Ben Stiller's upcoming remake of "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" is a project I've been dimly aware of without ever really stopping to think about it -- and certainly not in an awards-season context. I take Stiller's directorial output more seriously than most, and can quote hefty chunks of "Zoolander" dialogue on command, but somehow imagined he was taking the popular 1947 Danny Kaye vehicle in a sketchier direction than that suggested by this breathless Empire preview of the fantasy, in which Stiller stars as a magazine employee escaping his mundane existence (and pursuing love) via lavish daydreams.
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When people say that Harvey Weinstein is once again working with Disney, that's true on a technical level, but the people he'll deal with as he makes "Artemis Fowl' with the studio are not the same people who were in charge during the contentious final days of his time there during the Miramax/Disney years.
I have no particular problem with Eoin Colfer or his work. It's fine, and if you like the conceit that 12-year-old Artemis is a criminal genius who has amassed a great and secret fortune, working right under the noses of his parents. His father is a fairly bad guy himself and his mother is working to make the whole family stay on the straight and narrow. It's part of that huge surge of young adult fiction that appeared on the heels of Harry Potter, and it has enough of its own voice that I don't hate the idea of seeing movies… I'm just not convinced there's any real reason beyond demographic market research.
The press release that came out today is full of sunshiney quotes from Harvey about how thrilled he is to be back in business with Disney and lots of heartfelt endorsements from Alan Horn about how much fun he had with Harvey when he was at Warner Bros., and it all sounds like champagne and lollipops, and it all reads like carefully prepared statements to me. Fine. You guys see some money to be made here, and Harvey's had these rights tied up for a while now and why not?
CBS closed out their part of the press tour with "Mom," the latest sitcom from hit maker Chuck Lorre ("Two and a Half Men," "Big Bang Theory"). Lorre, who was joined by co-creators Eddie Gorodetsky and Gemma Baker as well as stars Anna Faris, Allison Janey, French Strewart, Matt Jonses and Nate Corddry, made a joke to warm up the room. 'I wanted to do a show about vampires. Been done."
At a panel for "The Arsenio Hall Show" during press tour, Hall (joined by executive producers Neal Kendall and John Ferriter) seemed eager to let everyone know that, though it's been almost 20 years since he left late night, he's raring to return in the late night format. While a clip of greatest moments from his old series seemed to confirm he may have been out of circulation a little too long (he promised not to bring back the massive shoulder pads from the era, unless audiences want them), he swears he's still a young whippersnapper who loves social media -- then tweets like an ADD-riddled teen to prove it.
Still, Hall must realize he's returning to a very different world of late night programming, right? "I'm trying to change my name to Jimmy," he joked in reference to Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel. "There's a lot of competition. [Back in the '90s] I was trying to take anything that was left over on Carson's plate. But I know everybody doesn't have a late night host... There's a huge audience out there that doesn't have a late night show... You don't have to go after Chelsea's fans or Leno's fans to be in the game."
He may be older, but Hall promises that other than having less hair and different clothes, he's "kind of the same guy, put into a whole [new] generation of talent and new opportunities."
Lest anyone not believe him, Hall said, "I'm really into social media. I love it. I watch Fallon use it brilliantly with the yodel bit on the roof... Mr. Leno and Letterman, from my generation, [they're] not into it at all, but Leno's number one. They're getting to the top in their own unique ways. I'm more in the Fallon mode. I love the digital world. Do you realize, Debbie Gibson sent me a fax? She'd drawn a picture of herself holding a mic saying 'Mr. Hall I'd like to appear on your show.' I remember Barbra Streisand called me with a Bill Clinton question. Now. you tweet. I'm excited to jump back into it. When you write a joke, you can Google [research]... It used to be we'd go through a file cabinet. I can't wait to write jokes in this digital world!"
After mentioning highlights from his previous show guaranteed to make anyone who remembers them feel old (Bill Clinton playing the sax and Magic Johnson announcing his AIDS diagnosis), he talked about winning "The Celebrity Apprentice" on NBC. "I've never been a champion in the world of sports, so [it was the] closest moment to have a victory... I've been number two in everything I've done, and to win felt really good."
Explaining that he'd previously passed on doing the show, he said the death of his cousin from AIDS changed his mind. "Magic is so healthy and having a great time. Sometimes you forget the mission when your friend is cool. I've gotten a little lazy in my mission. When my cousin died, it was a wake-up call. It was time to do 'Apprentice,' and I knew exactly who I was playing for."
He also mentioned he knew exactly who to ask for advice -- previous winner Piers Morgan. His tip? "Read everything Donald [Trump] wrote. "Jay helped me find an apartment; he taught me how to ride a motorcycle... [then] we'd be calling each other and battling, and that lasted a couple weeks," Hall said, mentioning that Leno tried to steal employees from him. "I was battling with the competitor who doesn't want to lose. I get it. I think as far as people's personal feelings about him, he and Dave [Letterman] go way, way back to before me. But I think when you're trying to win, it's easy to do things so competitive your competitors see you as the enemy."
