Season's Greetings punters, entertainment news junkies, one and all. Today we have a look at the latest from Aussiewood and Hollywood powerhouses James Bond, with a Bondi Beach twist, Marvel Entertainment (go Wolverine)..we love you Hugh, Spider-Man, Underbelly and more.. Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com and Gambling911 with your celebrity and entertainment news fix, just in time for the New Year. Ho Ho Ho!...
MGM Emerging from Bankruptcy; Wants To Produce James Bond 23...
MGM Studios is emerging from bankruptcy with a $500 million line of credit, and its first Xmas wish is to produce James Bond #23, rumoured to be directed by Sam Mendes and starring Daniel Craig (again), despite many leaks saying that means it will be a gay Bond (for real), if you follow.
The James Bond franchise has long been a fav of casino and gambling lovers, with Casino Royale being the top pick for most punters.
MGM Studios has been going through the wars as of late, with the filing of bankruptcy hanging around their neck. Their massive financial troubles led to the delay of not only The Hobbit, directed by New Zealander Peter Jackson, but also James Bond 23 starring the Daniel Craig.
The studio just underwent a giant restructuring and was able to acquire $500 million worth of credit from financial powerhouse JP Morgan, a good lot of which will likely be spent on the sequel to Quantum of Solace. MGM is expected to partner with Sony for co-financing, as it has done a few times previously with Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.
Bond fans, did you know that 2012 marks the fiftieth anniversary of Dr. No (1962), the very first James Bond movie ever, which makes it bloody good timing to release a new Bond movie. The studio will be attempting to secure and shore up its cast, director, and screenplay for the new movie in very short order.
The studio had previously announced that Peter Morgan, and frequent Bond collaborators Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, would be penning a draft of Bond 23. Purvis and Wade have worked on every James Bond flick since The World Is Not Enough, and that includes Die Another Day, Casino Royale, and Quantum of Solace - the last two of which were rewritten, to some extent, by Paul Haggis.
Rumors have been flying for months have indicated that Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Revolutionary Road) is leading the pack to direct the new movie. Now, Mendes is not a filmmaker known for his action style skills. He did however direct Road to Perdition, co-starring none other than Daniel Craig.
As of press, James Bond will not be film in 3D. Oh, did we mention Media Man is the agent and manager for John Seru who played bad guy Gabor in Bond's 'The World Is Not Enough'. In Nine's 'Underbelly' Seru placed Kiwi Steve in the following episodes: Alpha and Omega, The Good Lieutenant, Hurt on Duty (2010), Saving Face and Women in Uniform.
MGM is still technically under bankruptcy protection for a couple more months.
Marvel Entertainment's The Avengers: New Mexico Connection...
Marvel Entertainment's biggest film project of all time is is now New Mexico’s biggest film production ever as 'The Avengers' confirms its 2011 shooting locations.
Thor not only hits off the summer movie season of 2011, but it sets up events that will culminate in the Marvel superhero team-up epic, The Avengers, the following year. With story elements of Thor taking place in New Mexico, and the production shooting in Santa Fe and Galisteo, it’s of little surprise to see Marvel Studios returning once again for their biggest project ever.
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and Marvel Studios officially announced the agreement making The Avengers the single largest film production in the state’s history. The current schedule has Joss Whedon’s The Avengers shooting in New Mexico between April and September of next year, using both Albuquerque Studios and of course, the beautiful and vast surrounding locations that so many other major Hollywood flicks have used.
The Avengers also is set to shoot action in Michigan and New York but production will primarily take place in New Mexico’s largest city Albuquerque.
Governor Richardson talks to local economic benefits to New Mexico: "In addition to being our biggest production to date, The Avengers will be the most technologically advanced and will provide cutting-edge training opportunities for our crew… I’m announcing this as a Christmas present of sorts to the people of New Mexico. This is a perfect example of the incredible job creation, economic impact and global visibility this industry has brought our state over the past eight years, and of the need to keep it moving forward."
So Marvel heroes fans, be looking out for Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Clark Gregg and Samuel L. Jackson.
Thor opens May 5, 2011; The First Avenger: Captain America hits July 22, 2011 and The Avengers is scheduled to debut May 4, 2012.
Spider-Man: Broadway No Match For Movie; Spidy Fans Disappointed; Would Rather Play Spider-Man Games And Play Dress Up...
The new and much talked about Spider-Man musical has another problem stuck in its web. Sick to death of waiting for the problematic Broadway show to officially open, critics for two mainstream news companies released early and negative reviews of the $65 million musical, which won't officially open until February 7.
Writing for Bloomberg News, the influential financial news wire service, veteran critic John Simon slammed the show as "an unfocused hodge-podge of story-telling, myth-making and spectacle that comes up short in every department. A few good songs would help, in which department the show is sorely lacking," Simon wrote in the review late Sunday night. Like most rock stars, Bono and The Edge haven’t a clue about writing for the theatre."
