Steven Spielberg Receives Liberty Medal in Philadelphia 

Steven Spielberg has been honored in Philadelphia with the 2009 Liberty Medal. Former President Clinton presented the award to Spielberg at the National Constitution Center.

The filmmaker received the honor for his artistic and humanitarian achievements. The ceremony began with clips from Spielberg's films being shown on a large outdoor screen.

Bono, Presdient Hamid Karzai, and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter were among previous winners.

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Chris Rock's Hair-Raising Lawsuit! Injunction Filed Against Comedian's "Good Hair" 

Chris Rock is being sued for $5 million by Regina Kimbell, producer and director of "My Nappy Roots: A Journey Through Black Hair-itage."

Kimbell is saying that Rock's upcoming film, "Good Hair" (opening in limited release this Friday), copied her "Nappy Roots" documentary. She claims that, "after hearing the buzz about the film, Rock requested a private screening at Paramount Studios. Unaware that Rock had a deal to produce a black hair documentary for HBO, Kimbell agreed to let him see the film."

"Good Hair" is directed by Jeff Stilson with the script written by Lance Crouther, Paul Marchand, Rock, Chuck Sklar, and Stilson.

So the issue is -- there are two documentaries about African-American hair, and Rock copied Kimbell's take on the subject. Really? A good copyright lawsuit argues that the way ideas are expressed are very similar. Upon looking at trailers for both films, I don't think there's a similarity to the expression of ideas.

You be the judge. Play Rock's "Good Hair" trailer, and then the "Nappy Roots" preview. Also, after the vids, you'll be able to read Kimbell's injunction request filing.

And here's the press release I received from Kimbell:



(HOLLYWOOD, Oct. 7, 2009) - - Filmmaker Regina Kimbell continued her quest for justice filing a request for injunction in federal court in downtown Los Angeles against Chris Rock’s “Good Hair,” scheduled for limited theatrical release on Friday, Oct. 9.

Yesterday, the evidence submitted included an email from Kimbell to Doug Miller, then Rock’s assistant and now “Good Hair” associate producer. In the email, Kimbell lets Miller know that she suspected they were making a copy of the film without her permission.

The court filing against Chris Rock, HBO, and the domestic and foreign theatrical distributors is requesting a halt in releasing the film this week and future release until a verdict is reached by jury trial.

On Monday, Kimbell filed a $5 million copyright infringement lawsuit. The basis for the lawsuit is “My Nappy ROOTS: A Journey Through Black Hair-itage” was allegedly copied by Chris Rock after he and his production team viewed the film in June 2007. After hearing the buzz about the film, Rock requested a private screening at Paramount Studios. Unaware that Rock had a deal to produce a black hair documentary for HBO, Kimbell agreed to let him see the film.

Kimbell’s idea for the movie began in 2002 when her daughter Brighton, then 16-years-old, wrote an essay, which served as the starting point conceptually of a five-minute film, mentored by her mother. As a result, over the years the award-winning film evolved from an essay, to a short film, and now a feature-length film.

The feature-length is a definitive, feature-length documentary film that examines the legacy of black hair care through cultural, societal, and political issues in the African American community over time. It covers a diverse array of hairstyles from dreads to braids, twists, perms, jeri curls, weaves, and the afro that bridge hundreds of years of African American culture.

This zesty journey tackles “good hair versus bad hair” and the role media plays as influencer. The illustration of emerging industry trends and hair artistry from top hair shows throughout the United States allows infinite travel from the past, present, and to the future with celebrities (Vivica A. Fox, Patti LaBelle, Niecy Nash, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, to name a few), historians, authors, journalists, comedians, hair stylists, barbers, and black hair care industry business icons.

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"Dreamgirls" Director to Work on Adam Sandler's "Richard Pryor" Film! 

Bill Condon, the director who gave us "Dreamgirls" and wrote "Chicago," is in talks with Columbia Pictures and Adam Sandler's Happy Madison to direct a film about Richard Pryor with Marlon Wayans in the starring role. The plan is for the film to go on production next spring.

The biopic, budgeted for $20 million, will be called "Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said?" and Sandler will produce along with Jack Giarraputo, Chris Rock, Mark Gordon, and Jennifer Pryor.

No word yet on the supporting cast but sources are saying that Sandler is thinking of appearing in a cameo as Pryor's first manager, Sandy Gallin.

Once upon a time, Condon wanted his "Dreamgirls" star Eddie Murphy to star in his Pryor film when it was being developed at Weinstein Co. Then the director shopped it to Paramount and then Fox Searchlight but Murphy was so expensive.

Now it's back to square one with Condon and with a much cheaper actor. But the big question -- can Wayans pull it off as Pryor? I don't really consider himself as a serious actor -- "White Chicks," "Scary Movie" films, heck, I didn't even like him in "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra."

But Condon is a great writer/director and I'm sure he'll be able to help Wayans channel Pryor.

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"Seabiscuit" Director to Work on "Spider-Man" Spinoff "Venom" 

Columbia Pictures hired "Seabiscuit" director, Gary Ross, to rewrite "Spider-Man 4" and now, the studio has given him the "Venom."

Variety tells us that the studio is in talks with Ross to helm the Spidey-spinoff “Venom,” and rewrite the script.

Ross will start working on the script as soon as he's done with "Spider-Man 4." The new "Venom" movie will start from scratch, a reboot, if you may. Topher Grace played him in "Spider-Man 3" but the role will feature a new actor.

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Disney Wants to Make a Movie About a Magical Film Projector  

Walt Disney Pictures is going to make a film called "Reel to Real," a family fantasy flick about a magical film projector that shows nothing but Disney films, well, not really, but the studio picked up the project based on a pitch by Eric Saiet and Andrea Maywhort-Scully.

The Hollywood Reporter is saying that "the deal was made before Rich Ross was named chairman of Walt Disney Studios on Monday."

Maywhort-Scully is also working on a novel.

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