Monday, August 31, 2009

Former 'Lost' star joins Tom Cruise's 'Wichita' film

Maggie Grace, known for her work as the poor little rich girl Shannon Rutherford on ABC's "Lost" series, is reportedly in negotiations to star in the upcoming made-in-Boston spy flick "Wichita" alongside Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.

Grace is slotted to play Diaz's sister and soon-to-be bride, according to THR.com. In the film, Diaz will stand-in for their late father and walk Grace's character down the aisle.

Boston Casting is handling the extras for the flick and are looking for mothers to work with their babies on set. Filming kicks off Tuesday, Sept. 15 and continues until Thanksgiving. Interested? E-mail a photo of the mother and child to ashley@bostoncasting.com with current contact information.

Also, crews are currently hashing out an elaborate water-based chase scene slotted to be shot on the Charles River and will involve closing down several landmarks along the way including a bridge or two.

The soon-to-be-renamed "Wichita," currently in pre-production and scheduled to begin filming in mid-September, will be helmed by celebrated director James Mangold. Cruise will play a secret agent who pops in and out of the life of a single woman played by Diaz.

Also, Marc Blucas, known for his work in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," has signed to play Diaz's firefighter ex-boyfriend who still carries a torch for her.

Both Cruise and Diaz, teaming up together for the first time since "Vanilla Sky," reportedly have given a thumbs up to the final script, which recently underwent a rewrite by Scott Frank known for his work on "Minority Report."

"Wichita" will be the second made-in-Boston film for Diaz. The beauty stars as Norma Lewis in "The Box," slotted for release on Friday, Oct. 30. Directed by "Donnie Darko" filmmaker Richard Kelly, the thriller centers around a suburban couple with a young child who receive a simple wooden box as a gift, which bears fatal and irrevocable consequences.

Click here for the latest on "Wichita."

Friday, August 28, 2009

The week in quotes from Hollywood in the Hub

"I wouldn't call it a love story, but there are certainly love stories involved. I think that they're all love stories in different characters eyes, but its kind of a tragedy."

--Shannon Woodward, known for her work in the flick "The Haunting of Molly Hartley" and the 2007-08 F/X series "The Riches," chats about her role as "Twilight" actor Jackson Rathbone's female love interest Candy and the film's titular "Girlfriend."

“Part of the movie is set in the forest and Breakheart Reservation served as an ideal location. The animals rebel and put up quite a fight."

--Publicist Scott Levine
reveals that the made-in-Massachusetts flick "Furry Vengeance," starring Brendan Fraser and Brooke Shields, filmed scenes deep in the woods on the border of Wakefield and Saugus.

"When it came to working with Ben again, this time as a Charlestown bank robber, I just couldn’t turn it down."

--Boston emcee Slaine, who made a bang as gun-runner Bubba Rogowski in "Gone Baby Gone," says he turned down a tour to star in Ben Affleck's made-in-Boston flick "The Town."

"I firmly believe that Skyline Locations’ establishment as the premier provider of location services in markets such as Boston will foster synergies that will allow us to realize sustainable growth in the Los Angeles and Boston marketplaces simultaneously."

--D. Sinclair Anderson II announces that the Los Angeles-based Skyline Locations plans to set up shop in Boston armed with a portfolio of 23 class-A office and mixed-use properties for filming. Anderson anticipates that film production demands in Boston will more than double in the next few months.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

INTERVIEW: Marc Fienberg on ‘Play The Game’

First-time director Marc Fienberg says he originally planned to film his romantic comedy “Play The Game," hitting theaters on Friday, Aug. 28, in Boston.

“I was living here when I was getting close to doing the film and there was a time we were going to shoot in Boston,” Fienberg says during a recent sit-down interview. “There’s amazing tax incentives here. I was ready to go with shooting some of the scenes in the Boston Common and on the Charles, but I was forced to shoot in L.A. because of logistically reasons.”

A semi-autobiographical movie based on Fienberg's relationship with his grandfather, “Play The Game” follows a 28-year-old ladies’ man David (Paul Campbell) who’s an expert at using his psychological skills to manipulate customers in his job as a high-end car salesman while romantically playing the women in his life, including the girl of his dreams (Marla Sokoloff).

