Screen Talk: Getting to the bottom of the matter

Ah, the irony of Hollywood having a moral code in a country that has always been strangely prudish when it comes to certain elements in films. Violence, guns and swearing are fine, but nudity? Well, that's harder to countenance. Luckily, the Julia Roberts starrer Eat Pray Love has managed to fend off the prudes. Director Ryan Murphy and producer Dede Gardner recently appealed the R rating it was originally awarded by the Classification and Ratings Administration of the MPAA. It has now been granted a far less restrictive PG-13 rating for "brief strong language, some sexual references and male rear nudity". The movie is based on Elizabeth Gilbert's memoir and stars Roberts as a divorcee on a globetrotting self-discovery trip.

Never mind the film, here's our tie-ins

Hollywood studios have never been more obsessed than now with producing movies featuring branded characters recognised around the globe. And while box-office bonanzas are one reason for the obsession, there is another elephant in the room. Merchandise. Think books, toys and other such flimflam, and then ogle at the numbers. Disney Consumer Products squeezed out $27bn in retail sales from punters last year. And the Mouse house wants more, targeting a magical $50bn figure within five to seven years. With that in mind all the studios, not just Disney, are looking to develop movies with merchandise in mind. Hope remains that the merchandising tail does not start wagging the movie dog.

Ideas are currency

A good idea is a prize asset in the movie industry. So why not snap up the life rights to a guy that had a lot of them? This is what the producers Gabe and Alan Polsky of Polsky Films did after grabbing Albert Einstein's life rights while securing the consulting participation of Walter Isaacson, whose biography, Einstein: His Life and Universe, was then about to be published. The pair has hired Stephen Schiff to pen a script for production banner Odd Lot Entertainment, based on Einstein materials archived at Princeton and Hebrew Universities, as well as on the Isaacson biography. Schiff adapted Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita for the 1997 film and Jacquelyn Mitchard's The Deep End of the Ocean for film. He also co-wrote True Crime and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Now for a stroke of genius.

Tiger, tiger, burning bright

Brad Pitt (above centre), Darren Aronofsky and the writer Guillermo Arriaga are roaring to work together. Arriaga, the writer behind the Pitt outing in Babel, is reteaming with the star for The Tiger, a drama being developed by Aronofsky as a potential Pitt vehicle. Arriaga's script is based on an upcoming nonfiction book by John Vaillant, to be published by Random House. The story centres on an animal activist protecting a small Siberian town after a tiger begins attacking its occupants. Pitt and Aronofsky have been developing the project under the radar and both are at least likely to produce if not star and direct the movie, industry sources say. Now they have to earn their stripes.

Share the load

What a way to save money. Green-light a project, then get most of the talent involved to do at least two jobs, if not three. That's what is taking shape for the Universal-backed comedy Wanderlust, with Jennifer Aniston (above right) and Paul Rudd lined up to star. And produce. And write. Word is Rudd will pen with Ken Marino and David Wain, who will also direct. Rudd, Marino and Wain will also produce. The script details the story of a married couple that end up in a hippie commune as a result of trying to get away from modern living.

Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in the TV adaptation of 'Fargo'

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules

Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'

Arts and Entertainment
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book

Arts and Entertainment
Panic! In The Disco's Brendon Urie performs on stage

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Radio 4's Today programme host Evan Davis has been announced as the new face of Newsnight

Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams performing on the Main Stage at the Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park, north London

Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Mathison returns to the field in the fourth season of Showtime's Homeland

Arts and Entertainment
Crowds soak up the atmosphere at Latitude Festival

Arts and Entertainment
Meyne Wyatt and Caren Pistorus arrive for the AACTA Aawrds in Sydney, Australia

Arts and Entertainment
Rick Astley's original music video for 'Never Gonna Give You Up' has been removed from YouTube

Arts and Entertainment
Quentin Blake's 'Artists on the beach'

Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beach

Arts and Entertainment
MusicFans were left disappointed after technical issues
Arts and Entertainment
'Girl with a Pearl Earring' by Johannes Vermeer, c. 1665
artWhat is it about the period that so enthrals novelists?
Arts and Entertainment
Into the woods: The Merry Wives of Windsor at Petersfield
theatreOpen-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

    Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

    The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

    Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

    Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
    German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

    Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

    Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
    BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

    BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

    The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
    Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

    Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

    Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
    How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

    Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

    Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
    Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

    Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

    Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
    10 best reed diffusers

    Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

    Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

    Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

    There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
    Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

    Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

    It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
    Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

    Screwing your way to the top?

    Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
    Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

    Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

    Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

    The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

    Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
    US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

    Meet the US Army's shooting star

    Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform