April 22, 2014

Tag Archives: Steve Carell

Universal Studios Hollywood Premieres “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem”

“Despicable Me Minion Mayhem,” an original 3D Ultra-HD adventure, and “Super Silly Fun Land,” an immersive carnival setting – both based on Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s worldwide blockbuster “Despicable Me” franchise – celebrated their dynamic grand opening today at Universal Studios HollywoodSM. Among the many surprises inspired by the beloved films, guests will be “turned into” an army of iconic Minions and embark on a secret training mission.
“Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” officially opens to the public at Universal Studios Hollywood on Saturday, April 12, 2014.
The world premiere was attended by many Minions parading along the yellow carpet, who were joined by Chris Meledandri, founder and CEO of Illumination Entertainment; Ron Meyer, Vice Chairman of NBCUniversal; Tom Williams, Chairman & CEO of Universal Parks & Resorts; and Larry Kurzweil, President of Universal Studios Hollywood. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti made a special guest appearance to show support for the theme park’s newest addition, speaking to an enthusiastic crowd about Universal Studios Hollywood’s long-term impact on tourism in the region.
Also in attendance were “Despicable Me” series stars, including Miranda Cosgrove (Margo), Dana Gaier (Edith) and Elsie Fisher (Agnes), who were joined by versatile entertainer and host of EXTRA, Mario Lopez; the cast from NBC’s “Crisis,” including Stevie Lynn Jones, Lance Gross, Joshua Erenberg, Max Martini and Max Schneider; TGT recording artist, Tank; HBO’s “Band of Brothers” star Neal McDonough; Syfy’s “Face Off” host, McKenzie Westmore; and Ultimate Fighting Champion Chuck Lidell.
“The irreverent humor, endearing characters and storyline that have captivated movie-goers worldwide makes ‘Despicable Me’ a perfect match for our theme park,” said Kurzweil. “This imaginative new attraction will not only take guests on a hilarious and heartwarming adventure that captures the spirit of the film, but will also invite them to embrace their ‘inner Minion’ – that mischievous alter-ego that hides within all of us. As the film franchise continues to break new ground as a modern day classic, so too will ‘Despicable Me Minion Mayhem’ as yet another marquee Universal Studios Hollywood attraction.”
Voiced by the film’s original stars, the fully immersive motion-simulator ride features the lovable cast of characters who have resonated with audiences across the globe: (former?) super-villain Gru (Steve Carell), his adorable girls – Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier) and Agnes (Elsie Fisher) – and an army of unpredictable Minions, voiced by Pierre Coffin.
“‘Despicable Me Minion Mayhem’ and ‘Super Silly Fun Land’ bring our movies to [...]

Robin Wright: Who’s overdue for their first Academy Award nomination?

Much like I wrote about the actors, actresses, and filmmakers in Hollywood who are overdue to win an Oscar a few weeks ago, there are tons in the industry who are way overdue merely for their first nomination by the Academy. Some of them have gotten close in the past, while others have yet to really sniff that sort of acclaim. They’re both newcomers to the business and old hands, with plenty of in between as well. In my eyes, there are some really overdue ones in particular, and I figured I’d cite some of them here in this article. Narrowing it down to just ten is really difficult, but I wanted to mix and match between different members of the industry and attempt to include some who will have 2014 releases in contention, as you’ll see momentarily…
Below you’ll find ten members of the industry who have yet to receive an Oscar nomination, but who I think are closing in on one, perhaps even within the next year. Take a look:
10. Channing Tatum – I know his name raises some eyebrows, and up until recently I wasn’t his biggest fan, but he’s going to have a big Oscar contender in Foxcatcher this year, so while Steve Carell (who we’ll be talking about shortly) and Mark Ruffalo as more likely nominees, it’s hardly out of the question for Tatum to make it in. In fact, if he’s a standout, it’ll be one of those more youth skewing nominations that the Academy sometimes likes to sneak in.
9. Joseph Gordon-Levitt – I’ve long been saying that Gordon-Levitt is overdue for a nomination, despite his relative youth. His writing and directing debut Don Jon only showed off more of his talents, so while he couldn’t make it in for something like (500) Days of Summer, the next few years should most likely result in him joining the Academy as a nominee. I’d be shocked if he wasn’t nominated by the end of the decade.
8. Kevin Smith – While Smith is probably past the point of making things that will appeal to Oscar voters, that doesn’t make him any less overdue in my eyes. I’ll be talking about him in a Spotlight on the Stars piece soon, but his best chance was probably for the Chasing Amy screenplay. A few years ago he made a great film that nobody saw called Red State too, so [...]

