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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fantasia & Fantasia 2000: 2-Movie Collection Special Edition

Fantasia & Fantasia 2000: 2-Movie Collection Special Edition

Releasing for the First Time in Over a Decade To Astound the Eyes and Ears of a New Generation!

Highly-Anticipated Hi-Def Debut of Disney’s Acclaimed Masterwork and the Modern Magnum Opus it Inspired
Fantasia & Fantasia 2000: 2-Movie Collection Special Edition

On 4-Disc Blu-rayTM Combo Pack and 2-Disc DVD November 30, 2010

Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 — the magical, animated musical masterpiece and the contemporary classic inspired by it — debut in highly anticipated Blu-ray High Definition and DVD 2-Movie Collection Special Editions on November 30. Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment is opening the Disney vault to be able to present these two films that broke the boundaries of imagination in the highest quality possible…

The Fantasia and Fantasia 2000: 2-Movie Collection Special Edition will be available in a 4-disc Blu-ray Combo Pack ($45.99 SRP) and a 2-Disc DVD ($39.99 SRP) for a very limited time only. The Blu-ray transformation of Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 will reveal the magic, music and majesty of both films as never before experienced, with state- of-the-art picture restoration of the original Fantasia and pristine 7.1 Digital Theater System Hi-Def Surround Sound. The Blu-ray combo pack is a tremendous value featuring, in addition to the two films in two different formats, a wealth of bonus features.

Among those Blu-ray special features is the highly requested Academy Award® nominated short Destino. Available for the first time ever on Blu-ray, the seven minute film is the result of a unique collaboration between Walt Disney and Salvador Dali begun in 1946, but put on hold due to studio financial concerns. In 2003, Roy E. Disney worked with a team of modern day animators to complete the film as a tribute to Walt’s pioneering artistic vision. Accompanying the highly anticipated short is an all-new feature length documentary entitled “Dali & Disney: A Date With Destino,” which explores the origins of the relationship between Disney and Dali, their collaboration on Destino, and ultimately how the film came to fruition so many years after its inception.

Fantasia, an unprecedented and magnificent feast of music and animated images, was initially released by the Studio in 1940 as a “road show” release. The following year, at the 14th Annual Academy Awards, Fantasia earned two Special Awards. The first was given to Walt Disney and associates for their outstanding contribution to the advancement of the use of sound in motion pictures, being the first commercial film released in multi-channel sound using a process called Fantasound, and the second to conductor Leopold Stokowski and his associates “for…unique achievement in the creation of a new form of visualized music…thereby widening the scope of the motion picture as entertainment and as an art form.”

Considered avant-garde during its time, Fantasia has gone on to become one of the most popular movies of all time and today is considered a classic. In 1990, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” Featuring the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Stokowski, this groundbreaking film, which consists of animation set to eight musical pieces, is narrated by Deems Taylor and includes an appearance by Mickey Mouse (voiced by Disney himself).

Equally impressive is Fantasia 2000, the awe-inspiring extravaganza of sight and sound, executive produced by the late Roy E. Disney. Featuring an array of celebrity hosts including Steve Martin, Bette Midler, James Earl Jones, Penn and Teller, Angela Lansbury, Itzhak Perlman and Quincy Jones, the film, like its predecessor, expertly visualizes classical music compositions with various forms of animation and live-action introductions. Fantasia 2000 is primarily performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and conducted by James Levine.

Synopsis: The dreams and visions of Walt Disney come to life in Fantasia, which blends music and film magic into an exhilarating movie-going experience. Unforgettable images are brought to life by some of the world’s best music, and highlighted by the comedy of Mickey Mouse as a troublemaking sorcerer’s apprentice, along with the beauty of winged fairies and cascading snowflakes, the majesty of Noah’s ark and even plump hippos performing ballet in tutus.

Motivated by his uncle’s foresight, Roy Disney continued the magic with Fantasia 2000 which begins where its predecessor left off. There are seven completely new segments, and viewers watch a bustling Depression-era metropolis in the style of Al Hirschfeld’s famous cartoons, a flock of flamingos with slapstick yo-yo talents, an ark full of animals gathered by Donald Duck as Noah’s first mate, and musical life breathed into a family of flying humpback whales.

Fantasia DVD Bonus Features:

• New Audio Commentary with Disney historian Brian Sibley
• Disney Family Museum (running time: approx. 5 minutes) – Walt’s daughter Diane Disney-Miller takes viewers on a tour of the new Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, California featuring a very large exhibit on Fantasia and most importantly, the Schultheis notebook with long lost Fantasia production notes found in more recent years in the walls of a convent.

Fantasia Blu-ray Bonus Features: Everything on the DVD plus:

• Disney View – This viewing mode maximizes the Blu-ray viewing experience with a 16 x 9 aspect ratio. Original artwork created by a Disney artist, in a style that complements the beauty of the film.
• The Shultheis Notebook: A Disney Treasure (running time: approx. 14 minutes) –An in depth look at the recently discovered Schultheis Notebook. The detailed log was created by Herman Schultheis, an effects man on Fantasia, and intricately breaks down the film from a technical view. Many of the special effects used in Fantasia were a mystery to modern day animators until this notebook was recovered.
• Interactive Art Gallery and Screensavers – Viewers can explore the artwork of Fantasia as never before, in HD resolution with unique Blu-ray interactivity and programming.
• Audio Commentaries from Fantasia Legacy Collection o With executive producer Roy E. Disney, conductor James Levine, animation historian
John Canemaker, and Scott McQueen, manager of film restoration.

* Audio commentary with interviews and story note recreations by Walt Disney, hosted by John Canemaker.