When David's lonely, widowed grandpa, Joe (Andy Griffith), asks for David's help in re-entering the dating world to find a companion, the young, hot shot agrees to teach him all his secret tricks.

Fienberg admits that the film gave 83-year-old Griffith the chance to explore senior sexuality in a way that's both funny and real ... yes, there's a Viagra scene. Fienberg says the "Matlock" icon jumped at the role.

"Andy liked it for two reasons," the director jokes. "It gave him a bedroom scene. And he didn't die at the end."

Fienberg spills to Loaded Gun Boston about his fears as a first-time director working with revered actors like Griffith and Doris Roberts, the recent proliferation of “player” TV shows and movies and why there’s no place like Boston.

LOADED GUN: I know that you’re currently living in Los Angeles. Any ties to Boston?
FIENBERG:
Yes, I lived in Brookline. Five years ago my wife and I decided to go to Los Angeles. We got married and moved to Boston right after we got married. We lived here for three years and then we had our daughter. My wife quit her job and I was working on this movie. We decided that nothing was keeping us in Boston and we decided to move to L.A. to make this movie.

LOADED GUN: Do you miss living in Boston?
FIENBERG:
Oh, yeah. It’s the first time I’ve been back. I love this city especially in the summer. I love Coolidge Corner and sailing on the Charles. I miss it. I live on the ocean now but it’s not as accessible as it was living in Boston. I miss riding my bike next to the Charles and all of the outdoorsy stuff.

LOADED GUN: It’s taken you 12 years to make ‘Play The Game.’ How does it feel to finally see it on the big screen?
FIENBERG:
It’s scary because you never really know. You show it to friends and family and, of course, everyone tells you how brilliant you are. They’ll never really tell you that you’ve wasted the last 12 years of your life. You never know that you have something good until you show it to strangers and they tell you that it’s good. The first time we showed to 350 people in a movie theater, and I sat in the back, and people laughed their butts off. That was the first day in the 12-year process when I actually celebrated.

LOADED GUN: What are your thoughts on the saturation of ‘game player’ movies like ‘The Ugly Truth’ and TV shows like ‘The Pickup Artist’ on VH1?
FIENBERG:
That’s interesting, I never thought about it before so I guess I haven’t noticed it. But, I also feel like if it’s becoming a hot topic, there’s a reason for it. We’re becoming more in touch with dating and matters of love and companionship. It’s a compelling story. It’s a nice story to see unfold and to watch. The reason people respond to our film is because it has these nice dating stories—not just for the young crowd, but for seniors.

LOADED GUN: As a first-time director, was it difficult directing celebrated actors like Andy Griffith and Doris Roberts?
FIENBERG:
It was fantastic. I wouldn’t say it was difficult, but it was definitely scary and intimidating. I did make some embarrassing mistakes. But, they made it very easy on me. People say 90 percent of directing is casting and I found that to be very true. When you have actors of this caliber, I quickly learned as a director that the best thing you can do is stay out of their way. When I did let them do their thing, that’s when the magic happened.

"Play The Game," directed by Marc Fienberg and starring Andy Griffith, Doris Roberts, Paul Campbell and Myra Sokoloff, hits the Kendall Square Cinema in Cambridge on Friday, Aug. 28.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

'Gossip Girl' and emcee join Affleck's 'The Town'

A crew of up-and-coming actors, including a "Gossip Girl" and a Boston-area rapper, have joined Ben Affleck's upcoming made-in-Boston heist flick "The Town," slotted to begin filming this week.

Blake Lively, known as Serena van der Woodsen from "Gossip Girl," was spotted cruising locations near Fenway Park and in Chelsea over the weekend. Word is that she's signed on to play alongside Cambridge homeboy Affleck as his troubled ex-girlfriend.

Also, Boston emcee Slaine, who made a bang as gun-runner Bubba Rogowski in Affleck's "Gone Baby Gone," returns to the big screen for some shoot 'em up action.

