John Goodman in Talks for TRUMBO; Dakota Johnson Makes A BIGGER SPLASH; Domhnall Gleeson in THE REVENANT; Elle Fanning Leads A STORM IN THE STARS

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Here’s the latest casting news out of Hollywood:

  • John Goodman is in talks to star alongside Brian Cranston in Jay Roach’s Dalton Trumbo biopic, Trumbo.
  • Dakota Johnson joins Ralph Fiennes and Tilda Swinton in A Bigger Splash, directed by Luca Guadagnino.
  • Domhnall Gleeson is in negotiations to join Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant.
  • Elle Fanning to play Mary Shelley in Haifaa Al-Mansour’s period romantic drama A Storm in the Stars.

Hit the jump for more on each project.

Production Begins on Gus Van Sant’s SEA OF TREES Starring Matthew McConaughey, Ken Watanabe, and Naomi Watts

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“The McConaissance” continues as Gus Van Sant’s new project Sea of Trees starts shooting today.  As you may have guessed, the film stars Matthew McConaughey as well as Ken Watanabe and Naomi Watts.  Penned by Chris Sparling, the story follows a man who enters the “Suicidal Forest” at Mount Fuji with the intention of taking his own life.  When he is interrupted by a Japanese man who is having second thoughts about his own suicide, the two “begin a journey of reflection and survival.”

This sounds exactly like the kind of film I feel Van Sant should be doing and it makes me glad that 50 Shades of Grey dalliance ended for him when it did.  Hit the jump for the full press release on Sea of Trees starting up.  The film will shoot on location in Massachusetts and Japan with no release date set as-of-yet.

Alex Kurtzman to Direct THE MUMMY at Universal

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It was just a couple of weeks ago that we learned that Alex Kurtzman (Transformers, Star Trek) and Chris Morgan (Fast & Furious franchise) would be spearheading a crossover universe for the Universal Monsters starting with The Mummy, but it appears that those plans also include giving Kurtzman the keys to the first film out of the gate.  The Mummy is intended to set the tone for the other Universal Monsters films going forward, and while the project previously had Len Wiseman (Underworld) attached to direct and then later Andy Muschietti (Mama), both of those filmmakers subsequently left the project.

With Universal keen on getting going sooner rather than later in anticipation of a May 22, 2016 release date, the studio has now tapped Kurtzman to direct The Mummy instead.  More after the jump.

Charlotte Le Bon Talks THE HUNDRED FOOT JOURNEY, Robert Zemeckis’ THE WALK, How She Got Into Acting, and More

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Opening this weekend is director Lasse Hallström’s (Chocolat) adaptation of the Richard C. Morais novel, The Hundred-Foot Journey.  The story centers on the Kadam family, who set up an Indian restaurant in a small village in the south of France, unknowingly beginning a rivalry with the nearby classical French restaurant run by Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren).  However, this rivalry eventually turns into friendship as the two establishments begin to learn and appreciate the other’s cuisine.  Produced by Oprah and Steven Spielberg, the film also stars Manish DayalOm Puri, and Charlotte Le Bon.  For more on the film, watch the trailer.

At the Los Angeles press day for the film, I landed an extended video interview with Charlotte Le Bon.  She talked about how she got into acting, the experience of making The Hundred Foot Journey, the differences between an American set versus a French set, Lasse Hallström’s directing style, Robert Zemeckis’ The Walk (which used to be called To Reach the Clouds), her parents’ acting careers, and so much more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Over 30 INTERSTELLAR Images from the New Trailer Show the Film’s Epic Mission

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Earlier today Paramount Pictures released a third trailer for Interstellar, director Christopher Nolan’s upcoming sci-fi drama.  The film stars Matthew McConaughey and revolves around a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole “to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.”  We got such a nice, expanded look at the film’s world (and the worlds of the film) in the new trailer that we thought we’d put together an image gallery of some of the trailer’s highlights.

Hit the jump to check out the new Interstellar images.  The film also stars Anne HathawayJessica ChastainCasey AffleckMichael Caine, David OyelowoWes BentleyJohn LithgowEllen BurstynTopher GraceDavid GyasiMackenzie FoyBill IrwinTimothée Chalamet, and Matt Damon.  Interstellar opens November 7th.

Vin Diesel Talks GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, His Reaction to the Finished Film, Another RIDDICK Sequel, KOJAK, XXX 3, His HANNIBAL Trilogy, More

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Opening this weekend is director James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy.  As most of you know, the story follows five intergalactic misfits—Peter Quill aka Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), and Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper)—as they set out to protect a powerful and mysterious orb from the villainous Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace).  Loaded with great performances, an extremely funny script, and some fantastic action sequences,Guardians of the Galaxy should be a big hit with moviegoers and it helps to explain why Marvel was so quick to announce that a sequel is coming July 28, 2017.

