George Clooney in talks to direct Echo

George Clooney is reportedly in early talks to step back behind the camera and direct sci-fi film Echo. Christopher MacBride has written the script for the film, which will centre on a drone specialist who begins to question if his lover has been repl…

George Clooney is reportedly in early talks to step back behind the camera and direct sci-fi film Echo.

Christopher MacBride has written the script for the film, which will centre on a drone specialist who begins to question if his lover has been replaced or if he is having a psychological episode.

Clooney last took over the director’s chair for 2017’s Suburbicon, which starred his pal Matt Damon, while he also shot the first episode of the upcoming miniseries adaptation of Joseph Heller’s novel Catch-22, which is set to premiere next year (19).

The Gravity star has previously spoken about his desire to take on more directing gigs, because he is reluctant to see himself age onscreen.

“I think nobody wants to see anybody really ageing,” he said. “It’s a very unforgiving thing, the cameras, and so ageing becomes something that you know you try to do less and less on screen.”

“You try to pick the films that work best for you and as you age they become less and less,” he added. “It’s really fun acting… but you know as you age on screen you get to that point that you really understand that you can’t stay in front of the camera your whole life.”

And he is keen to focus on his work behind the camera, which he has described as his “great love”.

“It’s much more fun to be, and it’s infinitely more creative to be directing – infinitely more,” he said. “It is my great love and I do enjoy it a lot and I’ve had some really great success and I’ve had some not so successful films, and that’s also part of the experience.”

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Jerry Weintraub loved the idea behind all-female Ocean’s 8 before his death

Legendary movie mogul Jerry Weintraub signed off on the cast of Ocean’s 8 before his death. The producer behind George Clooney’s Ocean’s franchise was approached by Gary Ross and Steven Soderbergh with an idea for an all-female heist movie, and he lov…

Legendary movie mogul Jerry Weintraub signed off on the cast of Ocean’s 8 before his death.

The producer behind George Clooney’s Ocean’s franchise was approached by Gary Ross and Steven Soderbergh with an idea for an all-female heist movie, and he loved the idea.

Director Ross already had casting ideas and Jerry loved the premise of creating a new film with Sandra Bullock as her late brother Danny Ocean’s sister.

“Steven (Soderbergh) is a close friend and we’ve unofficially collaborated on a number of projects over the years,” Gary shares. “If he hadn’t been involved, I don’t think I would have done it. It was great working together.”

“Gary came to me and said, ‘What about Sandy as Danny’s sister?’ I thought that was really interesting, so I said, ‘Let’s take it to Jerry (Weintraub)’. And Jerry thought it was a terrific idea.”

Weintraub then reached out to Sandra to sign on: “There wasn’t even a script yet, but Jerry’s energy, his joy and his passion for this franchise were very infectious,” the actress recalls.

But the legendary moviemaker died in 2015 before filming began.

“It was difficult to imagine an Ocean’s film without Jerry at the helm as a producer,” Soderbergh states. “Jerry wasn’t just a producer; he was a larger-than-life figure.”

Weintraub’s longtime collaborator Susan Ekins, who had served as an executive producer on the previous Ocean’s films, stepped up as a producer, giving Soderbergh someone he knew he could rely on to bring the project to fruition: “Gary and I went to her and said, ‘You were part of the brain trust of the first three (Ocean’s films), so we would love for you to take a more central role here’.”

“I had the pleasure of working with Jerry Weintraub and Steven Soderbergh, both brilliant filmmakers. And now I get to continue that legacy with Steven and Gary,” Ekins says.

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Sandra Bullock thankful for George Clooney’s Ocean’s 8 support

Sandra Bullock was touched to have the blessing of her Gravity co-star George Clooney for her new all-female Ocean’s Eleven spin-off. Clooney led the star-studded cast of the 2001 crime thriller and its two sequels as smooth conman Danny Ocean, and in…

Sandra Bullock was touched to have the blessing of her Gravity co-star George Clooney for her new all-female Ocean’s Eleven spin-off.

Clooney led the star-studded cast of the 2001 crime thriller and its two sequels as smooth conman Danny Ocean, and in Ocean’s 8, Bullock portrays his onscreen sister, who puts together her own team of criminals to pull off a big jewellery heist.

