Hollywood Playbook: Thursday's Top 5 News Items

Hollywood Playbook: Thursday's Top 5 News Items

1. Actually, Russell Crowe Did NOT Meet with Pope Francis

Yesterday it was made to sound as though after weeks of stalking Pope Francis, “Noah” star Russell Crowe and director Darren Aronosfsky had wrangled some sort of awkward meeting with the Holy Father. Apparently, that wasn’t true.

I was a little suspicious when I saw these photos taken by Crowe and Aronofsky. From the angle of the photos it seems possible they made it to the VIP seats on either side of the Pope during his regular weekly appearance. But where is  the photo of Crowe or Aronosfsky with the Pope?

There are none because there was no meeting:

Conflicting reports about the meeting began circulating, but Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said the request from the film’s producers for a private audience was immediately turned down.

Lombardi also informed ‘Noah’ producers that the Pope would not watch the film. Francis is loath to lend such blessings for publicity. Given his sensitivities to the Muslim world — and his upcoming trip to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories — it would seem natural that he would decline any public endorsement of a film that might offend Islamic viewers.

Lombardi said there was no scheduled “meet and greet” after Wednesday’s general audience, when VIPs can often get a quick word with the pope.

“They could have been at the audience like anyone else,” Lombardi said.

This Tweet from Russell Crowe could mislead people into believing “Noah” received the blessing Paramount was after:


2. Netflix, Playstation(!) Ramp Up Original Programming

Actor Sam Shepard will star in a Netflix psychological thriller from “Damages” creators Todd A. Kessler, Daniel Zelman and Glenn Kessler.

Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda will star in a Netflix comedy from the powers behind “Friends.”

While these headlines would have been much more exciting in 1979, as you can see Netflix is not fooling around when it comes to original programming.

Netflix has figured out that in order to dominate they do not need to stream EVERYTHING. They just need to have ENOUGH. Eventually people will spend so much time streaming on Netflix for $8 a month that they will wonder why they are still paying $95 a month for a cable package they hardly watch.

In other news, Sony has ordered an original television series for its Playstation owners!

We are in the middle of a revolution and the losers are the entertainment and news media multi-nationals who have ripped us off through bundled cable for decades. 

The Revolution is real.


3. Hollywood Rich Get Hollywood Richer

Time Warner’s CEO in line for a $80 million golden parachute if the Comcast deal goes through.

How much Time Warner/Comcast programming wrings its left-wing hands over the gap between rich and poor?

CNN is owned by Time Warner. So is HBO…


4. How Much Does Hollywood Love Reaganomics? THIS much…

The Wrap reports that blockbuster film productions running away to where it is cheaper to do business cost California a total of 47,600 jobs.

Lowering taxes, decreasing regulations, and a business-friendly climate attracts jobs.

It’s called Reaganomics and Hollywood loves them some Reaganomics. Hollywood loves Reaganomics so much they run around the world chasing those policies like Roman Polanski chases fifth-graders.


5.  ‘LEGO Movie’ Directors in Talks to Helm ‘Ghostbusters’ Reboot

This makes perfect sense.


Quick Hits

‘Ordinary People’ Is a Much Better Movie Than ‘Raging Bull’

‘Wheel of Fortune’ Contestant Solves Bonus Round Puzzle With Just 2 Letters, Gets Frisked

Rob Lowe Is 50

Elegance meets feistiness in the Astaire-Rogers musicals

TV networks build drama and ratings with ‘diva’ model



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Follow  John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC