Billy Crystal is the New Oscar Host [Updated]

In the wake of Ratnergate and the subsequent departure of Eddie Murphy as the host of next year’s Oscar ceremony and telecast, many questions have flown about who might step in to tell mild jokes and introduce musical numbers. The Muppets have a groundswell of support as possible hosts, but the logistics involved in making a Muppet-hosted Oscars work would seem to make that impossible. (That is, if the Academy was even really considering the option, which I doubt.)

Brian Grazer took over as telecast producer from the departed Brett Ratner, and a more than a few jokes were made about last-minute calls going out to Billy Crystal to host the Oscars once more. Now Deadline says that Crystal is in talks to host.

Updated: A tweet from Variety says that the Academy has confirmed Crystal as Oscar host. Read More »


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Brian Grazer Replaces Brett Ratner as Oscars Producer

Earlier today, Eddie Murphy dropped out of his Oscar-hosting job after his Tower Heist director Brett Ratner resigned from his Oscar-producing gig. But if the Academy has things their way, Murphy may return yet. Producer Brian Grazer has been tapped to replace Ratner as the new Oscar producer, and apparently his first job will be to get Murphy back. More after the jump.

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‘The Dark Tower’ TV Series Will Air on HBO

Stephen King‘s fantasy Western series The Dark Tower has suffered numerous stops and starts in its slow road to the screen, but the adaptation seems to be inching ever closer to becoming a reality. Though Universal ultimately passed on Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, and Akiva Goldsman‘s ambitious plan to create a three-part film series and two connected TV seasons based on the books, Grazer sounded optimistic earlier this week when he revealed that he had trimmed $45-$50 million from the budget in an effort to get more companies interested. And today, he announced that while the film portion of the project has yet to find a home, the television part has just found one in HBO. More details after the jump.

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Coen Brothers fans, prepare for paroxysms of excitement. Los. Bros. Awesome are making a TV show. But settle down just a bit, however, because they’re not going to be writing every episode, and at this point we’re not even certain that Joel or Ethan will direct an installment. But plans are afoot to create a show called HarveKarbo, which would be an idiosyncratic LA-based detective show. Read More »

The boys at Imagine Entertainment aren’t going to let Universal’s brush-off get them down. Not long ago, Universal opted not to fund an adaptation of Stephen King‘s novel series The Dark Tower, which was planned to encompass three feature films and at least two short connective television series. Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Akiva Goldsman make up the trio that have been trying to assemble the project, and, as intimated by King when Universal turned away, they’re not giving up.

Javier Bardem remains attached to play Roland Deschain in the features. And one venue for the TV aspect of the project could end up being Netflix. Read More »

Coincidence or not: on the same day that we learn Universal has passed on the Dark Tower adaptation that Ron Howard, Akiva Goldsman and Brian Grazer were trying to make at Imagine Entertainment, we get word that another old Imagine project at Universal has new life through a new screenwriter. Years ago the company got the rights to remake the 1968 (released in ’70) tech thriller Colossus: The Forbin Project — a sort of ‘computer develops sentience’ thriller that paved the way for War Games and other films — but for a very long time it has seemed basically dormant. Now it is back. Read More »

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The writing has been on the wall for a little while now, but here’s the final word: Universal doesn’t want to risk coin on three movies and two connecting TV arcs based on Stephen King‘s The Dark Tower. Imagine Entertainment wants a commitment for more than one film, which is all Universal was willing to sign off on. So the Universal chapter of this story is over. The studio has passed on the project, leaving Ron Howard, Akiva Goldsman and Brian Grazer holding a script, the possible lingering willingness of Javier Bardem to play the lead role, and some big hopes. Read More »

On his latest film Cowboys and Aliens, director Jon Favreau has decided to take the EPK interviews into his own hands and record conversations with the cast and crew.  I love that Favreau is doing this, my only complaint is that I wish he would release the interview in long form, not broken up into highlight clips. A couple weeks back we posted Favreau’s sit-down interview with the film’s co-star Harrison Ford.  Today we bring you Favreau’s sitdown with producers Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. Hit the jump to watch the video clips now.

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Whatever you think of the grand career sweep of the creative team, Imagine Entertainment and, in particular, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Akiva Goldsman are trying something pretty outrageous with their adaptation of Stephen King‘s novel series The Dark Tower. Set to span three films and two limited TV series, with an offshoot game or two to add additional flavor, there’s nothing quite like it on the drawing boards anywhere else.

Javier Bardem is provisionally cast as the Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, but Universal wanted a bit of a budget reduction, and the schedule was pushed back. We’re still waiting to see the studio flash the green light for The Dark Tower, but in the meantime Ron Howard and Brian Grazer clarify where the project stands. Read More »