By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire November 7, 2011 at 11:19AM
In case you actually took the weekend to relax and stay away from your computer, indieWIRE has compiled 10 of the top indie news stories you may have missed while you were away. Below find everything from box office news, to casting announcements, to reports from “J. Egar”‘s premiere in Los Angeles and more!
Box Office: “F Word” Leads Underwhelming Debuts; “Like Crazy” and “Margin Call” Continue To Impress
A trio of newcomers led a generally underwhelming weekend at the indie box office that was more about the holdovers than anything else. While films like “Like Crazy” and “Margin Call” continued to show much promise in their second and third weekends, respectively, the top debut was Oscilloscope’s doc “The Other F Word.”
Roger Ebert Sends a Call for Help: His Show Needs a Backer or It Goes Under
Roger Ebert has posted the equivalent of the batsignal across the entertainment media skies: His review show, “Ebert Presents At the Movies,” is about to go under unless he finds a backer, stat.
Martin Scorsese Talks 3-D Cinephile Fantasy “Hugo” and Holograms with Paul Thomas Anderson
At a special Paramount preview screening of Martin Scorsese’s first 3-D film Hugo yesterday, a capacity crowd avidly responded to the film’s immersive effects and masterly visual style, writes Justin Lowe, who covered a Q & A with the director and his crew and surprise moderator Paul Thomas Anderson.
“Chino” Takes Top Prizes at Rome Film Festival
Sebastián Borensztein “Un Cuento Chino” took top prizes at the International Rome Film Festival over the weekend, winning the international jury award for best film as well as the Audience nod for best feature at the festival.
Here Comes “Seconds of Pleasure” With Mike Figgis, Neil LaBute, Matt Dillon and More
Mike Figgis will direct the Neil LaBute screenplay “Seconds of Pleasure,” with a cast that includes Matt Dillon, Julia Stiles, Brendan Fraser, Kristin Scott Thomas and Christina Hendricks.
Jessica Chastain To Play Princess Diana In Biopic From “Downfall” Director Oliver Hirschbiegel
It was just over a year ago that it was revealed that two rival Princess Diana biopics were in the works. One, from producer Stephen Evans, was going to be based on the book “Diana: Closely Guarded Secret” by Diana’s lifelong bodyguard, Ken Wharfe. The film was budgeted at $30 million, with boasts of Charlize Theron and Ewan McGregor circling roles. Meanwhile, Pathé films was also developing a biopic with names like Keira Knightley and Dame Helen Mirren (as the Queen Mother) being tossed around. But it seems, a third project has now leapt into the pole position and it’s bringing along some surprising talent.
How to Apply to Werner Herzog’s L.A. Film School
Attention, doc filmmakers: Werner Herzog is teaching a four-day film seminar in Los Angeles early next year.
Weekend Box Office: Holdover “Puss in Boots” Holds Off Challenger “Tower Heist”
In a surprise: One angry cat hoisted itself over a newbie challenger to claim the top box-office spot for the second week in row. Paramount/ DreamWorks’ family pleaser, “Puss In Boots,” took in an estimated $33 million, a scant 3% drop from last week’s $34 million—a rarity—proving that Halloween and unseasonal snow in the North East dented its opening weekend.
Eastwood, DiCaprio, Hammer, Black Talk “J. Edgar”: DiCaprio Wanted to Gain Weight
The crowd at the Los Angeles County Museum screening of J. Edgar rose to their feet when three tall straight guys—Clint Eastwood, Leonardo DiCaprio and Armie Hammer—joined diminutive gay screenwriter Dustin Lance Black onstage at the Bing for a Q and A moderated by the NYT’s Charles McGrath.
Ezra Miller & Alden Ehrenreich Testing To Play Tetsuo In “Akira” Remake
Now that it’s seemingly found its lead, in the shape of Blandy McBlanderson from “Tron: Legacy,” things finally seem to be moving ahead smoothly on Warner Bros’ troubled remake of anime classic “Akira.” The film was originally to be directed by Albert Hughes, but after they failed to find a star, with names like Brad Pitt and Keanu Reeves turning the project down, Hughes walked, and Warners retooled it as a cheaper proposition, aided by “Harry Potter” scribe Steve Kloves.