Fantasia 2000 DVD Bonus Features:

• Musicana – Walt’s Inspiration for a Sequel (running time: approx. 10 minutes) – This documentary reveals rarely-seen art created for Musicana, a late 1970’s project intended as a Fantasia sequel with a focus on exploring other cultures via their greatest musical compositions. Viewers are offered a look at the origins of pieces that were started by Walt, such as “The Emperor and the Nightingale” which was then taken over by a very young John Lasseter. Ultimately, Musicana was stopped to begin production on “Mickey’s Christmas Carol,” but the memories of this piece still live on with the animators who conceived it.

Fantasia 2000 Blu-ray Bonus Features: Everything on the DVD plus:

• Dali & Disney: A Date With Destino (running time: 82 minutes) – This feature length documentary explores the collaborative relationship between Walt Disney and Salvador Dali, revealing how and why the Destino short came to fruition under the lead of Roy E. Disney in 2003 so many years after its inception in 1946.
• Destino (running time: approx. 7 minutes) – The legacy of Walt Disney and Salvador Dali lives on in this highly anticipated short film.
• Disney’s Virtual Vault — BD-Live Feature Original DVD Bonus Features from Legacy Collection
• Audio Commentaries from Fantasia Legacy Collection (total running time: 84 minutes) With executive producer Roy E. Disney, conductor James Levine, and producer Don Ernst. Audio commentary with the directors and art directors for each segment.

About Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment Combo Packs (Blu-ray + DVD in a single package): To provide consumers with unprecedented quality, value and portability of their favorite Disney classics, in 2008 WDSHE pioneered the Combo Pack – Blu-ray Disc(s) plus a DVD in a single package. Classic Disney titles released as Combo Packs include Sleeping Beauty, Pinocchio and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
The Fantasia and Fantasia 2000: 2-Movie Collection Special Edition Blu-rayTM + DVD Combo Pack is priced at $45.99 SRP and the 2-Disc DVD set is priced at $39.99 SRP.

STREET DATE: November 30, 2010
Direct prebook: Distributor prebook: Pricing:
Feature run time:
Rated: FastPlayTM:
October 5, 2010 October 19, 2010 4-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack: $45.99 SRP 2-Disc DVD: $39.99 SRP 125 min – Fantasia; 75 min – Fantasia 2000 G FastPlay enabled

Blu-ray Discs Aspect ratio: Sound/Language Tracks:
Subtitles:
DVDs: Aspect ratio:Fantasia – Sound/Language Tracks:
Subtitles:
Fantasia – 1.33:1, Fantasia 2000 – 1.78:1 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 DEHT French and Spanish Language Tracks English SDH, French and Spanish
1.33:1, Fantasia 2000 -1.78:1 5.1 Disney Enhanced Home Theater Mix (DEHT), 5.1 DEHT French and Spanish Language Tracks English SDH, French and Spanish Subtitles

For more than 85 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company (DIS: NYSE) was built. Today, the Studio brings quality movies, music and stage plays to consumers throughout the world. Feature films are released under four banners: Walt Disney Pictures, which includes Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios, Disneynature, Touchstone Pictures and Marvel. Through the Home Entertainment division, innovative distribution methods provide access to creative content across multiple platforms. Original music and motion picture soundtracks are produced under Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records, while Disney Theatrical Group produces and licenses live events, including Broadway theatrical productions, Disney on Ice and Disney LIVE!. For more information, please visit www.disney.com.

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Star Tours Update And Photos

Star Tours Update And Photos

We have reported before that Star Tours ride in currently going through an upgrade. Randy ( Arnoldfans ) and myself were one of the lucky few who got to attend the very last ride of the original Star Tours on July 26,2010.  Star Tours 2.0, which is set to open up in May of 2011.


The most recent info is that it will be called "Star Tours: The Adventures Continue" New destinations will include Tatooine and Coruscant. And the new ride will be set in-between the two Star Wars trilogies. The Star Tours vehicle is now going to be chased by Boba Fett.  C3PO and R2-D2 are still the hosts… Admiral Ackbar holographically communicates with the Star Tours vehicle."

We occupied a large soundstage in Hollywood to film a key sequence of the new show. Anthony Daniels flew in from London to bring C-3PO to life on the stage, as well as workshop the script with our writer Steve Spiegel.

I spoke with Anthony Daniels the other day about what it felt like to be back working on Star Tours.


“Wow! Back in the gold suit for the first time since ‘Revenge of the Sith,’” was Anthony’s reply. “But on this occasion in front of a beloved Starspeeder, a bit like the one R2 and I’d repaired every day since Disneyland first opened the Star Tours Spaceport all those years ago. I’d enjoyed being a part of the original Star Tours, one of the most wonderful jobs I ever had. I’d been alerted that amazing things were in store for passengers on the new Starspeeder – and for me too – and so here I was again, working with many of the same creative teams, with even more spin and excitement than the first time.”


On the immense soundstage, our production team re-created – full size – a portion of the Starspeeder 1000, so we could film it from multiple angles. Later, the effects wizards at ILM, under the direction of Bill George, completed the scene, adding in a whole range of droids and characters, and expanding the scale and scope of the scene.


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UFC Champs VS WEC Champs Could Be On The Horizon


UFC Champs VS WEC Champs Could Be On The Horizon

I am a huge UFC and WEC fan this news is music to my ears. For more than a year, Zuffa officials have been adamant with decries that the Ultimate Fighting Championship and its sister promotion, World Extreme Cagefighting, will operate as independent organizations.

But for the first time, a company executive has suggested the WEC may get a promotional push by the UFC, and it could result in superfights between the two organizations' biggest stars.

Today during a UFC Fan Expo London 2010 Q&A session at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London, UFC co-owner and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta admitted the time likely has come for the UFC to help its smaller partner. After all, while the WEC has produced some of the best and most competitive events of the past few years, ratings have sunk, attendance figures have flat-lined (when WEC star Urijah Faber isn't on the card), and yet the company continues producing some of the sport's top lighter-weight fighters, including featherweight champ Aldo, lightweight title-holder Henderson, and a host of other notables in the 135-, 145- and 155-pound divisions.

