Hugh Grant has reportedly pulled out of negotiations to take on the lead role in ‘Two and a Half Men’.
The 50-year-old British star was reportedly offered $1 million an episode to replace troubled actor Charlie Sheen – who was fired from the show earlier this year because of his erratic behaviour – on the sitcom, but turned down the job due to “creative differences.”
According to insiders, creator and executive producer Chuck Lorre – who Charlie branded “s**tbrain and “Chucky Cheesball” during their public feud – will only continue the show if he can find someone to work comfortably with, and is particularly keen to hire an actor not known for television work.
A source told website Deadline.com: “Chuck will only continue if he can find the right actor and get excited about that. It has to be somebody Chuck can work with.
“The feeling was to contract with an exciting actor who’d never done TV before.”
Warner Bros. and network CBS are keen to get the matter resolved soon in order to get a new series of the show ready before the end of the year.
A source said: “Everybody wants show back and to support Chuck creatively and to do something the advertising community will feel good about. The only issue was whether everyone could get the show up and running and right fast enough to make this fall’s schedule.”
After Charlie was fired from ‘Two and a Half Men’ in March, a number of actors were tipped to take on the lead role in the show, including Rob Lowe, Woody Harrelson, Jeremy Piven and John Stamos.
Beyonce and Clint Eastwood are in talks to produce a remake of A Star Is Born. Associated Press reports that Warner Bros has confirmed that the two are negotiating to film a version of the oft-remade 1937 film. The film centres around an aspiring Hollywood actress and her relationship with an actor on the wane. It was remade in 1954 with Judy Garland and James Mason and again in 1976 with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. The producers of the 1976 version, Billy Gerber, Basil Iwanyk and Jon Peters, are slated to produce Clint Eastwood’s new version. Beyonce has long been attached as the lead but there is no word so far on the male co-star. A Warner Bros spokeswoman said that deals have not been finalised but that negotiations are taking place. In a cute little coincidence, Beyonce’s husband Jay-Z had a Kanye West-produced song called ‘A Star Is Born’ on his 2009 album The Blueprint 3.
“The Hobbit” Production Stays In New Zealand. “The Hobbit” stays in New Zealand. Prime Minister John Key has announced that the negotiation with Warner Bros executives has been successful. The film producers originally threatened to take the filming of the $500 million film project outside the country after acting unions complained of unfair practices. Earlier this week, thousands of New Zealanders protested outside the streets to convince the producers not to take the Peter Jackson flick outside. Key has first met with the Warner Bros. executives, but the meeting ended with no resolution as to the film’s production location. After two days of talk, the filmmakers have now secured an agreement to have the “Lord of the Rings” prequel shot in the country in exchange for additional tax rebates. According to Deadline Hollywood, Warner Bros was granted up to an extra $7.5 million tax rebate for movie, subject to the success of the films. The NZ government will also offset $10 million of Warner Bros’ marketing costs, and it will host one of the world premieres of the “Hobbit” movies. The government and the film company also agreed to work together in a “long-term strategic partnership” to promote the country as both a film production and tourism destination. NZ will be introducing a legislation to clarify the distinction between independent contractors and employees as it relates to the film industry only. The two-part sequel is set to begin production in February.
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Warner Bros. Canceling 3D Release Of “Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows – Part 1″ Warner Bros. Pictures has decided to ditch the 3D version of the upcoming “Harry Potter” film. The film studio couldn’t finish the 3D conversion of first part of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” in time for its November theater release date. According to the press release, the studio was unable to convert the full film on time. It will now release the highly anticipated film in conventional 2D theaters. WB said, “Despite everyone’s best efforts, we were unable to convert the film in its entirety and meet the highest standards of quality.” “We do not want to disappoint fans who have long anticipated the conclusion of this extraordinary journey, and to that end, we are releasing our film day-and-date-on November 19, 2010, as planned.” It has added that the second part of the film, the last book in J.K. Rowling’s billion-dollar fantasy novel series, will be delivered to both 2D and 3D formats on July 15, 2011 as scheduled.
