Tag Archives: Warren Sonoda

Lifetime grows black Magnolias, Israel sparks MIPtv sales, Nancy’s just Foolin’ and the Junos get Feist-y

LATIFAH: steel lady

FLICKERS: Dynamic leading ladies Queen Latifah, Alfre Woodard and Phylicia Rashad have signed on for Lifetime‘s all-black remake of Steel Magnolias, taking over the roles originally played by Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine and Sally Field.No word yet as to who will  be cast in the Olympia Dukakis and Julia Roberts roles …  looking for some laughs this weekend? Servitude is the first film to be developed and workshopped through the Telefilm Canada Features Comedy Lab, the CFC Film Program in collaboration with Just For Laughs, and it opens today with a stellar cast — Joe DinicolJohn BregarLinda Kash, Lauren CollinsAaron AshmoreEnrico Colantoni, Margot

DINICOL: in service

Kidder, and Dave Foley.  Directed by Warren P. Sonada and written by co-producer Michael Sparaga, it looks like a lot of fun … left-wing heroine Jane Fonda will remind us what a good actress she is when she plays right-wing Republican former first lady Nancy Reagan in Lee Daniels’ The Butler.  An Oscar nominee for directing Precious, Daniels describes The Butler as a sprawling historical drama that centers on Eugene Allen, a black man who worked as butler in the White House under eight presidents. Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker is slated to play Allen, and insiders say ardent Daniels supporter Oprah Winfrey may play one of the many supporting roles …and Marcelle Lean‘s 15th Cinefranco filmfest wraps up this weekend at TIFF Bell Lightbox. Hot titles include Ma Part Du Gateau/My Piece Of The Pie, one of

SUTHERLAND: worldwide

the films celebrated on last month’s 12th Floating Film Festival, and L’Art D’Aimer/The Art Of Love. For Cinefranco program notes click here.

BRAVE NEW WORLDS: Did you see the premiere of Kiefer Sutherland’s new series Touch last week on Global? If you did, you had plenty of company. Touch premiered almost simultaneously in 100 countries and territories. In the U.S. it screened on Fox; in Germany, on ProSieben; in Russia, on Channel One. New-world executive thinking indicates that the worldwide premiere signifies a new way of doing business that attracts multinational advertisers (Unilever is a sponsor of the series around the world) and attacks online piracy … also making history: the Adam Beach series Arctic

BEACH: hit series

Air, which averaged almost a million viewers a week in its debut season, the largest audience to follow the first season of a CBC Television drama series in 15 years.  Other CBC shows more than one million viewers weekly include Dragons’ Den, Republic Of Doyle and The Rick Mercer Report. So somebody must be doing something right … Israeli TV formats may prove to be the big buzz at this year’s MIPtv. The annual international television convention opens Sunday in Cannes with a red carpet gala screening of Julian FellowesTitanic, already sold in 86 countries, but it’s the shows from Israel sparking the most interest. HBO‘s In Treatment and Showtime‘s Homeland are both based on hit Israeli TV series. Another Israeli series, The Naked Truth,  a suspense thriller set entirely in an interrogation room, has already been picked up by HBO

WHITE: April Foolin'

for an American remake, and NBC has ordered a pilot called Midnight Sun, based on the Israeli show Pillars of Smoke, about a female FBI agent who uncovers a conspiracy. Other hot prospects at next-week’s four-day marathon in the south of France: Mr. Selfridge, a period drama about the life of the flamboyant founder of the London department story; Tom Fontana‘s Copper, about a police officer in 1860s New York City; the psychological thriller Hemlock Grove, already snapped up by Netflix; the period mini-series Madame Tussauds; dramatic series Hannibal, already sold to NBC; World Without End, a follow-up mini-series to Pillars Of The Earth; and Sinbad, BBC’s update on the tale of the

FEIST: Junos telecast

8th century swashbuckler who battles monsters and visits magical places.

