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'Moonrise Kingdom': Wes Anderson's animated take on the film's imaginary books -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO


In Wes Anderson’s indie mega-hit Moonrise Kingdom, 12-year-old Suzy (Kara Hayward) packs an unusual set of items for her runaway adventure with her pen-pal boyfriend, Sam (Jared Gilman): A half-dozen (fictitious) storybooks she stole from the library, three of which she reads aloud over the course of the film. Anderson commissioned six artists to create the books’ evocative jacket covers, but initially the director wanted to take the artistry even further. “At one point in the process, when she’s reading these passages from these books, I’d thought about going into animation,” he says.

Anyone who’s seen the film knows Anderson ultimately chose to simply hold on the faces of his cast as they listen to Suzy read, but with his experience making the stop-motion animated Fantastic Mr. Fox still fresh in his mind, Anderson never quite let go of the idea.

So in April, the idiosyncratic filmmaker decided to animate all six books anyway, as a supplementary treat to the film itself. “I wrote passages for the other books that didn’t have any text [read aloud in the film], and we animated that too,” he says. “So we now have this piece where our narrator, Bob Balaban’s character, takes us through these little sections of each of these books.”

You can watch the result exclusively below. (They contain no Moonrise Kingdom spoilers, so feel free to check it out even if you haven’t yet seen the film.) READ FULL STORY

'Wreck-It Ralph' trailer: A bad video game character tries to turn good -- VIDEO

“I don’t wanna be the bad guy anymore.”

Can you imagine Ganon from The Legend of Zelda saying this? Or Bowser from Super Mario Bros.? Or the centipede from… Centipede?

It’s literally in their programming for video game villains to be troublemakers, but in the new trailer for Walt Disney Animation’s Wreck-It Ralph, the smash-loving antagonist in an 8-bit 1980s arcade game decides to prove there is more to him than just 25 cents worth of mayhem. Of course, it creates tremendous controversy in their pixelated world. READ FULL STORY

Casting Net: Beyonce, Josh Hutcherson, Colin Farrell going 'Epic.' Plus: Adam Sander, Olivia Wilde

Adam Sandler is in negotiations to replace Mark Wahlberg in the family football comedy Three Mississippi. The switch, made due to issues with Wahlberg’s schedule, instantly makes the premise of the film more plausible. Which is easier to believe: that a family headed by Will Ferrell would always win a Thanksgiving tackle football game against Sander’s family, or Wahlberg’s? Sean Anders (That’s My Boy) will direct. [Vulture]

Aaron Johnson and Christopher Mintz-Plasse are nearing deals to reprise their roles in Kick-Ass 2, along with Chloe MoretzJeff Wadlow (Never Back Down) will direct. [Deadline]

• Olivia Wilde has joined Amy AdamsJoaquin PhoenixRooney Mara, and  Samantha Morton in Spike Jonze’s untitled new film, reportedly about a guy who falls for a computer voice. [Deadline]

Read more:
Casting Net: Stallone and De Niro eyeing boxing comedy ‘Grudge Match.’ Plus: Gary Oldman, Dominic Monaghan, Anne Hathaway
Casting Net: Adam Shankman comedy eyeing all-star cast. Plus: Jude Law, Michelle Pfeiffer, Gillian Anderson, Taran Killam
Casting Net: ‘Thor 2,’ ‘Iron Man 3′ land new villains. Plus: Anthony Hopkins, Bradley Cooper, Owen Wilson, Olivia Wilde

Tim Burton's 'Frankenweenie' stitches together B-movie horror poster

Disney has pulled back the sheet on a new poster for Tim Burton’s stop-motion-animated Frankenweenie, the story of a boy who uses mad science to resurrect his beloved deceased pet.

That central story obviously is a spin on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (by way of the classic Universal movies) and Burton promises various other famous monsters of filmland will turn up in the story as assorted ghoulish pets. The poster for the 3-D, black-and-white film, which hits theaters Oct. 5, reveals just a few.

Is that a Creature From the Black Lagoon version of a sea monkey in the lower left corner?


'Red Tails' on DVD: George Lucas on making a 'real dogfight movie' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO


Never count George Lucas out. That was the takeaway this past January from the surprise, if modest, box office success of Red Tails, the gee-whiz actioner about the Tuskegee Airmen that the Star Wars director had tried to bring to the big screen for 23 years. Despite mixed reviews, it won over audiences with its old-fashioned patriotism, earnest cast of mostly non A-listers, and visceral flying sequences, earning a solid ‘A’ CinemaScore. Oh, and $50 million in box office grosses, more than holding its own against brawnier January fare like The Grey and Underworld Awakening.

It’s hard to believe, then, that Red Tails almost never happened. In January, Lucas told Jon Stewart on The Daily Show that no major Hollywood studio was willing to finance a World War II epic featuring an all-black cast, meaning that he had to pull out his own pocketbook if his take on the pioneering African-American fighter squad was ever going to get made. It also meant he had to wait until digital technology would advance enough for him to produce an Old Hollywood spectacle without breaking the bank. “We needed to wait till now to find the digital tech that would make it financially feasible,” producer Rick McCallum told EW at Red Tails‘ New York premiere. “Otherwise, it would have been impossible to make. We may have had 2,200 shots in Revenge of the Sith, but no less than 1,600 in Red Tails. In the end, it took two weeks longer to make this movie than it took to fight World War II.”

