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On The Lot: Tom Hanks, 'Avatar,' and more

Tom Hanks stars in
Tom Hanks stars in "Captain Phillips."
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Time for On The Lot, our weekly look at the business of entertainment with Rebecca Keegan of the LA Times.

Rebecca has a pretty glamorous job. She gets to interview movie stars, and this week she wrote about one of the biggest, Tom Hanks. He's got a new movie, Captain Phillips. For this project, Hanks teamed up with a director who is best known for a pretty gritty, documentary style of shooting. We'll talk about Captain Phillips. 

There's a film opening next weekend that was shot undercover at Disneyland and Disneyworld called "Escape From Tomorrow." It's gotten a lot of hype, but we'll see if it will actually draw audiences.  

Everyone expected Disney's lawyers to swoop down and annihilate this movie, but they haven't. At least not yet. Why is that, especially since Disney is so well-known for protecting its brand?

Let's move to James Cameron, who won a legal victory when a judge dismissed a suit by a writer who claimed Cameron stole the idea for "Avatar" from him. He not the first one to claim Cameron stole the idea.

Yesterday's New York Times magazine had Daniel Radcliffe on the cover, and the story was all about the actor trying to escape his role as Harry Potter. You've seen his first, big attempt, and he's going way out in a different direction.

 We talked about the new L.A. film czar last week, and now the head of the motion picture association is saying California needs to step it up on tax credits if they don't want to lose film shoots to other states and other countries. Is this just talk, or will lawmakers listen?