News Archive: June 1999 - December 1999

Um, yeah, new stuff was supposed to show up on this site a couple of weeks ago - mucho apologies. (Refunds will be issued to the first 100 dissatisfied customers who write in! Oops, only 4 people read this site. Hmmm.) Between accepting a new job, Christmas insanity, the onset of early senility, and approximately 65 minutes of daily free time - combined with not a peep about what's-his-name in the press - I've sort of relegated Mr B to the bottom o' the priority list. S'okay, you'll get tons of Branagh for your buck starting January 17th (Jan 16th will see the first public screenings of Love's Labour's Lost, and reviews will be spewing forth like, um, saliva from Hamlet yelling 'unmixed with baser matter!' into the mud - ooh, what a lovely simile), I guarantee it! Where was I? Oh yeah, I was gonna answer Steve's question in the guestbook, re: how to lobby to get the goobers in charge of such things to release Hamlet on DVD. Pay attention, kids (and, pleeeease, everyone take a few seconds to do this. Oh, while you're there, place a vote for Henry V too!):

1. Go to

2. Go to TITLE SEARCH on the right side of the page, enter HAMLET.

3. Click on the START SEARCH box. Don't try hitting 'enter' on your keyboard. Click the frigging box!

4. Click on the bubble for 1996 HAMLET.



There ya go, Steve! That'll be $5.20, please. What news else? Ah, according to the Hollywood Reporter, Ken is in negotiations to play Orson Welles in a murder mystery called Fade to Black - go to the Mr Showbiz article for more details . . . Ken will be caroling (hopefully not too loudly) from London in a Christmas special airing the 23rd of December at 8.30 pm on ABC (Australian airdate). . . Theory of Flight is screening at all this week and next on cable channel Starz (check TV Guide for showtimes). Next week, I swear on all things Ken that the new Ken-Friends site will be launched. (Hopefully :) Until then, Happy Holidays, everyone!!! (December 21, thanks to Christopher, Kelly, Carole)

Just a quick update to give ya more info about the 2000 Gielgud Award event happening on January 16th in London - tickets will include an advance screening of - wait for it - Love's Labour's Lost. Watch Ken sing and dance on-screen in the afternoon, follow it up in the evening by watching him receive the Golden Quill from previous winner Dame Judi Dench. Click here for more info, and look out for future updates. In other notes, Ken's birthday is this Friday - I know I'll forget to note it here, so I'll just send him early cyberspace birthday wishes now. Ken-Friends has, for the third year in a row, planned a terrific gift for him--hopefully I'll be able to let you in on the groovy details next week, which will also see the launch of the official Ken-Friends website. (December 6, thanks to John)

Bunch of random newsbits: According to a New York Miramax publicist, Love's Labour's Lost has been rescheduled for a "second quarter U.S. release" next year, which I guess puts it somewhere between April and June. (Aaaaaaargh. Perfectly fine release date, but the waiting's gonna drive me mad.) The UK's Film '99 recently did a nice interview with Ken (the transcript of which you can read here) and reports a March 2000 UK opening for the film . . . Ken is set to receive another distinguished honor, this time in the form of the 2000 Gielgud Award - aka The Golden Quill - from the Shakespeare Guild. Sir John Gielgud, Sir Derek Jacobi, and Dame Judi Dench are among the Ken pals that will participate in this "genuinely historic occasion" in London, which is open to the public. Check out more details here . . . Ken will take part in a lifetime achievement tribute to Lord Richard Attenborough, which the BBC will air on December 19th . . . Ken has just been named a patron of the British Film Office, according to a recent report . . . A trailer for the animated Road to El Dorado is now playing in theaters; there's also one on the Prince of Egypt video, with brief clips of Ken recording in the studio . . . Wild Wild West will be available on video and DVD on November 30th . . . (November 29, thanks to Marilyn, Catherine, Mark)

