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'Lincoln' Heads To U.S. Senate; 'Tron' 3 On The Way: Biz Break

Steven Spielberg will screen his Oscar contender in the U.S. Senate. Also in Thursday's round-up of news, Casey Affleck is eyeing a crime thriller; Tron is making another return; records were released surrounding TDKR Colorado shooter James Holmes; and Glenn Beck & Vince Vaughn are developing a documentary filmmaker competition.

Lincoln Invited to Screen U.S. Senate
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has invited Steven Spielberg to screen Lincoln in the Senate chamber later this month. The film screened by invitation of President Obama at the White House on November 15th, Deadline reports.

Casey Affleck Eyes Boston Strangler Pic
Affleck hopes to star in the thriller about the desperate search to find the mass murderer who gripped Boston in fear in the early '60s. Warner Bros. picked up the thriller, Deadline reports.

New Tron Back in Development
A Tron 3 sequel to 2010 reboot Tron: Legacy is back on track. Plot details are being kept secret, but Joseph Kosiniski, who directed Legacy is attached to direct the new pic, THR reports.

TDKR Shooter's Records Released as Theater Is Set to Re-open
The documents reveal a romantic relationship accused killer James Holmes had and one of his professors feared for her students' safety. The theater where the shooting occurred is set to reopen January 17th during a ceremony that will be attended by Colorado's governor, THR reports.

Glenn Beck and Vince Vaughn Teaming for Documentary Filmmaker Competition Show
The conservative personality is working to start a reality show called Pursuit of the Truth with Vince Vaughn in which 20 documentarians will compete for financing and distribution of their films and is accepting "filmmakers of all walks of life," Indiewire reports.

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Skyfall U.K.'s Biggest Film Ever; Matt Damon Eyes George Clooney Pic: Biz Break

Skyfall has overtaken the likes of Avatar in Britain at the box office. Also in Wednesday's round-up of news, Matt Damon is a possible addition to a George Clooney-directed period drama; Les Misérables is set for Xmas Imax bow; the Academy will honor Pedro Almodovar; and the Dubai International Film Festival is removing pro-Syrian ruler filmmakers films from its roster.

Skyfall is U.K.'s Highest Grossing Film of All Time
In 40 days of release, the 23rd James Bond movie has grossed $151,795,059 to become the highest grossing film in Great Britain ever, overtaking previous records set by Avatar. Directed by Sam Mendes, Skyfall opened in 587 U.K. theaters on October 26th, Deadline reports.

Matt Damon Eyes George Clooney's Monuments
Damon is in negotiations to join period drama The Monuments Men, which will be directed by George Clooney in January in Europe. Along with the two, the film will star Daniel Craig, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville and Bob Balaban. The story "confronts the final chapter of Germany’s rule, which came down to the absolute destruction of everything that makes a culture keep its standing, including the lives that are lost and the sacrifices that are made," Deadline reports.

Les Misérables to Bow in Select Imax Theaters
The film will open in select Imax theaters in New York, L.A., Toronto and Montreal the same day as its nationwide Christmas-day release. It will have an extensive Imax roll out internationally in January, Variety reports.

Academy to Honor Pedro Almodovar in London
Oscar-winning Spanish director Pedro Almodovar will be honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the British capital. Special guests will include his brother Agustin Almodovar, filmmaker Stephen Frears, fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier, singer Alberto Iglesias and scriptwriter Peter Morgan, THR reports.

Dubai and Cairo Film Fests Remove Pro-Syrian Ruler Films
The Dubai International Film Festival dropped Basil al-Khatib’s historical drama Mariam, Abdul Latif Abdul Hamid's The Lover and Joud Said's My Last Friend from its official selection this year after protests from the Arab film community due to the directors' support for Syria's dictator, Bashar al-Assad. Dubai takes place December 9 - 16. Screen reports.

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Seth MacFarlane Eyes Western Comedy As Ted Follow-Up: Biz Break

Seth MacFarlane may direct and star in the "contemporary" Western. Also in the news Tuesday, Disney is blasting Stan Lee Media's multi-billion lawsuit over rights to Marvel characters; Guillermo del Toro eyes his next project; the Film Society of Lincoln Center will host Tom Cruise retrospective; and Lincoln may leave some in Alaska out in the cold.

Seth MacFarlane Eyes Western Comedy as Ted Follow-Up
MacFarlane and his Ted co-writers Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild are writing A Million Ways to Die in the West, which MacFarlane is said to star in and direct for Summer 2013. The story is described as a Blazing Saddles-stye pic, which translates into a Western with contemporary humor. The script is said to contain MacFarlane's racy humor, but also has a romantic female lead, THR reports.

