Happy Birthday

cityfile · 07/14/09 07:01AM

It's a big day for Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter: He celebrates his 60th birthday today! (Gifts, flowers, and cards can be directed to 4 Times Square, 22nd floor.) Others marking off another year today: hedge fund manager Phil Falcone (and the husband of Lisa Maria) is turning 47. Music impresario Tommy Mottola is 60. Movie mega-producer Scott Rudin is turning 51. Fellow film mogul Joel Silver is 57. Howard Lutnick, the CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald, is turning 48. Upper East Side plastic surgeon Sherrell Aston is 67. Actor Matthew Fox is turning 43. Tech luminary Esther Dyson is 58. Hudson News chief Jimmy Cohen is 51. Legal powerhouse Barry Ostrager is turning 62. Actor Harry Dean Stanton is 83. Interior designer Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz turns 53. Artist Lee Friedlander is 75. And actor Vincent "Big Pussy" Pastore celebrates his 63rd birthday today.

STV · 12/03/08 02:25PM

Silver Mine: Buoyed by the sterling performance of Speed Racer and other films from its multi-faceted partnership with Joel Silver, officials at Studio Babelsburg have announced a deal to co-produce a slate of Silver's upcoming projects released through Warner Bros. The pact sets up another five years of subsidized shoots at the German studio, complementing their co-financing deal for Silver's genre output from his Dark Castle shingle and assuring the producer a clean, spacious cubicle from which to work when Warners throws him off the lot at the end of 2009. [THR]

Mel Gibson, Richard Donner Pool Resources to Euthanize 'Lethal Weapon'

STV · 10/13/08 07:45PM

In these rapey-sequel times, it takes a real man to stand up against the bloated revivals of franchise whose glories are long past. And while we'll assume that there is more to the implosion of Lethal Weapon 5 than just one jilted director's story, we'll take Richard Donner's perspective for now as some of the most reassuring news we've heard since doctors disclosed that Indiana Jones would recover from his violent auteurist tag-teaming last week. Saving it from Joel Silver's own heat-seeker makes it all the better.The film would have been the first installment in the series since 1998, when Lethal Weapon 4 grossed $285 million globally for Warner Bros. Original Lethal Weapon screenwriter Shane Black had a script out to Joel Silver, who wanted Black to direct after their collaboration on Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. The rest is speculation — which is just fine with Donner, who is on the outs with Silver and hypothesized that Mel Gibson vetoed the project himself out of loyalty to his six-time director:

If You Don't Read This Post, We'll Kill This Chimpanzee

Kyle Buchanan · 08/27/08 01:30PM

While it pains us to stoop to the animal-threatening tactics of National Lampoon, it seems that Hollywood is far more cavalier with the fates of its four-legged thespians. According to the LAT, one of filmdom's most enjoyable genres — that of the monkey movie — is being assailed by PETA activists, who are demanding that actor chimps be replaced by CG versions. They allege that the trained monkeys are being abused to solicit a performance — and based on this anecdote about "Clyde," the orangutan from Every Which Way But Loose, they may have a point:

Joel Silver, 'Rocknrolla' Among the Inventory on Display at Warner Bros. Fire Sale

STV · 08/13/08 11:20AM

Add another "maybe" to our speculation about Joel Silver's future at Warner Bros.: Reports today indicate that the slumping superproducer is shopping around Guy Ritchie's Rocknrolla, a Dark Castle project scheduled for release by WB in October. Maybe. Now Lionsgate and Sony are supposedly in talks to pick up the action/crime thriller lest Warners overextend itself this fall with titles inherited from New Line (Pride and Glory), Picturehouse (The Women) and Warner Independent (Slumdog Millionaire, Towelhead). We think this falls into the "content is king" model evinced recently by Alan Horn, Barry Meyer and the higher-ups at Time Warner — as in, "This content is kind of terrible... Do we really have to release this?" At least that's the impression Horn apparently left with LAT BFF Patrick Goldstein:

Guilt, Power and Paris Hilton-Slaying: Happy Birthday, Joel Silver!

