God Bless Betty White (and God Rest Lena Horne)
Lena Horne, the first black star to sign a major contract with a Hollywood studio, passed away over the weekend. She was 92. She was primarily known for her singing and stage work, but in the film world, she’s also known for her role as Glinda the Good in The Wiz. Rest in Peace, Ms. Horne. (NYT)
In “SNL” news, the Betty White-hosted edition over the weekend garnered the show’s highest ratings in 18 months, an 8.8 household share, which hasn’t been seen since the week before the presidential election. (TV by the Numbers)
Speaking of “SNL,” next week’s season finale is expected to feature an appearance from Justin Timberlake, likely in another digital short. (New York Post)
It’s official now: Doug Liman (Mr. and Mrs. Smith) has signed on to direct one of the two Three Musketeers movies in development. The other comes from Paul W.S. Anderson (A Series of Very Bad Video-Game Movies). Both will be in 3D.
Hayden Christensen, who is a lot like Charming Potato without any of the charm (Wooden Potato?), has signed on to David R. Ellis’ (Cellular) The Genesis Code, based on the John Case novel. I think this is the middle of the end of Christensen’s career. Assuming this doesn’t take off (and with David R. Ellis at the helm, it seems unlikely), I’d say the next stop for Christensen is failed television drama. (Slashfilm)
Anthony Hopkins will play the villain, Pharotu, in Arabian Nights, a Chuck Russell (The Scorpion King) epic movie about a young commander (Liam Hemsworth) who, after his king is murdered in a coup, joins forces with Sinbad, Ali Baba, and the Genie from the magic lamp to rescue the queen, Scheherazade. (THR)
Mr. Eko officially will not be returning to “Lost” before it signs off in three weeks. (EW)
However, in other “Lost” news, on Jimmy Kimmel’s show, which will air a half hour after the “Lost” finale, the alternate endings to “Lost” will be aired. I’m not crazy about this idea (or alternate endings in movies) as I like to think that there’s only one ending. I don’t like knowing that there are other possibilities out there. (Slashfilm)
Finally, for those interested in some of the details of the Casey Affleck-directed mockumentary on Joaquin Phoenix’s rapping career, I think we’re in for something truly messed up. Potential buyers who screened the film (and still don’t know if it’s a joke) leaked some of the details, one of which was this nugget:
Several buyers said the film overflowed with Hollywood debauchery, including more male frontal nudity than you’d find in some gay porn films and a stomach-turning sequence in which someone feuding with Phoenix defecates on the actor while he’s asleep.
Nice. You can read more about it over on the LAT.