High School Musical 4 in 2010 on Disney Channel

To the surprise of nobody, High School Musical will be getting another installment. THR reports that HSM4 will be making its return to Disney Channel, in line with the first two films of the franchise.

Apparently, the $250 million High School Musical 3: Senior Year grossed on the big screen was not enough to make up for the decline in soundtrack sales (not to mention posters, sleeping bags, and Zac Efron action figures).

The original High School Musical premiered in January 2006 and has since been seen by 290 million viewers. High School Musical 2 premiered in 2007 to 18.6 million viewers, making it the highest ranked basic cable telecast of all time, with total viewership now at about 300 million.

Peter Baroscchini, writer of the first three movies, will return, as will executive producers Bill Borden and Bary Rosenbush.

Fast & Furious Trailer

Vin Diesel and Paul Walker team up again for Fast & Furious 4, scheduled for release in June 2009 by Universal Pictures.

Also starring Jordana Brewster, John Ortiz, Michelle Rodriguez, and Liza LaPira.

When a crime brings them back to LA, fugitive ex-con Dom Toretto reignites his feud with agent Brian O’Conner. But as they are forced to confront a shared enemy, Dom and Brian must give in to an uncertain new trust if they hope to outmanuever him. And from convoy heists to precision tunnel crawls across international lines, two men will find the best way to get revenge: push the limits of what’s possible behind the wheel.

Friends Movie

According to Daily Mail, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, and David Schwimmer will reprise their roles from Friends on the big screen “within the next 18 months.”

Apparently, the actors have been inspired by the success of Sex and the City, which has grossed in excess of $300 million worldwide since its release.

A source said: ‘Jennifer, Courteney and the rest of the cast are keen to reprise their roles, under the right circumstances.

‘The box office success of Sex And The City has really got their wheels spinning about how a Friends film could be just as big, if done right.

‘Timing and the script are really important, but now that Courteney and Jen both have production companies, they can potentially get very involved in those decisions.’

Although the rest of the cast was believed to be interested in the reunion, Jennifer Aniston is believed to have been against it, but now she, too, is onboard.

The source added: ‘As the biggest star of the Friends franchise, Jennifer can’t help but look at what’s happened with Sarah Jessica Parker and the Sex And The City film and be a little jealous.

‘What’s held back a Friends movie so far is that people were worried that Jennifer had simply become too famous to play Rachel again.

‘But the truth is that Jennifer is finally willing to do it, and she’d love to work with that whole team of actors and producers again.

‘She says she and Courteney have already talked this summer about what they want out of a Friends movie, and if deals can be made with them, everything else can fall into place rather quickly.

‘It really comes down to money, and I don’t think Jen has a problem with all of the Friends getting huge paydays for the movie.

‘In that sense, it’s Sex And The City all over again. There’s no movie unless you can reunite the whole cast and keep them all happy financially.’

HD-DVD on Its Last Legs?

When Warner Bros. dropped HD-DVD in favor of Blu-ray, it became apparent it was only a matter of time before Sony’s format won the war. Not willing to admit defeat, Toshiba slashed prices in an effort to prove that it was offering the better deal to consumers. Seriously, though, better deal or not, Sony’s biggest advantage can’t be beat: 10 million PS3 owners.

The last week has been particularly unkind to the HD-DVD format. First, Best Buy said that its sales people would push Blu-ray in terms of product placement and sales associate recommendations. For its part, Netflix said it would be phasing out HD-DVD. Now, Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, has weighed in. They will be going Blu-ray only by June.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “reliable industry sources” suggest Toshiba will pull the plug on HD-DVD in the next few weeks. “An announcement is coming soon,” said one source close to the HD DVD camp. “It could be a matter of weeks.”

