Harry Potter theme park set to debut at Universal Studios Florida


Universal Orlando has secured rights to the phenomenally successful Harry Potter stories and will build a themed area of rides, shops and restaurants called "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" at Islands of Adventure. Universal, author J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. Studios, which makes the Harry Potter movies, are making a worldwide announcement of the deal today. Universal expects to break ground late this summer and have "Wizarding World" open by late 2009.

Meet the new Hollywood alpha male – the beta male

Newsweek reports that the testosterone-pumped, muscle-bound Hollywood hero is rapidly deflating and taking his place is a new kind of leading man, the kind who's just as happy following as leading, or never getting off the sofa; in other words, the beta male. It makes sense that our culture is embracing the mojo-free man right now. As America comes to terms with our diminished omnipotence, we're growing weary of Teflon-coated John Wayne stereotypes of masculinity.

(Source: Newsweek)

INTERVIEW: Writer-Director Judd Apatow on his new comedy ‘Knocked Up’

I’m a huge fan of Judd Apatow. If you don’t know his name perhaps you know his work: “Freaks and Geeks”, “Undeclared”, “The 40 Year-Old Virgin”, and his new movie, “Knocked Up.”  For the last few years he’s been making great stuff but now, thankfully, more people are starting to pay attention and he’s able to do even more. In August we’ll be getting “Superbad” (which he produced) and then next year we’re getting “The Pineapple Express” and “Walk Hard” – other projects he either produced or wrote and I couldn’t be happier.  

I think Judd’s a comedic genius and one whose work I always love. And I’m happy to write that “Knocked Up” is another home-run. Once again Judd has crafted a story that’s based on something very real – what happens when a one night stand leads to an unplanned pregnancy. But while some directors might play it straight, Judd weaves in tons of comedy while still telling a serious story.  

(Source: Collider)


Anna Paquin

When she was 9, Anna Paquin went with her sister to an audition for the part of Flora McGrath in a small film called The Piano in New Zealand. From 5,000 kids, she was chosen: Two years later, Paquin found herself shyly delivering an acceptance speech for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress—it’s worth looking up on YouTube; she can barely see over the podium. Today, she remains the second-youngest person ever to receive an Oscar. “When we got back to New Zealand, there were people with cameras who followed me to and from school,” she says, slumping back into a booth in a diner on Hudson Street. “I was like, ‘That’s weird, why do you care?’? 

Now 24, and appearing in the HBO film Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Anna Paquin has been working as an actor for fifteen years and, talking to her, nothing could be more obvious. 

(Source: New York Magazine)

Gus Van Sant’s ‘Paranoid Park’ gets simultaneous worldwide release in India

India scored an ace at the recently concluded Cannes Film Festival. Palador, has acquired the extra-special "60th anniversary prize" winner film Paranoid Park. The movie by Cannes Golden Palm and Best Director winner (Elephant) and Oscar Nominated (Good Will Hunting) director Gus Van Sant, had a special screening in the festival this year.

The last time a special prize was given at Cannes was to Satyajit Ray for Pather Panchali in 1972. 'Paranoid Park' would be released world wide in September. Palador has also lined up plans to release the film simultaneously in India. This will be a landmark event for the country, as no Cannes winner has ever seen a simultaneous release in India.  

(Source: India PR Wire)

INTERVIEW: Kevin Costner as ‘Mr. Brooks’

MGM's Mr. Brooks 

There were many reasons that director/screenwriter Bruce Evans ("Stand By Me”) and his long-time writing partner Raynold Gideon imagined Kevin Costner as Mr. Brooks from the start. First and foremost was the chance to subvert his charm, looks and reputation, as an unassailable screen hero in a way they knew would ratchet up the tension in their thriller. But it was also an opportunity to showcase, in an unexpected way, the acting skills that Costner has demonstrated in such diverse roles as the Civil War Lieutenant who befriends a Sioux tribe in “Dances With Wolves”; the hardened kidnapper who connects with his young captor in Clint Eastwood’s "A Perfect World”; the iconic title hero of Lawrence Kasdan’s "Wyatt Earp”; the once-great baseball star who falls for an embittered woman in Mike Binder’s "The Upside of Anger” and most recently, the aging Coast Guard rescue swimmer facing his legacy in Andrew Davis’ "The Guardian.” 

(Source: moviesonline.ca)

Harvey Weinstein shoots back at his naysayers

Flying under the radar is not in Harvey Weinstein's DNA. He casts a giant shadow on the Croisette and in his dealings, attracting attention to himself, his stars and his movies. Weinstein, 55, is all about living large: throwing large parties and fundraisers (this year's AMFAR benefit raised a record $7.5 million), announcing large prebuys, and often adjusting large deal terms.

But the Weinstein Co. -- launched by Bob and Harvey Weinstein amid considerable hype some 19 months ago -- has spent millions and produced several profitable films, but only one big grosser: Dimension's "Scary Movie 4," half-owned by Disney, earned $91 million in 2006.

(Source: Variety)

Make your own ‘Star Wars’ home movie


Star Wars fans can connect with the Force in ways they’ve only imagined beginning Friday, May 25, when StarWars.com launches a completely redesigned website that empowers fans to “mash-up” their homemade videos with hundreds of scenes from Star Wars movies; watch hundreds of fan-made Star Wars videos; and interact with Star Wars enthusiasts from around the world like never before. 

(Source: theforce.net)

Fourth ‘Pirates of the Carribean’ movie in the works?

"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" hardly marks an end. With the latest in Walt Disney Co.'s lucrative series reaping an unprecedented $401 million globally in its debut through the Memorial Day weekend, the question of whether there will be a fourth installment has effectively been answered. 

(Source: Los Angeles Times)

Fox’s ‘On The Lot’ losing steam with viewers

Good morning to all 14 of you who are not related in some way to one of the contestants or judges and yet are still watching On the Lot. Last Tuesday the show lost 60 percent of its lead-in audience from American Idol. Last Thursday the show lost half the viewers who had started out the hour watching So You Think You Can Dance. Apparently no one in America wants anything to do with this program! 

(Source: Entertainment Weekly)

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