The Path To The Big Screen Has Been Anything But Sunny For Cameron Crowe’s ‘Aloha’

Oh, the places Cameron Crowe will go: all the way to Hawaii, apparently, to make a movie that spent several years in development, drifted almost completely into the Hollywood ether, sprung back to life with a new cast and was condemned by a top-level studio executive. The once-exalted director -- responsible for beloved hits like "Say Anything...," "Jerry Maguire" and "Almost Famous" -- needs redemption after the trifecta of "Vanilla Sky," "Elizabethtown" and "We Bought a Zoo" soiled his résumé. Sadly, "Aloha" and its lengthy journey to the big screen won't quite get him there.

Starring Bradley Cooper as a defense contractor completing a satellite mission in Honolulu, "Aloha" is part romantic comedy and part military sting operation. (Said operation deals with the militarization of space, which is as "huh?"-worthy as it sounds for a rom-com.) Cooper's character completes his work under the watch of a chatty Air Force pilot (Emma Stone) who becomes an obvious love interest, but he also reunites with a long-lost flame (Rachel McAdams) who is now married with two kids. Along the way, the movie gets about as messy as its development woes.

Doubling as a case study about a movie gone awry, below is a timeline of the trouble (at least the extent that's on the record) that has plagued "Aloha" over the past several years.

rachel mcadams

June 8, 2008: Sony-owned Columbia Pictures tops four rival studios in the heated bidding for an untitled, fully developed Cameron Crowe "romanic-comedy adventure" starring Ben Stiller and Reese Witherspoon. Plot details are kept under wraps, but the movie is slated to begin shooting in January 2009. It will be Crowe's first movie since 2005's widely detested "Elizabethtown."

October 2008: The plot leaks online after the script begins to circulate. Stiller is said to be playing Brian Gilcrest, a disgraced U.S. weapons consultant who is ordered to supervise the launch of a spy satellite in Hawaii. While stationed there with the humorless Major Lisa Ng (uncast), he reencounters his long-lost love (presumably Witherspoon), who is now married with two kids. Self-discovery ensues, along with a dose of the supernatural when Brian experiences visions of the Hawaiian gods and is asked to find a sacrifice for one of the island's volcanoes. (Cue "Joe Versus the Volcano" comparisons.) Crowe, a former rock journalist, is known for his movies' catchy soundtracks, and the script contains a sample playlist of songs that could factor into the film:
Cat Stevens -- “Don’t Be Shy"
U2 -- “Elevation"
The Rolling Stones -- “Prodigal Son"
The Blue Nile -- “Let’s Go Out Tonight”
Buckner & Garcia -- “Pac-Man Fever”
Tom Jones -- “What’s New Pussycat”
The Who -- “Baba O’ Riley”
The Beatles -- “She’s Leaving Home”
Stevie Wonder -- “Ribbon in the Sky”

December 2008: The film is titled "Deep Tiki," but Witherspoon tells Collider that shooting has been postponed until 2010.

August 2009: With "Deep Tiki" development news at a halt, Crowe reemerges by directing Pearl Jam's video for "The Fixer," his first behind-the-camera work since "Elizabethtown."

May 2010: "Deep Tiki" has stalled indefinitely. Reasons are unclear, but Stiller and Witherspoon move on to other projects. Meanwhile, Crowe signs on to direct and rewrite the adaptation of Benjamin Mee's memoir "We Bought a Zoo," which he'd been circling since the previous winter.

March 2, 2011: "The Union," Crowe's HBO documentary about Elton John's creative process, opens the Tribeca Film Festival.

Sept. 10, 2011: Crowe's rockumentary "Pearl Jam Twenty" premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival. It airs on PBS' "American Masters" one month later. Along the way, Crowe says he'd "consider" making a sequel to "Say Anything...," and the entertainment press goes nuts. There is still no word on "Deep Tiki."

October 2011: In a New York Times profile, Crowe reveals he plans to begin shooting his next film -- from a script he finished two days before the interview occurred -- in March 2012, with another movie planned after that. Befuddled journalists wonder whether the director is referring to "Deep Tiki," the Marvin Gaye biopic to which he is tied or another project altogether.

