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Archive for December, 2011

Vernon Wells

Vernon George Wells (born 31 December 1945) is an Australian film and television actor who has built his career around action-type films, most often cast as a villain. He began appearing on Australian television shows in the mid-1970s, such as ‘Homocide’, ‘Matlock Police’ and ‘All The Rivers Run’. 

However, he is best known to most international audiences for his role of “Wez”, in the 1981 science fiction action film ‘Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior’. Wells was cast as the homicidal biker “Wez”, in the movie which was filmed around Silverton near Broken Hill in outback New South Wales, Australia. It is the role for which he is probably best known to international audiences, as Wells portrays a psychotic, post-apocalyptic gang leader who relentlessly pursues hero Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson), before meeting a spectacular death during the film’s final cahse sequence. 

After Mad Max 2, Wells began appearing in Hollywood films, such as the military action film ‘Commando’ (1985) (as Bennett), which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the science fiction comedy ‘Innerspace’ (1987), which starred MArtin Short, Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid. In the 2000s, Wells acted in the television series ‘Power Rangers: Time Force’ portraying the series’ main villain ‘Ransik’.

Lloyd Kaufman

Lloyd Kaufman (born December 30, 1945) is anAmerican film director, producer, screenwriter and occasional actor. With producer Michael Herz, he is the co-founder of Troma Entertainment film studio, and the director of many of their feature films, including ‘The Toxic Avenger’ and ‘Tromeo and Juliet’. Kaufman also serves as chairman of the Independent Film & Television Alliance. 

Kaufman graduated from Yale University with the class of 1968, where he majored in Chinese studies. His Yale classmates included Oliver Stone and George W. Bush. Originally intending to become a social worker, he became fast friends with student filmmaker Robert Edelstein and Eric Sherman who introduced him to his future lifelong obsession, cinema.

Following his graduation, Kaufman went on to work for Cannon Films, where he met John G. Avildsen (future Academy Award winning winning director of ‘Rocky’ and ‘The Karate Kid’). The two collaborated for several years, making low-budget films. During this period, Kaufman also directed and starred in his second feature film, ‘The Battle of Love’s Return’, which garnered positive reviews in publications such as The New York Times, wrote and produced the lesbian thriller ‘Sugar Cookies’ (with Oliver Stone), and wrote and directed another film, the Israeli comedy flop ‘Big Gus, What’s the Fuss?’. Kaufman also served as executive in charge of locations for ‘Staurday Night Fever’, and was influential in choosing 2001 Odyssey as the nightclub in the film.

From 1973-1979, Kaufman produced and directed a handful of adult films in New York under the pseudonym “Louis Su.” He directed at least three movies: The Divine Obsession, The Newcomers, and Sweet & Sour, and has been credited for producing at least three more.

In 1974, Kaufman and his business partner Michael Herz founded Troma Entertainment and began producing and distributing independent action and comedy films. In order to pay the bills, Kaufman did some freelance work for major Hollywood productions, including Rocky (edited on Troma’s flatbed machines), Saturday Night Fever, and The Final Countdown, which he also produced. From 1979 to 1981, the two wrote, produced and directed a series of profitable “sexy comedies” including ‘Squeeze Play!’, ‘Waitress!’, ‘Stuck on You!’ and ‘The First Turn-On!’. On most of these early films, Kaufman is credited as “Samuel Weil.”

In 1985, Troma experienced mainstream success with the violent, darkly comic superhero film ‘The Toxic Avenger’. Toxic went on to become Troma’s most popular movie, inspiring three sequels, a Saturday morning childrens television show, comic books and tons of merchandise. The Toxic Avenger, or “Toxie,” is now Troma’s official mascot.

Kaufman’s follow-up was ‘Class of Nuke ‘Em High’, which he co-directed with Richard W. Haines. Riding on the success of the Toxic Avenger, Nuke ’em inspired two sequels and a healthy run on late night cable shows such as USA Up All Night. 

Troma’s popularity waned after the box office failure of ‘Troma’s War’; Kaufman attributed the film’s lack of success to cuts made to the movie after the MPAA refused to release it with an R-rating in its intended form. Troma’s attempt to reboot its popularity with the super hero satire ‘Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D.’ was unsuccessful, failing to make an impression at the box office. From 1995 to 2000, Kaufman retrofitted the studio into an independent film company, finding success amongst cult movie fans and critics with the independent film ‘Tromeo and Juliet’ (1996), a loose parody of Shakespeare’s classic play. Other independent films that followed were the less successful ‘Terror Firmer’ (1999), a slasher film set on the set of a Troma movie (with Kaufman playing a caricature of himself), and the fourth installment in the Toxic Avenger franchise ‘Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV’. 

It would not be long, however, before Troma would once again experience financial hardship, this time after the botched funding of a low-budget video feature titled ‘Tales from the Crapper’, which cost $250,000 despite most of the footage being unusable. Lloyd supervised a reshoot in an attempt to salvage the film, dividing the footage into two parts and recasting the film as a double-feature. Tales from the Crapper was released on DVD in September 2004.

Troma still produces and acquires independent films. Troma Films has distributed many films from third parties including Trey Parker’s ‘Cannibal! The Musical’. Lloyd himself encourages independent filmmaking, making cameo appearances in low-budget horror films, often for free. Recent appearances include screen time in former collaborator James Gunn’s directing debut, ‘Slither’, as well as Gunn’s ‘Super’ and Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor’s ‘Crank’ and ‘Gamer’. 

Kaufman’s latest film, ‘Poultreygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead’, made its official New York premiere on May 9, 2008 (although the film had previewed numerous times on single screens for over a year). On its opening weekend, it had the second highest per-screen average ticket sales, and opened to positive reviews from Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times and was made a critics pick by New York Magazine. 

In September 2008, a staged musical version of The Toxic Avenger opened at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, New Jersey, directed by Tony Award winner John Rando.

Kaufman is the subject of the forthcoming book Toxic Schlock: Conversations with Lloyd Kaufman by Andrew J. Rausch and Chris Watson. An author himself, Kaufman has most recently been working on adding to his Your Own Damn Movie! series. Having completed Make Your Own Damn Movie!, Direct Your Own Damn Movie! and Produce Your Own Damn Movie!, he is now working on Sell Your Own Damn Movie!.