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Music man Jack de Keyser strums his stuff tomorrow night at Simcoe Jazz & Blues in Oshawa … perennial crowd-pleaser Nancy White headlines the April Fool’s Matinee this weekend at the trendy Green Door cabaret with pianist Bob Johnston, percussionist Marsha Coffey and singers Ghislain Aucoin, Suzy Wilde, Barb Johnston, Maddy Wilde, Eddy Be, Stella Walker, Bridget Carter-Whitney, Mavis Lyons and Mike O’Hara. “Do not be frightened by the number of singers and the fact that the show is on a Sunday,”

McLACHLAN: singing Sunday

adds the irreepressible Ms. Walker. “No gospel music will be presented. That is our pledge to you.” Showtime is 3 pm  this Sunday April 1, For ticket info click hereMaggie Cassella hosts her own April 1 send-up, Liar Liar Pants On Fire, Sunday night at The Flying Beaver Pubaret. “It’s an April Fools Day event where YOU get up on stage and tell a whopper of a story. The audience votes on weather they think it’s true or false. If you fool them you win a prize!” … and now that deadmau5 and Madonna have called a truce, his fans can see him on Sunday night’s Juno Awards telecast on CTV. Also set to rock the premises: Blue Rodeo, City and Colour, Feist, Hedley, Hey Rosetta!, K’NAAN, Lights, MC Flipside, Nickelback, Sarah McLachlan, and Simple Plan.

Happy weekend!

*     *    *

Emilio shows his dad The Way, Carsen tells some lavish Tales and Jason & Carly indulge in hot text

FLICKERS: Get set for “the greatest opera film ever, filmed in 3D and HD video, featuring 1000 extras, 150 musicians and chorus members from the Paris

SHEEN: walking The Walk

Opera, 50 dancers and 20 of the world’s greatest singers.” No kidding. It’s the all-new Tales Of Hoffman, an extravagant film debut for director Robert Carsen. Is Michael Levine designing the sets? Of course. The 150-minute spectacle will be shot in Paris, Milan, Prague and Venice, locations include the Paris Opera and La Scala, and Renee Fleming and Rolando Villazon are set to topline a cast which includes Scott Hendricks, Anne Sophie Von Otter and Bryn Terfel. Stay tuned … Martin Sheen is in Spain, shooting The Way with Deborah Kara Unger for his actor-writer-director son Emilio Estevez. It’s a story about El Camino de

McCORMACK: texting?

Santiago, the famous pilgrimage route that has existed for more than 1000 years. Shirley MacLaine walked the 500 miles from the French village of Saint Jean de Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela in 1994 — she was 60 at the time — and got a bestseller out of it. Can’t wait to see what Emilio does with it … and Jason Lewis, Eric McCormack and Carly Pope are shooting Liam Card’s Textuality, a comedy about a guy and a girl on the brink of romance who must first end the multiple relationships they were managing through their Blackberries before they met. Also on hand to bring actor-writer Card’s first feature film screenplay to life are director Warren P. Sonoda, producer Marc Rigaux and executive producer Michael Baker. Sounds like fun.

NOW THAT’S GOING GREEN: Looking for enviro-friendly Xmas gifts? Street pole banners featuring those striking images from the National Ballet are being combined with recycled seatbelts and inner tubes (!!) to create National Ballet tote bags and messenger bags. They’re all made with 100% recycled material and you can buy ’em at the Ballet Boutique at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

BOYD: Peter, Paul & Liona?

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “I’m looking to form a Peter, Paul & Mary style trio (so sad that poor Mary recently died) and wondered if any of you happen to know someone who might fit the bill. He has to be able to play folky acoustic guitar (or even classical, but not essential), and have a good singing voice (preferably a tenor,) plus live in North America. If he happens to be single, nice looking, slim, somewhat enlightened and intelligent and between the age of 50 and 65 so much the better :-)”

The seeker? Guitar virtuoso Liona Boyd, e-talking a musical APB to her friends and fans in her recent newsletter.

UP UP & AWAY: Air Canada is testing whether travelers want to pay to surf the Web, send email or work via the Internet while flying. Internet service on select Toronto-Los Angeles and Montreal-Los Angeles routes will run until January 29. Passengers will pay $9.95 per flight to use a laptop computer and $7.95 to use a personal electronic device, such as a smartphone. Air Canada also began charging extra fees last week to book Preferred seats with additional leg room, starting at $14. Preferred seats refer to the bulkhead and exit row seats in Economy Class that offer added legroom. “These coveted seats are now available to all Air Canada and Jazz® customers for a fee that varies by fare option and destination.”

Hmmmmm. And the fee for using the washroom is …??

 

TOMORROW:

The Bible tells me so.

