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Sandra Bullock joins David Gordon Green's 'Our Brand Is Crisis'

Sandra Bullock is set to star in David Gordon Green’s Our Brand Is Crisis, sources have confirmed. The film, written by Peter Straughan, is based on the 2005 documentary of the same name. The doc followed American political campaign marketing tactics in the 2002 Bolivian presidential election, which saw Evo Morales lose to Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada.

According to Variety, which first reported the news, Bullock has been in talks for the political dramedy for months now. Bullock will also serve as an executive producer on the film alongside George Clooney and Grant Heslov’s Smokehouse Pictures.

Box office preview: Will teen drama 'If I Stay' top 'Sin City' sequel?

It takes a special kind of sequel to be able to withstand a nine-year gap between releases, and unfortunately for Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez, Sin City: A Dame to Kill for doesn’t appear to be up to the task. Instead, the YA adaptation If I Stay looks poised to take first place this weekend.

Here’s how things might play out.

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Poster for 'Island of Dr. Moreau' doc 'Lost Soul' is manimal crackers

One of the oddest tales this writer has ever reported on involves 1996’s box-office bomb The Island of Dr. Moreau, the third big-screen adaptation of H.G. Wells’ novel about a scientist who tries to turn animals into people. The movie was a passion project of director Richard Stanley who had made a splash with his debut movie, the sci-fi action film Hardware, and who assembled a remarkable cast for his Moreau, which included Val Kilmer, Marlon Brando, David Thewlis, Fairuza Balk, and Ron Perlman. After just a few days of principal photography, he was fired from the film and ultimately replaced by veteran auteur John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate), but allegedly returned to haunt the set disguised as one of Moreau’s semi-human beasts. Despite, or more likely because of, such dedication to the cause, Stanley hasn’t made a feature film since, and sci-fi fans have been left to ponder what might have happened with both the film and his career had he been left in charge of the project.

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Nicolas Cage Nicolas Cages all over the Crusades in 'Outcast' trailer

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Ostensibly, Outcast is an historical drama set during the Crusades about two disillusioned Knights Templar who decide to protect the children of an assassinated Chinese emperor from their uncle who desires the throne. But it also has Nicolas Cage in it, so it’s probably best to prepare for anything.

The film also stars Hayden Christensen as Cage’s former brother-in-arms. But to be fair, it’s hard to get anyone to notice you when you’re next to a Nicolas Cage who has grown a beard, taken on a vaguely British accent, and begun calling himself “The White Ghost.”

Outcast opens in China on Sept. 26, but anyone in the States clamoring to see Nic Cage go all Nic Cage over Crusades-era China will have to wait until Feb. 27.

Orson Welles' unfinished film 'Too Much Johnson' now available online

Before 1941’s Citizen Kanedirector Orson Welles played around with film to make 1938’s Too Much Johnson, an unfinished project now available to stream online for free.

When Welles’ Mercury Theatre put on a production of William Gillette’s 1894 comedy Too Much Johnson, he made silent film counterparts to be shown throughout the live production. The film never made it into the production though and was unseen by the public until it was discovered in Italy in 2013, and has only been shown publicly a handful of times since its uncovering.  READ FULL STORY

John Stevenson to direct animated comedy inspired by Noah's Ark

John Stevenson, the Academy Award-nominated director behind Kung Fu Panda, has found his next project.

Stevenson will direct Unified Pictures’ first CG-animated feature, which is inspired by the story of Noah’s Ark. According to a press release, “The animated comedy adventure is inspired by the classic tale, but tells the story from the point of view of the animals. The story follows an outcast aardvark by the name of Gilbert, who becomes the reluctant leader of a ragtag group of misfit animals that need to be led to the mighty ark before the impending flood. Along their journey, they band together to conquer unforeseen obstacles, and ultimately, Gilbert discovers within himself the inner strength and ingenuity to prove that in a world of ‘twos,’ he was truly destined to be ‘the one.'”

“As soon as Kurt and Keith approached me with the idea of taking the classic tale of Noah’s Ark and telling a more personal story within the story, I jumped at the chance,” Stevenson said in a press release. “It’s so exciting to work with everyone at Unified Pictures and we’re fortunate to have assembled such a stellar group of artists to help make the film.”

Written by Philip LaZebnik and Glen Dolman, the film is slated for completion in 2016.

Zen and the art of casting Bill Murray in your movie

“You know what the truth is? You don’t find Bill Murray,” filmmaker Theodore Melfi says. “Bill ­Murray finds you.”

This fateful lesson is one learned by many directors, though not all succeed in the quest to recruit the Ghostbusters and Rushmore star for their projects.

Melfi, a longtime commercial director making his feature writing and directing debutwas certain Murray would be perfect for the title role in St. Vincent, his indie comedy about a rotten, miserable old man who reluctantly discovers he’s not so rotten and miserable after all.

“He finds everything he’s supposed to be involved in by not chasing anything,” Melfi says. “If it’s supposed to happen, the person will hound him until it happens, or he’ll run into them at a bar or restaurant. He has a zen-like protocol in regard to what he does and doesn’t do.”

Here’s how the odd journey to St. Vincent played out, in three acts.

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Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, others join Andy Serkis' 'Jungle Book'

Andy Serkis has completed his zoo of actors that will voice his adaptation of Jungle Book: Origins for Warner Bros.

Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Naomie Harris, Tom Hollander, Eddie Marsan, Peter Mullan, and Serkis himself will all join Benedict Cumberbatch as the animal characters in the feature, which mixes together motion capture, CG animation, and live action. Bale will voice the fearsome panther Bagheera; Blanchett, the sinister python Kaa; and Serkis, the beloved Baloo the bear. Mullan, Harris, and Marsan will all voice members of the wolf pack that raises Mowgli, and Hollander will play Tabaqui, the underling jackal of Shere Khan (Cumberbatch).

In addition to the voice actors, Bad Words star Rohan Chand has been cast as the human boy Mowgli. Callie Kloves wrote the script based on Rudyard Kipling’s short stories for the film, which is a completely different take from Jon Favreau’s equally star-filled Jungle Book film over at Disney.

SXSW Grand Jury winner 'The Great Invisible' gets U.S. distribution

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RADiUS-TWC has acquired the U.S. rights to the The Great Invisible,  the eco-documentary which won the Grand Jury Award at the South by Southwest Film Festival earlier this year. Written and directed by Margaret Brown, the film chronicles the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf Coast through the perspectives of the area’s survivors, fishermen, and oil men. Brown travels through towns in Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas, interviewing residents still reeling from the damage to the environment and the local fishing industry.

The Great Invisible is slated for release later this year.

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Why the cast of 'Fury' got in fistfights every day on set

Most directors do their best to prevent actors punching each other. But during last year’s U.K. shoot for the World War II tank movie Fury, filmmaker David Ayer had his five principals—Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, Shia Labeouf, Jon Bernthal, and Michael Peña—start the day by engaging in fisticuffs.

“We put them through martial arts training and physical combat classes,” says Ayer, whose film is released Oct. 17. “It’s a great ice breaker for actors. There’s something very honest about being punched in the face.”

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