Screen Talk - Enemy agent

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The Independent Culture

Following the death of Hollywood uber-agent Ed Limato a few days ago, the usual platitudes rolled in. But so did a slew of rather less kindly views on the 73-year-old agent's career, whose client roster has boasted some of the highest- profile actors in the business, including Richard Gere, Denzel Washington, Steve Martin and Mel Gibson.

So harsh were some of the viewpoints of the man, who was certainly a large shark in an ocean of biters, the internet comments on several websites were "moderated". While inviting observers, colleagues and rivals to comment on the former mail- room boy who rose to the highest tiers of both ICM and WMA agencies, the Hollywood Reporter's very own webmasters wrote: "Out of respect for the deceased and his family, the moderator reserves the right to remove comments deemed offensive".

A move that didn't go down well with those determined to reveal the full extent of the shark's bite. As one contributor put it, "Mr Limato is now gone for those who feel that he did mean, and spiteful things to people. Isn't that tradition in Hollywood?"

Shooting Starz

The Hollywood community is abuzz following the departure of high fliers Chris McGurk and Danny Rosett from Overture Films. McGurk, commonly described by fellow suits as "bright and ambitious", is a veteran of the political power plays and will no doubt pop up elsewhere. A terse statement, issued by Overture owner Starz, states the two exited due to "strategic differences". This demands water-cooler interpretation. Given that the duo's exit after three years spent setting up Overture as a mini-studio came within weeks of the arrival of former HBO chairman Chris Albrecht joining Liberty's Starz as president and CEO, it smacks of too many egos and not enough boardroom. The exodus means divorce comedy Celeste and Jesse Forever, and others in development such as the crime thriller Jar City, a remake of the 2006 film from Iceland, Freaks of the Heartland and Speech and Debate, are in hiatus as Overture works out a fresh future.

McAdams vows to fill Roberts's shoes

Rachel McAdams (above centre) is to fill Julia Roberts's shoes. Well, not exactly. McAdams has been hired to star in The Vow, a love story that tells the real-life story of a newlywed New Mexico couple, played by McAdams and Channing Tatum, who end up in a car crash. The wife goes into a coma, is cared for by her devoted husband, and when she wakes without any memory of her hubbie or their nuptials, he woos her and attempts to wins her heart again. The script was originally prepped as a vehicle for Roberts. Michael Sucsy will direct McAdams and co.

MGM in peril

MGM's troubles continue with the studio having to postpone its big debt and interest payments for the sixth time. Seems the lenders, who hold almost $4bn in debt, are expected to agree to the extension on payments as the 15 July deadline on a $250m principal payment and $200m-plus in owed interest fast approaches. Speculation continues about whether or not the studio will sell off its share of rights to The Hobbit to co-production partner Warner Bros, whose New Line is overseeing project development with the director Peter Jackson.

A scary business

Paramount is backing a joke fest spec script from The Colbert Report writer Max Werner named Fun Size. Josh Schwartz (above right) – best known for such youth-centred TV series as The OC, Gossip Girl and Chuck – will produce the movie for Paramount. It's all hush hush, but it's described as a cross between Superbad and Adventures in Babysitting, and it's set on Hallowe'en. It's a scary business making movies, but you've got to laugh.