Warner Bros Acquires Ramayana’s Distribution Rights. Hollywood studio Warner Bros has acquired the distribution rights of freshman director Chetan Desai’s animated film “Ramayana — The Epic.” The film is set for release on Oct. 15 around the festival of Dussehra. Maya Digital Media produced the film, which will be released in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu across India. Warner Bros Pictures India’s Deputy Managing Director (Theatrical), Denzil Dias, said in a statement that Desai “has taken animation films in India to the next level and one has to see it to believe it. Warner Bros. Pictures is delighted to be associated with this project,” Desai said that nearly 400 people worked on the project over the past five years. He added that the film’s budget was equal to a full-fledged Bollywood film. Ramayana is the story of Lord Ram’s battle with the demon Ravan, who has abducted Ram’s wife Sita.
Movie Studios Take Action Against Illegal Downloading Site The Pirate Bay. Studios like Walt Disney Pictures are taking action to make sure films like their upcoming “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” don’t end up on The Pirate Bay. The Pirate Bay is one of the most popular torrent sites, hosting pirated versions of some of the studio’s biggest movies for download while they’re still in theaters. Now, Disney, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Studios, and Warner Bros. are moving forward with an injuncton that prohibits ISP provider CyberBunker from providing bandwidth and hosting for The Pirate Bay. According to TorrentFreak, preliminary injunction has been filed against CyberBunker’s owner, CB3ROB, and its Managing Director, Mr. Sven Olaf Kamphuis, in Germany’s Regional Court of Hamburg. The injunction references recent theatrical releases available for download on The Pirate Bay, including “Disney’s Alice in Wonderland,” “The Bounty Hunter,” “Repo Men,” “Green Zone,” “Our Family Wedding,” and “Cop Out.” The Court is asking for CyberBunker to either disconnect Pirate Bay from the internet, or remove the torrents listed in the injunction for copyright purposes, something the site has never had to do in its history. Along with a possible fine of 250,000 euros per case of copyright infringement, Kamphuis could be faced with up to 2 years in jail. But CyberBunker’s owner, CB3ROB, told TorrentFreak they have no information about the injunction. “No letters have reached us or our attorneys,” they said. Meanwhile, more new releases not listed in the injunction continue to populate The Pirate Bay’s movie section, including “Iron Man 2,” “Kick-Ass,” and “Clash of the Titans.”
Warner Bros. Furthers Efforts To Upgrade From DVD To Blu-ray. One studio will be updating their library for home viewers with a special service. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group has announced plans to expand its “DVD2Blu” program. Focusing on providing movie-lovers with the best in Blu-ray Hi-Def entertainment, Warner Bros. gives DVD owners the opportunity to upgrade their DVDs to Blu-ray Discs for a reasonable charge. More than 70 of the studio’s films are available to trade in for $4.95. Owners can send a copy of their DVD and will receive the same movie in Blu-ray format. Shipping information and a full list of eligible films is available at DVD2Blu.com. The “DVD2Blu” program began in 2009 with Warner Bros. taking advantage of the increase in Blu-ray popularity. All DVDs received by the company are recycled and used for future plastic packaging.
Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens really are the couple who keep on going. The former High School Musical stars were looking very comfy ‘n’ cozy in Hollywood the other night… Zac was dressed in a slim-fitting gray suit while Vanessa looked gorge in a red dress when they hit Avalon nightclub for the L.A. Family Housing gala, where their pal Blair Rich, Warner Bros.’ worldwide marketing exec, was among the honorees. Sitting at a VIP table with New Line boss Toby Emmerich, Hudgens spent most of the evening reclining into Efron’s arms while sipping red wine. The Zacster stuck to water. Meanwhile, Quentin Tarantino was across town partying with his Inglourious Basterds star Eli Roth and the actor’s girlfriend, Peaches Geldof, at the Roxy for the Semi Precious Weapons show. Also there were Ke$ha and Macy Gray. The fun continued into the wee hours at the Viper Room, where Tarantino was spotted giving band frontman Justin Tranter piggyback rides throughout the club. FYI: Semi Precious Weapons has been opening for Lady Gaga on her Monster Ball tour. And now a dispatch from the cute family department: We spotted How I Met Your Mother funnylady Alyson Hannigan on the same day in Venice, Calif., ordering some sweets at the Jin Patisserie bakery with hubby Alexis Denisof and their 13-month-old daughter, Satyana. Says an eyewitness, “They were all bundled up from the crazy windy afternoon looking like regular ol’ peeps. They were all warm and happy.”
