Tuesday, September 21, 2010

“Sacha Baron Cohen signs up for movie role as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury - Everett Herald” plus 2 more

“Sacha Baron Cohen signs up for movie role as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury - Everett Herald” plus 2 more


Sacha Baron Cohen signs up for movie role as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury - Everett Herald

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 04:58 PM PDT

LONDON — "Borat" star Sacha Baron Cohen has been signed up to star in a movie about flamboyant rock star Freddie Mercury, producers said Friday.

Peter Morgan, who wrote "The Queen," is working on a screenplay about the frontman of the band Queen, who died of AIDS-related causes in 1991.

The as-yet-untitled film will climax with Queen's barnstorming appearance at the 1985 Live Aid concert in London.

The announcement was made by GK Films, which is producing with Robert De Niro's Tribeca Productions and Queen Films.

Production is due to begin next year, and a director has yet to be chosen.

Founded in 1971 by Mercury, guitarist Brian May, bassist John Deacon and drummer Roger Taylor, Queen scored hits with songs including "We Are the Champions," "We Will Rock You" and "Bohemian Rhapsody."

May told the BBC that the band supports the project, and May and Taylor will oversee the music for the film. There was no word on whether Baron Cohen will try to imitate Mercury's grandiose singing style, but the comedian has appeared in several musicals, including Tim Burton's film version of "Sweeney Todd."

He said the choice of Baron Cohen, creator of wannabe rapper Ali G, Kazakh journalist Borat and Austrian fashionista Bruno, "will probably be a shock to a lot of people, but he's been talking with us for a long time."

"He's been in on this project since we started talking about it seriously with Peter Morgan a couple of years ago." May said.

Baron Cohen's latest film is Martin Scorsese's "Hugo Cabret."

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Hooray for Hollywood? Share your thoughts on Michigan's movie industry tax credits - Detroit Free Press

Posted: 20 Sep 2010 03:41 PM PDT

Posted: Sept. 20, 2010

By MIKE THOMPSON
FREE PRESS CARTOONIST

A new report from the State Senate Fiscal Agency casts serious doubts on the benefits of the generous tax credits Michigan has been handing out to lure movie and TV production to the state. As a Free Press story by reporters Dawson Bell, John Gallagher and Katherine Yung revealed last week, the dollar benefit to Michigan has been substantially less than what the state has shelled out in subsidies. Supporters of the credits say any economic activity is good for a devastated state like Michigan and besides, our image could use the boost.


You can sound off on this controversy by playing the Free Press Your Mike cartoon contest! You have until Thursday morning to submit your funniest ideas for filling the word bubble of my rough sketch. You can enter as often as you like, I'll pick the finalists, and the winning rough sketch/reader submission combo will be posted on my blog this coming Friday and will also appear in that day's print edition of the Detroit Free Press.


Good luck! Don't miss a shot as becoming almost as famous as an extra for a made-in-Michigan movie!

Become a fan of Mike Thompson on Facebook and follow his updates on Twitter.

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Movie projector: 'Easy A' expected to lead 'The Town,' 'Devil,' 'Alpha and Omega' - Los Angeles Times

Posted: 16 Sep 2010 02:42 PM PDT

EasyA Teenage girls are likely to drive the top movie at the box office this weekend as a quartet of new low-budget movies debut.

High school comedy "Easy A" is expected to be the most popular movie in the U.S. and Canada, said people who have seen pre-release polls of potential audiences. It probably will come in slightly ahead of Ben Affleck's crime drama "The Town" and horror film "Devil," and far outpace the 3-D animated family adventure "Alpha and Omega," which is debuting with minimal interest.

"Easy A," a comedic take on the classic novel "The Scarlet Letter," is the least-expensive film opening this weekend with a production cost of about $8 million. Therefore, distributor Sony Pictures and its Screen Gems genre label should be in very good shape if it opens as expected. While several executives who closely follow box office predict that the film will open to between $20 million and $25 million, a Sony spokesman said the studio downplayed expectations, estimating about $15 million. 

Teen girls and young women are the audience segment most intrigued by "Easy A." Interested young females typically show up on opening night, as evidenced by the out-of-the-gate success of blockbusters like the "Twilight" pictures and smaller movies like "Dear John." That's why many studio executives think "Easy A" will be No. 1 this weekend, though the film may disappear from theaters quickly.

"The Town," which is directed by and stars Affleck, appeals to more of an adult audience, particularly men. Reviews have been very strong for the picture, co-financed by Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures at a cost of $37 million. Most recent surveys have shown some growing interest among younger men, probably because of advertising that emphasizes action.

The heist film is likely to bring in between $15 million and $20 million this weekend.Devil

 That should put it in tight competition with the M. Night Shyamalan-produced "Devil," about a group of people stuck in an elevator with the titular creature. Young men are the group most interested in the film, for which distributor Universal Pictures paid financier Media Rights Capital $27 million for worldwide distribution rights.

"Alpha and Omega" is the first film of a 5-year-old partnership between Lionsgate and Indian animation studio Crest Entertainment. Even though it's playing in 3-D and will benefit from ticket price surcharges, the story of two wolves on a journey together is expected to generate only about $10 million on its first weekend.

If the movie doesn't fall short of its meager box-office expectations, Lionsgate should come out OK on the low-budget production.

This weekend also brings three new films starting their runs in limited release in major cities.

Fox Searchlight launched "Never Let Me Go," based on the somber Kazuo Ishiguro alternate-history novel, at two theaters in Los Angeles and two in New York City on Wednesday. It sold $24,622 worth of tickets, giving the tearjerker starring Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield a solid start headed into the weekend.

Universal opens the controversial documentary "Catfish" at 12 theaters, including five in L.A., for Relativity Media, which bought the rights to the tale of an online romance at January's Sundance Film Festival.

Relativity itself debuts "Jack Goes Boating," an adaptation of an off-Broadway play starring and directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman, at two theaters in L.A. and two in New York. It's one of three movies Relativity agreed to release when it hired the distribution and marketing staff of defunct Overture Films.

-- Ben Fritz

Top photo: Amanda Bynes and Emma Stone in "Easy A." Credit: Adam Taylor / Sony Screen Gems. Bottom photo: (Left to right) Bojana Novakovic, Jenny O'Hara, Bokeem Woodbine, Logan Marshall-Green and Geoffrey Arend in "Devil." Credit: Kerry Hayes / Universal Pictures.

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