Jacob Bernstein to Direct HBO Documentary About His Late Mother, Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron, the brilliant journalist, essayist, playwright, screenwriter, and director, died last June after a battle with leukemia. She has been remembered fondly in recent months with a reprinting of her classic essay collections Scribble, Scribble and Crazy Salad as well as the current Broadway production of her final play, Lucky Guy, starring Tom Hanks. It seems appropriate that her son, Jacob Bernstein, take the reins of an HBO documentary about her life. Titled Everything is Copy, the documentary will be "an intimate portrait" of Bernstein’s mother, with Nick Hooker signed on as co-director and Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter as executive producer. If you can’t wait for the finished product, check out Bernstein’s tribute to his mother in the New York Times from last month. 

[via The Hollywood Reporter]

Follow Tyler Coates on Twitter.

Tom Hanks Day Turns 10 This Year, Is A Thing

Since the 1970s, movie houses around the world have been packed with Unconventional Conventionists shouting every word of a carefully studied fan script for The Rocky Horror Picture Show. For more than a decade, Lebowski Fests have brought together fans of a certain Coen Brothers film about a certain robe wearing, White Russian-quaffing Dude for an appreciation of the movie and one another. And now, in 2013, International Tom Hanks Day joins the pantheon of film-buff bacchanalian events as it celebrates its 10th birthday.  If you’re just tuning in now, International Tom Hanks Day exists, the brainchild of Chicago native Kevin Turk, a declaration of love for “one of the nicest men in Hollywood,” as the event’s website declares.

The 10th Annual International Tom Hanks Day will take place on Saturday, April 13th at Headquarters Beercade and Uncle Fatty’s Rum Resort, two neighboring bars in Chicago’s Lakeview area. We’re not really sure why a watering hole full of retro video games and craft beer and a bro’d-out tiki bar were chosen, but they actually seem pretty fitting. Throughout the day, there will be drink specials, games, screenings of Hanks’s Greatest Hits, a chance to win signed merchandise, and proceeds benefit Lifeline Energy, a nonprofit that provides technology and sustainable initiatives to underserved communities in the developing world.

And, of course, the event has the blessing of Mr. Nice Guy himself, who wrote a well-wishing note to Turk and the organizers in 2007:

“You people have all either lost your minds or your jobs. Both? Then again, you may have discovered the divine path to world peace—just a short walk through, say, Turner and Hooch and Cast Away.

Satellite Tom Hanks Day events will be held that same weekend in Portland, Oregon and Toronto, the latter at Swirl Wine Bar, for those outside the Windy City who wish to celebrate this national cinematic treasure. Past Tom Hanks Day events have spread beyond the original locations of Kalamazoo and Chicago to include Los Angeles, London and Cleveland, among others.

And who knows? Maybe it’ll be in your city next, or maybe Hanksy will have a gallery opening at the next one. Or Hanks himself will reunite The Oneders for a special one-off performance. Remember The Oneders? Of course you do. Anyway, fans of Tom Hanks, check this out, but just please don’t ever let International Chet Haze Day be a thing. Please.

‘Bosom Buddies’ Tom Hanks And Peter Scolari To Reunite On Broadway

There’s an old saying in show biz: for every Tom Hanks, there’s a Peter Scolari. Sure, Hanks’s Bosom Buddies co-star turned up as Hannah’s dad on Girls (and managed to pull off some full-frontal nudity alongside TV-wife Becky Ann Baker), but he’s hardly had the career full of blockbusters and Oscars. But the duo will be getting back together—albeit without dresses, wigs, or falsies—in Lucky Guy on Broadway this spring.

Lucky Guy will be Hanks’s Broadway debut, but he’ll surely be comfortable with the written material. The production will be the premiere of the new work by the late Nora Ephron, who directed Hanks in such films like Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail (two movies she also wrote).

According to Playbill

Lucky Guy is characterized as "a new play about the scandal- and graffiti-ridden New York of the 1980s, as told through the story of the charismatic and controversial tabloid columnist Mike McAlary. From his sensational reporting of New York’s major police corruption to the libel suit that nearly ended his career, the play dramatizes the story of McAlary’s meteoric rise, fall and rise again, ending with his coverage of the Abner Louima case for which he won the Pulitzer Prize, shortly before his untimely death on Christmas Day, 1998."

Sounds lighthearted and fun! 

Follow Tyler Coates on Twitter

Tom Hanks Is ‘SNL’s Suprise Guest

Tom Hanks hit up Saturday Night Live last night as a suprrise guest during the opening monologue.

Hanks played a befuddled audience member — one of many — at the the second presidential debate. Jay Pharoah and Jason Sudeikis, who play President Obama and Mitt Romney, respectively, are at each other’s throats through the entire debate, almost to the point of coming to blows. And then there’s Romney’s obnoxious "Candy, Candy, Candy, Candy!"  

Watch it here on Hulu:

 

Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter.

Tom Hanks Is Producing A Movie About the JFK Assassination

Dallas’ Dealey Plaza is still a site mobbed on the daily with mourners, fascinated tourists and conspiracy theorists hawking their books. It is one of the most bizarre and sobering places to visit in any major city, and as the site of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the center of much debate and morbid curiosity. The events of November 22nd, 1963 still haunt and fascinate the American imagination, inspiring such works as Oliver Stone’s JFK (lauded for its storytelling but maybe not-so-much for its depiction of history) and Stephen King’s recent bestseller, 11/22/63. Now, with the 50th anniversary of that day just over a year away, Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman confirmed they  are co-producing a film about the Kennedy assassination. 

The film will be called Parkland, named for the hospital where both Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald died. Entertainment Weekly calls the film an "ensemble drama," with Peter Landesman, best known for his reporting work on "The Girls Next Door," a 2004 New York Times article about the sex slave trade, at the helm. This will be Landesman’s directorial debut. 

The project should prove interesting, and come with high expectations even in a post-Larry Crowne world. As an actor and director, Hanks has effectively handled extremely heavy grand-scale tragedies, from the horrors of war (Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers) to the advent of the AIDS epidemic (Philadelphia), with beauty and grace. As a producer, he has the potential to do the same for the Kennedy assassination, one perhaps less conspiracy-laden than Oliver Stone’s take. 

The film will also be a far cry in subject matter and tone from Hanks’ last encounter with President Kennedy within the world of cinema. Who could forget their awkward exchange in Forrest Gump? Fifteen Dr. Peppers will do a number on you. 

Are You Smart Enough To Watch The ‘Cloud Atlas’ Trailer?

If you can figure out what is going on in the Cloud Atlas trailer, please tell me.

Tom Hanks stars in the film adaptation of the novel by David Mitchell, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. This six-minute-long trailer also stars Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Jim Sturgess, Jim Broadbent, James D’Arcy and Hugh Grant and promises to the the mainstream thinkpiece film of the year, proposing — or, perhaps, answering — big questions about love, hope, and fear.

 

 

It debuts October 26, so you have plenty of time to read the 528-page novel for some clues.

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.

Kickstarter Project of the Week: Tom Hanks Statues at Oakland High Schools

The Wonderment Consortium, three artists living in Oakland, California, are trying to tackle a very serious issue in today’s world. And they are looking to enlist a very special friend—that is, an inanimate likeness of a globally popular actor—to advance their cause.

 

Scott Vermeire, Packard Jennings, and Steuart Pittman are concerned with the low morale found among students in Oakland’s public high schools. And the causes are many, as they enumerate in their Kickstarter funding video—teacher layoffs, budget cuts, peer pressure, bullying. High school is already a nadir for a whole lot of people; tough economic and social times affect everyone—put the two together and even finishing those four years can seem like a difficult proposition.
 
So the artists are looking to an Oakland native and graduate of its public high school system to inspire students to stay in school, achieve and succeed to Graduation Day and beyond. The Wonderment Consortium wants to build a statue of film superstar and Skyline High School alumnus Tom Hanks, scruffy, shirtless and disheveled, as depicted in the film Cast Away, in front of Oakland Technical High School to inspire future students. If Chuck Noland could survive a plane crash and make it on and off that island, then surely you can survive high school! For each additional $10k raised, another Oakland public high school will receive a statue, beginning with Hanks’ alma mater, Skyline, receiving a statue of the actor as Captain John H. Miller in Saving Private Ryan

At time of writing, the artists are just over 10 percent to their $10,000 goal. Help them out and your potential incentives include a photo of Tom Hanks signed by the creators of the statue and to high rollers, statue prototypes of statues of Hanks’ other roles, including Forrest Gump and Joe Fox from You’ve Got Mail. Pledge $20,000 and Hanks will send you a personalized replica of Wilson, the volleyball from the movie Cast Away, complete with Hanks’ own bloody handprint.* 

*Not really. 

Morning Links: Mobb Deep Back To ‘Business As Usual,’ Louis Vuitton Suing Over ‘Hangover II’ Joke

● Havock assures that Mobb Deep is back to "business as usual" after yesterday’s Twitter fiasco. In a statement, he claims that his phone was picked up at a gas station and that the troubling tweets about his long time partner Prodigy’s sexuality were totally bogus. Breathe a sigh of relief, then say it with him: "It’s Mobb Deep all day!!!" [RapFix]

● Louis Vuitton is suing Warner Bros. over Zach Galifinakis’s use of a knock-off "Lewis Vuitton" handbag in The Hangover II. [THR]

● "We are in completely different lanes," snapped Nicki Minaj, defending herself against Lady Gaga comparisons on Nightline. “Every female in this game wears wigs," she said. "Over the top costumes? Eeh, try again.” [Rap-Up]

● Lena Dunham doesn’t think Two and a Half Men creator Lee Aronsohn’s "labia saturation" joke was all that funny. "It’s such an assholic thing to say," she said. "If you had a good quip, I’d be like, ‘Well, you’re a dick, but at least you’re a good comedy writer.’ But with that, I was like, ‘Come on, dude. ‘Labia saturation point’?’ It’s also so dumb." [Huff Post]