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The National chime in for new 'Theory of Everything' trailer

With the Best Actor Oscar race heating up, as this week’s New York Film Festival sheds the spotlight on Ben Affleck (Gone Girl), Joaquin Phoenix (Inherent Vice), Miles Teller (Whiplash), and Michael Keaton (Birdman), Focus Features debuted a new trailer for The Theory of Everything, perhaps as a gentle reminder that Eddie Redmayne was the talk of the town just a few weeks ago in Toronto.

His performance as British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking is a major career breakthrough for the dashing young actor best known for Les Miserables, and the role of Hawking, the brilliant mathematician whose disease cost him his voice and confined him to a wheelchair, is quintessential Oscar bait. The new trailer focuses on the man versus the crippling disease, with the help of his devoted first wife, Jane (Felicity Jones). Focus also splurged on the music, plugging in The National’s “Heavenfaced” to help inspire. READ FULL STORY

Ethan Hawke reflects on his career at NYFF celebration

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For Ethan Hawke, the past two years have resulted in a series of culminations. Last year, Before Midnight, which closed out his trilogy with Richard Linklater and Julie Delpy, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival; Boyhood, which he made with Linklater over 12 years, premiered there this year. And now he’s celebrating the completion of his documentary, Seymour: An Introduction, as it makes stops at various film festivals. So it makes sense that Hawke was prone to look backwards when feted at the New York Film Festival during its “An Evening With…” event. READ FULL STORY

Matthew McConaughey hasn't gone far enough in new 'Interstellar' trailer

Though initial Interstellar trailers remained relatively earthbound, the latest clearly shows where Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, and company are headed in Christopher Nolan’s latest. And it’s a place with some waves that look like mountains. “Everybody ready to say goodbye to our solar system?” McConaughey says.

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How Disney's legendary animator helped Maleficent steal 'Sleeping Beauty'

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When Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty first arrived in theaters in 1959, reviews were mixed, in part because the conceit of a wicked sorceress putting a beautiful princess to sleep seemed like such a blatant Snow White rip-off. But over time, Sleeping Beauty has carved out its own space, no doubt because of its mesmerizing villain, the elegantly evil Maleficent—a fact brought to cinematic fruition this year with Angelina Jolie’s live-action blockbuster. Maleficent wasn’t a hag, like the in-disguise apple-offering witch in Snow White, nor a prim harpy, like Cinderella’s stepmother. She was undoubtedly grotesque, with devilish horns, yellow eyes, and pale green skin… but also beautiful and alluring, especially with the unsettling patrician voice of Eleanor Audley.

Maleficent was drawn by Marc Davis, one of Disney’s original Nine Old Men, and his style is part of why the character was both frightening and seductive. He had been one of Walt Disney’s go-to animators for pretty girls, working on Cinderella, Alice, Tinker Bell, and even Beauty‘s Princess Aurora, and he instilled what could’ve been just another fire-breathing dragon-lady with enough mystery and subtext to make her the most interesting character in the animated film.

Davis’ achievement is examined in one of the extras on the new Sleeping Beauty Diamond Edition Blu-ray, out Oct. 7. In an exclusive clip from “Art of Evil: Generations Of Disney Villains,” old interviews with Davis, who died in 2000, and new tributes from current animators combine to celebrate the legacy of Maleficent and the man who created her. READ FULL STORY

J.K. Simmons toys with Miles Teller in 'Whiplash' clip

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When director Damien Chazelle was in high school in Princeton, N.J., he played drums in his school’s highly competitive jazz ensemble, which was led by an intense conductor who ruled with an iron fist.

“Drums had always been like a fun hobby for me, and for four years, when I was in that ensemble, it became just a source of constant dread and just terror and anxiety,” the 29-year-old director said last winter at the Sundance Film Festival, where his film Whiplash won top prizes. Practicing constantly, under mental if not physical duress, left scars that were still raw when Chazelle decided to write Whiplash. ”This was the most personal thing I’d ever written, and I put it in a drawer for awhile,” he said. ”I was almost embarrassed to show it because it seemed like exposing a part of myself that I didn’t really want exposed.”

The writer/director admits he still has nightmares—nightmares that audiences can understand after meeting J.K. Simmons’s music teacher in Whiplash. Mr. Holland he is not.

In this exclusive scene from the film, which opens in theaters Oct. 10 after recent screenings at the New York Film Festival, Miles Teller’s eager drum prodigy meets the school’s revered conductor, a man who can make or break his future. In a romantic-comedy, this scene might be termed the meet-cute. But in this tense drama, it immediately sets the unsettling tone for the clash of wills to follow.  READ FULL STORY

Sudeikis, Gad, Dinklage among star-studded 'Angry Birds' voice cast

Sony Pictures Entertainment announced the upcoming Angry Birds film’s cast today, and it includes more than a dozen well-known comic actors and actresses.

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See Ridley Scott's plagues in new 'Exodus: Gods and Kings' trailer

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When one thinks of Moses one typically thinks of… Coldplay, right?* Well, Coldplay is what you’ll get in the new trailer for Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings.

(Okay, yes, you may actually think of Coldplay, given that the band has a song called “Moses” and Chris Martin’s son is named Moses. “Moses” is not the song used in this trailer.)

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'Twilight Saga' returning with five short films on Facebook

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Just when you thought The Twilight Saga was over, it’s back with sparkly new skin.

Two years after the release of Breaking Dawn Part 2, Lions Gate announced on Tuesday that it’s teaming with Facebook to finance five short films that will be based on Twilight characters, according to The New York Times. A group of female panelists will choose from five aspiring female directors to direct the films, titled The Storytellers — New Creative Voices of ‘The Twilight Saga, which will premiere exclusively on the social network next year. READ FULL STORY

Casting Net: Benjamin Walker lands lead in Nicholas Sparks' 'The Choice'

• Benjamin Walker will part with his presidential past as the male lead in the adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel The Choice. The Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson star will play Travis Parker in the story that spans a decade long love affair in a small coastal town. Bryan Sipe (A Million Miles) wrote the screenplay with no director currently attached. [Deadline] READ FULL STORY

Dennis Quaid cast in Dan Rather drama 'Truth'

EW has confirmed that Dennis Quaid has been cast in Truth, the drama pic that depicts Dan Rather’s fall from grace at CBS when he infamously reported a damaging report on George W. Bush that turned out to be false. Deadline first reported the news of Quaid’s casting.

Quaid will play Colonel Roger Charles and joins a cast that includes Robert Redford, who will be playing Dan Rather; Cate Blanchett, who will be playing 60 Minutes producer Mary Mapes; and Elisabeth Moss. James Vanderbilt will direct and write the project, which is currently in pre-production.

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