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Morning Shots: Did 'The Fighter' Have To Be Directed By A Man?

Attention, e-book nerds: If your nerd-hood takes the form of Kindle use, you may be interested in the fact that a software update will introduce page numbering that corresponds to the page numbers in (at least some) print editions. Obviously, some books have many editions with many numbering schemes, but for a recent book you're trying to refer to with friends, it could be a pretty nice development.

Cobie Smulders of How I Met Your Mother is negotiating for a role in Joss Whedon's upcoming The Avengers. You may know Smulders from How I Met Your Mother, or from having one of the most enjoyable names to say in all of Hollywood. Say it to yourself a few times: "Cobie Smulders."

This is an intriguing discussion of recent comments from director Catherine Hardwicke about the fact that she wasn't able to get a meeting to direct The Fighter. Now, that may not surprise you, but she claims that she was told it could only be directed by a man. The dismal statistics on women directors — detailed in the piece — make it depressingly easy to believe this story might be true. (Keep in mind as you read this story, by the way, that while it's easy to dismiss Hardwicke on the basis of the fact that her most notorious directorial effort was Twilight, Hardwicke also directed the well-regarded 2003 drama Thirteen, with Evan Rachel Wood and Holly Hunter.)

The Hollywood Reporter has details on the sequel to How To Train Your Dragon, so fans of fire-breathing should rejoice.

If you've always wondered whether the mothers of Oscar nominees love them, you may get your answer from a cockamamie (cockamommy?) scheme to have said moms tweet about their kids before the ceremony. Hey, don't blame me for the pun. I'm not the one who said "mominees."

In one of those quick posts you just have to see once, here's Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in the upcoming film The Iron Lady. It's a lot of look, but unsurprisingly, she pulls it off.

And finally: Critics held off as long as they could, but they've basically concluded that since it appears Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark may simply choose to remain in previews indefinitely (66 performances so far!), it's time to review it. Almost all the reviews are negative, but the show's spokesperson assures you that since they haven't decided to stop fiddling with it, all the reviews are "totally invalid." Not invalid: the real money being paid by real humans to see the experimental noodling in progress.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.