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<p>&quot;Wait... <em>how many</em> sequels did you say we're doing?!&quot;</p>

"Wait... how many sequels did you say we're doing?!"

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Steven Charles Gould has been chosen to write four 'Avatar' novels for James Cameron

The ambitious plan would complement the upcoming trilogy of sequels

One of the very best movie adaptation novels that I've ever read was written by Orson Scott Card, based on James Cameron's "The Abyss." He wrote three chapters of backstory for the main characters of Bud, Lindsey, and Coffey, and Cameron liked them so much he gave them to the actors to use as their backstory for the film.

Since it was written before Cameron hit the wall on budget and time, the novel was adapted using the original ending, so when I sat down in the theater, I had a pretty good idea of where the story was going, and I was shocked when the ending appeared to be lopped off for no apparent reason. It was infuriating, and for a while, I had real problems with the movie simply for that reason. I still think it's the one time Cameron has ever really hurt himself with an edit, and once the original ending was finished and restored for a home video release, it definitely changed the way the entire final third of the film played.

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<p>Ralph Fiennes and Cate Blanchett in &quot;Oscar and Lucinda.&quot;</p>

Ralph Fiennes and Cate Blanchett in "Oscar and Lucinda."

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Cate Blanchett and Ralph Fiennes to receive Gala Tributes at NYFF

Fiennes' directorial effort 'The Invisible Woman' will also bow at the fest

Calling all "Oscar and Lucinda" fans! The New York Film Festival has a reunion of sorts for you. Back in 1997 -- one year before her star-making role in "Elizabeth," that little-seen Australian romantic drama announced 28-year-old newcomer Cate Blanchett to the moviegoing public; the striking actress was then an unknown quantity beside the headlining name of her more seasoned co-star Ralph Fiennes, by then a two-time Oscar nominee and high-end heart-throb.

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Rachel Zoe: 'The Rachel Zoe Project' is over


Rachel Zoe: "The Rachel Zoe Project" is over
"We've done five years. I think it's time to probably move on," she tells Capitol File magazine of her five-season Bravo reality show.


Aziz Ansari is writing his 1st book
The "Parks and Rec" star will not be writing a memoir. Instead, he'll talk to academics and investigate the modern-day single life.


Discovery remaking Civil War miniseries "North and South"
The miniseries about two families -- a Southern plantation family, a Northern factory-owning family -- is the next Discovery miniseries project. "North and South" originally aired on ABC in the 80s and 90s with Patrick Swayze.


Joan Rivers to star in "Romancing the Joan," a web reality TV parody
Eight bachelors will vie for Joan's affections in this "Bachelorette" parody.


Keith Carradine joins "The Following"

He'll play a trusted friend of Kevin Bacon's character.


Steven Moffat confirms "Doctor Who" can only regenerate 12 times

What does this mean for the "Who" franchise since Peter Capaldi is the 12th Doctor.


"Homeland's" "Abu Nazir" joins "Arrow"
Navid Negahban will play the villain Al-Owal in Season 2.


At age 19, Lena Dunham asked a sex advice columnist about being a virgin
Read her letter published in Time Out NY.

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<p>Audrey Tautou in &quot;Th&eacute;r&egrave;se.&quot;</p>

Audrey Tautou in "Thérèse."

Credit: MPI Media Group

Exclusive clip of Audrey Tautou in elegant French melodrama 'Thérèse'

Last year's Cannes closer opens in limited release tomorrow

While we're waiting for the breakout films of this year's Cannes Film Festival to make their way over to theaters -- in many cases, via the fall festival circuit -- we still have some unfinished business from Cannes 2012. Opening in limited release tomorrow is French period melodrama "Thérèse" (at different points dubbed "Thérèse Dequeyroux" or "Thérèse D"), which was the Closing Night film of last year's fest.

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<p>&quot;American Idol&quot;</p>

"American Idol"

Credit: FOX

What if FOX didn't take a chance on 'American Idol'?

Rupert Murdoch's daughter changed the course of TV history
This week HitFix is revisiting some of the key turning points in recent entertainment history and considering what would have happened if history had turned a bit differently. What if...?
 