"We try to promote the best that we can, and now we're trying to integrate and the help the WEC by using the UFC to promote that," said Fertitta, who's blueprinted the UFC's expansion into 500 million homes across the planet. "In my opinion, the lighter weight guys are the most exciting. They never rest; they just keep going and going. They fight really hard."

Ever since the UFC purchased the WEC in late 2006, the organizations have operated from the same offices in Las Vegas. But behind the scenes is one thing, and in the cage, just about everything else has been different, including broadcast partners, frequency of events, fighter pay/bonuses, and even the size of the cage.

Over the past couple years, MMAjunkie.com  frequently has asked both UFC president Dana White and WEC general Reed Harris if we could ever see UFC vs. WEC fights – or even a WEC "showcase" fight or two on a major UFC broadcast. The general consensus was that the organizations need to maintain their independence and individual identities, and each WEC champion already has worthy competitors in his respective weight class.

But Fertitta admits that it may be time for some of the WEC's stars to test their chops against the UFC's elite.

"We'd love to see kind of a 'champion vs. champion' type bout with Ben and Frankie Edgar or something like that," he said. "Ben Henderson is a great fighter, and I think he could do really, really well against some of the top guys in the UFC at 155 (pounds)."

Henderson, of course, first must get by Anthony Pettis, another fast-rising and marketable lightweight, at WEC 52 in December. But if Henderson proves victorious, he could find himself with few other worthy contenders.

Of course, Fertitta's comments come a day after a Q&A session with White, who – while discussing Aldo, a winner of eight straight fights in the WEC – admitted the champ was looking to the UFC for future challenges. As Henderson may find, Aldo has limited options in his own promotion.

And unlike in the past, White apparently has warmed up to the possibility of those challengers coming from the UFC.

"There's some interesting fights with those guys (in the WEC), so we're working on putting those fights together," White said. "We're working on a lot of things right now that we'll be announcing in the next couple of months."

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Incredible Hulk Coming To ABC

Incredible Hulk Coming To The Small Screen

As DC Comics heroine Wonder Woman, who had a TV series during the 1970s, is being prepped for a return to the small screen, Marvel and ABC are developing a TV return for the Incredible Hulk. CBS produced a memorable series featuring the jade giant that ran from 1978-82 and starred Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno.

At the end of the decade, ABC followed up with three TV movies that featured incarnations of Marvel heroes Daredevil and Thor.

Hulk is one of two projects that are priorities at Marvel Television, Marvel Studio’s TV division, which has been operating under the radar since Jeph Loeb took the reins at the end of June.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Vanessa Hudgens To Join The Cast Of Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

Vanessa Hudgens To Have A Journey On A Mysterious Island

Vanessa Hudgens is in final negotiations to play the female lead in New Line’s “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island,” the sequel to “Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D.”

Brad Peyton is on board to direct the film, in which Josh Hutcherson is reprising his role as burgeoning explorer Sean Anderson. Dwayne Johnson is also starring in the pic being produced by Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson of Contrafilm.

The story sees Hutcherson and Johnson forced to go a trip to a mythical and monstrous island to find his missing grandfather. The script is loosely based on Jules Verne's "The Mysterious Island."

Hudgens plays a Pacific Islander who gets swept into the adventure and end up falling for Hutcherson.

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Walken, Farrow & Blair Join The "Dark Horse"


Walken, Farrow & Blair Join The "Dark Horse"

Christopher Walken, Mia Farrow and Selma Blair are joining Jordan Gelber in "Dark Horse," the latest indie drama from Todd Solondz.

The film centers on a thirtysomething man (Gelber) in arrested development who lives with his parents (Walken and Farrow), reluctantly works for his father and avidly collects toys. He seeks out a thirtysomething woman (Blair) in arrested development in an attempt to shed the "dark horse" status in his family and finally accomplish something.

Aasif Mandvi, a correspondent for "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" who appeared in "The Last Airbender," also is in the movie, playing Blair's "not quite" ex-boyfriend.

Already cast are Justin Bartha ("The Hangover") as Gelber's more successful brother, Zachary Booth ("Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist") as Gelber's easygoing cousin and Donna Murphy (TNT's "Trust Me") as Walken's secretary.

Walken has been working solidly in the indie world, racking up credits including "The Irishman," "Life's a Beach" and "The Maiden Heist." The ICM-repped actor received a Tony nomination this year for his lead role in the dark comedy "A Behanding in Spokane."

"Horse" will mark Farrow's first screen appearance since 2008's "Be Kind Rewind."
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Family Guy: It's a Trap! First Look

First Look At Slave Leia From Upcoming Family Guy

The "Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi!" jab which "Family Guy" would do later this season has been given a preview. The family's matriarch Lois is dressed up in the iconic Princess Leia slave bikini while her son Chris poses as Luke Skywalker beside her.

Called "Family Guy: It's a Trap!", the final chapter will follow Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia who must travel to Tatooine to free Han Solo (Peter) by infiltrating the wretched stronghold of Jabba the Hutt (Joe), the galaxy's most loathsome and dreadful gangster. Once reunited, the Rebels team up with a tribe of Ewoks to combat the Imperial forces on the forest moon of Endor.

Meanwhile the Emperor (Carter Pewterschmidt) and Darth Vader (Stewie) conspire to turn Luke to the dark side, and young Skywalker is determined to rekindle the spirit of the Jedi within his father. The Galactic Civil War has never been more outrageous, as the Rebel forces gather to attack the seemingly defenseless and incomplete second Death Star in the battle that will determine the fate of the galaxy.

The DVD version hits stores on December 21 while the broadcast version is expected to air later this season on FOX.