"I’ve been working on so much music since I shot the movie 'Gone Baby Gone' that I’ve had to turn down a lot of movie roles," Slaine says here. "When it came to working with Ben again, this time as a Charlestown bank robber, I just couldn’t turn it down."

Lively and Slaine join Jon Hamm, also known as Don Draper from "Mad Men," as a FBI agent who becomes smitten with a female bank employee, played by "Frost/Nixon" and "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" actress Rebecca Hall.

Affleck, playing Boston's most wanted bank robber, will star and direct in the film following a bizarre love triangle involving a crook, a bankteller and a FBI agent.
The movie is an adaptation of the blue-collar heist novel "Prince of Thieves" by Chuck Hogan which was written for the big screen by Peter Craig and Affleck.

Oscar winner Chris Cooper, who recently filmed "The Company Men" in Boston,
is currently in negotiations to star as Affleck’s father in the film.

As previously reported in Loaded Gun, Affleck's character will be robbing a few banks around town, including a shoot 'em up scene at a bank in Melrose, as well as orchestrating the ultimate con job at Fenway Park sometime in September.

On Wednesday, Aug. 26, crews were set up at the Anderson Transportation Center located at 100 Atlantic Ave. in Woburn.

"They have a good percentage of the commuter rail parking lot roped off with more than a couple MBTA Buses as well," reports a Loaded Gun spy. "Looks like they are shooting some bus and traffic scenes."

Also, filming is slotted later this week next to the Genzyme building located at 1 Kendall Square near Athenaeum and 1st street in Cambridge.

Affleck, who recently wrapped filming the John Wells downsizing drama "The Company Men," has been spotted all around the Boston area preparing for the Charlestown-based flick.
Principal filming is scheduled to begin Monday, Aug. 31.

Click here for the latest on Ben Affleck's "The Town."

Monday, August 24, 2009

'The Social Network' scouting locations in Boston

Word on the street is that scouts for "The Social Network," a flick based on local author Ben Mezrich's tell-all book about the founding of Facebook in a Harvard dorm, are actively looking for locations in Cambridge and Boston armed with a script crafted by Aaron Sorkin, the writer for such flicks as "Charlie Wilson's War" and "A Few Good Men."

Production is slotted to kick off on Monday, October 19 and is reportedly backed with a $47 million budget from Columbia Pictures. Kevin Spacey, who in 2007 filmed the made-in-Boston flick "21" which was also inspired by one of Mezrich's non-fiction works called "Bringing Down The House," is producing alongside Scott Rudin and Dana Brunetti.

David Fincher, known for highly stylized work with films like "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "Fight Club," is in advanced negotiations to direct.

The script follows founder Mark Zuckerberg getting dumped at a Boston-area bar and ends with him adding his former girlfriend to his friend list on his multibillion-dollar social networking site. The story is based on Mezrich's latest book, "The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook. A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal."

Zuckerberg launched Facebook in Cambridge of 2004 before he moved to a house in Palo Alto, California and opened his first office on the Left Coast in the summer. As Facebook lore suggests, he planned to return to Harvard in the fall of '04, but never did.

Sorkin's 162-page script includes some supposed behind-the-scenes banter with ConnectU founders Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss and Divya Narendrera after filing a lawsuit in 2004 alledging the unauthorized use of ConnectU's source code.

In the clip below, Sorkin spills on why he agreed to write the screenplay after reading only three pages of a 15-page book proposal from Mezrich. "If you asked me why did I say 'yes,' I'm not sure that I could give you a clear answer," Sorkin says. "But it's the fastest I've ever said 'yes' to anything."

Click here for the latest on "The Social Network."

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Donnie Wahlberg hosting birthday bash at Rumor

Celebrating his 40th birthday in style, homeboy Donnie Wahlberg spilled via Twitter here that he's hosting a big b-day bash at Rumor Night Club located at 100 Warrenton St. kicking off at 10 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27.

Tickets are $25. Click here for details.

Meanwhile, Wahlberg has joined the made-in-Boston flick "The Zookeeper," starring Kevin James and Rosario Dawson.

