September 16, 2004

Entertainment News

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Eisner Kicks Himself to the Curb

After 20 years as head honcho at Disney, Michael Eisner has decided to give up the company when his current contract ends in September 2006. While he has said that he has decided to resign, I see this move more as a self-firing; I don’t think there will be many people over at Disney who will mind that Eisner is resigning. In fact, I think there may actually be some silent rejoicing in the back lots of Universal Studios. Despite the ill-feelings towards Eisner from some of the other corporate lovelies and shareholders over at Disney, throughout his 20-year reign, Eisner has seen continued financial and stock growth at Walt Disney Co. However, the long-term growth in recent years has seen a bit of a dip compared to Disney’s peers. In the Los Angeles Times two weeks ago, Eisner called his current number-two, Robert Iger, his “preferred choice” for successor. While Eisner’s run as CEO has recently become a bit shaky due to a failed raid last March by Comcast, Eisner has succeeded in promoting a great deal of growth in the Disney company since he began in 1984. According to his retirement letter to the Disney board, he has increased revenue from $1.7 billion to roughly $30 billion for this fiscal year, and the enterprise value has gone from $2.8 billion to $57 billion. Despite what people say, Eisner has made quite a mark on Disney and his successor certainly has some very large shoes to fill.

Canada adopts Hollywood for a Bit

The 29th year of the Toronto Film Festival began Thursday, September 9 to a soaring 328 films from 61 countries, rivaling even the likes of Cannes. The Toronto Film Festival is actually the largest publicly attended festival in the world. The festival started with the film Being Julia, in which Annette Bening plays a middle-aged British stage actress in 1930 who falls in love with a younger man. The festival will conclude on September 18 with Canada’s own Jiminy Glick in Lalawood, a cynical satire about celebrity culture. The Oscar buzz is on at full blast with films starring such experienced greats as Kevin Spacey, who has written, directed, and starred in a biopic of 50s pop icon Bobby Darin, called Beyond the Sea. Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin will star in I Heart Huckabees, Liam Neeson and Laura Linney are back together after a stint on broadway in The Crucible for Kinsey, a film about Alfred Kinsey, the American pioneer in sex research. Al Pacino will star in the controversial The Merchant of Venice, and Kristin Scott Thomas, Helen Hunt, Sigourney Weaver, and Jeff Daniels also make appearances in the films Arsene Lupin, A Good Woman, and Imaginary Heroes, respectively. Perhaps all of these fine actors will produce something that is worth the nine dollars that I am supposed to pay to go to the movies. After last year’s poor turnout, I am hoping that there will be at least a couple films coming out this year that won’t be complete shit.

Hef’s Superbunnies

While it would seem that I am making this all up to amuse myself, what I am about to tell you is, in fact, reportedly true. Hugh Hefner is teaming up with comic-book great Stan Lee to create Hef’s Superbunnies, an adult-themed cartoon for MTV. The series will follow a silk-pajama wearing superhero (subtle, eh?) as he fights crime with his lovely sidekicks, the Superbunnies. In addition to giving his appearance and name to the cartoon, rumor has it that he might also lend his voice to the venture.

Archived article by Amanda Hodes
Red Letter Daze Staff Writer