After last month’s overwhelming ratings success of “The Sound of Music,” NBC will showcase another live musical next December. Producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan will bring back “Peter Pan” almost 60 years after it last aired live on the same network. The duo also helmed the Carrie Underwood event and will produce the 86th annual Academy Awards on March 2. Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said to reporters (jokingly) that he wants Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, and Justin Bieber in the cast. Deadline.
Steve Pond proclaims “American Hustle” is now the leader for the Best Picture Oscar, at least for today, after its SAG Award win Saturday as Best Film Ensemble. That victory along with the four acting nods for Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, and Jennifer Lawrence are “indicative of widespread support” among the largest Academy branch. He does caution that only half of the SAG ensemble champs over the years actually win the top prize at the Oscars. The Wrap.
In a new essay called “Lost and Found in America,” Sasha Stone writes that this year’s Oscar race for Best Director provides “variations on a theme” that all “all spring from the notion that the main character, or characters, are lost. Literally, accidentally, deliberately. They struggle to find a way home, each hoping to be found again.” She then discusses each of the contenders at length: Alfonso Cuaron (“Gravity“), Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”), Alexander Payne (“Nebraska“), David O. Russell (“American Hustle”), and Martin Scorsese (“The Wolf of Wall Street“). Awards Daily.
With all of the upcoming late night changes at NBC, the network announces guests to usher out Jay Leno and to welcome in Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers. “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno will wrap up on February 6 with his first ever guest, Billy Crystal, returning along with country star Garth Brooks. On February 17, the premiere episode of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” will include Will Smith and U2. That same night, “Late Night with Seth Meyers” features Amy Poehler as the opening guest. L.A. Times.
The new film “Ride Along” breaks the January record for box office returns with $41.2 million over the four day MLK weekend. Advance projections had estimated $27 million, so these numbers tower over what was expected by the Kevin Hart movie. “Lone Survivor” starring Mark Wahlberg falls to second place with a strong $23.2 million. The new animated flick “The Nut Job” opens with $20.6 million. In fourth place with disappointing results of $17.2 million is “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,” with Chris Pine attempting to reboot the action franchise. USA Today.
Harvey Weinstein discloses plans that he will produce a new film starring Meryl Streep that takes on the National Rifle Association. Even though his career has included many violent films like “Pulp Fiction” and “Django Unchained,” he also says that his future movies will not be as violent as before: “For me personally I can’t continue to that. The change starts here….For me I can’t make one movie, and say ‘This is what I want for my kids and just go out and be a hypocrite. I can’t continue to do that. The change starts here.” Variety.
Lanford Beard ranks all the speeches at the SAG Awards in a best-to-worst photo gallery. At the top is Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave“), life achievement recipient Rita Moreno, Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad“), Ty Burrell (“Modern Family“), and Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club“). At the bottom is Sofia Vergara accepting for her “Modern Family” cast. Entertainment Weekly.
Anne Thompson offers an exclusive video chat with rising star Miles Teller. She interviews the 26-year-old actor at Sundance after screening his new film “Whiplash.” She said she knew he “was a star” after seeing this new crowd-pleaser and in his previous movies “Rabbit Hole” and “The Spectacular Now.” Thompson on Hollywood.