Stephen King and John Mellencamp Will Stage Their Musical Next Year

Broadway may not be running out of ideas quite yet. After more than a decade in the brainstormin’ and writin’ phase, John Mellencamp and Stephen King will be ready to bring their ”Southern gothic musical,” Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, to the stage. Much to our disappointment, there will not be any “Greased Lightnin’”-style numbers involving a twangy Mellencamp riff and a homicidal muscle car a la Christine from the looks of things, but there will be a soundtrack, featuring Mellencamp’s words and lyrics and production from T. Bone Burnett, our early next year.

The soundtrack, which will be released in full on March 19th, 2013, features an impressive roster, including Elvis Costello, Neko Case, Sheryl Crow (who has a solo song on the soundtrack called “Jukin’”), Rosanne Cash, Taj Mahal, Kris Kristofferson and, of course, Mellencamp himself, performing his finale. When the musical hits the stage next year for real-life performances in a real live theater, Kristofferson and Costello will be a part of it, along with Matthew McConaughey, Samantha Mathis and Meg Ryan.

The team behind the soundtrack released the opening track yesterday, which sounds a bit more like a closing number, maybe with a kick-line of ghosts or zombies and a little more brass at the actual production. Elvis Costello growls and whimpers through first track “That’s Me,” introducing a potentially malevolent character over some just-walked-into-an-Old-West-ghost-town kind of instrumentation. Have a listen below. 

Celebrate Boss’s Day Like a Boss With These Cinematic Honchos

It’s that time of year again: Boss’s Day. (What’s that, you ask? When is Employee’s Day? Everyday is Employee’s Day! Now shut up and get back to work, you peons!) (Yes, one could say I am blogging like a boss today.) To celebrate, here’s a list of the best bosses in movie history. "Best," of course, is a relative term, but hey, this is the internet and all I know is that I’m the boss of listicles today, so deal with it or you’re fired. 

1. Sigourney Weaver as Katharine Parker in Working Girl

2. Dabney Coleman as Franklin M. Hart, Jr. in 9 to 5

3. Diana Rigg as Lady Holiday in The Great Muppet Caper
diana rigg

4. Christopher Walken as Max Shreck in Batman Returns

5. Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada

6. Bette Midler as Sadie Shelton in Big Business

7. Michael Keaton as Captain Gene Mauch in The Other Guys

8. Garry Marshall as Walter Harvey in A League of Their Own

9. Dan Hedaya as Richard Nixon in Dick

10. Harvey Keitel as Matthew "Sport" Higgins in Taxi Driver

11. Peter Capaldi as Malcolm Tucker in In the Loop

12. Anthony LaPaglia as Joe Reaves in Empire Records

13. Meg Ryan as Kathleen Kelly in You’ve Got Mail

14. Maggie Smith as Mother Superior in Sister Act

15. John Cusack as Rob Gordon in High Fidelity

16. Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest

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The Cinematic Little Nothings of Nora Ephron

In one of You’ve Got Mail’s final scenes, Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) discusses the idiosyncrasies of email and instant messaging with Joe Fox (Tom Hanks). “The odd thing about this form of communication,” she says, “is that you’re more likely to talk about nothing than something. But I just want to say that all this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings.”

Though she was an accomplished journalist and celebrated author before focusing her career on Hollywood, it was Nora Ephron’s quarter-century of moviemaking nothings—those wonderful little moments found in all of her films, from Silkwood to Julie & Julia—that have been most important to me. Growing up watching her movies helped solidify my love for the art form, and her way with dialogue was essential in developing my passion for writing. They’re what I return to time and time again, because even though our own lives have a tendency of turning to shit, Meg Ryan always finds love (even of it requires a little stalking), Tom Hanks always charms our pants off (even if it requires a little lying), and I’ll be damned if that a cappella version of "Amazing Grace" Meryl Streep performs in Silkwood as those blinding headlights fill her rear view mirror isn’t something to treasure (even if she dies at the end).