In 2001, Simon Cowell and Simon Fuller came to the United States and attempted to pitch a format based on the British hit "Pop Idol," a singing competition show that was making Cowell into a sensation Across the Pond. American networks, however, were not interested. Yes, "Survivor" had opened the door for primetime competition reality programming on network TV, but "Pop Idol" was seen as being less like "Survivor" and more like "Popstars," which aired with minimal success on The WB. But then, the story goes, Rupert Murdoch's daughter Elisabeth, a fan of "Pop Idol," made a passionate pitch for FOX to take an interest in a little show that became...  "American Idol." The rest, as we say, is history. "American Idol" became a summer hit in 2002 and, starting in 2003, it became the irreplaceable centerpiece of FOX's spring lineup, anchoring an unprecedented streak of 18-49 demo crowns for the network and launching countless singing, acting and hosting careers. But... 
 
What if Rupert Murdoch's daughter hadn't been a fan of "Pop Idol"?
 
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Belize offering free vacations to 'Breaking Bad' creator and his stars


Belize offering free vacations to "Breaking Bad" creator and his stars

"Some people may have perceived that to be somewhat of a crisis," a Belize tourism rep said of a Saul Goodman comment from this week's episode, "but we really thought of it as an opportunity."


Tina Fey shows Letterman footage of a burglar stealing her laptop with all her work
Fey showed the surveillance footage against all legal counsel.


Dave Attell returning to Comedy Central, uncensored
The former "Insomniac" host will star in a late-night standup series featuring an uncensored Atell, plus a standup special.


22 "SNL" alums (and Marc Maron) recount auditioning for Lorne Michaels
Everybody from Dana Carvey to Jimmy Fallon to Bill Hader share their "SNL" audition stories in an oral history format.


"Seinfeld's" Jackie Chiles returns for a Jim Beam ad campaign
Watch Phil Morris reprise his Johnnie Cochran-like character.


Oscar winner Danny Boyle to return to TV to direct a police drama
Boyle, who was responsible for last year's Olympic Opening Ceremony, will direct an inside police drama from the creators of "Peep Show."

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Randy Jackson is set to return to 'Idol' as mentor, replacing Jimmy Iovine


Randy Jackson is set to return to "Idol" as mentor, replacing Jimmy Iovine
After three seasons, Iovine is reportedly done with "Idol." After a brief exit, Jackson is poised to become the new in-house mentor.

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<p>Diane Kruger and Demi&aacute;n Bichir in &quot;The Bridge.&quot;</p>

Diane Kruger and Demián Bichir in "The Bridge."

Credit: FX

Review: 'The Bridge' - 'Destino'

Sonya and Marco get into trouble pursuing a new suspect, and Ray makes a deal with Graciela

A quick review of tonight's "The Bridge" coming up just as soon as I invoke the Three-Second Rule...

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<p>Dougray Scott in &quot;Mission:&nbsp;Impossible&nbsp;II&quot;</p>

Dougray Scott in "Mission: Impossible II"

Credit: Paramount Pictures

What if Dougray Scott had played Wolverine in "X-Men" and not Hugh Jackman?

Pondering the possibilities if history took a different route in 2000

This week HitFix is revisiting some of the key turning points in recent entertainment history and considering what would have happened if history had turned a bit differently. What if...?

At the turn of the millennium things were looking up for actor Dougray Scott. He had been hand selected by Tom Cruise to be the villain in the anxiously awaited sequel to the megastar's 1996 blockbuster "Mission: Impossible" and he was all set to follow that up with what might have been a breakout role as Wolverine in Bryan Singer's big screen adaptation of the X-Men comic book series. But when the production schedule of "Mission: Impossible II" went long, Singer had to make a snap decision and settled on an unknown by the name of Hugh Jackman.

What if Dougray Scott had played Wolverine in "X-Men" and not Hugh Jackman?

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<p>Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux in &quot;Blue is the Warmest Color.&quot;</p>

Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux in "Blue is the Warmest Color."

Credit: Sundance Selects

As 'Blue is the Warmest Color' gets an NC-17, 10 notable films to have received the rating

From 'Shame' to 'Showgirls,' why the MPAA's highest rating is no badge of dishonor

This article first appeared in part at InContention.com in 2010. In light of recent news, It seemed like a good time to re-purpose it for new readers here at HitFix, with a few updates.

It's an announcement that we weren't wondering about so much as waiting for: this year's Cannes Palme d'Or winner, French-Tunisian auteur Abdellatif Kechiche's epic-length romantic drama "Blue is the Warmest Color," has been slapped with an NC-17 rating by the Motion Picture Association of America -- meaning, of course, that no children under 17 will be permitted to see the sexually explicit film in theaters, with or without a guardian.

