Helen Mirren’s Sam Mendes Quotes Misquoted
Helen Mirren is never shy of a making a bold statement or two. But stories circulating in the British press following her appearance at Sunday night’s Empire Awards have misquoted the actress as criticizing director Sam Mendes for naming an all-male list of his inspirations. In a speech earlier in the evening, Mendes had praised inspirational moments from the likes of Stanley Kubrick, Billy Wilder and Akira Kurosawa, which Mirren highlighted when she stepped up to receive a lifetime achievement prize. But far from tearing down Mendes, she used his list to illustrate how much attitudes had changed since she started. “When I first came into the film industry it was a really bloke-y world,” she said. “Nowadays, that’s really changed and it’s great to see women in cinematography, in sound, and obviously in producing and writing.” She said she was certain that in “five or ten years” a successor to Mendes would include female directors on their list of inspirations as a result. “Nothing against Sam, absolutely,” she insisted. “They were great, great moments he chose.” Given the press fervor that greeted her misrepresented comments, it’s no wonder she earlier joked, “The critics bloody well piss me off. What do they know, honestly?” – Joe Utichi

BBC One Sets Matt Lucas In ‘Non-Dialogue’ Comedy Series ‘Pompidou’
Matt Lucas, the star of the UK’s Little Britain who’s had roles in Bridesmaids and Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland, is trying his hand at silent comedy. BBC One has commissioned six-part half hour primetime series Pompidou which will introduce a set of characters and feature guest appearances, with no spoken parts. The show sees Lucas as an elderly aristocratic English oddball who has fallen on hard times but remains upbeat and resourceful. The “visual comedy” series is inspired by Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy and Mr Bean and will air in 2014.

Miguel Gomes Named President Of Cannes Critics’ Week
Portugese director Miguel Gomes will preside over the jury for this year’s Critics’ Week during the Cannes Film Festival. He’ll be joined by four journalists to judge the seven films that will be in competition (they’ll be revealed April 22). Gomes’ most recent film Tabu, won the FIPRESCI prize at last year’s Berlin Film Festival. His other credits include 2008’s This Dear Month Of August – which ran in Directors’ Fortnight – and 2004’s The Face You Deserve.

Next Year’s World Cup To Score $5B
World Cup soccer is set to send a $5B windfall to international football federation, FIFA, during the 2014 games in Brazil. According to BDO consultants, that’s a 36% hike on the $3.65B earned from 2010’s South Africa-set World Cup and 100% more than what was drawn by the 2006 Germany-based tournament. Revenue from TV rights and sponsorship demand, China’s Xinhua news agency reported, are at the heart of the increase. “The World Cup market continues to grow and the likelihood is that the trend will continue at the following World Cups in Russia (2018) and Qatar (2022),” BDO spokesperson Pedro Daniel said. Last year’s Euro Cup soccer matches were a ratings bonanza for networks across Europe and brought record numbers to ESPN.