Kaufman is set to direct the upcoming ‘Toxic Avenger 5: The Toxic Twins’ and is also preparing for both the remake of ‘The Toxic Avenger’  by Akiva Goldsman, and the upcoming Father’s Day, a Canadian film which Troma is producing.

Kenneth Branagh on Thor 2

Here’s a cool fan poster for the forthcoming Avengers movie.

Also, director Kenneth Branagh spoke to Metro about the scheduling conflict that wouldn’t allow him to direct Thor 2:

I was proud of [“Thor”] and it was a lot of work, and it was a big risk for everybody — for Marvel employing somebody like me, for taking that character into a major film, for everything. So I was thrilled [the sequel] was being made. But it was happening so quickly. It was straight back in, and I needed time away from it, I needed to have a think. The third series “Wallander,” the TV series I do, was already on the cards, as well as a farce called “the Painkiller,” a play I did in Belfast — my hometown, very important to me — which I was in was in September and October. These things were already lined up, and it just wasn’t going to be possible to do all of them. It was a timing thing and a creative freshness kind of thing. And I wasn’t able to go straight back in and do the job that I knew that it deserved.

F. W. Murnau

Friedrich Wilhelm “F. W.” Murnau (December 28, 1888 – March 11, 1931) was one of the most influential German film directors of the silent era, and a prominent figure in the expressionist movement in German cinema during the 1920s. He was born as Friedrich Wilhelm Plumpe in Bielfield, Province of Westphalia. He attended the University of Heidelberg where he studied art history. He took the name “Murnau” from the town in Germany named Murnau am Staffelsee. Openly gay, the 6’11 (210cm) director was said to have an icy, imperious disposition and an obsession with film.

Murnau’s most famous film is the vampire classic, ‘Nosferatu’, an 1922 adaptation of Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ for which Stoker’s widow sued for copyright infringement. Murnau lost the lawsuit and all prints of the film were ordered to be destroyed, but bootleg prints survived. The vampire, played by German stage actor Max Schreck, resembled a rat which was known to carry the plague. The origins of the word are from Stoker’s novel, where it is used by the Romanian townsfolk to refer to Count Dracula and presumably, other undead.

Nearly as important as Nosferatu in Murnau’s filmography was ‘The Last Laugh’ (“Der Letzte Mann”, German “The Last Man”) (1924), written by Carl Mayer (a very prominent figure of the Kammerspielfilm movement) and starring Emil Jennings. The film introduced the subjective point of view camera, where the camera “sees” from the eyes of a character and uses visual style to convey a character’s psychological state. It also anticipated the cinema verite movement in its subject matter. The film also used a mix of tracking shots, pans, tilts, and zooms. Also, unlike the majority of Murnau’s other works, The Last Laugh is considered a Kammerspielfilm with Expressionist elements. Unlike expressionist films, Kammerspielfilme are categorized by their chamber play influence, involving a lack of intricate set designs and story lines / themes regarding social injustice towards the working classes.

Murnau’s last German film was the big budget ‘Faust’ (1926) with Gosta Ekman as the title character, Emil Jannings as Mephisto and Camilla Horn as Gretchen. Murnau’s film draws on older traditions of the legendary tale of Faust as well as on Goethe’s classic version. The film is well-known for a sequence in which the giant, winged figure of Mephisto hovers over a town sowing the seeds of plague.

Nosferatu (music by Hans Erdmann) and Faust (music by Werner Richard Heymann) were two of the first films to feature original film scores. 

Murnau emigrated to Hollywood in 1926, where he joined the Fox Studio and made ‘Sunrise’ (1927), a movie often cited by film scholars as one of the greatest films of all time. Filmed in the Fox Movietone sound-on-film system (music and sound effects only), Sunrise was not a financial success, but received several Oscars at the very first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929. In winning the Academy Award for Unique and Artistic Production it shared what is now the Best Picture award with the movie ‘Wings’.

Murnau’s next two films, the (now lost) ‘Four Devils’ (1928) and ‘City Girl’ (1930), were modified to adapt to the new era of sound film and were not well received. Their poor receptions disillusioned Murnau, and he quit Fox to journey for a while in the South Pacific. 

Together with documentary film pioneer Robert Flaherty, Murnau travelled to Bora Bora to realize the film ‘Tabu’ in 1931. Flaherty left after artistic disputes with Murnau who had to finish the movie on his own. The movie was censored in the United States for images of bare-breasted Polynesian women. The film was originally shot by cinematographer Floyd Crosby as half-talkie, half-silent, before being fully restored as a silent film — Murnau’s preferred medium.

Murnau did not live to see the premiere of his last film. He died in an automobile accident in Santa Barbara, California on 11 March 1931. Murnau was entombed on Southwest Cemetery (Südwest-Kirchhof Stahnsdorf) in Stahnsdorf near Berlin. Only 11 people attended the funeral. Among them were Robert Flaherty, Emil Jennings, Greta Garbo and Fritz Lang, who delivered the funeral speech. Garbo also commissioned a death mask of Murnau, which she kept on her desk during her years in Hollywood.

In 2000, director E. Elias Merhige released ‘Shadow of the Vampire’, a fictionalization of the making of Nosferatu. Murnau is portrayed by John Malkovich. In the film, Murnau is so dedicated to making the film genuine that he actually hires a real vampire (Willem Dafoe) to play Count Orlok.

Heather O’Rourke

Heather O’Rourke (December 27, 1975 – February 1, 1988) was an American child actress famous for playing Carol Anne Freeling in the Poltergeist film trilogy and made several television guest appearances. O’Rourke died due to medical error, and her death had long-lasting effects on her family and the media industry.

In the Poltergeist trilogy, O’Rourke played Carol Anne Freeling, a young suburban girl who becomes the conduit and target for supernatural entities. The New York Times noted that she had played the key role in the films and commented, “With her wide eyes, long blonde hair and soft voice, she was so striking that the sequel played off her presence.” During the production of the original Poltergeist, Spielberg twice accommodated the child actress when frightened. When scared by performing a particular stunt, Spielberg replaced O’Rourke with a stunt double wearing a blonde wig; and when disturbed by the portrayal of adult abuse toward the child characters, Spielberg did not require she perform the take again.For her work in Poltergeist, O’Rourke earned between US$35,000–$100,000. O’Rourke played the role in all three films. The Carol Anne character was the only member of the Freeling family to appear in the third film, Poltergeist III.

