9:13am

Tue January 11, 2011
Monkey See

Morning Shots: Gandalf's Contract Is Finally Worked Out, Thank Goodness

Tolkien people rejoice: Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis will bring Gandalf and Gollum back to Peter Jackson's The Hobbit movie.

So the artist who designed Kanye West's controversial album cover says that West specifically wanted something that would be banned. I'm kind of sad we missed out on the "dyspeptic ballerina in a black tutu."

The lovely movie Once has long been discussed as a natural fit for Broadway, and the pieces are now beginning to come together.

The Hollywood Reporter has an extensive look at what the prospects are that the miniseries The Kennedys, starring Greg Kinnear and Katie Holmes and recently dumped by The History Channel, will find another home on American television. Short version: the prospects are not as good as you might assume they'd be.

Interesting heroine alert: Debra Granik, who directed the very fine film Winter's Bone (a staple on 2010 best-of lists), is taking a shot at Pippi Longstocking. It sounds like a weird idea at first, but it makes a surprising amount of sense.

The epic Donkey Kong tale that has literally gone on for years, in which Steve Wiebe and Billy Mitchell battle back and forth for the crown, has a new chapter: they've been bested by someone else entirely. (If this means nothing to you, I encourage you to get hold of the documentary The King Of Kong, which will make it all clear.)

Apparently having learned nothing from the title debacle that was Cougar Town, ABC has now picked up a pilot tentatively called Don't Trust The Bitch. Oh, that's perfect. Just perfect.

The King's Speech has inspired a wide variety of discussions, and now Michael Palin is talking about his father's stammer and how it drove his creation of a center to treat kids who have the same issue. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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