Sequel on track despite concerns for "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo's" box office performance: "According to Sony, the 'Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' sequel, 'The Girl Who Played With Fire,' is still moving forward despite the lingering perception that 'Dragon Tattoo' has underperformed. “['Dragon Tattoo'] continues to do strong business and nothing has changed with respect to development of the next book,” a Sony rep tells EW. In November, Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal told us that 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' was definitely a go, with a targeted late-2013 release date." EW.COM
Rooney Mara laments her previous role in "Nightmare on Elm Street": "When Rooney Mara isn't commanding the screen with the talent of an old pro in 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,' she's trashing her previous employers. Just a month after apologizing for saying her stint on 'Law & Order: SVU' was 'so awful' and 'so stupid,' Mara tells Entertainment Weekly that she didn't actually want to appear in the remake of 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' that helped launch her film career. 'You kind of learn to self-sabotage with things you don't want to get,' she told EW in a new interview (quotes not online). 'Sometimes you don't want to get something but you do a really good job and you get it anyway.'" MOVIEFONE
Elton John wants Justin Timberlake to star in a surrel biopic about him: "No. 1 on my wish list is Justin Timberlake, because he played me before in a David LaChapelle video of 'Rocket Man' and was superb ... it's going to be a surreal look at my life, and not just a factual look at my life, more in the manner of a 'Moulin Rouge!' I just don't want it to be a normal biopic because my life hasn't been like that. And it only goes up to when I go into rehab in 1990. It starts with me going into rehab and ends when I come out." LOS ANGELES TIMES
Mark Harris considers the weak holiday box office for Oscar contenders: "Perhaps the most notable idiosyncrasy about this year’s Oscar race is that said audience has so far proved pretty indifferent both to the Academy Awards contest and to the films that are leading it. We can argue until we’re purple about whether 'The Artist' is a loving tribute to a bygone style of moviemaking or just a slick, surfacey pastiche, but even if the movie ends up sweeping the Oscars, the box office numbers suggest that it’s never going to be more than a middling success. Audiences have been given every chance to swoon for 'Hugo,' and they haven't, nor will they even if a thousand critics insist a thousand times that nobody ever understood 3-D before Marty." GRANTLAND
Bonnie Raitt will release her first new album in years: "In April, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bonnie Raitt will release 'Slipstream,' her first album in seven years, with major tour dates to follow. The album will be put out by Raitt's own new label, Redwing, and will feature covers of two songs by Bob Dylan, production on several songs from Joe Henry and a reggae cover of the late Gerry Rafferty's hit 'Right Down the Line.' The album marks a return to the spotlight for the singer, who has been on hiatus in recent years after the deaths of her parents, her brother and her best friend." ROLLING STONE
WWII musical "Yank!" is on its way to Broadway: "'Yank!,' the musical story of a young American G.I. facing first love as he is swept into World War II, is aiming for a Broadway life in the 2012-13 season, Stuart Wilk, one of its lead producers told Playbill.com on Jan. 2. The show by composer Joseph Zellnik and lyricist-librettist David Zellnik had an Off-Broadway run at York Theatre Company's home in spring 2010, and completed a monthlong workshop in fall 2011 ... 'While it's the same story that people saw at the York, the authors and the director continue to go deeper into the story, deeper into the love story, deeper into World War II,' Wilk said. 'It comes off less an homage to musicals of the '40s than a bold musical in its own right.'" PLAYBILL
Earliest Oscars Predictions Ever
Our Oscarologists are busy updating their predictions as they see more and more contenders. Make your early picks now -- click here -- and change them later as the derby heats up.