Dec. 23, 2011: "We Bought a Zoo" opens, becoming Crowe's first mainstream theatrical feature in six years. While doing press for "Zoo," he says he cannot reveal what film will be his next, but teases it as "more of a straight-out comedy."

July 30, 2012: After March comes and goes with no casting announcements, Deadline.com reports that Emma Stone has signed on to star in "untitled love story" that Crowe is directing for Sony. The article contains no mention of "Deep Tiki," but Variety's Jeff Sneider tweets on the same day that Crowe has rewritten the script and it is again gaining momentum at Sony. The movie's sensibilities are said to be closely aligned with that of "Almost Famous" and "Jerry Maguire."

Oct. 24, 2012: A "lengthy search" results in talks with Bradley Cooper, who is anticipating Oscar buzz for "Silver Linings Playbook," to take on Stiller's former role.

April 11, 2013: Rachel McAdams is in talks to play a "former lover of Cooper’s character," according to Deadline.com, which again makes no mention of "Deep Tiki" in its report of the news.

July 23, 2013: In an interview with The Huffington Post, Cooper confirms he is in the movie and that it will begin shooting in September. He also lets it slip that Danny McBride has joined the cast.

August - October 2013: The rest of the cast (Bill Murray, Alec Baldwin, John Krasinski) rolls in.

Sept. 26, 2013: Crowe begins shooting what is now being referred to as "Untitled Hawaii Project." No press release is sent to announce its start, with the director instead quietly posting a photo of a corresponding clapperboard on his blog. Reports clarify what we already know: This is an updated "Deep Tiki." They also indicate the movie was also once titled "Volcano Romance."

Feb. 14, 2014: Sony sets a Dec. 25 release date, leaving some pondering whether it could become an Oscar contender.

July 21, 2014: Sony delays the still-untitled film to May 2015. “Once we saw the film, we knew that it would make a perfect summer release. The movie is Cameron at his best,” Jeff Blake, chairman of worldwide marketing and distribution for Sony Pictures, says.

December 2014: In the wake of the massive Sony hack, Amy Pascal is found condemning the film in leaked emails. "It's a wrap," she says of any attempt to salvage the apparently dismal scores the movie received during test screenings. Pascal calls the script "ridiculous" and says it "never, not even once, ever works." She criticizes producer Scott Rudin for not visiting the set or assisting during the editing process. "At least the marketing departments have something to sell. Looks big and glossy," the email says. "We have this movie in for a lot of dough and we better look at that."

Feb. 2, 2015: Sony announces the film will be titled "Aloha."

Feb. 11, 2015: The first trailer debuts.

April 21, 2015: The soundtrack's lineup is unveiled. It includes none of the songs from the playlist that circulated with the original script.

May 13, 2015: SlashFilm reports that the only junket will take place in London with select journalists in attendance, marking another omen for the film.

May 19, 2015: “It’s been months since those emails, and a ton of work has been done since then. The movie is really, really different,” a Sony executive tells Variety, referring to the testing results mentioned in Pascal's email. “It’s going to be a lot more satisfying for audiences.” In the same breath, he warns people not to expect the next "Say Anything" or "Jerry Maguire."

May 20, 2015: The Media Action Network for Asian Americans accuses the movie of "whitewashing" Hawaiian history by casting only white stars. The group likens "Aloha" to other Hawaii-set films like "The Descendants," "50 First Dates" and "Pearl Harbor." MANAA’s Guy Aoki slams Crowe for a tweet in which he said the movie enunciates the "rich history and culture of Hawaii." The group lambastes the film's few Asian-Pacific Islander characters, who are listed with names like "Indian pedestrian," "upscale Japanese tourist" and "upscale restaurant guest."

May 20, 2015: Upon inquiring, Sony tells The Huffington Post that Crowe and the cast will not be doing press in New York. On top of that, there is only one screening offered to critics and reviews are embargoed until 4 p.m. on May 28, mere hours before the film opens. (Studios typically offer several screening opportunities and at least a few days for reviews to percolate before something is released.)

