Sony Pictures Classics took North American rights to the latest film by Woody Allen, starring Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, Bobby Cannavale and more. Also in Tuesday's news round-up, Australia's Academy picks its nominees just two days before the Oscar noms; the Domestic Box Office hits a record; Mark Romanek is exiting Cinderella; and R.I.P. director David R. Ellis.
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.
Also in Tuesday morning's news round-up: Osama Bin Laden raid pic Seal Team Six is a big Nat Geo hit; Cate Blanchett heads to Middle East jury duty; And Imodgen Poots eyes a Zac Efron romantic comedy.
It's not hard to imagine the big-screen version of scenes like this week's epic takedown on the Australian Parliament floor, in which Prime Minister Julia Gillard eviscerated her opposition party rival Tony Abbott with a 15-minute speech on sexism and misogyny. (Watch it below and revel in the glorious wrath of Gillard's pointed and passionate tirade.)
Somewhere out there a hundred screenwriters are furiously turning Gillard's sermon into Oscar gold, so why don't we go ahead and predict the five Academy Award-caliber actresses at the top of the casting list when Hollywood comes calling with the inevitable Iron Lady-esque Gillard biopic?
Also in Friday morning's news round up, The Weinstein Company picks up a pair of films (including a documentary by Bernard-Henri Lévy), Boy Toy gets a leading lady, North America is set to Sleep Tight, and more...
After spending the last year with her Oscar and her new baby, Natalie Portman is set to return to acting with a busy year with not one, but two Terrence Malick films. The Black Swan star will join Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett to film Knight of Cups this summer, with all three reuniting in the fall to film Malick's Lawless with Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, and Haley Bennett. Plot details for both films have been kept under wraps, so tee off with your thoughts on the Portman addition and the unusual double film casting move below. [Deadline]