run with Marvel and wish them the best.”
Deadline reports that DreamWorks Pictures has picked up SOUTHPAW, a pitch for a film to be written by “Sons of Anarchy” creator/executive producer Kurt Sutter. Eminem (8 Mile) is attached to star as “a fast-rising welterweight boxer who brawls his way to the title, only to see his world crash down around him due to tragedy. The movie is about his fight to reclaim past glory.”
George Clooney has secured the male lead in Alfonso Cuarón’s GRAVITY. The film, a science fiction story about astronauts trapped in space, already has Sandra Bullock attached for the lead. Clooney’s part was long-connected to Robert Downey Jr, but the “Iron Man” star stepped out of negotiations recently. Cuarón, who famously supplied the sci-fi drama “Children of Men” and directed “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” is expected to begin production on Gravity soon, aiming to shoot and release in 3D.
Deadline is reporting that Matt Damon is in early negotiations to join Sharlto Copley in writer/director Neill Blomkamp’s follow-up to “District 9,” the sci-fi film ELYSIUM. The film is set in the far future on another planet and is filled with many sociopolitical ideas wrapped up inside a Hollywood action film.
“The Social Network” co-star Armie Hammer is in talks to join Leonardo DiCaprio in the Clint Eastwood-directed J. Edgar Hoover biopic, now titled J. EDGAR, says Entertainment Weekly. Hammer would play lawyer-turned-FBI-official Clyde Tolson (who is said to have been Hoover’s lover). The Warner Bros. Pictures project, written by Dustin Lance Black, starts filming early next year. Also, Oscar winner Charlize Theron has been offered the role of Helen Gandy in the film, which is shaping up to be major Oscar bait.
Sofia Vergara (“Modern Family”), Zac Efron, Halle Berry, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Jessica Biel are in negotiations to join the ensemble cast of Garry Marshall’s follow-up to “Valentine’s Day,” NEW YEAR’S EVE. They will be joining Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Hilary Swank and Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele and Abigail Breslin in the romantic comedy that starts shooting mid-December in New York. The Hollywood Reporter says: “Biel is playing a pregnant woman who, along with her husband, try to win a cash prize given by a hospital to the couple who are first to give birth on New Year’s Day.”
HOT NEW TRAILERS
THE TREE OF LIFE
Fox Searchlight Pictures has brought online the trailer for “The Tree of Life,” opening in theaters on May 27. Written and directed by Terrence Malick, the film stars Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain.
WATER FOR ELEPHANTS
The film, set for release April 15, 2011, stars Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson and Christoph Waltz, and is directed by Francis Lawrence (“I Am Legend”). Based Sara Gruen’s best-selling historical love story, the film centers on a 90-year-old man reminiscing about his life during the Depression, when he found work at a B-level circus taking care of the animals. He sees the brutality of circus life while falling for the wife of an abusive animal trainer.
The trailer for Joe Wright’s (“Atonement,” “The Soloist”) next film is now online. Saoirse Ronan stars as the lead, Hanna, who, having grown up hiding out in the wilderness of Finland with her former CIA father (Eric Bana), is equipped with the strength, stamina and smarts of a top-level soldier. Cate Blanchett stars as a ruthless government agent tasked with bringing down the world’s greatest assassin: a teenage girl.
…Until we meet again!