O’Rourke’s delivery of the lines “They’re here!” in the first film, and “They’re baa-aack!” in the second (that film’s tagline), placed her in the collective pop culture consciousness.

O’Rourke’s death complicated Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s marketing for her last work, Poltergeist III, out of fear of appearing to be exploiting her death. Tom Skerritt and Nancy Allen, O’Rourke’s co-stars, were discouraged from giving interviews about the film to avoid questions about O’Rourke’s death. O’Rourke died four months before the theatrical release of Poltergeist III, which was dedicated to her memory.

O’Rourke’s death (as well as four others) has been attributed to a supposed curse on the Poltergeist films and those associated with them; this urban legend supposedly stems from a real human skeleton used as a prop in the first film. According to backstage personnel, the ghost of O’Rourke herself haunts Paramount Pictures’ stage #19, where she filmed episodes of Happy Days.

Steven Spielberg – Part 4

Spielberg collaborated again with Tom Hanks along withCatherine Zeta-Jones and Stanley Tucci in 2004’s ‘The Terminal’, a warm-hearted comedy about a man of Eastern European descent who is stranded in an airport. It received mixed reviews but performed relatively well at the box office. In 2005, Empire magazine ranked Spielberg number one on a list of the greatest film directors of all time.

Also in 2005, Spielberg directed a modern adaptation of the H. G. Wells classic, ‘War of the Worlds’ (a co-production of Paramount and DreamWorks), Spielberg had been a huge fan of the book and the original 1953 film. It starred Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning, and, as with past Spielberg films, Industrial, Light & Magic (ILM) provided the visual effects. The film was another huge box office smash, grossing over $591 million worldwide.

Spielberg’s film ‘Munich’, about the events following the 1972 Munich Massacre of Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games, was his second film essaying Jewish relations in the world (the first being Schindler’s List). The film is based on ‘Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorist Team’, a book by Canadian journalist George Jonas. It was previously adapted into the 1986 made-for-TV film ‘Sword of Gideon’. The film received strong critical praise, but underperformed at the U.S. and world box-office; it remains one of Spielberg’s most controversial films to date. Munich received five Academy Awards nominations, including Best Picture, Film Editing, Original Music Score (by John Williams), Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Director for Spielberg. It was Spielberg’s sixth Best Director nomination and fifth Best Picture nomination.

Spielberg directed the awful ‘Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’, which wrapped filming in October 2007 and was released on May 22, 2008. This was his first film not to be released by DreamWorks since 1997. Oddly, the film received generally positive reviews from critics, and has performed very well in theaters. As of May 10, 2010, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull has grossed $317 million domestically, and over $786 million worldwide. There’s no accounting for taste.

Spielberg has also produced the Don Bluth animated features, ‘An American Tail’ and ‘The Land Before Time’, which were released by Universal Studios. He also served as one of the executive producers of the groundbreaking ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ and its three related shorts (Tummy Trouble, Roller Coaster Rabbit, Trail Mix-Up), which were all released by Disney, under both the Walt Disney Pictures and the Touchstone Pictures banners. Steven Spielberg had cameo roles in ‘The Blues Brothers’, ‘Gremlins’, ‘Vanilla Sky’ and ‘Austin Powers in Glodmember’, as well as small uncredited cameos in a handful of other films, such as a life-station worker in Jaws; he also voiced himself in the film ‘Paul‘.

In early 2009, Spielberg shot the first film in a planned trilogy of motion capture films based on The Aventures of Tintin written by Belgian artist Herge,  with Peter Jackson producing.The first film, ‘The Adventures of Tintin’ will be released intoday in Australia. The world premiere took place on October 22, 2011 in Brussels, Belgium. The film was set to be released in North American theaters on December 21, 2011. Switching roles, Jackson has been announced to direct the second film, which Spielberg will produce.

Spielberg’s next film, ‘War Horse’, was shot in England in the summer of 2010, and will also be released in Australia today. The film, based on the novel of the same name, is about the long friendship between a British boy and his horse Joey before and during World War I — a novel that was adapted into a hit play in London which is running on Broadway as of April 2011. It will be released and distributed byDisney, with whom DreamWorks has made a 30-picture deal. The novel was written by Michael Morpurgo and published in 1982.

He will follow this with ‘Lincoln’, starring Daniel Day-Lewis in the title role and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln. Based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s bestseller Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, the film will follow Lincoln’s leadership during the years of the American Civil War. Written by Tony Kushner, the film will be released in the fourth quarter of 2012. It was announced in October 2011 that filming in Richmond, Virginia throughout the Fall of 2011.

After that, he will shoot Daniel H. Wilson’s novel Robopocalypse, adapted for the screen by Drew Goddard. It will be released by Disney in the United States and Fox overseas on July 3, 2013.

Merry Christmas – Krampuslauf Graz

Merry Christmas to all… enjoy the Krampuslauf Graz 2010 parade. Not exactly Santa and his Elves… much darker.

Stephenie Meyer

Stephenie Meyer (born December 24, 1973) is an American author known for her vampire romance series Twilight. The Twilight novels have gained worldwide recognition and sold over 100 million copies globally, with translations into 37 different languages. Meyer is also the author of the adult science-fiction novel The Host.

Meyer was the biggest selling author of both 2008 and 2009 in America, having sold over 29 million books in 2008 alone, with Twilight being the best-selling book of the year. She sold an additional 26.5 million books in 2009, making her the first author to achieve this feat in that year. Meyer was ranked #49 on Time Magazine’s list of the “100 Most Influential People in 2008”, and was also included in the Forbes Celebrity 100 list of the world’s most powerful celebrities in 2009, entering at #26. Her annual earnings exceeded $50 million. Also in 2010, Forbes ranked her as the #59 most powerful celebrity with annual earnings of $40 million.

As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I have no issue with the whole Twilight craze, it’s not my thing, but it’s not aimed at me… If it introduces a few more fans to the horror genre then it can only be a good thing.

Prometheus trailer

It’s finally here, the full Prometheus trailer… and it looks fantastic.

Prometheus posters

The first full trailer will be released later today… Until then, here’s a selection of early poster art for the highly anticipated Ridley Scott movie Prometheus.