The Alicia rumor saga continues, with the World Entertainment News Network reporting that Ken is "furious" over the rumors and threatened to get litigious with any publication spreading these ghastly untruths. WENN also printed a quote from Ken's spokesman, which runs thus: "There is absolutely no truth to the story at all - they are definitely not seeing each other but purely worked together on his latest movie Love's Labour's Lost." You can read a brief article entitled Branagh Denies Romancing Silverstone over at Mr Showbiz. Meanwhile, I'm going slightly bonkers waiting for a confirmed LLL release date. A trailer would be nice. Heck, even a teaser poster would send me into wild fits of ecstasy. Miramax is denying the film world its annual winter Branagh fix - I think there are passages in holy books that prophesy this as the cause of the end of civilization. On a cheerier note, the Romance Channel is having a mini KB-fest this month (schedule is below - Henry V is also being shown on a new channel called TRIO) and features a write-up on our Ken in the "StarStruck" highlight on its website. (WARNING: Ken is called a "heartthrob" in the opening sentence. I think the general idea is accurate, but he's not a friggin' Backstreet Boy, for heaven's sake.) Finally, Sandra sent this cute autographed pic of Ken in Hamlet facial hair mode - what lovely peepers he's got. And the blond hair rocks - who knew that Hamlet could be such, heartthrob?
(November 8, thanks to Shelly, Sheila, Auriette, Sandra)

Coming Through: 11/23 at 2pm (ROMANCE CLASSICS)
The Boy in the Bush*: I-II 11/22 at 5-5:50pm, 9:30-10:20pm; III-IV 11/23 at 5-5:50pm, 9:30-10:20pm; I-V 11/27 at 7-10:30am (ROMANCE CLASSICS)
Henry V*: 12/5 9pm est (TRIO)

*out of print - taping strongly recommended!

New photos are up. Not much in the way of news to report, aside from a billion newspapers and radio stations picking up the Alicia Silverstone story. Good grief - who knew one British gossip columnist could cause so much fuss? And for nothing - Mr Bamigboye issued a retraction (which could be found in small print near the bottom, of course) in his last column, text is below. It's a good thing it'll be picked up by the same billion newspapers and radio stations that picked up the original story. Not.

    "I have further news regarding actor/director Kenneth Branagh and my story last week that he might have had a 'fling' with Alicia Silverstone, his leading lady on the film Love's Labour's Lost.

    "I now learn that my sources were misinformed and I can state that it is absolutely not true that Mr. Branagh had a 'fling' with Ms. Silverstone, his leading lady in Love's Labour's Lost.

    "Mr. Branagh has asked me to point out that he has never been flat on his back with a back injury. I had presumed that Mr. Branagh had been flat on his back because he visited a health farm in Arizona. In fact, he was at the health farm for a holiday before starting a new film. However, he did suffer neck pains after completion of Love's Labour's Lost from which he has recovered.

    "Mr. Branagh and actress Helena Bonham Carter recently ended their relationship of several years, but remain the best of friends." (November 1, thanks to Jane)

The prospects of Love's Labour's Lost getting a limited early release for Oscar contention this year grow dimmer as there hasn't been a peep from Miramax, despite Harvey Weinstein's earlier assertions. ARGH!! (I wish I had $1500 to spare for a movie; I'd fly myself to the UK charity screening in Dec). Anyway, in the meantime you can check out the first shot of Ken in top hat and tails, and the November issue of Premiere has a 4-page LLL spread (same pics that appeared in the May issue of French Premiere), accompanied by a brief write-up (gotta love Matthew Lillard - only from his mouth would you get Ken and the word "mofo" in the same sentence). The movie's also getting a push from Daily Mail columnist (and certified Ken-fan) Baz Bamigboye - he reported favorably on a screening in last week's column. This week he featured a write-up headlined Branagh Falls for Alluring Alicia - read for entertainment/amusement purposes only. In casting news, Peri Gilpin ("Frasier") and Johnathan Schaech ("That Thing You Do") have joined the cast of How To Kill Your Neighbor's Dog, which is currently shooting in Vancouver. I think. British actor/singer Jane Birkin reported seeing Ken in London a few days ago and said he's currently involved in the "Peter O'Toole Survival project", which sorta sounds more ominous than the one involving the Blair Witch...anyway, I'll try to do a proper update with photos next week. And my Berkeley mail account is back up, I can be reached at again. (October 24, thanks to Marie-Dominique, Isabel, Catherine, Jude)

