News Archive: January 1998 - June 1998

Catching up... Yay, I finally have webserver access again after suffering major technical difficulties (Computers really do suck. Avoid 'em like the plague.). Anyway, stuff you should check out: the official Wild Wild West teaser poster (cool-looking, but no mention of Ken! Below-the-title billing, if that's the case, is NOT cool. He's HAMLET, for god's sake!! But, no fear, I'm sure the powers that be over at Warners' marketing department will realize the potency of der Kenster's name by the time the serious WWWest publicity machine gets rolling...); the CNN website for the upcoming The Cold War series has a little bio and pic section on Ken; the cover of the French book, Kenneth Branagh, traines de feu, rosées de sang, can be seen at the publisher's website; new pics on this site include: the 1989 GQ cover, Ken sitting on a garbage can, and the one I just added to the main page, Ken looking like a total dork. On the Ken-spotting front, he's now in LA shooting WWW. The studio hasn't called up to offer me an internship yet, so I guess I'll just attend summer school until then...(June 27, thanks to Jude)

A new Spanish biography written by Teresa Lopez Velayos and Sonsoles Gonzalez Ortiz called Kenneth Branagh - En el nombre de Shakespeare (translation: "K.B. - In the name of Shakespeare") is now available at Spanish bookstores. It's 180 pages long, has black and white photos, and costs 1,750 Pesetas (about $12 U.S. dollars.) E-mail the publisher, or write to them at NUER EDICIONES; Fernando VI, 8, 1º; 28004 Madrid; Spain...On the spikey-hair front, Estela just sent some majorly groovy photos, printed in Spanish mags in conjunction with Gingerbread Man publicity. Here's a cute one, here's an even cuter one, and here's a look at Gingerbread's GQ lawyer, Rick Magruder... (June 11, thanks Estela!!)

Wild Wild West update, more UK Gingerbread Man sneaks: Will Smith and Kevin Kline have begun shooting West, but Ken isn't due in LA for at least another week. He's still in London, getting ready for his upcoming meals-on-wheels impression (ok, that was kinda mean. I'm sure he'll be really cool zipping around on his motorized trolley. :) Filming has been done on the Sony and Disney lots, as well as at Warner Brothers. Also being built at WB are two soundstages--one is gigantically huge (WB's biggest soundstage) and multi-leveled; this will be Ken (Dr. Loveless)'s workshop...the UK paper The Express is teaming up with Marks and Spencer to sponsor FREE screenings of The Gingerbread Man to be held on July 5th. Collect 3 tokens by buying the Express 3 times this week (I guess you'll have to buy one every day at this point, and get 2 free tickets to a screening at any one of the UCI cinemas in England. Check out The Express for more details...
(June 10, thanks to Bonnie, Catherine)

More UK Gingerbread Man preview screenings on June 7th!!!

Birmingham Great Park (Virgin 0121 453 0465)
Bristol Cineworld (01275 831099)
Newport (Virgin)
Bracknell UCI The point 10 (June 6, thanks to Toni)

This Sunday night (June 7th) at 7:10pm, there will be an ADVANCE SNEAK SCREENING of The Gingerbread Man at the Warner Village West End cinema in Leicester Square. In addition to seeing the movie a whopping 8 weeks (!!!) before its scheduled August UK opening, you'll also get tickets at half price because Sunday is National Cinema Day. Check it out, Ken's arrogant southern lawyer is a performance not to be missed.......(June 5, thanks to Catherine)

It looks like Love's Labour's Lost won't be a musical, as previously conceived. (There will be some songs in it though, kinda like in Much Ado.) Ken has told someone-who-will-not-be-named-here that he plans to start production on his next Shakespeare film adaptation within the next 12 months. WOO HOO!! I'm glad he's getting behind the camera again. And it's Shakespeare--how can we go wrong? (Knock on wood.) But too bad there isn't going to be any Travolta-like dancing or Spice Girls-like singing (um, maybe not Spice Girls. I meant GOOD singing ;) on the part of our Ken... (June 5, thanks to SH)

Film/magazine updates: The site for Fine Line Features finally has a listing of its '98 slate. The blurb for The Theory of Flight runs thus:

Directed by: Paul Greengrass
Written by: Richard Hawkins
Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Helena Bonham Carter
Set in a small town, The Theory of Flight is an uncommonly brave story that revolves around an unlikely pairing of a man and a woman who, together, challenge the boundaries that have imprisoned them, body and mind. Richard, in the course of repaying his debt to society, finds himself performing community service at the home of Jane. Relegated to a wheelchair by a savage neuro-muscular disorder, Jane proves a considerable challenge to the less than enthusiastic caretaker. Despite themselves, the two embark on an adventure for the soul that brings into unflinching perspective the dreams of a lifetime.'

Sounds groovy. And we don't have to wait until December! (Although, with probably another staggered release pattern, non-LA/NY residents will end up getting it around December anyway. ;) In other movie news, the second segment of Dimension's sci-fi anthology finally starts shooting in June, with Gary Sinise and Madeleine Stowe set to star. It's called Impostor and will follow the Ken/Courteney Cox/Heather Graham short Alien Love Triangle. Now they need to get the third and final segment together so this thing can get released...In 'zine notes, the July issues of UK mags Film Review and Total Film has Ken items of interest you should check out. FR has a full-page Iago photo (that kewl peeling-the-apple shot) and another US contact address for Mr B. TF has a cool film diary written by Alien Love Triangle's 3rd Assistant Director. The Spanish magazine Just English has Ken on the cover, Ken inside, and Ken on the enclosed CD-ROM. Gingerbread Man promotion stuff. All this loverly material will be on this site sometime in the near future...(June 2, thanks to Nicky, Jess, Estela)

Some reminders if you missed the following headlines on the main page: North American Branagh fans currently deprived of The Gingerbread Man and The Proposition, call your local Blockbuster to make sure it'll get the movies on their scheduled video release dates--July 28th and August 4th, respectively...Remember to watch The Late Late Show, which follows Letterman, Wednesday night to watch (or re-watch) the repeat of Ken's Gingerbread interview...and new photos, including Ken and Hel at that Windsor party and Much Ado posters, are now available here... (June 2)

WOO HOO!! The semester's ended, now I'll just spend the rest of the summer waiting for Warner Brothers to hire me as an intern. (By the way, Wild Wild West director Barry Sonnenfield said that there will be more special effects shots in this one than in his previous blockbuster Men in Black. More SFX in a western than a sci-fi flick? Very intriguing.) Hey, check out this cool series of Cannes '97 photos--he's watching TV in a hotel room. Back when his hair was nice, fluffy and not over-gelled. And set your VCRs for June 4th, when Later with Tom Snyder reruns its cool interview with Ken. Snyder airs at 12:30 AM in most markets, on CBS. Don't miss it! Cute anecdotes about his RADA days and nieces...(May 24, Later info thanks to Paula)

