Tom Hanks never finished college, so writing-producing-directing “Larry Crowne,” about a middle-age guy who reinvents himself by going back to school, made sense to him. At Friday’s Four Seasons press junket, co-star Julia Roberts made it clear that she didn’t go to college, either. (Their pic opens July 1 opposite “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.”) “How do we compete in the marketplace?” Hanks pondered. “Forgive me. I haven’t the slightest fucking idea. … The nature of the movies is different than it was five years ago and they’re all driven by the possibilities of CGI, which means you can make anything happen onscreen that you can possibly desire. That’s a great brand of freedom that’s given over to the filmmaker, but when you’re going to try to have people talk in a room and actually reflect life as we know it and have people recognize themselves and their own street and their own house in the movie, well, then you’re aiming for the high country and it’s a much bigger gamble.”
It’s a union of counterculture literary figures. Larry McMurtry and Faye Kesey, widow of Ken, were quietly married April 29 in McMurtry’s home town of Archer City, Texas (think “The Last Picture Show”). On Tuesday, the couple celebrated their nuptials with another ceremony in Archer City that was attended by friends and family including Diane Keaton, Maureen Orth, Diana Ossana, Andrew Wylie and Leon Wieseltier. Marriage hasn’t slowed McMurtry’s output. He’s at work with longtime writing partner Ossana on screenplays for Fox (“The Color of Lightning”) and Warner Bros. (“Empire of the Summer Moon”) and on an untitled pilot about Texas for HBO.
When it comes to its “Winnie the Pooh” franchise, Disney isn’t the only one that protects the brand. Jim Cummings, who has been the voice of Pooh since 1988, admitted at Thursday’s “Winnie” press junket at the Burbank studio that he has to stand guard sometimes. “Disney has a division called Disney Character Voices, and I think it was the ‘Just Say No’ (campaign) in the early 1990s. They got all the cartoon characters that were on Saturday morning at the time, just advocating that kids don’t ever start the first drugs or cigarettes,” Cummings recalled. “It wasn’t Disney, Disney wasn’t writing it, they were loaning us out, so to speak, and the line for Winnie the Pooh was, ‘If anybody asks you to smoke a joint, just say no.’ I said, ‘Guys, I’m so not going to say that. No, no. Can’t do it.’ Pooh won’t be doing that.”
We’re hearing that Vanity Fair will sink its teeth into the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., sending in veteran journalist Peter Biskind of “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls” fame for a major piece on the org. Sources say the story aims to show that Vanity Fair’s reporting still has bite, and is slotted to make a big splash at the kickoff of the mag’s awards-season coverage.