My Berkeley email account konked out for a couple of days - if you sent me a message the last 4-5 days and did not receive a reply (or if the message bounced), please re-send your message to Thanks! On to things Ken...Roger Friedman at Fox News did an article on the New York screening of Love's Labour's Lost, too bad he seemed more interested in talking about the break-up than the film itself. Speaking of LLL, click here for details on the charity screening to benefit the Old Vic in London (space is limited to 30, so if you have around $400 to spare, hurry up and book tickets) . . . Lynn Redgrave has joined the cast of How To Kill Your Neighbor's Dog, which started shooting yesterday in Vancouver (I guess he heard I was planning a stalking trip to L.A.). She'll play Ken's mother-in-law . . . Finally, Ken is apparently scheduled to present George Michael at the NetAid concert, so if you're looking for him, that's where I'm told he'll most likely pop up. (October 6, thanks to Catherine K)

Okey dokey, time to do some major catching up. Thanks to everybody for the birthday wishes last weekend! I had a blast, and even got a DVD player from my parents - who are, sadly, rather anti-Ken. Probably due to the fact that there was a 4-month period after getting the Much Ado video that I refused to allow any other tape into the family room VCR...that, and I used to belt out the "Sigh no more" song at the top of my lungs during dinner. (Hmm, that's actually quite disturbing, now that I think about it.)

Love's Labour's Lost, The Saga Continues: Martin Scorsese hosted a private screening of Ken's latest magnus opus -- release date still unknown -- in New York last week, read the article about it from USA Today. Celebs aren't allowed to bash the work of colleagues -- not publicly, anyway -- so the comments from Scorsese, Kline, et al aren't too surprising. But nice anyway. :) A bit cooler is the buzz emanating from the normal folk who've seen the film. Will LLL be unveiled to the public before the end of the year for Oscar consideration? Only Miramax head Harvey Weinstein knows, and he ain't telling. But the online movie buzz guru over at Ain't It Cool News and his network of spies seem to think that's a possibility...check out a nice, buzz-filled feature write-up that appeared last Monday. In other LLL news, the London Evening Standard reports that a charity screening of the film to benefit the Old Vic theatre will take place in the UK sometime this fall.

Ken and NetAid: Ken is set to appear as a presenter at NetAid, a charity concert to fight third-world poverty through "use the Internet as a medium of social and economic change." You can watch the live broadcast on Saturday, October 9th from 9:00am to 2:30pm PST on MTV, VH-1, BBC, and via the NetAid website. Frontlining the concert will be David Bowie, George Michael, and Bono, with other scheduled acts including Jewel, Robbie Williams, and Puff Daddy.

Bye Betty, Hello Rabbie?: According to the Hollywood Reporter, DreamWorks film head Jeffrey Katzenberg (aka "Shortie Mouse", if you listen to Michael Eisner -- who himself is now known as "Meanie Mouse". It's a strange, twisted little world, that kingdom o' Disney) has put the Holocaust romance saga The Betty Schimmel Story (along with a bunch of other projects) in "turnaround", which I guess is industry-speak for "not-gonna-happen-land". Ken was scheduled to direct and star in this pic, whatta bummer. Ah well. He's got a full plate anyway. Along with various sausages, black pudding and a certain power-starved Scot, there are a good number of potential projects awaiting our Ken. The latest rumor to surface comes from a recent Belfast Telegraph article, which reports that Ken and Em (er, that would be Em as in Emma Thompson, for those of you with short memories) are wanted for a biopic about Scottish poet Rabbie Burns and the object of his illicit love. Er, considering Ken's latest comments about working with his ex ("I doubt that's an option these days. We've pretty well gone our separate ways in every way." -Calgary Sun, Aug '99), that doesn't seem overly likely.