Ms Hathaway & Mr Dow get raves, Ms Alley gets ornery, and Ms Kirshner tells us where to go

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: She was mentored by Margaret Atwood, and talent clearly runs in her family. So I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that it was standing room only last week at the Gladstone when

HATHAWAY: on Broadway

HATHAWAY: on Broadway

Lauren Kirshner launched her first novel, Where We Have To Go. Her big sister, actress Mia Kirshner, was on hand to lead the cheers…  your CBC boyfriend George Stroumboulopoulos spent Sunday chilling with Angelo Tsarouchas at the Greek Film Festival at the Egyptian Theatre in L.A., then followed up with a Mexican-Indian fusion feast  at Cowboys & Turbans (seriously!) with Russell Peters … count Kirstie Alley as a major non-fan of headline-grabbing cyber-gossip Perez Hilton. “HEY PEREZ,” she tweets, “I hear you filed a $25,000 lawsuit against the guy who bopped you. I’ll pay you 30 grand if you let me pop you in the other eye! “ … latest conquest for skyrocketing screen siren Anne Hathaway: Broadway. She’s currently on stage winning raves with four-time Tony winner Audra McDonald and gifted matinee idol Raul Esparza in Daniel Sullivan’s new production of

CARD: renaissance man

CARD: renaissance man

Twelfth Night and add Rick Mercer to Bruce Dow’s burgeoning list of fans. Mercer caught Dow lighting up the stage at Stratford last week in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum and laughed myself sick. He is one funny guy. Brilliant!”

WILD CARD: Actor-writer Liam Card is currently experiencing a one-man renaissance and enjoying every minute of it. He’s currently working with his literary agent Chris Bucci on his first novel, Paradise, Mich., a wonderfully quirky premise that I won’t give away here. But he’s even more excited about his first screenplay, Textuality, which is tentatively scheduled to shoot this fall under the Strident Films production banner he co-founded with producer Marc Rigaux. In Card’s screen scenario Jason Lewis, better known to millions of women as

LEWIS: textually challenged?

LEWIS: textually challenged?

Kim Cattrall’s boy toy Smith in Sex And The City, will co-star with Carly Pope (so good in Young People Fucking) as a guy who gets romantically detoured by his own text messages. Card has also written a nice supporting part for himself, as Lewis’ best friend. Set to direct is another Card player, Warren Sonoda, who made a splash last September at TIFF with Cooper’s Camera and who also directed Card in Puck Hogs, a new comedy scheduled to open later this year.

Stay tuned. There’s bound to be more to come.

2009_0626_gq_sacha_baron_cohen_brunoBORAT WAS SO 20006: Yes, that’s the tagline on ads for Bruno, the new ‘reality comedy’ created and relentlessly promoted by Sacha Baron Cohen. Publicity generated by his outlandish premieres in London, Paris and Madrid and the stunningly stunned bogus ‘photo shoot’ candids has been truly eye-catching and, strategically speaking, among the best we’ve ever witnessed. The new comedy should have a huge July 10 opening weekend, but it will be interesting to see how it fares after that. Especially when many of us thought we’d already seen Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson do this act in Zoolander. (Hey, I’m just sayin’…) Meanwhile, opening the film in Europe first has provided a big box office cushion Bruno.2for Bruno, just in case the make-believe gay supermodel ends up needing one. And yes, you’re right, I shouldn’t take liberties with the film by abbreviating its title. The film’s full name — in Europe, at least – is Bruno: Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable in the Presence of a Gay Foreigner in a Mesh T-Shirt. To see the Approved trailer, click here. To see the Restricted trailer – yes, there really is a Restricted trailer for Mature Audiences Only – click here. But be warned: If you thought Borat was outrageous, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

COLOR ME PLAID:  Remember when Toronto audiences fell in love with Forever Plaid? Prepare to swoon again, and soon. The critically acclaimed off-Broadway musical will return for one night only at select Cineplex cinemas on Thursday July 9, and Cineplex is making a night of it with a LIVE red carpet appearance, an introduction by the original cast with special celebrity guests, and a pre-taped 20th Anniversary performance of the musical, starring members of the original Off-Broadway cast. The event will conclude with a LIVE performance by The Plaids who will perform numbers never before sung in the show, a mix of swinging standards and more contemporary songs. Can you imagine How Much Is That Doggie In The Window? juxtaposed with Who Let the Dogs Out? Me neither. And there’s even a bouncing ball sing-a-long in the works.

Should be quite a night!

TOMORROW:

Andrea carries a Torch,

Angie conducts (unarmed,)

and  three CBC guys we trust,

-/-