The Hobbit to be made in New Zealand after all

After a lot of controversy and an elaborate plan B to film The Hobbit in the UK, it seems that the prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy will be made in New Zealand, after all.  Warner Bros and Peter Jackson had been in talks with the New Zealand government to try to find a resolution to the labor union issues the production team was having with the New Zealand actors.

It’s unclear what they ended up agreeing to, but the New Zealand prime minister announced at a press conference that an agreement has been made, and that The Hobbit will be filmed entirely in New Zealand.  This is good news not only for the country’s promotional interests, but also for the thousands of New Zealand citizens working on the films.

Gwyneth Paltrow gets her country on

It might be the last move you would expect from a posh society girl married to a Brit, but it seems that Gwyneth Paltrow is about to make a live singing debut… performing country music.  The actress and mother of two will be singing for the CMA awards in November, to promote her upcoming moving called, appropriately, Country Strong.

The movie has a soundtrack coming out on October 26th, and Paltrow will supposedly be performing a song from the soundtrack.  The movie itself, however, will not be coming out until early next year, so all you die-hard Gwyneth fans (do I hear crickets?) will have to make do with her country singing until then.

Adrien Brody’s new film caught up in legal battle

adrien brody

Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody has asked a federal judge to put a hold on DVD sales for a film he made in 2008, based on Brody’s complaint that the producers of the film have not yet paid him everything he was owed according to the terms of his contract.

Brody, who for some reason agreed to do the horror movie for a measly $1.5 million, has received less than $1 million so far.  Apparently the movie wasn’t very good, either, because it never even made it to theaters – it has gone straight to DVD.  The producers of the movie claim that Brody has been bullying them for months about the money, but they just don’t have it, and if he wants to get paid, trying to get some money back from the DVD sales may be his best chance.

Mel Gibson still able to find a job

If you want your new movie to suffer the kiss of death, casting Mel Gibson is probably a good start down that road, since at the moment he’s about as popular as stomach flu.  However, that hasn’t stopped him from getting a role in the sequel to The Hangover, aptly titled The Hangover 2.

A cameo appearance in the original Hangover movie did wonders for Mike Tyson‘s career, so it’s possible that Gibson is wondering if he can follow suit with some comedy of his own.  After all, nothing says “hilarious” like a misogynistic racist with violent tendencies and a history of physical abuse and bigoted rants!

The Social Network stuns the box office

What an amazing first weekend for David Fincher‘s new film, The Social Network.  The movie brought in $23 million in its first two days, which is not record-breaking by any means, but it’s pretty good considering that most people squinted and said “really?” when they heard there was going to be a movie about the creation of Facebook.  The movie is full of solid performances from all the main actors, and the story is certainly engaging, even though the real-life counterparts of the characters say that many liberties were taken with the script (meh, it’s a dramatization, what do you want?).  Early buzz is that there are going to be multiple Oscar nominations, but of course we still have another three months for something to come along and knock The Social Network off its pedestal.

Star Wars 3D on its way

Really, does every single film need to be 3D these days?  It would seem so, and some major filmmakers are having a look through their back catalogues to see what would be suitable for an upgrade into the third dimension.  George Lucas, for example, has just revealed that he is preparing to release all six Star Wars films in 3D, beginning with The Phantom Menace in 2012.

Am I the only one who was kind of hoping that the 3D craze would be long over by 2012?  3D is great for about two minutes, and then the nausea takes over, and it kind of gets old after that.  I hope that this doesn’t set off a huge trend of filmmakers neglecting new work in favor of re-releasing all their old stuff.  No one wants to see the 3D version of Gigli.  No one even wanted to see it the first time around.

Facebook movie fantastic by all accounts

The Social Network, David Fincher‘s movie about the making of Facebook, is getting some amazingly positive early reviews ahead of its nationwide opening this Friday.  Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has said that the film is highly fictionalized and overly dramatic, but audiences are unlikely to care about that, as long as it’s entertaining.  It seems like a lot of good choices were made in the production of this film.  The casting is inspired, from Jesse Eisenberg to Justin Timberlake and Brenda Song, and recently it was announced that Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross of Nine Inch Nails had written the score for the film.  The tracks I’ve heard so far are pretty dark and delicious, so I’m really looking forward to The Social Network’s opening this weekend.