The Oscar winner reached out to her old pal as the franchise spin-off was being developed to secure George’s approval.

Joking about their conversation, Sandra told breakfast show Today, “He said, ‘Don’t take my franchise!’ I said, ‘I’m taking it, and I’m running it!'”

Getting serious, she explained Clooney couldn’t have been more supportive of the project, because he knew how much fun he had had working on the Ocean’s trilogy with the likes of Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Andy Garcia, and Julia Roberts, who played his ex-wife.

“The nice thing about George is that he’s just happy when anything works,” Sandra shared. “He wanted the same connections, the same memories that were made for them for us as well, I think.”

Bullock features in Ocean’s 8 alongside Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, and Awkwafina, and she is hoping critics will be kinder to the new release than they were to the last big all-female blockbuster – 2016’s Ghostbusters revamp, starring Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and her The Heat co-star Melissa McCarthy.

“That was unfair on a level that I can’t even not be mad about talking about,” Bullock told Variety at the Ocean’s 8 New York City premiere earlier this week. “They literally walked into a firing squad…”

“Let’s back off the meanness,” she continued. “Let’s have a year of kindness. The women are here – we’re not going anywhere.”

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Julia Roberts to present George Clooney with AFI Lifetime Achievement Award

Julia Roberts is set to present her old pal George Clooney with the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award next month (Jun18). Roberts will help honour the actor during the annual gala event, which is hosted by the American Film Institute. During their near…

Julia Roberts is set to present her old pal George Clooney with the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award next month (Jun18).

Roberts will help honour the actor during the annual gala event, which is hosted by the American Film Institute.

During their nearly two decades of friendship, the two have collaborated on several films, including Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve and Money Monster. In 2002, Roberts starred in Clooney’s directorial debut Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, while Clooney produced August: Osage County, which Roberts headlined in 2013.

Roberts previously paid tribute to the Oscar winner in 2013, when she was on hand to present him with the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film at the BAFTA Los Angeles Britannia Awards.

The AFI Life Achievement Award was established by the Board of Directors of the American Film Institute in 1973 and celebrates an individual’s contributions to the film industry throughout their career.

Clooney will be the 46th recipient of the prize, following in the footsteps of last year’s winner Diane Keaton, and stars like Jack Nicholson, Tom Hanks, and Al Pacino.

Clooney was announced as this year’s recipient in October (17).

“George Clooney is America’s leading man,” said AFI’s Board Of Trustees Chair Howard Stringer in a statement. “Director, producer, writer, actor – a modern-day screen icon who combines the glamour of a time gone by with a ferocious passion for ensuring art’s impact echoes beyond the screen. AFI is proud to present him with its 46th Life Achievement Award.”

The event will be held on 7 June (18) at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

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Woody Allen cut from documentary over sexual assault controversy – report

Woody Allen has been cut from a documentary about New York’s historic Carlyle Hotel over fears his involvement would damage the film.The filmmaker, who shot a scene for his 1986 movie Hannah and Her Sisters at the five-star hotel, and is a regular perf…

Woody Allen has been cut from a documentary about New York’s historic Carlyle Hotel over fears his involvement would damage the film.

The filmmaker, who shot a scene for his 1986 movie Hannah and Her Sisters at the five-star hotel, and is a regular performer on Monday nights with his jazz band, was accused of sexual assault by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow in 1992 – allegations which he has always denied.

In January (18), Dylan gave her first television interview about the scandal, as the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct began to gather pace.

According to editors at Page Six, an interview with the Blue Jasmine director was filmed by Matthew Miele of Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s fame, for documentary Always at the Carlyle.

However, the publication reported the chat was cut at the last minute because the sexual assault allegations made against Allen made the film’s investors nervous.

“I can’t put my finger on who got skittish about it, but I’m only the director — not the people who put the money up,” Miele told the publication, adding that an interview with Allen, shot in the famed Cafe Carlyle cabaret joint, made it into the movie’s rough cut, but investors reportedly later told him that it should be cut out.

“It’s a shame because (Allen is) an elusive guy and he gave us the interview, and it’s just sitting on the cutting room floor,” he sighed.