STV · 07/14/08 03:15PM

While the French and those who somehow love them celebrate yet another Bastille Day, July 14 has even more festive repercussions around Defamer HQ and Hollywood at large. To wit: Megaproducer/amateur publicist/career advisor Joel Silver was born on this day in 1952. The pride of South Orange, New Jersey, Silver made his first impact in 1970 as the co-creator of Ultimate Frisbee and never looked back. NYU Film School preceded his journey west, followed by an assistantship (and eventual partnership) with producer Lawrence Gordon and, before long, his own shingle — Silver Pictures, the epicenter of bullying, intimidation, projectile paperweights and bona fide blockbusters like Predator, Die Hard, Lethal Weapon and The Matrix. The flops came as well, including Hudson Hawk, Richie Rich and House of Wax — the latter of which is avenged in a little tribute video we cobbled together after the jump.

Joel Silver Expands 'The Matrix' to Include Job Counseling For Denise Richards

STV · 06/09/08 02:45PM

We were with Joel Silver up to a point in his career-counseling session last night with Denise Richards, whose professional fork in the road towered above the myriad harrowing dilemmas faced on It's Complicated. Playboy encore? B-movies? Something more conservative? How about more television, suggested Silver and his right-hand woman Susan Downey — a sitcom, maybe? Something to highlight the actress's sterling sense of humor and cosmic, cosmetic comeliness? She was so good on Spin City, you know? And the hours are convenient for a mother! More importantly, however: What would Neo from The Matrix do? We're not sure if Richards plans to take Silver's advice or if she just always looks the way she does at the end of the scene; you be the judge after the jump. [E!]

Joel Silver Leaving Warners! Except He's Not! Let Him Get Back to You!

STV · 05/14/08 03:25PM

As if a third-place opening wasn't bad enough for Speed Racer producer Joel Silver, Page Six today added a liberal dose of existential crisis to the mix when it reported Silver may have flopped for Warner Bros. for the last time. "For the past few months, he's been trying to get his deal extended, but the thinking at Warner is maybe just let his contract run out," its source says — but wait! Silver himself told Nikki Finke yesterday that he's sought no such extension! But his contract still isn't being renewed! We're so confused — help us, Joel!

Amateur Publicist Joel Silver Has Wachowskis' Backs For the Last Time

STV · 05/13/08 01:50PM

In a loooooong video interview with David Poland over at Movie City News, producer Joel Silver chats about the prismatic, pyrotechnic up and downs of his career — the latter of which the bomb Speed Racer likely entered in the time since the modulated mogul sat for this conversation. And while he eventually acknowledges still dreading opening weekends and the Saturday morning silence that follows his weaker openings, he wastes little time defending the Wachowskis' career-suffocating reclusion and his role as de facto mouthpiece: "It ends up being harder for me because I end up being the voice for them. I wish sometimes they'd speak for themselves because they're much smarter than I am, and they're much more articulate than I am. ... I just listen to them relate to everybody and I say, 'Here's what they think.' That's how it happens." No, Joel — we think you mean that's how it happened. Time for a change, big guy. [The Hot Blog]

The Wachowskis Still in Hiding as 'Speed Racer' Circles the Drain

STV · 05/07/08 12:30PM

Click to viewFor all its confectionery imagery, Christina Ricci scene-stealing and the few other things Speed Racer gets right, it still faces a box-office false start that could make Leatherheads look like a hit in comparison. We sketched a few of the hurdles here yesterday (number one being its own studio's resignation to its underachievement), but at this point there's only one that counts: Larry and Andy Wachowski need to climb out of their hole.

Update: Larry Wachowski Probably Still A Dude

mark · 09/06/07 11:37AM

Yesterday, the internets were ablaze with rumors (well, really, one rumor) that allegedly gender-shuffling Matrix co-director Larry Wachowski had finally completed a long-whispered-about sex change, opting to spend the rest of his life as a woman named Lana who would haunt the dreams of every embattled publicist unlucky enough to be assigned to subsequent Wachowski Family films. Troubled by the swiftly spreading report, Fox 411's Roger Friedman put in some calls, and today is satisfied that Larry is still happily beschlonged:

Joel Silver Ready To Resurrect He-Man

mark · 05/24/07 02:38PM

It's been 20 years since Hollywood pooped out Dolph Lungren vehicle Masters of the Universe, the big-screen version of the moderately beloved (let's be honest here: it was no Thundercats) 1980s after-school toy infomercial, so in keeping with the industry's loosely observed Two Decade Rule for the re-adaptation of previously exploited material, superproducer Joel Silver and Warner Bros. now feel enough time has passed to do another He-Man movie. The early plans already sound as if the creative team isn't going to sidestep the Gay He-Man Question, as recent queer-cinema blockbuster 300 is cited as an inspiration for their vision; once the deal is finalized and the script finished, production should begin on a cavernous Warner Bros. soundstage, where the prodigiously muscled, well-oiled actors playing He-Man, Ram-Man, and Fisto will gather in front of a green screen to battle the six-packed legions of darkness led by a liberally pierced Skeletor and equally terrifying, orally fixated henchman Trap-Jaw.

