Without a prayer
Three movie chains in England have banned a Church of England advertisement encouraging prayer that was meant to be shown before "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." The prospect of reaching a huge audience shortly before Christmas "was too good an opportunity to miss, and we are bewildered by the decision of the cinemas," said the church, which is considering legal action. The chains said that the ad "carries the risk of upsetting, or offending, audiences."
File under bad idea
Amazon has pulled swastika-adorned advertisements for the Nazi-themed "The Man in the High Castle" from New York City subways. … The CW has given orders for extra episodes of newcomer "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" and sophomore series "iZombie." … National Geographic channel will produce Bill O'Reilly's "Killing Patton." … CBS is searching for a young actor with "future leading-man looks" to play the young Kal-El in "Supergirl." … Put the speculation back on the front burner: The poster for Season 6 of "Game of Thrones" features the supposedly dead Jon Snow (Kit Harington).
One small step
Ryan Gosling is being wooed to play Neil Armstrong in a biopic from Damien Chazelle ("Whiplash"). …
Julian Fellowes, having just overseen the series finale of "Downton Abbey" in England, says he has more to say and "I truly hope there will be a film." … Nickelodeon is developing a "Hey Arnold" movie that will pick up where the eight-season series left off in 2004. … Warner Bros. and Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment are teaming up to produce "Illuminae," based on the hit young-adult novel. … The Morgan Freeman thriller "Momentum" opened in England to only $69 in 10 theaters.
They've got Spirit
"Carol" leads the Spirit Award nominations with six: movie, director (Todd Haynes), female lead (Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara), screenplay and cinematography. "Beasts of No Nation" claimed five nominations: feature, director (Cary Fukunaga), male lead (Idris Elba), supporting male (Abraham Attah) and cinematography. The awards will be handed out on Feb. 27, the night before the Oscars.