May 26, 2015: Introducing "Aloha" at a Los Angeles press screening, Crowe reportedly says, "A lot's been said, a lot's been heard -- some of it private, some of it public, some of it private that became public. But it's always been a love letter."

May 27, 2015: Sony counters MANAA's claims in a statement: “While some have been quick to judge a movie they haven’t seen and a script they haven’t read, the film ‘Aloha’ respectfully showcases the spirit and culture of the Hawaiian people. Filmmaker Cameron Crowe spent years researching this project and many months on location in Hawaii, cultivating relationships with leading local voices. He earned the trust of many Hawaiian community leaders, including Dennis ‘Bumpy’ Kanahele, who plays a key role in the film.”

May 28, 2015: A source with ties to the project tells Bloomberg Business that Sony shelled out $20 million for the marketing campaign. (For comparison's sake, the average cost of marketing a studio movie in 2007 was $36 million. Many blockbusters wind up spending hundreds of millions on their worldwide campaigns. 2013's under-performing "The Lone Ranger," for example, cost a reported $150 million in global marketing and distribution.) Box-office forecasts expect the movie to generate $8 to $10 million in its first weekend, with the studio hoping its 2,800-screen debut could give way to potential sleeper-hit status as the summer unfolds.

May 28, 2015: The first reviews trickle in a couple of hours ahead of the embargo lift, and they are not kind.

May 29, 2015: "Aloha" opens.

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Beyonce Shares Family Vacation Photos Just Like The Rest Of Us

Photos of adorable little kids and delicious food might be everywhere on social media, but this time Beyonce is the one posting them.

The "XO" singer shared a collection of photos from her latest worldly adventures in Europe with her family on her Tumblr page Thursday. Two pictures featured little Blue Ivy looking adorable as ever. In one, Bey and Blue ride together on a carousel. In the other, the 3-year-old dons two white bows in her hair.

beyonce

beyonce

The superstar, whose vegan diet was recently discussed in a New York Times profile about her trainer, Marco Borges, also shared snapshots of some of the drool-worthy food she ate during the trip.

beyonce

beyonce

Social media is so much better when you're Queen Bey.

beyonce

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Did Two Men On ‘The Bachelorette’ Really Fall In Love With Each Other?

Has a gay romance unintentionally blossomed between two "Bachelorette" contestants?

It's too soon to tell for sure, but in a new teaser clip for the ABC reality series obtained by E! Online, Clint Arlis appears to profess his love to JJ Lane, who is presumably vying for the affections of "Bachelorette" Kaitlyn Bristowe.

"It's absolutely insane," Arlis, a 27-year-old architectural engineer from Illinois, says in the clip. "Falling in love with a man never crossed my mind." He goes on to note that he and Lane, a 30-year-old Colorado investment banker, have "grown very close in the shower," though he doesn't elaborate on the specifics.

"I love JJ, so I need the rose tonight," he says in the final moments of the teaser.

While the implied romance could be just a budding friendship between the two men played up with some clever editing, ABC has already dubbed Arlis the "Brokeback Bachelor."

Arlis poked fun at the new moniker on Twitter:




Whether or not this turns out to be nothing more than a bromance, next week's episode of "The Bachelorette" is not-to-be-missed.



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Duggar Scandal Should Prompt TLC To Help Fight Child Abuse, Advocate Says

A women's rights group wants television executives to make sexual abuse prevention a priority on par with promoting one of their top-rated reality shows.

In a USA Today column published on Wednesday, Teresa C. Younger, the Ms. Foundation for Women president and CEO, called on the TLC network to partner with sexual abuse activists in order to launch an education campaign addressing the issue "on the same scale as the network's relentless marketing of the Duggar family."

"Today's headlines offer us the chance to refocus public attention on what to do if you know or suspect a child is being abused -- even in your own home or family," wrote Younger, who heads a group that advocates for prioritizing gender equality in public policy at federal and state levels. "We cannot afford to waste that opportunity."

