Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Film News: Weaving Not Signed on for Hobbit--Yet, Pitt Project Shuttered, and a bit of inspiration for your day

- Despite Guillermo del Toro's comments last week about Hugo Weaving signing on to reprise his role as Elrond in the two upcoming Hobbit movies, Weaving has said that he has not yet been contacted about participating in the films.  In an interview with Moviehole.com, the Lord of the Rings actor says, "I haven't actually talked to anyone about it. Doesn't mean I won't be doing it, [I'm] just not onboard yet.. . . It'd be good to get back together with Andy Serkis and Ian McKellan, and whoever else comes back . . ." [Moviehole.net]

- In a surprising move, Columbia Pictures has shuttered production on Steven Soderbergh's Moneyball only a few days before the baseball movie was scheduled to begin shooting. Brad Pitt was slated as the lead in the film adaptation of Michael Lewis' book about the Oakland Athletics GM Billy Beane, who built a playoff-quality team with a surprisingly small payroll. It's reported that Soderbergh's newest version of the script strayed too far from the kind of movie that Columbia's co-chairman Amy Pascal had supported and the exec was no longer comfortable allowing the project to move forward. [Hollywood Reporter]

- Actor and rapper Common (Terminator Salvation, Wanted) will star opposite Queen Latifah in the sports romance movie Just Wright. Latifah will play "a sports trainer who finds herself falling in love with a professional basketball player [Common] while rehabilitating him from a career-threatening injury." [Variety]

Phillip Noyce has been tapped to direct Mixed Blood, an upcoming indie police thriller. Samuel L. Jackson is set to co-star as a police detective in the film, which focuses "on an American fugitive being forced to make violent and terrifying choices to protect his family while drawing the attention of murderers, kidnappers, corrupt cops" and Jackson's character. [Variety]

- Cher has signed on for her first movie role in a decade. The singer and actress will costar with Christina Aguilera in Burlesque. Aguilera "will play an ambitious small-town Iowa girl with a big voice who comes of age in a neo-burlesque club on Sunset Boulevard that's run by Tess (Cher)." Cher's character is a fomer dancer who recognizes Aguilera's talent and tries to give her a chance to succeed. Burlesque will mark the first time Cher will sing onscreen in a film in which she is starring. [Variety]

- In news that makes you feel a little better about the human race, a Southern California girl with terminal cancer got her dying wish when Pixar sent an employee to her home with a copy of Up on DVD so the child could have a private screening. Ten-year-old Colby Curtain fell in love with the animated movie after seeing the previews, but was too ill to be taken to a theater to see the film. After a family friend managed to make contact with Pixar, the studio flew an employee to Southern California with a DVD copy of Up, stuffed toys and a movie poster. Colby was already too ill to open her eyes to watch the movie as it played, but her mother narrated it for her, and Colby indicated that she had enjoyed the movie when her mother asked.  Colby passed away seven hours after having her wish granted. [Orange County Register]

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