Take a look at this exclusive video on the making of Lucas’ passion project, which shows how many of the film’s environments, including the cramped cockpits of the Airmen’s P-51 Mustangs, had to be built out of ones and zeros. Or as Lucas puts it, “With digital technology, now we can actually do a real dogfight movie the way it should be done.” READ FULL STORY

'Frankenweenie': Tim Burton talks about his upcoming pet project

For Tim Burton, this year is 2005 all over again. In 2005, the director first released the big-budget, live-action Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the summer, followed by the stop-motion animated Corpse Bride in the fall. The latter earned Burton his first and only Oscar nomination (for animated feature film). Cut to 2012. Burton’s big-budget, live-action horror comedy Dark Shadows, his eighth collaboration with star Johnny Depp, hits theaters this weekend. But waiting in the wings is Frankenweenie, a 3-D stop-motion animated monster movie that’s very dear to Burton’s heart.

Frankenweenie is a remake of the 1984 black-and-white, live-action short of the same name, which Burton directed for Disney at the tender age of 25. At the time, Disney shelved the PG-rated short, about a suburban boy who brings his dead pooch back to life, deeming it too scary. But when Burton became a big-name director, the studio gave the short a home-video release in 1992, and it can now be found on the DVD and Blu-ray editions of The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Burton originally envisioned Frankenweenie as a stop-motion animated movie, but opted for live-action due to budgetary concerns. “I’m kind of grateful that it was live-action, because if it had been animation, I probably wouldn’t have gotten into live-action,” said Burton. “It was a very lucky break in a way.” That’s because after actor Paul Reubens saw Frankenweenie, he hired Burton to direct his 1985 film Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, which led to Beetlejuice, which led to Batman, and so on.

Burton’s feature-length version of Frankenweenie isn’t due for another five months (Disney will release it on Oct. 5), but EW recently sat down with the filmmaker and picked his brain — hiding beneath all those famously unruly curls of hair — about the project. READ FULL STORY

Guillermo del Toro to co-direct new 'Pinocchio' for The Jim Henson Company

One of Hollywood’s busiest directors is adding another title to his to-do list:  Guillermo del Toro is set to co-direct Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, a 3D stop-motion animated tale produced by The Jim Henson Company, as first reported by Variety. Sharing directing duties with Mark Gustafson (the animation director for Wes Anderson’s The Fantastic Mr. Fox), Del Toro will make his animated film debut with this new version of the Carlo Collodi tale, which was adapted into the 1940 Disney classic.

Scripted by Del Toro, Matthew Robbins, and Gris Grimly, the film will follow the legendary wooden puppet through a series of adventures  in Italy between World War I and World War II. Del Toro told Variety no actors have been cast yet, but that he is considering Tom Waits as Pinocchio’s father and Donald Sutherland as a fox. (No relation to Mr. Fox, we assume.)


'Brave': Pixar shows its 'sexy' side with mock ad

Offering the closest thing to nudity that we’ve seen from a Pixar film, this new “Kilt” featurette for Brave has some fun with the proud Scottish tradition of wearing “a small, plaid skirt.” It’s definitely worth a laugh, but for me, the movie’s advertising campaign is starting to raise some concerns. For instance, the MPAA announced yesterday that Brave will be rated PG for “some scary action and rude humor.” So far I feel like Disney’s trailers and ads have emphasized the “rude humor” aspect — likely an attempt to win over boys who may be hesitant about seeing a movie starring a princess, albeit a kick-ass warrior princess.

But are we going to get any marketing materials in the U.S. that mirror Brave‘s incredible Japanese trailer, which presents the movie as a thrilling and slightly spooky Miyazaki-inspired adventure? I’ll see Brave no matter where it ultimately sits on the humor vs. adventure seesaw, but here’s to hoping that the picture has much, much more up its — ahem — kilt than PG-rated gags with old men mooning unsuspecting bystanders.

Check out the video below: READ FULL STORY

Johnny Depp's Dr. Seuss biopic will co-star the storyteller's best-loved characters

Picture a combination of Finding Neverland and Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

That’s sort of what Johnny Depp has in mind for a new biopic of Dr. Seuss, a.k.a. Theodor Geisel, with the movie plunging into the imagination of the author to see his creative process unfold through interaction with his most famous characters.

“A lot of writers I know have a tendency to talk to themselves or talk as the character — and then talk as the other character. You know what I mean? They can have a whole dialogue with themselves,” Depp tells EW. “There’s something interesting about bringing these characters to life and maybe even witnessing him have a relationship with them.”


Casting Net: Emma Watson, Jason Segel to face the 'End of the World.' Plus: Bernadette Peters, Sandra Oh

• Somewhere, Rachel Berry is losing her mind. Broadway legend Bernadette Peters has joined the 3-D animated feature Dorothy of Oz as, who else, Glinda. Peters will duet with Lea Michele, who plays Dorothy, on the soundtrack. The indie production costars Dan Aykroyd, Kelsey Grammer, Jim Belushi, Martin Short, Megan Hilty, Hugh Dancy, Oliver Platt, and Patrick Stewart. [Variety]

• Emily Watson, Sandra Oh, Nia Vardalos, and Melora Hardin will star in 33 Liberty Lane as friends who start a phone-sex business. Peter Hewitt (The Borrowers) will direct. In other news, I was able to get through this post without once confusing Potter‘s Emily Watson with War Horse‘s Emma Watson. Wait. DAMMIT. [THR]

Read more:
Casting Net: Vera Farmiga and Andy Garcia to romance in ‘Admissions.’ Plus: Denzel Washington, Will Smith, Emile Hirsch
Casting Net: Rooney Mara replacing Carey Mulligan in Spike Jonze film
Casting Net: Owen Wilson back in action; Armie Hammer and Ben Kingsley head west for ‘Cut Bank’

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