Trade Round-Up: Silver Trying To Take 'Wonder Woman' Competition Off The Market

mark · 02/01/07 02:57PM

· Jennifer Garner seeks to emasculate husband Ben Affleck by proving that at least one person in their household can carry a holiday-themed comedy, signing on to star in the remake of the 1945 movie Christmas in Connecticut for Warner Bros. [Variety]
· Warner Bros. and Joel Silver, who have been developing a Wonder Woman movie to be written and directed by fanboy-sainted Buffy creator Joss Whedon, are "quietly" trying to buy another Wonder Woman script, possibly to cover their asses in the event its writers decide to sue because their "getting it on in the invisible jet" scene is too similar to the one in the eventual WB product. [THR]
· Unfaithful co-stars Richard Gere and Diane Lane reunite for the Nicholas Sparks adaptation Nights in Rodanthe for Warner Bros. [Ed.note—Is today Warner Bros. Day at the trades?], in which they hope to recapture the carnal chemistry they enjoyed in their previous collaboration. [Variety]
· American Idol continues to destroy everything in its path. Interestingly, its Nielsen halo effect is now even boosting its lead-ins, bringing Bones its highest ratings in a year. [THR]
· In speculating about how moving beloved, but ratings-challenged, Friday Night Lights to a better timeslot might improve the show's chances of survival, Var invokes the name of Freaks and Geeks, the standard by which all beloved-but-ratings-challenged-series- that-were-killed-off-too-quickly are judged. [Variety]

Getting Your Silvers Straight

Seth Abramovitch · 02/21/06 03:33PM

Page Six is having some trouble keeping their various Hollywood Silvers straight, with an item running today identifying V for Vendetta's producer as Ron Silver celebrated star of Timecop and the woefully shortlived Fox porn industry drama Skin instead of superproducer Joel Silver, the man who brought the world Swordfish (the movie, not the entree), and Ultimate Frisbee (the sport, not the movie). If you should run into either one at a function, we'd typically suggest printing and saving the above side-by-side to tell them apart; but let's face it from a few paces away and after a couple of glasses of chardonnay, we'd probably fall victim to an embarrassing misidentified producer faux pas, too. Best to simply corner them, and repeat "Love your work, Mr. Silver," until they grow weary of the gushy formalities and tell you to "Just call me Ron/Joel, alright?" seconds before ducking out, thereby relieving you of any unwanted awkwardness.

The Ultimate Joel Silver

mark · 11/29/05 10:56AM

Please excuse us if this is common knowledge that we're only stumbling upon now in our morning stupor, but we had absolutely no idea that notoriously, er, intense superproducer Joel Silver invented (or helped invent) Ultimate Frisbee, the sport that launched a thousand bong hits. But being the Hollywood animal that he is, Silver's baring his producing fangs to the director of a documentary about the game:

What I Did on My Detox Vacation, By Robert Downey Jr.

Seth Abramovitch · 10/26/05 06:35PM

Sitting down with the Associated Press at the Toronto Film Festival back in September to promote his new movie Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang, Robert Downey Jr., the poster boy for drug abuse, made one thing crystal clear:

Win Joel Silver's Acrimony: Auction A "Mistake"

mark · 08/22/05 01:54PM

Shortly after we wrote about the charity auction of a two-week internship having one's flesh melted off the bone in uber-producer Joel Silver's Hollywood crucible, the auction was abruptly ended, and a spokesperson from Warner Bros. got in touch to inform us that the auction "wasn't real." (We did get assurances that it wasn't unreal in the "hoax" sense.) Fortunately, someone did a better job of explaining the details of the auction's irreality to Variety:

Win Joel Silver's Acrimony

mark · 08/17/05 03:45PM

The Larchmont Charter School is holding an eBay charity auction for the opportunity to spend two weeks as an intern embedded within [Ed.note—How do we say this without winding up an orphan with cracked ribs?] famously passionate uber-producer Joel Silver's office. The description: