Deanna Durbin, child star of Hollywood's Golden Era, passed away in her quiet village home outside of Paris on April 20. Durbin was the star of Three Smart Girls and Nice Girl? and was given an honorary Academy Award in 1938. She was the favorite actress of both Winston Churchill and Anne Frank. Family friend Bob Koster reported the news to the Associated Press a few days ago. More details here.
Daniel Radcliffe continues to distance himself from the role of the boy wizard. He is set to star in Tokyo Vice, a movie based on a true story about an investigative journalist working in Japan who runs afoul of "the John Gotti of Japan." Read more here.
In further casting news, Natalie Portman will be playing Lady Macbeth opposite Michael Fassbender in the upcoming big-screen adaptation of Macbeth. Apparently the film "will include significant battle scenes," but will have the original language. Read more here.
Speaking of Star Wars, J. J. Abrams has let slip a rare detail about his mysterious new addition to the saga—John Williams should be coming back to do another score! This should please purists and provide some continuity between the old and the new. Watch the video interview with Abrams here.
Steven Soderbergh delivered a powerful "State of Cinema" address last night at the San Francisco International Film Festival. He lambasted the current approach big studios have to making movies—and announced his retirement. The full speech and analysis are here.1