By Tony Rizzo
Despite the good reviews Chris Pine has received for “Unstoppable” and his recent stage performance in “Farragut North” at The Geffin Theatre in L.A., it appears he has lost the screen role to Ryan Gosling. The film version of “Farragut North,” now called “The Ides of March,” will star and be directed by George Clooney.
It’s no secret that George is one of the nicest guys around. I can attest to that since I got to know him during the days when he was one of the stars of “The Facts of Life” and I did a photo session with him in and around his modest little apartment in Hollywood. Now he’s a superstar and owns a villa in Italy, but you can bet that if I ran into him, he would remember me and our shoot in his tiny apartment. Rounding out the cast will be Emmy winner Paul Giamatti and Oscar winner Marisa Tomei.
In case you couldn’t get enough of “Avatar,” brace yourself for the sequels. Yes, James Cameron says he will do an “Avatar” sequel and a “three-quel.” Now the bad news: “Avatar 2” won’t hit your local theaters until December 2014, and “Avatar 3” will not be released until December 2015. Cameron hasn’t said if they’ll be in 3D, but I’ll bet the farm they will be!
The next Batman movie will be “The Dark Knight Rises Again.” The “Dark Knight” grossed more than $1 billion, but it had the incredible performance of the late Heath Ledger, who posthumously won the Oscar for it. It will be a hard act to follow, and if it fails, the caped crusader may not fly again!
Talk about unusual casting: Jim Carrey and … Angela Lansbury? The film is “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” based on the children’s book about a high-powered businessman (Jim Carrey) who inherits six penguins and the challenge of taking care of them in New York City. Carrey had better watch his back, because Angela Lansbury is the best scene stealer in show business — she’s that good!
And wouldn’t you want to be on the set to watch the sheer magic when Meryl Streep, Sandra Bullock and Oprah Winfrey get together to star in an untitled screen comedy to be helmed by “Sex and The City” creator Michael Patrick King. The three stars will find themselves in the world of a home-shopping network, dealing with marketing, marriages and media. Looks like Oprah can bring to the table the business skills that made her one of the wealthiest women in the world. Meryl and Sandra may have Oscars and loads of awards, but Oprah could buy and sell them in an instant!
And finally, isn’t it a sad commentary that stars like Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe can make more money from Hollywood heaven than they ever did on earth? Michael earned an amazing $275 million this year, and Elvis brought home (thanks to his home, Graceland) $60 million. Well, you would know that due to inflation, it would have to be more than “Pennies From Heaven.”
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© 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.