Some brief footage of Allen performing is included, and his name is mentioned a few times by others in interviews conducted with

a cast of Hollywood’s A-list, and hotel regulars, including; George Clooney, Naomi Campbell, Tommy Lee Jones, Wes Anderson, and Allen’s fellow Cafe Carlyle performers – the late Elaine Stritch, Steve Tyrell, Alexa Ray Joel, Alan Cumming, and Rita Wilson.

Always at The Carlyle is released in the U.S. on Friday (11May18).

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George Clooney recommended child star Noah Jupe to John Krasinski

Child actor Noah Jupe has a recommendation from George Clooney to thank for helping him land a role in John Krasinski’s new movie A Quiet Place. Clooney directed the young Brit in his 2017 black comedy Suburbicon, and the Hollywood heavyweight was so …

Child actor Noah Jupe has a recommendation from George Clooney to thank for helping him land a role in John Krasinski’s new movie A Quiet Place.

Clooney directed the young Brit in his 2017 black comedy Suburbicon, and the Hollywood heavyweight was so impressed, he suggested filmmaker John consider casting Noah as his onscreen son in his new thriller.

“It was great to work with George and then (for) George to mention to John about me, the two (are) so highly (respected as) directors and actors…, it was phenomenal,” the 13-year-old gushed on breakfast show Good Morning America.

He added of their talents as directors: “They are really different and are both amazing, I mean, honestly. That high level.”

Noah was also thrilled to discover the two stars are just as warm and friendly in person as they seem onscreen.

“What you think about them, what you dream about them being really lovely, they are, you know (sic)?,” he said. “What you expect them to be, they are.”

Krasinski wasn’t the only castmember little Noah formed a bond with onset – he also enjoyed getting to know John’s real-life wife Emily Blunt, who plays his mum in the horror film, and his movie sister, deaf actress Millicent Simmonds.

“When I first came on the set, I saw her and she looked like an amazing person… and I was like, ‘I really wanna be friends with her,'” Noah recalled. “So out of the friendship I got sign language, because, obviously she’s deaf, and I’m not, so I had to learn how to communicate with her, so that was really great and that kinda bonded our friendship even closer (sic).

“It was both new to us (making movies), just having someone there to help out and be there for you when you’re sad or something, it was just really cool.”

A Quiet Place, which John co-wrote, directed, and starred in, opens later this week (begs02Apr18).

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Ryan Reynolds invests in Aviation American Gin

Actor Ryan Reynolds has become a new owner of Aviation American Gin. The Deadpool star was blown away by the smooth taste of the premium drink the first time he tasted it and made it clear to company bosses he wanted to find a way to help boost their …

Actor Ryan Reynolds has become a new owner of Aviation American Gin.

The Deadpool star was blown away by the smooth taste of the premium drink the first time he tasted it and made it clear to company bosses he wanted to find a way to help boost their market share.

“About a year ago, I tried Aviation for the first time,” he told Forbes.com. “Since that day, I’ve spent my time finding some way to infiltrate the company. I did this for one simple reason: It’s the best damn gin on the planet.”

It’s not clear how much Reynolds invested in the company, but his representative claims he is a “significant owner” of the Davos Brands craft liquor.

Reynolds’ funds have earned him a seat on the board, while he is also taking on the role of creative director for the brand “as part of his mission to introduce the world to the great taste of Aviation”, according to a company statement.

“We couldn’t be happier that Ryan discovered Aviation,” shared Andrew T. Chrisomalis, CEO of Davos Brands. “He wholeheartedly embodies the authentic, original spirit of Aviation Gin.

“Ryan has worked tirelessly to create some of the world’s most iconic media properties and will bring that drive and creativity to sharing Aviation with the world.”

The actor also shared the news of his new venture with fans on Instagram, posting a photo of himself holding a bottle of Aviation American Gin in a new ad for the liquor firm.

“I own nothing in this photo. Except that gin company,” the father-of-two quipped in the caption.

Reynolds is the latest celebrity to enter the alcohol industry, following in the steps of stars like Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, Drake, Channing Tatum, and George Clooney, who sold his Casamigos tequila brand to beverage bosses at Diageo for $1 billion last year (17).

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