Entries in Director (11)


"Top Gun" Director Tony Scott Dead in Apparent Suicide

Kevin Winter/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Prolific director Tony Scott, whose credits include Top Gun, Days of Thunder and Crimson Tide, has died in an apparent suicide.

The Los Angeles coroner's office says Scott, 68, jumped off the Vincent Thomas Bridge near Long Beach, California, around 12:30 p.m. PT Sunday.

California's The Daily Breeze reports a suicide note was found inside Scott's Toyota Prius, parked near the bridge.

According to, Scott was pronounced dead around 3 p.m.  The coroner's office tells the website his death is being investigated as a suicide.

Scott's rep confirmed his death to The Hollywood Reporter, without getting into specifics.

The British-born Scott, whose brother is Prometheus director Ridley Scott, delivered his first major film in 1983: the horror flick The Hunger, which starred Susan Sarandon and David Bowie.  Three years later, he released Top Gun, starring Tom Cruise.  He worked with Cruise again on 1990's Days of Thunder.

Scott's other major credits include The Last Boy Scout, Enemy of the State, Man on Fire, and the remake of The Taking of Pelham 123.  His last film credit was the 2010 Denzel Washington thriller Unstoppable.

Scott was also an executive producer of the CBS drama Numb3rs.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


It's Game Over for "Hunger Games" Director 

Target Presse Agentur Gmbh/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- He may have called the shots on the blockbuster movie The Hunger Games, but director Gary Ross says he's passing on the chance to direct the movie's already-in-the-works sequel.

Ross' decision comes after days of speculation about his future with the second film, Catching Fire -- and comes not long after he told news outlets he was definitely "attached to direct" the sequel and was "intending to do it."

In a statement from the filmmaker made public by Lionsgate, Ross said, "As a writer and a director, I simply don’t have the time I need to write and prep the movie I would have wanted to make because of the fixed and tight production schedule."

Ross also thanked the movie's stars, including Jennifer Lawrence, and denied his stepping down was the result of rumored-to-be nasty negotiations with Lionsgate, saying of the studio, "They have also been very understanding of me through this difficult decision."

For its part, Lionsgate reps insisted in a statement that they're "very sorry" Ross is backing out.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


'Tommy' Director Ken Russell Dies at 84

Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic(LONDON) -- British director Ken Russell, who directed The Who-inspired 1975 musical film Tommy, has died, according to Britain's The Guardian.  He passed away Sunday in his sleep at the age of 84.  Additional details had not been released as of early Monday.

In addition to Tommy, Russell also directed 1975's Lisztomania.  Inspired by the life of classical composer Franz Liszt, it starred The Who's Roger Daltrey, and featured Ringo Starr and Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman, the latter of whom also provided the film's score.

Russell's other credits include 1969's Women in Love, for which he received an Oscar nomination, as well as 1970's The Music Lovers and 1980's Altered States.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


'Thor 2' to Be First Female-Directed Superhero Movie

Jason Kempin/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Another glass ceiling is about to be shattered in Hollywood.

Marvel has hired Patty Jenkins to direct Thor 2, making her the first woman to direct a superhero flick.

Jenkins comes with a pretty good resume, too.  She directed Monster -- the film that won Charlize Theron an Oscar. Jenkins also directed episodes of Entourage, Arrested Development and the critically acclaimed pilot of AMC's The Killing.

Thor fans will have to wait two years to see the sequel.  Thor 2 is set for a November 2013 release.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Film Director Sidney Lumet Dead at 86

Sidney Lumet / Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Sidney Lumet, director of 12 Angry Men, Network and Dog Day Afternoon, died Saturday morning. He was 86.

His stepdaughter, Leslie Gimbel, told The New York Times that Lumet died of lymphoma.

The director was a five time Oscar nominee for The Verdict, Prince of the City, Network, Dog DaAfternoon and 12 Angry Men, and the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Oscar in 2005.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


'Insidious' Director James Wan Finds Low-Budget Success

Filmdistrict(LOS ANGELES) -- James Wan, the director of the original Saw film, has found success with another low-budget horror flick, Insidious. He says the film cost only $800,000, but enjoyed a $13.3 million debut last weekend -- that's about 60 times the cost of production. Wan says the key to making a great low-budget movie is having a great script.  "They know they're not going to come in for a payday," he says of the cast and crew, "so you have to entice them with a project they cannot get otherwise, and so it always starts with a great script."

Given his low-budget success, does Wan want to make a big-budget Hollywood film?  "Hell yes!" he declares.  "That's my goal."  Ironically, though, he says his low-budget success is working against him: "The problem is the fact that I keep proving myself that I can make successful films for next to no money, it makes it a lot harder for them to give me a bigger budget to work with."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 


'Black Swan' Director Defends Natalie Portman

Kevin Winter/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky has come out in support of star actress Natalie Portman after her dance-double, Sarah Lane, said she did most of the on-screen moves. 