After reports surfaced that Josh Duggar was investigated by police in 2006 for molesting underage girls, including some of his sisters, when he was a teenager, the family's oldest son released a statement last week apologizing for "act[ing] inexcusably."

Many were quick to call out the hypocrisy of the Duggars' conservative positions on LGBT rights and abortion.

The now-27-year-old, who is currently expecting his fourth child with his wife, Anna, stepped down from his position at anti-gay lobbying group Family Research Council last week. And, last August, family matriarch Michelle Duggar campaigned against trans men and women in Arkansas being allowed to use the public restrooms associated with their gender identity, according to Salon.

"I don’t believe the citizens of Fayetteville would want males with past child predator convictions that claim they are female to have a legal right to enter private areas that are reserved for women and girls," Michelle Duggar said in a robocall to voters.

In wake of the news, TLC pulled all episodes of "19 Kids and Counting" from the air. But despite advertisers fleeing the show -- including General Mills, Walgreens, Jimmy Dean and Ace Hardware -- the program has yet to be canceled, TMZ reported.

It doesn't need to be for meaningful change to happen, though, according to Younger: "Regardless of whether the network cancels the Duggars' show or not, TLC can and must help empower every person who knows of or suspects child sexual abuse to take action."

Need help? Learn how you or a loved one can find support at RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network).

To learn more about the Ms. Foundation for Women, visit the group's website.

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Jesse Eisenberg Is A Stone(d) Cold Killer In Awesome ‘American Ultra’ Trailer

Imagine Viggo Mortensen in "A History of Violence" meets Jason Bourne meets a ton of weed. What do you get? Jesse Eisenberg's Mike Howell in "American Ultra."

In the action comedy from writer Max Landis ("Chronicle") and director Nima Nourizadeh ("Project X"), Mike is a "stoned cold killer" who doesn't even know it. When a government agent (Connie Britton) shows up to warn him of a dangerous operation, he has no clue what she's talking about, unable to remember that he's actually a trained killer. After a bunch of bad guys attack him, Mike goes on the run with his stoner girlfriend (Kristen Stewart). "American Ultra" also stars Topher Grace and John Leguizamo.

"American Ultra" opens Aug. 21.

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Brandy Really Wants To Play Dorothy On Broadway And Record With Coldplay

Last month singer-actress Brandy Norwood made her Broadway debut for an 8-week stint starring as Roxie Hart in the Tony Award-winning musical “Chicago.”

With less than a month left in the role, the Grammy Award-winning singer already has her eyes on another gig. During an interview with The Huffington Post, Brandy talked about her wish to star in the forthcoming 2016 Broadway revival of “The Wiz.”

On Dec. 3 NBC will air the third installment of their live musical events with “The Wiz.” Co-produced by Cirque du Soleil’s stage theater department, the television production will then follow a 2016-2017 Broadway revival of the musical.

“My dream is to reopen 'The Wiz’ on Broadway. That is a dream role for me,” Brandy said. “It’s just something that I really want to experience: being Dorothy on Broadway. I’ve been putting it out there. So I think the word is getting out that’s something I would really like to do.”

Earlier this month NBC announced that Stephanie Mills -- who originated the role of Dorothy in Broadway’s initial run of “The Wiz” –- would play Auntie Em in the network’s upcoming live broadcast special of the musical. But the lead role is still vacant, so Brandy is determined to land a spot in the 2016 revival.

“I think the next steps is seeing what they end up doing with it,” she said in reference to NBC’s future casting plans. “I don’t know what the connection in terms of NBC and Broadway and how it all connects. But for Broadway that’s something that I would love to do.”

In addition to her new career on Broadway and concluding the final season of BET’s “The Game” in July, the 36-year-old is also gearing up to record her next album. It hasn't been titled yet, but Brandy says her 2016 album will be very personal.

“I have so much to give, and I’m so inspired right now in my life. I have so much I need to sing about and get off my chest,” she said. “It’s really going to be a beautiful album. This next one is going to be very special.”

Although the Grammy Award-winner is reluctant to rush through the album’s recording process, she guarantees fans that “it’s definitely going to be the right project.”