Disney Blasts Stan Lee Copyright Lawsuit Regarding Marvel Superheroes
Disney called Stan Lee Media's multi-billion lawsuit "flawed beyond cure" and filed a motion for its dismissal last week. Stan Lee Media claims rights to all Marvel characters created by Stan Lee, Deadline reports.

Film Society of Lincoln Center to Host Tom Cruise
Cruise will take part in an onstage conversation with NY Film Festival programmer Kent Jones. The event will include a sneak preview of Cruise's latest, Jack Reacher in which he portrays a "tough ex-military investigator out for justice." The event will kick-off the career retrospective, "All The Right Moves: The Films of Tom Cruise" December 18 - 20. Tickets will go for $50 and $35.

Guillermo del Toro Eyes Crimson Peak
Del Toro will direct the haunted house thriller as his next project. Legendary and del Toro are looking to a February 2014 start for the pic, which aims to "channel the gothic haunted pictures of yore." He is expected to shoot the pilot for The Strain, based on the books he wrote with Chuck Hogan, ahead of Crimson, THR reports.

Some Alaska Venues Out in the Cold with Lincoln
Disney says the Steven Spielberg-directed Oscar hopeful has had such high demand the studio is now rushing to make new prints. But the reinforcements may come too late for smaller venues in Alaska's capital, Juneau and other towns. Copies weren't available for some venues when they hoped to get them and may have to pass, though Oscar buzz may reignite interest, Huffington Post reports.

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Ben Affleck's 'Argo' Passes $100 Million; Star Wars Producer Exits Lucasfilm: Biz Break

Ben Affleck's political thriller passed the milestone box office mark over the weekend not counting overseas grosses. Rick McCallum will pursue smaller indies after leaving Lucasfilm post-Disney sale. The Kennedy Center Honors welcomes inductees; Silver Linings Playbook solid among Specialty Releases as newcomers fizzle. And at the European Film Awards, Helen Mirren expresses uncertainty over reprising Queen role.

Ben Affleck's Argo Crosses $100 Million Mark in N. America
The Oscar hopeful directed and starring Ben Affleck crossed the $100 million mark, a notable feat for a historical drama. The title took in $2 million over the weekend. Internationally it has grossed $56 million, THR reports.

Rick McCallum Bolts from Lucasfilm
The Star Wars producer said Saturday via Lucasfilm's that he is leaving the company to produce a slate of smaller independent films including a Russian pic about the Babi Yar Massacre that Sergei Loznitsa will direct; a film by Laurence Bowen about the boy soldiers of Sierra Leone; and an action drama with Tomas Masin about two brothers who escaped Czechoslovakia during the Cold War while being pursued by thousands of Soviet soldiers, Variety reports.

Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman and Led Zeppelin Honored at Kennedy Center
The John F. Kennedy Center welcomed eight performing artists to its wall of fame Sunday at a festival Kennedy Center Honors event. Actor Dustin Hoffman, TV host David Letterman, blues singer Buddy Guy, ballerina Natalia Makarova and the rock group Led Zeppelin (John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant) were saluted during the affair's 35th annual installment attended by the President and Mrs. Obama, Variety reports.

Holdovers Solid As Newcomers Bow Tepid in Specialty Box Office
Oscar contenders Silver Linings Playbook and Rust and Bone held solid in the specialty realm as they expanded. The overall box office had dreadful debuts from TWC’s Killing Me Softly and LD Entertainment’s The Collection. But Weinstein’s David O. Russell-directed Silver Linings held nicely with a per-theater average of just over $9K as the movie added four cinemas in its third weekend, Deadline reports.

Helen Mirren 'Unsure' Over Reprising Queen Role
Helen Mirren has admitted she felt "very unsure" about reprising her Oscar-winning role as The Queen in an upcoming London play. "I don't like going back to things," the 67-year-old said. "I like to go forward." But she was won over, she went on, by the "extraordinary team of artists who are putting the play together". The actress was speaking at the European Film Awards in Malta, where she received an honorary award, BBC reports.

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Joss Whedon's Much Ado Heads For Summer; Fifty Shades Of Grey Porn Under Fire: Biz Break

In Friday's round-up of news briefs, Joss Whedon's follow-up to his box office splash The Avengers will be counter-programming next Summer. Also, Universal will sue the planned porn version of Fifty Shades. Stephen Colbert is going Hobbit next week. The Academy is accommodating its paper ballot-oriented members. And jailed Innocence of Muslims filmmaker gives his wishes for the controversial video.

Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing Set for June
The Avengers director's modern take on the play by William Shakespeare will hit theaters June 7th via Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate. The distributors call the pic a "dark, sexy and occasionally absurd view of the intricate game that is love.

Fifty Shades of Grey Porn Rip-Off Spurs Lawsuit
Universal claims the upcoming porn Fifty Shades Of Grey: A XXX Adaptation is a "blatant trademark infringement" on its rights to the best selling novel of similar title, written by E.L. James. "The first XXX adaptation is not a parody, and it does not comment on, criticize, or ridicule the originals. It is a rip-off, plain and simple," Universal said. Universal and Focus picked up rights to the novels in March for $3 million, Deadline reports.

Stephen Colbert Unveils 'Hobbit Week'
A big fan of the J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy series, Colbert said he will have stars from the big screen adaptation for an entire week on his Comedy Central show, The Colbert Report. He will welcome as guests Sir Ian McKellan, who plays Gandalf, on Monday, December 3; Martin Freeman, who plays Bilbo Baggins, on Tuesday; director Peter Jackson on Wednesday; and Andy Serkis, who plays Gollum, on Friday, THR reports.

Innocence of Muslims Filmmaker Wants Video to Remain on YouTube
The jailed filmmaker of the controversial video which caused riots throughout the Islamic world wants it to remain on the online channel. Google's lawyers noted: "Mr. Youssef said he believes in the message contained in the film and he does not want the trailer to be removed from YouTube." An attorney for YouTube owners Google visited Youssef in his L.A. jail to obtain information related to actress Cindy Lee Garcia's legal attempts to have the vid removed from the internet, Deadline reports.

Academy Extends Paper Ballot
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences will extend requests for a paper ballot for its members. The organization's members will have until December 14th to request paper ballots. The voting period for nominations begins December 17th and closes January 3rd. The 85th Academy Awards nominations will be announced Thursday, January 10th, Variety reports.

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Hugh Jackman Eyes 'X-Men' Wolverine Reprisal; George Clooney & Paul Greengrass Plot Crime Thriller: Biz Break

Hugh Jackman is in talks for the role in the film that is looking like an X-Men: First Class sequel. Also in the news, Angela Bassett is joining Gregg Araki's latest; Plans are in the works for a Humphrey Bogart Film Festival; China's box office set to surge to number one; And the Hamptons International Film Festival gets new leadership.
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Peter Jackson Denies Hobbit Animal Cruelty - Again; Palm Springs To Honor Robert Zemeckis: Biz Break

Peter Jackson's denial came ahead of the Hobbit premiere in New Zealand Wednesday. Also tracking in film news, Cate Blachett is eyeing a Wicked Stepmother role; MGM is considering a remake of a 1975 horror pic; And the Friar's Club is set to roast Jack Black.

Peter Jackson Again Denies The Hobbit Animal Cruelty
Jackson said, "Absolutely none - no mistreatment, no abuse," at a news conference in Wellington hours before Wednesday's premiere. He also described PETA as "pretty pathetic" for seeking publicity ahead of the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Deadline reports.

Palm Springs Film Festival to Honor Robert Zemeckis
Zemeckis will be feted at the festival for his latest pic, Flight, starring Denzel Washington. The festival, which take place January 3 - 14, will present the award to Zemeckis at a gala January 5th, Variety reports.

Cate Blanchett Eyes Disney's Cinderella
Blanchett could play Cinderella's evil stepmother in the Mark Romanek-directed film and would be the first actor to join the project, written by The Devil Wears Prada writer Aline Brosh McKenna, Deadline reports.

MGM Eyes Sundown Remake
The possible re-do is a remake of the 1976 horror movie The Town that Dreaded Sundown. The original was based on five unsolved murders attributed to a Phantom Killer during a three month period in 1946 in the border area between Texas and Arkansas, Variety reports.

Friar's Club to Roast Jack Black in 2013
Black will sit in the hot seat at the group's next annual roast. The comedian follows previous roastees including Betty White and Quentin Tarantino. "We only roast the ones we love, and with Jack, we love his comedy, we love his music and we love his enormous talent," said Friars Club "Abbot" Jerry Lewis. "It’s going to be a great day for all of us." The event will take place April 5 in New York. THR reports.

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Twilight's Kellan Lutz Eyes Next Gig: Biz Break

The Twilight actor will star in Tatua based on an original script. Also in Tuesday's round-up of film news, John August is eyeing an adaptation of Wonder. Ang Lee is set for a Sound Editors fete and more.

