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Childhood Stuntman Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise Playboy The Last Samurai

Tom Cruise has been doing his own stunts since he was 12.

The 'Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol' actor is famous for doing his own stunts - from motorbike chases, to hanging off the 124th floor of the tallest building in the world - and has been teaching himself from a very early age.

He told Playboy magazine: ''From as early as I can remember, I wanted to ride motorcycles and race cars. I wanted to do jumps and stunts. Every birthday I wanted only a motorcycle. By the time I was 12, I'd bought my own.

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Producers Win Last Samurai Court Case

Tom Cruise The Last Samurai

Producers behind Tom Cruise's 2003 blockbuster The Last Samurai have won a legal battle against two screenwriter brothers who alleged their idea for the film was stolen.

Writers Aaron and Matthew Benay filed suit in 2005, insisting a script they wrote in 2000, also called The Last Samurai, was used as a template for the hit Cruise movie.

Film executives Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick disputed the brothers' claims that they had sent a script to their production company Bedford Falls, and, after a seven-day jury trial in Los Angeles, they were vindicated of the accusations on Friday (06Apr12).

Herskovitz tells The Hollywood Reporter, "Ed and I are extremely relieved. It's hard to live under a cloud of false accusations for so many years. The fact that the jury said we never even saw the script - justice has been done."

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Chinese Firm Invests $220.5 Million In U.s. Movies

Hong Kong Edward Zwick The Dark Knight The Deal The Last Samurai

Although producing movies sounds as far removed from construction and real estate development as the U.S. is from China, shareholders of Hong Kong-based Paul Y. Engineering Ltd. today (Tuesday) approved a deal to invest $220.5 million in a new motion picture production company with Hollywood's Legendary Entertainment aimed at producing blockbuster movies in Hong Kong and mainland China aimed at international audiences. "Diversification into some unremarkable business is totally useless. Profit margin would be low, risk high," Paul Y. Engineering Chairman James Chiu told the Associated Press. "We decided to seek an innovative growth avenue." While under The Deal, Paul Y. Engineering would hold a controlling interest in the new company, called Legendary East Ltd., Deputy Chairman Tom Lau said that it has no plans to become involved in the productions. "We do not understand the business of motion pictures nor do we pretend that we can contribute" anything more than money," he told the A.P. Paul Y. Engineering will hold a 50-percent stake in the business; Legendary, 40 percent; and Beijing-based Huayi Brothers Media Corp., 10 percent. With 60 percent of the company Chinese owned, movies that it produces will skirt China's tough restrictions on foreign movies that allow only 20 non-Chinese movies to be shown on the mainland each year. Legendary, whose movies include The Dark Knight, Inception , and the two Hangover films, has announced that the first film to be produced by the new company will be The Great Wall , to be produced and directed by Edward Zwick ( Blood Diamond, The Last Samurai ).

Continue reading: Chinese Firm Invests $220.5 Million In U.s. Movies

Rachel Weisz Wanted For New James Bond Movie

Rachel Weisz Daniel Craig Gladiator James Bond John Logan Judi Dench Michael Sheen Neal Purvis Robert Wade Sam Mendes The Fly The Last Samurai The Script

Rachel Weisz is being lined up to play a villain in the new James Bond movie.

Producers are hoping to sign up the 40-year-old actress to play the head of a sinister organisation but are now worried she will turn down the role because she is reportedly dating Bond star Daniel Craig.

A source told The Sun newspaper: "Casting Rachel was going to be a surprise twist as everyone would assume she'd be a Bond girl when really she would play a villain.

Continue reading: Rachel Weisz Wanted For New James Bond Movie

New James Bond Given Release Date Confirmation

James Bond Daniel Craig Gladiator John Logan Judi Dench King Lear Michael Sheen Neal Purvis Robert Wade Sam Mendes The Last Samurai The Script

James Bond is to return to movie screens next year.

Daniel Craig will reprise his role as the suave British spy in the 23rd screen adventure in November 2012, after the film was finally given the go-ahead, nine months after it was originally shelved amid money problems for studio MGM.

Sam Mendes will direct the film, while legendary actress Dame Judi Dench is believed to be returning as M.

Continue reading: New James Bond Given Release Date Confirmation

Watanabe To Donate Film Salary To Alzheimer's

The Last Samurai Ken Watanabe

The Last Samurai star Ken Watanabe was so stirred playing a 50-year-old man diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, he plans to dedicate a portion of his salary to Japan's Alzheimer's Association.
The actor read author Hiroshi Ogiwara's book Memories of Tomorrow while he was making Memoirs of a Geisha and was so touched by the story he asked the writer to let him have the film rights.
The plight of Watanabe's tragic, memory-losing character made the actor want to do more for those trapped inside their bodies.
He says, "Alzheimer's is a very serious problem and young Alzheimer's sufferers still have energy and it progresses quickly.
"All of the patients lost their memory but their emotion still remained with sadness and happiness, pain. I was involved with adapting and writing the script and before writing it we were concerned about how much of Alzheimers we could show in the film.
"We met real patients and their families, and nurses and doctors and visited nursing homes and we were very sensitive about which elements we could show.
"We wanted to show enough of the disease so that people who have experienced it would believe the story and also to show enough of the disease so that people who haven't experienced it wouldn't be afraid."

Watanabe Stunned At Eastwood Film Role

Ken Watanabe Clint Eastwood The Last Samurai

Japanese star Ken Watanabe was stunned when he was offered the lead role in Clint Eastwood's latest movie, because he assumed the main parts in the Hollywood epic would be filled with American actors.
When The Last Samurai actor heard Eastwood was looking for actors for LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA, he assumed the only part he would get would be a supporting character in the movie.
He recalls, "I thought, 'I'll have to ring my agent to get a role as a Japanese officer or something."
But he was delighted when he found out the film was in fact told entirely from the perspective of the Japanese army in World War II.
The movie is up for Best Film at this year's Oscar ceremony (25FEB07) and is a companion piece to Eastwood's FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS.

Actor Sued Over Oscar Screeners Leak

Carmine Caridi Warner Brothers The Last Samurai Mystic River Big Fish

Veteran actor Carmine Caridi is being sued by film giants COLUMBIA and Warner BROS. after admitting to lending his screener copies of this year's OSCAR contenders to a friend who put them online.

The GODFATHER: PART III star, 70, told investigators he sent VHS copies of approximately 60 films per year to pal RUSSELL SPRAGUE who converted them onto the DVD format. Caridi insists he had no idea that Sprague would distribute the films via the internet and had sent them to him because he believed they were for the 51-year-old's personal entertainment.

However, furious bosses at Warner Bros. are asking for $150,000 (GBP88,235) each for copyright of The Last Samurai and Mystic River, meanwhile Columbia are demanding either actual damages or $150,000 (GBP88,235) infringement for movies SOMETHING'S GOT TO GIVE and Big Fish.

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Cruise's Memory Loss

Tom Cruise Larry King The Last Samurai Nicole Kidman

Hollywood hunk Tom Cruise displayed a strange case of memory loss when questioned about a past legal battle by American talk show host Larry King.

The American actor was promoting his new film The Last Samurai on LARRY KING LIVE, when the presenter asked Cruise about author WENSLEY CLARKSON, who Cruise claimed he had never heard of.

But Cruise unsuccessfully sued Clarkson in an attempt to block the publication of TOM CRUISE: UNAUTHORISED during the mid-1990's.

Continue reading: Cruise's Memory Loss

Tom Cruise's Last Samurai Slammed

Tom Cruise The Last Samurai

Tom Cruise's new movie The Last Samurai has come under fire, after being accused of focusing on the star more than Japanese culture to sell the film.

And MARK RAVINA, considered by many to be Japan's last real samurai, believes the culture should have been represented without having to rely so heavily on Cruise to carry it.

He says, "It is disturbing because we are striving to be a multicultural society. That requires that we appreciate each other's cultures and that we will go see a movie even if the star is a person who doesn't look like us."

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