Surprise, Surprise: In a rare, work-in-progress "secret screening" last night, the New York Film Festival debuted Hugo, Martin Scorsese's 3D children's film (pictured above, not in true 3D). The director introduced the screening; audience reaction was evidently favorable; the film will be released to the general public on November 23. Movies was in attendance, and you can check out our initial reaction here.
Iranian Actress Sentenced: Opposition website Kalameh.com reports that actress Marzieh Vafamehr has been sentenced to one year in prison and 90 lashes for appearing without a hijab headscarf in My Tehran for Sale, a film critical of Iran's policies. (AP via CBS News)
Theaters Strike Back: Open rebellion by exhibitors continues against Universal's plan to test market premium-priced VOD ($59.99) for the upcoming Tower Heist, as a number of independent theater chains have now "vowed not to play the movie." One exhibitor says: "It's a time to draw a line in the sand." (Los Angeles Times)
Headhunters in English: The Norwegian-language Headhunters is a slick, entertaining thriller that generated plenty of positive buzz at Fantastic Fest recently, and now Summit Entertainment has picked up English-language movie rights to the best-seller that it's based on, with plans for a new version. (Variety)
Never Too Late? Universal Pictures is planning a sequel to The Best Man, Malcolm D. Lee's 1999 ensemble comedy/drama revolving around an impending wedding. Plans are for the original cast to reunite. (Deadline)
Korean Movies Surging Upward: In a marked improvement for local productions over previous years, South Korean and Hollywood films "largely tied" in box office performance for the first nine months of 2011. (Film Business Asia)
Dream Week in NYC: If you're a film-lover on a budget, Anne Thompson allows you to tag along with her as she enjoys a whirlwind week in Manhattan, jammed with film festival screenings, business lunches, after parties, Broadway plays, and cocktails, cocktails, cocktails. Probably only one cocktail, but still … (Thompson on Hollywood)