Michael Douglas reminisced just last Friday about the father/son kinship and occasional rivalry shared with Kirk Douglas, which came to a head over the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Michael made his remarks at the closing event of the Rancho Mirage Writers Festival, during an onstage conversation with me.
Kirk Douglas, who died today at age 103, had owned rights to the Cuckoo’s Nest play based on Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel and had hoped to get it financed as a movie, playing the role that later went to Jack Nicholson, Michael recalled. At the time Michael was a successful television actor in Streets of San Francisco but aspired to become a feature star and producer. He thus asked his father for his rights to the play, only to be turned down. Kirk told him firmly that no one wanted to make the movie, that he would be wasting his time.Kirk Douglas in 1975 Glasshouse Images/Shutterstock
As it turned out, Michael was finally able to persuade his father to surrender the rights, and proceeded to find funding for a movie adaptation of Cuckoo’s Nest, with credit as its producer. When he told his father that he had set it up, however, Kirk insisted adamantly that he play the leading role and was indignant to hear that, in Michael's mind, someone younger should be cast — namely Nicholson.
In recalling the story, Michael observed that, while Kirk was pleased by his son's success, the casting incident nonetheless put a strain on their relationship, especially when Cuckoo’s Nest, after it was released in 1975, starting winning its share of Oscars.
The father-son bond recovered in time and remained strong over the years, and Michael was often at Kirk's side in the last two weeks as he was in and out of the hospital.
Michael Douglas On Kirk Douglas: “To The World He Was A Legend…To Me And My Brothers He Was Simply Dad”
Actress Honor Blackman has passed away. She was 94 years old. Blackman is arguably best-known for portraying Bond girl Pussy Galore in Goldfinger, along with the judo chopping Cathy Gale on TV's The Avengers. She passed away peacefully on April 5th at her home in Lewes, Sussex, of natural causes, according to her family. Blackman's family released a statement, which you can read below.'She was much loved and will be greatly missed by her two children Barnaby and Lottie, and grandchildren Daisy, Oscar, Olive, and Toby. As well as being a much-adored mother and grandmother. Honor was an actor of hugely prolific creative talent. With an extraordinary combination of beauty, brains and physical prowess, along with her unique voice and a dedicated work ethic, she achieved an unparalleled iconic status in the world of film and entertainment and with absolute commitment to her craft and total professionalism in all her endeavors she contributed to some of the great films and theater productions of our times.'
Honor Blackman's acting career spans six decades after starting off in the late 1940s. Her early movie roles included Diamond City and Come Die My Love, while early television shows include Probation Officer, The Vise, and Danger Man. However, it wasn't until she portrayed Elizabeth Taylor's friend in MGM's Conspirator that she started to get some real recognition. From there, her big break came in 1962 when she joined the cast of the British TV series The Avengers as Cathy Gale. This is not to be confused with the Marvel Comics characters. It's here where she learned judo and helped to bring women's self-defense to the entertainment industry.
Honor Blackman's martial arts proficiency was evident from the start, though she says she regretted doing some of her own stunts later in life due to some back issues. After two seasons on The Avengers TV series, Blackman made the controversial decision to leave and become a Bond Girl in Goldfinger. 'Everybody was quite startled when I decided to leave, especially since the program was about to go onto film and into color,' she reflected later. The actress portrayed the iconic villainous femme fatale Pussy Galore in the third Bond installment, which went on to become a global hit. It's during this time that she also scored a hit pop single titled 'Kinky Boots,' inspired by the knee-high boots she wore at the time.
Honor Blackman received acting lessons for her 15th birthday. Later that year, she began her training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Following graduation, she was an understudy in the West End play The Guinea Pig and In 1947 she appeared in the Patrick Hastings play The Blind Goddess at the Apollo Theatre. When her career finally took off, Blackman was considered to be a real-life goddess by fans.
More recently, Honor Blackman appeared in Bridget Jones's Diary, Color Me Kubrick, I, Anna, By Any Means, and You, Me, and Them. Blackman starred as...
The Third Floor, the industry's busiest visualization company in tackling superhero movies “Black Widow,” “Avengers: Endgame”, already had an advantage working remotely with real-time tools and virtual workflows when the coronavirus pandemic struck early this year. Turns out, though, that the COVID-19 epicenter was too close for comfort.