"Family Guy: Blue Harvest", the first "Star Wars" spoof gained recognition at Emmy Awards back in 2005. Last year, the Seth MacFarlane animation debuted the second installment "Family Guy: Something, Something, Something Dark Side".

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Drive Angry 3D Trailer

Drive Angry 3D Trailer

Yahoo released the first full trailer for the upcoming film "Drive Angry" Starring Nicolas Cage,Amber Heard,Billy Burke,David Morse,William Fichtner and our good friend Michael Papajohn.
Milton, a hardened felon has broken out of hell for one last chance at redemption. Intent on stopping a vicious cult who murdered his daughter, he has three days to stop them before they sacrifice her baby beneath a full moon.

Watch the trailer after the Jump..


Milton, a hardened felon has broken out of hell for one last chance at redemption. Intent on stopping a vicious cult who murdered his daughter, he has three days to stop them before they sacrifice her baby beneath a full moon. He's joined by Piper - a young, sexy waitress who liberates her ex-boyfriend's cherry-red muscle car in order to help Milton. Now, the two of them are hot on the trail of the deadly leader of the cult, Jonah King, who believes it is his destiny to use the baby to unleash hell on earth. But the bloodthirsty cult is the least of Milton's problems. The police are after him too. And worse, an enigmatic killer known only as "The Accountant" - who has been sent by the Devil to retrieve Milton and deliver him back to hell. With wicked cunning and hypnotic savagery, the Accountant will relentlessly pursue Milton at high speed across the country until his mission is accomplished. Fueled by high octane and pure rage, Milton must use his

The film is set to be released on February 11,2011

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LaBeouf Says Transformers 3 Will Be Best of the Series. Let's Hope So

 LaBeouf Says Transformers 3 Will Be Best of the Series. Let's Hope So

Despite not being impressed with Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Shia LaBeouf is pretty sure the third film will be the best of the series.

"This is, and I'm not just BS-ing you, it's the best movie we've made of the three by far," LaBeouf told MTV News recently about Transformers 3, adding that director Michael Bay showed him 40 minutes of footage that had him feeling extra confident about the final product.

"The script is the best script we've had," LaBeouf said. "The second movie, we were in the middle of a writers' strike, writing on the go," he explained. "The first movie, we had the discovery, and this movie really is the fruition of the rhythm we've created out of five years working together. I'm super proud of this movie."
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Also, it seems that Transformers 3 will be the final Transformers movie for him.

"There's no more for me, at least. I'm never going to do it again," he said definitively. "This is the last one, so it's balls-out. This is the best movie we've made, period, and that's a unanimous decision by everybody. The sizzle reel that Bay has been showing everybody on set, it's so outrageous. I'm very, very, very, very proud of it."

Even LaBeouf's co-star Josh Duhamel seems equally enthusiastic about the third film.

"I've seen about 10 minutes of it — just the stuff we shot in Chicago — and it's pretty awesome," he told MTV recently. "It's all in Michael Bay's head, so you never know what the film's going to turn out like, but judging by the script and what we've shot, it's, I think, every bit as good, if not better than, the first two," he declared.

Transformers 3 comes to theaters July 1st, 2011.

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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Cast Round-Up

The People Who Will Make More Money Signing Autographs At Shows

Vampires are truly going international in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn."

Summit Entertainment announced a worldwide selection of vampire sects for the two-part conclusion to the "Twilight" franchise.

Earlier this month, "Twilight" author Stephenie Meyer confirmed that 9-year-old Mackenzie Foy would play the coveted role of Bella (Kristen Stewart) and vampire Edward's (Robert Pattinson) daughter.

The studio covered the blood-sucking world in one sweep, listing the casting for the Amazon, Egyptian, Irish and Romanian Coven as well as the American and European Nomads groups.

Representing South America: the Amazon coven will be comprised of Tracey Heggins as Senna and Judi Shekoni as Zafrina.

The Egyptian Coven is comprised of Omar Metwally as Amun, Andrea Gabriel as Kebi, Rami Malek as Benjamin and Angela Sarafyan as Tia.

The Irish Coven is comprised of Marlane Barnes as Maggie, Lisa Howard as Siobhan and Patrick Brennan as Liam.

The Romanian Coven is comprised of Noel Fisher as Vladimir and Guri Weinberg as Stefan.

The American Nomads are comprised of Lee Pace as Garrett, Toni Trucks as Mary, Bill Tangradi as Randall, Erik Odom as Peter and Valorie Curry as Charlotte.

Rounding out the announcement -- the European Nomads are headed up by Joe Anderson as Alistair.

The vampire sects will serve varying roles in both films which begin filming in November under director Bill Condon. Part one will be released in theaters on November 18, 2011 with the second coming to theaters on November 16, 2012.

In September, Summit announced the Denali clan consisting of MyAnna Buring, Mia Maestro, Maggie Grace and Casey LaBow as the female members of the undead family. Christian Camargo is the clan's patriarch.

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Top Gun 2 Could See The Skies Soon

Have You Lost That Love And Feeling?

Reinflate your beach volleyballs, don your aviators, and apply some Coppertone to your shaven chests, lads, for the sequel to Top Gun is nigh! We have  learned that Paramount Pictures has made offers to both producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Tony Scott to follow up their action classic, and has a missile lock on Oscar-winning screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects) to update the script, one in which Tom Cruise’s Maverick would play a smaller role.

Maverick would be confused and slightly depressed by the state of Top Gun these days, anyway. Last June, at a junket for Disney’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Bruckheimer let slip that he had been “recently approached again to start talking about [a sequel]” but noted that “the aviation community has completely changed since we made the movie a long time ago.” Since 1986, the TOPGUN syllabus has been changed so the focus is far less on the spectacular and dramatic air-to-air dogfights that defined Top Gun and far more about teaching U.S. pilots to drop very large bombs on very small ground targets.

