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Ridley Scott's Matt Damon-starring adaptation of 'The Martian' may be his next film
Credit: Sony Pictures

Ridley Scott's Matt Damon-starring adaptation of 'The Martian' may be his next film

Simon Kinberg suggests a timeline for the big-screen version of the Andy Weir book

I'm confused. Is Ridley Scott making the "Prometheus" sequel for a 2016 release, or is he making "The Martian," with Matt Damon starring in the Drew Goddard adaptation of the book by Andy Weir? We've heard several possibilities, but according to Simon Kinberg, a producer on "The Martian," it appears that a choice has been made. The comments were made during a podast appearance with Jeff Goldsmith.

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Chris Hemsworth discussed playing 'Doc Savage' for 'Iron Man 3's Shane Black
Credit: Marvel Studios

Chris Hemsworth discussed playing 'Doc Savage' for 'Iron Man 3's Shane Black

If you're casting the original pulp hero, Hemsworth seems like a great choice

Last September, Shane Black did an interview with Jim Vejvoda at IGN, and the subject of "Doc Savage" came up. Black was discussing the casting challenge that Doc Savage poses, since the character was always described as being larger than anyone else, exponentially speaking. You could do it as an effect, I'm sure, but it helps if you start with someone who's already gigantic.

To that end, Jim suggested Chris Hemsworth. I concur. During a recent event of some sort that I might be heavily embargoed over, I may or may not have had reason to see Hemsworth in person in a very particular costume that showed off just how absurdly proportioned he is. I'm a long-time Doc Savage fan, and I know how I've pictured the character based on the way character in the stories react to him. He is unsettlingly large. He doesn't quite seem to be the same species as the normal human men around him. I think Hemsworth totally works if you're trying to cast that, and it helps that he is crazy talented as well. I think it would be fun to watch him play a lead in a Shane Black film, since I'm sure Black's take will have plenty of sly character humor built in, and Hemsworth is great at playing things so straight that they become funny.

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<p>Tilda Swinton at a press event for &quot;Snowpiercer&quot; in 2013.</p>

Tilda Swinton at a press event for "Snowpiercer" in 2013.

Credit: AP Photo/Lee Jin-man

From 'Snowpiercer' to Amy Schumer: Tilda Swinton is having another moment

Has the reluctant Oscar winner finally found comfort in Hollywood?

A little over six years after the fact, it's striking to revisit Tilda Swinton's reaction to winning the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for "Michael Clayton." At the time, fans were jubilant and the audience was amused by her blunt "Oh, no" reaction and on-stage decision to give the statue to her agent. Watching the clip today there is a look of almost sheer horror on her face as her name is read and as she walks to the stage. This wasn't something Swinton strived for. She's an artist. Winning Oscars wasn't part of the plan if there ever was one. In the years since, however, Swinton has clearly found a way to balance her artistic interests with films that can find some legs in the global Hollywood movie-making machine.

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Stanley Tucci on new 'Hunger Games' fans and the scale of 'Transformers' action
Credit: HitFix

Stanley Tucci on new 'Hunger Games' fans and the scale of 'Transformers' action

Plus which performance of his should have gotten more attention at the time?

One of the most immediate pleasures of flying to Hong Kong to cover the release of "Transformers: Age Of Extinction" was sitting down with the always-charming Stanley Tucci to talk about his role as "Excellent character actor screaming at the CGI robots."

As I said in my review, these are really weird movies. I am still baffled by John Malkovich in the third film. There's an entire scene in that film where I can't even fully describe what it is he's doing. I went back recently just to look at that moment, and it looks like Malkovich is on Ecstasy and that he's fixated on one of the robots, practically rubbing himself against it. It's bizarre. I'm not sure about the entire role that he played. He has a deeply strange opening scene, and it just seems to get weirder from there, like the entire perverted "Three's Company" bathroom scene.

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<p>Taxi Brooklyn</p>

Taxi Brooklyn

Credit: NBC

Firewall & Iceberg Show, episode 18: 'Tyrant,' 'Orphan Black' & more

Dan and Alan also review NBC's 'Taxi Brooklyn' and answer your mail

Happy Tuesday, boys and girls! Time for a Firewall & Iceberg Show in which we review a cable drama with a troubled origin story ("Tyrant"), a network drama with a weird origin story ("Taxi Brooklyn"), break down "Orphan Black" season 2 and answer your mail.

The rundown:

"Tyrant" review (0:00- 8:45)
"Taxi Brooklyn" review (8:45- 12:54)
Viewer Mail: "Better Call Saul" (12:54- 17:50)
Viewer Mail: Biggest Emmy acting snubs (17:50- 22:34)
"Orphan Black" finale review (22:34- 33:49)

As always, you can send us questions at There's also now a YouTube channel where you can subscribe to all upcoming Firewall & Iceberg videos, at

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<p>Ava DuVernay</p>

Ava DuVernay

Credit: AP Photo

AMPAS' Academy Originals series continues with 'Selma' director Ava DuVernay

The up-and-coming filmmaker discusses her creative inspirations

Well, this is pretty neat. I hadn't realized that the Academy has launched a web series of sorts, taking on a range of film-related subjects past and present -- and sometimes focusing on individual artists. The initiative is titled Academy Originals; previous episodes have centered on Patton Oswalt, Dustin Lee Black and "Jurassic Park," among others. This week's subject: writer-director Ava DuVernay.

