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<p>So what do you think... does this man look like a CIA&nbsp;analyst to you?</p>

Paramount beams up Chris Pine as the new Jack Ryan

Posted Oct 13, 2009 7:30 PM By Drew McWeeny

It shouldn't surprise anyone that Paramount is trying to reboot the Jack Ryan franchise.

It also shouldn't surprise anyone that Chris Pine appears to be the man they want to step into the character previously played by Alec Baldwin, Ben Affleck, and Harrison Ford.

Paramount's smart to try to lock Pine down to a second franchise.  His work in "Star Trek" this summer immediately put him on the radar of pretty much every filmmaker in town, and in my opinion, it's one of the most immediate star-making turns since the early work by Harrison Ford.  There's a swagger to Pine and a confidence that makes him arresting onscreen, and yet he's got enough of a sense of humor about himself that it's appealing and not off-putting.  He's a credible action lead, but he's obviously also got a brain in that head.  Basically, he's the package people are looking for when they talk about movie stars, and it's been a while since we've seen one show up fully formed like this.

What I'm really curious about is what sort of premise they'll be dropping Pine's Ryan into, since they're not planning to adapt any of Clancy's novels this time.  Hossein Amini has a strange pedigree for this type of movie.  I like his work on "The Wings Of The Dove" and "Killshot," and I'm really curious to see "Drive," which sounds like more of a pure action movie, but so far, he's sort of unproven in this arena.  Lorenzo Di Bonaventura and Mace Neufeld are producing the film for Paramount, and it sounds like they're still in development.

The real question at this point is which one's going to shoot first... "Star Trek" or this new Ryan film.  There's also the DJ Caruso film, "The Art Of Making Money," which he's getting ready to sign on to make as well, but I'll bet that shoots first, since it sounds like it's basically just waiting to cast before it's ready to go.  The two franchise pictures are both works-in-progress, and if Paramount's smart, they'll make sure the material is in great shape before they start, rather than chasing a release date for the sheer sake of it.

The story broke today in Variety.

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  • Default-avatar
    Lucy (guest)
    Great to see a such talented young actor getting opportunities like this. I agree with you analysis that Pine is a real find. I'm looking forward to seeing both as Captain Kirk again and Jack Ryan.
    October 15, 2009 at 5:54PM EST
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  • Default-avatar
    Saw him on stage this summer in Farragut North. He's the real deal. Good to see that once in a great while, the Hollywood starmaking machine gets something right.
    October 15, 2009 at 7:26PM EST
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'Fear the Walking Dead' quietly confirmed what year the zombie outbreak started

Posted Aug 24, 2015 12:49 PM By  

AMC may have begun “The Walking Dead” on Ocotber 31, 2010 but without all the trappings of modern technology, the universe created by Robert Kirkman felt untethered by time. WHEN the zombie outbreak began was less important just than surviving to see another day. Cell phones and tablets were just really fancy paperweights. Without the endless cycle of technological upgrades to date the series, “The Walking Dead” existed in an ether where it could be any year.

Read Alan's review of the premiere here

Now with the addition of “Fear the Walking Dead,” that ambiguousness comes to an end. The zombie outbreak that destroyed the world began sometime in the winter of 2012.

Let’s examine the evidence.

Since “Fear the Walking Dead” is set before zombie outbreak, there is plenty of technological evidence pointing to what year the characters are living in. As this is Hollywood, literally everyone — from the public school teachers to the teenagers to the drug dealer — are using iPhones. Like the rings on a tree, the model of the iPhone tells us what year we’re in. When Curtis calls his son Chris, audiences get a good look at the bottom of the phone. The wide docking port and squared off shape tell us this is an iPhone 4 or 4s.

Image Credit: AMC

An iPhone 4 would make the most sense since it came out in 2010 — the same year “The Walking Dead” premiered. However, there is are two hiccups to that theory.

"Fear the Walking Dead" producer on the decision to kill THAT character

One is Alicia’s iPhone. The mute button placement aligns with the top of the screen, a minute change added to the iPhone 4s. The first Apple phone to be equipped with Siri, the 4s was released on October 25, 2011.

Image Credit: AMC

Yet this could be merely a trick of angles, since Alicia and all other characters have phone cases that cover the telltale black line situated above the mute button on the 4s. But the mystery is solved later on in the pilot when the teachers gather around an iPad to watch the leaked zombie footage.

