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Global Showbiz Briefs Chinese Web Giant Youku Launches Heyi Film; eOne Acquires ‘Seed’ Producer Force Four; More

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Joining the growing trend of Chinese companies seeking out a role in the movie business, Internet giant Youku is launching Heyi Film. A wholly owned film production subsidiary, it will make films "to the tastes of the Chinese audience" and "improve film marketing and distribution," Tech in Asia reported. Heyi is eyeing major theatrical releases and helping online talent branch out. Among the first projects are Bad Sister, starring Ivy Chen; Vacation In Paris, starring… Read

Film

Jena Malone, Douglas Smith Lead ‘Bottom Of The World'; Nick Braun Heads To ‘Stanford'; David Coussins Joins ‘Good Kids’

Jena Malone Douglas Smith

Jena Malone (The Hunger Games sequels, Hatfields & McCoys) and Douglas Smith (Terminator: Genisys, Ouija) have landed lead roles the indie horror pic Bottom Of The World for director Richard Sears. Malone and Smith play Scarlett and Alex, a young couple who stop at a desert motel on their way to start a new life in L.A. When she vanishes, Alex desperately tries to find her but is plunged into a nightmarish world where he finally realizes that he must be in a dream — but… Read

Awards

Oscars: Season’s First Academy Award Winners A Worthy Group Who Represent Moviemaking At Its Best

maureen

For the first two or three years of the now six-year-old Governors Awards, I regularly wrote a column “suggesting” who I considered to be a deserving choice for Honorary Oscars, people who have been overlooked in their fields over the years. Related: Big Names, Deserving Recipients For 2013 Governors Awards On every one of those lists, three names would appear: Angela Lansbury, Maureen O'Hara and screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere. Last year, thankfully, the Academy… Read

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XLrator Media, New Artists Alliance Ink 3-Picture Sci-Fi Pact

400 Days

EXCLUSIVE: Indie distributor XLrator Media is diving into content creation with John Suits and Gabriel Cowan's film production shingle New Artists Alliance. The companies have inked a three-picture production and distribution deal to co-produce low-budget science fiction action thrillers, starting with the Brandon Routh-Caity Lotz astronaut pic 400 Days, now in post-production. After seeing a self-described successful digital and VOD return on the $1.5 million-budgeted… Read

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UPDATE: Joan Rivers Is “Resting Comfortably”, Says Daughter Melissa

Joan Rivers Storms Out of CNN Interview Video

UPDATE, 6:18 PM: Statement from Melissa Rivers.  “I want to thank everyone for the overwhelming love and support for my mother. She is resting comfortably and is with our family. We ask that you continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers.” UPDATE, 11:35 AM: Statement from hospital. "This morning, Joan Rivers was taken to The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, where she is being attended to. Her family wants to thank everybody for their outpouring of love and… Read

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ABC Nabs Medical Drama From David Marshall Grant & Vendetta As Put Pilot

abc

In a very competitive situation, ABC has landed a medical advocate drama project from David Marshall Grant (Nashville, Smash). The project, produced by Sheldon Turner and Jennifer Klein's Vendetta Prods. and Warner Bros. TV, has received what I hear is a high-end put pilot commitment. The project is inspired by the real story of Turner's former agent, Byrdie Lifson-Pompan. Lifson-Pompan was a top CAA literary agent whose roster included such heavyweights as Brett Ratner… Read

Film

Specialty Box Office Preview: ‘Cantinflas’, ‘Life Of Crime’, 4 More

cantinflas

As many industry insiders head to Venice and Telluride as the last vestiges of summer wind down Labor Day weekend, new Specialty releases are nevertheless in abundance as another Awards season begins to ramp up. Lionsgate and its partnered distributors Pantelion and Roadside Attractions will have the weekend's biggest roll outs for Cantinflas and Life Of Crime respectively. Pantelion hopes to replicate the success it had last year with Instructions Not Included, targeting… Read

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WME Signs ‘Goosebumps’ Star Dylan Minnette

dylan minnette

EXCLUSIVE: Dylan Minnette has signed with WME ahead of his roles in two upcoming studio releases. The 17-year-old built a burgeoning film and TV career with recurring roles on Fox's Prison Break and ABC's Lost. He next stars opposite Steve Carell in Disney's October adaptation Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, helmed by Miguel Arteta and produced by Shawn Levy. Minnette also stars in Sony's chiller Goosebumps opposite Jack Black as author R.L… Read

TV

NBC Buys Conspiracy Drama From Greg Berlanti & Martin Gero

Entertainment Weekly: The Visionaries - Comic-Con International 2014

NBC, which has the Greg Berlanti-produced dramedy The Mysteries of Laura launching this fall, has bought a new hourlong project from the prolific producer. Drama Blindspot, from Berlanti Prods and Warner Bros TV, where the company is based, has received a script commitment with a hefty penalty. Written by L.A. Complex creator Martin Gero, Blindspot centers on an FBI agent who is drawn into a complex conspiracy when a naked amnesiac is found in Times Square covered in… Read

Film

No Hollywood Credits For Obama IP Czar Nominee

Simpsons illegal download

It's been a year since the U.S. had an Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, and now the president has proposed a new one. Danny Marti, a partner at the D.C. law firm Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, was nominated today by President Obama to become the nation's second-ever IP czar. He would fill the post left vacant when Victoria Espinel stepped down in August 2013. "We applaud the Administration's intent to nominate Danny Marti as U.S. Intellectual Property… Read

Film

Venice: Lido Digs Story Of Charlie Chaplin Graverobbers ‘The Price Of Fame’

Charlie Chaplin Grave

Of Gods And Men director Xavier Beauvois and screenwriter Etienne Comar unveiled their Competition pic La Rançon De La Gloire (The Price Of Fame) in Venice today. They were accompanied by Eugene Chaplin, the son of a key figure in the 1970s-set picture. Charlie Chaplin is the basis of the movie because it's his coffin that is stolen from a Swiss cemetery by two down-on-their-luck immigrants. Based on real events, The Price Of Fame has received largely positive reviews… Read

TV

TNT & TBS Head Of Programming Michael Wright To Depart

TBS / TNT Upfront 2014 - Presentation

The upcoming personnel departures at Turner Broadcasting will include at least one very prominent one: I have learned that Michael Wright, President and Head of Programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies, is exiting the company after a 12-year tenure. Wright's future at Turner had been in limbo following the April departure of Turner Entertainment Networks President Steve Koonin. Wright had been the internal contender to replace him, but the Turner leadership also… Read

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