An April Oscar Predictions Update

As promised last week, here I am again with some more up to date Oscar predictions. They’re not amazingly different from what I debuted with, but they do already show a change in focus, at least in terms of some of the second tier contenders. We’ve still got a long way to go and these new predictions will likely be completely wrong anyway, but I feel ever so slightly more confident in backing these sorts of horses as opposed to other ones. If nothing else, this sort of shows where I’m going from as the months pass and the race begins to evolve into something actually competitive…
The big difference that you’ll notice besides the changes that I made in each category is that I’m also listing predicted winners now. As such, you can see that films like Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar are the ones that I’ve pegged to be the big winners, with Unbroken dominating at this early point in the season. A lot can and likely will change, but if you’re looking for an early horse to bet on, that’s the one.
I’ve also included the tech categories as well, so you’re really getting a full look at how I see things going at this moment. It also shows more of the contenders in play that might not have a shot at Best Picture, but at the very least can hope for some sort of technical citation if nothing else. For example, the new Godzilla fits perfectly into that category.
Here now is how I see the Academy Awards shaping up at this early juncture:
BEST PICTURE
1. Unbroken
2. Foxcatcher
3. Men, Women, & Children
4. Gone Girl
5. Big Eyes
6. Rosewater
7. Boyhood
8. The Homesman
9. Interstellar
10. Fury
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Angelina Jolie- Unbroken
2. Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher
3. Jason Reitman – Men, Women, & Children
4. David Fincher – Gone Girl
5. Richard Linklater – Boyhood
BEST ACTOR
1. Jack O’Connell – Unbroken
2. Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
3. Joaquin Phoenix – Inherent Vice
4. Michael Keaton – Birdman
5. Ben Affleck – Gone Girl
BEST ACTRESS
1. Amy Adams – Big Eyes
2. Jessica Chastain – The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby
3. Michelle Williams – Suite française
4. Shailene Woodley – The Fault in Our Stars
5. Hilary Swank – The Homesman
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
1. Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
2. J.K. Simmons – Whiplash
3. Christoph Waltz – Big Eyes
4. Robert Duvall – The Judge
5. Takamasa Ishihara – Unbroken
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
1. Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
2. Jena Malone – [...]

Is Steve Carell on his way to becoming an Oscar favorite?

One of the 2014 Oscar contenders I’m most looking forward to is Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, which stars Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, and Channing Tatum. I’ll be getting more in depth into that one later on this year, but after the news this week that Carell has also added another project to his slate that screams “nominate me”, I’ve started to think about where his career could be headed. In short, could Carell be an Oscar nominee and/or a winner within the next year or two?
This new project that he’s involved in is called The Priority List and is a drama about a teacher dying of cancer attempting to go on the road and reconnect with his students while making the most of his last days. If there was ever a plot that seems tailor made for a Best Actor nomination, it’s this one. Of course, we don’t know who’s writing or directing or costarring yet, and that can make a big difference (I don’t even know if the book is any good, just that it’s a true life tale, and voters tend to dig on that), but it’s just the right sort of role for a comedic actor to tackle as they transition to a more dramatic stage of their career.
Carell has shown dramatic skill before, though usually in more dramedy style roles such as the supporting turn of his in Little Miss Sunshine. Even over the last few years, a lot of his choices have been more in the quietly funny or even more dramatic than humorous realm, almost as if he’s been prepping for this transition deliberately. Foxcatcher will be by far his darkest and most serious role to date, and that should set him up nicely for this upcoming drama The Priority List.

This year will have Carell almost certainly in contention with the aforementioned Foxcatcher, though we don’t know yet if it’ll be a Lead or Supporting performance. Regardless, The Priority List is a clear Lead and showcase piece, so imagine if, two years from now, we’re talking about how Carell won Best Supporting Actor and then the very next year won Best Actor? It’s not as laughable (no pun intended) a prospect as you might think. Matthew McConaughey after all is now being looked at as a perpetual threat to get nominated, and consider what Jim Carrey’s Oscar career could have been like if he’d been [...]

SAG Awards: Stars galore… Ben Affleck, Alec Baldwin, Bradley Cooper, Jeff Daniels, Viola Davis, Robert De Niro, Neil Patrick Harris, Anne Hathaway

