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Universal

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    Allegations Of Infidelity In Paul Greengrass' 'Memphis' Script Troubled Martin Luther King Estate

    Lee Daniels' 'Selma' Also Ran Afoul Of MLK FamilyWe wished it was some kind of cruel April Fool's Day joke, but last Friday it was revealed that Universal was bailing on "Memphis," the Martin Luther King Jr. pic that was written and set to be directed by Paul Greengrass. The project was a big one. It was being prepped to start shooting in June with a release date already targeted for MLK weekend in February 2012. Universal pulled funding and claimed tight scheduling as an issue, however Deadline revealed that the estate of the late civil rights leader was "highly critical" of the film and threatened to openly and publicly condemn the project ...

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    Universal Pulls A 'Bait And Switch' For Mark Wahlberg

    Universal Pictures seem to have found a new BFF in Mark Wahlberg. The actor/producer currently has two films in the work for the studio -- the action/thriller "Contraband" and the comedy "Ted" -- and they have now picked up another vehicle to be developed for the star.

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    Weekend Box Office: Kids Come Out For 'Hop,' 'Sucker' Thoroughly 'Punch'ed

    While Universal’s animated division remains behind Disney and Dreamworks, “Hop” became their second straight surprisingly big opening this weekend, collecting $39 million. Most called the heavily-promoted film in the high 20’s, low 30’s, but like “Despicable Me” before it, the film definitely connected with family audiences in its first frame. While “Despicable Me” eventually collected $544 million globally with a much bigger opening, “Hop” isn’t expected to bust the doors down. But due to the seasonal and family appeal, expect this thing to have legs, and while they initially weren’t counting on $100 domestic, that should be easily surmounta...

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    Universal Gets Cold Feet, Bails On Backing Paul Greengrass' MLK 'Memphis' Film

    Director Paul Greengrass cannot catch a break it seems. Ever since the documentarian turned feature-length filmmaker bailed on the 4th 'Bourne' movie, he's had a string of bad luck. His Iraq war thriller, "Green Zone" ballooned around the $150 million mark (even though $100 million is the figure released) and the film pulled in a paltry $35 million domestically even with Jason Bourne-lead Matt Damon as the star. Universal took a beating on the film and the friction on that picture is part of what led Greengrass to leave 'Bourne' (though it should be said that, creatively, Damon and Greengrass were exhausted and would have left the franchise r...

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    Universal Will No Longer Go 'In The Heights' With Big Screen Musical Adaptation

    The success of studio musicals over the past little while has been a bit of a mixed bag. For every "Mamma Mia!" or "Hairspray" there's a "Rent" or "Nine" and there doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason why one film flops and another succeeds in the genre. And while Universal is mounting "Les Miser...

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    Blake Lively, Abbie Cornish & Teresa Palmer Reading For Oliver Stone's 'Savages'; Uni Picks Up Film

    Update: Deadline also tosses in Abbie Cornish as a possible contender as well.

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    'Kung Fu Panda' & 'Alvin & The Chipmunks' Writer To Turn 'Candyland' Into A Narrative Somehow

    At the beginning of 2010, we named "Candyland" as one of the dumbest movies announced in 2009 and even with all the bullshit movies announced last year none of them really compete with this one yet. And now, the project is actually moving forward with a writer who will now be whispered about at part...

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    Weekend Box Office: Zack Snyder & Warners Get 'Sucker Punch' From 'Wimpy Kid'

    Demographics matter. You want to say, well, screw the numbers, let’s just make a movie for everyone! But considering the multiple sources of entertainment in our multimedia worlds, whatever doesn’t automatically turn us on will turn us off. Because of this, Zack Snyder’s “Sucker Punch” turned people off. It was an action fantasia, a genre normally attractive to teenage boys, but it featured only girls, an immediate turnoff for that demographic. And it didn’t appeal to women, who noticed the marketing campaign centered around cacophonous violence and mayhem, not usually a drawing point for females. It wasn’t made for kids, but the heavily-CGI’...

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    Tom Hooper In Negotiations To Direct Musical 'Les Miserables'

    In the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, the grand-scale movie musical was the equivalent of today's big-budget 3D sci-fi actioners -- star-packed blockbusters, often based on Broadway hits that were guaranteed to bring in hefty box office hauls. 1965's "The Sound of Music," one of the last whoppers of the genre, for instance, became the biggest film of all time on its release, and remains the third highest grosser of all time when adjusted for inflation. But a series of expensive flops, from "Doctor Dolittle" to "At Long Last Love" and "New York, New York," saw the genre fall out of favor, and the movie musicals nearly disappeared altogether in the 19...

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    Review: 'Jane Eyre' A Hauntingly Effective Gothic Drama

    When tasked with reimagining Charlotte Brontë's immortal "Jane Eyre," which seems to be adapted somewhere, by someone, every couple of years, some key decisions must be made. The impulse that seems to have seized director Cary Fukunaga was to emphasize the gothic horror elements of the story, while ...

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