. . . So I'm curious as to what goes on in the "Yes Campaign" video Ken did that was sent to 13,000 new N. Irish voters. Snippets of the vid have been shown on various UK news reports, and so far we know that Ken kisses Irish ground at one point (lucky ground) . . . Warner Brothers hasn't issued a formal press release announcing the start of Wild Wild West shooting yet, but the Hollywood Reporter has an "In Production" entry for it, starting Monday, May 18th. Shooting at the Warner lot in L.A., location stuff to be done in Arizona and New Mexico. And I hear from a few sources that the studio is planning a big July 4th weekend opening for its 1999 franchise film (by the way, the NM shoot is hiring extras - send your resumes to New Mexico Film Office; Attn: Wild Wild West; P. O. Box 20003; Santa Fe, NM 87504-5003 . . . Ken recently confirmed in an interview with a German publication that his musical version of Love's Labor's Lost is indeed in the works, but will take another two years (before production starts? or is completed? I dunno). . . Here's a rather cute picture of Ken from last week's Radio Times, originally about 2 cm by 2 cm in size, but blown up for your enjoyment (the power of scanning!) . . . Variety reports that the Woody Allen film starring Ken (Celebrity) will have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, which takes place at the end of August . . . (May 21, thanks to Marion, Renata, Sabine, Toni)

The vote on the peace referendum in Northern Ireland is coming up, and Ken showed his support for the "Yes Campaign" by making an appeal in a video that was launched yesterday by the group. More info from the London Times:

"Tony Blair, William Hague and Paddy Ashdown are all flying in this week but outsiders, even Prime Ministers, are regarded with intense distrust by hardline Unionists. The only real flair has come from a group of private individuals led by Quintin Oliver, former head of the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action, that calls itself The Yes Campaign and occupies a makeshift first-floor office in central Belfast. It has raised nearly £200,000 including £40,000 from Northern Ireland businessmen. Saatchi and Saatchi designed an advertisement for free that now features on 100 billboards, 500 buses and 5,000 posters. The campaign has ten full-time workers earning £250 a week and about 20 volunteers. It also has panache. Today it unfurls a 75ft banner emblazoned "yes" down the front of Belfast's Europa Hotel. Yesterday it launched a video featuring the Belfast-born actor Kenneth Branagh; it is being sent to first-time voters." (May 19)

Here's an amusing bit from an article on Kate Winslet:

Her excretory system took a further battering when she landed the role of Ophelia in Kenneth Branagh's version of Hamlet. "My agent just called me up and said, 'Darling, Ophelia.' I said, 'What the fuck are you on about?' He just said, 'Ophelia, darling. Ophelia."' She called Ken later that day. "I was so stressed out. I said, 'Thanks very much, I'm really constipated now."' Her jocularity was followed swiftly by despair. "I became hysterical. I told Ken Branagh that I couldn't do it. He said, 'Why on earth not?' Because it was Shakespeare, because it was Ken Branagh. He said, 'Shut up you silly cow. Of course you can do it.' He explained to me that Shakespeare was a foreign language, but once you mastered it, it became completely natural. Ken Branagh can actually speak fluent Shakespeare, you know. He knows how to make it sound real and alive. It's amazing." (London Independent)

Elsewhere, Kate describes Ken some more: "". Wow, it's like she's advertising a miracle drug. Or a vitamin. But still cool. ;) Also on the cool Britpack (geez, I hate that word) meter is Christian Bale, who listed Ken among the actors he'd like to work with again (along with Winona Ryder and Robin Williams). Anyway, confirmation that we're in good hands with the next generation of talented British actors...(May 19)

Let's get WILD... Ken and Helena start their summer stay in L.A. this week (HBC is shooting The Fight Club with Brad Pitt and Ed Norton), principal photography for Wild Wild West is slated to begin on May 18th. Expect a press release from Warner Brothers in the near future. To get the ball rolling, here are some Wild tidbits:

- Warner Brothers had a filming permit for one 19364 Placerite Canyon Road in L.A. through May 13 for WWW.
- A pal says: 'A friend of mine is the manager for a dancewear company here in Los Angeles that does work for movies, TV, the Oscars, ice skating shows and stuff like that. She e-mailed me all excited that they were going to be doing some work for Wild Wild West! (I took her to Hamlet for her birthday so she knows how I am about our boy). I was imagining all kinds of scenarios for their costumes like a big Dance of the Saloon Girls or something like that. Then she wrote back and said they were making garments for nude scenes, so the actors appear nude but really aren't! In WWW? Maybe it's a bathtub scene??? They are also making a lot of what she rather cryptically describes as "general undergarments".' (May 13)

There's a photo of Ken, HBC, and the Queen from that Windsor Castle party in the May 18th issue of People Magazine; more pics from the same event also in the new issue of OK! (hey, what's with British magazine titles ending with exclamation marks anyway?). I'll put these photos up later this week...and someone from the Branagh newsgroup reported June/July video release dates for The Gingerbread Man and The Proposition. Which probably means Prop won't be getting a wider theatrical release. Which means I won't get to see it on the big screen. WHICH TOTALLY BITES HARD!!!!!! (May 13)

Random-ola: Check out this young-ish photo of Ken. Waaaaaaay cute, n'est-ce pas? I've also just put up the really kewl BAFTA article mentioned earlier, as well as the Advocate article from 1996. The Advocate is a gay magazine, and basically the interview consists of 100 questions, each phrased slightly differently, asking Ken if he is gay. Uhm, what else? Oh, the Elstree Studios website has a cute little article about Ken shooting Alien Love Triangle there. Finally, I hardly go off-topic here, but let me give the new Jim Carrey movie The Truman Show a brief plug. It's a brilliant, terrifically original film that opens on June 5th; I saw an advance screening tonight and LOVED it. And, like everything else in life, Jim Carrey can be tied to Ken: a report circulated last year that Carrey wanted to be in our Ken's next project, but when Ken told the $20-million-per-picture mega-star he would have to AUDITION for the role, Mr. Carrey balked. Heh heh. Probably not true, but that interesting story made the Hollywood gossip rounds last year...(May 8, pic thanks to Linda, BAFTA article to Nicky)

