By Michael Roddy LONDON (Reuters) - The remaining members of British comedy troupe Monty Python announced on Thursday they would regroup for the first time since the 1980s to stage a comedy and musical show next year at one of London's biggest venues. The one-off show on July 1 will be tailored to fit the massive O2 Arena and feature some of the group's most famous material, but also will include skits never before performed on stage, the five Pythons said at a news conference. "We just thought it would be fun to try and see if we were still funny and that is our intention so far, just to do the O2 and see if we can fill it," Eric Idle, one of the members of the group who are all now in their 70s, said. Asked what the show would offer, he said: "I expect a little comedy, pathos, music and a tiny piece of ancient sex." John Cleese said they wanted to include some of their most famous routines, such as the "Dead Parrot", but would work in new material as well.
Christopher McQuarrie will direct the British actor in a new adaptation of French author Jean-Patrick Manchette's "3 to Kill," published in French in 1976. The feature will place Colin Firth in the role of a businessman on the run from two professional killers after witnessing a murder. Christopher McQuarrie, who wrote and directed "Jack Reacher" in 2012, has accepted to helm the crime thriller, which will be set in France, Deadline.com reports. "Three to Kill" will be the second film adaptation of Manchette’s novel, following French director Jacques Deray’s 1980 film "Trois hommes à abattre," headlined by Alain Delon.
By Lisa Richwine LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - When the sequel "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" debuts worldwide on Friday, industry analysts believe the movie from studio Lions Gate Entertainment will set international box offices ablaze in a bigger way than the first film. The original "Hunger Games" movie in 2012 became a smash hit with strong sales in the United States and Canada, but pulled in less than half of its box office grosses in overseas markets, a modest foreign take by blockbuster standards. To lift overseas sales for "Catching Fire," earlier this month Lions Gate sent actress Jennifer Lawrence and her co-stars on a whirlwind tour with premieres in five European cities in five days, taking the unusual step of promoting the film in several foreign markets before the big U.S. premiere, held on November 18 at the 7,000-seat Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. The first "Hunger Games" film collected just 41 percent of its $691 million in total ticket sales outside the United States and Canada, according to the Box Office Mojo website, the third lowest foreign percentage among the top 100 films of all time.
By Mary Milliken LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - In preparing for her first film role as a petite, hard-laboring slave in "12 Years a Slave," actress Lupita Nyong'o sized herself up against 500 pounds of cotton, which her character Patsey picked every day. The pile "was taller and wider and thicker than me," says Nyong'o. "And I was presented with this woman's loftiness." Conveying that loftiness proved to be a key to Nyong'o's performance, one that has generated critical acclaim for the Hollywood newcomer and predictions she will earn a best supporting actress Oscar nomination. "12 Years a Slave" is based on the 1853 memoir of Solomon Northup, a free black man tricked and sold into slavery who cannot fathom the hell he has landed in on Louisiana plantations.
Authorities have been unable to locate Zhang Yimou, one of China's best-known movie directors, to investigate allegations that he has breached China's one-child policy, the state news agency Xinhua said on Wednesday. In May, online reports surfaced that Zhang, who dazzled the world in 2008 with his Beijing Olympic ceremonies, had at least seven children and could be liable for a 160 million yuan ($26.3 million) fine, Xinhua said. State media said then that the family planning agency in the southerly city of Wuxi - where Zhang's wife, Chen Ting, is from - was investigating the case. Xinhua said the Wuxi Municipal Population and Family Planning Commission "has done everything possible to contact Zhang Yimou and Chen Ting and dispatched a work team that rushed to Beijing to look for Zhang Yimou, but there were no results, they could not find (him)".
By Eric Kelsey LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - American comedian Sarah Silverman has been called profane, offensive, a provocateur and the funniest woman alive. Silverman, 42, fond of ironic jokes that often play on race, religion and rape, will star in her own standup comedy special, "We Are Miracles," on HBO on Saturday. Silverman, who also starred in her own cable series, "The Sarah Silverman Program" from 2007-2010 and works as a liberal political activist, spoke with Reuters about her brand of humor and why she is not cut out for network television. Q: Can "intimate" ever be too small for standup comedy?
The American filmmaker behind "The Bourne Identity" and "Fair Game" will direct the action comedy "El Presidente," according to The Hollywood Reporter. Doug Liman's arrival signals a new momentum behind this project dating back to 2010. "El Presidente" will give the filmmaker another chance to direct Tom Cruise, the star of his forthcoming futuristic thriller "Edge of Tomorrow," arriving in theaters this spring. Liman and Cruise will now aim to persuade Jack Nicholson to take on the title role in the film, failing which Cruise will back out of the project.