The U2 legends wrote the score for the show, which was directed by Lion King helmer Julie Taymor.
Both Simon and Newsday's Linda Winer defended their premature reviews on the grounds that the show was charging full ticket prices in some cases more than $200 a seat for the performances, and that the opening date had been pushed back twice.
Winer called the show's infamous high-flying acrobatics "exciting and scary, in a circus way" but dismissed the second act as "weak."
Simon was also impressed with the flying scenes: "An hour of anticipation for about 90 seconds of exhilaration," he wrote.
Would you believe four actors have been injured during the show's rehearsals, including a horrible injury to lead aerialist Chris Tierney last week.
Critics almost never publish their reviews of productions before the official opening night. Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark has pushed back its debut twice.
The New York Times said in a posting to its arts blog that it would not review the show until the official opening.
Media Man loves Marvel Entertainment, Spider-Man and U2, but this project does not sound good. Sorry guys.
Underbelly TV Movie Legal Problems...
Network Nine may be forced to shelve forever one of its Underbelly telemovies because of legal action in the state of New South Wales.
Tell Them Lucifer Was Here, the first of 3vtelemovies being made under the Underbelly Files title, tells the story of the 1998 murders of Victoria cops Rod Miller and Gary Silk.
After a probing investigation by the Lorimer Task Force, Bandali Debs and Jason Roberts were found guilty of the double murder in 2003. Debs was sentenced to life in prison, Roberts to 35 years.
The subject seemed relatively safe... for true crime. Reader may recall the first Underbelly could not be screened in Victoria.
However, anything that identifies "Debs" could be a bit no go zone in NSW.
On September 24, the Victorian Government Solicitor applied to the Melbourne Magistrates Court to have Debs transferred to a NSW prison for questioning over the death of a Sydney prostitute 15 years ago.
Debs's lawyer, Michael De Young, did not oppose the application, saying his client maintained his innocence and was confident of being acquitted and returned to Victoria.
New South Wales Police have been trying for 2 years to question Debs...also was convicted in 2007 of the 1997 murder of 18-year-old sex worker Kristy Harty...and reckon they have enough evidence to link him to the killing.
The transfer order was granted by the court, but Debs had 14 days to appeal the decision.
Channel Nine has 3 options: rush the Silk-Miller telemovie out before NSW police have laid any charges that might arise from the interview; release the telemovie in all states bar NSW if charges are laid; or hold off for a national release until any case has been heard.
Nine has has yet to comment on this matter.
Underbelly #4 To Hit Aussie TV...
A 4th Underbelly series to screen in 2011 promises to showcase the birth of organised crime in Australia.
Based in Sydney in the roaring 1920s, Underbelly Razor tells the story of the bloody battle between "vice queens" Tilly Devine and her rival Kate Leigh.
The Nine Network are calling it their most "ambitious and daring" Underbelly series yet.
It will be joined by 3 Underbelly telemovies - Tell Them Lucifer was Here, Infiltration and The Man Who Got Away...which were announced earlier in the year.
Aussie Poker Celeb King Shane Warnie Tag Team With Wolverine Hugh Jackman In Cricket Nets; Jackman Hit In Balls (Almost) In Lead Up To Boxing Day Ashes Test...
The tag team led the celebrity contingent to the Melbourne Cricket Group for the prestigious Boxing Day Test. 'Our Hugh' got hit in the balls by a Warnie spinner, so it seemed, but he had a cup on, perhaps taking safeguards, after getting hit in the eye with a foreign object at his Oprah Winfrey grand entrance via way of flying fox a couple of weeks ago. Wolverine Jackman joined other famous mugs in the crowd, including Opposition Leader Tony 'The Bruiser' Abbott and veteran English talk show king Sir Michael Parkinson aka 'Parkie'. Premier Ted Baillieu and wife Robyn also tagged along, as did Eddie "Everywhere" McGuire, Cathy Freeman and Molly Meldrum. In a smart and rather cunning move, just outside the MCG sports stars and entertainment biz celebs tag teamed a game of cricket which raised money for the McGrath Foundation. The foundation ambassador Lee Furlong joined ex-cricketers Justin Langer and Michael Slater, Glen Moriarty, Kris Smith and Guy Sebastian at the friendly game. Earlier, Shane Warne made one of his very first public appearances since the "Hurley-burley", acting as host for his fav Shane Warne Foundation's annual Boxing Day breakfast at Crown. Warne mate, James Packer, attended, along with wife Erica in a show of support. Singer Leo Sayer also entertained to an appreciative crowd that included Glenn Robbins, Mark Taylor, Ian Healy, Aaron Hamill and Bill Brownless. A great day was had by all, as best we can tell.