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<p>The Gaslight Anthem</p>

The Gaslight Anthem

Credit: Island

Gaslight Anthem's new single 'Rollin' and Tumblin': Could the rockers top the charts?

New Jersery band returns with new album 'Get Hurt' in August

"You say I'm hopelessly devoted to misery..."


The Gaslight Anthem are back with their particular brand of high-octane, heartbroken New Jersey-bred rock in new single "Rollin' and Tumblin'."

The song is from the group's next album "Get Hurt," due on Aug. 19, and they'll be previewing it on tour all summer, some dates with Against Me! (who we caught up with last week).

"Get Hurt" comes on the heels of 2012's "Handwritten," which put the band on the map with the help of single "45." Their first album in 2008, "The '59 Sound," didn't crack the 200; 2010's "American Slang" made it to No. 16. "Handwritten" peaked at No. 3, so I'm thinking August may be a celebratory month for The Gaslight Anthem, who could potentially hook their first No. 1 on the album sales chart.

Now, back to the song: I will say this won't be the first time I (and many others) have compared Gaslight Anthem to their hero Bruce Springsteen. It won't be my last. And at this juncture, they're simply trolling me with the line "Baby, I was born on the 4th of July."

Here is the tracklist for "Get Hurt":

1. Stay Vicious
2. 1,000 Years
3. Get Hurt
4. Stray Paper
5. Helter Skeleton
6. Underneath the Ground
7. Rollin’ and Tumblin’
8. Red Violins
9. Selected Poems
10. Ain’t That a Shame
11. Break Your Heart

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'Iron Man 3' director Shane Black signs to bring the 'Predator' series back to life
Credit: 20th Century Fox

'Iron Man 3' director Shane Black signs to bring the 'Predator' series back to life

Even better, he's co-writing with his 'Monster Squad' writing partner

Oh, I see what you did there, Fox. Sneaky. I like it.

I'm not even remotely surprised that Fox is working to make a new "Predator" movie. I don't really care what they call it… reboot, remake, sequel, update… whatever. They'll never stop making "Predator" movies. They'll do it anytime they've got an idea that's even vaguely commercial, because it's an evergreen property for them. They don't have to license any rights. They're not playing with someone else's material. Like with the "Alien" series, they own "Predator" completely, and they've proven repeatedly that they're willing to bend those icons in a million different ways.

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<p>Brad Pitt in &quot;Fury&quot;</p>

Brad Pitt in "Fury"

Credit: Sony Pictures

Brad Pitt broods intensely on teaser poster for 'Fury'

David Ayer's WWII drama hits U.S. screens on November 14

The cinema doesn't exactly want for Second World War dramas, but nonetheless, I'm increasingly looking forward to "Fury." David Ayer's tough brand of crime storytelling has worked better in some projects than others -- "Sabotage" wasn't quite the follow-up to "End of Watch" most of us were hoping for -- but he's a distinctive stylist, and I'm interested to see how his street sensibility adapts to a period piece.

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Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey responds to Frances Bean Cobain's criticism over 'dead' comment

Just think...if either of them had picked up the phone we'd have to find something else to talk about

Lana Del Rey has responded, via Twitter, of course, to Frances Bean Cobain’s Twitter criticism of Del Rey for saying she wishes she were already dead.

To recap, in words that Del Rey now says were provoked, the “Ultraviolence” singer told The Guardian that she wished she were already dead and that she doesn’t particularly enjoy what she’s doing, but will continue doing it anyway.

Cobain, whose father, Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, killed himself  when his daughter was 1,  took to Twitter to chide Del Rey for “romanticizing” early death. Read her tweets here.

In a continuation of what has been a civilized exchange, Del Rey tweeted back to Cobain yesterday: “It’s all good. He was asking me a lot [about] your dad. I said I liked him because he was a talent, not because he died young.”  She then added, “The other half of what I said wasn’t really related to the people he mentioned/I don’t find that part of music glam either.”

So their non-feud is over and all that’s left now is the obligatory photo of the two of them meeting and hugging it out… which they will immediately post on Instagram.

It’s really hard to imagine how websites and blogs had enough to report on before Twitter launched in 2006 and even harder to imagine that celebrities didn’t feel the need to tweet every thought that passed through their head.  