Image Credit: AMC

You have to lighten up the contrast to see it, but there are clearly two holes cut into the case of the iPad, making it a second generation tablet. The original iPad was released in 2010 but had no built-in camera and the cases reflected this. It was only when the iPad 2 was released on March 25, 2011 that the covers were reconfigured so users could take photos and video without removing their device from the protective casing.

So why do I say the zombie outbreak occurred in the Winter of 2012 instead of the Fall of 2011? Background cues. At the school, students are wearing hoodies and light sweaters but there is no indication of an upcoming holiday in any of the classrooms or hallways. No pumpkins, no Christmas lights, no Valentine’s Day dance fliers. This indicates we’re in the celebratory “dead zone” of late February/early March, when it’s still cold outside but no major holidays are in sight. This theory is solidified by the handful of bare deciduous trees peppering the park.

Image Credit: AMC

Winter of 2012 also aligns nicely with the seasons as they unfold on “The Walking Dead.” One of Madison’s students mentions the outbreaks have occurred in five states by the opening of “Fear the Walking Dead.” Most people still seem unaware that any of the illnesses are related, much less cognizant the dead are reanimating (with hints the government is keeping the public in the dark on purpose to keep panic at bay). 

Whatever the cause, the zombies seemed to be spreading erratically but with increasing speed, making it completely feasible for Los Angeles to be infected in the winter and Rick to awaken post-coma in the Georgian spring (based on vegetation), to a completely devastated world tipped over the edge by a zombie event horizon. Let’s say it’s late February in “Fear” and Rick awakens in late May. That’s three months from fully functional society to dystopian wasteland.

Using this timeline that would set the cast of the original show somewhere in the tail end of 2013 or the beginning of 2014.

But what about the comically low gas prices? You’re guess is as good as mine, since history shows gas in Los Angeles never hit $2.35 a gallon at any point between 2010 and 2012.

Image Credit: AMC

However, gas did take a nosedive that low in early 2014, so it may just have been the actual price of gas when they were filming the pilot.

Take a look at our initial thoughts on the series in the video below:

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Jared Leto's journey to becoming The Joker continues...

Posted Mar 6, 2015 11:10 AM By Brendan O'Brien

UPDATE: August 26th, 2015

And just like that, Jared Leto says goodbye and his Joker journey has come to an end. 



A photo posted by JARED LETO (@jaredleto) on

UPDATE: April 24th, 2015

Here he is... no more out of focus teases, or paparazzi shots.

UPDATE: April 20th, 2015

Some tricksy sneaky snooping snapshots are showing more of Jared Leto's Joker.

UPDATE: April 16th, 2015

WHOA! Jared Leto shared this via Snapchat.


UPDATE: April 10th, 2015

Suicide Squad Writer/Director David Ayer Tweeted out a look at Leto as The Joker.

A clear homage to this:

UPDATE: April 7th, 2015

Jared Leto jumped in the makeup chair and teased "Transformation begins." on Instagram


A photo posted by JARED LETO (@jaredleto) on

UPDATE: April 3rd, 2015 

Is he practicing?


A video posted by @echemarrya on

UPDATE: March 23rd, 2015

This could be Jared Leto giving us a sneak peek at his "Joker Voice"

Or it could just be Jared Leto being a good showman... or both! 

UPDATE: March 18th, 2015

Jared Leto just Snapchatted a video of himself being very Joker-y with a Batman score playing in the background.


He also posted a close up of those eyebrows. I think he is digging his new look.



Jared Leto's Joker journey continues as he colors his hair and takes his eyebrows... 

It was just a short while ago when we were all gazing at Jared Leto's amazing mane


Yes this happened. Me and the incredibly talented @benedictcumberbatch

A photo posted by JARED LETO (@jaredleto) on

Then he did this.


A photo posted by JARED LETO (@jaredleto) on

Which made him look like this.


A photo posted by JARED LETO (@jaredleto) on

And now he's done this.


A photo posted by JARED LETO (@jaredleto) on

But wait, what is under those glasses? NOTHING! 


A photo posted by JARED LETO (@jaredleto) on

While it might look like he is going for his old Fight Club look, he is probably going for this.