Steven Spielberg – Part 3

After two forays into more serious dramatic films, Spielberg then directed the third Indiana Jones film, 1989’s ‘Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade’. Once again teaming up with Lucas and Ford, Spielberg also cast actor Sean Connery in a supporting role as Indy’s father. The film earned generally positive reviews and was another box office success, becoming the highest grossing film worldwide that year; its total box office receipts even topped those of Tim Burton’s much-anticipated Batman film, which had been the bigger hit domestically. Also in 1989, he re-united with actor Richard Dreyfuss for the romantic comedy-drama ‘Always’, about a daredevil pilot who extinguishes forest fires. Spielberg’s first romantic film, Always was only a moderate success and had mixed reviews.

In 1991, Spielberg directed ‘Hook’, about a middle-aged Peter Pan, played by Robin Williams, who returns to Neverland. Despite innumerable rewrites and creative changes coupled with mixed reviews, the film proved popular with audiences, making over $300 million worldwide (from a $70 million budget).

In 1993, Spielberg returned to the adventure genre with the film version of Michael Crichton’s novel ‘Jurassic Park’, about a theme park with genetically engineered dinosaurs. With revolutionary special effects provided by friend George Lucas’s Industrial Light & Magic company, the film would eventually become the highest grossing film of all time (at the worldwide box office) with $914.7 million. This would be the third time that one of Spielberg’s films became the highest grossing film ever.

Spielberg’s next film, ‘Schindler’s List’, was based on the true story of Oskar Schindler’, a man who risked his life to save 1,100 Jews from the Holocaust. Schindler’s List earned Spielberg his first Academy Award for Best Director (it also won Best Picture). With the film a huge success at the box office, Spielberg used the profits to set up the Shoah Foundation, a non-profit organization that archives filmed testimony of Holocaust survivors. In 1997, the American Film Institute listed it among the 10 Greatest American Films ever Made (#9) which moved up to (#8) when the list was remade in 2007.

In 1994, Spielberg took a hiatus from directing to spend more time with his family and build his new studio, DreamWorks, with partners Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffin. In 1997, he helmed the sequel to 1993’s Jurassic Park with ‘The Lost World: Jurassic Park’, which generated over $618 million worldwide despite mixed reviews, and was the second biggest hit of 1997 behind James Cameron’s ‘Titanic’ (which topped the original Jurassic Park to become the new recordholder for box office receipts).

His next film, ‘Amistad’, was based on a true story (like Schindler’s List), specifically about an African slave rebellion. Despite decent reviews from critics, it did not do well at the box office. Spielberg released Amistad under DreamWorks Pictures, which issued all of his films from Amistad until the awful mis-step ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ in May 2008.

His next theatrical release in that same year was the World War II film ‘Saving Private Ryan’, about a group of U.S. soldiers led by Capt. Miller (Tom Hanks) sent to bring home a paratrooper whose three older brothers were killed in the last twenty four hours of action in France. The film was a huge box office success, grossing over $481 million worldwide and was the biggest film of the year at the North American box office. Spielberg won his second Academy Award for his direction. The film’s graphic, realistic depiction of combat violence influenced later war films such as ‘Black Hawk Down’ and ‘Enemy at the Gates’. The film was also the first major hit for DreamWorks, which co-produced the film with Paramount Pictures (as such, it was Spielberg’s first release from the latter that was not part of the Indiana Jones series). Later, Spielberg and Tom Hanks produced a TV mini-series based on Stephen Ambrose’s book Band of Brothers. The ten-part HBO mini-series follows Easy Company of the 101st Airborne Division’s 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. The series won a number of awards at both the Golden Globe and Emmy Awards.

In 2001, Spielberg filmed fellow director and friend Stanley Kubrick’s final project, ‘A. I. Artificial Intelligence’ which Stanley Kubrick was unable to begin during his lifetime. A futuristic film about a humanoid android longing longing for love, A.I. featured groundbreaking visual effects and a multi-layered, allegorical storyline, adapted by Spielberg himself. Though the film’s reception in the US was relatively muted, it performed better overseas for a worldwide total box office gross of $236 million.

Spielberg and actor Tom Cruise collaborated for the first time for the futuristic neo-noir ‘Minority Report’, based upon a short story by Philip K. Dick about a Washington D.C. police captain in the year 2054 who has been foreseen to murder a man he has not yet met. The film earned over $358 million worldwide. Roger Ebert, who who named it the best film of 2002, praised its breathtaking vision of the future as well as for the way Spielberg blended CGI with live-action.

Spielberg’s 2002 film ‘Catch Me If You Can’ is about the daring adventures of a youthful con artist (played by Leonardo DiCaprio). It earned Christopher Walken Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. The film is known for John Williams’ score and its unique title sequence. It was a hit both commercially and critically.

Alma – Short Film

Alma is Rodrigo Blaas’ first short film as a director. Originally from Spain, Rodrigo Blaas has worked in animation for more than ten years, in Spain and in the United States.

Seizing the possibility of directing his first independent short film, Rodrigo Blaas asked some of the best artists in their field to take part in this independent project: French animator Bolhem Bouchiba, character designer Carlos Grangel and Sergio Pablos, ArtDirector Alfonso Blaas, music composer Mastretta and sound designer Tom Myers.

Guillermo del Toro is looking to executive produce a feature length version.

Check out the website for images, bio’s and information.

David Fincher – News Update

With David Fincher doing a lot of interviews for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo over the past few days, there is a good amount of talk out there about the possible second and third films that could follow Dragon Tattoo. David Fincher doesn’t yet know if he’ll direct those films — or he isn’t yet saying, at least. That’s something that likely won’t be announced until after the film has its first opening weekend, which is imminent.

Whether or not those films happen, there are quite a few other projects in Fincher’s queue. Some are movies he might direct, like the Cleopatra film that would star Angelina Jolie, and the pilot for the Netflix series House of Cards. He’s also got 20,0000 Leagues Under the Sea on the docket, and he’s still working as a producer on films like Black Hole (based on the Charles Burns graphic novel, not the Disney sci-fi film) and The Goon. He has offered slight updates on all those projects in the past couple days, quotes below.

First up, Fincher talked to MTV about Cleopatra which The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The Social Network producer Scott Rudin is producing, and which has Angelina Jolie attached to play the title character. It sounds like that one is less than set, at least from the perspective of having Fincher direct:

That’s something I would love to do with Angie… It’s something that was brought to me that you have to take seriously. Scott has this wonderful book [by Stacy Schiff] and hopefully Eric can find a way in. I’m not interested in a giant sword and sandal epic.