The Dead Weather return with new album. The Dead Weather are back. The Nashville-based quartet have announced plans for the release of their second album Sea Of Cowards. The band exploded onto the music scene early last year with a stunning debut that combined the talents of members Alison Mosshart (vocals/ guitar), Jack White (vocals/drums), Jack Lawrence (bass/drums) and Dean Fertita (guitar/organ). Horehound was an exhilarating and electrifying introduction to the band, a gritty blues-driven dirge rock masterpiece that stormed onto the Billboard Top 200 at #6 upon its release in July of 2009. Now, less than a year later, the follow-up is ready to be unleashed. The Dead Weather first declared their existence in March of last year with a blistering debut performance at the brand new Third Man Records HQ in downtown Nashville. Within weeks they were selling out shows across America and debut single ‘Hang You From The Heavens’ was making a glorious racket at radio. The following twelve months were a whirlwind of breathtaking performances, magazine covers and TV appearances but, staying true to his reputation as one of music’s most energetic and prolific talents, Jack White didn’t even wait for the Horehound world tour to end before he led the band back into the Third Man studios to produce Sea Of Cowards. The new album is robust and vigorous, filled with primal, bone quaking rock rhythms and the same stellar urban blues and throbbing sleaze as its predecessor; but this time The Dead Weather push their sound even further, brilliantly building upon their raw chemistry to create the most vital sounding album you’ll hear all year. Sea Of Cowards will be released on Third Man /Warner Bros. Records on May 10th 2010. The album is preceded by first single ‘Die By The Drop,’ – an agitated brain worm of a duet between Mosshart and White – which will be released in the UK on April 26th. The band have a run of dates scheduled for April and May, including a stop at this year’s Coachella Festival.
Private And Confidential “Harry Potter” Script Found Abandoned In A Pub. A “Harry Potter” script marked “private and confidential” has been spotted under a pub’s table. A reader has spotted 118-page script from “The Deathly Hallows” abandoned in a pub where the film’s crew went on a drinking session the night before. The reader, who found it at the Waterside Tavern pub in Kings Langley, Herts, has surrendered the script to the tabloid The Sun, which surrendered it to Warner Bros. WB told the paper, “We are grateful to The Sun for the safe return of this script.” The studio bosses added that it had immediately launched an investigation on how the booklet was lost. Sources said that the movie’s crew went on a major drinking session on Thursday night. And while main star Daniel Radcliffe is known to be the only member of the cast to join the crew, he wasn’t there that night so it might not be from him. The script apparently shows how the film adaptation is split into two parts to keep fans in suspense. It also reveals how film bosses made several dramatic changes from the book by JK Rowling
Turner Classic Movies To Celebrate Clint Eastwood’s Birthday With Marathon Movie Session. Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood has a big birthday coming up and Turner Classic Movies is celebrating the prolific filmmaker and actor’s career with a 24-hour marathon and world television premiere of a new documentary. The Oscar winner will turn 80 on May 31 and TCM will kick off the marathon at 6 am ET. Some of Eastwood’s most popular films will be featured in the run, including “Dirty Harry,” “Magnum Force,” “Kelly’s Heroes” and the American Western “Hang ‘Em High.” Fans can also catch the world television premiere of “The Eastwood Factor,” an all-new feature-length documentary narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman and written and directed by critic and film historian Richard Schickel. The documentary will offer fans a rare and personal look into the Hollywood icon, visiting film locations and sites where his movies were created, including the costume department and the Eastwood Scoring Stage on the Warner Bros. lot. Eastwood will also offer candid and humorous interviews about his film, why he choose to do them and numerous clips from his various works. For a full schedule lineup of the day, head to www.tcm.com.