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Miley Cyrus just got really honest about the hellscape that was 'Hannah Montana'

Posted Aug 14, 2015 1:18 PM By  

Miley Cyrus got "some body dysmorphia" from her "Hannah Montana" days. Are we surprised by this? (We aren't.)

"I was told for so long what a girl is supposed to be from being on that show," said Cyrus in a new interview with Marie Claire. "I was made to look like someone that I wasn't, which probably caused some body dysmorphia because I had been made pretty every day for so long, and then when I wasn't on that show, it was like, Who the fuck am I?"

We should all be thankful that those soul-sucking days are over, not only for Miley's sake ("It was like Toddlers & Tiaras'," she went on) but for our own: who knew she was such an off-the-cuff, freewheeling spirit underneath those pounds and pounds of Disney pageant makeup?

A few other choice quotes from the interview:

On the nightmare that was "Hannah Montana," Part 2: "Every morning, I was getting coffee jammed down my throat to wake me up. I just had to keep going, be tough, be strong. Everything happened to me on that set."

On the nightmare that was "Hannah Montana," Part 3: "I would have anxiety attacks. I'd get hot flashes, feel like I was about to pass up or throw up. It would happen a lot before shows, and I'd have to cancel. Then the anxiety started coming from anxiety. I would be with my friends, thinking, I should be having so much fun. You get in this hole that seems like you're never going to be able to get out of."

On wanting to get it on with Joan Jett: "When [I] introduced Joan Jett into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I said, 'The reason I'm here tonight is because I want to fuck Joan,' everyone laughed because they thought it was a joke. It wasn't." (I believe you, Miley.)

On unrealistic beauty standards: "I'm probably never going to be the face of a traditional beauty company unless they want a weed-smoking, liberal-ass freak. But my dream was never to sell lip gloss. My dream is to save the world."

After you're finished pre-ordering your copy of Marie Claire's August issue (out August 18!), be sure to check out their damning expose on "The Coolest New Beauty Products to Have on Your Radar." ("From Louboutin lipsticks to micellar face wipes"). Marie Claire: fighting body dysmorphia one $300 bottle of Olaplex Hair Perfector at a time.

[via The Wrap]

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'I was concerned about Dolph': 9 harrowing behind-the-scenes stories from 'Masters of the Universe'

Posted Aug 29, 2015 9:00 AM By  

On August 7, 1987, "Masters of the Universe" stank up movie theaters across the country and killed any hopes of kicking off a live-action franchise for He-Man and his merry band of heroes (the property is currently in the process of being rebooted with the help of "Thor" screenwriter Christopher Yost). As I wrote earlier this week, "MotU" actually wasn't all bad, with standouts like Frank Langella's Skeletor and Bill Conti's excellent score keeping the film just this side of unwatchable.

Glory be! A happy byproduct of my online research arose in the form of a YouTube recommendation for a video entitled "The Making of Masters of the Universe the Motion Picture," which is not, as it turns out, an extra ripped from the film's DVD release but rather a segment from a 2012 documentary entitled "Toy Masters," which boasts the following synopsis on IMDB:

"Filmmakers Roger Lay, Jr. and Corey Landis set out to document the origin of He-Man--the central character in a billion-dollar multi-media franchise--and along the way, they begin to realize that the truth may not be as simple as they'd hoped. Join them as they go from interview to interview of conflicting stories about how it all began--and try to figure out who's lying and who's telling the truth--in this fun, informative doc that plays like the 'King Of Kong' of the toy world."

Do with that what you will! The clip in question is what we're interested in here, and it features some pretty wild behind-the-scenes trivia courtesy of "Masters of the Universe" director Gary "I Had To Direct This Picture Under The Most Extreme Circumstances You Could Imagine" Goddard, production designer William Stout, executive John Weems and more folks involved in creating a film that would ultimately go down as one of the most notorious flops of that year. See below for a list of highlights from the clip (which you can watch in full at the bottom of the page).

1. Director Gary Goddard was "concerned" about Dolph Lundgren's ability to carry a film.

Goddard was so nervous about Lundgren (who came pre-packaged with the project) that he was forced to make a rather unconventional narrative choice to salvage the movie:

"I was concerned that Dolph would be able to carry the scenes. ...[so] I did my best to restructure the story almost through the eyes of Skeletor."

That's right: Goddard had so little faith in his lead actor that he structured the plot of his summer fantasy-action movie around the villain. Allow that to sink in for a second.

