Industry Already Divided in L.A. Mayoral Race: On Nov. 14, Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen put out a letter urging friends and associates to attend a Dec. 7 fund-raiser in support of former DreamWorks exec Wendy Greuel in her bid to become the next mayor of Los Angeles. However, industry names are lining up in support of other Democratic candidates. On Dec. 9, Lionsgate vice chairman Michael Burns, producer Robert Simonds and UTA television agent Allan Haldeman will co-host an event for Austin Beutner, a former deputy mayor under Antonio Villaraigosa, who is termed out. And current City Council president Eric Garcetti was feted during an October fund-raiser hosted by producer Stephen Bochco. While the election doesn't take place until 2013, L.A. politics have become increasingly important to the industry, which is seeking increases in local production tax credits and help with real estate interests like Universal's planned redevelopment of its studio lot.
Fans always have been a staple of movie premieres, shrieking and even fainting from their perch safely behind the red carpet. But bowing to the audience's desire to interact more closely with their idols, studios in recent years have increasingly invited select die-hards inside the barricades. An occasional downside? The insider feeling of a glamorous industry event being overrun by excessive enthusiasm. Exhibit A: The Nov. 14 premiere for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 1. During the emotional final minutes of the film, one overheated male in the front of the Nokia Theatre apparently couldn't help but cry out, "Taylor Lautner, you're a sexy f--!"
Wenders Rocks Out
Australian indie band Wim, which released its self-titled full-length American debut album in mid-November, opened at Silver Lake rock club the Satellite on Nov. 17 -- and namesake director Wim Wenders stopped by to check them out. THR hears that he learned of the quintet two years ago, struck up an e-mail correspondence with them and was placed on the comp list with a plus-2. According to one onlooker, the auteur was camouflaged in Eastside garb (chunky glasses, dark blazer, Converse sneakers) "so there were only maybe five or six movie nerds who even noticed him." Was he into the music? "He was definitely getting into it," adds the eyewitness. "There was even some polite dancing!"
Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal broke bread at Soho House with their lawyer, Jeremiah Reynolds. On another day, Ron Howard and Jason Bateman dined together at the private club. … Big lunch hour at e.baldi: Peter Morton at one table, Steve Tisch and mega-realtor Steven Shapiro at another, Burt Sugarman at a third, and Pierce Brosnan with wife Keely Shaye Smith at a fourth. Earlier the same week, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino and Larry David, all in separately, while a large group elsewhere in the room included Wayne Gretzky and Dan Aykroyd. … New spot Il Covo is picking up industry steam, with Charlize Theron, Colin Hanks, Donald DeLine, CAA's Kevin Huvane and Brian Siberell, UTA's Peter Benedek and attorney Craig Jacobson all in recently. … Kristen Stewart enjoying beers and bivalves at Blue Plate Oysterette. … Zoe Saldana checked out Osaka with her mother and daughter, just before announcing her split from fiance Keith Britton. ... Hilary and Haylie Duff joined Andres Balazs at SBE's new Italian restaurant Mercato di Vetro. … Larry King had a business lunch at Ninethirty at the W Hotel Westwood, while Ed Harris came in with two male friends and had bruschetta and tomato soup.