Tags: Bush | Biopic

Oliver Stone's Bush Biopic

Tuesday, 22 Jan 2008 01:32 PM

By James Hirsen

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Why Britney Spears Makes the News
2. Arnold Schwarzenegger Waiting for Michael Bloomberg?
3. Charlize Theron's Geography Gaffe
4. Oliver Stone to Film Bush Biopic
5. A-Listers and ABC Hoping for Writers Settlement
 

1. Why Britney Spears Makes the News

Ever wonder why stories about the latest off-the-wall antics of Britney Spears tend to dominate the news?

Well, when ratings are high, so are advertising revenues.

And there's not much that will make ratings soar more than stories that feature the petulant pop tart.

"Entertainment Tonight" enjoyed a 26 percent increase in viewer-ship during the week in which Spears' meltdown and subsequent hospitalization received coverage. In fact, the Jan. 4 program, which focused on the Spears saga, resulted in a ratings increase of 34 percent over the same time period one-week prior.

During this same period, other entertainment news shows also experienced increased ratings.

The audience of "The Insider" increased by 11 percent, "Access Hollywood"'s numbers came in with an additional 14 percent, "Inside Edition" had 15 percent more viewers, and "Extra"'s audience jumped up 20 percent.


2. Arnold Schwarzenegger Waiting for Michael Bloomberg?

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michael Bloomberg were photographed together back in 2007 for a Time magazine piece called "New Action Heroes."

The California governor and the New York mayor appeared to be quite chummy as they stood next to each other at a Los Angeles conference and denounced the partisanship of both the Democrats and the GOP.

More recently, Bloomberg paid a visit to Arnold, and the two had a tete-a-tete about the promotion of tax dollar "investment" in infrastructure.

The palsy-walsy behavior might explain why Schwarzenegger told the press he refuses to endorse anyone on the eve of the California primary.

"It doesn't help me any; it doesn't help the state of California to endorse anybody," Schwarzenegger was quoted as saying by the Los Angeles Times. "I will not endorse anybody."

Arnold indicated that he has "respect" for "all the candidates in the Republican lineup" but kept the names of any personal favorites to himself.

"Of course, I have my preferences. But I don't get involved," Arnold explained.


3. Charlize Theron's Geography Gaffe

Charlize Theron relishes her reputation as a Hollywood actress who's not just another pretty face.

She also has a reputation for choosing roles that reflect her politics, like "North Country" and "The Valley of Elah."

But according to the London Daily Mail, Theron's knowledge of the world may be wanting.

Three times during an interview to promo "Elah," the Oscar winner spoke of her visit to Budapest, which happens to be the capital of Hungary.

"We went to Turkey," Theron said, referring to the trip in which boyfriend actor Stuart Townsend accompanied her. "When we got over there, we rented a car and we drove all the way to Budapest. By the time we got to Budapest it was like the Cannes Film Festival. I'd never seen anything like it."

The problem, though, was that she actually visited the Turkish city of Istanbul to appear at the Istanbul International Film Festival.

Theron spoke of going to a Turkish bazaar, purchasing Turkish carpets and the ample attention she received in "Budapest."

Maybe on her next jaunt Theron can make the rounds to Toronto, Italy; Cannes, Greece; and Venice, Germany.


4. Oliver Stone's Bush Biopic

Oliver Stone apparently loves making movies about Republican presidents.

The director of "Nixon" is set to direct a biopic on the life and presidency of another GOP prez — George W. Bush. The film is tentatively titled "Bush."

Barbra Streisand's stepson, Josh Brolin, plans to portray Dubya.

Josh's dad, James Brolin, played President Ronald Reagan in the deeply flawed, highly criticized TV miniseries, "The Reagans."

Production on the film involving our current president will most likely begin in Spring 2008, with the movie coming to a theater near you in the thick of the fall presidential campaign.

"It's a behind-the-scenes approach, similar to ‘Nixon,' to give a sense of what it's like to be in his skin," Stone told Variety.

"But if 'Nixon' was a symphony, this is more like a chamber piece, and not as dark in tone. People have turned my political ideas into a cliche, but that is superficial. I'm a dramatist who is interested in people, and I have empathy for Bush as a human being, much the same as I did for Castro, Nixon, Jim Morrison, Jim Garrison, and Alexander the Great," Stone explained.

Stone said that the film will include Bush's "belief that God personally chose him to be president of the United States, and his coming into his own with the stunning, preemptive attack on Iraq."

"It will contain surprises for Bush supporters and his detractors," Stone claimed.

One question Stone asked provides some insight into the director's mind and the film's possible slant: "How did Bush go from an alcoholic bum to the most powerful figure in the world?"


5. A-Listers and ABC Hoping for Writers Settlement

Daniel Day-Lewis, Angelina Jolie, Julie Christie, Cate Blanchett and George Clooney are wishing, hoping and maybe even praying.

They are potential nominees and/or presenters for this year's Oscars, and they don't want to be part of a Golden Globes redux.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences claims to have a way to put on the Oscar telecast even if the writers fail to settle.

The Oscars are the second most-watched TV show in the nation next to the Super Bowl, bringing in 60 to 80 million dollars in revenue for ABC.

A press conference show like the Globes just won't cut it.

After the Directors Guild of America (DGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) made a deal that included residual payments for Internet revenue, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) felt the heat and decided to resume negotiations with studio execs.

The Directors Guild contract doesn't include some of the items that the writers have been trying to obtain, such as jurisdiction over reality shows and animation.

From my perspective, it's doubtful that the studios would be willing to settle in a way that's significantly different from the deal they made with the directors.

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