Aussie Poker Celeb Shane Warne And UK Sort Liz Hurley: Come Down Under And Come In Spinner?...
Is Liz Hurley coming to Australia? Getting spotted at Heathrow Airport sent press into a frenzy and created munch speculation she will keep her date with Warnie. Friends of Hurley told the Pommie press she had dumped the cricket spin legend after learning he had sent more than 100 sexy text messages to another woman behind her back. Warnie is known for his ability to sent sexy texts that can get the right response. Now it appears Liz may have reconsidered after attempts to stop an imminent divorce and rekindle her relationship with husband Arun Nayar reportedly failed. During her public flirtation with the spinner on Twitter, Hurley wrote that she was keen to attend the January 3 "Pink Test," which supports the Jane McGrath Foundation. Talk about a play on words "Pink Test", got to love her form. Liz also told Warnie she would "definitely" make an appearance on his Channel Nine chat show if she made it to Sydney. Sources close to the Aussie spinner have said the cricketer was devastated after being apparently dropped by Hurley, having previously confided his desire to marry her. Both Hurley and Warne announced on Twitter that they had split from their respective partners shortly after spending 2 delightful, fun filled nights together at a luxury London hotel earlier this month and being papped kissing outside a restaurant. Warne was last week caught in the outfield sending erotic texts, including, "I want to see you riding me" to middle-aged Melbourne mum Adele Angeleri. In an apparent attempt to win Hurley back after the messages were published in the British tabloids he logged back on to Twitter to pen "No matter what anyone says if you know in your heart… who cares what people think / say !!!" Hurley was snatched in the airport mess at Heathrow, where snowy conditions caused widespread cancellations from Saturday, leaving over 100,000 punters stranded, having their patience tested. A fellow traveler said the swimwear model and well loved celeb babe "looked nervous" as she attempted to blend in with the crowd, wearing large sunglasses and dressing down. "She'd dressed down and it was clear she wanted to be left alone," the witness told The Sun. "She looked like a woman with a lot on her mind." Liz’s office refused to comment on her travel plans. Whatever the case, we wish Liz (and Warnie) well on any of their upcoming travel plans.
Betting For Aussies On TV And Film Success: Not Yet...
Many Australia's remain pissed that they are not able to bet on financial outcomes of upcoming TV shows and motion pictures. Passionate Aussies has been reading reports filed by Media Man and Gambling911 on Box Office betting exchanges, but none of the action has come to Australia, so us Aussies can't be on it. We're not sure any Yankees of Canooks got to bet on outcomes either. Sly, Arnie and Wall Street - when you read this, give us an update please. We want to bet on movie and TV outcomes. PartyGaming and Virgin were rumoured to have some interest in the concept, but nothing has eventuated from our probe as yet. Oh, if you want to see the way Hollywood used to work, do yourself a favor and rent or buy 'The Last Mogul', which told the career story of the late Lew Wasserman. Oh, we heard you want a review, so here it is mates...
The Last Mogul: The Life And Times Of Lew Wasserman...
For the second half of the 20th century, Lew Wasserman was without question the most powerful money man in show business, even if most people had no idea who he was. Born in Cleveland, OH, in 1913, Wasserman started out booking music gigs for mob-controlled clubs, and quickly became an agent for Music Corporation of America, which became the most lucrative music agency in America. Funny that. As Wasserman rose through the ranks at MCA, he established such innovative business practices as "packaging" talent i.e: booking hot acts and artists only in a package deal with other artists who were not as talented, to put it politely, and took the company into managing acting talent in Hollywood, where he re invented the film industry forever by negotiating a ground-breaking deal for James Stewart on the film Winchester '73, which reduced the actor's up-front salary in favor of a cut of the movie's profits, earning the actor a mint in the process. Under Wasserman's lead at MCA, the company took over Universal Pictures, established the studio's television branch and made it the most important production outlet in the business), created the hugely successful Universal City studio tours, and expanded MCA's recording branch into one of the biggest record companies in the world. Wasserman was also politically well connected. Ronald Reagan was one of his early clients when MCA want Hollywood), and was reputed to have some handy connections to organized crime. Wasserman was a secretive fellow who did not give interviews or commit anything to writing if it could be avoided, but he knew nearly everyone in show business. The Last Mogul: The Life and Times of Lew Wasserman is a documentary that through interviews with his friends and business associates beautifully showcases his remarkable career, from his childhood in Ohio to his death in 2002. Yep, there's mob ties and such, but hey, that's show business.
Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? What films and celebs take your liking? As Shane Warne says, 'How good was that?!". Have you been naughty or nice? Did Santa give you what you had hoped for? What have you got planned for New Year's Eve? Tell us in the forum.
If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.
*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911
*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming and offer political commentary and analysis.