AMC Sets BETTER CALL SAUL Premiere Date for February 8th; Will Air on Monday Nights

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Still reeling from the conclusion of Breaking Bad?  Not to worry, a Better Call Saul premiere date has officially been set for the upcoming spinoff series.  AMC has announced that the hourlong prequel series focusing on morally ambiguous lawyer Saul Goodman (played wonderfully by Bob Odenkirk) will debut on Sunday, February 8th at 10pm, which is familiar territory to BB fans.  However, the second episode of Better Call Saul will air the following night, February 9th at 10pm, and the series itself will call Mondays at 10pm home for the remainder of its 10-episode first season.  More on the show after the jump.

Jason Reitman, Ivan Reitman and Nick Hornby Team for Bank Heist Movie I WOULD ONLY ROB BANKS FOR MY FAMILY

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Hulu just put in a ten episode straight-to-series order for Casual with Jason Reitman serving as executive producer and directing the premiere episode, but Reitman is also busy lining up a new film project, an adaptation of a Skip Hollandsworth article published in the Texas Monthly.  I Would Only Rob Banks for My Family will mark the first time Reitman is teaming up with his father, Ivan Reitman, since 2009’s Up in the Air and the project will also be a reunion for Nick Hornby and Fox Searchlight as well.  Hornby is the writer behind Wild, which is picking up a good deal of Oscar buzz right now.

Hit the jump for more on what the group’s got coming in I Would Only Rob Banks for My Family.

Brad Pitt to Produce Sci-Fi Thriller ALPHA from ROBOPOCALYPSE Author

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Though author Daniel H. Wilson’s novel Robopocalypse came super close to being a Steven Spielberg movie (which he may or may not still make), another idea of his is now poised to come to the big screen via Brad PittTHR reports that Lionsgate has picked up the sci-fi thriller Alpha, based on an original idea by Wilson, with Pitt set to produce alongside his Plan B partners Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner.  Plot details are under wraps, but the film is a sci-fi survival story “that has shades” of White Fang author Jack London.  Wilson will write the screenplay based on his own idea, and newcomer Anthony Scott Burns is set to make his feature directorial debut with the project.  Burns’ pitch for the film apparently involved a fake commercial for a fictional company that is central to the story.  More after the jump.

Penelope Cruz to Star in ZOOLANDER 2 as Comedy Sequel Finally Gains Momentum

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Just a few years ago, filmmakers were lamenting the fact that despite the cult success their comedies had enjoyed over the years, studios just weren’t willing to foot the bill for a follow-up.  Director Adam McKay was famously ready to throw in the towel on Anchorman 2 before one last phone call to Paramount led to the film finally coming together, and it enjoyed modest success at the box office last year.  Just last week, Dumb and Dumber To opened in theaters at the Number One spot, proving once again that a comedy sequel released years after the original (in this case a decade) still has an audience.  Which leads us to Zoolander 2.  The original Ben Stiller-led and directed comedy pulled in only $60 million at the worldwide box office, but it gained a massive following on home video over the years.

Stiller has been trying to get the follow-up off the ground for some time now, and it finally looks as if the project has momentum as Penelope Cruz is signing on to star.  Much more after the jump. 

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Review

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Although Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is ostensibly the heroine of the Hunger Games saga, the story has developed to where she’s no longer in the mold of a traditional protagonist.  She began that way in the first movie, but The Hunger Games: Catching Fire started to push her to the background as she became part of a much larger conflict rather than its leader.  The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 continues this shift to the point where it barely resembles the first two pictures as the true story of the latest installment isn’t Katniss’ journey, but the revolution that’s consumed her and the rest of Panem.  She’s still an integral part and the focus of the narrative, but director Francis Lawrence has expanded the social commentary far beyond the first film, and put it squarely on how media can be used to control or inspire in the true battle for hearts and minds.  Although the movie is eventually weighted down by the business requirement of splitting the final book into two movies, and Katniss still becomes a puddle of tears when the melodramatic love story surfaces, Mockingjay remains a fascinating and dark development in this unique franchise.

