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Production

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    Law & Order Spin-Off, Czech Tax Breaks, Hulu Seeks Subscribers, Akira Goes PG-13

    The Czech Republic recently unveiled a brand new tax break. If you're developing content with a budget over $700,000 and are willing to team up with a Czech producer, get thee to Czechoslovakia. Deadline reports that the new 20% break is aimed at foreign filmmakers. Having shot such films as G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Wanted, Casino Royale, and The Chronicles of Narnia in the Czech Republic, Hollywood has long taken the Eastern European nation seriously as a shooting location. Now there will be even greater reason to cross the pond and taste the original Budweiser (not the American hallmark now owned by Belgians). Speaking of which, could E...

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    Starz Seeks Next Sopranos, Shyamalan Circulates New Script, 3-D Decline, Jonah Hex Misfire

    - In a bid to compete with HBO and Showtime, Starz has acquired the U.S. rights to remake the successful and critically acclaimed Aussie drama Underbelly, based on a real life '70s crime family. Former HBO chief Chris Albrecht (who launched The Sopranos) took over as Starz CEO last December. Vulture reports that Underbelly, along with UK show Torchwood and a planned Camelot saga, spearhead Starz's latest programming push. While the crime theme underlines both The Sopranos and Underbelly, it is new for Albrecht to look outside for inspiration. During his twenty-plus years at HBO, he tended to create original programming in-house. Things have...

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    Michael Feinstein's American Songbook Debuts This Fall on PBS

    Classics crooner Michael Feinstein will make legions of music lovers happy this fall when he premieres a three-part series exploring the history of American popular music. The American Songbook will air October 6, 13 and 20 at 8 PM on PBS. This is my idea of heaven.

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    This Means War Casting Saga, WGA vs. IMDb, Boyle directs Olympics, Fairy Tales are New Vampires

    - McG can't make up his mind on casting vidgame-to-film This Means War. While Reese Witherspoon is set to play the femme at the center of a dispute between two spies--best friends turned enemies in this action-comedy--the two male leads are up in the air. In-demand Bradley Cooper has bailed on the role originally intended for Martin Lawrence, while Seth Rogen and Chris Pine were both reported as attached at some point. Now Vulture asserts that McG has offered his Terminator Salvation star Sam Worthington the lead. The Playlist, which has been tracking the This Means War casting saga, writes that Justin Timberlake was being considered for the ...

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    Sony 3D Promos At-Home 3D: At Expense of Theater Experience?

    "I refuse to say the sky is falling," declared Sony chairman Amy Pascal, when I asked her about the grim summer box office so far. She was observing the Sony 3D show-and-tell Wednesday on the Sony lot. Clearly, not only is the studio earmarking a number of 3D features for 2010 and beyond--including ...

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    Produced By: Focus on Diversity Demands Guts, Strategy, and a Subversive Spirit

    At Sunday's Produced By panel "New Voices," Precious director Lee Daniels and fellow panelists talked about fighting fear and resistance with guts and hustle, reports Amy Dawes:

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    What Went Wrong with Prince of Persia

    I'd rather be watching HBO. That's my new T-shirt mantra. This holiday weekend I'll lay odds, sight unseen, that watching the third installment (HBO Saturday 9 PM) of writer Peter Morgan's Tony Blair trilogy, The Special Relationship, about the British ex-prime minister's relationship with then-pres...

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    Cannes Day One: Robin Hood Gets Off to a Slow Burn

    With Ridley Scott recovering from knee surgery, that left Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett and Imagine's Brian Grazer to field the press conference for the 63rd Cannes opener, Robin Hood.

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    Life of Pi Seeks Fox Green Light with Ang Lee Directing in 3-D

    Remember The Life of Pi? It's been seven years since Fox 2000's Elizabeth Gabler acquired the rights to Canadian Yann Martel's Booker prize-winning 2001 global bestseller about a boy adrift in a lifeboat in the Pacific with a Bengal tiger. What's taking so long? Well, this kind of lyrical literary m...

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    Indie Marketing Returns to Word of Mouth

    Ex-Fine Line and Picturehouse marketing executive Marian Koltai-Levine founded Zipline Entertainment "to fill the much needed void between content creators and content providers," she says. After attending the recent SXSW Film Festival, Koltai-Levine sent me this essay about the new state of the ind...

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