Cobain was smart: she (and any other celebrity with any media savvy) knew that all she had to do was send a tweet to Lana Del Rey for the inter webs to blow up and she was right. And Del Rey knew once she responded it would make news. I’m sure the thought of picking up their phones and actually having a private conversation about it never occurred to either one of them…because if the rest of the world doesn't know about it, that means it never happening, right?  Instead, everything plays out in a public forum now. Cobain understands the currency her tweets have and that Del Rey is hot right now. The combination is combustible. I realize this is not new at all and has been the modus operandi for quite some time, but, for some reason, this exchange really highlighted to me the extent to which we bloggers jump on anything slightly tantalizing for potential click bait.  Vicious circle…

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CBS announces fall premiere dates, including an hourlong 'Big Bang' season premiere

CBS announces fall premiere dates, including an hourlong “Big Bang” season premiere
“NFL Thursday Night Football” kicks off CBS’ fall season on Sept 11, while “Madam Secretary” and “The Good Wife” have their premieres on Sept. 21. “The Big Bang Theory” returns Monday, Sept. 22 with back-to-back episodes. CBS is also using season premiere week for the finales of “Under the Dome” and “Extant."

“Portlandia’s” Carrie Brownstein headed to Amazon
Brownstein has signed on to the comedy pilot “Transparent,” playing Gaby Hoffman’s best friend in the comedy about a Los Angeles family with serious boundary issues.

Maria Bello and Joan Jett to star in Lifetime’s "Big Driver,” based on the Stephen King book
Olympia Dukakis will also star in the film based on King’s horror novella.

Karen Gillan takes a topless selfie to promote her new show “Selfie”
"Her new show is also called ‘Selfie,' because that’s how marketing works,” as the Radio Times notes.

“Tyrant” is the latest show that can’t stop using rape cliches
The FX drama takes many "sexual assault or woman-in-peril shortcuts” to show a male character’s darkness, says Maureen Ryan, The result is that the women "are mostly placeholders -- even the ones who aren't kidnapped or raped,” says Ryan. "But even if all the other characters on the show, male and female, were fascinating, I don't think it would matter. The presence of well-drawn characters who do not get raped, assaulted or attacked does not give a program a free pass to engage in these cliches. I'm just so tired of violence against women being used as storytelling No-Doz -- something to juice up the proceedings and then discard at will.”

Why can’t “Big Brother” stop casting racists and homophobes?
Despite all the bigotry last season, casting this year "did not change at all,” says a “Big Brother” exec producer — and that’s resulted in yet another bigoted contestant.

Snooki wins lawsuit against perfume maker that used her name
A New Jersey company marketed its perfume “Snazzy” by calling it "our version of Snooki by Nicole Polizzi."

“America’s Next Top Model” alum’s husband commits suicide weeks after reports she hooked up with male celebs
Katie Cleary, who competed in "Top Model's" 1st season and later worked as a "Deal Or No Deal" suitcase model, was photographed in Cannes last month with Leonardo DiCaprio and Adrian Grenier. Weeks later, her husband, Andrew Stern, shot himself in the face.

Here’s your first look at “Downton Abbey” Season 5
ITV has teased 20 seconds from the 5th season.

Animal Planet renews “The Pool Master” after 1 episode
The backyard improvement series will be back for a 2nd season next year.

A.J. Hammer exits HLN
His departure comes four months after his “Showbiz Tonight” show was canceled.

“The Bachelor” Ben Flajnik declines to talk about Courtney Robertson’s new tell-all
Robertson’s book "I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain” is out today, but Flajnik doesn’t want to “relive the nightmare.”

Why it matters that “Tyrant” cast a white actor in a half-Arab leading role
White British actor Adam Rayner, producers say, was the best actor they could find, even considering all the other actors with Middle Eastern backgrounds. The problem, says Daniel Fienberg, is that Rayner is merely average in the role. "Although Rayner's performance doesn't hurt ‘Tyrant,'" says Feinberg, "the white-washing of the main character only serves to underline the condescending and vaguely paternalistic tone of the entire show."

American TV needs a complex Middle East drama — “Tyrant” is not it
"There’s not a fleshed-out character in the show,” says James Poniewozik, "beginning with Barry’s stock-villainous brother Jamal (Ashraf Barhom), who we immediately meet raping a subject with her own husband and children still in her house. To a person, the characters are types: the shallow American kids, the dissolute playboys, the noble protesters and journalists, the cynical advisers, sneering elites and sad-eyed children. The problem isn’t that Tyrant portrays a troubled region as troubled; it’s that it doesn’t use its time to begin to make this world as real as ours.” PLUS: “Tyrant” tries to skirt controversy by being lazy and contrived, it settles on Middle Eastern stereotypes, it comes close to even embracing those stereotypes, it feels small for such a big drama, Adam Rayner is an uncharismatic cipher, FX has Russian- and Spanish-speaking characters but can’t have Arabic speakers?, “Tyrant” has all the urgency of a position paper, the pilot has a lot of potential but it’s unclear where it’s going, this is a step in the right direction for its portrayal of Muslims on TV, and read the dramatic backstory of “Tyrant."

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<p>Channing Tatum</p>

Channing Tatum

Credit: AP Photo

Channing Tatum in a Coen brothers movie? This is gonna be good...

This upcoming Hollywood Golden Age comedy is filling out brilliantly

Are the Coen brothers directing a Wes Anderson film? Only kidding, but you'd be forgiven for thinking so with the announcement of today's new cast additions to the filmmaker siblings' upcoming "Hail, Caesar!"

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