Mel Gibson in Talks to Direct Andrew Garfield in World War II Drama HACKSAW RIDGE

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Mel Gibson looks to be staging a comeback, and it’ll be a return to his war epic directorial roots if it comes to fruition.  THR reports that Gibson is slated to direct the World War II drama Hacksaw Ridge, which tells the true story of war hero Desmond T. Doss, a private who was drafted in 1942 but refused to kill or carry a weapon.  He was stationed in the Pacific where he worked as a medic and was ostracized for his beliefs, but he became a hero when he saved 75 men during the Battle of Okinawa, helping to evacuate the wounded and putting himself directly in the line of fire.  And not only is Gibson looking to direct this as his next film, but a very talented young actor is in talks to star: Andrew Garfield.  More after the jump.

Jennifer Lawrence Says Mystique Needs to be in Hiding in X-MEN: APOCALYPSE

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It was recently reported that X-Men: Apocalypse will focus on the romance between Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), but don’t expect any PDA from the two because during a recent interview, Lawrence noted that she’s had some conversations about where we’ll find Mystique in the upcoming installment and that “she obviously needs to be in hiding.”

X-Men: Apocalypse is expected to go into production in Montreal in April 2015 and is heading towards a May 27, 2016 release.  Director Bryan Singer is currently on the hunt for actors to take the roles of a young Cyclops and a young Jean Grey.

James Franco, Martin Freeman, and Amy Adams Set as SNL Hosts for December

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NBC has announced the next three hosts of Saturday Night Live for the month of December, and they’re mighty promising.  James Franco will kick things off on December 6th with his third appearance as host, accompanied by musical guest Nicki Minaj.  Franco is well-versed in SNL lore having directed the incredibly fascinating documentary Saturday Night, which provided a first-ever behind-the-scenes look at the weeklong process of making an episode.  The actor will of course be promoting his upcoming comedy The Interview in which he stars opposite Seth Rogen, so a Rogen cameo on the episode seems likely.  More after the jump.

12 YEARS A SLAVE Director Steve McQueen to Helm Heist Thriller Based off 1980s British TV Miniseries WIDOWS

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A couple days ago, we reported that 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen would be doing a film based on the life of activist Paul Robeson.  It sounded right up McQueen’s alley: It’s a passion project he now has the clout to push forward, it’s about an activist (like his debut feature Hunger), and it deals with racial conflict in America.  McQueen had even done an art instillation in 2012, End Credits, dedicated to Robeson.  It all made sense.

Here’s what makes somewhat less sense: McQueen’s next movie is a heist thriller.  Hit the jump for more.

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW Recap: “Test of Strength”

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Dell (Michael Chiklis) needed some time in the spotlight and in American Horror Story: Freak Show episode 7 he finally gets it, but it doesn’t do him much good at all.  The show’s been playing the same game with the character since the moment he arrived at Elsa’s Cabinet of Curiosities.  Dell does terrible things, but then we get a quick glimpse of him looking sad and remorseful and are expected to believe the guy’s got a heart.  No more.  Dell wasn’t really in a position to carry an episode to begin with, but he gets away with it because the characters around him are so strong that his effect on them still has great value.  But, when it comes to Dell as an individual, at this point, he’s a lost cause.  There’s just no coming back from what he does at the end of “Test of Strength.”  The writers might as well stop playing the back-and-forth game and just turn him into a full-blown villain.

New INTO THE WOODS Featurette Shows off Meryl Streep Singing “Stay with Me”

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Fun fact: Meryl Streep has been nominated for an Oscar five times in the last seven years.  Combine her extraordinary acting ability with the pedigree of Into the Woods, and she could easily lock up yet another nod (which would make it her 18th Oscar nomination over the course of her career; that’s what happens when you’re a national treasure).  A new featurette for the upcoming musical further pushes her awards chances as Stephen Sondheim, who wrote the music and lyrics, praises her ability “to find colors in lyric.”  This featurette shows some of Streep singing “Stay with Me”, and it’s a beautiful rendition.  I hope the rest of the film is worthy of her immense talent.

