James Franco is reportedly very close to signing a deal to play the lead in Disney's Oz: The Great and Powerful. Robert Downey Jr. was first attached the role, and Johnny Depp briefly circled the project.

Source: THR

Robert Downey Jr. will no longer play the title role in Disney's Oz: The Great and Powerful for director Sam Raimi. Johnny Depp is now in discussions to take his place, but there are concerns as to whether or not he'll have time in his schedule for it. Depp has helped Disney make billions with the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy and Alice in Wonderland.

Source: Deadline Hollywood Daily

Sam Raimi will in fact direct Robert Downey Jr. in Oz: The Great and Powerful.

Source: THR

Disney is reportedly after Sam Raimi to direct and Robert Downey Jr. to star in Oz: The Great and Powerful, an origin story of the famous Wizard of Oz character created by L. Frank Baum.

Raimi recently left his duties on the Spider-Man franchise, and he's been circling a couple of projects ever since. As for Downey, he's successfully launched two franchises in Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes, which means that he may not have the time, or desire, to launch what could be a third.

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inceptionnews2.pngAccording to a report released by Peer Media Technologies and Variety, Inception recorded nearly 4 million illegal downloads from January 1 to February 22, 2011--216,077 of which came from the United States.

The top five:

1. Inception: 3,960,426 (worldwide), 216,077 (United States)
2. The Tourist: 3,029,693 (WW), 181,088 (U.S.)
3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I: 2,517,479 (WW), 133,579 (U.S.)
4. The Social Network: 2,418, 540 (WW), 272,759 (U.S.)
5. Tangled: 2,363,478 (WW), 172,862 (U.S.)

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22511predictions.pngHall Pass: 2,950 (NEW)
Drive Angry: 2,290 (NEW)
Just Go With It: 3,544 (-4)
I Am Number Four: 3,156 (+2)
Unknown: 3,043 (+0)
Gnomeo & Juliet: 3,037 (+23)
Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son: 2,821 (+0)
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never: 2,810 (-308)
The King's Speech: 2,386 (+300)
The Roommate: 1,726 (-434)
The Eagle: 1,568 (-728)
No Strings Attached: 1,366 (-600)
True Grit: 1,222 (-243)
The Fighter: 668 (-91)
The Green Hornet: 667 (-598)
Black Swan: 617 (-39)
The Rite: 545 (-503)

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Centennial, CO and Overland Park, KS -- National CineMedia (NCM), a leading integrated media company reaching U.S. consumers in movie theaters, online and through mobile technology, has entered into a network affiliate agreement with Showplex Cinemas, Inc. for the presentation of cinema advertising and events.

Under the terms of the exclusive multi-year agreement, 10 Showplex Cinemas with 83 screens in Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska will join the NCM Cinema Network beginning in April 2011. In addition to exclusively presenting NCM's FirstLook pre-feature program, select Showplex locations also plan to present NCM Fathom Entertainment and Business live and pre-recorded in-theater entertainment and corporate events in the future. Showplex Cinemas has an estimated annual attendance of nearly two million patrons.

"Showplex Cinemas is a new theater circuit with some very exciting growth plans," said Kurt Hall, NCM's president and chief executive officer. "We look forward to growing with them to help bring their patrons more engaging advertising pre shows, as well as entertainment and business events that improve the profitability of their theatres."

"Our goal is to provide our customers with the best movie-going experience possible, and to establish Showplex as the entertainment venue of choice," said Al Lane, chief executive officer of Showplex Cinemas. "I believe that our audiences in the Midwest will really enjoy NCM's entertaining FirstLook and NCM Fathom content, and I'm excited to have our theaters join this great national network."


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ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has approved a variance that allows for the sale of KODAK Laser Projector Systems using KODAK Laser Projection Technology to cinema exhibitors without the need for individual site or show operator variances. This is an important step forward in delivering brighter 2D and 3D images that provide higher dynamic range and a wider color gamut to theaters.

"The FDA approval brings KODAK Laser Projection Technology significantly closer to the marketplace and validates the work we've done to ensure that this technology is safe and dependable," says Les Moore, Kodak's chief operating officer for Digital Cinema. "In addition to allowing the sale of KODAK Laser Projector Systems using KODAK Laser Projection Technology, the FDA variance serves as a template to be followed by manufacturers that we license to incorporate this new laser technology."

Typically, digital projection systems using high power lasers fall under the definition of a "demonstration laser" and must follow existing regulations for conventional laser projectors, such as those used in laser light show displays. Kodak has been working in conjunction with laser safety consultants and the FDA to address potential safety issues. The unique optical design of KODAK Laser Projection Technology manages the projector output so that it can be considered to be similar to conventional Xenon projection systems. The FDA variance allows the sale of KODAK Laser Projector Systems with KODAK Laser Projection Technology and theater/show configurations incorporating them.

KODAK Laser Projection Technology promises to bring vastly improved image quality to theater screens, including significantly brighter 3D viewing, and to dramatically reduce costs to digital projection in cinemas through the innovative use of long-life lasers, lower-cost optics and more efficient energy usage. Kodak introduced its laser technology in September 2010. The technology has been received enthusiastically by exhibitors, manufacturers, studios and viewers who have seen the demonstrations.

Moore notes that KODAK Laser Projection Technology is a key ingredient to potential improvements in digital cinema picture quality for both filmmakers and movie-goers. "This laser technology is a significant breakthrough that promises to have a positive ripple effect throughout the cinema world," adds Moore. "We at Kodak have always endeavored to provide filmmakers with the best possible tools with which to tell their stories. That philosophy has served us well for more than a century, and we will continue nurturing that partnership long into the future."

Kodak is in discussions to license this advanced technology, with an eye toward marketplace implementation within the next two years.
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