Oscar Nominations

The nominees for the 80th Annual Academy Awards are:

Performance by an actor in a leading role
George Clooney in “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.)
Daniel Day-Lewis in “There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax)
Johnny Depp in “Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”
(DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount)
Tommy Lee Jones in “In the Valley of Elah” (Warner Independent)
Viggo Mortensen in “Eastern Promises” (Focus Features)

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Casey Affleck in “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” (Warner Bros.)
Javier Bardem in “No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage)
Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Charlie Wilson’s War” (Universal)
Hal Holbrook in “Into the Wild” (Paramount Vantage and River Road Entertainment)
Tom Wilkinson in “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.)

Performance by an actress in a leading role
Cate Blanchett in “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” (Universal)
Julie Christie in “Away from Her” (Lionsgate)
Marion Cotillard in “La Vie en Rose” (Picturehouse)
Laura Linney in “The Savages” (Fox Searchlight)
Ellen Page in “Juno” (Fox Searchlight)

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Cate Blanchett in “I’m Not There” (The Weinstein Company)
Ruby Dee in “American Gangster” (Universal)
Saoirse Ronan in “Atonement” (Focus Features)
Amy Ryan in “Gone Baby Gone” (Miramax)
Tilda Swinton in “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.)

Best animated feature film of the year
“Persepolis” (Sony Pictures Classics) Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud
“Ratatouille” (Walt Disney) Brad Bird
“Surf’s Up” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Ash Brannon and Chris Buck

Achievement in art direction
“American Gangster” (Universal)
Art Direction: Arthur Max
Set Decoration: Beth A. Rubino
“Atonement” (Focus Features)
Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood
Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
“The Golden Compass” (New Line in association with Ingenious Film Partners)
Art Direction: Dennis Gassner
Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
“Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount)
Art Direction: Dante Ferretti
Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax)
Art Direction: Jack Fisk
Set Decoration: Jim Erickson

Achievement in cinematography
“The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” (Warner Bros.) Roger Deakins
“Atonement” (Focus Features) Seamus McGarvey
“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (Miramax/Pathé Renn) Janusz Kaminski
“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage) Roger Deakins
“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax) Robert Elswit

Achievement in costume design
“Across the Universe” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Albert Wolsky
“Atonement” (Focus Features) Jacqueline Durran
“Elizabeth: The Golden Age” (Universal) Alexandra Byrne
“La Vie en Rose” (Picturehouse) Marit Allen
“Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount) Colleen Atwood

Achievement in directing
“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (Miramax/Pathé Renn) Julian Schnabel
“Juno” (Fox Searchlight) Jason Reitman
“Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.) Tony Gilroy
“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage) Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax) Paul Thomas Anderson

Best documentary feature
“No End in Sight” (Magnolia Pictures)
A Representational Pictures Production
Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
“Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience” (The Documentary Group)
A Documentary Group Production
Richard E. Robbins
“Sicko” (Lionsgate and The Weinstein Company)
A Dog Eat Dog Films Production
Michael Moore and Meghan O’Hara
“Taxi to the Dark Side” (THINKFilm)
An X-Ray Production
Alex Gibney and Eva Orner
“War/Dance” (THINKFilm)
A Shine Global and Fine Films Production
Andrea Nix Fine and Sean Fine

Best documentary short subject
“Freeheld”
A Lieutenant Films Production
Cynthia Wade and Vanessa Roth
“La Corona (The Crown)”
A Runaway Films and Vega Films Production
Amanda Micheli and Isabel Vega
“Salim Baba”
A Ropa Vieja Films and Paradox Smoke Production
Tim Sternberg and Francisco Bello
“Sari’s Mother” (Cinema Guild)
A Daylight Factory Production
James Longley

Achievement in film editing
“The Bourne Ultimatum” (Universal) Christopher Rouse
“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (Miramax/Pathé Renn) Juliette Welfling
“Into the Wild” (Paramount Vantage and River Road Entertainment) Jay Cassidy
“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage) Roderick Jaynes
“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax) Dylan Tichenor