The NKOTB trailblazer spilled the news via Twitter here: "For those wondering what my wardrobe session was all about yesterday," he writes. "Now ya know ... I'm doing the movie 'Zookeeper' with Kevin James and Rosario Dawson."

Primary filming of "The Zookeeper" kicked off last week at the Franklin Park Zoo's elaborate mini-zoo set near the Giraffe Entrance of the park located at 1 Franklin Park Rd.

"The Zookeeper" set resembled a Hollywood-style movie lot swarming with production staff on golf carts and lighting rigs peering behind off-limits structures built for filming purposes only.

"The Zookeeper" follows James as a zoo caretaker who consults with the animals in an attempt to learn their methods of dating and mating to help him win back the woman of his dreams. In contrast to James' character, Wahlberg is set to play a zookeeper who detests the furry critters under his watch.

In addition to "The Zookeeper," Wahlberg is waiting to get a greenlight for "Bunker Hill," the made-in-Charlestown TV pilot for TNT where he plays Mike Moriarty, a Boston cop determined to protect the streets he grew up on from crime and corruption.

Click here for the latest on "The Zookeeper."

Saturday, August 22, 2009

'Shutter Island' release shuttered until next year

Paramount Pictures announced on Friday, Aug. 21 that it's pushing the release of Martin Scorsese's made-in-Massachusetts film "Shutter Island," starring Leonardo DiCaprio, from Friday, Oct. 2 to Feb. 19, 2010, citing financial pressures.

"Our 2009 slate was greenlit in a very different economic climate and as a result we must remain flexible and willing to recalibrate and adapt to a changing environment," responds Paramount honcho Brad Grey in a release. "This is a situation facing every single studio as we all work through the financial pressures associated with the broader downturn."

The Oscar best picture category has been expanded to 10 for the 2009 season and, unfortunately, the move will knock "Shutter Island" out of contention for an Academy Award this year.

The film follows two U.S. marshals (played by DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo) who investigate the disappearance of a patient from a hospital for the criminally insane to an eponymous Boston-area island in 1954. During the investigation, they encounter a web of lies, a hurricane and a deadly inmate riot that leaves them trapped on the island.

Based on the epic novel "Shutter Island" by Dennis Lehane, the Boston-shot flick features DiCaprio, Ruffalo and Ben Kingsley and was shot in Taunton's Whittenton Mills Complex (recrafted as the horrific Nazi concentration camp Dachau) as well as the Medfield State Hospital and Peddocks Island. Other locales include Borderland State Park, Hyde Park and Wilson Mountain Reservation in Dedham.

Click here for the latest on "Shutter Island."

Friday, August 21, 2009

The week in quotes from Hollywood in the Hub

"And that's a real Boston thing, beating people with baseball bats. I grew up in Boston and I had a baseball bat in my car and I wish I could say that was the first time I had used it the way I use it in the film."

--Newton native Eli Roth, promoting his role in Quentin Tarantino's new WWII film "Inglourious Basterds," says his bat-wielding character engaged in a violent revenge plot in Nazi-occupied France feels oddly comfortable.

"Today is the best day of my life."

--North Shore teen Sophia Goetz, who strategically set up a lemonade stand on the corner of Harbor Avenue and Harvard Street in Marblehead next to the set of "Grown Ups," says her close encounter with Adam Sandler on Tuesday, Aug. 18 made her day.


"That experience was just pinch yourself crazy. I was acting this far away from Leo DiCaprio, and Marty Scorsese was coming up and directing, between takes. It totally was a pinch me moment. I can't wait to see it."

--Former child star Jackie Earle Haley spills on his role as Ashecliffe inmate George Noyce in the made-in-Massachusetts flick "Shutter Island," slotted to hit theaters on Friday, Feb. 19, 2010.

“Think of all the colleges and universities who pump out all these kids in television and [they] go to Hollywood and New York to start out. We have given them a reason to stay in state.’’

--Tug Yourgrau, co-founder of the Somerville-based TV production company Powderhouse Productions, says Massachusetts is becoming viable as a place to launch a film career.

"You only see him when it's time for his scenes. Other than that, no one has any idea where he is. He just goes missing."

