No wonder Charlize is hot, she’s Burning!

Charlize Theron will star in “The Burning Plain,” a drama that marks the feature directing debut of “Babel” screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga, says Variety.

Financed by 2929 Productions, the drama will shoot in November. Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald will produce. Theron will exec produce the film, along with 2929’s Marc Butan, Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban. Beth Kono will be co-producer.

Arriaga told Daily Variety that after 11 years of scripting, it was time to write one for himself to direct. Much like his past scripts, “The Burning Plain” consists of thematically connected storylines.

“There are very intense love stories here that take place in different places and times, with characters trying to find the healing powers of love, forgiveness and redemption,” Arriaga said.Theron will play the role of Sylvia, who tries to find common ground with her parents after a turbulent childhood.

Arriaga is best known for a long collaboration with director Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu on “Amores perros,” “21 Grams” and “Babel,” and he also scripted the Tommy Lee Jones-directed “The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada.” Arriaga has directed TV and documentaries, and started his career directing stage plays when he was a teenager.

“The approach to storytelling is so specifically Guillermo,” Parkes said. “He helped create a new way of telling stories, and he’s taken that to a new level with this script.”

2929 prexy Butan said there is no timetable to set distribution for a film that will cost under $20 million.

“Our plan is to back talent we believe in and while Guillermo is a first time filmmaker, he’s such an accomplished writer with a unique voice that it was a natural move for him to direct,” said 2929 prexy Butan.

Theron next stars in the Paul Haggis-directed “In the Valley of Elah.”


‘In the Valley of Elah’ Premiere

‘In the Valley of Elah’ is set to premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

Click below to read an article about Paul Haggis and the film. Please note that it is in Italian and I don’t currently have a translation of it available.

Thanks to Riikka for the info and article.

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Celebrity Collars for Dollars

Robin Williams tops the list of celebrities donating their dog’s used collars for a “Celebrity Collars for Dollars” auction benefiting Dogs Deserve Better, a nonprofit working to bring dogs into the home and family. Williams donated three old collars from family pets Gabby and MableMae, signed with each dog’s name as well as Robin’s, 3 autographed movie photos, 3 signed Robots movies, and an autographed Dogs Deserve Better Calendar cover.

The group also received 2 collars from Daisy Fuentes’ dogs Alfie and Rita, and one from Jack Hanna’s dog Ben, Adrian Zmed’s dog Kubby, Elvira’s rottweiler Mina, Patrick McDonnell’s friend Earl, and Betty White’s dog Pontiac. All have been framed in shadow boxes with a photo of the celebrity, any personal notes, and a Dogs Deserve Better “Celebrity Collars for Dollars” inscription label specifying the celebrity name, his/her companion’s name, and the date of the auction.

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Tonight, He Comes Gets Retitled

IGN has confirmed that Will Smith’s forthcoming superhero-themed movie Tonight, He Comes has been retitled John Hancock. And, no, it’s not about the Founding Father with the big signature or the insurance company that bears his name.

Smith stars opposite Charlize Theron and Jason Bateman in the Peter Berg-directed action-drama. Michael Mann is producing the film via his Forward Pass production shingle along with Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment. The screenplay was penned by Vincent Ngo, Vince Gilligan and Oscar winner Akiva Goldsman.

John Hancock reportedly follows a down-and-out superhero (Smith) with a bad image who gets aid from a corporate public relations consultant (Bateman). Theron plays Bateman’s wife.

Columbia Pictures has slated John Hancock for a July 2, 2008 release.


Charlize accepts Half-Life Award (includes video)

The French poet and musician Serge Gainsbourg once said, “Ugliness is in a way superior to beauty because it lasts.” You get a sense that Charlize Theron might agree-but you also get a sense that such concerns of ugliness vs. beauty just don’t matter to her.

See, Theron is a classic screen beauty. The South African-born actress started as a dancer, as did Audrey Hepburn. She has the physical virtues that make her a natural for such roles as the dark heroine in Aeon Flux, the model muse to Kenneth Branagh’s stand-in Woody Allen in Celebrity, or as Peter Sellers’ put-upon lover in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers. Beautiful actresses are a dime a dozen. But actresses who transcend mere beauty are a gift.
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Charlize at the CineVegas Film Festival

36 lovely new images of Charlize at the 2007 CineVegas Film Festival on the 15th and 16th have been added to the gallery. Happy viewing!

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