I've been meaning to post this article from The Express (a UK daily) since first getting word of it, but kept forgetting for one reason or another. Anyway, the Express started a weekly "National Treasure" feature to highlight the best o' Britain, and yeppy yep, back in March Ken was picked National Treasure No. 74. (Number 74?!? So I guess they think there are 73 cooler things in the UK? I don't think so. Hmmm. Well, maybe fish and chips. Definitely Doc Marten boots. Britpop bands Blur and Radiohead, those red double decker busses, and the monarchy thing is also pretty groovy. And Stonehenge! But that's about it...) Click here to read the text of the article, or check out a scanned image (complete with cute caricature) of the actual article. (May 6, text thanks to Catherine, link info courtesy of Renie, scanned image by Claire)

Check out the Sacramento Bee's Ken page. They took all of their graphics and, erm, closely borrowed some text (not the smiley faces though--what's up with that??) from this site, but hey, at least they picked some of the coolest photos. ;) Glad to be of help. Another miscellaneous bit: the writer/director (forgot the guy's name) of the new Gwyneth Paltrow movie Sliding Doors talked about trying to find financing for his film: "We tried all the major accepted 'routes to finance'...Channel 4, BBC Films, Granada Films, British Screen, Ken Branagh..." Our Ken is having enough problems trying to find financing himself, for Love's Labor's Lost--he has to pay off that new house of his, so "I can't do it for a bit..." Sucks. (May 6)

Anthony Hopkins had his appetite in The Silence of the Lambs. Jim Carrey had his neon green spandex in Batman Forever. Gary Oldman had...whatever the hell was going on with him in The Fifth Element. Thus Ken continues in the tradition of the movie villain as a freakishly disturbed loon with a mental or physical (or both) handicap. Sigh. So much for the sexy, horseback-riding, gun-twirling, Will-Smith-ass-kicking, somersaulting (erm...yeah) villain I envisioned for our Ken in Wild Wild West. Yup. Techno-nerd villain-dom, here we come. Does NOBODY remember what a cool sexy villain Ken was in Othello?? (So he was a bit chubby and they put him in this ugly brown leather suit that made him look like a walking chocolate ball, but that was because they knew he might be TOO sexy as Iago.) Alas, alas...ok, I'll stop blubbering. Here's the news (at least this will answer the age-old question of what would happen if you crossed a sexy British bloke with R2-D2):

"The villain of the story, Dr. Loveless, played by Kenneth Branagh, is a sort of early-tech bionic man, his lower half being a wheelchair-type mechanism." (Movie-"I really hope you're wrong"-line, June issue - info thanks to Jude. May 3. SOB!)

Included in the new issue of Empire Magazine is a video with the trailer for The Gingerbread Man; the mag also confirms the film's UK release date of August 7th. And there's a rather cool article on Ken in the latest issue of BAFTA magazine, which I'll post sometime in the near future (after I finish another paper--yuk!)...(May 1, info thanks to Nicky)

Ken, Hel, and Her Majesty, the Queen... COOL!! A photo of Ken and Helena NOT taken by a paparazzo hiding in the bushes, courtesy of the London Times. Aside from the 5 pounds of gel gunk he slopped into his hair, Ken looks rather spiffy. (What's up with that flammable-head look he's been sporting of late anyway?) That lady Hel's talking to is the Queen, the occasion was last night's party thrown by Her Majesty at Windsor Castle in celebration of the arts in Britain. Here are some tidbits from the press (Ken using "awesome". I like it. I like it a lot. ;) (April 30)


The Queen threw a party at Windsor Castle tonight and the stars came out to play. Michael Caine arrived with Joan Collins; Kenneth Branagh chatted with Helena Bonham Carter; and Shirley Bassey stepped out in style – and in a revealing neckline.
Actor and director Kenneth Branagh said: "Coming to things like this is a great leveller. It's awesome and quite a thrill to be here. In my case, it's interesting to see that we all share the same nervousness when we are about to meet the Queen."

From the Evening Standard:

Richard Wilson and Ken Branagh shook hands and grabbed another miniature pizza, while Patricia Routledge and Sir Angus Stirling gamely wandered the corridors and gawped at the beautiful golden ceilings. The short-sighted, indeed, sometimes mistook Ms Routledge for the Queen herself.

The Queen wandered through the throng of arts folk, looking a little bemused, but appearing genuinely to enjoy the occasion. She wanted to meet certain actors and directors such as Mr Branagh, Sir Derek Jacobi and the Royal Court's Ian Rickson.

Check out Hollywood Online's interview with Ken. The article says The Proposition opens "wide" this Friday, but that probably means it'll expand beyond its current 7 screens to about 10 nationwide. (April 30, link thanks to Nina)

MOVIE NEWS: Miramax has acquired North American distribution rights to Celebrity, the winter '98 Woody Allen movie in which Ken stars. Woo hoo!!! Miramax is a cool studio--the brothers Weinstein know the value of marketing and they're pretty good at supporting projects (especially the good ones) released under their banner (unlike some pathetic loser studio heads). Speaking of pathetic sorry-ass lame-o loser idiotic pieces of [bleeeeep] studios, Polygram seems to be limiting the number of Proposition prints circulating in the U.S. to 5. It supposedly was scheduled to open a little wider this week, but nothing in my local paper so far. Not that San Francisco is the 4th friggin' largest market in this country or anything...ok, on to cooler items--a pal in France (hi Laurence!) just sent me this awesome Japanese Dead Again poster. Groovy, eh? (April 28)

From Sky News:


Kenneth Branagh, Paul McGann and a host of Oscar-winning British talent will tomorrow begin shooting a film to inspire youngsters to take up the camera. While they shoot The Dance Of Shiva about the untold story of Indian troops in the First World War, a fly-on-the-wall documentary team will film the masters at work. All have agreed to make the film for little or no money to pass on their enthusiasm for their craft. Both the 20-minute film and documentary, to be made at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire, are intended for film festival, video and television release. Branagh and McGann are acting in the film, which stars Sanjeev Bhaskar, from the BBC's comedy Goodness Gracious Me. The Dance Of Shiva explores the fate of Indian troops brought to Europe to fight alongside the British in the First World War. (April 28)

