button_box.gif (205 bytes)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.

button_box.gif (205 bytes)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]

button_box.gif (205 bytes)Look 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.


The 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.!


PBS 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."

Stellan 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.

button_box.gif (205 bytes)Here's a collection of some nice photos of Stellan taken in June for a "Mamma Mia" interview in Athens.