But we’re told by a source close to the project that McQuarrie — who is friendly with Cruise — has found a way to incorporate Maverick, and what’s more, we hear that Cruise has agreed to take a smaller role in the film, provided it’s not too “obvious” a part, i.e. Lieutenant Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell as grizzled Top Gun flight instructor.

McQuarrie is in big demand these days, having impressed Twentieth Century Fox with a hot script for the Wolverine sequel. And to be sure, Paramount would no doubt like to see Top Gun become a franchise, too: The original film grossed $353 million worldwide, or roughly $699 million in today’s dollars.

But why the move to make a sequel now, all of a sudden? We’re told that a big part of the reason is the influence of David Ellison, the 27-year-old son of Oracle Corp. founder — and world’s sixth-richest man — Larry Ellison. Despite being only 3 years old when Top Gun first strafed theaters, Ellison clearly became a big fan of the film on VHS, and went on to become both an aerobatic pilot and instrument-rated commercial pilot before attending USC's film school and then launching his own production company, Skydance. His first production was the 2006 World War I drama Flyboys, in which he also starred. It bombed, but Ellison didn’t lose his taste for the movie business: Just this August, Ellison the Younger left his Skydance offices (located at Santa Monica Municipal Airport, where Ellison still keeps several small aircraft), swung by JPMorganChase, and raised $350 million to co-finance much of Paramount’s slate of films — the first of which will be … wait for it … Mission: Impossible 4, starring Tom Cruise.

Meanwhile, the Top Gun move also highlights an interesting development in the Bruckheimer orbit. The super-producer has long been tethered to Disney, though that notoriously frugal studio has been forcing him to reduce his gross participation on movies. (Though to be fair, outside of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Bruckheimer’s track record at Disney has not been stellar as of late, either.) This potential collaboration with his old home, Paramount, could be an interesting trial balloon to see if The Bruck can get a better deal outside Disney. Or it could simply be an effort to gain leverage and sweeten his deal at Disney. This is Hollywood, after all.

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Natalie Portman Has The Upper Hand For Lead Role In Upcoming Alien Prequel

Natalie Portman Has The Upper Hand For Lead Role In Upcoming Alien Prequel

Vulture just got word: Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof turned in his new draft of the screenplay for Ridley Scott's Alien prequel on Saturday, and 20th Century Fox execs are very pleased with it indeed! We’re told all involved parties have been made to sign nondisclosure agreements about the plot, but our spies have been able to glean several interesting nuggets about the project, which is set roughly 35 years before Scott’s dystopic classic. Here's what we know ...

One reason Fox execs are so thrilled with Lindelof’s Alien draft is that, not only is it creatively engaging, but it adds no expensive "set pieces" — production-speak for elaborate, effects-heavy action sequences that add millions to the cost of a film — to the movie. 20th Century Fox and Scott have been wrangling over the director’s proposed budget. One insider familiar with the situation puts Scott’s suggested budget at between $150 million and $160 million; Fox obviously, would like that number to shrink. Still, this is some good news for Fox, which has almost nothing resembling a blockbuster in the hopper for the summer of 2012, and could certainly stand to reinvigorate a wildly popular multi-part sci-fi franchise.

A parade of actresses have met with Scott (who's being represented in these negotiations by his longtime WME agent George Freeman) to discuss the lead role — that of a female Colonial Marine general — but only two have engendered substantial enthusiasm from both Fox brass and Scott Free, the director’s Fox-based production company: Vulture can report exclusively that at the top of the list is Natalie Portman. (She recently detached herself from the adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies at Lionsgate Films out of concern that she was now too old to play the part of Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet. Portman turns 30 next June; Bennet is only 20 in both Austen and Grahame-Smith’s versions of Pride.) Right behind Portman is the already-reported Noomi Rapace, star of the Swedish The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Don’t take Scott’s recent interview with The Independent — in which he claims that the Alien prequel would be “really tough, really nasty” — to mean this is automatically going to be an R picture: We’re told another reason Fox execs are pleased with Lindelof’s re-write of original screenwriter Jon Spaihts’ script is that it's still aimed at a more accessible PG-13 rating. "The thinking," explains one insider, "is that if the original Alien were released today, minus the F-bombs, you could still get a PG-13. Alien is a very Jaws-ian movie: There’s no sex, and while there’s lots of violence, most of it is off-camera. Maybe you’d have to cut away from certain scenes two seconds earlier, but it could be done."

The prequel still lacks a proper name. Untitled Alien Prequel hardly comes trippingly off the tongue, but while several titles are being bandied about, none have unanimous support of Fox and Scott.

It’s not in any way a reboot of Alien or the Aliens franchise; it’s really meant to be viewed as Scott’s second Alien movie. What's more, no Predator creatures appear anywhere within the film. Despite Fox’s efforts to mate the two sci-fi icons (sci-ficons?), Scott’s camp sees the two franchises as hailing from distinct genres that will not co-mingle, synergy be damned. “The later Aliens movies were action movies, but the original Alien was a horror-suspense film," explains one spy, "This returns the franchise to its roots."

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Happytime Murders Brought To You By Jim Henson Company

“Happytime Murders" Finds A Home

Happytime Murders,” a comedy-thriller written by Todd Berger and to be directed by Brian Henson, son of Jim Henson, has landed at Lionsgate.

The project has been in development at the Jim Henson Co. since October 2008, when it picked up Berger’s script as a spec. Lionsgate’s acquisition gives the risky project — a dark and adult story featuring puppets — a real shot at getting made, with insiders talking of a possible January start, depending on how soon a star can be found for the lead.

Happytime” takes place in a world where humans and puppets co-exist, with the puppets viewed as second-class citizens. When the puppet cast of an ’80s children’s TV show called “The Happytime Gang” begins to get murdered one by one, a disgraced LAPD detective-turned-private eye puppet — with a drinking problem, no less — takes on the case with his former human partner. Think “Avenue Q” meets “L.A. Confidential.”

