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Movie News from the good ol' days!
2001: A Movie News Odyssey!
A.J.'s Movie News Wayback Machine!
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October 30, 2003:  Jackman, Hugh Jackman: IMDB reports that X-Men star Hugh Jackman is the current favorite to replace Pierce Brosnan as James Bond.  MGM has recently put the project into high gear, cancelling Halle Berry's Jinx spin-off to get "Bond 21" into production as quickly as possible. 
October 27, 2003:  Trilogy of the Caribbean?:  Disney is now planning not one, but two sequels to "Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl". 

October 20, 2003:  Quixote Battles On:  The jinxed Terry Gilliam project, "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote", chronicled in the film "Lost in LaMancha", may move ahead with director Andrew Davis replacing Gilliam at the helm.  Way to go, Andy Davis!  Attack that windmill!
October 16, 2003:  KILL BILL ON DVD:  Quentin Tarantino shared his plans for the release of Kill Bill in an interview with Empire Online...  "I can't imagine a better movie when it comes to great DVD stuff... We'll come up with separate DVDs for Volume 1 and Volume 2 and I'll do special stuff for each of those. Then we'll come up with a real big version with them both together but I won't repeat the special stuff I put on Volume 1 and Volume 2. I'll do something whole other from that. I might even do some other little movie thing just to go on that special double feature version." Paging Peter Jackson!