Alan Arkin, Jessica Chastain, Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, John Goodman, Damian Lewis and Julianne Moore will be presenters at the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, Executive Producer Jeff Margolis announced today.
They join a growing roster of actors who will honor their colleagues at the SAG Awards that already includes Ben Affleck, Alec Baldwin, Bradley Cooper, Jeff Daniels, Viola Davis, Robert De Niro, Neil Patrick Harris, Anne Hathaway, SAG-AFTRA Co-President Ken Howard, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawrence, Julianna Margulies, Busy Philipps, SAG-AFTRA Co-President Roberta Reardon, Carl Reiner, Liev Schreiber, Taye Diggs, Justin Timberlake, Kerry Washington, Naomi Watts and Sigourney Weaver.
Oscar nominee Alan Arkin received his first SAG Award in 2007 as a member of the ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ cast and was nominated for his supporting role in the film. He is currently nominated for his supporting role in ‘Argo’ and as a member of the film’s cast. He’s got two comedies on tap: ‘Stand Up Guys,’opposite Al Pacino and Christopher Walken, and ‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,’ opposite Steve Carell and Jim Carrey.
Golden Globe recipient and Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain earned a SAG Award in 2012 along with her fellow cast members in ‘The Help’ and was nominated in the supporting actress category, as well. This year, she is nominated for her lead performance in Kathryn Bigelow’s ‘Zero Dark Thirty.’ She currently stars in the Guillermo Del Toro-produced ‘Mama’ and will soon be seen in the double feature ‘The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: His’ and ”The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Hers.’
Oscar nominee Daniel Day-Lewis was a Screen Actors Guild Award recipient in 2003 for his work in ‘Gangs of New York’ and in 2008 for his role in ‘There Will Be Blood.’ In 2010, he was nominated along with the cast of ‘Nine.’ He has received a total of five SAG Awards nominations, including two this year for his title role in Steven Spielberg?s ?Lincoln? and as a member of the film’s cast.
Oscar nominee Sally Field is an eight-time SAG Awards nominee and the recipient of one Actor® statuette, for her role as Nora Walker in ‘Brothers & Sisters.’ She’s nominated twice this year, for her performance as Mary Todd Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln’ and as a member of the film’s cast. Last summer, she was seen as Aunt May in the blockbuster ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ opposite Andrew Garfield.
Along with his co-stars, four-time SAG Awards nominee John Goodman [...]

‘The Way, Way Back’ acquired by Fox Searchlight

Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula announced today that the company has acquired rights to North America as well as most major territories to the heartfelt comedy THE WAY, WAY BACK. Directed and written by Academy Award® winners Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, THE WAY, WAY BACK stars Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Sam Rockwell, Allison Janney, Maya Rudolph, AnnaSophia Robb, Amanda Peet and Liam James.
The film was produced by Kevin J. Walsh of The Walsh Company and Tom Rice of Sycamore Pictures, and executive produced by Sycamore’s Ben Nearn and George Parra, OddLot Entertainment’s Gigi Pritzker, Faxon, and Rash. OddLot Entertainment and Sycamore Pictures co-financed the project.
The film is scheduled to be released in Summer, 2013.
“Nat and Jim have crafted a uproarious coming of age story and it is great to be reunited with them,” said Gilula and Utley. “The amazingly pitch perfect cast never misses a beat and was well deserving of the standing ovation the film received yesterday.”
“This is a very personal film and it’s been a long journey. We are so overwhelmed by the response it received at Sundance and are beyond delighted that it’s found a home with our family at Fox Searchlight,” said Faxon and Rash
“We are all elated that a vibrant company like Fox Searchlight shares our enthusiasm for the film and faith in Jim and Nat as writers, directors and storytellers,” said Rice and Walsh.
THE WAY, WAY BACK is the funny and poignant coming of age story of 14-year-old Duncan’s (Liam James) summer vacation with his mother, Pam (Toni Collette), her overbearing boyfriend, Trent (Steve Carell), and his daughter, Steph (Zoe Levin).
Having a rough time fitting in, the introverted Duncan finds an unexpected friend in gregarious Owen (Sam Rockwell), manager of the Water Wizz water park. Through his funny, clandestine friendship with Owen, Duncan slowly opens up to and begins to finally find his place in the world – all during a summer he will never forget.
The deal was brokered by Fox Searchlight’s Executive Vice President of Worldwide Acquisitions Tony Safford, Senior Vice President of Business Affairs Megan O’Brien and Vice President of Acquisitions & Co-Productions Ray Strache. Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and WME Global negotiated the deal with Craig Emanuel on behalf of the financiers.
Sierra / Affinity is handling international sales for the project for territories outside those acquired by Fox Searchlight Pictures.
Fox Searchlight Pictures [...]

