Timothy Durham, the president and chief executive office of National Lampoon, Inc. — the comedy company that brought you such movies as Animal House and Vacation — was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly perpetrating a $200-million Ponzi scheme involving a business loan company, according to Reuters. Durham, 48, and two former executives at Fair Financial Services — a company that Durham co-owned — were charged on Tuesday with wire and securities fraud in a federal indictment. The charges allege that Durham and one of his co-defendants used investor funds to “maintain their lifestyles and to pay for personal expenses.” When contacted by EW, a National Lampoon spokesperson declined to comment.
Tag: Movie Biz (21-30 of 842)
The Writers Guilds of America West and East will begin negotiating a new deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on Thursday, the organizations announced in a joint statement today. The current contract, which expires in May, was signed in Feb. 2008 after a 100-day industry-halting strike by Hollywood’s movie and television writers.
The King’s Speech continued to gain awards-season momentum by cleaning up at the British Academy Film Awards, though The Social Network took the director and adapted screenplay categories. See the list of the winners below, and check out EW Oscars expert Dave Karger’s reaction.
BEST FILM: The King’s Speech
OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM: The King’s Speech
OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER: Four Lions, Director/Writer Chris Morris
DIRECTOR: The Social Network, David Fincher
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: The King’s Speech, David Seidler
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: The Social Network, Aaron Sorkin
FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
ANIMATED FILM: Toy Story 3
LEADING ACTOR: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
LEADING ACTRESS: Natalie Portman, Black Swan
SUPPORTING ACTOR: Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech
ORIGINAL MUSIC: The King’s Speech, Alexandre Desplat
CINEMATOGRAPHY: True Grit, Roger Deakins
EDITING: The Social Network, Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Alice in Wonderland, Robert Stromberg and Karen O’Hara
COSTUME DESIGN: Alice in Wonderland, Colleen Atwood
SOUND: Inception, Richard King, Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo, and Ed Novick
SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS: Inception, Chris Corbould, Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, and Peter Bebb
MAKE UP & HAIR: Alice in Wonderland
SHORT ANIMATION: The Eagleman Stag
SHORT FILM: Until the River Runs Red
ORANGE WEDNESDAYS RISING AWARD: Tom Hardy
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is countersuing its former publicist for fraud, claiming that he can’t prove that the organization that runs the Golden Globes accepted bribes in exchange for special treatment of films, according to the AP. The suit also alleges that Michael Russell and his partner Stephen LoCascio were in breach of a confidentiality agreement, and that they used their ties to the awards show for financial gain. Last month, Russell sued the HFPA for $2 million, accusing the organization of engaging in “payola.”
Ilya Salkind, the 63-year-old producer behind the Christopher Reeve Superman films, has been officially declared missing in Mexico. According to John C. Palmer, executive vice president of Salkind’s production company, Salkind was visiting the town of Tepoztlán, near Mexico City, but he’s been unreachable since Sunday night. A missing person’s report was filed with the Mexican police force on Monday, the American Embassy has been contacted, and a personal private investigator has been hired, according to Palmer. There has been no contact with or demands from other parties that would indicate that Salkind, a Mexican native, had been kidnapped, and Palmer holds out hope that his colleague’s disappearance has a simple solution: “It’s not uncommon for Ilya to drop off the face of the earth for a couple of days and then just reappear.”
Associated Press, the English-born musician, who contributed the groovy signature theme to a dozen James Bond installments, passed away in New York on Sunday. In addition to his work on the 007 films, beginning with uncredited work on 1962′s Dr. No, Barry won Oscars for the score and song of 1966′s Born Free, 1968′s The Lion in Winter, 1985′s Out of Africa, and 1990′s Dances With Wolves.Film composer John Barry, who helped create one of the most iconic movie themes of all time and won five Oscars for his ground-breaking work, has died at age 77. According to the
Peter Jackson is recovering from surgery for a perforated ulcer after being admitted to Wellington Hospital Wednesday night with acute stomach pains, a rep for New Line Cinema confirms to EW. Jackson is resting comfortably and doctors expect a full recovery. The procedure is only expected to delay slightly the start of filming of The Hobbit.
‘The Hobbit’ scoop: Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis on board
Elijah Wood will appear in ‘The Hobbit’ as Frodo Baggins
New Zealand parliament officially passes ‘Hobbit law’
‘The Hobbit’ to shoot in New Zealand
Peter Jackson vents his frustration over the bitter ‘Hobbit’ labor dispute: ‘I’m out of my depth.’
Peter Jackson officially to direct ‘The Hobbit’
In a 4-1 vote, the Federal Communications Commission approved Comcast’s purchase of NBC Universal, creating an unprecedented powerhouse in the entertainment industry. Democratic commissioner Michael Copps dissented, expressing his fears that the merger granted too much power to one company: “The Comcast-NBCU joint venture opens the door to the cable-ization of the open Internet. The potential for walled gardens, toll booths, content prioritization, access fees to reach end users, and a stake in the heart of independent content production is now very real.” The Justice Department, which is also investigating the merger, is also expected to approve the deal.
British filmmaker Peter Yates died in London on Sunday. He was 81. Yates was nominated for four Academy Awards during his four-decade career, two for his 1979 coming-of-age film, Breaking Away. The Dresser, his 1983 adaptation of Ronald Harwood’s play, starring Albert Finney, was rewarded with five Oscar nominations. He also made such memorable films as Krull, The Deep, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, and Suspect, but he may be best remembered for directing Steve McQueen in 1968′s stylish cop movie, Bullitt. Yates is survived by his wife, Virginia, a son and a daughter.
The National Society of Film Critics has friended The Social Network. Adding to its already impressive awards-season haul today, the Facebook movie walked away with Best Picture, Best Director for David Fincher, Best Actor for Mark Zuckerberg portrayer Jesse Eisenberg, and Best Screenplay for Aaron Sorkin.
Other winners with the National Society of Film Critics today include Vincere‘s Giovanna Mezzogiorno for Best Actress, The King’s Speech‘s Geoffrey Rush for Best Supporting Actor, The Ghost Writer‘s Olivia Williams for Best Supporting Actress, Inside Job for Best Non-Fiction Film, and Carlos for Best Foreign Film.