Okey dokey, so I've just heard from someone (who shall remain anonymous, in case a certain very private British bloke happens to stumble upon this page and contact his attorneys. Uhm, not that she/he did any illegal trespassing or anything...really! :) who has seen [drumroll please]...KEN'S NEW HOUSE!!!! That brand-spanking new one? Yup. That much-ballyhooed, multi-balconied, many-windowed extravanganza? Yup. The one that he blathered on and on and on about on Letterman? Yup. But, in keeping with my journalistic integrity (I haven't posted the Ken-and-Helena-kissing-in-the-park pics, have I?) and my deepest respect for Kenneth's privacy (leave him alone, you Fleet Street hacks!!), no directions (get on the M4, take the Disneyland exit, turn left at Tobeornottobe Road), detailed descriptions (flourescent pink color, skulls scattered around the headstones, Patrick Doyle music blaring from the loudspeakers), or photos. Sorry. ['Ode to the Kenster' plays in the background]. Suffice to say that the house is ABSO-BLOODY-LUTELY KICK-ASS AWESOME!!!!! Fit for a prince. [Groans] :) Please note: Ngoc loves Ken. Ken loves his privacy. Ngoc doesn't want Ken to look out of his kitchen window one day and see camouflaged tourists hiding amongst his sprinklers. Or snorkeling in his lake. Or tearing out chunks of his lawn for souvenirs. You get the picture...oh, and the anonymous somebody also paid a visit to Shepperton Studios and saw...KEN'S FAN MAILBOX!!!! Ok, so that wasn't quite as exciting as the house bit. But still kewl. :) (April 27)

YEEEAAAAH, BABY, YEEEAAAH... Cinescape reports: Kenneth Branagh tells BBC Radio that his upcoming role as the antagonist in The Wild Wild West is new but exciting territory for him. "There are a few surprises in store," Branagh reveals. "My assistants are very interesting and, of course, I have a lot of wonderful equipment in my lair. Having just seen Austin Powers recently I'm looking forward to playing this. It'll be great fun, I think. We've done some rehearsing stuff. It's a smashing part - I was very glad to be asked."

To all you cheeky monkeys ("Are you looking at my bum? Are you?!?! Ya bum looka. You're a cheeky bum looka!!" Sorry, a little Mike Myers SNL riff there :) who haven't seen Austin Powers, by all means, get your arse to the local video store IMMEDIATELY!!! Even Ken's seen it, for heaven's sake. Speaking of trends, I hear Ken's gotten himself "computerized" (his word) recently. Don't expect to bump into him along the information superhighway anytime soon though, because: (A) An admitted "technophobe" (I think he made this one up too. Crikey! Is he allowed to do stuff like this? He said "educative" in a Much Ado documentary--still have to check that one...), I have doubts about his prowess with a modem. And (B) I'm sure he has more important things to do (being a minor deity requires a LOT of work) than surf the net. (April 26)

From the Associated Press:


Belfast, Northern Ireland (AP) - Kenneth Branagh told the people of Northern Ireland to vote from the heart in the May 22 referendum on the province's peace accord. "I am not going to talk about politics, but it seems to me there is a great opportunity around, there seems to be a great optimism," the actor-director Branagh said at Friday's opening of the 11th annual Foyle Film Festival. Eight political parties, overseen by the British and Irish governments, signed the Good Friday peace agreement aimed at ending three decades of violence that has claimed more than 3,400 lives. Branagh, who was born in Belfast, said peace in the province would boost its film industry and investment. "It becomes a much better deal if the prospect of peace is there and in theory that can help everybody,'' said Branagh, whose new film The Gingerbread Man will be premiered in Londonderry on Friday. (AP)

For more on what he said, check out the Irish Times article BRANAGH CALLS ON NORTH TO VOTE WITH ITS HEART. (April 25, info thanks to Vicky)

The French magazine Starfix has a Wild Wild West poster in its latest issue. I'm not sure whether it's an official teaser or the magazine just put something together on its own (Ken looks suspiciously like Victor Frankenstein--YUCK! I'm not keen on that look.) The tag line seen on the poster, by the way, is "The West has a new face..." And because production on Superman has been pushed back, it looks like The Wild Wild West will be top-lining Warner Brothers' summer 1999 slate (which will hopefully be a lot stronger than this year's. Anybody see the trailer for "Lethal Weapon 4"? "The Avengers"? Eeek.) (April 25, poster info thanks to Jen)

Some movie notes: I'm hearing whispers that The Theory of Flight, once a June release, then bumped to July, next moved to September, now has a prestigious slot in the cutthroat, no-holds-barred, "show me the Oscar" month of December. Cool, yes? I suppose, though waiting and waiting and waiting (an art that Polygram has helped me perfect) is not my cup of tea. But when Helena Bonham Carter accepts her second Best Actress nomination in a row (you know how the Academy likes disability parts. O-b-v-i-o-u-s   a-c-t-i-n-g roles, with some physical ticks thrown in, always catch the original, highly perceptive Academy's attention), it'll all be worth it. No sign yet of The Proposition here in the San Francisco bay area, which may be a good thing...Wow, I'm in a foul mood. Papers on post-modern books (actually, papers on anything) are SO annoying. Sorry, end-of-semester blahs setting in...(wait until final exams start--even Ken won't be safe then ;) (April 24)

The Gingerbread Man DVD (raise your hand if you own a system) is now available for pre-order for $24 at Regular price is $30. There's no release date, however. Meanwhile, the movie's still chugging away on 25 screens in the U.S., and recently broke the $1 million box-office mark. Yippee!! (Can you hear my sarcasm? Can ya?). To thank those generous punks at Polygram, someone ought to kidnap its hottest commodity, those loveable Spice Girls...(April 24, DVD info thanks to Ellen)

From Microsoft Cinemania:

'What's next for Graham? She'll play an outer-space creature in director Danny Boyle's Alien Love Triangle, which also stars Courteney Cox and Kenneth Branagh. "I love playing an alien," says Graham. "I'm totally green. I'm bald, and I have these really strange contact lenses and pointy ears and these really long fingers."'

Sounds lovely. Ken's probably going to get the mad ferret look (see Gary Oldman in "The Fifth Element") in The Wild Wild West. Sigh. (April 20)

Some location shooting for The Wild Wild West might be done in Santa Fe, New Mexico. (April 20, info thanks to Marilyn Mosher)

From the Irish Times:


Kenneth Branagh, Neil Jordan and Jimmy McGovern are among the special guests scheduled to attend the 11th Foyle Film Festival which opens at the Orchard cinema in Derry next Friday night with Robert Altman's film of the John Grisham novel, The Gingerbread Man. Branagh stars in the film as an American lawyer stalked by the religious fundamentalist father (Robert Duvall) of a waitress (Embeth Davidtz) with whom the lawyer spent one passionate night. Bearded and bespectacled in the film, Branagh resembles his fellow Belfast native, Gerry Adams. (April 19)

From the Hollywood Reporter:


Musetta Vander, who was most recently seen as Queen Sindel in New Line's "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation," will star opposite Kenneth Branagh in the Warner Bros. comedy The Wild, Wild West. Vander, who is represented by Gary Rado at APA, will portray Branagh's henchwoman in the picture. The film, which will be directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, also stars Will Smith, Kevin Kline and Salma Hayek. Sonnenfeld will produce with Jon Peters. Vander's credits include "Gunshy" starring Diane Lane and Michael Wincott and the upcoming MGM film "Rescue Me" with Elisabeth Shue. Vander also starred in "Under the Hula Moon" with Stephen Baldwin as well as the HBO films "Edge of Darkness" and "Monolith."

