M. Night Shyamalan wrote the screenplay for She's All That. Let me just repeat that wondrous revelation: M. Night Shyamalan once sat down, presumably in a chair, and wrote the script to the 1990s teen sex comedy She's All That. Let's try it in an offhanded way: M. Night Shyamalan, the mind behind the 1999 exercise in frivolity She's All That, wrote the script for that movie. Add it to the chart!
A quiet night on St. Petersburg's Nevsky Avenue takes a sudden, unexpected turn for the Disney.
Ha, poor M. Night. In a trailer for the upcoming horror movie Devil, a title card reads, ridiculously, "From the mind of M. Night Shyamalan." Ten years ago, that phrase meant something. Now the audience just groans and laughs. Wah-wahhh.
Josh Schwartz, the man responsible for bringing you The OC and Gossip Girl, turns 33 today. Jim McGreevey, the man responsible for bringing New Jersey its most embarrassing political scandal—up until two weeks ago, that is—turns 52. Director M. Night Shyamalan is turning 39. Karenna Gore Schiff, the novelist daughter of Al and Tipper Gore, is turning 36. Publishing exec Jamie Raab is 56. American Express' marketing chief, John Hayes, is turning 55. Victoria's Secret model Marisa Miller is 31. Actress Melissa George is turning 33. Reality TV star Adrianne Curry is 27. Former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell is turning 37. And Soleil Moon Frye, who will always be Punky Brewster to you and me, celebrates her 33rd birthday today.
Deep gratitude to Videogum for guiding us to this scene from The Happening—M. Night Shyamalan's surprisingly lucrative eco-thriller, originally pitched to skeptical studio execs as, "A lot like the The Birds, but instead it's The Trees. Well, there's birds in the trees, but they aren't scary. I dunno, maybe they're already dead. Hello? Are you still with me? What are you scribbling on that notepad? Do you want this or not, because there's plenty of studios who do."The Happs got its DVD release yesterday, bringing us to the above Mark Wahlberg/Zooey Deschanel exchange. For those left confounded by Andy Samberg's brilliant Wahlberg impression on SNL last week, we encourage you to watch both, then imagine Manoj's crackling dialogue replaced with: "Hey pharmacist, how's it going? I like your lab coat and name tag, that looks really great. So you're a pharmacist, right? What's that all about? Where's the cough syrup? OK, well it was great to meet you. Say hi to your mother for me, OK?"
New Jersey's former governor—and gay American—Jim McGreevey turns 51 today. Also celebrating: The man who brought Gossip Girl to TV, Josh Schwartz, turns 32. Publishing queen Jamie Raab turns 55. Creepy director M. Night Shyamalan is 38. The man to blame for all those celebrity-laden American Express commercials, Amex marketing chief John Hayes, is 54. Reality "star" Adrianne Curry, who you probably fondly remember from America's Next Top Model and My Fair Brady, is 26. And former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell is 36.
Variety reports today that 20th Century Fox and Hallmark have reached a landmark licensing agreement granting the greeting card giant exclusive use of the studio's library. While Hallmark has already issued cards for properties like Napoleon Dynamite and has its eye on major titles including Futurama and The Sound of Music, Defamer wrangled a hold of mockups for Hallmark's "Turbulence at Fox '08" line — a selection celebrating the beauty and joy of life through Fox's bumpy year at the box-office. Follow the jump for a glimpse at warm greetings to come by way of Manoj Night Shyamalan, Eddie Murphy, The X-Files and others, and feel free to suggest your own heartfelt pairings as well.
If it's true that he who laughs last laughs loudest, then we can hear M. Night Shyamalan this morning cackling all the way from his exurban Philadelphia enclave. Less than two months after his beleaguered The Happening hurdled billboard vandals and epidemic critical loathing on the way to wallet-fattenting coup, Cash-Machine Manoj announced a deal with financiers Media Rights Capital to develop and produce a slate of films through 2011.
Perhaps to our discredit, we had long ago relegated disgraced fashion designer/tacky Web-site proprietor Anand Jon Alexander to the quiet corners of our minds where accused serial rapists like him (59 counts, at last check) await trial. Sharon Waxman, meanwhile — who extensively interviewed AJ and pored over eight volumes of grand jury transcripts for an article in the new issue of Los Angeles — acknowledges that the testimony of the aspiring models he allegedly assaulted is both "damning" and "extremely weak in places," implying that Alexander's case may not be as open-and-closed as we'd suspected once it goes to trial in September. "Anand Jon does not appear to be a nice guy," she writes. "But that is not a crime in any state."
Dear Reader: Please pay no attention to John Horn, who should be ashamed of himself today — not just for his facile collection of "lessons" studios have "learned" so far this summer, but for daring to suggest that The Happening was anything but a success for Fox and Manoj Night Shyamalan. The effrontery! Even the most casual of observers would know that Manoj's Mint has yielded more than $113 million worldwide in two weeks of release, which is more than fine for all parties involved. (Never mind the 66% drop during its second weekend — it's all profit for Manoj!) Then there's this silly matter of viewers rejecting darker-themed movies like War Inc. (John Cusack would beg to differ) and Horn's pedestrian observation that "Paramount is on fire." And anyway, that's not even accurate — Paramount has topped $1 billion for the year, and Universal is on fire. Christ, John — get it straight! [LAT]
The day after DreamWorks was deported to the Asian Subcontinent was a bittersweet one around town — unless you're Steven Spielberg, we guess, who is a few signatures away from finally sticking it to Viacom, or maybe if you're CAA, which had previously wooed the Works' deep-pocketed Indian investors at Reliance ADA to throw money at projects for George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks, Nicolas Cage, Jim Carrey and a few of the agency's other heavy hitters.
Congratulations go out this morning to M. Night Shyamalan and his beleageured backers at 20th Century Fox, who weathered brutal buzz and worse reviews to nurse The Happening to an impressive $30.5 million opening. We've never been happier to underestimate a film's box-office juice — especially when Manoj's Folly needs all the support it can get before heading on the road. First stops: Mexico and Korea, where the film's marketing materials now include some of those countries' respective national landmarks among the decimated landscapes: