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Hollywood latest: Rumors rife as Stuart's latest acting job Thors out

In a move that has the internet burning in potentially libellous speculation, Stuart Townsend has left the production of Thor.

The expensive superhero film, set to start filming on Monday, will be directed by Kenneth Branagh and star Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins. It's hard not to feel sorry for Townsend (in so far as one feels sorry for someone dating Charlize Theron), as the Dubliner is also well-known for being replaced at the last minute by Viggo Mortensen in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The official reason for the Thor debacle is, of course, "creative differences", but aintitcool.com alleges that Townsend was fired for turning up six hours late for a meeting.

On a more promising note, the actor has also been dabbling in directing and, judging by last year's promising Battle in Seattle, maybe his future lies behind the camera.

Bad idea of the week

Would you like to see a remake of Mannequin, the creepy Little Mermaid update that had Andrew McCarthy fall in love with a shop dummy played by Kim Cattrall (above centre)? Well, tough, they're doing it anyway over at Gladden Entertainment. Not only was the first film impossibly cheesy, but its tone was pretty offensive, even by 80s films standards.

Oliver Stone stirs up controversy (again)

Filmmaker Oliver Stone (below) made a number of surprising comments at a recent press conference to promote his new documentary series Secret History. "Hitler is an easy scapegoat throughout history and it's been used cheaply," he said, before going on to defend Stalin as someone who fought the German war machine "more than any other person". Recent projects by the sometime genius include the Bush biopic W, a favourable docu-mentary about Fidel Castro and the disastrous Alexander.

Gossip Girl to become Green Lantern's girl

Blake Lively, star of TV's Gossip Girl, will be joining Ryan Reynolds for his next superhero film, The Green Lantern. Reynolds should really be a star already, having appeared in two of last year's biggest films (The Proposal and Wolverine).

Ms Lively, who reportedly beat Jennifer Garner for the role, can now look forward to being discussed on a whole new range of superhero internet message boards.

Mel Gibson defends Tiger Woods

Mel Gibson, who you might remember was arrested for drink-driving and then made anti-Semitic remarks to the arresting officers, and who recently left his wife for a younger woman, has lent his PR heft to Tiger Woods. Gibson told People Magazine: "Nobody is without sin. You have to try to make amends if you can. I feel sorry for Tiger Woods. Why are we talking about this when we're sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan? ... He's being used as a diversion, and it just drives me crazy."

A-Team trailer makes the grade

Despite predating the official launch date, hence the grubby sound and video quality, millions of eyeballs watched the leaked trailer for the new A-Team movie online this week. Starring Liam Neeson as Hannibal, Bradley Cooper (The Hangover) as Face, Sharlto Copley (so good in District 9) as Murdock and a professional cage-fighter named Quinton "Rampage" Jackson as BA, the trailer looks reasonably promising.

Irish Independent