Variety also notes that the shooting start date has been pushed from April 22nd to May 16th. (April 17)

CONGRATULATIONS SARAH!!!!! Sarah Hatchuel, super-cool Branagh fan and long-time member of the KB mailing list, has written a book about Ken's Shakespearean films that will be published by Blizzard Publishing! It's set to be released in Canada in spring of 1999; an English translation (the book was written in Sarah's native French) will be available in America in fall of '99. WOO HOOOO!!! How cool is that?! We're SO proud of ya, kiddo! (She's older than I am, but I like calling people "kiddo" :) Hmmm, maybe I should mention the name of the book :). It's called A Companion to the Shakespearean Films of Kenneth sure to keep a lookout for it! While we're on the subject of books about our favorite boy-o, let's mention another one that's just been published, written by Sarah's friend Pierre Berthomieu. Here are the details:

Title: Kenneth Branagh, traines de feu, rosées de sang
Author: Pierre Berthomieu
280 pages with 40 black-and-white pictures and 40 pages featuring a long exclusive interview with Ken.
ISBN: 2-85893-389-8
Price: 120 French francs (around $20-23)
Publisher: Jean-Michel Place
Address: 3 rue Lhomond, 75005 Paris, France
Email: (April 16)

Belated birthday shouts to Emma Thompson, who turned 39 yesterday. I saw her new film Primary Colors over the weekend--very well done. That's saying a lot, 'cause I thought the book was brilliant. Em gives her usual terrific performance, although her accent is not-so-snazzy. I also saw Grease for the first time, which was such campy fun I think Ken ought to do his musical version of Love's Labor's Lost in the same style. (Kidding, kidding. Sort of.) I wanna see Ken dance like John Travolta...;) (April 16)

Close, but no cigar... Remember The Sadness at Leaving? It was a possible acting/directing project for Ken (about a secret agent who has to betray his family), but a few weeks ago it was announced that Richard Gere had signed to play the lead. Bummer! Ken's gotta play a secret agent one of these days. RKO 281, the re-make of Citizen Kane that was once the buzz of Hollywood, also got a pass from Ken. The Hollywood Reporter cited fee disagreements as the reason...same reason, says the L.A. Times, that he passed on the gay FBI agent role (doh! another one!) in The Boondock Saints. (April 16)

Ken's CAA agent Rick Nicita is one of the 100 most powerful people in Hollywood (don't you love these lists?), according to the May "Power" issue of Premiere magazine. He's noted for scoring key roles for Ken and Kevin Kline in Wild Wild West. He also represents Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, Anthony Hopkins and Al Pacino--sheesh! When does he have time for our boy? (April 16)

Lesli Linka Glatter, director of The Proposition, in the May issue of Moviemaker:

"After Kenneth signed on, it was easy [to get a high-caliber cast]. He was a dream to work with. We had to have conversations to see if certain things were okay with him. I completely admire his work and he's directed a lot more than I have. He said that he's been directing and starring in films back-to-back and wanted to come in, do his work, and let me worry about the rest. He was really funny and fun to work with; he was a real surprise." (April 16, info thanks to Renata)

Another bit about the Chicken Shed Awards (see April 2 notes) from the London Times:

...Post performance and the famous were a veritable fluster of emotions. "Oh, I think it's just amazing what they do," enthused Kenneth Branagh, taking a sip of champagne to steady his nerves after handing out the Film Award. "I'm very proud to take the opportunity of supporting them," he continued. "I'm normally a back-seat boy, but this is marvellous. And they're so not impressed by the celebrity thing." He smiled. I smiled back. "So, would you like to do a production with them?" I inquired. "Oh, yes," pronounced Ken. "If they asked me." As I walked towards the bar, I turned to see Kenneth being clipboarded by a very earnest-looking woman. "Did I hear you right?" I heard her say. (April 16)

Can I just take a brief moment to reiterate that Ken is the coolest guy alive? I mean, not just as an actor/director/writer/hottie, but as a normal, down-to-earth human being. He makes me proud to be a manic, uhm, Ken fan. (So I don't mind that despite never having met the man, I'm totally mad about him--keep in mind I'm also mad about gummy bears and jelly beans, so he isn't in a unique category. :) Members of the Ken mailing list know the reason for this little outburst--the rest of you can find out next week...(April 2)

Wanna see the trailer for The Proposition? Go to E! Online's site for the film. (April 2)

From Variety:


NEW YORK (Variety) - The Proposition, a 1930s period piece starring Kenneth Branagh as a fresh-faced priest, was the most popular limited release film in New York and Los Angeles during its first weekend. Despite a withering New York Times review, the Polygram film picked up $40,472 on seven screens on both coasts. (April 2)

From Ain't It Cool News:

"In Sunday's issue of Aftonbladet I read something about the Wild Wild West. 27 year old Sofia Eng is going to play one of the bad guys: Miss Lippleider, a German specialist on lip-reading. Dr. Loveless (Kenneth Branagh) has four female spies, and she´s one of them. She´s in for most of the script and has a fightscene with Kevin Kline. The filming begins 22 April and ends in October. It´s a small role, but it's very well paid."

If the above report is accurate, that's one frigging long shoot. Oh well, more stalking opportunities, I guess...(April 2)

From a December '97 London Times article about James Mangold, the director of Copland:

'His immediate concern is casting The Boondock Saints, and he is talking to Stephen Dorff, Kenneth Branagh and Billy Connolly. He's taking some of the disappointments hard. Mark Wahlberg was keen to play Dorff's brother, and the threesome spent some time play-acting their roles as Boston-Irish brothers turned vigilantes. But then Boogie Nights came along and Wahlberg was besieged with offers - and passed. Duffy desperately wants Branagh to play the film's gay FBI agent. "I want him to do it, he wants to do it, that should be it." But it never is once agents and lawyers become involved.' (April 2)

From PA News (March 30):


A pioneering theatre company backed by Diana, Princess of Wales, tonight honoured stars and unsung heroes who had helped it in its first quarter century. Chicken Shed Theatre Company presented its first Inspiration Awards to those who had given their support and leadership at a gala evening in London's Players' Theatre.