Among Brandy's working list of potential collaborators, she expressed her interest in working with British rock band Coldplay, who is one of the singer's favorite bands. For her 2004 effort “Afrodisiac,” Brandy recorded a song aptly titled, “Coldplay,” and last year recorded a cover version of the band’s single, “Magic.”

“I would love to collaborate with Coldplay! I think that would be so magical,” she said during the interview. “I think people would love that. It would be unexpected at the same time expected because everybody knows how much of a fan I am of Coldplay. So that’s a great idea. I’m going to look into that.”

Brandy's role as Roxie Hart in Broadway's "Chicago" concludes on June 21.

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Nope, That’s Not Kanye West And North In Kim Kardashian’s Game

Newsflash: Kanye West and North are unrecognizable in the Kim Kardashian: Hollywood game because neither one is actually in it.

Glu Mobile, the company behind Kim Kardashian's game, shared an image of the newest arrivals to the wildly popular app in a tweet on Thursday. The image shows three digital characters: a man dressed in a black and gold T-shirt standing next to a woman in a pink Kardashian-esque dress holding a baby girl with two buns in her hair.




Some were quick to point out that the characters, seemingly meant to be West and baby Nori, look nothing like the two. But Glu told The Huffington Post the characters are not West and North at all.

Kardashian has added multiple members of her family to her famous mobile app, including her sisters and her mom. If West and North are added to the game, fans can rest assured they will look exactly like the real-life versions.

"The look of the game was really important to me," Kardashian told AdWeek in March. "I must have pulled thousands of references of all the different ways that characters should have their hair, the outfits and the shoes. One time there was a strap wrong on one of the character's shoes -- her feet weren't matching. I had to change the programming to fix that. It was important to me that everything is right."

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Lori Loughlin Is Officially Returning For ‘Fuller House’

Aunt Becky is back!

Lori Loughlin has revealed she's officially returning for Netflix's "Fuller House" reboot. The actress confirmed to People that she'll be back for the reunion episode of the upcoming spinoff. Loughlin's reps told The Huffington Post that the actress is currently only set to appear in the first episode (so far).

The actress shared her confidence in the new show, telling People, "I think with Jeff Franklin at the helm –- he's the creator of 'Full House' –- it's hard to go wrong because nobody's more protective of that show than he is."

The spinoff will follow Candace Cameron Bure's D.J. Tanner as a widowed mother of three. "Fuller House" will also feature John Stamos, Andrea Barber, Jodie Sweetin and Dave Coulier. Don't expect to see Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen though, they won't be returning. But Loughlin suggested that Elizabeth Olsen could play Michelle Tanner instead.

For more, head to People.

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ABC Invites Amy Schumer To Be The Next ‘Bachelorette,’ And Her Response Is Perfect

The Internet wants Amy Schumer to be the next "Bachelorette," and now ABC has hopped on board.

After Schumer appeared on an episode of the show Monday night, amazingly shutting down "turd" contestant JJ, ABC extended an invite via Twitter for her to join and find a man of her own. Robert Mills, ABC's senior vice president of alternative series, specials and late-night programming, tweeted on Tuesday asking the comedian to be the next "Bachelorette."





And Schumer's response? Perfection.









Who were they to assume she was single, anyway? Hey, let's at least get an entire "Inside Amy Schumer" episode spoofing the reality show.

"The Bachelorette" airs Mondays at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.

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‘Bachelor’ Star Chris Soules And Whitney Bischoff Split

Prince Farming has lost his princess.

"The Bachelor" creator Mike Fleiss took to Twitter on Thursday to share some sad news -- last season's star Chris Soules and his fiancée Whitney Bischoff have called off their engagement:




A rep for the couple confirmed the split to The Huffington Post in a statement:

Whitney Bischoff and Chris Soules have mutually and amicably decided to end their engagement. They part with nothing but respect and admiration for one another and will continue to be supportive friends. They wish to thank everyone who has supported them through this journey.


The couple's breakup comes just two months after Soules proposed to Bischoff on the Season 19 finale of the reality dating series.

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