October 12, 2003:  LOTR Marathons Planned:  Many theatres are going to attempt to show all three LOTR movies back to back to back, beginning the evening before "The Return of the King" is officially released, with that film beginning at 12:01am!  My butt hurts just thinking about it... um, you know, having to sit for all that time!
October 11, 2003:  36th Chamber Of Tarantino?:  In an interview with Hong Kong's Oriental Daily, Quentin Tarantino says he is interested in re-making the Shaw Brothers classic kung-fu flick "The 36th Chamber of Shaolin".  Hmm, I wonder if there's gonna be a part for Sam Jackson in that one... 
                            NEXT CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR TO BE
                      ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER
                                                 (THE GOVERNATOR!!!)
October 3, 2003:  Matrix Revolutions Set For Global Release:  The third chapter of the Matrix trilogy will officially hit theaters on November 5 at what Warners execs call the "zero hour", the exact same moment across the globe. That means Revolutions will open at 6 a.m. in Los Angeles, 9 a.m. in New York, 2 p.m. in London, 5 p.m. in Moscow, and 11 p.m. in Tokyo. 
September 29, 2003:  SpyHunter Finds Rock:  SpyHunter, the ultra-cool 80's spy/race videogame, is coming to the big screen with a big star... The Rock.
September 27, 2003:  Willis Meets Troops:  Action star Bruce Willis, on a goodwill tour through Northern Iraq, met with members of the U.S. 4th Infantry Division's 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry who are training Iraqi border guards. "We're here to support you," Willis told the soldiers. "If you catch him, just give me four seconds with Saddam Hussein."  On Thursday, Willis and his band gave a rock concert for hundreds of soldiers at another Army base about 35 miles from the Syrian border.
September 24, 2003:  Crystal Returns to Oscars:  Billy Crystal has signed on for his eighth gig as host of the Academy Awards. Oh, great... here comes another medley!
September 16, 2003:  J-Lo and Ben- Together Again:  Bennifer breakup reports untrue!  My faith in humanity is restored!
September 14, 2003:  J-Lo says J-No!:  It's heartbreak city for poor Ben Affleck, as Jennifer Lopez marks yet another notch upon her bedpost. Okay, that's it!  The world no longer makes sense to me!  (My new sarcastic catch phrase... like it?  Use it!)
September 12, 2003:  Bale Goes Batty:  Christian Bale is the next Batman in Christopher Nolan's reworking of the caped crusader film franchise.  Here's a tip for Memento director Chris Nolan:  Think of yourself as the Anti-Schumacher.
August 30, 3003:  Happy Birthday Cameron!:  Actress Cameron Diaz turns 31 today, and to mark the occasion, Guinness World Records has named her the highest-paid actress on the planet (unseating Julia Roberts), based on her earnings of $42.2 million during 2001.  I was going to buy her a nice gift, but heck, she can afford to buy her own!  Hmm, I wonder if she needs a gigolo...
August 22, 2003:  More Chocolat for Depp?  The BBC reported today that Johnny Depp has been offered the role of Willy Wonka in Tim Burton's proposed version of the 1971 children's film.  Now that's good casting!
August 6, 2003:  The Real Running Man!!!:  It's official!  Arnold Schwarzenegger announced during a taping of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno today that he will run for Governor of California, should current Gov. Gray Davis be ousted by a recall vote. 
Alternate headline:  It's Conan the Republican!!!
Second alternate headline:  Arnie Takes on Total Recall!!!
August 2, 2003:  Oops, They Done Gone & Did it Again:  Another television show makes its way to the big screen.  The Dukes of Hazzard will hit theatres next year with Britney Spears starring as Daisy Duke.  Also starring are Ashton Kutcher as Luke Duke and Paul Walker as Bo Duke.  Please, someone tell me we've just been Punk'd!
July 15, 2003:  MATRIX: RELEASED: The Matrix sequel, Matrix: Reloaded will be released on DVD this October, a mere 3 weeks before its sequel hits US theatres!!!
July 7, 2003:  Another Marvel Superhero Enters the Fray: Captain America is set to begin shooting next year, with Brad Pitt as the patriotic crimefighter.  Just an idea, but let's go retro with this one... a World War II storyline would be really keen!
June 24, 2003:  Damon is Bourne Again:  The Bourne Supremacy, the sequel to last year's The Bourne Identity, will once again star Matt Damon as Jason Bourne.  British filmmaker Paul Greengrass is in talks to direct. So much for that happy ending!
June 16, 2003:  Nemo 2 Fast for 2 Furious:  This week, the Pixar film Finding Nemo pulled ahead of 2 Fast 2 Furious to regain the top box office spot after falling to #2 last week.  Making $29.2 million over the past weekend, Nemo should top the $200 million mark later this week.  And those aren't sand dollars we're talking about!
June 14, 2003:  Wallace & Gromit's Wrong Trousers Day:  On July 4th, 2003, people across the UK will wear the "wrong" trousers, donating just £1.00 each to children's hospitals and hospices.for the right to look wrong. The trousers can be funny, ridiculous or just the wrong color. Celebrities to participate include Russell Crowe, Kevin Spacey, Julianne Moore, Kenneth Branagh, and Oliver Stone. Remember, it's wrong trousers, not no trousers.  (No Trousers Day is celebrated on Feb. 12th)
June 10, 2003:  Die Hard 4 - Die Harderer: Bruce Willis confirmed today that a fourth Die Hard film is in the works.  The actual working title for this is Die Hard 4: Die Hardest... and the plot involves McClane, his daughter, and terrorists in the Caribbean.  Hmm, sounds like they just retitled an unused script for True Lies 2!
June 1, 2003: Garfield Gets a Voice:  Joining the production of Garfield, the live-action/CGI feature based on the popular comic strip, is Bill Murray, who will voice the lasagna loving feline.  Also starring are Brecklin Meyer and Jennifer Love Hewett. 
May 27, 2003:  Alien to Re-invade Theatres: The Ridley Scott terror classic, Alien, gets new life with a director's edition re-release.  It is expected to feature nearly all of the footage cut from the original release, as well as a re-worked score and remastered soundtrack.  Look for it to open in over 2000 theatres this October! 
And if that works, look for Aliens next year!
May 15, 2003:  A Fine Young Cannibal:  Producer Dino de Laurentis, while  talking to the press at the Cannes Film Festival, revealed that another film featuring Hannibal Lecter is in the works.  The new film will chronicle the life of the carnivorous killer from childhood through his mid-20s. So, it's a pre-prequel?  Okay, I'll buy that.
May 13, 2003:  Lucas Sings a New Toon: George Lucas has officially announced the formation of Lucasfilm Animation, a division of ILM which will produce digitally-animated feature films. (Insert your own Jar-Jar Binks joke)
May 9, 2003: New Tom Cruise Pic Teaser Online: Catch an early glimpse of THE LAST SAMURAI, coming to theatres December 5, 2003! 
April 29, 2003:  Punisher Threads Revealed: 
                          Released today was this first look at star Thomas Jane in full
                          Punisher garb. The Punisher, based on the Marvel comic of
                          the same name,  is slated for a Summer 2004 release.
                           Oh, wow, a t-shirt and leather jacket... I see a Best Costume
                           nomination on the horizon!
April 17, 2003:  Scary News: Scary Movie 3 has added Leslie Nielsen to its frightening cast of horror spoofers, which already includes Charlie Sheen, Denise Richards, Anna Faris, Simon Rex, Anthony Anderson, Eddie Griffin, Regina Hall and Jeremy Piven.  Even scarier news: Dimension Films just greenlit Scary Movie 4!
April 7, 2003:  Starsky & Hutch Heats Up:  Joining Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and  Snoop Dogg for the big-screen remake of the 1970's television show will be Carmen Electra.  Coincidentally, shooting begins today!
April 4, 2003:  Punisher to Tease Hulk Fans:  The Hulk, to be released in theatres this July, will include a teaser trailer for the next big Marvel hero adventure, The Punisher. And The Punisher will have a teaser for... The Fantastic Four?
April 1, 2003:  Battlefield Earth Trilogy Announced: John Travolta revealed today that he has begun pre-production on the next two chapters of the L. Ron Hubbard saga.  He will produce, direct, and star.  Many characters have yet to be cast, but Travolta envisions Chris Kattan and Whoopi Goldberg in the lead roles. Yeah, and then monkeys might fly out of my butt!  April Fools, everybody!
March 31, 2003:  Lord of the Apes: LOTR director Peter Jackson has chosen his first post-Rings project... a remake of King Kong.  Jackson will direct and will co-write the screenplay, and will be filming in New Zealand, retaining many of the production crew and effects teams from the LOTR.trilogy.  If all goes well, Jackson's 4th wonder should reach theatres in 2005!
March 17, 2003:  Scully Reveals X-Files Plans: In a recent appearance on British television, actress Gillian Anderson confirmed that a second X-Files feature is in the works.  Most of the principals were returning, she said, including David Duchovny, Robert Patrick, Annabeth Gish, Mitch Pileggi, and Brian Thompson. It is thought that the events of this sequel will take place some time between those of the first film and those of the series' final television season.  Why not continue where they left off, with two more thrilling hours in a makeshift military court room?
March 7, 2003:  Reservior Dogs... THE GAME: Yep, that's right folks.  SCi games has announced that it is developing a video game based on the Tarantino classic.  The difference?  We may actually get to see the heist this time!
March 4, 2003: Grimm From Gilliam: Director Terry Gilliam is forging ahead with his next project; a $75 million screen adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. Robin Williams, Matt Damon, and Heath Ledger are slated to star.  Hmm... a live-action Shrek?  What's the worst that could happen?  (don't answer that!)
February 24, 2003: Brad Pitt Saves the Day:  Actor Brad Pitt became a real-life action hero last Sunday, when he leapt in front of a speeding car to save a woman's life.  While having a cigarette outside Dan Tana's Italian restaurant in Los Angeles, Brad saw a car jump the curb and hurtle toward a female pedestrian.  Brad then pushed the woman out of the way of the oncoming vehicle.  Luckily, no one was hurt.  The grateful woman said at the scene, "I'm so happy to be alive, and even happier it was you that saved me." Brad just said, "I'm glad to be of service."  The driver of the car claimed he took his eyes off the road while searching his glove box.  Right... I'll bet he was actually distracted thinking, "Hey, isn't that Brad Pitt over there?"
February 15, 2003:  Woohoo!  It's O'Toole:  The actor has changed his mind about receiving an honorary Oscar this year, and will likely attend the ceremonies.  Peter O'Toole, known for his work in Lawrence of Arabia, The Lion in Winter, Goodbye Mr. Chips, and My Favorite Year, has been nominated seven times, without a win.  He originally declined the Academy's invitation, mistaking the offer as a sign that his peers thought he could no longer win a competitive award. He sent a handwritten letter last month saying he was "enchanted" at the thought of an honorary Oscar but that he was "still in the game, and might yet win outright." Honorary my arse!  O'Toole, you've earned this one!
February 13, 2003: Woohoo!  It's U2!:  The band U2 has reportedly been tapped to perform at the 75th Oscar Awards.  U2 is nominated in the 'Best Orginal Song' category, for "The Hands That Built America" from Gangs of New York.  The 75th Oscars will be telecast on March 23, 2003.