Hall talked about his slow, methodical attempts to get back into the public eye before launching the talk show, appearing on everything from "Tosh.0" to writing articles for Newsweek. Still, he said, "It's important to me not to do a Similac joke just because I'm going for a young audience."
So far, Hall says he's been met with a surprisingly warm welcome. Leno has recommended writers, and Kimmel was one of the stars who donated funds to him during "Celebrity Apprentice. "When you talk about the competition thing, everyone's being real nice to me."
But why come back now? After all, Hall left late night because he wanted to, not because he was canceled. "Leaving and not being canceled, yeah, I did good... I chose to work on my relationship and make a child. My son's thirteen now, and he's having me drop him off a block from the movie theater, and that's usually a sign you can go back to work."
In the most memorable moment of the press tour panel for CBS' "The Crazy Ones" — Robin Williams' first regular series role since "Mork & Mindy" ended in 1982 — Williams responded to a question about whether he's a sad clown by throwing a mock, tear-filled tantrum that ended with co-star Sarah Michelle Gellar literally pulling him back to his seat with his microphone cord. When he finally sat down, he made a few Anthony Weiner jokes ("Do you think he has a thing on his phone that says, 'No more!'?"), then gave a more serious answer about where his comedy comes from.
Lindsay Lohan will try hosting a talk show when she guest-hosts "Chelsea Lately"
She'll sub for Chelsea Handler on Aug. 5.
CNN is making a Hillary Clinton documentary
The feature-length film will debut in theaters next year before airing on CNN.
Teresa Giudice: "Today is a most difficult day for our family"
The "Real Housewives" star, in a statement responding to her and her husband's 39-count federal indictment, said "I am hopeful that we will resolve this matter with the Government as quickly as possible."
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio replacing Kate Burton as the First Lady of "Hostages"
The CBS drama will have reshoot pilot scenes featuring Burton.
Sarah Michelle Gellar: "The Crazy Ones" has a great schedule, unlike "Ringer"
"I don't think I really thought that whole 'twin' thing through," she says of the exhausting work she did on her canceled CW series. PLUS: McDonalds didn't pay for its placement in the pilot, and how "The Crazy Ones" managed Robin Williams.
Lucy Hale & Darren Criss to co-host the Teen Choice Awards
This year's ceremony takes place on Aug. 11.
CBS hints at how Cote de Pablo will exit "NCIS"
Will her character be killed off?
Cartoon Network cancels "Incredible Crew"
Does the cancelation of the Nick Cannon-created show mean there's a sketch comedy crisis on TV?
I'll gladly admit to being a bit of a "Doctor Who" geek, so getting a chance to talk to outgoing Doctor Matt Smith and his feisty companion Clara (and previously Oswin) Jenna Coleman was a Comic-Con high for me.
This weekend, I watched the new DC animated film "Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox," and I thought it was really well-done overall. One of the things that most impressed me was a credits block where they named the creators of several of the major characters used in the film.
"SUPERMAN created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.
By Special Arrangement with the Jerry Siegel Family.
BATMAN created by Bob Kane.
WONDER WOMAN created by William Moulton Marston.
AQUAMAN created by Paul Norris.
ETRIGAN THE DEMON created by Jack Kirby.
CYBORG and DEATHSTROKE created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez.
GRIFTER created by Jim Lee and Brandon Choi."
And, no, I don't know why they don't also credit Gardner Fox and Harry Lampert for creating The Flash, since this is a Flash-heavy movie, or why they don't include the creators of The Green Lantern or Shazam. It's been a slow and interesting process watching DC and Marvel grapple with how to handle the credits on their films, both animated and live-action, and so far, most of these decisions have been made because of legal action, not a sense of wanting to credit those who deserve it.
CW renews "Whose Line is it Anyway?"
The rebooted improv show will be back for a 24-episode 2nd season.
CW moves up the premieres of "The Vampire Diaries," "The Originals" and "Supernatural"
CW hopes the schedule changes gives "The Originals" an edge over "Marvel’s Agents Of SHIELD."
Oprah books her "Watch What Happens Live" debut
Oprah Winfrey will appear on Andy Cohen's Bravo show on Aug. 15.
R. Kelly has a lot of interesting stories, to be sure, but his new single, “My Story” would not be one of them.
[More after the jump...]
Bruno Mars has seen his star rise meteorically since fans first heard him as the featured vocalist on B.o.B.’s 2010 smash “Nothing On You.” Between his guest spots and his own hit-filled two albums, it should come as no surprise that Mars was able to sell out Los Angeles’ Staples Center for two nights, but what was surprising was how capably he commanded an audience for someone still in the early stages of his career.
[More after the jump...]