Paul Newman (1925-2008)

This post will remain the top story throughout the weekend

Very sad news today as we learn that legendary actor/food company owner Paul Newman died yesterday, September 26th 2008 of complications arising from lung cancer at his home in Westport, Connecticut, surrounded by family and close friends. He was 83 years old.

An actor first and foremost, Paul Newman has won one Academy Award, two Golden Globes, one Screen Actors Guild Award, one Cannes Film Festival Award, one Emmy Award and many others (not forgetting countless nominations). His most famous films include The Sting, Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid, The Hustler and its sequel The Color Of Money, The Hudsucker Proxy , Slap Shot, The Towering Inferno, Message In A Bottle and Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. He was last seen on the big screen in Road To Perdition and his voice was featured in the Disney/Pixar movie Cars.

In addition to acting, Paul Newman is well-known for the food company Newman’s Own, which he co-founded. A true humanitarian, Newman donated all profits and royalties of the company to charity. The amount donated exceeds 220 million dollars. His daughter Nell, 49 years old, will now head the company.

Paul Newman was also an occasional film director, of such movies as The Glass Menagerie, and an auto racing enthusiast who won several championships. He is survived by his wife, actress Joanne Woodward (Philadelphia), his five daughters and eight grandchildren.

You can read more about the great man and his many acts of philantropy on his Wikipedia page, and view his full screen credits on his IMDB page. According to IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes, his best film is the crime drama Cool Hand Luke, that film’s trailer is thus after the jump. Please share your thoughts, condoleances and comments.

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Danny Elfman to score The Wolf Man, whole world utters loud “Duh!”

Superstar music master Danny Elfman (Hellboy II) has just been announced as the composer for Universal’s forthcoming remake of The Wolf Man. Elfman, who’s best known for his frequent collaborations with director Tim Burton as well as his theme for The Simpsons, is a good choice in my opinion, in addition to being a very obvious one (he did score Sleepy Hollow after all). I for one am looking forward to what musical wonders Mr Elfman will come up with.

The Wolf Man, a remake of the 1941 classic, will premiere on April 3rd in the US, UK and Denmark, with the rest of the world following shortly. Footage from the film was shown at this year’s Comic-Con, to very enthusiastic response. The premise of the film, which was written by Andrew Kevin Walker  (hey, Sleepy Hollow!) and David Self (Road To Perdition), goes like this, according to Wikipedia:

Set in the late 1880s, the film keeps the plotline of the original, with Lawrence Talbot meeting his father following the death of his brother. The film details events during Lawrence’s past that led to his estrangement from his father (which includes Gwen), and the setting is expanded from Blackmore (now identified as the village from the original) to London.[3] The official synopsis states Talbot was traumatized by his mother’s death as a child, while Gwen Conliffe is his brother’s fiancée. Following his brother’s disappearance, Talbot hunts a murderer, which turns out to be a werewolf, and the curse is passed on.

The film was originally to be directed by the über-talented Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo), but he left very early on due to budget disagreements, with the pretty competent Joe Johnston (Hidalgo) taking over as helmsman. Benicio Del Toro (Things We Lost In The Fire) plays the lead character and is joined Anthony Hopkins (Beowulf), Hugo Weaving (V For Vendetta) and Emily Blunt (Charlie Wilson’s War).

The Wolf Man will be Universal’s third attempt at resurrecting their old horror franchises, following the success of The Mummy and the failure of Van Helsing (a seriously underrated movie by the way). It seems as though The Wolf Man, which features makeup from maestro Rick Baker (Norbit), will be a decidedly more serious-minded affair than those movies, which turned away some moviegoers with their more light, fun approach to the source material.

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