Hit the jump to check out the new Into the Woods featurette.  The film opens December 25th, and also stars Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Lucy Punch, Christine Baranski, Tracy Ullman, Lilla Crawford, Daniel Huttlestone, Tammy Blanchard, Billy Magnussen, Mackenzie Mauzy, and Johnny Depp.

The Paris International Fantastic Film Festival 2014 Kicks Off with Takashi Miike’s THE MOLE SONG: UNDERCOVER AGENT REIJI

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In a theater near the famous Opéra Garnier, the 4th annual Paris International Fantastic Film Festival opened Tuesday night with a screening of the Japanese yakuza film, The Mole Song: Undercover Agent ReijiTakashi Miike‘s psychedelic cinematic feast announced the many hues of this year’s selection – and in a rather explosive manner.

Miike has turned a classic infiltration plot into a top gear Technicolor action flick that borders on parody.  Reiji Kikukawa is basically a failed cop.  Maybe because he’s still a virgin.  Or simply because he’s not cut out for catching criminals.  He’s fired yet undergoes some bizarre tests to become a mole — an undercover agent.  After one of these tests where he rides naked on the hood of a car he is dropped off in the most dangerous Japanese yakuza clan, or Mafia.  No one in the force believes he’ll make it out alive, yet despite his clumsiness and lack of skills, he finds his niche … or is it luck?  And the result is a visual hyperbole.  Hit the jump for more.

First Look at Patrick Stewart in GREEN ROOM, the New Film from BLUE RUIN Director Jeremy Saulnier

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Jeremy Saulnier‘s Blue Ruin is one of the best films of 2014 you probably haven’t seen (but if you have Netflix Instant, you can watch it now!).  It’s a unique spin on the revenge genre, and once you see it, you’ll likely be amped to see Saulnier’s next film, the upcoming thriller Green Room.  The story revolves around a young punk rock band that find themselves trapped in a secluded venue after stumbling upon a horrific act of violence, fighting for their lives against a gang of white power skinheads intent on eliminating all witnesses.  Patrick Stewart stars as Darcy Banker, an unflinching and industrial leader of a ferocious white supremacist fiefdom based in the Pacific Northwest.

You can check out the image after the jump, and be sure that we’re definitely going to be keeping this film on our radar, not only because of Saulnier and Stewart, but also because the excellent cast includes Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Alia Shawkat, Joe Cole, Callum Turner, Mark Webber, Kai Lennox, Eric Edelstein, and the return of Blue Ruin star Macon Blair.

Ridley Scott Plans to Deliver a “Fresher Form of Alien” in PROMETHEUS 2

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About two months ago, Ridley Scott offered a Prometheus 2 update confirming that the script was being written, that he had “15 drafts evolving” and also that the iconic Xenomorphs will not be part of the sequel.  He noted that “there’s only so much snarling you can do” and that it’s time to do something more interesting, but left it at that.  However, in a more recent interview, Scott gives up a little more information and it teases the direction he could be going in with aliens in the sequel.

Hit the jump to find out what Noomi Rapace’s Elizabeth Shaw could encounter in Prometheus 2.

Katey Sagal Talks SONS OF ANARCHY, The Show’s Satisfying Conclusion, The Challenges of Playing Gemma, THE BASTARD EXECUTIONER, and More

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After seven seasons, the hit FX drama series Sons of Anarchy will have finished its run, bloodier, more intense and more heart-breaking than ever.  Until then, fans of the show will be on the edge of their seats, wondering just who will make it out alive.

During this recent interview to discuss the end of the popular TV show, actress Katey Sagal (who plays Gemma Teller) talked about the biggest challenges in playing this character, what she’ll miss most about the show, what she’s most excited for fans to see from the final episodes, that she thinks fans will find the series’ conclusion very satisfying, what she kept from the set, the legacy that Sons of Anarchy has left on the world of television, already moving on to other work, and that she will definitely be involved with The Bastard Executioner, which her husband (and Sons of Anarchy creator) Kurt Sutter is developing for FX.  Check out what she had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.

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