Best foreign language film of the year
“Beaufort” A Metro Communications, Movie Plus Production
Israel
“The Counterfeiters” An Aichholzer Filmproduktion, Magnolia Filmproduktion Production
Austria
“Katyń” An Akson Studio Production
Poland
“Mongol” A Eurasia Film Production
Kazakhstan
“12” A Three T Production
Russia

Achievement in makeup
“La Vie en Rose” (Picturehouse) Didier Lavergne and Jan Archibald
“Norbit” (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount) Rick Baker and Kazuhiro Tsuji
“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” (Walt Disney) Ve Neill and Martin Samuel

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
“Atonement” (Focus Features) Dario Marianelli
“The Kite Runner” (DreamWorks, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Participant Productions, Distributed by Paramount Classics) Alberto Iglesias
“Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.) James Newton Howard
“Ratatouille” (Walt Disney) Michael Giacchino
“3:10 to Yuma” (Lionsgate) Marco Beltrami

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
“Falling Slowly” from “Once”
(Fox Searchlight)
Music and Lyric by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
“Happy Working Song” from “Enchanted”
(Walt Disney)
Music by Alan Menken
Lyric by Stephen Schwartz
“Raise It Up” from “August Rush”
(Warner Bros.)
Nominees to be determined
“So Close” from “Enchanted”
(Walt Disney)
Music by Alan Menken
Lyric by Stephen Schwartz
“That’s How You Know” from “Enchanted”
(Walt Disney)
Music by Alan Menken
Lyric by Stephen Schwartz

Best motion picture of the year
“Atonement” (Focus Features)
A Working Title Production
Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Paul Webster, Producers
“Juno” (Fox Searchlight)
A Dancing Elk Pictures, LLC Production
Lianne Halfon, Mason Novick and Russell Smith, Producers
“Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.)
A Clayton Productions, LLC Production
Sydney Pollack, Jennifer Fox and Kerry Orent, Producers
“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage)
A Scott Rudin/Mike Zoss Production
Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax)
A JoAnne Sellar/Ghoulardi Film Company Production
JoAnne Sellar, Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Lupi, Producers

Best animated short film
“I Met the Walrus”
A Kids & Explosions Production
Josh Raskin
“Madame Tutli-Putli” (National Film Board of Canada)
A National Film Board of Canada Production
Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski
“Même Les Pigeons Vont au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go to Heaven)” (Premium Films)
A BUF Compagnie Production
Samuel Tourneux and Simon Vanesse
“My Love (Moya Lyubov)” (Channel One Russia)
A Dago-Film Studio, Channel One Russia and Dentsu Tec Production
Alexander Petrov
“Peter & the Wolf” (BreakThru Films)
A BreakThru Films/Se-ma-for Studios Production
Suzie Templeton and Hugh Welchman

Best live action short film
“At Night”
A Zentropa Entertainments 10 Production
Christian E. Christiansen and Louise Vesth
“Il Supplente (The Substitute)” (Sky Cinema Italia)
A Frame by Frame Italia Production
Andrea Jublin
“Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets)” (Premium Films)
A Karé Production
Philippe Pollet-Villard
“Tanghi Argentini” (Premium Films)
An Another Dimension of an Idea Production
Guido Thys and Anja Daelemans
“The Tonto Woman”
A Knucklehead, Little Mo and Rose Hackney Barber Production
Daniel Barber and Matthew Brown

Achievement in sound editing
“The Bourne Ultimatum” (Universal)
Karen Baker Landers and Per Hallberg
“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage)
Skip Lievsay
“Ratatouille” (Walt Disney)
Randy Thom and Michael Silvers
“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax)
Matthew Wood
“Transformers” (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro)
Ethan Van der Ryn and Mike Hopkins

Achievement in sound mixing
“The Bourne Ultimatum” (Universal)
Scott Millan, David Parker and Kirk Francis
“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage)
Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter Kurland
“Ratatouille” (Walt Disney)
Randy Thom, Michael Semanick and Doc Kane
“3:10 to Yuma” (Lionsgate)
Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Jim Stuebe
“Transformers” (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro)
Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell and Peter J. Devlin

