Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures
Global box office tallies for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix have now reached the $700-million mark. Why, one more matinee, and the flick'll have earned almost as much as I have for filling in for Mitovich all week. Jennifer Garner is in talks to join Kevin Kline on Broadway this fall in a revival of Cyrano de Bergerac. Hey, she can't possibly tank worse than Julia Roberts did. Olive Oyl's man yis what he yis, and we love 'im for it. So Warner Home Video and King Features Syndicate have put out a four-DVD collection called Popeye the Sailor, 1933-1938, Vol. 1. Suddenly, I have a hankering for a can of spinach. And a can of whupass, too.
Per Variety, Ian McShane will star in the fantasy pic The Dark Is Rising.... Jennifer Garner will produce and possibly star in Devil in the Junior League, a comedy about a lawyer who agrees to help a socialite scorned if she will make over his trashy wife.... Per the Hollywood Reporter, Matthew Lillard and Efren Ramirez are set for an American Summer, playing a pool boy and gardener who squat in a Beverly Hills mansion and become neighborhood pimps. I can't decide who should sue first: Joel Goodson, Deuce Bigalow or Axel Foley.... Bend It Like Beckham's Gurinder Chadha is in talks to helm Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging, a comedy based on the best-selling 1999 novel.
Cynthia Nixon tells the New York Daily News' Gatecrasher that the recently resuscitated big-screen Sex and the City venture "is still in negotiations".... Per Reuters, Saturday Night Live cast member Kristen Wiig is in final talks to join John C. Reilly and the fabulous Jenna Fischer in the Walk the Line send-up Walk Hard.... Universal Pictures has opted to push back the Jamie Foxx-Jennifer Garner action thriller The Kingdom from Apr. 20 to Sept. 28, as the result of a successful research screening.
Ben Affleck, Hollywoodland
Recently, Ben Affleck seemed to be better known for his romantic involvements than his talents on screen. But with Hollywoodland (available now on DVD), the actor is changing all that. The fact-based flick, detailing the mysterious death of ‘50s Superman George Reeves, earned Affleck great reviews and a Golden Globe nod (for best supporting actor). More importantly, this dark Tinseltown tale reminds audiences that Affleck was delivering fine performances — in films such as Chasing Amy and Good Will Hunting — long before
Per the Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. Pictures and Silver Pictures, which have been developing a big-screen Wonder Woman with Buffyverse creator Joss Whedon, are in the process of buying a spec script from a pair of newbies but as a preemptive measure, to keep the rival take (set during World War II, whereas Whedon's is present-day) off the market.... Universal emerged victorious in a bidding war for a revisionist take on Robin Hood, with Russell Crowe playing the Sheriff of Nottingham as the investigator in a string of murders in which Robin is suspected.... Per Variety, Jennifer Garner will star in a remake of Christmas in Connecticut.... Unfaithful's Richard Gere and Diane Lane will reteam for Nights in Rodanthe, an adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel about a traveling doctor who has a life-changing romance.
Question: First of all, great to see Alias back in (in my opinion) top form. I still care about these characters, and I can't wait to see how it all wraps up. Likewise, another great episode of Invasion. The story keeps moving along, with quite a bit revealed each episode — certainly more than I expected when I got into it in the first place. I've been particularly impressed with Evan Peters as Jesse; I've loved the "kids return to school" aspect of the show, and Jesse has really become a centerpiece to all of the aspects of the show. His drunken shooting practice at the end of the episode was wonderfully acted — muted and subtle instead of over-the-top (as it could very easily have been). What I'm really excited about, though, is May 3, which — if my calculations are correct — will be what I've been waiting for for nearly a year: consecutive new episodes of Alias, Lost and Invasion. What a great night of television: three shows with different stories, characters, styles and even color ...
Jon Stewart did his best, but it wasn't good enough. There are limitations in being a clever, self-deprecating master of irony, when what the job of Oscar host truly demands is being a showman. Which Stewart would probably be the first to admit he's not.
His humor, politically barbed but never obnoxious, was possibly a bit too sophisticated for that cavernous room. But what really defeated him, as it has almost every modern-day Oscar host except for Billy Crystal, is the deadly monotony of the Oscar show itself. What a fossiled relic. The Oscar broadcast is a classy but inert dinosaur, and this year's was more forgettable than most.
Stewart gamely tried to deflate the evening's pomposity whenever he could — after a montage on message movies, he quipped, "and none of these issues were ever a problem again" — but still, we had to sit through it all anyway.
Even with a last-minute shocker, as Crash
Alias' Jennifer Garner and Michael Vartan
The countdown to Alias' hotly anticipated series finale officially got under way last week when new mum Jennifer Garner returned to the set to begin work on the show's last 10 or so episodes. And although ABC has yet to announce when (or where) the spy drama will complete its run (what's up with that?), there's every reason to believe that the 5-year-old series will go out the same way it came in: with a huge bang and a ton of hype. Not one to diminish expectations, executive producer Jeff Pinkner declares, "We want every episode from here to the end to top the one before it." OK, if ever there's a statement that demands a few follow-up Qs, it's that one. So, let's get to it.
Ausiello: What are some of the big returns you have planned?Pinkner: Lena Olin's coming back for the 99th episode, which is our second one back.
Ausiello: Really? Just for the 99th?Pinkner: Well, no, she's actually going to be back for a co
Question: Do you happen to know when Alias will return with new episodes?
Answer: All ABC will say is "spring." BTW, today is Jennifer Garner's first day back at work following her maternity leave. All together now: "Welcome back, Jen!"
Question: What'd you think of the latest episode of Alias (the last one before the break for Jennifer Garner's maternity leave)? I've been rather critical of the show (even if I'm still horribly addicted and would never give it up), but this episode, featuring flashbacks to "classic" Alias moments, blew me away. For the first time this season, I'm excited to see the next episode —which is, naturally, months away. Kudos to the producers for keeping the secret of who is behind Prophet 5 so well kept (at least Lena Olin wasn't credited). Can we expect the same quality for the last 13 episodes of the series? Wouldn't it be great for Alias to go out on top, after these years of hailing its past brilliance?
Answer: That really was a terrific episode — creatively structured, suspenseful, harking back to the show's emotional core. And the Lena Olin reveal was remarkable, on its own merits and also because I didn't have a clue it was coming. In this age of spoilers, that really is a refreshing