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Eddie Murphy Set To Star In "Tower Heist"

Finally An Adult Film For Eddie Murphy

Finally Eddie Murphy is getting back into the game. My man has been making kids movies for the last couple of years. Its' going to be good seeing him in an adult film. I was really hoping to bring you some news on him making a return with a Beverly Hills Cop 4 film, but looks like this is the best I got for now.

Eddie Murphy is set to join Ben Stiller and Alan Alda in Tower Heist, the Brett Ratner-directed caper film for Universal Pictures. Imagine's Brian Grazer is producing, and Murphy will join Karen Kehela Sherwood and Kim Roth as executive producers. Jeff Nathanson, Ratner's accomplice in the Rush Hour films, is rewriting the latest version by Ted Griffin. Murphy has been mentioned as a possible participant going back to the film's original configuration as an African American version of Ocean's Eleven, when it was called Trump Heist.

Trump was dropped as was that casting equation, and now, the storyline deals with operations and maintenance workers in a luxury Manhattan high-rise whose pension funds were looted by a Bernie Madoff-like Wall Street crook, who is living high style in a penthouse apartment, under house arrest. Led by an overworked building manager (Stiller), the workers use their knowledge of the inner workings of the building to rip him off.

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'Napoleon Dynamite' Cartoon Series On It's Way

 'Napoleon Dynamite' Cartoon Series On It's Way

Fox has picked up two animated series eyed for next season, Napoleon Dynamite, an adaptation of the hit 2004 movie, and Allen Gregory, co-written and executive produced by Jonah Hill. Both series are produced by 20th Century Fox TV; Allen Gregory is a co-production with studio-based Chernin Entertainment. The order to Napoleon Dynamite is for 6 episodes, while Allen Gregory has been picked up for 7 episodes. Both projects originated as presentations.

The original cast of Napoleon Dynamite led by Jon Heder is back to voice the animated series, which follows the misadventures of an awkward high school teenager and his quirky friends as they struggle to navigate life in rural Idaho. The film's writers Jared Hess, who also directed it, and Jerusha Hess wrote the adaptation with The Simpsons veteran Mike Scully. All 3 are executive producing.

Allen Gregory's title character is the world’s most celebrated seven-year-old who embarks on the greatest challenge of his life: attending elementary school with regular kids. Hill co-wrote the script with Yes Man co-writers Andrew Mogel and Jarrad Paul. The three are executive producing with Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope.

The sizes of the orders to Napoleon Dynamite (6 eps) and Allen Gregory (7 eps) are unusual as they represent one regular 13-episode order split in 2. I hear the shows' producers are not particularly thrilled because animated series with such short orders are more difficult to staff and more expensive to make. Also, in success, the small pickups will lead to a pretty large production gap between the initial and the back orders. Fox has a new animated series on deck for midseason, Bob's Burgers.

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Tom Hardy Cast As Lead In Batman 3

What Role Will Tom Hardy Play In Batman 3?

While Tom Hardy's plan to play Mad Max in the George Miller-directed Mad Max: Fury Road has hit another delay, the fast-rising Hardy's in the mix for another big film at Warner Bros. I'm told that Hardy has been set by his Inception director Chris Nolan for a lead role in the next Batman film at Warner Bros. Insiders are keeping the role secret and won't even say if he's up for a villain role, but that seems a reasonable assumption. Hardy has followed up Inception with lead roles in the Tomas Alfredson-directed adaptation of the John Le Carre novel Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, and he's currently starring with Chris Pine and Reese Witherspoon in the McG-directed Fox comedy This Means War.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune On It's Way To The Big Screen

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune On It's Way To The Big Screen

David O. Russell has closed a deal to write and direct "Uncharted: Drake's Fortune," an adaptation of the 2007 PlayStation 3 video game, for Columbia Pictures.

Back in May, Russell first flirted with the project, but then moved on to develop a big-screen adaptation of "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies."

But his quest to direct the PS3 game adaptation pulled him back in, leaving "Zombies," for the moment, undead.

Despite making his somewhat combative reputation with left-of-center indie films such as "Spanking the Monkey," "Flirting With Disaster" and "I Heart Huckabees," Russell appears to be making a serious move into bigger-budget mainstream movies. His next film, the boxing drama "The Fighter" from Paramount, comes out December.

In the mold of epic adventure films like "Tomb Raider" and "Indiana Jones," the "Uncharted" game's storyline follows a descendant of Sir Francis Drake, Nathan Drake, as he searches for the treasure of El Dorado on a desert island with a friend and a female journalist.

The game itself was developed by Naughty Dog and is one of Sony Computer Entertainment's best-selling games for the PS3. It sold one million copies in the first 10 weeks of its release at the end of 2007 and went on to sell 2.6 million copies and spawn an even more successful sequel, "Uncharted 2: Among Thieves."

"Sahara" writers Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer wrote earlier versions of the screenplay.

Avi Arad, Charles Roven and Alex Gartner are producing the film, which was announced by Columbia presidents Doug Belgrad and Matt Tolmach, the latter of whom said, "David is a tremendous choice to take on this film. He's equally adept at combining all the classic elements involved in this property: great character development, strong comedy and amazing action sequences. He has a brilliant vision for this material and we know he will bring his original, unique voice to this adaptation."

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Carrie Fisher Used Coke On The Set Of Empire Strikes Back

Carrie Fisher Used Coke On Hoth

"Star Wars" actress Carrie Fisher admitted Monday to taking cocaine on the set of "The Empire Strikes Back", saying she didn't even like the drug but was intent on getting high.

The Princess Leia actress, now 53, said her life had been defined by addiction, with stints in psychiatric hospitals and rehab clinics -- even the emergency room with an overdose.