Justin Bieber to become a ‘Simpsons’ character

HollywoodNews.com: Justin Bieber is about to hit another milestone as he is going to become a ‘Simpsons’ character.
It is being reported that Bieber is going to get animated on the show and has already recorded some voiceovers for his appearance, states UsMagazine.com. His episode will reportedly be titled “The Fabulous Faker Boy” and will have him playing himself when he is denied entry to a talent show where Bart is playing piano.
However, he won’t be the only star making an appearance during the show’s 24th season as Steve Carell, Zooey Deschanel, Anne Hathaway and Natalie Portman will all do voiceovers.
Will you tune in for his episode?
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Kelly Ripa to host the “10th Annual TV Land Awards”

The “TV Land Awards 2012,” honoring classic television, film and music icons, will return to New York City and be hosted by Kelly Ripa (nationally syndicated talk show “LIVE! With Kelly”), it was announced today by Larry W. Jones, president, TV Land. Ripa previously hosted the show in 2007. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the awards show will honor powerhouse songstress Aretha Franklin with the Music Icon Award and will be held at the Lexington Avenue Armory at Gramercy Park on Saturday, April 14th. The “TV Land Awards 2012″ will air on Sunday, April 29th at 9:00pm ET/PT. More honorees will be announced in coming weeks.
“We are ecstatic to welcome back Kelly as she reprises her role as host of the ‘TV Land Awards’ this year for our 10th annual celebration,” said Jones. “Her energy, enthusiasm and love of television make her the perfect person to lead the evening on the occasion of our 10th Anniversary.”
The successful “TV Land Awards” has scored a decade of success including the record-breaking numbers from the “TV Land Awards 2011,” which attracted over 2 million viewers for its premiere telecast. The star-studded special, which was held last year in New York City for the very first time, was the highest rated “TV Land Awards” show since 2004 across all key demos and posted double-digit gains in rating and delivery over preceding shows.
The “TV Land Awards” pays tribute to classic and contemporary luminaries of television, music and movies. The 90-minute telecast will feature exhilarating musical performances and will reunite some of the most iconic celebrity TV casts.
Previous honorees include Regis Philbin, Michael J. Fox, John Travolta, Bill Cosby, Mike Myers, Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Garry Marshall, the cast of “Glee,” “Desperate Housewives” and the hilarious sitcoms “Cheers,” “The Cosby Show,” “Family Ties,” “The Facts of Life,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Bosom Buddies,” “Welcome Back, Kotter,” “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “M*A*S*H*.” Past presenters include Academy Award©-winner Halle Berry, Barbara Walters, Justin Timberlake, Ray Romano, Steve Carell, Billy Crystal, Sharon Stone, Robin Williams and Academy Award©-nominee Robert Downey, Jr., to name a few. Past musical performers include Liza Minnelli, Stevie Wonder, Blondie, Diana Ross, Willie Nelson and Lionel Richie.
Michael Levitt (“Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List,” “Billboard Music Awards,” “Scream Awards”) is executive producer; Five-time Emmy Award©-winning Glenn Weiss is director (“Primetime Emmy Awards,” “BET Awards,” “The Tony Awards”); Greg Sills [...]

Carrie Underwood, Steve Carell finally on Twitter

HollywoodNews.com: Carrie Underwood, Steve Carell and Debra Messing fans can now get excited because all three Hollywood stars have finally decided to join Twitter.
The three joined Twitter this week and all quickly gained some followers while getting to know the social networking site, states UsMagazine.com. Carell commented “I am in,” while Underwood said hello to her fans with, “Hello Twitter world!”
Meanwhile, Messing apparently joined because she thought it was about time: “I thought I’d enter the 21st century, but bear with me! I’m a newbie!”
Will you follow any of these stars?
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Elizabeth Banks added to cast of Charlie Kaufman’s “Frank or Francis”

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Elizabeth Banks hasn’t been busier. Her latest movie, “Man On a Ledge,” just opened. She has “The Hunger Games” on the horizon. And she continues to add extremely engaging projects to her acting radar.
The blonde beauty has joined the cast of one of our most-anticipated films, “Frank or Francis,” from the twisted mind of Charlie Kaufman. The writer of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “Being John Malkovich” has penned a musical satire about moviemaking and the awards race.
The film stars Jack Black as a movie blogger who draws the ire of a talented film director (Steve Carell) who engages him in a “battle,” of sorts. Nicolas Cage, according to THR, plays “an actor who is famous for his high-concept films, while (Kevin) Kline will play the director of the world’s top-grossing movie as well as that character’s brother, who turns into an animatronic head.”
As for Banks, she’ll play an actress who’s having an affair with Carell’s character. So they’ll be rekindling some of that “40-Year-Old Virgin” chemistry?
“Frank or Francis” comes across as an impossibly clever premise, and I wouldn’t believe it possible if not for the fact that Kaufman was helming. The blustery awards race and the Hollywood machine could use a skewering. And while “Francis” might come across a little bit like biting the hand that feeds, Kaufman doesn’t seem concerned with staying in Hollywood’s good graces. We’ll continue to track “Frank and Francis,” which has one of the most impressive casts we’ve seen in some time.
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