Twilight's Kellan Lutz to Star in Tatua
The Twilight Saga's buffets vampire has signed on to star in indie genre film Tatua, based on an original concept. The story revolves around a man with a rare blood type that can handle being tattooed with a powerful ink that allows him to pull weapons straight off his skin allowing him to be an effective covert assassin, Deadline reports.

John August Eyes Wonder Adaptation
Lionsgate is in final negotiations to pick up rights to R.J. Palacio's debut novel Wonder and is in talks with Frankenweenie writer John August to adapt the pre-teen story about a 10 year-old boy whose facial deformity prevents him from attending a mainstream school. The story explores the theme of bullying and told from multiple points of view, Variety reports.

Ang Lee to be Honored by Sound Editors
The Life of Pi filmmaker will receive the 2013 Filmmaker Award from the Motion Picture Sound Editors at the group's 60th MPSE Golden Reel Awards on February 17th in Los Angeles. Lee won an Oscar for Best Director in 2006 for Brokeback Mountain, THR reports.

Larry Hagman Remembered Privately
Two private services will take place in Dallas and L.A. for the actor best known for playing J.R. Ewing in Dallas. He played the scheming oil tycoon on the popular television series beginning in 1978 through the '80s. He took up the character in a Dallas reboot 20 years later. His film roles include Fail-Safe, Nixon and Primary Colors, BBC reports.

R.I.P. Marty Richards
The producer and philanthropist died at 80. His Broadway credits include Chicago, Sweeney Todd, La Cage aux Folles, and Crimes of the Heart. His film credits include Chicago, The Boys From Brazil, Fort Apache, The Bronx, and the Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, Deadline reports.

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'Twilight' Triumphs At The Box Office Again; Lindsay Lohan's 'Liz & Dick' Draws So-So Response: Biz Break

In Monday afternoon's round-up of news stories, Twilight rocketed atop the box office again. Liz & Dick is Lifetime is a 'moderate' success despite the hype. Dubai picks an opening film and highlights lineup. Susan Boyle may head to the big screen. And India is set for a Cannes fete.
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Helen Hunt To Receive Palm Springs Fest Fete; Robert Downey Jr's 'Pinocchio' Moves Forward: Biz Break

Also in Friday's news round-up, the studio suits are jubilant on Skyfall's box office prospects; Ted passes a b.o. milestone and a quick look at the weekend's new Specialty Releases including Silver Linings Playbook and Anna Karenina.
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Lincoln Gets Presidential Screening; Breaking Dawn Part 2 Cashes In Overseas: Biz Break

Thursday's early look at five top news stories also include a new indie project for Sylvester Stallone. Also, strong Oscar contender Silver Linings Playbook changes release strategy and an AFI Fest winner is heading to U.S. theaters.
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Channing Tatum Named 'Sexiest Man Alive'; Jack Nicholson Courted For Robert Downey Jr. Drama: Biz Break

Wednesday morning's round of five stories you should know also include a new thriller role for Maria Bello. Skyfall momentum continues in the U.S. box office, passing a threshold. And on the heels of Hollywood recognition, a director's foreign-language pic is heading to the U.S.
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Ben Affleck To Receive Fest Honors For 'Argo'; Ridley Scott Boards Bruce Springsteen Documentary: Biz Break

Also in Tuesday's early round-up of news briefs: Sean Penn is boarding an action thriller; Merchant Ivory composer dies at 71; The Hamptons International Film Festival's head makes an exit; And Future Weather wins top jury prize at Napa Valley Film Festival.
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Dorothy's 'Oz' Dress Goes For $480K; James McAvoy Eyes WikiLeaks Pic: Biz Break

Also in Monday's early round-up of news briefs: Cloud Atlas may have had a slow start in North America, but it is possibly proving to be a big hit overseas; The Weinstein Company is grabbing a thriller starring Chris Evans, Jamie Bell and Octavia Spencer for theaters; And Chasing Ice tops out the Specialty Box Office over the weekend.
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Lindsay Lohan's Peeps Stop Her Barbara Walters Interview; Twilight Fans Pack Camp Ahead Of Monday Premiere: Biz Break

Also in Friday's early round-up of news briefs: Oscar winner Javier Bardem gets a Hollywood Honor ahead of Skyfall release; A Royal Affair, Chasing Ice and Starlet are among this year's look at new Specialty Releases; And Harold & Kumar writers are eyeing their next gig.
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