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'SVU' is combining the Paula Deen and Trayvon Martin controversies in 1 episode


"SVU" is combining the Paula Deen and Trayvon Martin controversies in 1 episode

Cybill Shepherd plays a celebrity chef who kills an unarmed black teenager.


Justin Bieber's manager in talks for "Idol's" 3rd judging chair
Scooter Braun, who also represents The Wanted, Psy and Carly Rae Jepsen, is said to be the preferred choice of Jennifer Lopez.


Jerry Springer defends Dr Phil's drunk girl tweet
"I don't see what the problem is," he said on CNN, adding that the tweet was "appropriate."


"Sherlock" won't survive without Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman
Says Steven Moffat: "That show could not continue without Benedict and Martin. It's absolutely them."


NBC will re-air "Meet the Press" with Martin Luther King Jr. from 50 years ago

The interview from three days before his "I have a dream" speech will be shown on Aug 25, the 50th anniversary of its original broadcast.


Tina Fey: I'm currently a "human napkin" for my kids

The former "30 Rock" star spends her time these days at home and out of it.


FX buys animated "Bigfoot" comedy from Seth Rogen
The series would be based on the Bigfoot graphic novel.


Aziz Ansari pitches Shonda Rhimes on a "Scandal"-"Parks and Rec" crossover
Tom and Harrison could be college roommates.


Jerry Seinfeld may never return to TV, says he has "a sad feeling" about  late-night TV
Talk shows these days have become "setup talk shows," says Seinfeld, almost entirely driven by promotion. "I'm gonna ask you this, then you say that."


"Chuck's" Joshua Gomez heads to "Castle"
He'll play a murder suspect who claims to have traveled back in time to prevent the grisly events from unfolding.


Damian Lewis: "We'll get to Brody, and when we do, it'll be devastating"

The "Homeland" star answers the question, "Where's Brody?"


Kevin Rahm wants "Mad Men" to do a Ted-Pete L.A. spinoff

"'The Odd Couple' in L.A. but they're both dirty," he says. "Two Felixes."


Foul play ruled out in death of Lisa Robin Kelly

The coroner will now investigate the death of the "That '70s Show" star.


"Star-Crossed" books Tahmoh Penikett
The "Battlestar Galactica" will guest on a 2nd CW show, after guest-starring on "Supernatural."


"Glee" production assistant says she was bullied by her half-sister, Julia Roberts

Nancy Motes is speaking about being taunted by Roberts for being overweight, even though it was her famous half-sister who got her a job on "Glee."


Robin Williams: I'm a big fan of the Khaleesi

Not only does he watch "Game of Thrones," but Williams is a big fan of "Defiance."


Joel McHale on "The Soup's" Episode 500: "We have a 50-year plan"
"This is Phase One, complete," he says. "Phase Two, the next 10 years." PLUS: Ranking the hosts of E!'s "Talk Soup" and "The Soup."


"Suburgatory" casts Geoff Pierson
He'll play Jane Levy's grandfather.


TCM to devote a day to Maggie Smith

A 24-hour tribute kicks off at 6 am ET Thursday.


"The Vampire Diaries" adds Shaun Sipos
The CW vet will bond with Elena.


"Today's" Jenna Wolfe welcomes a baby girl with her NBC News partner

She and and Stephanie Gosk have named their child Harper Estelle Wolfeld Gosk.


A&E's "Modern Dads" is the anti-"Real Housewives"
The reality show about four dads in Texas is, unlike the "Housewives," very realistic.


"Cold Case's" Kathryn Morris welcomes twins

The twin boys are the first kids for Morris and her actor husband.

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"Big Brother"

 "Big Brother"

Credit: CBS

'Big Brother' recap: Will Aaryn turn on her alliance?

Everything's riding on a tough veto competition

While Aaryn may be HoH this week, let's face it: the house belongs to McCranda. Actually, let's be honest. The house belongs to Amanda, who apparently has all the hamsters under her sway like the Evil Queen on "Once Upon A Time." If this were a fairy tale, of course, Amanda would end up bursting into flames or having her heart ripped out. Alas, it isn't going to happen. But that would be killer ratings, CBS, so don't rule it out!

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