February 12, 2003: Simon on Oscar: Paul Simon, who is nominated this year for 'Best Original Song', spoke out recently about how happy he is that his song "Father and Daughter" caught the Academy's attention.  He also lamented the fact that Simon & Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson" from The Graduate missed the chance to be nominated back in 1967.  "We forgot to fill in the forms," Simon gingerly explained. "You know, it was the '60s. We just weren't paying attention. We went along our way and never filled it in. That's what happened." And, because of that, "Talk to the Animals", from Dr. Doolittle won the Oscar that year!  IRONY ALERT:  Simon's "Father and Daughter" is also from a wildlife-themed kids film; The Wild Thornberry's Movie.  The difference?  Simon's not gonna win.
February 11, 2003:  Top Oscar Nominations:  Leading the pack this year for 'Best Picture' is Chicago, with 13 nominations, coming close is Gangs of New York with 10 nods, and filling out the list are The Hours, The Pianist, and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Now that's a mixed bag!
February 7, 2003:  Spielberg and Hanks, Together Again: America's most popular director and America's most popular movie star will team up for a third time with 'Terminal', an airport comedy, set to begin shooting in late 2003.  The pair previously worked together on Saving Private Ryan and Catch Me If You Can Late 2003?  Hey, that means Spielberg should be free to direct Indiana Jones 4 this summer!
February 3, 2003:  'Core' Trailer Pulled From Theatres:  Paramount Pictures has asked theatres to stop running its new promo for the upcoming sci-fi thriller, The Core, as it depicts a NASA space shuttle attempting an emergency landing.  NASA's first space shuttle, Columbia, and its crew were lost during re-entry into Earth's atmosphere on February 1st.
January 3, 2003:  Happy New Year From A.J.!:  A.J.'s Movie News is taking this month off.  Look for movie news and more in February!

Top 10 in
U.S. Theatres
Week ending October 12, 2003

2.  The School of Rock
3.  Intolerable Cruelty
4.  Good Boy!
5.  Out of Time
6.  House of the Dead
7.  The Rundown
8.  Under the Tuscan Sun
9.  Secondhand Lions
10.  Lost in Translation

Source: U.S. Box Office
Top 10 U.S. Rentals
(Released Feature Film Titles)
Week ending October 5, 2003

2.  Daddy Daycare
3.  Anger Management
4.  Dreamcatcher
5.  Boat Trip
6.  Holes
7.  The Core
8.  Identity
9.  A Man Apart
10.  Bend it Like Beckham

Source: Reuters/Variety

Thomas Jane as The Punisher
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