Patrick Doyle's Return: The CBS Sunday Morning News did a terrific segment on Ken's favorite composer a couple of weekends ago. Read the lovely transcript of the story, which details Patrick's successful battle against acute leukemia and how his friendship with Ken helped during those difficult times. And Scorelogue, the online music web magazine, just did a lengthy interview with Patrick, in which he talks about the Love's Labour's Lost score and his other Ken-film scores as well.

Lists, lists, lists: Ken popped up on the London Times annual Power 500 List, highlighting the 500 most powerful people in the UK. Our little munchkin was only one of 2 actors (the other being Sean Connery) to claim a spot in the Film category, which listed the 20 most powerful in British film. He can also be found in a supplement of top-selling UK movie mag Empire's November issue, which lists "The 100 Most Important People in Film Today". And in the amusing new-ish book "Shakespeare For Dummies", he's tabbed as one of the 10 greatest Shakespearean actors of all time. You can read all of the cheery blurbs from the respective lists here. About a thousand people in the British Film Industry were polled for their picks of the top 100 British films of the century, and embarassingly for the BFI, not one Branagh film found a place on the list (which featured some of the silliest films of the century) - not even Henry V. Hey you British twats, pause awhile with your crack-smoking and pay attention to English Patient director Anthony Minghella: "I think that Ken Branagh enjoys a less good press in Britain than he deserves. His energy and his belief are two things which are not cherished in Britain and they ought to be. I think his ambition -- and his achievement -- has been one of the prime inspiring factors for a lot of British fimmakers in the last few years and I have enormous regard for what he is trying to do and for his images. I think he will play a great part in what happens in the (British) film industry in the next ten or twenty years." -An Autobiography of British Cinema, 1997

The Voice Beautiful: Ken's latest high-profile narrating gigs include the new Smithsonian/IMAX 3-D film called Galapagos, which opens on Oct. 27 at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC. The film chronicles the undersea and on-land exploration of Ecuador's Galapagos Islands. He also narrates the most expensive, ambitious documentary series ever made by the BBC, Walking with Dinosaurs. The three-part series starts in the UK on Monday Oct 4 at 8.30pm on BBC1 and a documentary on its making will air on Wed, October 6th at 8pm on BBC1. Here's an excerpt from the Radio Times review: "In the best possible sense, it's a shame Walking with Dinosaurs is on television. If ever a TV series was made for big-screen viewing, it's this one, and the movie feel is enhanced by Kenneth Branagh's awe-struck narration. When he says at the end, 'the age of the dinosaur has dawned', you long to be able to stand up and cheer while throwing popcorn at people in the stalls."

Old flicks, new news: Wild Wild West is set to hit DVD and video shelves on November 30th. The DVD edition will feature extra goodies like director commentary and a peek into Loveless's lair. Read the press release from Warner Brothers here. Also for your reading pleasure, old interviews with Ken and Helena Bonham Carter from their Los Angeles press run for Theory of Flight. (October 3, thanks to Catherine K, Berni, Paula B, Virginia, Nancy, Marilyn, Ann)

In response to front-page UK tabloid headlines on Friday, Helena released the following statement: "I am very sad to confirm that Kenneth Branagh and I are no longer together. The decision was mutual and no one else was involved. Beyond that I have no further comment to make and I hope that the press will respect our privacy." You can read a couple of the articles on the break-up here, but that's really the gist of it...on to cheerier news:


  • Love's Labour's Lost doesn't have an official release date yet (is Miramax slacking off or what? Come on already...), but at least the buzz has been favorable so far. From the Daily Telegraph comes this very optimistic article about the film, calling it Ken's "most extraordinary" Shakespeare film to date. It looks like a wide release is set for spring 2000, but there's still talk that Miramax will release it in a few theaters in December to make it eligible for this year's Academy Awards...