At the recent Los Angeles press day, I landed an exclusive video interview with Vin Diesel.  He talked about his reaction to watching Guardians of the Galaxy for the first time, taking his kids to the screening, the status of another Riddick sequel, upcoming projects like Kojak, his Hannibal trilogy, xXx 3, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

HBO Greenlights David Simon Miniseries SHOW ME A HERO Starring Oscar Isaac and Catherine Keener; Paul Haggis to Direct

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HBO is back in business with The Wire and Treme creator David Simon.  Though the insanely smart and wonderfully talented writer is currently developing a Martin Luther King Jr. miniseries America: In the King Years at the network, it appears that a miniseries of a different sort will materialize first.  HBO has now given the greenlight to Show Me a Hero, which is based on the non-fiction book by Lisa Belkin and tells the story of Nick Wasicsko, the youngest big-city mayor in the country in the 1960s who was forced by a federal court to build a number of low-income housing units in white neighborhoods of his town, Yonkers, New York.  The result of the effort was the eruption of tensions in the city and the destruction of his political future.  Oscar Isaac and Catherine Keener are poised to lead the six-hour drama.

So we’ve got David Simon writing a racially charged miniseries with Oscar Isaac and Catherine Keener starring.  Sounds fantastic right?  Well then we have the director: Paul Haggis.  More after the jump.

Jamie Foxx Playing Mike Tyson for the Writer of THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

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This could work.  This could really, really work.  Jamie Foxx is now attached to play Mike Tyson in an as-yet Untitled Mike Tyson Movie.  Equally good news?  Terence Winter is writing the project.  Even if you’re not familiar with Winter’s HBO work on The Sopranos or Boardwalk Empire, you’ve surely seen The Wolf of Wall Street by now.  Even if this movie follows the standard, tired bio-pic formula can you imagine the panaché they could pull this off with?  Winter wrote the hell out of Wolf of Wall Street.  It’s true that Tyson is in some ways even more reprehensible than Jordan Belfort, but that doesn’t mean there’s not an interesting story there.

There isn’t a director yet, but I imagine it won’t be too hard to find one with this combo.  Hopefully they don’t sanitize the less than savory aspects of Tyson’s life but, given the frankness of Tyson himself and his one-man show Undisputed Truth, I doubt they will.  I’m not a fan of Tyson (it’s hard to pull for a convicted rapist) so I’d much rather see an honest character examination than a glorification.  Hit the jump for more on the Untitled Mike Tyson Movie.

Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino, J.J. Abrams, and More Band Together to Keep Kodak Film Alive; Deal Being Struck with Studios

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Though the rise of digital photography only began a little over a decade ago, the switch to digital has been on an exponential rise in the past few years, which has seen traditional film violently sidelined.  One might think it’d be beneficial to all to have a choice between shooting on digital or on film, and it is, but the final say really comes down to a business decision on the studio’s part.  Shooting digitally is now far cheaper than shooting on film, not only because you’re not paying for film prints, but because shooting digitally actually makes the production move at a faster pace.  However, there are a few highly regarded filmmakers who have been lobbying hard to keep film alive, and it appears that their activism has led to a serious deal between studios and Kodak that will keep the film company (the last of its kind) from going out of business.

Hit the jump for more on this deal, which was championed by the likes of Christopher Nolan and J.J. Abrams.

ATARI: GAME OVER Trailer Goes Behind the Scenes of the E.T. Video Game Failure

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Writer (and with this project, director) Zak Penn is best known for films such as The Incredible Hulk and X2 (along with the upcoming Pacific Rim 2), but with Atari: Game Over he turns his attention to a smaller-scale story about the demise of one of the world’s worst video games.  The game in question?  Atari’s E.T. tie-in, which was rushed on a 5-week production schedule in order to be ready for stores by Christmas.  Those in charge? Atari’s founder Nolan Bushnell and the designer of the E.T. game, Howard Scott Warshaw.

Now we have a look at the trailer for Atari: Game Over and it seems really compelling.  It’s a classic rise and fall story, the kind of narrative that occurs millions of times over in every culture of the world that we are eternally doomed to repeat.  It also just looks like a really fun documentary that expands nicely on that “games buried in the desert” story we’ve been hearing for a while now.  Hit the jump for the Atari: Game Over trailer. The film hits Xbox this fall, hopefully some other platforms are announced as well.  Also, check out our Comic-Con panel recap.

