''Eastern Promises'' wins at Toronto
Plus: ''O.C.''s Lucio lands Fox pilot, debut of Affleck's ''Gone Baby Gone'' gets bumped in the U.K., ''The View'' premieres to strong ratings, and more...
Eastern Promises wins People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Film Fest
David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises won the People’s Choice Award, and a $15,000 prize, at the 2007 Toronto Film Festival. The London-based thriller stars Viggo Mortensen as a Russian gangster and Naomi Watts as a midwife who finds an incriminating diary. The top Canadian award (the Toronto-CITY Award) went to Guy Maddin for My Winnipeg, a ”poetic meditation” on Maddin’s hometown, along with a $30,000 prize. (The Globe and Mail)
O.C.‘s Lucio cast in Fox drama
Shannon Lucio, who played Lindsay on The O.C., has landed a role on the Fox paranormal drama pilot The Oaks, which will be run by Shawn Ryan, executive producer of the FX series The Shield. The Oaks is about three families — a young couple in 1968 who have just lost a child, a family of four in 1988, and a pregnant couple in 2008 — who live in the same house and are haunted by a restless spirit. Lucio will play one-half of the 1968 couple, alongside Matt Lanter (Commander in Chief), who has also just been added to the show. Bahar Soomekh (Daybreak) has been cast as the pregnant woman in 2008. Production is set to begin in November. Lucio co-starred in CBS pilot Moonlight this past development season, and she will next be seen in the feature Feast of Love. (Hollywood Reporter)
U.K. pulls Affleck directorial debut
Ben Affleck’s directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone, has had its Dec. 28 U.K. debut bumped indefinitely because the story has been deemed too similar to the real-life case of missing British girl Madeleine McCann, who disappeared from her Portuguese vacation apartment in early May. Affleck’s Boston-set thriller is based on Dennis Lehane’s book about a 4-year-old who goes missing. The actress who plays the missing girl in the movie, Madeline O’Brien, even shares the British girl’s name and is also said to actually resemble her British counterpart. Gone Baby Gone was slated for an Oct. 26 Times London Film Festival gala screening, but it has been removed from the fest lineup. ”I’m not up to date on the details, and it is not something that has taken off in the United States in the way it has in the U.K.,” Affleck said. ”It is only when someone said there was this case that was very similar to my film that we looked it up. We don’t want to release the movie if it is going to touch a nerve or inflame anybody’s sensitivities.” (Variety)
The View premieres strong
The new lineup of The View, with Whoopi Goldberg sitting in Rosie O’Donnell’s moderator chair, has premiered to strong ratings. This season’s debut week tied Rosie O’Donnell’s with a 1.2 rating for the highest premiere week ever in the 11 seasons of The View, and its average of 3.5 million viewers was only 2 percent off last year’s premiere week, the first week of O’Donnell’s stormy tenure. It also was up 12 percent among women 18-49 with 980,000. Ratings could go even higher for the show: new co-host Sherri Shepherd debuted on Monday, and The View logged 3.9 million viewers, compared with last season’s second-week average of 3.1 million viewers. (Hollywood Reporter)
Zwigoff directing comedy $40,000 Man
Director Terry Zwigoff (Bad Santa, Art School Confidential) will helm New Line cinema’s comedy The $40,000 Man. The story is about a legendary astronaut who is rebuilt by the government after a bad accident to be a bionic man — but on a measly budget of $40,000. Johnathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley wrote the original script, and Zwigoff will team with Dan Clowes for the remake. Zwigoff and Clowes earned Oscar nominations for best adapted screenplay for their collaboration on 2001’s Ghost World, the Zwigoff-directed movie adaptation of Clowes’ graphic novel of the same name. (Hollywood Reporter)
Milano tapped for Lifetime movie
Alyssa Milano will star in the Lifetime original movie Wisegal, a drama based on the true story of a women who became a trusted messenger for the Mafia. Milano will play Patty Montanari, a widow with two young sons who becomes romantically involved with a Brooklyn mobster who persuades her to transport millions of dollars from Canada into the U.S. When she learns the man has murdered his own son, she begins to fear for her life and the lives of her own children. Joe Pistone, a real FBI agent who infiltrated the mob, will executive produce. Donnie Brasco was based on Pistone’s life. Wisegal is set to air early next year. Milano just landed a multi-episode arc on My Name Is Earl, and TBS signed the actress to serve as an online personality for its new baseball channel, TBS Hot Corner on MLB.com, where she will provide reports and features from ballparks around the country. Milano also writes the ”Touch ‘Em All” blog at MLB.com. (Hollywood Reporter)
Trio cast in Haunting horror movie
Elias Koteas (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), Martin Donovan (Weeds), and Kyle Gallner (The Shield, Big Love) have been cast in the horror film The Haunting in Connecticut for Gold Circle Films and Lionsgate. Virginia Madsen is already set to star. The story is about a family’s experience with supernatural forces after settling into a new home. Gallner will play Madsen’s cancer-ridden son Matt; Koteas will play a priest and fellow cancer patient that Madsen’s character turns to for help; Donovan will play Madsen’s husband. Peter Cornwell (Ward 13) is directing. Shooting started this week. (Hollywood Reporter)
Denmark’s Bier directing Lost for Words
Susanne Bier (Things We Lost in the Fire) will direct the dramedy Lost for Words for Working Title Films. The story is about a movie star playboy who falls in love with a beautiful Chinese actress and her female translator. Bier’s Danish-language Dogma projects Open Hearts and Brothers are being remade in English by Zach Braff and Jim Sheridan, respectively. (Variety)
People.com: Kid Rock gave a (vague) explanation on an L.A. radio station of why he hit Tommy Lee at the VMAs. ”It’s been going on for five years,” Rock said, adding, ”I came back from the bathroom and he was sitting right there. It was even more disrespectful after everything he’s said, I was like that’s enough, that’s it.” Rock said the fight had nothing to do with their mutual ex-wife, Pamela Anderson, however. ”It has the farthest thing to do from that,” Rock said. ”If he’s smart he’ll be like you know down deep you had it coming. Just leave it alone now. Go your own way.”
Page Six: Tori Spelling and husband Dean McDermott are in talks to appear together in starring roles in Broadway’s Chicago.
AP via Yahoo!: The father and sister of Ronald Goldman appeared on Thursday’s Oprah and said that by taking control of the O.J. Simpson book, If I Did It, they are punishing the man they believe murdered their loved one.