We’ve seen scope; everyone knows we can fake that. That stuff doesn’t impress in the way that it did even 10 years ago. We expect that from cable. So that’s not the reason to do that. What is it about this character that has purchased this place in our history and imagination that is relatable today?

And on the subject of Cleopatra, Fincher told Collider that the film is still in the earliest stages:

Cleopatra, I haven’t even begun. I’ve just spoken with Angie [Jolie] and Eric [Roth] and I’m trying to figure out how to weigh in. It’s just a discussion about what can it be, what are people expecting, what do we need to do to destroy that?

Then there is 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which was originally written by Scott Z. Burns, and brought Andrew Kevin Walker on to rewrite.

I don’t know what came before me. We’re plugging away, trying to get a script that sort of satisfies all of the… you know, it’s a tricky thing because it’s a $200 million 3D thing done in water, and you don’t want to go off half-cocked. You can find yourself with a $75 million overage in a movie that completely takes place underwater, especially in 3D. 3D is a whole different thing for reflective sources.

The director is also saying to a few outlets about the fact that doing a sci-fi movie that is set 120 years ago is appealing, in part because of the novelty of seeing the genre through era-appropriate eyes.

Then there’s The Goon, the animated film based on Eric Powell‘s comic book series of the same name. (Totally different project from the Jay Baruchel hockey comedy Goon.) We’ve been tracking this one for a couple of years, but there’s little public info. The last major update came when Fincher appeared with Powell at Comic Con in 2010. We’ve seen some test footage, but at this point there is still no one to pay for the film.

Eric’s been working on it and Tim’s been working on it [Tim Miller from Blur Animation], and Jeff (Fowler). People continue to work on it and refine stuff, but it’s hard for me because I’m in Sweden, so I can’t really make many production meetings, but the attempt is to in January really go out and try and figure out a price that makes sense… I don’t know why you can spend $200 million on The incredibles but you can’t spend $50 million on The Goon,’or $130 million on Kung Fu Panda and $50 million on The Goon.

Fincher also sounds like he’s still working on the adaptation of Charles Burns‘ incredible and disturbing graphic novel Black Hole:

It’s a really great script by Dante Harper, so the hope is that will win out… It’s so weird. It’s so great, because it would be great to see. It’s a very tough… there’s make-up FX and digital FX that are expensive and to do it right, you gotta do it just right, because it has to challenge your idea of the human body.

Steven Spielberg – Part 2

Rejecting offers to direct ‘Jaws 2’, ‘King Kong’ and ‘Superman’, Spielberg and actor Richard Dreyfuss re-convened to work on a film about UFO’s, which became ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ (1977). One of the rare films both written and directed by Spielberg, Close Encounters was a critical and box office hit, giving Spielberg his first Best Director nomination from the Academy as well as earning six other Academy Award nominations. It won Oscars in two categories (Cinematography, Vilmos Zsigmond, and a Special Achievement Award for Sound Effects Editing, Frank E. Warner). This second blockbuster helped to secure Spielberg’s rise. However, his next film, ‘1941’, a big-budgeted World War II farce, was not nearly as successful and though it grossed over $92.4 million dollars worldwide (and did make a small profit for co-producing studios Columbia and Universal) it was seen as a disappointment, mainly with the critics.

Spielberg then revisited his Close Encounters project and, with financial backing from Columbia Pictures, released Close Encounters: The Special Edition in 1980. For this, Spielberg fixed some of the flaws he thought impeded the original 1977 version of the film and also, at the behest of Columbia, and as a condition of Spielberg revising the film, shot additional footage showing the audience the interior of the mothership seen at the end of the film (a decision Spielberg would later regret as he felt the interior of the mothership should have remained a mystery). Nevertheless, the re-release was a moderate success, while the 2001 DVD release of the film restored the original ending.

Next, Spielberg teamed with Star Wars creator and friend George Lucas on an action adventure film, ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark‘ (1981), the first of the Indiana Jones films. The archaeologist and adventurer hero Indiana Jones was played by Harrison Ford. The film was considered an homage to the cliffhanger serials of the Golden Age of Hollywood. It became the biggest film at the box office in 1981, and the recipient of numerous Oscar nominations including Best Director (Spielberg’s second nomination) and Best Picture (the second Spielberg film to be nominated for Best Picture). Raiders is still considered a landmark example of the action-adventure genre. The film also led to Ford’s casting in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner.

A year later, Spielberg returned to the science fiction genre with ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’ (1982). It was the story of a young boy and the alien he befriends, who was accidentally left behind by his companions and is attempting to return home. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial went on to become the top-grossing film of all time. E.T. was also nominated for nine Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director.

Between 1982 and 1985, Spielberg produced three high-grossing films: ‘Poltergeist’ (1982), for which he also co-wrote the screenplay; a big-screen adaptation of ‘The Twilight Zone’ (1983), for which he directed the segment “Kick The Can”; and ‘The Goonies’ (1984) on which he was executive producer and also wrote the story on which the screenplay was based.

His next directorial feature was the Raiders prequel ‘Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom’ (1984). Teaming up once again with Lucas and Ford, the film was plagued with uncertainty for the material and script. This film and the Spielberg-produced Gremlins led to the creation of the PG-13 rating due to the high level of violence in films targeted at younger audiences. In spite of this, Temple of Doom is rated PG by the MPAA, even though it is the darkest and, possibly, most violent Indy film. Nonetheless, the film was still a huge blockbuster hit in 1984. It was on this project that Spielberg also met his future wife, actress Kate Capshaw.

In 1985, Spielberg released ‘The Color Purple’, an adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name, about a generation of empowered African-American women during depression-era America. Starring Whoopi Goldberg and future talk-show superstar Oprah Winfrey, the film was a box office smash and critics hailed Spielberg’s successful foray into the dramatic genre. Roger Ebert proclaimed it the best film of the year and later entered it into his Great Films archive. The film received eleven Academy Award nominations, including two for Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey. However, much to the surprise of many, Spielberg did not get a Best Director nomination.