The theatre is a unique body which has spent 24 years taking on actors, musicians and dancers regardless of physical abilities and backgrounds to create breathtaking shows.
Actor and director Kenneth Branagh, who presented an award tonight, praised the work of the theatre. He said: "The basic philosophy is 'If you want to come and work and you're committed, you can work with us as a group'. "It's certainly an unusual thing in a world that's dominated by box offices. They just do what they do. The theatre is popular but it has never got carried away with itself and although it has a lot of support from celebrities, in the nicest possible way they're not in the least bit impressed by them, which is admirable."

Film Update: Ok, no more bitching and moaning over The Gingerbread Man...let's move on to bitching and moaning about The Proposition. :) It's been savaged by every critic who's reviewed it so far as a silly, ludicrous, implausible melodrama that Ken has no business being in (I'm not going to mention that it was his interest in the script that made studio funding and distribution possible in the first place); as the venerable Roger Ebert asks, "WHAT is Kenneth Branagh doing in this film?!?" Uhm...looking really sexy as the mysterious priest who breaks one of his sacred vows (hint: it ain't the obedience one, and it ain't the poverty one)? Hey, that's good enough for me! ;) The other bright note is that audiences seem to like it a lot more than the critics do. So get into a soap opera-ish mood and check it out...if only to support Ken! In other movie news, Entertainment Tonight says the Woody Allen flick Celebrity might be ready for release by November, while The Theory of Flight with girlfriend Helena has been pushed back to September. By the way, Hel' looked smashing at the Oscars on Monday. Too bad the crack-smoking portion of the Academy won out and Helen Hunt took home Best Actress. (March 30)

The Proposition opens on March 27th in New York, Los Angeles, Jacksonville and Tucson; a "wide" release (whatever that means in PolyGram language) is scheduled for May 1st. (March 22)

Our boy got another mention by the folks at Mystery Science Theater 3000. Seems they did a special Oscars show and during a clip that featured Helena Bonham Carter, the following exchange took place: "I know what you're thinking." "That Kenneth Branagh is hot?" Hmmm, that's the first thought that comes to MY mind when I see Helena...;) And speaking of Hel' and the Oscars, looks like Ken will be watching from the comfy confines of his home tomorrow night. Not unexpected, but still...whatta bummer!! (March 22, info thanks to Auriette, Megan)

From a press release issued by Polygram, it doesn't look like our boy will be attending the premiere of The Proposition this Thursday in Los Angeles. Bummer!! His assistant Tamar Thomas says he'll be "hanging out" at home until shooting for The Wild Wild West starts on April 22nd in LA. (March 17, info thanks to Auriette, Ellen)

Hey, check out this yummy hot photo that Laurence in France just sent. Currently my favorite Ken pic, his hair is totally devastating and gorgeous in this. (March 17)

From an interview with Embeth Davidtz in the March issue of Detour:

"Q. Which of your Gingerbread co-stars would you prefer to kiss, Kenneth Branagh or Tom Berenger?
A. Ken Branagh.
Q. But he has no lips.
A. People always say that, but let me just tell you something: Kenneth is a Very Sexy Man. See, I'm an odd girl when it comes to what's sexy and what isn't. The particularly luscious-looking ones are not attractive to me. Ken is really smart, and that's what's sexy. Not to say that Berenger isn't sexy. . . But I just didn't connect with him like I did with Ken."
(March 15, info thanks to Renata)

So I've seen The Gingerbread Man a few times now, and all I'm going to say about the film is that Ken gives his usual brilliant, terrific, mind-blowing performance. He's in almost every single scene, so watching him strut his stuff for two hours alone is worth the price of admission. Of course, I'd be in heaven just watching the boy read--uhm, what's the most boring text in existence?--say, any one of my school textbooks, so having the extra bonus of him struttin' with a southern accent whilst wearing sharp lawyer-ly suits and interacting with REALLY cute kids (Ken makes such a kewl daddy. He should do more daddy roles.) makes it all the more fun. (March 12)

Shooting for Ken's segment of Alien Love Triangle wrapped on February 28th in the UK. Some scenes were filmed at a motorway service station restaurant. Our boy-o will soon be winging his way to the U.S. for the premiere of The Proposition, scheduled for March 19th. He'll probably stay here through the start date for Wild Wild West, which begins shooting April 22nd (*in California, in California, in California* Ngoc prays). (March 5, info thanks to Doc)

I get to see The Gingerbread Man tomorrow!! It's about *&^$%#$&#(#*@ time!!!! Have I mentioned I hate PolyGram yet? Probably. But saying it again doesn't hurt. Condolences to all who must suffer and be deprived of yet another stunning display of Ken's phenomenal acting skills. Hmmm. Maybe I should bring along my Camcorder, then distribute bootlegs of the film to anybody who wants one? (March 5)

From the Liz Smith's column in the New York Post:

Robert Altman, the crotchety, brilliant auteur director who has given film lovers such classics as "M*A*S*H," "Nashville," "The Player" and "Short Cuts," is hopping mad over PolyGram's handling of his most recent movie, "John Grisham's The Gingerbread Man." Starring Kenneth Branagh, Daryl Hannah, Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall, the highly praised film is playing now in only seven theaters nationwide. No advertising, no nothing. Altman told Roger Friedman of Cinema Online, "It's a vendetta because I won my fight with PolyGram to release this film uncut - my version. If I complain, it looks like I'm making my usual noise again. I don't know what recourse I have." (March 5, info thanks to Marilyn Mosher)

Hamlet (pan & scan version, unfortunately) is now available for $29.95 from video retail shops such as Suncoast Video. The film is also available in widescreen format in Australia. (February 27)

Our boy-o is featured in a nice 6-page fashion layout in the March issue of GQ magazine. Since I've designated this area a drool-free zone, no forthcoming comments on how incredibly gorgeous, hot, yummy, sexy, delicious, swoon-inducing, and devastatingly attractive Ken looks. Oops. (Although the hair was a bit outta control, I must admit :) (Feb 25)

