Entertainment behind the scenes
The day after the Golden Globes, and, in Britain at least, there is as much media chatter about show host Ricky Gervais and his no-holds-barred approach as there is about Colin Firth’s acting award for his portrayal of the stammering King George VI in “The King’s Speech”.
Normally the reaction on this side of the pond to major U.S. movie award shows is to champion the victorious Brits, or otherwise bemoan their failure. This year would have been no exception — joy for Firth, otherwise disappointment for the film about the British monarchy — were it not for Gervais and his less-than-gentle jokes that took aim at, among others, Charlie Sheen, Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp of “The Tourist”, The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Cher, the actresses in Sex and the City, prominent Scientologists and Hugh Hefner.
The Gawker website’s reaction summed up its jaw-dropping bluntness: “Holy wow. Ricky Gervais … just opened the show with one of the most unrelentingly harsh and uncomfortable monologues in awards history.”
Some of the stars there on the night felt the need to hit back — Robert Downey Jr., the butt of one of Gervais’ less-than-flattering jibes, suggested that the host’s words were “hugely mean-spirited, with mildly sinister undertones”. The LA Times called the event a “snarkfest” and wrote of the “corrosive tone” Gervais set. Reflecting how taken aback some viewers were with his repartee, there was even online speculation that he had been sacked mid-show when he failed to appear for nearly an hour.
Give audiences a blockbuster Batman movie called “The Dark Knight” with zany villains, and all of a sudden everyone’s a casting director.
A survey by movie rental company Blockbuster has found Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie — in that order — are the top two favorites of fans for starring roles in an expected next Batman film.
Keith Leopard, director of film product for Blockbuster, said Depp or Jolie could really bring a Batman villain to life. However it will be up to Warner Bros, the studio behind the film, to cast the next Batman movie.
The survey also listed fans most requested villains for the next Batman movie are: The Riddler (a clue-giving criminal); Harley Quinn (a Harlequin jester); Cat Woman (Batman’s bad girl love interest); The Penguin (a mobster with a penchant for umbrellas); and Bane (a muscle-bound foe).
Several of those characters have appeared in Batman movies since Warner Bros launched the modern version of the movie saga in 1989. Notably, The Penguin was played by Danny DeVito in 1992 and comedian Jim Carrey took a turn as The Riddler in 1995.
“The Dark Knight” has made nearly $1 billion worldwide since it opened on July 18, and the late Heath Ledger has been talked about as a possible Oscar contender for his role as The Joker in the film.