HOLLYWOOD – Ron Howard’s new Moby Dick film based on the true events that inspired Moby Dick isn’t called Moby Dick.

In the Heart of the Sea, Ron Howard’s new Moby Dick movie, isn’t based on the Herman Melville novel Moby Dick (or The Whale), but instead is based on Nathaniel Philbrick’s non-fiction book In the Heart of the Sea, which revealed the true story on which Melville based his classic big American novel.

We spoke to Ron Howard on the USS Exec off the Nantucket Sound.

So Ron this is a film about Moby Dick?

Yes. And no.

How so?

We are looking at the true origin story of the novel if you like. Herman Melville is played by Ben Whishaw and he listen to a story told by Brendan Gleeson about a whale hunt he witnessed as a young man. So we follow the hunt and all the adventures which ensues. Chris Hemsworth is the harpooner and so on.

So the story is an origin story?

Yes. But not of Moby Dick the whale. It’s an origin story of the novel Moby Dick.

Couldn’t you just do a film of Moby Dick?

We thought about that but there have been several. And plus the actual book Moby Dick isn’t actually that good. Everyone knows the story and so there are a lot of problems. I mean the book would be full of spoilers for instance.

I see. 

Good. So when we looked at the real story of what happened, what amazed me was how much better I could do a job of telling the story of what happened than Herman Melville. And so that’s what I decided to do. Also these days, calling a film Moby Dick, you’re basically asking them to make a porn parody of it.

In the Heart of the Sea is in cinemas.



HOLLYWOOD – Shocking news just in today that Thor the God of Thunder and James Hunt the star of Rush, Chris Hemsworth smells of baskets. And not good ones.

Chris Hemsworth is the elder member of a family of beefcake, that also includes Lawrence bait, Liam Hemsworth, who are currently plying their trade in the motion picture industry. Young Hemsworth has made something of a name for himself with performances as Thor in Thor and racing car driver James Rush in Rush as well as the eponymous Hat in the Michael Mann film no one went to see Black Hat. But today it was revealed to the world via an anonymous source that the hunky star with the ability to play it for laughs has a very distinct odor.

Ron Howard dropped by the Studio Exec bungalow to lay the lowdown on us wearing a heavy disguise as an old Richie Cunningham.

He smells of baskets. And not good fresh baskets either. Flower baskets, or baskets full of toys. No. The kind of baskets that have been used to catch crabs for generations and then have been left in the corner of the dockyard warehouse for like three years, until they’re covered in a strange black algae.


Exactly. And on the set everyone is going ‘Phew! Who cut the cheese?’ But then someone else, I think it was Cillian Murphy, said, ‘It doesn’t smell like cheese, or farts. It smells like baskets.’

How was it directing him In The Heart of the Sea?

I don’t know what you are talking about. I’m not Ron Howard. Ron Howard is the director of In the Heart of The Sea. I’m not he.

By the way you’re making a film about events that inspired Moby Dick.

Yes. That’s to say, Ron Howard is.

Why not just make a version of Moby Dick?

Chris Hemsworth smells of baskets, baskets, baskets.

In the Heart of the Sea will be in cinemas next month.


HOLLYWOOD – In what is being tipped as the biggest family-based Hollywood celebrity rumble since the Carradines took on the Quaids, the Hemsworth brothers and the Baldwin gang are to thrash it out down by the railway tracks at half past ten tonight (no knives).

In what is set to look like some weird generation mismatch from The Outsiders, Luke, Liam and Chris Hemswoth will take on Alec, Daniel, William and Stephen Baldwin. ‘We’re going to kick seven shades of sh*t out of those assholes,’ said the usually very polite Luke, who for some reason seemed to be upset about something. ‘Chris is bringing his hammer.’

Alec Baldwin spoke for his family:

What we are looking forward to

The Hemsworths have been riding us for months. “Move out the way old men! Hey d’ya drop ya teeth?” Well, I’m in the mood to dropkick them into next Thursday. Stephen’s given up Christianity especially so he can gouge eyes out and not feel bad. And are there going to be inappropriate and inexplicable racial epithets flying? You bet.

The match will be refereed by the Armie Hammer twins and is being televised on Netflix.

Tweet about it using the hash tag #ChrisLukeLiamHemsworthvsAlecWilliamDanielStephenBaldwinrumble2015.


AVENGERS AGE OF ULTRON: REVIEW – The Avengers return in Joss Whedon’s slick screwball comedy.

Crash, Bang, Wallop – what a picture! There’s wit – fan service – action scenes and other stuff, but to be honest I’m getting a bit tired of Marvel and superhero pictures in general. There’s nothing wrong with the picture. Far from it. The gang are back together and fighting Hydra in some snowy mittel-European Ruritania, providing The Avengers with a nice ‘elsewhere’ setting in some exciting punch ’em up scenes: the hero shot comes early! And then we have a glowing blue doo-hah which must be protected because it’s so powerful. But Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) can’t help but fiddle with it in an attempt to create an artificial intelligence defense system which would effectively render the Avengers obsolete.  Oopsy-daisy! Ultron turns into a super villain intent on wiping out humanity.

