Raju, the elephant whose liberation after 50 years of captivity literally brought it to tears, could reportedly be doomed to return to his old life and cruel owners depending on how a court case goes later this week. But, hey, Raju, on the bright side, you're gonna get a movie! Manager-producer Larry Brezner and father-son producers Vijay and Prakash Armitroj have reportedly just acquired the rights and hope to develop a film based on the pachyderm's tale of being horribly abused and chained up, then not being chained up, then visibly weeping, because phew.
It's said that the story will focus on American Wildlife Foundation head Nikki Sharpe and Indian Wildlife SOS head Kartrick Satyanarayan, the two whose efforts led to an late night Independence Day liberation for Raju. Deadline notes that this could make for a "great role for an Indian actor and a female lead as this story is surely to be embraced internationally." But more importantly: could this finally be the role to get Andy Serkis an Oscar nod for pretending to be a sad animal?
Martin Scorsese will reportedly bring Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Brad Pitt together for what could well be the most star-studded short film to ever also be a Chinese casino commercial. According to Deadline, the Scorsese has agreed to direct a casino-based short for Melco-Crown Entertainment to premiere at the opening of Studio City, a film-themed resort they're building in the gambling paradise of Macau. Scorsese's Wolf of Wall Street writer and Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter is handling the script, while fellow frequent Scorsese collaborators De Niro and DiCaprio will be joined by Pitt as lead shills. It's a great cast to be sure, much like the great times one is sure to have at Studio City, where you're the star of the show.
Miltos Yerolemou, the actor best known as Arya's skilled trainer in Game of Thrones, has been graduated to the next level of nerdy swordplay. According to the BBC, he's the latest actor joining Star Wars: Episode VII, sending him into another epic tale of empires, family, life, death, and coming back from death with a newly-bluish hue. The report claims that while Yerolemou isn't expected to have a major role, the fact that he "has taken on several other parts which involve sword fighting during his career" suggests that his action figure will likely come with a little translucent stick you can put in his hand.
In a case of art imitating life of someone who edits lightsabers into HBO clips, this casting comes over a year since someone on YouTube turned Yerolemou's final Game of Thrones scene into a beam-sword battle (as seen above). You can watch that here if you want a preview of what's maybe to come.
The game's the same, but it will soon have higher resolution, as The Wire is being remastered for an all-new HD run of every episode. HBOWatch reports that HBO has confirmed that they're working on a high-definition digital transfer to air at a near but not yet determined date--assumedly to then head over to HBO GO and Amazon Prime. All that gritty reality is going to look so much gritty realer!
Before pushing back the air date, HBO briefly ran a promo for an early September release, and you can still have a look at that preview below.
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Phil Lord and Chris Miller, those heroes whose alien-bestowed superpowers allow them to turn brand-based properties into shockingly great entertainment, are in for their biggest challenge to date. No doubt filled with hubris after the back-to-back successes of their Lego Movie and 22 Jump Street, the duo are now going to revive The Greatest American Hero, the '80s comedy-drama with the famously-catchy theme song that inspired George Costanza's answering machine message. According to Deadline, Lord, Miller, and GAH creator Steven J. Cannell's daughter Tawnia McKiernan are executive producing a new version of the show envisioned as an hour-long comedy. 22 Jump Street co-writer Rodney Rothman will also executive produce as well as write this new take on the timeless story of a teacher bestowed an alien spandex costume that grants superhuman powers. Until casting has been announced, original star William Katt officially remains the bravest champion in United States history.
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While Amazon Prime has been making some major headway in the realm of original programming, the one area they're still lagging behind Netflix--and even the recently-discovered Yahoo Screen--is in resurrecting cult comedies. But according to People, now Amazon too is getting in the business of giving us back a show we were bitter about losing, as it's being reported that they're bringing back the live-action The Tick.
The magazine's sources claim that original star Patrick Warburton is already signed on to cram his 50-year-old frame back into a blue rubber suit. The Tick comic book creator Ben Edlund, who worked on both the cartoon and previous live-action series, will again produce and write. Your move on bringing back Chris Elliott's Get a Life, Crackle.
Might want to hold off on those November Man sequel plans there, P.B. Pierce Brosnan's return to going around shooting dudes didn't even break into the top five this holiday weekend, while fellow newcomer As Above/So Below fared only slightly better to squeeze in at the bottom. Instead, this Labor Day was all about getting back to the work of watching Guardians of the Galaxy again, the Marvel hit taking first and bringing its domestic total over $280 million.
Here's your four-day box office:
1. Guardians of the Galaxy - $22.2 million
2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - $15.7 million
3. If I Stay - $11.6 million
4. Let's Be Cops - $10.6 million
5. As Above/So Below - $10.3 million
Weekend Box Office Results [Box Office Mojo]
Hayao Miyazaki--and possibly his whole studio--may have stopped making movies, but that's not going to stop him from taking home his second Academy Award. Such is the fantastical whimsy of our honorary Oscar system.
The 73-year-old animation legend is among the four who will reportedly be fêted this November at the 6th Governors Awards ceremony, where awards will be given "to honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy."
The other honorees are French screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière--known for his work with Luis Buñuel, such as The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie--Irish actress Maureen O'Hara (The Quiet Man, How Green Was My Valley), and Harry Belafonte, whose activism and racially-progressive acting choices have earned him the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. Belafonte is also being recognized for enabling the best parts of Beetlejuice, by me. Congratulations.