SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER NEWS 2008:
During filming, the cast of MAMMA MIA! stayed on the Greek island of
Skopelos at the Skopelos Village Hotel. I came across this handwritten
entry in their guestbook. BTW, the movie will be available on DVD and
hi-def Blu-ray on December 16th.
The adaptation of Dan Brown's novel, ANGELS & DEMONS, continues
the sleuthing adventures of Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks), a Harvard expert
in religious symbols who discovers a conspiracy to destroy the Vatican.
Its predecessor, "The Da Vinci Code", collected $758 million worldwide,
but even producer Brian Grazer says the movie moved a little slowly. In
adapting "Da Vinci", Grazer admits, "We got all the facts of the book
right, but the movie was a little long and stagey." In the new
film opening May 15, 2009, he says, "Langdon doesn't stop and give a
speech. When he speaks, he's in motion. This one is more dynamic. It's
an action movie." Set in and around the Vatican, the film will include
the murders of cardinals, who are mutilated with mysterious symbols.
Church officials banned the crew from shooting in key locales, sometimes
revoking permits that had been approved. Exteriors were shot quickly in
Rome, and elaborate sets were built to replicate the Vatican and other
churches at Los Angeles. Here are the first movie stills:
Paul Dergarabedian of box office
tracking frim Media by Numbers says "Angels" will need to impress
critics if it hopes to find success. "'Da Vinci' didn't get great
reviews, but had controversy to help the box office," he says. "Better
reviews could make up that difference." That doesn't mean the film won't
generate any controversy. We're living in a world that's much more
unstable," Grazer says. "Therefore, our energy is focused on belief.
This looks at what would happen when you have an act of terrorism
designed to undermine that belief." He admits, "This is the hardest
movie Ron (Howard) has ever shot. Not only because of being exiled from
the Vatican, but it's darker subject matter." Grazer describes their
earlier film, The Da Vinci Code, as "a puzzle movie. It wasn't a
contemporary movie. It was a little static. This one is more dynamic.
It's an action movie." [The photo with Stellan was taken from
the online teaser trailer]
for Stellan's guest appearance on HBO's ENTOURAGE for the next
three Sundays. He'll also star in GOD ON TRIAL airing on PBS
on Sunday, November 9th.
Hamptons International Film Festival, which runs October 15-19, has
announced it will screen ARN: THE KNIGHT TEMPLAR
in its "spotlight" category. The film is in Swedish, English and Arabic
with English subtitles. This international version at 130 minutes is a
compilation of the previous two feature films released in the Nordic
countries. The most expensive Scandinavian film production in history is
based on the "Arn" trilogy by author Jan Guillou. Those rumored to be in
attendance at the festival to represent the film are Joakim Nätterqvist,
Bibi Andersson and Stellan. The Swedish Film Institute will also be
presenting its knight epic this weekend at the Pusan Int'l Film Festival
in South Korea and then at the Dubai Film Festival in December. In early
November, the film will be marketed at the AFM (American Film Market) in
Santa Monica, CA. The annual event attracts participants from over 70
countries who converge to buy and sell distribution rights for completed
films or to gain financing for projects in various stages of production.!
has just announced a new series this fall called "Masterpiece
Contemporary" and one of its first shows will be
GOD ON TRIAL, which will air on
November 9. Earlier this month the BBC presented the powerful drama
described as "controversial, thought provoking and engrossing, though it
will leave you with more questions than answers." The Scotsman
wrote, "What it most resembles is a stage play, a dramatic piece full of
impassioned speeches, with an intelligent script and a strong
international cast. To mention only a few of the excellent performances,
there's Stellan Skarsgård and Dominic Cooper, a million miles away from
their roles in 'Mamma Mia!'". The Guardian thought it might
actually be too intelligent for television viewers - "The performances
are a little too fine - this was look-at-me, theatrical acting by
actors, with the prerequisite long pauses. Fine from the circle, even
the stalls, possibly a bit too much through a television camera." The
Daily Telegraph called it "demanding but ultimately brilliant" while
the Times claimed "the performances were so strong, it felt
a privilege to watch the actors." TV Scoop echoed the above
reviews - "A thoughtful subject, sensitively handled with excellent
performances from some of our finest actors. Adult drama for thinking
adults. Top stuff." The Independent gave it high marks for
its success "given the hazards of such an enterprise with its multiple
risks of exploitation and false sentiment."
took his fiancée Megan to his son
Alexander's "True Blood" HBO premiere on September 4th. It was
held at the ArcLight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. The evening began with
a screening of two hour-long episodes of the Southern Gothic series.
Nearly 1,200 guests ascended to the roof party, where waiters met them
with jars of Tru Blood cocktails (rum, cranberry juice, and
pineapple juice), named after the synthetic blood consumed by the show’s
vampires. Tables were topped with wooden birds, red Mardi Gras-style
beads and cemetery lanterns holding pillar candles, embellished with
tarantula magnets. Guests could either dance or munch on a bayou buffet
of ribs, sausage, cornbread pudding, cole slaw, and biscuits.
Sounds like a fun night! The above photo shows Alex in the role of Eric,
a thousand-year-old vampire. This month the young Swede enjoyed the
flashing lights of cameras at several NYC events, which included the
Hearts On Fire Architectural Diamonds Collection event at Gramercy Park
Hotel, the Rock N Roll Never Looked So Beautiful party at Rebel, and the
Rock & Republic Spring 2009 fashion show at Bryant Park.
a collection of some nice photos of Stellan taken in June for a "Mamma
Mia" interview in Athens.