  • Ken is reported to be in the U.S. prepping for How To Kill Your Neighbor's Dog, which Mr. Showbiz says is scheduled to begin shooting on October 4th. The October issue of Movieline has a cheery preview blurb about the movie, written by someone who's read the script. (September 19)

Hamlet will make its network television debut this Sunday, September 5th, on TNT at 8pm (ET/PST). Tell your family, tell your friends, graffiti it all over public buildings! (ahem) Check out the groovy little Hamlet website on the TNT page. (Sept 2 - oh, and major sorries for neglecting this site the past couple of weeks. I just started my first job and it's taking up tons of time. 40 hours a week, to be exact. I don't think I was ever awake for more than 30 hours a week during summer vacation, which probably explains why I'm not adjusting so well...anyway, I'll try to do a massive update this weekend, promise. :)

Random news: Wild Wild West previews in the UK on Thursday, August 12 and opens nationwide the following day . . . Celebrity will be released in the U.S. on video for rental tomorow, August 10 (I enjoyed it more on tape, actually - thanks to the fast-forward button ;). Ken is actually pretty funny, and he seemed less Woody-ish this time 'round. His performance was vastly underrated . . . There was a really cool and hilarious article about Ken and his soccer obsession in The Guardian. It's a must-read for any sports fan and fans of the 'F' word . . . Mark your calendars: Hamlet will makes its network television debut in the U.S. on cable channel TNT on September 5 at 8pm EST. It will air with limited commercial interruptions and Mercedes Benz as the sole sponsor. Incidentally, in a recent article Ethan Hawke (the next big screen Hamlet) called Ken's Hamlet "a snooze". Oh Ethan, Ethan, Ethan. Put down that bong and your Cliffs Notes for a sec, would ya? I'm afraid I'm gonna have to avoid Hawke's Hamlet - not just because he insulted the greatest Hamlet ever, but because he says stuff like, "I play with [the "to be or not to be" soliloquy]. It's like the whole movie -- you haven't seen this version before. [pause] It's like..[pause] It's about fame and the media controlling everything. [pause] You know?" Ye gods . . . Yes, Henry V is unfortunately out-of-print, but a new cable channel called TRIO will air it on Sept 5 at 9pm (geez, that's the same night as the TNT Hamlet premiere - tragic). Finally in Ken cable news, August is Branagh season on TMC, which will air The Proposition (8/19 at 7:05pm, 5:40am, 8/24 at 10:55pm), The Gingerbread Man (8/7 at 9pm, 8/19 at 9pm, 8/29 at 10:35pm), Othello (8/7 at 1:45pm, 8/19 at 11pm, 8/25 at 3am, 8/29 at 7:50am) and A Midwinter's Tale (8/14 at 10:35am, 8/22 at 7:35am, 8/27 at 8am & 4:20pm) (August 9, thanks to Toni, Sheila, Berni, Hope, Paula B)

It looks like Ken has had to delay work on his next film, How To Kill Your Neighbor's Dog, which was scheduled to start shooting in LA this month. The poor munchkin has slipped a disc - technical speak for "messed up his back" - and will be out of commission for some time. The London Times says he's still laboring away in the final stages of editing on Love's Labour's Lost against medical advice. Read the report from the World Entertainment News Network...and of course we're all wishing him a speedy recovery! In cheerier news, there was a terrific article in the Sunday Times of London by and about Ken and his big brother Bill, which included a pic of a 4- or 5-year-old Ken (with Bill). Sweet-looking little sausage, wasn't he? The Sunday Mirror also did an article over the weekend, but it's basically a compilation of quotes cribbed from previous interviews in other publications. (Why do Brit papers do this? Totally lame.) But it did have quotes from Ken that might indicate the source of his back problems -- being strapped to the wheelchair contraption in Wild Wild West. (Hope he's got good lawyers.) Finally, there was another story from WENN about Ken being offered a tryout with a Reading soccer team. That would be cool -- once he can walk again...(August 4, thanks to Catherine, Nicky, Berni)

The official line-up for this year's Venice Film Festival has been announced and, alas and alack, Love's Labour's Lost isn't quite ready to be unveiled to the world just yet. But the first advance review of the movie can be found at its IMDB site - scroll to the bottom to read it. It's pretty favorable (especially coming from a reserved Brit ;), but remember, as with all advance reviews you find on the 'net, to take with a 6-pound grain of salt. In casting news, Ken is being wooed for an epic Irish political drama/love story, read the article from the Belfast Telegraph here. (August 1, thanks to Toni)

