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Casting Net: Pedro Pascal in talks for Great Wall movie

• Game of ThronesPedro Pascal is in talks for director Zhang Yimou‘s untitled Great Wall pic. The film, which marks Yimou’s English-language debut, follows a group of people who fight to protect the iconic landmark. Matt Damon is also in talks for the film. Tony Gilroy wrote the most recent draft of the script. Production is scheduled to begin this Spring, with a U.S. release date set for Nov. 23, 2016. [The Wrap]

• Michael Stuhlbarg has signed on for Universal’s Steve Jobs movie. Danny Boyle is directing the film, which has Seth Rogen in the role of Steve Wozniak and Michael Fassbender in talks for the part of Jobs. Stuhlbarg will play Andy Hertzfeld, a computer scientist who, along with a team, worked to come up with the Macintosh Operating System. Aaron Sorkin wrote the script for the film, which is expected to begin production next year. [Deadline]

• Tara Holt, Bryce Johnson, and Katrina Law have been cast in Darkness Rising. Austin Reading is directing the horror film. Vikram Weet wrote the script. The story follows a girl, the only survivor of a brutal attack on her family, who brings evil spirits out to the earthly world when she returns to her childhood home. Production is ongoing in Los Angeles. [The Wrap]

• Embeth Davidtz and Jack Noseworthy are joining Kelli Garner and Susan Sarandon in Lifetime’s Marilyn. Based on J. Randy Taraborrelli‘s book, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, the four-hour miniseries will tell the tragic story of the classic Hollywood icon. [Deadline]

• C.J. Valleroy, Fiona Shaw, Christina Cole, Nadja Boyleva, and Jon Brazier have taken roles in TNT’s drama pilot Lumen. Joe Johnson is directing, and Chris Black is writing. Valleroy takes the role of a teenager, named Charlie Drake, who is obsessed with a fantasy book series and becomes even more intrigued when the books’ author disappears before his eyes. [Deadline]

Hustler is making a porn parody of 'The Interview'

Sony may have canceled its release of The Interview in light of terrorist threats much to the disappointment of President Obama and, like, 99.9 percent of Hollywood but the intrepid folks at porn studio Hustler Video aren’t afraid one bit. READ FULL STORY

Mark Hamill as The Emperor! Rainn Wilson is Chewbacca! Photos from the Live-Read of 'The Empire Strikes Back'

Mark Hamill finally went over to the dark side of the Force.

Jason Reitman’s live-read of The Empire Strikes Back last night brought two surprise guests to the roster of actors recreating the Star Wars sequel. Hamill, who was once Luke Skywalker himself (and will be again) joined the group to play none other than The Emperor.

Hamill, an acclaimed voice actor who has done countless animated shows, also read the lines for Obi-Wan Kenobi and Boba Fett, doing spot-on imitations of each, while The Office‘s Rainn Wilson, sporting a bushy beard and lumberjack-style checked shirt, played Chewbacca — and only Chewbacca.

Needless to say, there was a lot of roaring.

Here are some more photos from the performance, which took place before a live audience of 1,600 fans.

READ FULL STORY

'Crimson Peak': A first look at Jessica Chastain in Guillermo del Toro's Gothic chiller

After rock’eming and sock’eming some robots in his anime-influenced Pacific Rim, Guillermo del Toro is returning to the cold, dead arms of horror—and the director hopes that his next movie Crimson Peak will help bring the genre back to its gnarled, twisted roots.

“It’s very much in an old mold with a little bit of extra depravity and brutality sprinkled in,” says the director, who found inspiration in classic gothic films like The ­Innocents and Rebecca. Set in the 19th century, the film stars Mia Wasikowska as a new bride who discovers that her husband (Tom Hiddleston) is a tad…off. Jessica Chastain plays her sister-in-law, a role that turned out to be more intense than she anticipated. READ FULL STORY

Best of 2014: How Tom Hardy took audiences for a ride in 'Locke'

Steven Knight had an idea. The writer/director, best known in the U.S. for scripting David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises, wanted to tell a story in real time of a man driving home from work. There would be no high-speed chases or car-crashes. There would be no flashbacks to help explain his predicament and motivations. Instead, his one and only onscreen character would calmly engage in phone conversations with a multitude of people who were depending on him for something important: his wife, his kids, his boss, his friends. Through those increasingly tense chats, clues would trickle out, and the audience would begin to understand who he was and where he was going.

