Writers Guild of America Unveils Exciting Nominations! "Avatar" and "Star Trek" Receive Love But "Inglourious Basterds" Snubbed! 

The Writers Guild of America has announced nominations for outstanding achievement in writing for the screen during the past year. Winners will be honored at the 2010 Writers Guild Awards held on Saturday, February 20, 2010, at simultaneous ceremonies in Los Angeles and New York.

Some interesting notes:

Not one but two sci-fi films received noms -- "Avatar" written by James Cameron and "Star Trek" written by Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman

"Inglourious Basterds" was NOT nominated! Huh?

"The Hangover" yay!

"Julie and Julia" honestly? I loved the Julia Child part, but the Julie Powell part dragged the whole film for me.

And kudos to Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story." The documentary was not included in the Academy longlist, but received a writing nomination.

Here's the complete list of nominees of the 2010 Writers Guild Awards. I highlighted who I think should win:


(500) Days of Summer, Written by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber; Fox Searchlight

Avatar, Written by James Cameron; 20th Century Fox

The Hangover, Written by Jon Lucas & Scott Moore; Warner Bros.

The Hurt Locker, Written by Mark Boal; Summit Entertainment

A Serious Man, Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen; Focus Features


Crazy Heart, Screenplay by Scott Cooper; Based on the novel by Thomas Cobb; Fox Searchlight

Julie & Julia, Screenplay by Nora Ephron; Based on the books Julie & Julia by Julie Powell and My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud’homme; Sony Pictures

Precious: Based on the novel Push by Sapphire, Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher; Based on the novel Push by Sapphire; Lionsgate

Star Trek, Written by Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman; Based upon Star Trek, Created by Gene Roddenberry; Paramount Pictures

Up in the Air, Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner; Based upon the novel by Walter Kirn; Paramount Pictures


Against the Tide, Screenplay by Richard Trank; Moriah Films

Capitalism: A Love Story, Written by Michael Moore; Overture Films

The Cove, Written by Mark Monroe; Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions

Earth Days, Written by Robert Stone; Zeitgeist Films

Good Hair, Written by Chris Rock & Jeff Stilson and Lance Crouther and Chuck Sklar; Roadside Attractions

Soundtrack for a Revolution, Written by Bill Guttentag & Dan Sturman; Freedom Song Productions and Louverture Films

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"Avatar" Receives Outstanding Cinematography Nomination 

"Avatar" cinematographer Mauro Fiore (pictured) is one of the nominees of the 24th annual American Society of Cinematographers Outstanding Achievement Awards.

Fiore will compete with Barry Ackroyd for "The Hurt Locker," Dione Beebe for "Nine," Christian Berger for "The White Ribbon" and Robert Richardson for "Inglourious Basterds."

According to the ASC website:

All films eligible for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Oscar competition were candidates for the ASC Outstanding Achievement Award. Last year’s ASC winner in the feature category — Anthony Dod Mantle, BSC, DFF for Slumdog Millionaire — went on to take home the Academy Award.

Goi notes that art and craft of cinematography is a global language. Fiore was born in Italy, Berger is Austrian, Ackroyd is British, Beebe was born in Australia, and Richardson is a native of the United States.

The winner, who will likely take home an Oscar as well, will be announced Feb. 27.

My bet to win? "Avatar!" It's simply the most beautiful film last year!

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John Malkovich to Star as Vulture in "Spider-Man 4?" 

The fate of the fourth installment of the "Spider-Man" franchise is still up in the air (it's uncertain if the film will open in its targeted release date of May 5, 2011) but John Halkovich has confirmed that he's up for the role of the big bad Vulture according to our friends at superherohype.com.

Malkovich made an appearance in an Italian sports show called "Quelli Che il Calcio" and revealed the Vulture news.

"When conductor Simona Ventura asked him about his role of Vulture in the movie, he not only didn't deny his involvement, but confirmed that he's waiting for the final script to be sent to him, and that the movie has been delayed. He also hopes that shooting will begin as soon as possible."

Apparently, Malkovich was Sam Raimi's alternate choice to play the Green Goblin in the first "Spider-Man" film. There's no confirmation from Sony yet regarding Malkovich's participation, or whether Vulture will indeed be the Big Bad in "Spider-Man 4." Stay tuned...

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Stuart Townsend Says Goodbye to "Thor!" 

Stuart Townsend has left production of "Thor" using the good, old "creative differences" excuse.

The actor was set to star as one of the Warrior Three named Fandral. The Warrior Three is a trio of Asgardian warriors who fight alongside Thor, our favorite Norse god. Now, Townsend has been replaced by actor Joshua Dallas.

Kenneth Branagh is directing "Thor" and the shooting starts today.

This is the second time that Townsend has left a famous franchise at the last minute. Once upon a time, he was the man who would be King Aragorn in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, but was replaced by Viggo Mortensen.

"Thor" is set to open May 6, 2011.

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"Avatar" Continues to Dominate Box-Office! 

For the fourth straight weekend, James Cameron's "Avatar" remained on top, earning $48.5 million. Overseas, the sci-fi flick earned $143 million, bringing its total to $906 million. Worldwide, "Avatar" has pulled in $1.34 billion, a shy away from beating Cameron's own record, "Titanic" at $1.8 billion.

"Avatar" beat "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" to become the No. 1 release of 2009. "Avatar's" $429 million take lorded over "Transformers'" $402.1 million domestic total. The 20th Century Fox flick is only $100 million shy from beating "The Dark Knight's" $533.3 million domestic record.

Meanwhile, "Sherlock Holmes" and "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel" remained at No. 2 and No. 3 respectively. The Robert Downey Jr.-Jude Law starrer took the second place with $16.6 million, while the "Chipmunks" sequel sold $16.3 million worth of tickets to hold steady at No. 3.

The vampire thriller "Daybreakers" was the strongest among the latest batch of films to open last weekend. The Lionsgate scare-a-thon starring Ethan Hawke made $15 million to debut at No. 4.

Moviegoers didn't take a leap of faith with Universal's new film "Leap Year." The romantic comedy starring Amy Adams only made $9.2 million to place at No. 6. "Youth in Revolt" didn't fare well either, debuting at No. 9 with $7 million.

Here's the estimated Top 10 films at the box-office for weekend of Jan. 8th:

1. "Avatar," $48.5 million.

2. "Sherlock Holmes," $16.6 million.

3. "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel," $16.3 million.

4. "Daybreakers," $15 million.

5. "It's Complicated," $11 million.

6. "Leap Year," $9.2 million.

7. "The Blind Side," $7.8 million.

8. "Up in the Air," $7.1 million.

9. "Youth in Revolt," $7 million.

10. "The Princess and the Frog," $4.7 million.

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