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Quick Takes: Wanted: 007 director

March 07, 2013

Sam Mendes wasn't exactly quoting a James Bond title — "Never Say Never Again" — but it does appear that the filmmaker behind the highest-grossing 007 movie won't be back in the Bond director's chair any time soon.

In an interview with the British film magazine Empire, Mendes said that although directing "Skyfall," which grossed more than $1.1 billion worldwide, was "one of the best experiences of my professional life," he needed to focus on several previous commitments, including the upcoming plays "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "King Lear."

Mendes said he recently told Bond producers Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli of his decision not to direct the 24th installment in the long-running spy series.

Wilson and Broccoli told Empire: "We would have loved to have made the next film with him but completely respect his decision to focus on other projects and hope to have the opportunity to collaborate with him again."

—John Horn

TLC cleaning out show closet

The upcoming 10th season of "What Not to Wear" will be its last, TLC says.

The makeover series, hosted by fashion experts Stacy London and Clinton Kelly, is the network's longest-running prime-time series, having clocked in more than 325 makeovers in its run. But TLC felt it was time to do a cleaning of its closet.

Each episode features the ambush of a wardrobe-challenged person (such as the lady who wears pajama bottoms to the grocery store, or the mom who wears lingerie-inspired outfits at PTA meetings) and their eventual education on style from London and Kelly that concludes with a shopping spree.

It will air its final collection this summer, beginning in July.

—Yvonne Villarreal

PEN/Faulkner finalists named

One of the literary world's favorite fiction prizes, the PEN/Faulkner award, announced its 2013 finalists Wednesday. In its 33rd year, the contenders come from publishers large and small.

The finalists are Amelia Gray for "Threats," published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux; "Kind One" by Laird Hunt and T. Geronimo Johnson's "Hold It 'Til It Hurts," both published by Coffee House Press; "Watergate" by Thomas Mallon, published by Pantheon; and Benjamin Alire Sáenz for "Everything Begins & Ends at the Kentucky Club," published by Cinco Puntos Press.

Cinco Puntos is a small, 28-year-old independent publishing house in El Paso; Farrar, Straus & Giroux is one of New York's best-known literary publishers. Pantheon is also based in New York — it's an imprint of Knopf — while Coffee House Press is a large nonprofit press based in Minneapolis.

The winner of the PEN/Faulkner award, to be announced May 4, will receive $15,000.

—Carolyn Kellogg

Art museum in his galaxy?

Will there be portraits of Jar-Jar Binks emerging from a half shell?

George Lucas, creator of the "Star Wars" franchise, wants to build an art museum in San Francisco's Presidio. The filmmaker told "CBS This Morning" that he hopes to create an institution that would be dedicated to exploring "cultural fantasy."

"It's my big project right now," Lucas said. "There's a world of young people who need to be inspired."

Lucas, 69, submitted a 20-page proposal for the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum to the Presidio Trust last week, one of 16 bids to occupy the former commissary site at Crissy Field, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Lucas is a big collector of art, though it's not the kind likely to impress art critics. He is a fan of Maxfield Parrish, the American painter who depicted lushly colored fantasy worlds, and of Norman Rockwell.

"You either look at the world through cynical eyes or through idealistic eyes," the filmmaker said. "I don't see anything wrong with having an idealistic, sentimental, fun point of view."

Lucas said his museum would also celebrate digital design and animation from Hollywood blockbuster movies.

If his bid is accepted, he told the Chronicle, he would invest up to $300 million to build the museum and create a $400-million endowment when it opened, with another $400 million to come at the time of his death.

—David Ng

Comic books, at no charge

Organizers say the number of orders by shops that will give out free comics for the annual Free Comic Book Day event has topped more than 4.6 million this year, a record.

Diamond Distributors said Wednesday that orders have come from nearly 2,000 retailers across the country for the May 4 event, which is hosted by independent comic book shops and specialty stores in 46 countries.

The order figure is up 31.4% from 2012, when orders tallied 3.5 million.

Fifty-three titles from publishers big and small — Marvel, Dark Horse, Image, DC and 2000AD — will be given away free.

—Associated Press

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