In 1987, as China began opening to Western capital investment, Spielberg shot the first American film in Shanghai since the 1930s, an adaptation of J. G. Ballard’s autobiographical novel ‘Empire of the Sun’ (1987) starring John Malkovich and a young Christian Bale. The film garnered much praise from critics and was nominated for several Oscars, but did not yield substantial box office revenues. I’s one of y favourite Spielberg films and was one of the best films of the year.

The Dark Knight Rises – Poster & Viral Ad Campaign

The viral marketing campaign for Chris Nolan’s final chapter in the Batman trilogy is up and underway, with Warner releasing of a pair of leaked “CIA documents” referring to a certain Dr. Leonid Pavel.
The first document shows a mug-shot of actor Alon Abutbul, alongside a potted profile of nuclear physicist Pavel. Much of the accompanying information has been blacked out, but the second document sheds a little more light on proceedings.
The document is a transcript between a CIA official and a militia unit, concerning possible asylum for the Doctor, who apparently fears for his life. Is Bane after him? Is Batman?

Take a look at the pair of documents on the Total Film website.

Steven Spielberg – Part 1

Steven Allan Spielberg KBE (Hons.) (born December 18, 1946) is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, viedo game designer, and studio entrepreneur. In a career of more than four decades, Spielberg’s films have covered many themes and genres. Spielberg’s early science-fiction and adventure films were seen as an archetype of modern Hollywood blockbuster filmmaking. In later years, his films began addressing such issues as the Holocaust, slavery, war and terrorism. He is considered one of the most popular and influential filmmakers in the history of cinema. He is also one of the co-founders of the DreamWorks movie studio.

Spielberg won the Academy Award for Best Director for ‘Schindler’s List’ (1993) and ‘Saving Private Ryan (1998). Three of Spielberg’s films: ‘Jaws’ (1975), ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’ (1982), and ‘Jurassic Park’ (1993), achieved box office records, each becoming the highest-grossing film made at the time. To date, the unadjusted gross of all Spielberg-directed films exceeds $8.5 billion worldwide.

Spielberg was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, to a Jewish family. His mother, Leah Adler, was a restaurateur and concert pianist, and his father, Arnold Spielberg, was an electrical engineer involved in the development of computers. He spent his childhood in Haddon Township, New Jersey, where he saw one of his first films in a theater, as well as in Scottsdale, Arizona. Throughout his early teens, Spielberg made amateur 8 mm “adventure” films with his friends, the first of which he shot at the Pinnacle Peak Patio restaurant in Scottsdale. He charged admission (25 cents) to his home films (which involved the wrecks he staged with his Lionel train set) while his sister sold popcorn.

At age 13, Spielberg won a prize for a 40-minute war film he titled Escape to Nowhere which was based on a battle in east Africa. In 1963, at age 16, Spielberg wrote and directed his first independent film, a 140-minute science fiction adventure called ‘Firelight’ (which would later inspire Close Encounters). The film, which had a budget of US$500, was shown in his local cinema and generated a profit of $1. He also made several WWII films inspired by his father’s war stories.

After moving to California, he applied to attend the film school at University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television two separate times, but was unsuccessful. He was a student subsequently of California State University, Long Beach. His actual career began when he returned to Universal Studios as an unpaid, seven-day-a-week intern and guest of the editing department (uncredited). After Spielberg became famous, USC awarded him an honorary degree in 1994, and in 1996 he became a trustee of the university.

His first professional TV job came when he was hired to do one of the segments for the 1969 pilot episode of ‘Night Gallery’. The segment, “Eyes,” starred the legendary Joan Crawford, and she and Spielberg were reportedly close friends until her death. The episode is unusual in his body of work, in that the camerawork is more highly stylized than his later, more “mature” films. Spielberg got his first feature-length assignment: an episode of ‘The Name of the Game’ called “L.A. 2017”. This futuristic science fiction episode impressed Universal Studios and they signed him to a short contract.

Based on the strength of his work, Universal signed Spielberg to do four TV films. The first was a Richard Matheson adaptation called ‘Duel’. The film is about a psychotic Peterbilt tanker truck driver who chases a terrified driver (Dennis Weaver) of a small Plymouth Valiant and tries to run him off the road. Another TV film (Something Evil) was made and released to capitalize on the popularity of ‘The Exorcist’, then a major best-selling book which had not yet been released as a film. He fulfilled his contract by directing the TV film length pilot of a show called Savage, starring Martin Landau.

Spielberg’s debut feature film was ‘The Sugarland Express’, about a married couple who are chased by police as the couple tries to regain custody of their baby. Spielberg’s cinematography for the police chase was praised by reviewers, and The Hollywood Reporter stated that “a major new director is on the horizon.” However, the film fared poorly at the box office and received a limited release.

Studio producers Richard D. Zanuck and David Brown offered Spielberg the director’s chair for ‘Jaws’, a thriller-horror film based on the Peter Benchley novel about an enormous killer great white shark. Spielberg has often referred to the gruelling shoot as his professional crucible. Despite the film’s ultimate, enormous success, it was nearly shut down due to delays and budget over-runs. But Spielberg persevered and finished the film. It was an enormous hit, winning three Academy Awards (for editing, original score and sound) and grossing more than $470 million worldwide at the box office. It also set the domestic record for box office gross, leading to what the press described as “Jawsmania.” Jaws made him a household name, as well as one of America’s youngest multi-millionaires, and allowed Spielberg a great deal of autonomy for his future projects. It was nominated for Best Picture and featured Spielberg’s first of three collaborations with actor Richard Dreyfuss, who also starred in Close Encounters and Always for Spielberg.

Luc Besson confirmed to direct Angelina Jolie in Sci-fi Epic

Universal Pictures has acquired 80% of distribution rights — including in the U.S. — to the large-scale dramatic thriller that Luc Besson will direct with Angelina Jolie in the starring role. Besson currently has The Lady in the Oscar mix, but this film sounds like a closer cousin to his earlier efforts like The Professional, La Femme Nikita and The Fifth Element. The script, rooted in true scientific elements, was written by Besson, who will also direct. His EuropaCorp developed the project and will co-finance, and production is set to begin in April 2012 mostly in EuropaCorp’s new production facilities in Paris. Virginie Besson Silla will oversee the project on behalf of EuropaCorp.

