week in review digest


McGregor, Griffiths to voice 'Jackboots'

LONDON — Ewan McGregor and Richard Griffiths have joined the voice cast of "Jackboots On Whitehall," U.K. production, sales and distribution banner Swipe Films has announced (HR 1/17). The duo join a cast that includes Tom Wilkinson, Alan Cumming, Rosamund Pike, Richard E. Grant and Timothy Spall in the World War II spoof that uses action figures to imagine what would have happened if the Germans had won the Battle of Britain. McGregor will take the lead role as a heroic Scottish farmhand who leads the resistance. Griffiths will play Luftwaffe leader Hermann Goering.

Nielsen Co. is the new VNU

The Hollywood Reporter's parent company is changing its name from VNU Group to the Nielsen Co. The move emphasizes the company's "best-known brand name and underscores its commitment to create an integrated, streamlined global organization," the group said Thursday (HR 1/19). Among other things, the company owns trade publications Billboard and AdWeek; Nielsen Media Research; ACNielsen; and trade shows. Nielsen Co. chairman and CEO David Calhoun said that the use of the Nielsen name signals the firm's increased focus on marketing and media information services and on close cooperation of various parts of the company.

Washington, Jackson eye 'Lakeview'

Samuel L. Jackson and Kerry Washington are in negotiations to co-star in the Screen Gems thriller "Lakeview Terrace" (HR 1/19). James Lassiter and Will Smith are producing through their Sony-based Overbrook Entertainment shingle. Penned by David Loughery, the story centers on a black LAPD officer (Jackson) who will stop at nothing to force out the interracial couple who just moved in next door. Washington would play the female half of the couple. The project is out to directors, and casting is under way for the white male lead.

MTV Nets Europe topper Guild leaving

LONDON — MTV Networks Europe president and CEO Simon Guild is quitting the company after 14 years to take on undisclosed "new challenges," he said Friday (HR 1/22). Guild, who has played a major role in growing the MTV Europe business and brand, will assist colleagues during a handover period but will not renew his contract.

EU eyeing new rules for violent games

BRUSSELS — European Union justice and home affairs ministers have agreed to push for tougher rules on the sale of violent video and computer games to children (HR 1/17). "These terrible things continue to promote violence," German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schauble said at the end of three days of talks with his EU counterparts in Dresden, Germany. Germany, which holds the rotating EU presidency, said it backed proposals by the European Commission to seek common sanctions against retailers selling violent games to underage children.