An April 22nd shooting start date was announced over the weekend for the big-budget, mega-huge, summer 1999 blockbuster The Wild Wild West, based on an old TV series of the same name. The cast includes Will Smith as James West, Kevin Kline as Gordon, and our Ken as the villain Dr. Loveless. Read the press release from Warner Brothers and, if you're sick and twisted like I am, notice that Ken gets 8 paragraphs to Kevin's 5 and Will's 3. Tee hee hee. :) (February 17)

According to a British magazine, 20-year-old Beth Winslet (sister o' Kate, of course) is currently in talks to join the cast of ALIEN LOVE TRIANGLE, which started shooting yesterday. Also on the ALIEN front, Courteney Cox was on the Rosie O'Donnell show last week and talked briefly about the film, mangling Ken's name in the process. GRRRRRR!!! I'll bet she gets the name right after their love scenes together...;) (February 17, info thanks to Nicky, Annie and Jimmy <---my little brother and sister. As you can tell, I've completely brainwashed 'em)

From the Beck and Jenel movie news column:

...The Oscar winning composer [Hans Zimmer], who scored "As Good As It Gets," has a lot happening. He's back working with his "The Lion King" compatriots [Yippee!!! The score for TLK rocked!!], Elton John and Tim Rice, to do the music for DreamWorks' other animated film, THE ROAD TO EL DORADO. The film's stars, Kevin Kline and Kenneth Branagh, both "sing brilliantly," he says. "Branagh...he's fearless. It's great having the two of them in the studio because they egg each other on and try to outdo each other. Great, magical, wonderful, fun things happen." (February 17)

From Jeannie Williams' column in USA Today:

FAST TALK: Helena Bonham Carter's Oscar nomination is highly deserved for her exquisitely subtle portrayal of a woman desiring both love and money in The Wings of the Dove. She'll play an unusual role in The Theory of Flight, with current companion Kenneth Branagh, who told me, "It's about a guy after a kind of breakdown who's force to do community service. He looks after a woman with motor-neuron disease, a terminal muscle-wasting disease." In this country, it's ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease. Bonham Carter says, "I'm in a wheelchair, I can't move. I have my right arm, and I can speak, but I've got a vocal difficulty." Her character "wants to have sex before she dies, a fair enough wish," with which Branagh helps her, but not directly. "She's someone who doesn't want to be upstaged by her disability. It's about the most original script I've read in a long time. If we get it right, it should be very winning." (February 17, info thanks to Vicky)

Brian Blessed is KEWL...and so is Nicky, who sent this awesome tidbit about one of Ken's coolest friends: "Just a little something that may be of interest: Brian Blessed was interviewed on the radio this morning by Michael Parkinson (top chat host) and he said some stuff about Ken. Firstly he said that really he doesn't like acting much but the exceptions to that were Ken Branagh films, flash gordon, Tom Jones. Then after he had talked a bit about his mountain climbing the interviewer asked whether he and Ken were going to make any more movies, and he said that they had made a pact not to. He said that their relationship had gone beyond just being friends, that some people have likened it to a father son relationship (with Ken being the father!) and that this relationship meant more to him than just movies, so basically he wanted to 'hold his hand' and help him out when he had problems. He went onto say that Ken was a genius and a great guy, the interviewer pointed out that he thought Ken was underrated and Blessed said that he really couldn't understand the criticism that was put on him, he likened it to a disease, and he said that he expected when Ken was older he'd be called a hero and it would all go too far the other way. He also said about the work that Ken gives in the UK, the money he brings in and how he is totally without vanity,(he pointed out that in Henry V you sometimes forget he's the king because he puts the camera on other people all the time) how he wont 'blow his own trumpet'. He finshed off by yelling 'GET OFF HIS BACK!!!' " (February 17)

Congratulations to Ken's HAMLET ladies (Julie Christie, Kate Winslet, Judi Dench), as well as to girlfriend Helena Bonham Carter, for their Oscar nominations in the Best Actress category. If our Ken is a smart lad (which he is), he'll be miles and miles away from the ceremony this year...(February 17)

The New York Post reported yesterday that the producers of The Gingerbread Man might slap a lawsuit on PolyGram for its alleged failure to "market the film properly" (which is a serious understatement, if you ask me). Heh heh. That studio MUST suffer. :) (February 6, info thanks to Kim)

More news on the Alien Love Triangle front: Courteney Cox, she of the NBC hit series Friends and the Scream movies fame, will be playing Ken's wife/male alien. Six-year-old James Heaford of Reading, England (he goes to the same theatre school that Kate Winslet attended) has been cast as Ken's half-alien son. Shooting has been pushed back to April, according to Variety. (February 5)

Ken and Gingerbread Man director Robert Altman will be making appearances at the Berlin Film Festival, which takes place from February 11 - 22. Gingerbread is going to be screened at the festival. (February 5)

Evening Standard Awards!!! Ken flew in from Japan (where he was attending another Hamlet premiere) Sunday night to drop by the Evening Standard Awards in London. Before handing out an award, he received a Special Jury Award (presented by Julie Christie) for Hamlet. "The panel created an award without precedent in these lists to honour Kenneth Branagh and his triumph in bringing a full-length version of Hamlet to the screen....Derek Malcolm added a significant rider 'to have created the film in the way he has would normally be enough. But the fact is, it is playing all over the world and when asked it they want the four-hour version or the two-hour version, everyone is choosing the four-hour. This film will go on for ever'." Congratulations, kudos, and warm fuzzy thoughts to our Ken!!! (February 2, info thanks to Craig, Berni, Toni)

I guess plans for Helena to star in Alien Love Triangle fell through, 'cause it was announced today that Heather Graham (Rollergirl in Boogie Nights, Lorraine in Swingers, you can also see her in the upcoming Lost in Space) has signed to play opposite Ken in the sci-fi comedy. Or maybe Helena will play the second female lead? As if...(February 2)

Helena Bonham Carter is currently in talks to join Ken in Alien Love Triangle, according to Associated Press newswires. Alien starts shooting next month in Scotland. I guess Helena will play the wife/male alien...and for better or worse, I'm starting to sense a "couple in life, couple in film" deal beginning to form (for further reference, see Ken and Em circa 1989 - 1993). Not that I mind, I think Hel' rocks and is quite cool. Plus, if it means they'll get to spend more time together, all the better--even if it results in a slight delay in my own engagement to Ken. I'm cool with it. Anyway, don't be surprised if we see her in Ken's musical version (that's right, I said "musical") of Love's Labors Lost. Speaking of Shakespearean comedies, check out Helena in the 1996 film version of Twelfth Night...terrific fun. (No, not as good as Much Ado, but then again, what is? :) (January 28)