--A source tells E! Online that Christian Bale, currently playing former crack addict Dickie Eklund in the made-in-Lowell flick "The Fighter," has a penchant of going AWOL between takes.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

INTERVIEW: Jim Sturgess on ‘Fifty Dead Men’ film

Jim Sturgess, the charming 28-year-old British-bred actor known for his work in “Across the Universe” and the fact-based thriller “Fifty Dead Men Walking” hitting theaters on Friday, Aug. 21, says he’s still living down the day he caused a traffic snarl on the Mass. Ave. bridge.

“I was speaking with a few local people last night and they were telling me how that pissed them off,” he jokes, referring to the stunning opening sequence of the made-in-Boston flick “21" where he literally closed down the bridge while riding a bicycle from Boston to Cambridge.

“Boston was the perfect antidote to the sheen and excess of Las Vegas,” he says, referring to his stint filming scenes as the card-counting prodigy Ben Campbell for “21” during the spring of 2007. “Here you can drink a real pint and unwind.”

In “Fifty Dead Men Walking,” Sturgess plays Martin McGartland, an Irish Republican Army turncoat who is recruited by the British Police to spy on the IRA in 1980s West Belfast. The title refers to the 50 Englishmen the real McGartland saved from IRA executions.

When asked if he noticed any parallels with his character in “21” and the quick-witted hustler in “Fifty Dead Men Walking,” Sturgess admits that both roles feature a father-like character—Kevin Spacey in “21” and Ben Kingsley in “Fifty Dead Men Walking”—luring the young protagonist to the dark side.

“I didn’t really make the connection while filming,” he tells Loaded Gun Boston in a sit-down interview. “But if you think about it, both Martin and Ben are just trying to find a way to survive.”

Sturgess, a bit bleary-eyed the day after unveiling his latest flick to the masses at an advanced screening at the Somerville Theatre on Tuesday, Aug. 18, says he spent a month in Belfast prior to filming to prepare for the role and, more importantly, nail down Martin’s accent.

“It’s a hard accent to put your mouth around, but I had some time to prepare,” he says, adding that he joined a gym with fellow actor Kevin Zegers and successfully passed among the locals as a working-class Catholic lad. “I had a month before we started filming and I ended up staying in accent throughout the whole process.”

Sturgess also spent time with former members of the IRA, and found his preconceptions challenged. “We listened to the politics and there are so many points of view. These characters had to survive in this massive grey area. It’s set in such a harsh reality. As far as politically and socially, I was personally pulled all over the place … and Martin was as well.”

When asked about the pre-Oscar buzz surrounding his performance in “Fifty Dead Men Walking,” Sturgess shrugs off the hype. “I don’t think of it too much. It’s a small indie film and it’s important to me that it gets the recognition it deserves. So far, it was one of the best films I’ve done."

"Fifty Dead Men Walking," directed by Kari Skogland and starring Sturgess, Kingsley and Rose McGowan, hits the Kendall Square Cinema in Cambridge on Friday, Aug. 21.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

'Grown Ups' film wraps in Marblehead and YMCA

After a week-long shoot at the family-theme fun park Water Wizz of Cape Cod and star-studded wrap party at Felt Nightclub on Saturday, Aug. 15, crews for the made-in-Massachusetts flick "Grown Ups" are finishing up production this week with a shoot at an elaborate set on the "neck" in Marblehead located at a private residence located at 100 Harbor Avenue.

Set designers constructed a facade outside of the French-Spanish colonial-style house for a scene scheduled to film on Tuesday, Aug. 18 and Wednesday, Aug. 19. Tents are reportedly set up at Riverhead Beach as well as the parking lot at Marblehead High School.

The scene was originally scheduled to be shot on Thursday, Aug. 6 and Friday, Aug. 7, but was postponed.

Also, on Thursday, Aug. 20 and Friday, Aug. 21, crews for "Grown Ups" plan to film scenes until midnight at the Boston YMCA located at 316 Huntington Ave.

"Grown Ups," set in Connecticut during a Fourth of July weekend, is a comedy about five high school friends who reunite with their families during the summer at a lake house after 30 years apart and stars Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, David Spade, Salma Hayek, Maria Bello and Maya Rudolph.

