No promises we’ll have a Friday news dump this week, so you’d better enjoy this edition…
* Well, the big news tonight is most definitely the reorganization going over at the Warner Brothers megastudio. As far as I’m able to suss out, what this amounts to is a consolidation of power for CEO Jeff Bewkes. Reading Nikki Finke‘s current summary of the situation is a bit like reading a Television Without Pity post for a very complicated soap opera you’ve never seen, but Anne Thompson keeps it much, much simpler. On his way out exec Alan Horn is a good guy who Thompson believes was simply superfluous. Another case of a nice guy finishing last?
However, Nikki Finke does allude to a very crucial part of the Warners empire, and that’s DC Comics now being headed by the Warners minded and Finke approved Diane Nelson. As it happens, my deep, deep connections in the comics biz were e-mailing me news earlier today — which I was somewhat aware of but failed to properly cover earlier in the week — of an onging reorganization going on over there which certainly ties into the ongoing attempts at Warners to become more aggressive regarding comics adaptations along the lines of what Marvel Entertainment has been doing for some time — and also to try and avoid more flops like “Jonah Hex.”
There was even talk some talk of DC becoming entirely a West Coast operation, but that would be a major breach of publishing industry tradition with some actual problems involved and, in any case, thanks to FedEx and the ‘net, freelancers can live where they want now. Heidi MacDonald’s great comics blog The Beat has been covering this end of the story and you read about some of what’s going on here.
* The Joaquin Phoenix career reclamation project is in full swing with what almost has to be a fence mending appearance on Letterman tonight and rumors that the very talented Phoenix may be looking at playing Clyde Tolson to Leonardo DiCaprio‘s J. Edgar Hoover in the upcoming biopic written by the very interesting pair of Oscar wining “Milk” screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and Clint Eastwood. Sounds great. Only problem is, according to the latest report, Mr. Eastwood’s not interested. Why, exactly?
* Another interesting rumor I probably shouldn’t repeat: A “True Blood” movie?
* A much more solid story that’s the inverse of the above. Mike Fleming is reporting that a TV series version of “GoodFellas” is in the works as well as a “father-son” story about John Gotti Jr. and Sr. How heartwarming.
Coincidentally or not, I’m currently in the middle of a very readable oral history of the classic film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Nicolas Pileggi and Scorsese over at GQ.
* I’m also in the middle of what Anne Thompson terms a “must read” profile of super-scribe Aaron Sorkin. (I confess she also steered me towards the GQ piece above .) Just try and avoid “The Social Network,” I dare you. No matter how good the movie is, boy, is a gigantic backlash inevitable on this one.
* Okay, maybe I’m missing something here, but wouldn’t owls fight in a completely different fashion than human Hollywood stunt pros, even if they’re dressed up with feathers and stuff?
* Getting back to funny book characters, Marvel may be getting more serious about a Black Widow movie with Scarlett Johansson.
*The copyright holders to the original story by Cornell Woolrich that was the basis for “Rear Window” have lost their suit, writes the Playlist, against the writers of “Disturbia.” That makes. The Shia LaBeouf vehicle wasn’t a rip-off of Woolrich’s story, it was a rip-off of the very different Alfred Hitchcock film written by John Michael Hayes and unofficially with a story co-written by Hitchcock. The wrong estate was suing, I suppose.
* Speaking of the Playlist, they also have broken a story that kinds of a bummer. It appears that Paul Thomas Anderson’s planned not-Scientology film, “The Master,” which was to star Phillip Seymour Hoffman as not-L. Ron Hubbard and Jeremy Renner as his protegee, has been put on indefinite hold partly because of some kind of creative impasse that happened in rehearsals. Doesn’t sound good but perhaps the creative problem was real and significant. Considering the time and expense of making a movie, it’s possible Anderson is better off scuttling the project than making a film that didn’t work