Suffering from stateside Gingerbread Man-deprivation? Rent a copy of the Michael Douglas thriller The Game (trippy film--don't watch it when you're really drunk) from a video store, a trailer for Gingerbread is included. It's one of them sharp, sleek, high-octane previews, probably shows all/too many of the action-y sequences but terrific nonetheless. Ken's southern drawl is rahht on th' moneh, but what the heck do I know, I'm a west coaster (I can't even spell with a southern accent, see pathetic attempt above). Anyway, so check it out, it's a good trailer, and it's too bad it didn't get the chance to play in theaters...(January 28)

A transcript of Ken's online interview with the Asylum is now available. It's a heavily edited version, unfortunately, but I suppose it's better than nothing. :) I'll work on getting the full thing, complete with detailed discussion of Ken's biceps. ;) (What biceps? Don't worry, they'll come back soon...(January 28)

The Hollywood Reporter notes that The Gingerbread Man will be entered into competition at the upcoming Berlin Film Festival. In other film festival news, The Proposition will have its world premiere at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, which takes place from March 5 - March 15. (January 28)

Box office update: The Gingerbread Man grossed $118,000 on eight screens over the weekend for a spiffy $14,000 per-screen average. By comparison, box-office leader Titanic averaged $9,000 per screen. (OK, that's not really a fair comparison, but, whatever...:) And I promised myself I wouldn't do any more Polygram-bashing, but God almighty, if those [expletive] knew how to market Gingerbread halfway decently they'd have a minor sleeper hit on their hands. If only, if only...(January 25)

The Gingerbread Man opened to rave reviews in New York and Los Angeles on Friday--WOO HOOOOOOO!!! Check out what the New York Times, New York Post, Wall Street Journal and Cinemania had to say about the film here! Entertainment Weekly, Siskel and Ebert, Time Out (New York) and Mr. Showbiz are among those that also gave the film two big thumbs up. If you're in NY or LA, be sure to check it out! For the rest of us pathetically deprived minions, Gingerbread will open wide on February 6th. (By the way, and not to pressure ya or anything, Ken said in an interview with the New York Post that he hopes the success of Gingerbread will help in securing funding for the adaptation of Love's Labors Lost that he wants to do. So, uhm, multiple viewings are definitely in order. :) (January 25)

Remember Shakespeare's Sister? Fuhgeddaboutit. Remember Tempting Fate? Fuhgeddaboutit. (Doin' my best Al Pacino impersonation from "Donnie Brasco", if you didn't notice :). Anyway, the steamy thriller in which Ken plays a priest who's seduced by Madeleine Stowe has been re-titled (again) The Proposition and is now set for a March 27th limited release. (Ya know, these limited release deals are really starting to annoy me.) (January 25)

Ken's press schedule:

  • Wednesday, January 14th -- Good Morning America (ABC, 7-9 a.m. pst)
  • Thursday, January 15th -- Late Show with David Letterman (CBS, 11:30 p.m. pst)
  • Friday, January 16th -- The Rosie O'Donnell Show (syndicated, check local listings)
  • Monday, January 19th -- Late Late Show with Tom Snyder (CBS, 12:30 a.m. pst)
  • Tuesday, January 20th -- The View (ABC, 10 am pst)
**Sunday, January 18th -- Golden Globe Awards on NBC -- Ken might be there with HBC (well, one can hope!)


From Variety:

Branagh Nabbed By 'Alien' Trio

Kenneth Branagh is in final negotiations to star in "Alien Love Triangle," the next project from the filmmaking trio behind "Trainspotting." The picture is about a man who finds out his wife is actually a male from another planet, and is expected to go before the cameras in the U.K. this spring. It will be filmed as a three-segment anthology a la "New York Stories," with Danny Boyle directing a section written by John Hodge. Andrew Macdonald will produce under the trio's Figment Films banner, and the project will be distributed by Miramax's Dimension Films banner. Deals have not been secured for the directors of the two other segments, although "Local Hero" helmer Bill Forsyth has been mentioned for another segment of the sci-fi picture. Branagh next can be seen in "The Gingerbread Man," which is scheduled to open in limited release on Jan. 23.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

Branagh, Boyle in a 'Love Triangle'

Two of the United Kingdom's leading creative figures -- actor-director Kenneth Branagh and "Trainspotting" director Danny Boyle -- will join forces for Miramax's "Alien Love Triangle," a three-part movie that starts shooting this spring. Branagh will act, with Boyle directing. The film will reunite Boyle with two of his frequent collaborators, writer John Hodge and producer Andrew Macdonald, in what was described as a sexy, comedic sci-fi story.
(January 13)

KEN GOES ON-LINE!!!! Our Ken proves he's not living in technological oblivion (as previously believed :) by doing a LIVE chat/webcast with Entertainment Asylum's Studio I on January 19th, 4-5 pm pst (7-8 pm est). You'll need RealPlayer 5.0, which is available for free download, to participate. Questions can be submitted during the chat or by calling the toll free number 1-888-easylum (call during the interview only). (January 11)

Hamlet goes on sale at sell-through price (i.e., it ain't gonna cost $100 anymore) in the U.S. on March 3rd.
(January 11, info thanks to Jude Tessel)

UK NEWS: Empire Magazine reports June UK release dates for The Gingerbread Man and Tempting Fate. The February issue also has a photo of Ken in trenchcoat and handcuffs (no, not a kinky pic, if that's what you were hoping ;) from The Theory of Flight, which is set for release here in the States in June. (January 11, info thanks to Nicky)

A RUMOR from Corona's film preview site: "I am a former employee of Warner Brothers and recently did some on-location effects for the new Batman and Robin movie. I have heard some of the rumors of the the next Batman movie which will be titled Batman the Dark Knight. The executives are talking about bringing the Mad Hatter as one of the main baddies with perhaps Mel Gibson in that role. Harley Quinn would be played by Julie Roberts and Kenneth Branagh would be Clayface." Bring in a good screenwriter and director, and this could turn out quite cool...(January 11)

" 'C'mon IAN McKELLEN, DEREK JACOBI, KENNY BRANAGH, go to the pubs, get pissed, pee on the f**king pavement, s**t in your f***ing trousers, stop being so respectable.' - Fiery actor RICHARD HARRIS blasts the new generation of screen and stage greats." Poor Richard was probably pissed-drunk when he said this...(January 11)

Madeleine Stowe on Ken in the February issue of Movieline: " is everything to Kenneth. I really liked him a lot. He's tremendously focused, but he made me laugh every single day. Did you ever fantasize about your priest?"
(January 10, info thanks to Jude Tessel)