Online critics award United 93
United 93 was named Best Movie of 2006 by the Online Film Critics Society, an international association of Internet-based movie critics. Martin Scorsese received Best Director for The Departed, Forest Whitaker got Best Actor for Last King of Scotland, and Helen Mirren tallied yet another boost of pre-Oscar recognition with Best Actress honors for The Queen. (Hollywood Reporter)
Directors Guild of America Awards nominees
The DGA nominated Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for Babel, Bill Condon for Dreamgirls, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris for Little Miss Sunshine, Martin Scorsese for The Departed, and Stephen Frears for The Queen. Only Scorsese had previously been nominated in the feature film category. Winners will be announced Feb. 3. (Hollywood Reporter)
NBC’s Grease reality show scores ratings
The debut of Grease: You’re the One That I Want averaged a 4.3 rating/10 share in adults 18-49 and 11.6 million viewers overall. The debut of this season’s The Apprentice also did well, scoring a 4.1/10 in 18-49 and 9.1 million viewers overall, up 5 percent from last season’s finale, and giving NBC its best series performance in the 9:30-11 p.m. timeslot in 14 months. (Variety)
Sequel to It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World in the works
Ed Bass, one of the producers behind Bobby, is partnering with Karen Sharpe Kramer, widow of Mad World director Stanley Kramer, to make a sequel to the 1963 comedy classic starring Milton Berle and Spencer Tracy. The duo hasn’t yet selected a director. (Hollywood Reporter)
50 Cent now a novella-ist
Curtis Jackson, aka 50 Cent, has co-written three novellas: Death Before Dishonor, Baby Brother, and The Ski Mask Way. They are fictional stories based on members of his G-Unit posse, published by MTV and Pocket. 50’s authorship follows his recent forays into acting, which include 2005’s Get Rich or Die Tryin, last year’s Home of the Brave, and a role opposite Robert De Niro in New Orleans, which is in pre-production. (Variety)
Stephen Dorff to star in new CBS drama
Dorff has been signed onto the CBS pilot Skip Tracer, from The Sopranos alums Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess. Dorff was last seen in World Trade Center, and will next appear alongside fellow Blade bad guy Neil Jackson in the indie feature The Dark Room.(Variety)
Visual Effects Society nominations
The Society has nominated Charlotte’s Web, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, and The Fountain for outstanding visual effects in a visual effects-driven movie. For outstanding supporting visual effects, the nominees are Blood Diamond, Children of Men, Flags of Our Fathers, and The Da Vinci Code. (Hollywood Reporter)
Hollywood publicists name favorite PR campaigns
Hollywood union publicists nominated Borat, The Devil Wears Prada, Dreamgirls, Happy Feet, and United 93 as finalists for their Maxwell Weinberg Award for top movie publicity campaign in 2006. Finalists for the TV award are ER, Grey’s Anatomy, Jericho, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and Ugly Betty. (Variety)
Italy puts age restriction on Apocalypto
An Italian court has barred children under 14 from seeing Mel Gibson’s gory new movie Apocalypto. Italy’s censors had previously determined that the movie should not carry an age restriction, drawing ire from politicians and parents’ associations. Russia is now the only country screening the film without age restriction. (Hollywood Reporter)
IN THE GOSSIPS
Page Six: Rosie O’Donnell blew up at Barbara Walters for the way she’s handled the Trump feud.
Liz Smith: Jessica Biel deflected questions about her alleged relationship with the Yankees’ Derek Jeter at the Springs International Film Festival.
Rush & Malloy: Author of new Bill O’Reilly book wants George Clooney to play the outspoken talk show host in a movie version.