“When this crisis began, we initially faced the challenge of protecting our staff in Beijing, who were in the midst of launching our first permanent office in China,” said CEO and co-founder Chris Edwards. “When the virus started spreading beyond Wuhan, the first thing we did was send everyone home and connect them virtually...we learned a lot about the procedures for mitigating the risk of spreading the virus that we began to apply to our other offices in London, Atlanta, and LA [headquarters].
“Time was of the essence to put a highly secure, remote-working infrastructure in place,” he said, “and we needed to leverage the company infrastructure to bolster communication and function as a support group for all of our employees and their families.”
Back in LA, The Third Floor TTF found the resilience of its Beijing crew instructive. The company, which has become the go-to visualization specialist for the MCU performing rough previs of scenes, more elaborate techvis breakdowns of camera lenses, set construction, and stunts, and postvis enhancements during crunch time, used video conferencing and other methods of digital collaboration to significantly advance preparations and stay on schedule. Despite the physical isolation, however, everyone started relying on the video calls for more than just work-related advice.
“At our [LA] hub, we didn't want to take the risk of being unprepared, so we authorized our IT team to increase our internet band tenfold, and build an advanced remote login system that could enable our artists to work fluidly and securely from home,” said Edwards, who worked with IT chiefs at major studios such as Disney for advising and approving their comprehensive work-from-home solution.
But the two-week transition to a completely virtual studio only became possible with the help of industry colleagues and suppliers when California Governor Gavin Newsom and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti issued the stay-at-home order. And, as part of its mobilization effort, the company launched a TTFaid program as a resource for more than 100 employees and their families with supplies, aid, and emotional support.
“With this early foresight in February, we were prepared to roll out a set of guidelines, which I called the TTF Health Vigilance Plan, across our other studios in LA, Atlanta, and...
Marvel's She-Hulk series is reportedly gearing up to shoot this summer ahead of its upcoming release on Disney+, and new details about the show's story and characters have reportedly been revealed. According to The Illuminerdi, the series is on track to shoot its first season between August 2020 through March 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. Also reported by the outlet is that the freshman season will consist of just six episodes, which is in line with other Marvel projects in active development for Disney+.
With a production start date on the board for this summer, the casting process seems to now be underway as producers look for the right players to bring the She-Hulk series to life. As of now, no names have officially been cast, but as previously reported, word is the studio is looking to cast an 'Alison Brie-type' actress in the lead role of Jennifer Walters with Brie herself at the top of the want list. The reported logline of the series describes Jennifer as 'successful in her profession and specifically seeking cases in superheroic law,' suggesting the superheroine will be keeping her day job as an attorney after her transformation into She-Hulk.
It also sounds like the Disney+ series will have a heavier focus on Jennifer's legal drama in court as opposed to nonstop action sequences as She-Hulk. The character description also says Jennifer 'occasionally' fights crime as She-Hulk, suggesting most of her battles will be taking place in a court of law. This creative approach of combining Better Call Saul with The Avengers sounds very much unlike other movies and shows set in the MCU, but that's also exactly what makes it stand out as one of the more interesting upcoming projects. An added bonus is that it opens the door for any MCU character to cameo on She-Hulk as a prospective client for Jennifer Walters.
Information about two supporting characters for She-Hulk have also been revealed. For Jennifer's unnamed 'Best Friend,' producers are seeking an actress aged 26 to 28. No other details are given, but it's speculated that this character will be Jill Stevens, a longtime friend of Jennifer's in the comics who winds up tragically killed by an assailant mistaking her for Jennifer. A second character, 'Meg,' calls for an actress aged 29 to 35. A fellow attorney, Meg is described as 'shrewd, while having a biting wit and humor.' It's possible that this character is an adaptation of Mallory Book from the comics, but as with Jill Stevens, this is only speculation at this time.It's also looking like Mark Ruffalo will be reprising his MCU role as Bruce Banner for the series, as the actor is reportedly in talks to appear on She-Hulk. That would make sense, given that She-Hulk's origin story in the comics involves getting an emergency blood transfusion from Bruce. We'll see if that's how the superheroine comes to be in the Disney+ series as well, but in any case, it seems more than likely Ruffalo will show up at some point...