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  • The Playlist
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    'Harry Potter' Producer David Heyman Eyes ‘The Night Circus’; Boards the Gravy Train

    Producer David Heyman is fond of telling the story of how in the late '90s he spearheaded the production of a small children’s title from a relatively inexperienced publisher and a completely unknown author, and it ended up becoming the megaton juggernaut film franchise we all know and love today as “Harry Potter”. Though his production company, Heyday Films, presumably had more than a little help at the time from Warner Bros., a decade and kajillion dollars later, it’s a gambit that’s not so much paid off as exploded through the stratosphere into blanket cultural ubiquity. With the franchise bowing out in spectacular fashion this weekend – and typically looking to do stellar box-office – Heyman’s stock has never been higher and, as such, Variety is reporting that the producer is in negotiations to snaffle a producing role on an adaptation of Erin Morgenstern’s debut novel “The Night Circus,” a project set up by Summit Entertainment back in January after the book was the toast of the Frankfurt Book Fair.

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  • The Playlist
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    Watch: Aardman's 'The Pirates! Band Of Misfits' Gets Two Surprisingly Charming Trailers

    You would think by now that audiences were waterlogged by all the swashbuckling at their local mulitplex but with "Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" a billion dollar earner -- and the only pirate movie game in town -- it's a little surprising that no one else has tried to get a piece of the action. Until now.

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  • The Playlist
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    The Polish Brothers Turned Down The Opportunity To Direct 'Akira'

    One of the most interesting things about Warner Bros.' gestating "Akira" is that ever since director Albert Hughes bailed on the film at the end of May, there hasn't been a word about it. No shortlist of directors, no new names being tossed around for the lead. Nothing. Which is what makes this next morsel of info somewhat compelling.

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  • Women and Hollywood
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    Locarno Film Festival: The Women

    The 64th edition will take place August 3-13 in Locarno Switzerland.

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  • Caryn James
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    Jerry Seinfeld Slaps Some Sense Into Jon Stewart (Video)

    Jerrry Seinfeld is one of the least political comedians around, but last night he joined Jon Sewart in a giant goof of the news about Michele Bachmann's husband and the clinic he owns that tries to straighten out gay people. The premise is that Stewart is naturally tempted to be a comedian, to joke that Marcus Bachmann himself seems a little bit gay, so he calls in a "comedy repression therapist" to help him.

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  • The Playlist
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    'True Blood' Alexander Skarsgård To Produce & Star In Epic Viking Pic 'The Vanguard'

    Let the typecasting for Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgård’s Nordic good looks begin. As one of the leading men in the HBO hit series “True Blood," Skarsgård plays 1,000-year-old Viking warrior-turned-vampire Eric Northman. It looks like he will now play the part before being bitten as he is set to produce and star in a Viking epic along the “vein” -- no pun intended -- of “Gladiator” and “Braveheart.” The story will follow a pair of Viking brothers who embark on a journey back to their native Sweden after being exiled to North America, for reasons yet unknown. The working title of the pic is “The Vanguard” and it was successfully pitched to Warner Bros. by Andy Horwitz and Jake Kurily from Atlas Entertainment (“The Brothers Grimm”, “Get Smart” and upcoming Superman reboot “Man of Steel” starring another gladiator Russell Crowe) and by Christopher Boal. This is the second project acclaimed playwright and emerging screenwriter Boal will pen for Warner Bros., the other being an epic tale about Julius Caesar, to be directed by Jonathan Liebesman (“Battle: Los Angeles”, “Clash of the Titans 2”). We suspect Boal will know what he's doing on that pic, considering that his play “23 Knives” is about Caesar’s murder. It also doesn’t hurt that he also happens to be the brother of Mark Boal, who wrote the Academy award-winning film “The Hurt Locker,” for which Chris Boal directed and produced the behind-the-scenes footage for the DVD release.

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  • ReelPolitik
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  • The Playlist
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    Heigh Ho: Yet More Dwarves for ‘The Hobbit’ As Bofur, Bombur & Bifur Revealed

    A red letter day for rabid fans of Peter Jackson productions and/or purveyors of specialist fantasy erotica, for three more vaguely silly-looking promotional stills of grown men dressed as mythical dwarves have hit the interwebs. Even though there’s well over a year until “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is released in theaters, these bland-as-hell photos are rapidly becoming the new “Harry Potter” posters: an endless drip-feed of drawn-out and bland ephemera from Jackson’s promotional dialysis machine as he attempts to keep the specifics of his production puckered up tighter than a snare drum, and yet still keep his thousands of fans on his side. It’s an admirable plan as any rationally-minded film fan should be looking forward to the first installment of “The Hobbit” as one of the highlights of 2012 but, though we’ve met seven of the clan thus far (Dori, Nori, Ori, Óin, Glóin, Kili & Fili) it’s hard not to feel, well, dwarfed in both senses of the word by these diminutive and non-spectacular announcements.

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  • Spout
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    A Bastille Day Conundrum: Where Are the Good Movies about the French Revolution?

    Happy Bastille Day! 222 years ago a mob of angry French revolutionaries raided a prison, freed a bunch of people and then went about dismantling their repressive monarchy. Sort of. But really, what's historical accuracy when you can be out drinking wine and imitating Maurice Chevalier? And as always, on holidays we advocate watching some celebratory movies. The French Revolution is perfect for cinema. There’s intrigue, war, sex, politics, sweeping narratives and an endless supply of dramatic reversals. It’s a watershed moment in world history that practically demands celluloid.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Early Reviews: Clumsy Mistranslation

    Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, adapted from Lisa See’s 2005 novel, tells parallel stories of lifelong female friendship in 19th century China and modern Shanghai. Early reviewers find that Wayne Wang’s adaptation fails both in comparison to the novel and to his 1993 hit the Joy Luck Club.

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