Though Pixar are often considered the reigning champs of cinematic batting averages (they have one of the best records for quality), Studio Ghibli is their equal, which may explain why Pixar’s John Lasseter has shepherded Ghibli’s work into American theaters. This has everything to do with filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, whose work on films like My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away puts him in the pantheon with Walt Disney. The Secret World of Arrietty wasn’t directed by him (though he has a credit as its planner), but it falls in line with his whimsical children’s films. Our review of the Blu-ray of Arrietty follows after the jump.
Adam Sandler has added fellow SNL co-star, Cheri Oteri (Liar Liar) and Happy Madison mainstay, Nick Swardson (Just Go With It) to the cast of Grown Ups 2. Featuring the return of Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Rob Schneider, Salma Hayek and Maya Rudolph, Sandler’s first ever sequel will feature newcomers Taylor Lautner, Oliver Cooper and David Henrie as fraternity brothers who antagonize Sandler and Co. Dennis Dugan will also return to direct the sequel for Happy Madison and Sony. Hit the jump for details on Oteri and Swardson’s characters.
Here’s a quick look at the highlights of our most recent movie casting roundup:
Hit the jump for more on each project.
Disney has released the trailer and poster for Studio Ghibli’s The Secret World of Arrietty. The film is an adaptation of Mary Norton‘s children’s novels The Borrowers, which focuses on miniscule people who attempt to hide their existence and steal (or borrow without intent to return) items from human beings in order to survive. The trailer makes the movie look delightful and something kids and their parents would really enjoy. Click here to read David Corbin’s positive review of the Japanese-language version.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer and poster. The English-dubbed version features the voices of Bridgit Mendler, Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett, Will Arnett, David Henrie, and Moises Arias. The Secret World of Arrietty opens February 17, 2012.
Mexican director Alejandro Monteverde (Bella) has set up the Little Boy, a small-town family drama set at the onset of World War II, at Metanoia Films. Kevin James, Ben Chaplin, Emily Watson, and David Henrie form the supporting cast around Jakob Salvati, making his acting debut as the boy in question. Variety provides the logline:
[Little Boy] revolves around an 8-year-old with developmental problems. His only friend is his father, and with his departure to war, the troubled boy is forced to confront the cruelty of schoolmates and others.
Monteverde co-wrote the script with Pepe Portillo. Financing on the $24 million production is split between U.S. and Mexican investors. Filming is scheduled for the end of August in Baja California — plus shoots in Rosarito beach, Ensenada, Tijuana and Tecate — with eyes to a 2012 release. The cast is lily white, so I’m curious to see what role (if any) the Mexican setting will play in the story.
While Jennifer Lawrence is now set in the lead role of Katniss in Gary Ross’ adaptation of The Hunger Games, producers are currently looking to fill out the other lead roles in the cast. Apparently Lionsgate is testing a number of actors today for the two male lead roles in the film: Peeta, a boy from Katniss’ town who reveals his love for her as the Hunger Games (life-or-death games played out in the post-apocalyptic future) begin, and Gale, a character who teaches Katniss the “way of the hunter” while she’s in the games herself.
Actors testing for Peeta include the previously mentioned Hunter Parrish (Weeds), Josh Hutcherson (The Kids Are All Right) and Evan Peters (Kick-Ass). Testing for Gale are Liam Hemsworth (The Last Song), David Henrie (The Wizards of Waverly Place) among others. Hit the jump to see the full list of actors testing for each part.