Beginning next week I’ll probably be up to my eyeballs in work, which may preclude me from posting as frequently. So, I decided to start a new column called The Weekly News Roundup. The column will be composed of important news from the week that I wanted to speak about but didn’t have enough time to give individual posts to. This week in the roundup Simon Cowell, Conan O’Brien, Spider-Man, Green Lantern and Ashley Greene’s Interview Magazine pictures.
Simon Cowell Leaving American Idol
At the Television Critics Association panel for FOX executives this past Monday, Simon Cowell announced that he’ll leave American Idol at the end of its current season. Cowell’s exit had long been rumored but was contingent on his ability to bring UK show The X-Factor to American Television. Cowell is the executive producer and creator of X-Factor and stands to make far more money from it than American Idol, this in spite of the 100 million dollar offer he had on the table to continue judging Idol. For Fox the move is a smart one because it allows So You Think You Can Dance to move back to the summer season with X-Factor slotting in Fall 2011 and American Idol remaining in the Winter/Spring season. Since the announcement every news outlet has been abuzz with rumors of who would replace Simon, and who will join him on X-Factor. Among the names rumored to replace Simon are Elton John and Rodney Jerkins. I’m not sure either would fit the show but the tone may change when Simon bids it farewell. As for X-Factor, Cowell has hinted that Paula Abdul may join him on the panel but I doubt FOX will go for it. Other options are Cheryl Cole, who sits alongside Cowell on the British show; Tommy Mottola, a successful record executive and former husband of Mariah Carey; and gossip blogger Perez Hilton.
NBC’s Late Night Zoo
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you know that NBC decided to move Jay Leno from his 10pm timeslot back into the late night fold. This caused quite the stir when Conan O’Brien, current Tonight Show host, announced that he would leave the show if NBC moved it to 12:05am. Moving it to said time had been NBC’s plan, they were hoping to slot Leno ahead of the Tonight Show to avoid breaching either host’s contract. At this point things got nasty and the name calling began, with just about everyone weighing in. I withheld posting about the drama hoping that it would resolve itself but as of last night that looks unlikely. According to The Wrap, Conan will take a payout and leave NBC behind allowing Jay Leno to re-assume the mantle of Tonight Show host. The specifics of the deal have not been finalized but may yield O’Brien as much as 40 million dollars. It’s likely that Conan will take this money and then wait until fall to launch a new late night show on FOX.
Sony Spins a Spider-Man Reboot
Sony Pictures dropped a bomb earlier this week when they announced that they would reboot Spider-Man rather than go forth with Spider-Man 4. Sam Raimi who had directed the three previous Spider-Man films wanted to center the franchise’s 4th on The Vulture, a villain who steals his victims youth from them. John Malkovich was signed to play The Vulture and Anne Hathaway had been rumored to play his daughter, a role that would have borrowed from Spider-Man love interest Black Cat. Sony wasn’t fond of this direction and threw out Raimi’s script leaving him without anything to shoot. When Raimi told Sony that he would need more time to craft a new script they told him it wasn’t necessary. Sony had already commissioned a reboot script from screenwriter James Vanderbilt and decided going forward with a reboot was more feasible. Raimi will remain on as a producer, and is encouraging Sony to hire Nimrod Antal to director the new film. Antal, whose biggest credit is 2007′s Vacancy, is seen as a conservative choice because of his ability to direct big action sequences on a low budget. Sony however, seems to prefer (500) Days of Summer director Marc Webb for the job. Webb, despite his lack of experience in the action genre, would probably turn out a better product. He has a real knack for character development and Sony believes he could make the love story more real than Raimi did. Unfortunately, it seems like that love story will again be between Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson rather than Peter and Gwen Stacy.
Green Lantern Casting News
The folks over at Warner Brothers have been busy this week casting a few big names for The Green Lantern film preparing to shoot later this year. Last weekend it was announced that Gossip Girl star Blake Lively would play Carol Ferris, Green Lantern’s (Ryan Reynolds) love interest. Lively seems like an odd choice but according to executives she aced her screen test. That being said, I still would have preferred Lost star Evangeline Lilly. A few days ago Peter Sarsgaard joined the cast as Hector Hammond, the film’s premiere villain. And then yesterday MTV broke the news that Mark Strong was in talks to sign on as Green Lantern’s arch nemesis Sinestro. Both Sarsgaard and Strong are smart casting choices who help legitimize the film. Sarsagaard is an award winner, most recently nominated by SAG for his role in An Education. Strong was the best thing about Ridley Scott’s Body of Lies, he can also be seen in Sherlock Holmes, and the upcoming Robin Hood film. While, I still think that Reynolds was a poor choice for Hal Jordan; I’m getting progressively more excited about this film, which comes from Greg Berlanti, Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim.
Dear Ashley Greene, Call Me.
A few days ago I posted about Ashley Greene’s upcoming spread in Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Edition. I was relatively sure Greene couldn’t top herself, but then photos from her new spread in Interview Magazine leaked out and I was proven wrong. I’ve embedded the photos below, thanks again to Egotastic.