The film would be Jolie’s next as an actress, and  it would come before she teams with director Ridley Scott on a  historical epic about Gertrude Bell that The Constant Gardener scribe Jeffrey Caine is currently rewriting. Jolie is also moving  quickly on Maleficent, the Linda Woolverton-scripted  revisionist take on the Sleeping Beauty tale for Walt Disney Pictures,  and she is getting closer to playing medical examiner Kay Scarpetta in  the Fox 2000 drama based on the Patricia Cornwell novel series.

Jolie is getting ready for the release In The Land Of Blood And Honey,  her feature directorial and screenwriting debut, which is being  released by FilmDistrict in the heat of the Oscar race.

Wes Studi

Wesley “Wes” Studi (born December 17, 1947) is a Cherokee actor, who is reknown for his portrayal of Native Americans in film. He has appeared in well-received Academy Award winning films, such as Kevin Costner’s ‘Dances with Wolves’ (1990), Michael Mann’s ‘The Last of the Mohicans’ (1992) the award-winning ‘Geronimo: An American Legend’ (1993) and the Academy Award-nominated film ‘The New World’ (2005).

He has had various roles in ‘The Doors’, ‘Heat’, ‘Crazy Horse’, ‘Mystery Mean’, ‘Skinwalkers‘, ‘Into the West’ and ‘Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee’.

He most recently portrayed General Linus Abner in the NBC series ‘Kings’, as Major Ridge in Trail of Tears, the third episode of ‘We Shall Remain’, a mini-series that establishes Native history as an essential part of American history, in PBS’s acclaimed series American Experience, in which he spoke his native Cherokee throughout his performance. He also appeared as Eytukan in James Cameron’s box office blockbuster ‘Avatar’ (2009).

Philip K. Dick

Philip Kindred Dick (December 16, 1928 –  March 2, 1982) was an American novelist, short story writer and essayist whose published work is almost entirely in the science fiction genre. Dick explored sociological, political and metaphysical themes in novels dominated by monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments and altered states. In his later works Dick’s thematic focus strongly reflected his personal interest in metaphysics and theology. He often drew upon his own life experiences in addressing the nature of drug abuse, paranoia and schizophrenia, and transcendental experiences in novels such as A Scanner Darkly and VALIS.

The novel The Man in the High Castle bridged the genres of alternate history and science fiction, earning Dick a Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1963. Flow My tears, the Policeman Said, a novel about a celebrity who awakens in a parallel universe where he is unknown, won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel in 1975. “I want to write about people I love, and put them into a fictional world spun out of my own mind, not the world we actually have, because the world we actually have does not meet my standards,” Dick wrote of these stories. “In my writing I even question the universe; I wonder out loud if it is real, and I wonder out loud if all of us are real.” Dick referred to himself as a “fictionalizing philosopher.”In addition to 44 published novels, Dick wrote approximately 121 short stories, most of which appeared in science fiction magazines during his lifetime.

Although Dick spent most of his career as a writer in near-poverty, ten of his stories have been adapted into popular films since his death, including ‘Blade Runner’ (1982), based on Dick’s 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford. A screenplay had been in the works for years before Scott took the helm, with Dick being extremely critical of all versions. Dick was still apprehensive about how his story would be adapted for the film when the project was finally put into motion. Among other things, he refused to do a novelization of the film. But contrary to his initial reactions, when he was given an opportunity to see some of the special effects sequences of Los Angeles 2019, Dick was amazed that the environment was “exactly as how I’d imagined it!”, though Ridley Scott has mentioned he had never even read the source material. Following the screening, Dick and Scott had a frank but cordial discussion of Blade Runner’s themes and characters, and although they had wildly differing views, Dick fully backed the film from then on. Dick died from a stroke less than four months before the release of the film. A prequel is in the works.

‘Total Recall’ (1990), based on the short story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale, directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The film includes such Dickian elements as the confusion of fantasy and reality, the progression towards more fantastic elements as the story progresses, machines talking back to humans, and the protagonist’s doubts about his own identity, great fun.

‘Minority Report’ (2002), based on Dick’s short story of The Minority Report, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise. The film translates many of Dick’s themes, but changes major plot points and adds an action-adventure framework. Other filmed efforts include ‘A Scanner Darkly’, ‘Paycheck’, ‘Next’, ‘Screamers’ and ‘The Adjustment Bureau’.

In 2005, Time magazine named Ubik one of the one hundred greatest English-language novels published since 1923. In 2007, Dick became the first science fiction writer to be included in The Library of America series.

The Amazing Spider-Man poster

Check out the new teaser poster for ‘The Amazing Spider-Man.’

Get ready to learn the untold story when Andrew Garfield dons the webs for the first time next summer.

Directed by Marc Webb and also starring Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Martin Sheen and Sally Field, “The Amazing Spider-Man” will hit theaters in stunning 3D come 2012!

Stay tuned to Marvel in the coming months for more on Spider-Man’s next web-swinging cinematic adventure, and in the meantime enjoy your first (or probably by now, second) look at the new one-sheet poster for the film!

Joe D’Amato

Joe D’Amato, (birth name: Aristide Massaccesi) (December 15, 1936 in Rome – January 23, 1999) was a prolific Italian filmmaker who directed roughly 200 films, usually at the same time acting as producer and cinematographer, and sometimes providing the script as well. While D’Amato contributed to many different genres (such as the spaghetti western, the war movie, the swashbuckler, and the fantasy film), the majority of his films are exploitation-themed pornography, both soft and hardcore. However, he is perhaps most well known for his horror film efforts, many of which went on to become cult movies (such as Anthropophagous and Beyond the Darkness), and for his hastily-produced remakes of popular American films (such as the Ator series, based upon the Conan the Barbarian films), some of which were featured in ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000. The poor production value of many of his films, combined with his expressed lack of concern for the production quality of his films as long as they proved profitable, have led him to be labeled as “The Evil Ed Wood” despite D’Amato’s apparently amiable nature.

Antropophagus, released in the UK as Anthropophagous: The Beast also known in some places as Zombie 7: Grim Reaper after 1981, the release year of Absurd and in the US as Anthropophagus: The Grim Reaper, is a 1980 Italian language horror, directed by Joe D’Amato and co-written by D’Amato and George Eastman, who also starred in the film.