The release date of the ultimate buddy flick, which filmed a majority of its scenes at Chebacco Lake and Centennial Grove located 30 Martin St. in Essex, has been moved from March 12 to the more promising Friday, June 25 theatrical debut.

Click here for the latest on "Grown Ups."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

'Twilight' star's indie 'Girlfriend' filming in Wayland

Jerad Anderson, an up-and-coming actor and musician in the band 100 Monkeys, is teaming up with filmmaker Justin Lerner to give a blow-by-blow account of the pre-production process via Twitter here for the upcoming indie thriller "Girlfriend," slotted to begin filming in nearby Wayland on Tuesday, September 22.

"I'm getting on a plane to LA back from Detroit," he writes. "I'll answer questions as soon as I land."

The actor continues, "I like producing because you get to surround yourself with people who you believe in, to make a great piece of art."

Anderson, taking the helm as the producer of "Girlfriend," is joining forces with his friend Jackson Rathbone, the hottie actor known as Jasper Hale from the "Twilight" franchise.

According to MTV News here, the film is a "harsh, modern-day take on the 'Beauty and the Beast' fable" set in Middle America that thrusts Rathbone into a bizarre love triangle. Amanda Plummer, a veteran actress with a penchant for dark, offbeat roles, joins the cast as Celeste.

Rathbone reportedly met writer/director Justin Lerner during the Sundance Film Festival in January where they decided to produce the flick together. The duo are gearing for a four-week shoot in Wayland beginning Sept. 22 until Saturday, Oct. 17, working around the "Twilight" actor's commitment on the third edition of the Stephenie Meyer franchise called "Eclipse."

Rathbone stars as Russ, while Anderson (pictured above) is stepping up as Kenny.

In an earlier tweet, filmmaker Lerner promised to reveal via Twitter the actress playing Rathbone's female love interest, Candy. Shannon Woodward, known for her work in the flick "The Haunting of Molly Hartley" and the 2007-08 F/X series "The Riches," was later tapped as the film's titular "Girlfriend."

Click here for the latest on "Girlfriend." Also, the filmmakers are on the hunt for a production crew, including production assistants, electricians and grips. Click here for details.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mark Wahlberg gets smoked on 'The Fighter' set

Dorchester homeboy Mark Wahlberg was reportedly rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital on Friday, Aug. 14 after suffering from smoke inhalation on the set of the made-in-Lowell "Irish" Micky Ward biopic "The Fighter" during a late shoot on Thursday.

A source tells RadarOnline.com that a "smoke machine was being used for atmosphere and apparently he breathed in too much smoke."

After being put on a breathing device to clear his lungs, Wahlberg was back on set late on Friday, Aug. 14 during an overnight shoot near Olympia Restaurant located at 453 Market St. featuring a slew of old-school cars pre-1993.

As previously reported in Loaded Gun, crews filmed scenes last week at the Lowell Superior Court located at 360 Gorham Street. Production followed co-star Christian Bale as Ward's drug-addicted brother, Dickie Eklund, as he faces charges in criminal court and then heads to lock up.

Bale was spotted in character, heading for lunch break at the Rogers School located at 43 Highland St., dressed in sweats and covered in blood. Wahlberg, back in town after wedding model Rhea Durham in Los Angeles, was also on set.

On Thursday, Aug. 20, crews plan to film a date scene with Wahlberg and Amy Adams between 4 p.m. and 4 a.m. at the Lexington Flick movie theater located at 1794 Mass. Ave. in Lexington.

Click here for the latest on "The Fighter."

Friday, August 14, 2009

The week in quotes from Hollywood in the Hub

“I want a lot of kids. I’d love four or five. We’ll see. It’s not always my decision.’’

--Patriot's poster boy Tom Brady spills to Details magazine that he wants to father a slew of kiddies with wife Gisele Bundchen.

“They’re doing a action scene in a ... 727 cockpit. There’s some sort of a, like, shoot-out or something that’s supposed to happen in the cockpit.”

