Oz in the News 4.13.11

Gwyneth Paltrow’s ‘lazy’ ‘Over the Rainbow’ cover Paltrow “is like a PG-rated funhouse mirror of pop culture,” says Drew Grant at Salon. “Hold her up to anything,” and you get an “antiseptic, safe-for-work result that is at best entirely unsatisfying, and at worst, a slap in the face to the source material.” But Garland’s original version of “Over the Rainbow” is already “pretty saccharine,” so there’s only so much damage Paltrow can do.

Blake Lively Chooses Between SAVAGES and OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL In casting Savages, director Oliver Stone lost potential female lead Jennifer Lawrence to The Hunger Games.  Since then, Stone and Universal Pictures have cast out a wide net for young actresses to fill the role including Olivia Wilde, Teresa Palmer, and Blake Lively.  Lively has emerged as the frontrunner to play Ophelia, the kidnapping victim that catalyzes the drug running drama.  The pursuit of Ms. Lively, however may end in the same heartbreak.  Lively is also considering the role of Glinda the Good Witch of the East in Disney’s Oz: the Great and Powerful.  Overlapping schedules this summer will likely preclude the actress from signing on to both films.  Hit the jump for more information on both Savages and Oz.

Epstein, Friedman on board Garland documentary Steven Lippman, the filmmaker who directs music shorts under the name Flip, is heading into pre-production on an indie docu about Judy Garland’s 1961 Carnegie Hall perf, “Stay All Night,” with exec producers including Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (“Howl,” “The Celluloid Closet”).  Mary Wharton (“Joan Baez: How Sweet the Sound”) also is aboard as producer of the film, which offers a look at Garland and her performance skills from the perspective of audience members who attended the Carnegie Hall concert.

Selena Gomez and her boyfriend Justin Bieber  want to remake the Wizard of Oz Selena has apparently been sharing her obsession with the Judy Garland classic with the Baby hitmaker and now they’re both hooked.  “Selena has loved the Wizard of Oz since she was a kid and she’s still obsessed with it,” says a source close to the actress and singer.  “Her dream role would be Dorothy in a remake but she’d settle for a Munchkin just to be in it. Now she’s got Justin hooked on the movie, Selena thinks they may both be contenders for a role.”

Can it all be so merry in the land of Oz? Six weeks into the critically acclaimed run, Crawford and Hope are a little dazzled by one another. Back in the dressing rooms you could cut the atmosphere of mutual admiration with a knife – no, make that a fancy Hummingbird Bakery cake slice. He brings her manuka honey for her throat. She greets him like a favourite uncle and is wide-eyed with wonder at working with such a colossus of musical theatre. But Crawford admits he took a little convincing to take the part as he is sceptical about the plucked-from-obscurity TV genre typified by The X Factor and its ilk.

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