But the film of Nora’s that I will always treasure most, and the one I will watch until the end regardless of when I flip to it on TBS, is the impossibly charming and flawless, flawless, flawless internet rom-com, You’ve Got Mail. After watching the film together essentially on repeat for almost three months this past spring (with two amazing people I befriended initially due to our shared love of You’ve Got Mail), the three of us hosted an interactive screening of the film and were fortunate enough to have received Nora Ephron’s blessing for the event. One of the most wonderfully surreal moments of my time in New York was entering the Upper East Side building where her office was housed. She had personally assembled a collection of signed You’ve Got Mail memorabilia to be raffled off at our event and I was directed to pick it up in the lobby, where I rummaged through the oversized yellow orthopedic shoe store bag (I actually held Nora’s oversized yellow orthopedic shoe store bag!) to find a signed poster, DVD, and tote. I thought it would be painful to give the items away at our event, but being in a room filled with over 300 delighted Nora Ephron fans made parting with it—being able to share it—an honor.

After spending the first 90 minutes of Ephron’s Sleepless in Seattle seeking out her dream man, kind hearted stalker Annie Reed (Meg Ryan) finally makes it to the top of the Empire State Building (obviously) on Valentine’s Day (obviously) just as Sam Baldwin (Tom Hanks) and his son arrive (obviously) to retrieve a forgotten backpack. Here, they meet for the first time, hold hands, and descend the elevator to their happily ever after as Jimmy Durante’s classic song begins playing. “It’s so important to make someone happy,” he sings.

And through all her little “nothings,” that’s something Nora Ephron did better than almost anyone else.

“Secret to Life: Marry an Italian,” and Other Gems From Nora Ephron

Writer, essayist, filmmaker, literary Renaissance woman and Meg Ryan immortalizer Nora Ephron passed away today at the age of 71 due to complications from the blood disorder myelodysplasia. Although she is perhaps best known for writing the screenplays to romantic comedies like When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless In Seattle, she wrote a slew of films, directed and produced others, started her own satirical newspaper and wrote insightful, funny columns for a number of the nation’s top magazines. Even right before her passing, Ephron was still developing new projects, most notably a biopic of Peggy Lee, for which she wrote the screenplay and was slated to direct, says Variety

Ephron’s career spans decades, types of media and includes more minutes of celluloid, beautiful words and bits of wisdom than one could possibly hope to sum up in one blog post, so tonight, in her honor, a few gems, including the headline, which is from Ephron’s six-word autobiography via Smith Magazine

Esquire has the entirety of Ephron’s 1972 column, "A Few Words About Breasts," up on their website in tribute. You should probably go read the whole thing

Long before the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan rom-coms, there was Silkwood, Ephron’s debut as a screenwriter, a riveting and critically lauded drama depicting the story of Karen Silkwood, an employee at a plutonium plant who began investigating when things went afoul. The cast was a group of heavy-hitters (Meryl! Cher!), the story compelling, and the ripped-from-the-headlines aspect, so often a hit or miss affair, a hit this time around. 

Sleepless in Seattle is one of those fun, goofy movies that people love to watch when they’re sick or hung over or just need a day. It’s easy to focus on the love story, but what’s especially great about Sleepless are the friendships—the one between Jonah and Becky (with all her abbrevs), between Meg Ryan and Rosie O’Donnell and this scene, where even when the crying gets a little ridiculous, it feels like you’re watching your own friends, sitting around a kitchen table, making fun of each other’s taste in/reaction to movies. 

From her fantastically-titled book of essays, I Feel Bad About My Neck and Other Thoughts On Being A Woman


“Whenever you give up an apartment in New York and move to another city, New York turns into the worst version of itself. Someone I know once wisely said that the expression "It’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there" is completely wrong where New York is concerned; the opposite is true. New York is a very livable city. But when you move away and become a visitor, the city seems to turn against you. It’s much more expensive (because you need to eat all your meals out and pay for a place to sleep) and much more unfriendly. Things change in New York; things change all the time. You don’t mind this when you live here; when you live here, it’s part of the caffeinated romance to this city that never sleeps. But when you move away, your experience change as a betrayal. You walk up Third Avenue planning to buy a brownie at a bakery you’ve always been loyal to, and the bakery’s gone. Your dry cleaner move to Florida; your dentist retires; the lady who made the pies on West Fourth Street vanishes; the maitre d’ at P.J. Clarke’s quits, and you realize you’re going to have to start from scratch tipping your way into the heart of the cold, chic young woman now at the down. You’ve turned your back from only a moment, and suddenly everything’s different. You were an insider, a native, a subway traveler, a purveyor of inside tips into the good stuff, and now you’re just another frequent flyer, stuck in a taxi on Grand Central Parkway as you wing in and out of La Guardia. Meanwhile, you rad that Manhattan rents are going up, they’re climbing higher, they’re reached the stratosphere. It seems that the moment you left town, they put a wall around the place, and you will never manage to vault over it and get back into the city again.” 

