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The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

Award-winning British star Bob Hoskins dies at 71

Posted: 30 Apr 2014 07:45 PM PDT

The character actor was known for his roles in gangster movies like The Long Good Friday, and was the star in the popular film Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

British actor Bob Hoskins, known for his roles in films like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, has died at the age of 71 following a bout of pneumonia, his family said.

The gruff Londoner, who rose to fame in British gangster films in the 1980s and went on to have a long career as a Hollywood character actor, died in hospital on Tuesday night, they said in a statement.

Hoskins, who was nominated for an Oscar and won a Golden Globe for his role in Mona Lisa in 1986, retired from acting in 2012 after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

Bob Hoskins in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Hoskins as Mr Smee in Hook.

"We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Bob," said a statement from his wife Linda and the couple's two children Rosa and Jack, and Hoskins' two children from his first marriage, Alex and Sarah.

"Bob died peacefully at hospital last night surrounded by family, following a bout of pneumonia," said the statement issued by acting agent Clair Dobbs. "We ask that you respect our privacy during this time and thank you for your messages of love and support."

Hoskins left school at the age of 15 and claimed he only got his break in acting by accident, after being mistakenly called for a theatre audition. He began as a television actor and broke through into film with his portrayal of a doomed London gangster in The Long Good Friday in 1980, which won him a Bafta nomination.

One of his best known roles was as the detective trying to work out Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the eponymous cartoon hero, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe in 1989.

More recent success came with a Golden Globe nomination for Mrs Henderson Presents with Judi Dench, while his last role was one of the seven dwarves in the film Snow White And The Huntsman. — AFP Relaxnews

Original Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia in new 'Star Wars'

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 08:20 PM PDT

The actors may be 37 years older, but Star Wars fans will be more than happy to welcome them back.

The original Star Wars movie blasted its way onto screens a long time ago, in a cinema galaxy seemingly far, far away – but Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia will be back soon.

Disney has just announced the cast of the film entering production under the name Star Wars: Episode VII, after months of frenzied speculation among the sci-fi saga's passionate fans.

Harrison Ford may no longer quite have space smuggler Han Solo's roguish good looks, and co-star Mark Hamill will fill out Luke Skywalker's flowing Jedi knight robes a little more thoroughly than once he did.

But fans of the saga – many of them bitterly disappointed by a series of prequels to the three-decade-old original trilogy – will welcome their return and that of Carrie Fisher's bold Princess Leia.

Star Wars Episode VII writer, director and producer J.J Abrams (top centre, right) at the cast read-through of Star Wars: Episode VII at Pinewood Studios in England with (clockwise, from right) Harrison Ford, Daisy Ridley, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Producer Bryan Burk, Lucasfilm president and producer Kathleen Kennedy, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Mark Hamill, Andy Serkis, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Adam Driver and writer Lawrence Kasdan. – David James/

Disney, the new owner of pioneering director George Lucas' record-breaking franchise, has recruited blockbuster director J.J. Abrams to bring these fan favourites back to the screen.

His trio of stars may have aged, but he will have access to a much more powerful array of computerised special effects than Lucas had when he launched the series in 1977.

And the original cast, including Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker as androids C3PO and R2-D2 and Peter Mayhew as the alien "Wookie" warrior Chewbacca, will be joined by new, mainly younger talent.

John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson and Hollywood veteran Max von Sydow join the team, and some appeared in a photo released to mark the start of script readings.

Actors joining the original cast for Star Wars: Episode VII include (clockwise from top left) Andy Serkis, Adam Driver, Max von Sydow, Domhnall Gleeson and John Boyega. – AFP

"It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life, once again," Abrams said.

"We start shooting in a couple of weeks, and everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud," he promised.

Abrams is a respected mainstream director who has already won plaudits for reviving a beloved space opera franchise, taking the captain's chair on the successful 2009 Star Trek re-boot. But Star Wars is, if anything, an even bigger challenge.

The two previous trilogies were released between 1977-2005 and inspired spin-off books, comics, toys, videogames and cartoons – earning US$4.4bil (RM14.08bil).

But, while the stories still have a massive popular audience, many purists were disappointed by the prequel trilogy, which they felt failed to capture the mythic feel of the originals. — AFP Relaxnews

C3PO and R2-D2, originally played by Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker, will also be in the new film. But of course.   

Ding-dong: Will Sandra Bullock be selling Tupperware?

Posted: 29 Apr 2014 05:35 PM PDT

Actress may be calling at your door as sales exec in new drama.

Sandra Bullock is circling a movie on the history of Tupperware, the plastic containers, and the revolutionary marketing scheme behind their success, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The Help director Tate Taylor has been tapped to helm the feature.

Brownie Wise. - Photo WIKIPEDIA

The history of Tupperware began in the US during the 1940s, just as refrigerators started making their way into American homes. Invented by the chemist Earl Tupper, the flexible, unbreakable and airtight containers encountered only modest success at first. But things quickly turned around when Tupper received a call from Brownie Wise.

A door-to-door sales representative for a home goods retailer, Wise developed a particularly effective sales strategy for Tupperware, relying on a network of saleswomen and the organisation of "Tupperware Parties". Tupper soon hired Wise and made her a vice president at the company, sealing her reputation as one of the first female power-executives in the US. In 1954, she became the first woman to appear on the cover of Business Week. Wise died in 1992 at age 72.

There is no official indication yet on whether Bullock is attached to the project. For the time being, the actress has merely expressed interest in the role.

Following on the success of his previous film The Help, Tate Taylor will present Get On Up this September. The biopic will explore James Brown's journey from extreme poverty to legendary fame. – AFP Relaxnews


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