Despite the clear intelligence of Whedon as a filmmaker, his actually characters are whoppingly stupid, none more so than the ‘genius’ Stark, who frankly gets off incredibly lightly for his potentially genocidal error. There’s some soap opera with the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Captain America (Chris Evans) grab some of the funniest lines, proving that occasionally it’s the straight men who can snatch the laughs when the self-knowing wit of RDJ grows wearisome. Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Paul Bettany are new heroes, the former seems to be spending this phase of her career tripping through rubble (see also Godzilla).

So it’s fun and all that. But I can’t say I care as much as perhaps I’m led to believe by score etc. that I should. I don’t care about Hulk and Black Widow. I’m unconvinced by the moral conundrums, when no one seems to want to take responsibility for their actions. Doctor Banner is supposed to be the conscience of the group but after he wreaks havoc through a city center his only solution seems to be to run away. And perhaps I’m weighed down by the prospect of another two Russo brothers directed movies: The Avengers: Infinity Wars Parts One and Two, but I’m beginning to suffer from a genuine fatigue with this sort of thing, regardless of its quality. It’s going to go the way of the Western. There are simply too many and no matter how good an individual film might be – and this is a stand out entry – there are only so many times you can watch a city destroyed, a blue doo-dah purloined, a bunch of costumed sociopaths ruminate on morality before you begin to think it might be time for the whole sub-fascist circus to be wrapped up and put away.

For more Reviews CLICK HERE.


HOLLYWOOD – It isn’t due out until 2015 but the sequel to the mega-successful Avengers is already lighting up the rumor bots across the Internets and one major news story has come to light: Avengers: Age of Ultron will meet up with the Thundercats.

Joss Whedon – long-time fan of the Japanese/American animated series from the 1980s – was initially involved in the feature film reboot which was put on indefinite hold last year, but with Marvel having published a series of comics based on the series, it seemed to Whedon that it would be a perfect fit. Lion-O and pals Cheetara, Panthro and Snarf humanoid feline aliens from the planet Thundera would it seems team up with Iron Man, Captain America, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, Jeremy Renner and Scarlett Johansson. Scarlett Johansson. Scarlett…

This also gives Marvel the opportunity of making a slew of stand alone films featuring the various Thundercats characters, the first of which – Lion-O – is likely to go into production later this year with Kenneth Branagh both starring and ‘directing’.

While some fans will moan and bitch about the series having absolutely nothing to do with each other and that this is woefully misguided violation of the integrity of what they call ‘the Marvel Universe’, Marvel studio heads have responded by making ca-ching noises and waving hundred dollar bills at fans while they drive past in their souped up Ferraris.

Avengers: Age of Ultron is due for release in 2015.


LONDON – Following a hard schedule which has seen him portray British racing legend James Hunt in Rush and the Thunder God Thor in Thor The Dark World, Chris Hemsworth already has his sights on his next role as rock star and influential musician Steve Winwood in the biopic Higher Love

Hemsworth has been studying the guitar in an attempt to pull off the Traffic and Blind Faith front man and Daniel Bruhl has been cast in the role of sometime friend and collaborator Eric Clapton. 

Hemsworth explained:

I was initially attracted to Steve’s hair. I thought his hair looked cool in the old pictures and then I was looking in the mirror and I thought, you know my hair almost looks like his but it isn’t in black and white. I thought that was that but I got talking to Ron Howard while we were making Rush and apparently they can fix that in post. Apparently for the last decade Bruce Willis’ hair has been created in a similar fashion using a combination of CGI and Beaver fur.

As well as Clapton Winwood has collaborated with the cream of rock royalty and Hemsworth confirmed the rest of the films star studded cast:

Don Cheadle has signed up to play Jimi Hendrix and Jude Law has been practicing the sitar for his role as George Harrison but the man I’m most excited about working with is Martin Landau who will be stepping into the shoes of the late, great Lou Reed.   

Although Ron Howard has expressed uncertainty – he is still slated to direct Hemsworth in the Eddie the Eagle Story it is assumed he will take on direction, or Paul Greengrass. 

Higher Love will be released in 2014.  


RUSH: REVIEW – Thor comes back to Earth but this time to drive really fast cars and have as much sex as he can with women who are not Natalie Portman.

Here, however, he meets his arch enemy, Niki Lauder, who single-handedly deconstructs the German/Austrian stereotype by insisting on the importance of precision and life-denying hard work and humorlessness as the route to… oh wait.  

Anyway, the racing is exciting, the period well done, the true story bizarre enough to give you the odd splutter of disbelief and at the end the heavy metal band Rush turn up and play a series of hits including Tom Sawyer, in a ham-fisted  attempt to justify the title which really should have been Lauder/Hunt.  


LONDON – With a new film in cinemas – the Formula 1 racing thriller Rush – I jumped at the chance to sit down with the Angels and Demons director Ron Howard to discuss this project and his career.

Little did I know that he was on a strict color coordinated diet and worse yet today was a blue day.

So Richie, what first attracted you to Formula 1 as a subject for a film?

I suppose it was simply reading Peter Morgan’s wonderful script. You see we’d worked already on Frost/Nixon and… wait a second.


