By Tony Rizzo
HOLLYWOOD — Glenn Close fans were thrilled that Andrew Lloyd Webber was talking about finally bringing his musical version of Billy Wilder’s film “Sunset Boulevard” to the silver screen, until they heard he wanted to shoot it as a stage production rather than make a full-scale motion picture of it. Sir Andrew feels, “For relatively little money (about $2.3 million), you’d get a film you can screen in a cinema for a couple of nights and then release as a DVD.” Close recently picked up a lifetime achievement award from the Palm Springs International Film Festival and is riding high toward an Oscar nomination for “Albert Nobbs.”
Meryl Streep will be running neck and neck with Close for the best actress Oscar for her stunning portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in “Iron Lady.” She will next be seen in “Great Hope Springs” with Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carell. It’s about a married couple of 30 years who go through intense marriage counseling to decide the fate of their marriage. “Designing Women’s” Jean Smart also is along for laughs. It’s set for a December release.
George Clooney, honored at The Palm Springs Fest for “The Ides of March” and “The Descendants,” will take on the Nazis in his next film, “Monument Men,” based on the book “The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History.” It follows a special force of U.S. and British museum directors, curators and art historians who risk their lives scouring Europe for art stolen by the Nazis. Clooney will write, direct and star in the film. Clooney also is in talks to play the late Steve Jobs in a biopic of the Apple creator. His competition for the role is his former “ER” co-star, Noah Wyle.
Brad Pitt, who also received an award at the Palm Springs Fest for “The Tree of Life” and “Moneyball,” has “Cogan’s Trade” with James Gandolfini, Richard Jenkins, Ray Liotta and Sam Shepard upcoming. Brad plays the point man for a hitman who investigates the heist of the mob’s assets. Brad also is a producer on this one.
In addition, at the end of this year, his epic sci-fiction film “World War Z” will be released. The post-apocalyptic horror film is based on the best-selling novel by Max Brooks, and Brad’s company, Plan B Entertainment, had to outbid Leonardo DiCaprio’s company, Appian Way, for the rights. It also stars “Lost” alumnus Matthew Fox and “Breaking Bad” multiple Emmy winner Bryan Cranston. The fight for the rights to “World War Z” between these two superstars could be likened to World War 3, Hollywood style!
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(c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.