- - Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hollywood warmed up for its awards season with a love fest that recognized top actors and directors for films that haven’t been released yet.

Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, director David O. Russell and writer-director Quentin Tarantino were among the honorees Monday at the 16th annual Hollywood Film Awards, which bills itself as “the official launch of awards season,” The Associated Press reports. The event recognizes films that are likely positioned as awards contenders, such as Mr. Tarantino’s anticipated “Django Unchained.”

In accepting his award for screenwriter of the year, Mr. Tarantino remarked that it was strange to get an award for a film he’s still working on, but added that he could use it as ammunition to defend long dialogue scenes during the editing process.

“I’ll be able to say, hey, you want to take a line out of my award-winning screenplay?” he joked.

Seth Rogen presented the comedy award to writer-director Judd Apatow, whose film “This Is 40” opens at Christmastime.

“Perhaps the most amazing thing about this awards show tonight is that none of these movies have come out yet,” Mr. Rogen said. “I haven’t even heard of some of these movies yet. That’s how far out they are.

“It’s nice because it kind of feels like these are the new Golden Globes,” Mr. Rogen continued. “No one knows what it is. Who voted for this?”

Festival founders say the awards are based on “bodies of work and/or a film or films released during the calendar year.”

“No one has seen my movie,” Mr. Apatow said as he accepted his trophy. “This is just based on an assumption that it’s good.”

Mr. De Niro, Mr. Cooper and Mr. Russell were honored for “Silver Linings Playbook,” set for release later this year.

Other honorees at the starry dinner at the Beverly Hilton Hotel included Ben Affleck and the cast of “Argo,” Amy Adams, Dustin Hoffman and Marion Cotillard. Richard Gere received a lifetime achievement award.

Tony Scott cause of death: Blunt force injuries, drowning

“Top Gun” director Tony Scott had traces of anti-depressant and sleep-inducing drugs in his body when he killed himself by jumping from a California bridge, coroners said Monday.

Scott did not have any life-threatening conditions, including cancer, the Los Angeles County Coroner said, according to Agence France-Presse.

Hollywood was left stunned when the 68-year-old, whose action-thriller work also included “Days of Thunder,” died in August after jumping from the Vincent Thomas Bridge over Los Angeles Harbor.

The L.A. County coroner’s office said autopsy results showed therapeutic levels of the antidepressant mirtazapine, trade name Remeron, and the sleep aid zopiclone, trade name Lunesta, in his system.

The cause of death was suicide caused by multiple blunt force injuries and drowning, said coroner’s spokesman Ed Winter.

Chief coroner investigator Craig Harvey told the L.A. Times that Scott had no serious underlying conditions. “There was no evidence of neoplasia — cancer — identified,” Mr. Harvey told the newspaper.

Initial reports after his death suggested Scott had been diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer, but his widow, Donna Wilson, dismissed the rumors as “absolutely false”

Scott was the younger brother of fellow film director Ridley Scott, the maker of Oscar-winning movies like “Gladiator” and “Black Hawk Down” as well as other hits, including “Blade Runner.”

Born in Britain in 1944, he made his mark in the mid-1980s when he directed “Top Gun,” an action-filled blockbuster about elite navy pilots featuring then-rising star Tom Cruise.

Scott also directed “Enemy of the State,” “Beverly Hills Cop II,” “Spy Game,” “Unstoppable” and “Crimson Tide,” a submarine thriller starring Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington.

A prolific filmmaker, Scott had more that 30 new projects in the pipeline, including “Top Gun 2,” a sequel to the original movie, where Mr. Cruise was again expected to play the lead role.

Scott and Ms. Wilson, his third wife, had twin sons.

Prince Charles, Camilla to attend ‘Skyfall’ premiere

The latest James Bond movie is getting its world premiere in London, with Prince Charles on hand to give it a royal seal of approval.

Charles and his wife, Camilla, were due to attend the screening at the Royal Albert Hall, along with stars Daniel Craig, Judi Dench and Javier Bardem.

Proceeds from Tuesday’s royal gala are going to charities that help members of Britain’s intelligence services.

“Skyfall” is the 23rd official Bond film and Mr. Craig’s third outing as the suave superspy. Miss Dench plays spy chief M, battling a crisis with roots in her past, and Mr. Bardem is a villain bent on revenge.

Some critics are hailing the Sam Mendes-directed film as the best Bond in years.

“Skyfall” opens in Britain on Friday and in the U.S. on Nov. 9.

E.T. immortalized in wax at Madame Tussauds

E.T. the extraterrestrial is making appearances around the world.

Madame Tussauds unveiled wax likenesses of the otherworldly star of Steven Spielberg’s 1982 film “E.T. — the Extra-Terrestrial” at six of its international locations Monday, The Associated Press reports.

The wax figures were crafted at Merlin Studios in London and will be on view at Madame Tussauds museums in Los Angeles, Sydney, Tokyo, London, Berlin and Amsterdam.

The exhibit features the iconic scene from the film where a blanket-wrapped E.T. rides in the makeshift basket of Elliot’s BMX bicycle.

“E.T. — the Extra-Terrestrial” recently marked its 30th anniversary.