Knight recruited Tom Hardy to play his driver, an ordinary man named Ivan Locke. Their movie, Locke, is one of 2014’s overlooked gems. EW chatted with Knight to learn how he made an 85-minute car ride into one of the year’s most powerful cinematic experiences.

Click here for more of EW.com’s Best of 2014 coverage. READ FULL STORY

Kevin Hart teaches Will Ferrell to survive prison in 'Get Hard' trailer

Will Ferrell’s James is so concerned with his impending prison sentence in his new film, Get Hard, he’s enlisted the help of someone he’s kind of, sort of, pretty sure also went to prison—Kevin Hart’s Darnell.

Sentenced to 10 years, James has 30 days to prepare how to survive in prison, Darnell offers his expertise on the matter, though he may be putting on a bit of an act.

Craig T. Nelson and Alison Brie also star in the comedy. Find out if James gets as hard, as the title demands, as he needs to be to make it through lockup when Get Hard arrives in cinemas on March 27, 2015.

Animal trainer Bill Berloni dishes on nearly 4 decades of Sandy from 'Annie'

A lot about the updated version of Annie that opens Friday will be unfamiliar to those familiar with the musical that opened on Broadway in 1977. Many of the songs have changed, for instance, and some have been excised completely for new pop tunes. But there’s at least one constant behind the scenes: Bill Berloni, the animal trainer, who, in his words, “created the role of Sandy.”

Berloni was an apprentice at the Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut when Annie had its world premiere back in 1976. As Berloni explained to EW, The Goodspeed’s executive director, Michael Price, needed “someone he could trick into training the dog, preferably for nothing.” After Price offered Berloni his Equity Card and a chance to be in a production, Berloni took the gig—and adopted the original Sandy for $7 at a shelter the day before the dog was to be euthanized. READ FULL STORY

FIND THIS MOVIE: Five reasons to seek out the sexy indie comedy 'Goodbye to All That'

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Goodbye to All That is about a nice guy who misses out on everything that’s funny, sexy, sweet, sad and exciting about life because he’s just not paying attention. Moviegoers could lose out on the same if they don’t seek out this new indie comedy.

The film, written and directed by Junebug screenwriter Angus MacLachlan, stars Paul Schneider as a clumsy but kind-hearted dad named Otto Wall, who is blindsided one day by wife Melanie Lynskey’s request for a divorce. As his life falls apart, he discovers he wasn’t making much use of it anyway and embarks on a romantic, awkward, and frequently absurd quest to figure out what really matters to him.

Goodbye to All That is in limited theatrical release now, and can also be found on iTunes and video-on-demand. Here’s why you should you make the effort… READ FULL STORY

Expect even more action in 'Insurgent': Exclusive photo

Society is heading to war in Insurgent (in theaters March 20)—which means we get to see Shailene Woodley’s Tris kick some serious ass.

Adapted from the popular Veronica Roth trilogy, Divergent‘s sequel will see Tris and Four (Theo James) continuing to lead the resistance against the corrupt government while evil mastermind Jeanine (Kate Winslet) tries to wipe out Tris and her kind. Woodley promises that there’ll be plenty of onscreen excitement.

“We all had this great vision to make this movie even more action packed,” says Woodley—which is why Woodley got to spend plenty of quality time in a harness, suspended in midair. “It pinches and it’s uncomfortable, but you feel like you’re Tinker Bell or Peter Pan.” Check out the film’s trailer below. READ FULL STORY

'Ida,' 'Force Majeure' among 9 films on Academy's Foreign Language shortlist

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Poland’s Ida, Russia’s Leviathan, and Sweden’s Force Majeure are on the shortlist for the Oscars’ Foreign Language Film category.

Nine films, out of 83 submitted, advanced in the competition, and some notable films did not make the cut. Among those that will not get a nomination: Cannes Palme d’Or winner Winter Sleep from Turkey, Cannes jury prize winner Mommy from Canada, and the Dardenne brothers’s Two Days, One Night, starring Marion Cotillard. READ FULL STORY

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