The Hollywood Reporter lists Love's Labour's Lost among the films "certain" to make their debut at the Venice Film Festival, which runs from September 1 - 11. The official lineup will be announced on July 29. In the meantime, here's another Alicia Silverstone snippet about LLL . . . Read this funny article comparing Wild Wild West's Dr. Loveless to my other favorite movie villain, Dr. Evil. I've gotten a hold of the Loveless action figure, by the way, and--no offense, Ken--I gotta say it's butt-ugly. Not only does it have a disproportionate, grotesquely huge right hand, it doesn't even remotely resemble KB. Looks more like Jesse Ventura with hair, actually. Anyway, I would have much rather preferred a Hamlet action figure... (July 21, thanks to Virginia L, Jessica S)

Ken is scheduled to begin shooting the indie flick How to Kill Your Neighbor's Dog next month in L.A., read more about it here. Along with a title sure to irritate animal rights activists, the movie features Robin Wright Penn as Ken's wife and an eight-year-old tater tot with whom Ken develops a close relationship. Cool. I'm all for Ken bonding with little people on-screen, especially since there is a complete dearth of them in most of his movies. Much Ado, for example, was always described by Ken as being about "wine, grapes, cheese, people having sex" etc, but I guess all the women were on the pill 'cos there wasn't a tot to be seen in Messina. What was up with that? Or maybe they were all shipped to the separate kids section of the city ("Mini-Messina") after birth. Speaking of my sentimental favorite Ken movie, don't forget to watch it this Sunday night on PBS (9 pm in most areas, but check local listings to be sure), where it'll air as a Masterpiece Theatre presentation. Finally, a couple notes about Wild Wild West that I forgot to mention last time: (1) Ken does the requisite evil villain laugh in this movie, complete with stutter start: "Bwaha! Bwaha! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!" Reeeaaaally funny. (But then, I'm easily amused, especially when it comes to Kenneth). (2) Uhm......there doesn't seem to be a (2)...ooops. Heh. Oh wait, almost forgot: the July issue of the American Airlines in-flight magazine features Ken on the cover and an article entitled Kenneth Branagh's London, highlighting his favorite spots in the city. Too bad there isn't a "Kenneth Branagh's Los Angeles" article...:) (July 16, thanks to Linda W, Paula V)

So Wild Wild West isn't the total crapfest that Americans critics have been calling it, and it certainly doesn't warrant the comparisons with last year's mega-bomb The Avengers. (My theater experience watching Avengers last summer was comparable to that of a particularly painful visit to the dentist, only without the drilling noises and the little toothbrush-and-floss kit you get at the end.) Yeah, there's no plot to speak of, parts of the would-be witty dialogue are dreadful, the women seem to have come straight out of a "Victorian soft porn film" (that phrase comes from a professional critic, not me), the editing is clunky, and the movie features god-awful, cheesy blue screen shots that makers of B-movies from the early '80s would cringe at (for a movie with a budget higher than the GDP of most small third-world countries, this is absolutely unforgiveable). But West has two major strengths that salvage it from total dreckdom and make it relatively entertaining: Will Smith, ever charming and engaging and cute, and the movie's villain, played by what's-his-beard. Ken makes Loveless the smarmiest, slimiest, campest, most grotesque creature, armed with a crazy southern accent via Mars ("Mr West" out of Ken's mouth has 15 syllables) and the exaggerated tonal cadences of a TV evangelist. I swear, during one of his tirades I expected a choir to pop out behind Loveless while he announced he was giving up world domination to lead religious revivals across the the land. He's hysterical (in a disturbing kind of way) and energizes a movie that sorely needs his help...Anyway, I encourage y'all to see West--when else are you gonna get to see Ken in a big-budget sci-fi western summer blockbuster? In other movie news, PBS will air Much Ado About Nothing as a Masterpiece Theatre presentation on July 18th. And there are some cool new articles and photos on this site to check out...(July 6)

