October 23, 2016
        Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar                "The Birth of a Nation" looks to survive controversy and contend for awards                "The Girl on the Train" hopes to transport Emily Blunt to the Oscar race        

“Spider Man” keeps on changing tactics

By Roger Friedman

HollywoodNews.com: “Spider Man: Turn off the Dark” is now using understudies instead of its leads for regular performances. Two sources tell me that an announcement was made to the cast and crew that Reeve Carney, who plays Peter Parker, Jennifer Damiano (Mary Jane), and Patrick Page (Green Goblin) are all out of the main performances for the next two weeks. The reason is they’re rehearsing new material on dawn til dusk.

The good news might be that audiences will see Matthew James Thomas as Peter Parker. He’s very good. What’s unclear is how this affects the character of Arachne, played by T.V. Carpio. She’s been out because of an injury. Her understudy, America Olivo, has been playing Arachne. Who is rehearsing Arachne’s new material is a big question. But that role, sources tell me, is being cut way down anyway.

“The whole second act has been rewritten,” says a source. “And there are new songs.” The show closes down after the April 17th performance, for three and a half weeks. The whole first week, I’m told, is just to make technical changes without the actors.

Meantime, the “Spider Man” producers still have no signed deal with creator Julie Taymor. Sources say that legally she may still have power to veto the new work that’s being done.

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About Roger Friedman

Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411.com column in April after 10 years with Fox News where he helped create Foxnews.com. Friedman’s prior experience on the Internet is with MSN’s Cinemania column. Friedman also wrote the Intelligencer column as a contributing editor at "New York Magazine," where he covered the O.J. Simpson criminal trial. In addition, Friedman has been involved in book publishing and filmmaking (Only the Strong Survive). For more about Roger go to Showbiz411.com

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