"We (who is we?) did cocaine on the set of 'Empire', in the ice planet," Fisher told Australian newswire AAP, referring to the setting of the second film in the original "Star Wars" trilogy.

"I didn't even like coke that much, it was just a case of getting on whatever train I needed to take to get high," she said while visiting Sydney for her "Wishful Drinking" stand-up comedy show.

Now a writer and comedienne, Fisher's turn as Princess Leia in the 1977-1983 "Star Wars" saga was by far her most famous role.

"The Blues Brothers" co-star John Belushi warned her that she had a problem prior to his own death from a drug overdose in 1982, and Fisher said she ultimately came to realise how dangerous her habits were.

"Slowly I realised I was doing a bit more drugs than other people and losing my choice in the matter," she said. "If I'd been addicted to booze I'd be dead now, because you just go out and get it."

Fisher was born into Hollywood -- her mother, musical starlet Debbie Reynolds, was married to veteran crooner Eddie Fisher. Fisher, who died last month, left the family for Elizabeth Taylor when Carrie was just two.

The former star said she did not blame her broken family or the pressures of celebrity for her addictions.

"It's always been my responsibility," she said. "If it was Hollywood (to blame), then we'd all be dope addicts."

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SyFy's New Show "Hollywood Treasure"

 What Next Hollywood Treasure Is Going To Be Found?

"Hollywood Treasure," Syfy's new reality series featuring Joe Maddalena, will premiere Wednesday, October 27 with two back-to-back half-hour episodes at 10:00pm and 10:30pm.

"Hollywood Treasure" is a weekly documentary-reality series that delves into the intricate world of collecting showbiz and pop culture memorabilia, including science fiction and fantasy props and costumes. The series follows Joe Maddalena, owner of Profiles in History and the world's largest auctioneer of original movie, television and pop culture collectibles.

HOLLYWOOD TREASURE
Watch the trailer after the Jump..



Two back-to-back half hour episodes
Wednesdays (10:00 - 10:30 p.m. and 10:30 - 11:00 p.m. ET/PT) on Syfy
Starting October 27

Each episode follows Joe and his crew as they travel the globe searching for the most compelling, rare, and sought-after Hollywood memorabilia. Sometimes combing through basements and attics to uncover lost Hollywood treasure, and other times meeting with celebrities to view their personal keepsakes, Joe tracks leads and does whatever it takes to seal the deal for a piece of Hollywood history. From the Wicked Witch of the West hat to the vintage Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car to the Mary Poppins carpet bag, Maddalena will stop at nothing to hunt down some of Hollywood's most legendary and mythical items. Episodes culminate with Joe presiding over a world-class auction, where all of the collectibles are sold to fans and collectors from around the world.
On November 6 at the Globe Theatre at Universal Studios, he'll be holding another auction to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Back to the Future. This auction will be open to the public, and people are also able to make bids on items online at  "http://www.icollector.com/"  All proceeds from the auction will go to benefit Michael J. Fox's foundation.

In addition, the auction will feature general memorabilia items for bid, including:

· The original Superman comics No. 1 1939 valued at $100,000 -$200,000;
· A screen used Golden Ticket from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory valued at $8,000 - $12,000;
· Michael Jackson's stage-worn Victory Tour sunglasses, which he gave to Corey Feldman as a gift, valued at $10,000 - $15,000.

Joe is also hunting down the lost Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz, which were stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, MN in 2005. He's putting up a $10,000 reward to anyone who can help his hunt. He is working with an investigator and has some solid leads which he can share with you.

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Eric Stoltz Replaced In Back To The Future

Who Was the Original Marty McFly?

Everyone knows the classic 1985 film "Back to the Future" featured a boyish Michael J. Fox in a winning performance as Marty McFly.

But Fox was not the original McFly. In fact, Eric Stoltz was five weeks into shooting the famed McFly role when director and co-writer Robert Zemeckis made a drastic production decision -- changing his lead actor.

Details of the shocking Hollywood switch and never-before-seen footage of Stoltz as McFly are part of the extras package for the "Back to the Future 25th Anniversary Trilogy" to be released on Blu-Ray on Oct. 26.

Watch the video after the Jump..



Zemeckis says the casting change was "this horrific decision; it was heartbreaking for everybody."

Executive producer Steven Spielberg said that Zemeckis consulted him before pursuing the casting change.

"(Zemeckis) showed me the first five weeks of shooting that he had put together," Spielberg said. " And he said, 'I just don't think we're getting the laughs I was hoping we would get.' "

Spielberg said he realized his director "was absolutely correct."

The rest is pop-culture history. Zemeckis was able to "convince the studio to let me reshoot five weeks of work," and Michael J. Fox was cast in a career-defining role. "Back to the Future," released on Oct. 26, 1985, would go on to gross $381 million worldwide and lead to two further sequels.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Anthony Bourdain "Get Jiro" Comic Book

Anthony Bourdain To Cook Us "Get Jiro" Comic Book

Star of the Travel Channel show "No Reservations," Anthony Bourdain broke out some hard-hitting writing when he released his memoir "Kitchen Confidential" — but he's decided to try his hand at creating a graphic novel as well. Bourdain let his project slip in an interview earlier this year, but it's official now, and it won't be about gyros.

He'll be aided by novelist Joel Rose of "Kill Kill Faster Faster" and artist Langdon Foss, whose work has appeared in "Heavy Metal." Together, they're synthesizing a "futuristic action thriller" called "Get Jiro!" which was just announced at New York Comic Con.

The genre choice may surprise Bourdain's followers, but it's said to be focusing on American obsessions with exotic cuisine in manic, violent and extreme ways. Such subject matter is well within the realm of topics Bourdain has addressed before in his career, though. The title character is a sushi chef who earns the respect and pursuit of some established master chefs.