2. He-Man wasn't allowed to kill another living being in the movie.

The Darth Vader-looking robot goons that made up Skeletor's army left the film open to charges of being a "Star Wars" rip-off, but according to Goddard they were a necessity after Mattel -- which exercised strict control over the way the characters were portrayed -- told him that He-Man could not inflict physical injury on a flesh-and-blood being:

"Everyone says, 'oh, they copied 'Star Wars.'' No, we created generic robot warriors so that He-Man could smash and fight and blast them, because he couldn't actually do that to anyone living."

Uh-huh. About that...

3. Panicked Mattel executives -- who were counting on the success of the film to boost sales of their action figures --  gave Goddard free reign to break the rules they had set up after "He-Man" toy sales declined precipitously during production.

"'We don't care what you do,'" Goddard recounted of the conversation. "'Have him kill people. Blood, guts, gore, sex, do whatever you have to. Just make sure this movie's a hit.'"

Kill one of your actors for real! Whatever you have to do, Gary.

4. Mattel executive Paul Cleveland was horrified when he saw a rough cut of the film.

"I saw the rough cuts, I listened to Dolph Lundgren's voice, and I just about had a heart attack," said Cleveland, adding later: "I wanted to re-dub his voice, get someone else to speak for him. In his contract, he had the right to [dub] it two or three more times, and he finally got it to where it wasn't too bad. I said it's okay if He-Man has a little bit of an accent, but you gotta be able to understand him."

That is a low bar, sir.

5. Goddard still wishes they had brought in another actor to dub over Lundgren's voice.

And the Dolph Lundgren anecdotes keep coming...

"To this day I wish we'd have done it," said Goddard, who actually brought in a few other actors to perform the task before being shot down. "But [producer] Menaham [Golan] was like, 'nope, we're gonna stick with Dolph.'"

"Nope, we're gonna stick with Dolph" is certainly one form of integrity.

6. Goddard wasn't initially sold on Courteney Cox.

I don't understand it either. Let us try and wrap our heads around this shocking confession:

"Courteney Cox had just done the Springsteen video. In fact, that was how she was -- this is the girl who's in the Springsteen video. That's how it was sold to me. ...She was good, but I just didn't feel that she fit the part. Cause she had actually done what a lot of actresses do. She had put on a lot of makeup, she wanted to look very sexy. but this role was more of an all-American girl. But my casting director [Vickie Thomas] actually was the one who said 'I wanna bring her back in one more time, I want you to look at her one more time.' ...She called Courteney and said 'ditch the makeup, come in in jeans, just be yourself.' Courteney came in the next day in jeans, no makeup, as herself. ...she just nailed it that day. And I knew right then, okay, she's the one. ...She had great natural ability and I think she did a great job."

7. Mattel had to bankroll the entire production after Cannon Films, which was suffering through financial difficulties, reneged on the agreement to put up half the budget.

"Cannon worked out this deal with Mattel. The deal was that Cannon would put up half the money, and Mattel would put up half the money," said production designer William Stout. "And Cannon told Mattel, 'okay, you put up the first half.' So Mattel put up the first half, and we very quickly burned thrugh that money. And so Mattel said 'okay, time for you to kick in the second half.' And Cannon said, 'no.' So Mattel had to pony up the rest of the money if they wanted to see their film made."

Thank goodness it all worked out.

8. The studio put the kibosh on the production in the middle of filming the climactic battle sequence.

"They shut me down on the set in the middle of the battle," said Goddard. "Literally with someone picking up a card and putting it in front of the camera and saying 'You're done.' In the middle of a shot."

The powers-that-be ultimately allowed Goddard to film the sequence with limited crew, leading to the rather underwhelming final result.

"Even though we shut down the set, I kept [Frank Langella] and Dolph and [director of photography Hanania Baer] and I got them to let me shoot some footage of them battling. It wasn't very well choreographed. It was a very quick choreographic job."

9. Double Tony winner Frank Langella was very, very invested in his role, god love him.

"Frank was very particular about what he thought would work, what he thought wouldn't work," said production designer William Stout. "His ideas were very right on. ...The cloak, for example, it had to move just right. We kept designing and building different cloaks until he got one that just moved perfectly. And it was really Frank Langella who made that character come to life."

Too late to give the man an Oscar for this?

Here's the clip:

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