"Here is the reality," Aronofsky said in a statement released Monday through studio Fox Searchlight. "I had my editor count shots. There are 139 dance shots in the film. 111 are Natalie Portman untouched. 28 are her dance double Sarah Lane. If you do the math that's 80 percent Natalie Portman."

He went on to talk about the amount of time both were on screen. "The shots that feature the double are wide shots and rarely play for longer than one second," he said. "There are two complicated longer dance sequences that we used face replacement. Even so, if we were judging by time over 90 percent would be Natalie Portman."

Lane, a soloist with the American Ballet Theatre, told Entertainment Weekly Friday that the public has been misled about how much twirling Portman did in the film.

"On the full-body shots, I would say 5 percent are Natalie," Lane said. "I mean, from a professional dancer's standpoint, she doesn't look like a professional ballet dancer at all and she can't dance in pointe shoes. And she can't move her body. She's very stiff."

Aronofsky took issue with Lane's comment on pointe shoes.

"To be clear, Natalie did dance on pointe in pointe shoes," the director said of the classical ballet technique calling for dancers to stay on the tips of their toes. "If you look at the final shot of the opening prologue, which lasts 85 seconds, and was danced completely by Natalie, she exits the scene on pointe. That is completely her without any digital magic."

Lane's comments were in response to an interview that Portman's fiance and choreographer Benjamin Millepied gave to the Los Angeles Times.

"There are articles now talking about her dance double that are making it sound like [Lane] did a lot of the work but, really, she just did the footwork, and the fouettes, and one diagonal in the studio," Millepied said. "Honestly, 85 percent of that movie was Natalie."

Portman has kept quiet since the war of words began last week, although she was candid about using a dance-double for the complicated routines in interviews before the Oscars.

Aronofsky, however, decided to speak up. "I am responding to this to put this to rest and to defend my actor," he said. "Natalie sweated long and hard to deliver a great physical and emotional performance.

"And I don't want anyone to think that's not her they are watching. It is."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Oscar-Winning Director Steven Soderbergh to Retire from Filmmaking

Michael Tran/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- The Oscar-winning director behind the movies Traffic, Erin Brockovich, and Ocean's Eleven and its sequels says he’s planning to retire from filmmaking.  In an interview that aired Friday on Public Radio International's Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, Steven Soderbergh said he's done with Hollywood and will retire from filmmaking after he completes two final movies. 

In the interview, the 48-year-old Soderbergh says, "When you reach the point where you're like, 'If I have to get into a van to do another scout I'm just going to shoot myself,' it's time to let somebody else who’s still excited about getting into the van, get into the van."

The director reveals that "for the last three years" he's been turning down everything that comes his way, adding the Nixonian comment, "So you're not going to have Steven Soderbergh to kick around anymore."

Soderbergh won an Oscar as best director for the 2000 film Traffic.  That same year, he received a second best director nomination, for the film Erin Brockovich.  Soderbergh also received an Academy Award nomination in 1990 for best screenplay for his breakthrough movie, Sex, Lies and Videotape.  

He says his final two movies are one about the life of Liberace, starring Matt Damon and Michael Douglas, and a big-screen version of the 1960s TV spy series Man from U.N.C.L.E., starring George Clooney.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 


Spider-Man Musical Opening Delayed, Director Steps Down

Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic/Getty(NEW YORK) -- Producers of the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark say the show's official opening has been delayed until early this summer. It was scheduled to officially open March 15, but producers say the oft-delayed show will undergo creative changes -- and that includes director Julie Taymor removing herself from the day-to-day show operations, though she will remain with the creative team. U2's Bono and Edge, who provided the music for the production, say they will add new songs to the show.

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark has been plagued by injuries to cast members, prompting a government workplace safety inspection and causing at least one injured cast member to quit.  Wednesday's announcement of the show's delayed opening came just hours before a preview performance during which a stunt was canceled because the Green Goblin's steering mechanism failed in mid-flight.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Report: Charlie Sheen Gets Offer to Direct Porn Flick

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Charlie Sheen may no longer have a job on Two and a Half Men, but he has reportedly been offered a gig behind the camera, directing a porn movie entitled Two and a Half Women.

TMZ reports Vivid Entertainment has offered Sheen a job directing his porn star pals, Melanie Rios, Cassandra Cruz, and Elizabeth Ann in the skin flick.  Vivid Entertainment head Steven Hirsch has reportedly sent an offer letter to Sheen stating the actor would have full creative control of the movie, including "scenarios, positions, etc."

Hirsch tells Sheen, "The fact that you are the ultimate connoisseur of adult films would definitely work to your advantage."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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