September 18, 2015
        “Inside Out”: Looking at potential Best Animated Feature Contenders                "Black Mass" could get Johnny Depp back in the Oscar game                J.J. Abrams and Denis Villeneuve: Ten potential first time writer/director nominees for Oscar in 2015                Roger Deakins offers up some of his very best cinematography in "Sicario"                "The Martian" launches itself as an awards hopeful at the Toronto Film Festival                "Steve Jobs": Oscar predictions for September                "Sleeping with Other People" is one of the most charming films of 2015                Sandra Bullock looks like a contender in the Trailer for "Our Brand is Crisis"                Sam Smith will sing the theme song for the upcoming 007 film "Spectre"                Richard Gere is an under the radar Best Actor contender for "Time Out of Mind"                Telluride and Venice launch festival debuts into the Oscar race                “The Hateful Eight”: Looking at potential Best Original Screenplay Contenders                David O. Russell and Ridley Scott: Which filmmaking contenders this year are most due for their first win?                Telluride Announces 2015 Lineup - Steve Jobs, Black Mass, Suffragette                “Sicario”: Ten Films to see in September        

James Franco Back to General Hospital? Is Oscar nominee James Franco really returning to “General Hospital” this fall for an extended stay? That was the word that went out yesterday after TV Guide reported it. But I’m told that Franco was a little surprised by the announcement. He’s in Detroit filming a $100 million movie, “Oz, the Great and Powerful,” directed by Sam Raimi and taking up most of his time for the next few months. “Oz” is billed as a prequel to the “Wizard of Oz,” with co-stars Zach Braff, Michelle Williams, and Mila Kunis.

Unless “GH” is coming to Detroit, it’s unlikely that Franco can be too involved in the soap opera beyond a cameo. And that’s not all on his plate. He’s got his Yale PhD program in New Haven, poetry classes in North Carolina, and two art shows in New York scheduled for August–one at PS1 and the other at a small gallery in Soho. Plus, his many indie directed films–like “Sal” and “The Broken Tower” (which Focus Features expressed interest in)–are in various stages of preparation.

Franco told a friend of the “General Hospital” news: “I don’t know what that is about. Maybe down the road.” Maybe he can go back and forth from Detroit to Los Angeles in a hot air balloon, just like Oz the Magnificent!

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About Roger Friedman

Roger Friedman began his column in April after 10 years with Fox News where he helped create 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

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