News Column

The Philadelphia Inquirer Sideshow column

August 5, 2013


Aug. 05--Peter Capaldi is going from spin doctor to Doctor Who. The BBC announced Sunday the Scottish actor, best known as venomous political fixer Malcolm Tucker in the sitcom The Thick of It and its film spin-off, In the Loop, will star in Doctor Who, the famed science fiction series soon to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Capaldi is the 12th actor to play the Doctor, a galaxy-hopping Time Lord who travels in the TARDIS, a time machine shaped like an old-fashioned British police telephone booth. At age 55, he's also the oldest since the first Doctor, William Hartnell. His credits range from 1983's Local Hero to the current zombie thriller World War Z to the BBC's recent newsroom drama, The Hour. He is playing Cardinal Richelieu in the BBC drama The Musketeers. He directed "Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life," which won the Academy Award for best short film in 1995.

Doctor Who ran from 1963 to 1989, and was revived in 2005. Since then, the Doctor has been played by Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, and Matt Smith, who took the part in 2010. Smith will leave after a November episode and a Christmas special in which he will regenerate into Capaldi. Capaldi's first full episode will air next year.

Al on fire!

An Al Pacino movie broke out in the middle of an L.A. concert by the band Chicago, with thousands of fans serving as extras. Cameras were wheeled onstage during intermission at the group's show at the Greek Theatre on Friday night to film a scene from Pacino's forthcoming movie Imagine, in which he plays aging rock star Danny Collins.

With coaching from the director, the crowd chanted the name of Pacino's character as the 73-year-old actor walked on stage to sing "Hey Baby Doll" in a black suit. The movie co-stars Michael Caine, Annette Bening, and Jennifer Garner.

"This is an improvisation," Pacino told the crowd. "You just came in and got it. That's not easy."

Earlier, Joe Mantegna of CBS's Criminal Minds joined his hometown band to sing "If You Leave Me Now." Pacino returned to the stage during Chicago's encore and sang and danced to their "25 or 6 to 4."

"For a shy guy from the South Bronx, this has been great," he said.

Bang bang

No. 1 at the weekend box office was 2 Guns, the Universal action film starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, with $27.4 million.

Fox's superhero flick The Wolverine starring Hugh Jackman was No. 2 with $21.7 million in its second weekend, bringing its total domestic haul to $95 million. The Smurfs 2 took the No. 3 spot with $18.2 million domestically, while earning $52.5 million in 43 international markets.

Sundance festival fave The Spectacular Now, with Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, earned $190,000 in four theaters in its debut weekend, while The Canyons made just $16,000 at two theaters, though distributor IFC Films said the erotic thriller starring Lindsay Lohan was performing strongly through video-on-demand.

Other smaller films performed solidly, including Sundance winner Fruitvale Station with $2.7 million in 1,086 theaters, and director Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine with $2 million in 50 theaters.

Contact "SideShow" at This column contains information from Inquirer wire services.


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