Anthropophagous: The Beast was released in the United Kingdom in 1980 uncut by VFP. It soon became one of the infamous titles to feature on the government’s Department of Public Prosecutions list (DPP), better known to the tabloid press as the “Video Nasty” list.  This was due mainly to the infamous fetus-eating scene. In reality, the fetus was a skinned rabbit. This did not prevent the film from being falsely described as a snuff film, a story which was even featured on BBC News. It was later successfully prosecuted under the obscene publications act in 1984. Anthropophagous: The Beast also saw another release in the UK, prior to its banning from a very small video company known as Videoshack. This release, although cut, is highly collectible among fans today due to its extremely scarce existence.

D’Amato followed up this movie with a pseudo-sequel, ‘Absurd’ (1981, also known as Zombie 6: Monster Hunter).

Dee Wallace

Dee Wallace (born Deanna Bowers on December 14, 1948), also known as Dee Wallace-Stone, is an American actress and comedienne who was born in Kansas City, Kansas. She is perhaps best known for her roles in several popular films. These include a starring role as Elliot’s mother in the Steven Spielberg film ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’ (1982), her most widely seen role. She also played key roles in popular cult films ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ (1977) about a family on a road trip who become stranded in the Nevada desert, and are hunted by a clan of deformed cannibals in the surrounding hills. ‘The Howling’ (1981), a werewolf-themed horror film directed by Joe Dante. Based on the novel of the same name by Gary Brandner; ‘Critters’ (1986), the remake of  ‘The Stepford Wives’ in 1975 and Dudley Moore’s breakout hit ’10’ (1979). In total, Wallace has appeared in more than 85 films.

Wallace appeared in the television series ‘Together We Stand’ (1986 — 1987) and the syndicated ‘The New Lassie’ (1989 — 1992). In the latter series, she appeared with her husband Christopher Stone, with whom she also co-starred in the Stephen King adaptation ‘Cujo’ (1983) and Joe Dante’s werewolf flick ‘The Howling’ (1981).

Wallace remains primarily known for her horror roles. She has appeared at many horror film conventions and has a reputation for being very kind and generous with her many admirers and fans. She has also opened an acting studio to mentor young actors. Her husband died suddenly in 1995 of a heart attack while she was in New Zealand filming the Peter Jackson comedy-horror ‘The Frighteners’. Coincidentally The Frighteners told the story of a series of bizarre, inexplicable heart attack-related deaths.

Wallace starred in Rob Zombie’s re-imagining of ‘Halloween’ (2007); Wallace played Cynthia Strode, Laurie Strode’s adoptive mother. In 2009, she played the role of Nancy Dooly, Vincent’s mother in ‘The Mother of Invention’ and featured in ‘The House of the Devil’. She has appeared in many horror films over the last few decades: ‘Popcorn’ and ‘Alligator 2: The Mutation’ (both 1981), ‘Headspace’ and ‘Voodoo Moon’ (both 2005), and the horror-thriller ‘Sebastian’ (2010).

Dee is currently shooting Rob Zombie’s ‘The Lords of Salem’ and it has recently been announced that she will feature in the eighth season of ‘The Office’ as the mother of Andy Bernard, in the episode “Garden Party”.

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – FREE Soundtrack from Trent Reznor

Check out the Nine Inch Nails website for a FREE six-track, 35 minute sampler of his work for the forthcoming David Fincher reboot of ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’

Trent Reznor:

For the last fourteen months Atticus and I have been hard at work on David Fincher’s “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”.  We laughed, we cried, we lost our minds and in the process made some of the most beautiful and disturbing music of our careers.  The result is a sprawling three-hour opus that I am happy to announce is available for pre-order right now for as low as $11.99.  The full release will be available in one week – December 9th.

You have two options right now: VIsit iTunes where you can immediately download Karen O’s and our version of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” when you pre-order the soundtrack for $11.99.
You will also be able to exclusively watch the legendary 8-minute trailer you may have heard about (no purchase necessary obviously). We scored this trailer separately from the film, BTW.


Visit our store. We’re offering a variety of purchasing options including multiple format high-quality digital files, CDs and a really nice limited edition deluxe package containing vinyl and a flash drive.
In addition, Right now you can download a six-track, 35 minute sampler with no purchase necessary.

Live the dream and visit both!  Atticus and I are very proud of the film and our work, we hope you enjoy.


The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo opens 12/21 in the US.

Bill Nighy

William FrancisBillNighy (born 12 December 1949) is an English actor and comedian. He worked in theatre and television before his first cinema role in 1981, and made his name in television with The Men’s Room in 1991, in which he played the womanizer Prof. Mark Carleton, whose extra-marital affairs kept him “vital”; however, he became known around the world in 2003 for his critically acclaimed, scene-stealing performance in the Richard Curtis hit, ‘Love Actually’, in which he played Billy Mack, a past-it singer who has a surprise Christmas smash-hit with a cover of the Troggs song: Love is all Around..

In 2003, Nighy played the role of the Vampire Elder, Vicktor in Len Wiseman’s slick and stylish vampire hit ‘Underworld’; notable mainly for Kate Beckinsale’s leather-clad look. Nighy returned to the role in the sequel ‘Underworld: Evolution’ (2006) and again the same role in the lame prequel ‘Underworld: Rise of the Lycans’ (2009). Nighy added a bit of class to an otherwise drab series, his Vicktor is as one-dimensional as any of the other charatcers, but much more watchable due to the performance.

In 2006, Nighy featured in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest’, where he played the principal villain, the octopus-featured Davy Jones, and although he had his face entirely obscured by computer-generated makeup and he voiced the character with a Scots accent, was still recognisable. He reprised the role in the 2007 sequel, ‘Pirates of the caribbean: At World’s End’, in which his real face was briefly revealed in one scene.

In July 2010, he played Rufus Scrimgeour in ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1’. Nighy had already worked with director David Yates three times before, and with the majority of the Harry Potter cast in previous movies. He has said of his role as Rufus Scrimgeour that it meant he was no longer the only English actor not to be in Harry Potter.

He is also known for his roles in the films ‘Lawless Heart’, ‘I Capture the castle’, ‘Shaun of the Dead’, ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’, ‘Hot Fuzz’, ‘The Boat that Rocked’, ‘Valkyrie’ and the television movie ‘Gideon’s Daughter’ for which he earned a Golden Globe Awrad. His performances were also acclaimed in the excellent ‘State of Play’ series.

Bill Nighy is a Patron and supporter of the artistic collective The Factory Theatre Company alongside other actors such as Mark Rylance, Ewan McGregor and Richard Wilson.