DIVERGENT Deleted Scene Reveals Edward’s Eye Stabbing

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If you’ve read Divergent, you probably noticed that one particularly unforgettable scene never made it into the movie – the eye stabbing.  In the book, during Dauntless initiation, the #1 ranking transfer initiate, Edward (Ben Lamb), is stabbed in the eye in the middle of the night.  It’s a pretty brutal moment in the book, so it is reasonable that they opted to cut it from a PG-13-rated film, but they actually did shoot it and it’ll be on the Divergent DVD and Blu-ray special features menu.

You can’t get a copy until August 5th, but Summit opted to unveil the long lost stabbing scene a little early.  Hit the jump to check out the Divergent deleted scene and also to find out what Lamb himself had to say about shooting it during our set visitDivergent also stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Jai Courtney, Zoe Kravitz, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort and Kate Winslet.

New INTO THE WOODS Images Reveal Anna Kendrick’s Cinderella, Chris Pine’s Prince Charming, and Johnny Depp’s Big Bad Wolf

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A batch of new Into the Woods images from director Rob Marshall’s (Chicago) feature film adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical has landed online.  The Disney production stars James Corden (Begin Again) and Emily Blunt as a Baker and his wife who venture into the woods to confront the witch responsible for putting a curse on the childless couple.  Along the way, they run into a number of familiar fairy tale characters.  Today’s new images reveal quite a few of these, including Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Johnny Depp as the Big Bad Wolf, and Chris Pine as Prince Charming.  It’s an absolutely stacked cast, and Marshall had everyone sing live on set, so it should be interesting to see the final result come together this Christmas.  With these images debuting today, I imagine a first trailer is right around the corner.

Hit the jump to check out the new Into the Woods images, and click here to watch the first trailer.  The film also stars Meryl Streep, Lucy Punch, Christine Baranski, Tracy Ullman, Lilla Crawford, Daniel Huttlestone, Tammy Blanchard, Billy Magnussen, Mackenzie MauzyInto the Woods opens in theaters on December 25th.

New INTERSTELLAR Trailer Opens Up the Film’s More Cosmic Elements

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Paramount Pictures has released a third Interstellar trailer for director Christopher Nolan’s upcoming sci-fi drama.  The film stars Matthew McConaughey and revolves around a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole “to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.”  I am so incredibly looking forward to this film and love how this new trailer expands upon the second one from a few months ago.  You really get a sense of the film’s scope and cosmic elements.  I’m really hoping this film sticks the landing like Inception did for me, when Nolan is really inspired in his work (unlike TDKR), it’s really something to behold.

Hit the jump to watch the new Interstellar trailer.  The film also stars Anne HathawayJessica ChastainCasey AffleckMichael Caine, David OyelowoWes BentleyJohn LithgowEllen BurstynTopher GraceDavid GyasiMackenzie FoyBill IrwinTimothée Chalamet, and Matt Damon.  Interstellar opens November 7th.

Read Tom Hiddleston’s Thank You Letter to Joss Whedon for THE AVENGERS

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When you hit a certain level of fame, land a key role in the Marvel universe and are busy booking parts in some of the most highly anticipated movies the industry’s got to offer, it’s easy to start looking at that person as a big name star and losing sight of the humble, passionate and very thankful human being they really are.  Tom Hiddleston’s always been outspoken about his love of the Marvel films and given 100% when it comes to sharing the excitement with fans, but in case you need a reminder, you can find it in Joss Whedon: The Biography.

The book includes a letter Hiddleston wrote to Joss Whedon after reading Whedon’s draft of The Avengers for the very first time.  It’s funny, thoughtful, genuine, and will undoubtedly make you love the guy even more than you probably already do.  Hit the jump to read the letter in full.

First ROCK THE KASBAH Image From The Film’s Set Shows Off All-Star cast

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It looks like we now have our first image from the set of director Barry Levinson’s new movie Rock the Kasbah.  In the film Bill Murray stars a music manager who goes on the USO tour to Afghanistan with his last remaining client.  Once there, “he finds himself abandoned, penniless and without his passport and discovers a young girl with an extraordinary voice who stows away with him back to Kabul to compete on the popular television show The Afghan Star, Afghanistan’s equivalent of American Idol.”

Rock the Kasbah also stars Kate Hudson, Bruce Willis, Danny McBride, Zooey Deschanel and Scott CaanMitch Glazer (The Recruit) wrote the script.  I really like the idea of a $20 Million budget comedy with an original scenario and a cast like that.  It feels like the kind of mid-budget comedies Hollywood made up until 2008 or so.  It’s sort of a shame that the kind of material that used to be considered a mainstream “popcorn flick” would practically be considered limited-release/VOD film in this current climate.  I’m glad this film is getting better treatment (at least on the budget side of things).  Hit the jump for a better look at the Rock the Kasbah image.  Here’s hoping we hear more from Open Road on this one soon.

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