--Steve Cannaby, owner of Wichita-based Nu-Tek aircraft group, says he's working on some high-tech gadgetry for the upcoming made-in-Boston flick "Wichita" starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.

"Did you see his teeth? He has really nice teeth."

--Morgan Cambern, a regular at Norton's IP Fitness center on North Main Street in Andover, gushes over actor Ben Affleck during a workout session last Saturday in preparation for his upcoming made-in-Boston flick "The Town."

'We have a licensed person from the Humane Society on set."

--Tammy Sandler, a spokesperson for the Kevin James flick "The Zookeeper," shoots back at claims from animal-rights organization PETA that the animal cast housed at the Franklin Park Zoo may be under duress.

"As soon as they came in, the whole dining area filled up with people."

--Jill Bumpus, a manager at KFC in Wareham, says business is booming after "Grown Ups" funnymen Chris Rock and David Spade, filming scenes this week at Water Wizz, casually walked in on Monday to order a two-piece meal and a tender roast sandwich.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fox's 'American Idol' returns to Boston this week

The ultimate competitive talent search, "American Idol," returns to Boston on Thursday, August 13 and Friday, August 14--without pop diva Paula Abdul--to audition the 50 or so regional contestants plucked from open auditions at Gillette Stadium last June.

Word is that host Ryan Seacrest and judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi are slotted to set up shop at the posh State Room located on the 33rd floor of 60 State Street in the Financial District area. It's the first time the show has held auditions in the Boston area since 2005.

Meanwhile, former "Idol" judge Abdul is rumored to be heading to ABC's "Dancing With The Stars." Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham, who reportedly signed on to do one guest-judging stint on “Idol,” has flown in to replace Abdul during the Boston taping.

Thousands of soulful singers and publicity-desperate oddballs between 16- and 28-years-old decided to take a stab at stardom from Friday, June 12 to Sunday, June 14. Only a handful of will make the cut from the 50 hopefuls.

Seacrest is tweeting here about the return trek to Boston. In fact, he's already planning a dinner date with Kiss 108's Matt Siegel.

Click here for the "American Idol" lowdown.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Stabbing suspect tied to 'Growns Ups' film in Essex

A Medford man charged with attempted murder and held without bail reportedly served up sandwiches to the cast and crew on Adam Sandler's "Grown Ups" movie set at Centennial Grove in Essex.

The Gloucester Times reports that Charles A. Scimone, who has "craft services" ties to the Sandler buddy flick, is due back in court on Tuesday, Aug. 11 after being charged with one count of attempted murder, two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and one count of aggravated assault.

Scimone allegedly attacked a man named Remington Aldrete early on Saturday, Aug. 1. The police report indicates that Scimone worked for the catering business, Farm Bar and Grille, on the Essex movie set.

Meanwhile, Sandler is filming scenes this week until Monday, Aug. 17 at Water Wizz of Cape Cod, a family-themed fun park located at 3031 Cranberry Hwy. in East Wareham.

Also, crews are planning to film a flashback dinner scene, circa 1978, on Wednesday, Aug. 19.

The scene features the 12-year-old double versions of the six male stars--including Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider and David Spade--in a flashback sequence with their coach. In the sequence, the boys attend a banquet celebration in 1978 after winning a basketball game.

Click here for the latest on "Grown Ups."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Science behind locally shot film 'The Surrogates'

A new video promo explores the real-life science behind the made-in-Boston film "The Surrogates," scheduled to hit theaters on Friday, Sept. 25.

The sci-fi movie, set in the near future where humans interact with one another through surrogate robots, stars Bruce Willis as Agent Harvey Greer, a cop who tracks down a group that destroys the synthetic stand-ins in a way that kills their human operators as well.

In the promo featurette below, several scientists suggest that the premise of the film isn't that far from reality. In fact, the robotic future is almost now.

"Surrogates is not that far off the mark of what kind of technologies that are emerging today," says Dr. James Stanton, a noted global futurist. "We're laying the foundation for this based on current sciences."

Click here for the latest on "The Surrogates."

Monday, August 10, 2009

'The Fighter' filming today at Lowell Superior Court

Crews for the made-in-Boston biopic "The Fighter," starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo, are filming scenes today at the Lowell Superior Court located at 360 Gorham Street in Lowell.