And last, but certainly not least. 

Links: Meg Ryan and Tim Robbins?; It’s Hard out Here for a Pimp Who Owes the IRS $1.1M

● In your totally unsubstantiated rumor of the day: Was Meg Ryan the reason Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins split? [Perez] ● If you should be unfortunate enough to find yourself in the hospital, at least now your ass won’t be hanging out of your gown. [BBC] ● Proving New York City has really become as lily-livered as all the “back in the day you could get mugged in Union Square if the rats didn’t get you first” olds say, public school gets canceled 24-hours in advance of possible blizzard. [Daily Intel] ● A Make-Out Mix for Valentine’s Day. Somehow it doesn’t include “Let’s Get It On,” but then it would’ve had be called the Having Sex on Valentine’s Day mix. [NPR]

● Terrence Howard owes the Federal Government $1 million. [DetNews] ● We know you’ve been waiting for this day: underwear that flies [InventorSpot] ● There’s a billboard up in Wyoming, Minnesota with a goofy picture of George W. Bush and the tag line, “Miss Me Yet?” Nope. [Mofo politics]

Star Crossings: Matching Celebrity Hookups

Professional matchmaker Amy Laurent offers advice for Hollywood’s confirmed bachelors and those recently in the doghouse.

What’s in store for Guy Ritchie? Well, he was always Mr. Madonna, but he has in his own accomplishments. He needs to date someone less famous. He’s been seeing actress Kelly Riley, who is great because she’s not such a superstar. I really like him with Padma Lakshmi from Top Chef. She’s divorced from Salman Rushdie and definitely doesn’t need to be with another writer. And look, I hate to promote adultery, but I kind of like Madonna with A-Rod.

Yeah, it’s pretty hot. They are both huge, but in different industries. Plus physically I always pictured her with a darker guy.

Do you think David Duchovny and Tea Leoni will stay together? I don’t know. If they do, she’s gonna need to support him. Sex addiction is like alcoholism; it’s an everyday struggle. He’s so sexy though, it’s understandable, plus there’s that show he’s on.

Yeah, and apparently he’s got a huge one. If they don’t stay together, and after a while he’s ready to date seriously, I love him with Meg Ryan. He needs a natural beauty, and she’s been through her own stuff.

And she got down in that movie In the Cut. Speaking of getting down, Hugh Hefner is single again. He should just have fun. Holly moved out because he wouldn’t marry her. Now he has 19-year-old twins living at the mansion. I say go for the twins.

Sage advice. What about George Clooney? He says he never wants to marry. Humans are humans, and sometimes they need a partner. A guy like him doesn’t deserve to be 70 and alone. He’s recently gotten back with Krista Allen, and I think he craves that kind of close friendship. But I think he does best with non-celebs. He can have everything he wants and keep his privacy. Of course, I sort of like him with Anne Hathaway …

She could definitely use a good man. They’d be like the cool version of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.

Jeremy Piven is in New York right now doing Speed-the-Plow on Broadway … should the girls in the Meatpacking District look out or what? He loves his fame. He worked hard for a long time, and now that he’s big, he wants to enjoy it. And he has enjoyed it. You see him on the circuit in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago with models, hot girls, yet he always brings his mom to the award show. I would like to see him with Karina Smirnoff from Dancing with the Stars. She’s hilarious and fun. I think there would be plenty of passion, but humor will keep him coming back.

What can a girl do to get Lance Armstrong coming back? I don’t know. He was great with Sheryl Crow. Obviously he needs someone beautiful but also active. She’s got to keep up with him.

Like Matthew McConaughey? No comment. I like him with Jennifer Aniston, but she is a friend of Sheryl’s, so that might be tough. I could see him with Shania Twain, who’s got that all-American look, or Christina Applegate, who is pretty, sweet, and also a cancer survivor. He should stay off Ashley Olsen. He needs to keep it over 30.

Should Bret Michaels keep it over 30? He’s not gonna find love on a TV show. Those girls are a little rough around the edges. I like him with Katy Perry. She’s sexy, she can hang with the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, but could be more than just a groupie.

Plus she’s kissed a girl. She might be down for a three-way with Brandi C.