There's a new book called Writers on Directors (edited by Susan Gray, ISBN #0823059715) which features a terrific chapter on Ken written by Dead Again scribe Scott Frank. Also in the chapter is this cool photo of Ken, which is on the book cover as well . . . Wild Wild West opens on Wednesday, I'm sure y'all have heard the title track by Will Smith and that other song by Enrique Iglesias, seen the billboards, commercials, action figures, toys, t-shirts, Burger King meal tie-ins, tubs of Dreyer's/Edy's ice cream, etc etc. Surprisingly, Ken didn't feel the need to promote this movie as heavily as previous films, limiting his publicity run to a couple days (Entertainment Tonight and some L.A. shows) and a possible appearance on Letterman this Friday (still pending). He won't be attending the gala premiere taking in L.A. this evening either, presumably holed up in a Love's Labour's Lost editing room in England. I'm looking forward to WWW, even though seeing Will Smith kick the crap outta Ken will not be overly gratifying. I've noticed a disturbing trend in Ken movies, by the way: he always gets the shite knocked out of him in one way or another. He runs for his life in Gingerbread Man, gets manhandled by William Hurt in Proposition (ok, so priests are usually pacifists), gets kicked around by Campbell Scott in Dead Again (he was the FRIGGING COP in this one!), and of course beaten up at the end of Othello. (I bet if he had played the Julian Sands role in A Room With A View, Lucy Honeychurch would have thrown him in that river.) I'd like Ken to play James Bond eventually, if only to guarantee at least one flick where he doesn't get knocked around like a total ninny...Anyway, HBO is airing a 15-minute behind-the-scenes WWW special, showtimes listed below. Also some WWW quotes to get ya in a wickey wickey Wild mood...

Monday June 28, 12:55am (HBO)
Tuesday June 29 6:45pm (HBO)
Wednesday June 30 12:30pm (HBO Plus)

"I'd never worked with Kenneth. He's about five feet, ten inches tall, not a giant fellow. But when he comes on the screen, he is so powerful as an actor that the screen just lights up. So rarely do you have a cast like this in one movie: Will Smith, Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh, all great and almost legends in their own right. It makes for something very powerful and exciting." - Jon Peters, producer

  • "Kenneth Branagh is extremely funny. Kenneth is so down to earth, always in a good mood, always joking. I've seen most of his serious roles: this one is such a departure for him. His character, Dr. Loveless, is so funny. When I first heard that he was cast in the role, I thought 'There must be a mistake here. Kenneth Branagh for this part?' because I couldn't picture him as this character. And then, at the table reading - the first time we all met and read the script together - I was laughing so hard that when I came home, I had the worst headache!" -Sofia Eng, co-star

  • "Jon (Peters) felt we should update the concept of the Loveless role and increase the scope of it for the feature film. We needed a 1990s villain who would be truly threatening to our larger-than-life heroes, and British actors can play very large in performance style but very real. Kenneth's style of performance is very enjoyable to watch, full of energy and glee and totally believable and scary." -Barry Sonnenfeld, director

  • "Once they found their characters, they're saying stuff like, 'I wouldn't shoot that guy in this scene, would I?' But the person who had the least to say about his role was Ken Branagh; he does a writer's heart good. He got his part, he knew exactly the ins and outs of it, he was fantastic. People are going to be blown away by him. He was weird - he ate his role up in a way that you just haven't seen in a long time." -Jeffrey Price, screenwriter

  • "Branagh's passion for the plays (Shakesepeare's), and his experience with them, flowed from the stage on to the screen to produce new incarnations rather than cultural obeisance by movies to classics. And for the most part, Branagh was supported by actors who relished the chance to do in a new form what they had always loved doing; they weren't entering a strange, intimidating obstacle race. The new A Midsummer Night's Dream shows no sign of the (let's call it) Branagh attitude . . .The worst thing about the picture is that it takes the idea of Shakespeare on film back to where it was before Branagh." - Stanley Kaufmann, New Republic film critic (ok, so I snuck a Shakespeare-related quote in there, sue me! :)
    (June 28, thanks to Jude, Virginia, Judy M, Amy P)