Production is following "The Dark Knight" actor Bale as Ward's drug-addicted brother, Dickie Eklund, as he faces charges in criminal court and then heads to lock up. Bale was spotted in character, heading for lunch break at the Rogers School located at 43 Highland St., dressed in sweats and covered in blood.

Wahlberg, back in town after wedding model Rhea Durham in Los Angeles, was also on set.

The irony? The real Ward is facing a legal battle in a civil court down the hall after the stepfather of Ward's wife, Kevin Nolette, alleges the boxing legend punched him several times on the back porch of Nolette's home during a confrontation on May 28, 2008.

"The Fighter" tells the story of Boston fighter "Irish" Micky Ward (Wahlberg) and how he was helped to the world lightweight championship by half-brother Eklund (Bale). Adams is Charlene, a gritty bartender from Massachusetts who ends up dating Wahlberg's character. Adams joins veteran actress Melissa Leo, who is playing Bale and Wahlberg's mother, Alice.

Production for the made-in-Massachusetts flick, indicated by yellow "GIX" signs, is slotted to continue in Lowell throughout August.

On Thursday, Aug. 20, crews plan to film a date scene with Wahlberg and Adams between 4 p.m. and 4 a.m. at the Lexington Flick movie theater located at 1794 Mass. Ave. in Lexington.

Click here for the latest on "The Fighter."

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The week in quotes from Hollywood in the Hub

"So many of you are so sad, but don't worry. Let's just say it's not the last time you'll see me on the show."

--Joey Rozmus,
a 22-year-old tattooed rocker from Methuen and guitarist with the band Late Nite Wars, tweets about getting the boot from "Real World: Cancun" after flaking on the job with Student City.

“One of her best qualities in life was she said it like it was. She didn’t sugarcoat.”

--Chef Ming Tsai of Wellesley's Blue Ginger says Meryl Streep's portrayal of Julia Child in the film "Julie & Julia" captured the food icon's quick wit and ability to tell it like it is.

"I went to a French restaurant in Boston, and I couldn't believe it. I wondered what was wrong with my home that I knew nothing of these things."

--"Julie & Julia" filmmaker Nora Ephron dishes on how she discovered French food during her stint at Wellesley.

“As always, I’m happy for Mark and proud of Mark."

--Donnie Wahlberg, in town getting a cortisone shot for a herniated disc at New England Baptist Hospital and slotted to appear in the made-in-Boston flick "The Zookeeper," says he's happy that his brother Mark Wahlberg married longtime girlfriend Rhea Durham in Los Angeles.

“I thought I was a boy till I was 8 years old and my dad would bring me to games if I could, you know, hang out with the boys."

--Eliza Dushku, a Watertown native and star of the made-in-Boston film "Valediction," spills to the Television Critics Association that she would go potty in the men's urinals at Fenway Park.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Faux-human teaser promos for 'The Surrogates'

The creative team hyping the made-in-Boston flick "The Surrogates," is revisiting familiar territory with a series of teaser posters with models striking seductive poses and revealing the nuts and bolts of their faux-human insides.

Bloggers are buzzing about the similarities of the campaign and the ones used for the now-defunct Fox TV show "The Sarah Connor Chronicles."

Similar? You decide.

An adaptation of Rob Venditti and Brett Weldele's graphic novel, "The Surrogates" is a sci-fi flick set in the near future where humans interact with one another via synthetic stand-ins. In the film, Bruce Willis plays a detective who tracks down a series of surrogate serial killings.

Scheduled to hit theaters on Friday, Sept. 25, the one-liner from the teaser campaign: "Human perfection. What could go wrong?"

"The Surrogates" was filmed in the Seaport District area on Necco Street as well as the Human Scale office located on 179 South Street which was transformed into a futuristic salon called "Artiface" where the futuristic robots lined up for a makeover ... or better yet, a tune up.

The film's climax, where almost 300 extras and actors suddenly fall to the ground and play dead, was shot on Water Street in the Financial District.

Click here for the latest on "The Surrogates."
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