Achievement in visual effects
“The Golden Compass” (New Line in association with Ingenious Film Partners)
Michael Fink, Bill Westenhofer, Ben Morris and Trevor Wood
“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” (Walt Disney)
John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and John Frazier
“Transformers” (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro)
Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Russell Earl and John Frazier

Adapted screenplay
“Atonement” (Focus Features)
Screenplay by Christopher Hampton
“Away from Her” (Lionsgate)
Written by Sarah Polley
“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (Miramax/Pathé Renn)
Screenplay by Ronald Harwood
“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage)
Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax)
Written for the screen by Paul Thomas Anderson

Original screenplay
“Juno” (Fox Searchlight)
Written by Diablo Cody
“Lars and the Real Girl” (MGM)
Written by Nancy Oliver
“Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.)
Written by Tony Gilroy
“Ratatouille” (Walt Disney)
Screenplay by Brad Bird
Story by Jan Pinkava, Jim Capobianco, Brad Bird
“The Savages” (Fox Searchlight)
Written by Tamara Jenkins

It’s unclear what impact the writers strike will have on the awards ceremony, which is scheduled for Sunday February 24, 2008. The Golden Globes were largely ignored, and the Writers Guild of America has vowed to not allow any writing for the Oscars either if the strike is still going on at that time. However, organizers for the event say the show will go on. Some actors have said they won’t cross picket lines, though.

Source: Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences

High School Musical 3 Cast Returns Intact

Controversy or not, it was pretty obvious the cast of High School Musical would be back for the third installment. Hollywood Reporter reports just that.

Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu, and Monique Coleman will all be returning for High School Musical 3: Senior Year, which following the massive success of the second edition will be released in theaters first.

Kenny Ortega will return to direct, with Peter Barsocchini returning as the writer, with a story about Troy and Gabriella facing possible separation as they go to college.

Warner Bros. Supporting Blu-ray Exclusively

The high-def DVD war that had previously been argued to be anybody’s game may now be over. Warner Bros. has abandoned the HD DVD format and will be releasing all future titles on Blu-ray as of May 2008.

“Warner Bros.’ move to exclusively release in the Blu-ray disc format is a strategic decision focused on the long term and the most direct way to give consumers what they want,” said Barry Meyer, Chairman & Ceo, Warner Bros. “The window of opportunity for high-definition DVD could be missed if format confusion continues to linger. We believe that exclusively distributing in Blu-ray will further the potential for mass market success and ultimately benefit retailers, producers, and most importantly, consumers.”

20th Century Fox, Walt Disney, Sony, and Lionsgate are current Blu-ray backers. Paramount, Dreamworks, and NBC Universal are the studios on the other side of the fence. Prior to this announcement, the support was pretty even, as each side controlled about 45% of DVD unit sales.

Despite the early struggles Sony has seen with its PS3 as a result of including the Blu-ray player, this move helps make it clearer than ever the gamble will pay off for the company as a whole.

Signed with… Blood?

Actor Tobin Bell, known for his role as the sadistic mastermind Jigsaw from the Saw movie series, has taken fanfare to a whole new level. The famed horror actor has donated a vial of his own blood to be mixed with red ink used in the Saw III promotional posters. Ewwww.

Around 1,000 posters will be made and sold for roughly $20, while the first poster will be signed by the entire cast and crew of the horror movie Saw III and auctioned off. All proceeds from the auction will be donated to the American Red Cross.

Lions Gate, the distributors behind the Saw horror series, will hold a nationwide Halloween Blood Drive timed with the release of Saw III. This year is the third in a row that the distribution company has teamed with the American Red Cross to run the ghoulish blood drive. Since the inception of the Halloween Blood Drive, Lions Gate and the American Red Cross have teamed up to collect more than 14,000 litres of “ink”.

Source : TMZ.com