Did you just call me Richie?


Okay. I think … where was I?  Oh yeah, the script was really good so I latched onto that. 

When you were directing the actors did you have any difficulties?

No, not at all both Daniel Bruhl and Chris Hemsworth are very talented actors. And extremely professional, though I am sorry to hear that Chris and Miley Cyrus have split up.

I heard that Daniel at one point during the driver’s meeting scene refused to sit on a stool and you had to tell him ‘to sit on it’.

I don’t remember that incident specifically. As I say, there are times a director has to put his foot … oh wait I see what you’re doing.


You’re just…

I heard the schedule was very tight. What was the typical week?

Erm… Well, it was tight as a matter of fact. It was a lot of shooting and a lot of hard work. We’d start Monday…

Tuesday Happy Days!

Oh this is bullshit. I came here to do an interview. And you’re just trying to make a bunch of lame Richie Cunningham references. 

Best work you did Richie.

I made Cinderella Man, Goddam it! And Apollo 13 and Far and Away. The Da Vinci Code… You know now that you think about it Happy Days was a lot of fun. Okay fair enough. Ask away.

Well, actually that’s all we have time for and these Gorgonzola cornflakes are beginning to repeat.

No come back, seriously. I can tell you what Henry Winkler’s really like. And I got a hilarious story about the time Potsie potsied Joanie. Hey…

For all the Breakfasts CLICK HERE.


HOLLYWOOD – Critics are already hailing Ron Howard‘s new F1 film, Rush, as a triumph, even though it doesn’t open for another couple of weeks in the UK and at the end of the month in the US.

The movie tells the dramatic true story of the 1976 Formula One title battle between bitter rivals James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl).

Universal Pictures, buoyed by the critical reception, are so confident of the film’s success that they have already ‘rushed’ to sign Ron Howard to direct movies based on every Formula One season since, from 1977 to 2012; a potential 36 films!

An exhausted but elated Howard said, “Well, I guess there are some exciting stories to tell within those 36 seasons. Some of them were a little boring in places but I’m sure we can make them thrilling through the magic of cinema!”

When asked how long it would take to shoot and edit all these films, Howard answered, “Not as long as you’d think! Many of the same drivers competed in many consecutive seasons, in the same cars with the same teams, so ideally we can shoot many of them back-to-back. I reckon I can make about three of these films a year. I’m 59 now so at that rate I’ll be 71 by the time I’m done with these movies! It’s going to keep me pretty busy, that’s for sure!”

If Howard’s 36 films are a success then Universal may turn their attention to the many F1 seasons that preceded 1976, dating all the way back to 1950. If all these projects go ahead, it would mean that Howard has been signed for a staggering total 63 films!

James Cameron is the only other Hollywood directer committed to so many future projects, beating Ron Howard’s potential total with his impressive slate of 123 planned Avatar sequels.

Rush (1-36) will be released over the next few years. 


LONDON – Having just completed filming a portrait of one of the sexiest British sporting legends of the 1970s in Rush, Chris Hemsworth is taking on one of the sexiest British sporting legends of the 1980s in Eddie the Eagle.

Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards was the first British sportsman to contend in the Olympic event of ski-jumping. Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards dominated the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, coming last in both the 70 and 90 metre jumps.  Chris was delighted to talk to the Studio Exec exclusively about the project:

I very much see this as a sequel to Rush and in fact I did talk to Ron [Howard] about calling it Rush 2, but he just laughed and clapped his hands. Both James Hunt and Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards were dare devils in their own way. They both lived for the adrenalin. The only difference is that one was at the very top of his sport and the other was at the very bottom. 

Eddie the Eagle begins filming this Winter.


HOLLYWOOD – Red Dawn writer Carl Ellsworth has written a scathing email to the film’s director Dan Bradley, accusing the director of ruining the original concept, turning it from a sensitive story about an adolescent girl’s coming of age to a violent war film.

Ellsworth’s email leaked when Dan Bradley CCed it to all his friends and most major news outlets:

Hey Dan, 

 I’ve just got back from a preview and I have to say I’m furious. When I first broached the idea of making Red Dawn: Jenny’s Morning to the studio, I made it abundantly clear that the script had nothing to do with the 1981 John Milius film that happened to a similar title. I was assured this would not be an issue and the studio was extremely pleased to make a ground-breaking sensitive film documenting a young girl on the cusp of womanhood. When they hired you, I brought up my concerns once more. After all, you are (ahem) a stunt man, with a load of action movie credits. I didn’t really see you as a good fit for telling Jenny’s story. You said you were hundred percent behind the material, but again my suspicions were aroused when you hired Chris Hemsworth in the role of Jenny. At first I thought you were thinking out of the box. Then I noticed that the character’s name had been changed to Jed. As the we prepared for production I noticed that discussions moved with alarming speed away from menstrual cycles and towards motorcycles, away from Jenny’s mother having to juggle her family commitment with her career and to North Korea invading America. Now I see the film I realize that you had no intention of actually making my film and you simply used my script as an excuse to remake the 1981 action film. Under these circumstances I think we should cut our losses and take off the subtitle Jenny’s Morning which simply doesn’t make sense any more.