The triumvirate creative team should bring an interesting combination of perspectives to the graphic novel, maybe even a recipe or two; who knows? If they succeed, they may crack open a whole new genre in food-based futuristic action/thriller comics. After all, it's about time that someone did, right?

We don't have a release date for the project yet, but you can bet it's going to take its food very, very seriously.

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WELCOME TO THE RILEYS New Poster And Images

A Few Edgy Kristen Stewart Images

Want to thank the good people over at Samuel Goldwyn Films and Destination Films,for sending us these new poster and images from the upcoming film WELCOME TO THE RILEYS. The film stars Kristen Stewart, James Gandolfini, and Academy Award nominee Melissa Leo. The film hits theaters in
New York, Los Angeles, and Boston on Friday, October 29, 2010.

To watch the trailer and see more images after the Jump..



James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo star as a married couple whose relationship has deteriorated due to a family tragedy years earlier. In what is widely considered her most dramatic and mature role yet, Kristen Stewart plays Mallory, a teenage runaway who transforms the couple's relationship after their lives intersect. WELCOME TO THE RILEYS is helmed by acclaimed film and music video director Jake Scott (including videos for R.E.M., Radiohead, U2, Oasis, The Strokes and many more).

< param name="allowFullScreen" value="true">

SYNOPSIS:

WELCOME TO THE RILEYS is a powerful drama about finding hope in the most
unusual of places. Once a happily married and loving couple, Doug and Lois
Riley (James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo) have grown apart since losing their
teenage daughter eight years prior. Leaving his agoraphobic wife behind to
go on a business trip to New Orleans, Doug meets a 17-year-old runaway
(Kristen Stewart) and the two form a platonic bond. For Lois and Doug, what
initially appears to be the final straw that will derail their relationship,
turns out to be the inspiration they need to renew their marriage

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Social Network Still #1 At The Box Office

Social Network Still #1 At The Box Office

The enormous drawing power of Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel and a crapping baby couldn’t best the seething cauldron of ambition and computer programming at the core of The Social Network, as David Fincher’s latest edged out a win to top the US box office charts for a second week in a row with $15.5 million across the weekend.

The Duhamel/Heigl comedy Life as We Know It still managed to survive some very mixed reviews to take second place, scoring $14.6 million. That meant Disney’s true-life horse drama Secretariat had to make do with third place, though we doubt it’ll be off to the glue factory just yet, with a decent if unspectacular $12.6 million.

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole saw its wings clipped very slightly, slipping down from second to fourth, but it still added $7 million to its running total, which now stands at $39.4 million. The top five was rounded out by the week’s worst reviewed film, as Wes Craven’s My Soul to Take stumbled in bloodied and took just $6.9 million. It would seem that Soul sees Craven back on form. Sadly, that form is Cursed. Here’s hoping he’s having better luck making Scream 4

The Town dropped down to sixth place, nabbing $6.3 million, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps saw its investment return $4.6 million in seventh, Easy A took in $4.2 million and Case 39 had another lacklustre weekend, earning just $2.6 million in ninth. And at 10th, we find You Again, with Disney’s comedy making $2.4 million.

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Rhys Ifans To Play Villain In Upcoming Spider-Man Reboot

Which Villain Will He Play?

Rhys Ifans has been cast as the villain in the upcoming Spider-Man reboot. The studio has not announced which villain he will be playing but I sure hope it will be the Lizard. Marc Webb is set to direct, Andrew Garfield to play Spider-Man and Emma Stone to play his first love Gwen Stacy. There have also been rumors that Spidey will battle Venom.Who would you like to see?

Read the press release after the Jump..

CULVER CITY, Calif., October 11, 2010 – Rhys Ifans will play the villain, opposite Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, in the next installment of Spider-Man from Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios, it was announced today by Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment and Matt Tolmach, president of Columbia Pictures. The film, to be directed by Marc Webb from a screenplay by James Vanderbilt and produced by Avi Arad and Laura Ziskin, will begin production in December and will be released in theaters nationwide in 3D on July 3, 2012.

Commenting on the announcement, Tolmach said, “We have been very fortunate to attract some of the best actors working today to play the villains in the Spider-Man movies, and it is exciting to see that trend continue with Rhys Ifans. After seeing his performance in our upcoming film Anonymous, we’re in awe of his talent and think he’s the perfect choice to take on this role.”

The filmmakers prefer to not reveal which character Ifans will be playing in the forthcoming film.

Webb added, “What sets the Spider-Man villains apart is the complexity of their relationships with Peter Parker. Rhys' incredible ability to embody both warmth and rage makes him the ideal choice for this character."

Spider-Man is being overseen at the studio by Tolmach and Rachel O'Connor. Ifans is represented by United Talent Agency, Brillstein Entertainment Partners, and Independent Talent Group.

RHYS IFANS’ breakout performance came in 1999 in Roger Michell’s Notting Hill, opposite Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, for which he received a BAFTA Film Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role. Prior to that, Ifans starred in Heart, Twin Town, August, and Dancing at Lughnasa, and since then, he has appeared in more than 20 films, including Vanity Fair; Rancid Aluminium, Little Nicky; The Replacements; Hannibal Rising, Enduring Love; Human Nature; Formula 51; Hotel; The Shipping News; Once Upon A Time in the Midlands, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Pirate Radio; Greenberg; and Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang. He will next appear in Mr. Nice, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Passion Play, and Columbia Pictures’ Anonymous, for director Roland Emmerich.

On television, he played the role of Peter Cook in Terry Johnson’s “Not Only But Always,” for which he won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actor. He also appeared in “A Number.” In the theatre, Ifans has appeared in “Accidental Death of an Anarchist,” “Bad Finger,” “Volpone,” “Under Milk Wood,” “Beautiful Thing,” “Thyesters,” and, most recently, Patrick Marber's adaptation of “Don Juan in Soho” at the Donmar Warehouse.

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