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Dave Franco to star in James Franco's movie about 'The Room'

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James Franco has found the man to play actor Greg Sestero in his forthcoming adaptation of Sestero‘s 2013 book The Disaster Artist, which details the author’s involvement in the cult film The Room. Not that Franco had to look very far: According to 3 News, Franco’s brother Dave attended a Los Angeles screening of The Room over the weekend and, during a Q&A with the film’s mercurial writer-director-star Tommy Wiseau, asked him, “How do you feel about me playing Greg Sestero in the movie?” Wiseau responded by declaring, “That’s what I say: It’s a good choice.” James Franco seemed to confirm the casting news when he tweeted a photograph of Wiseau with his brother, which you can see above.

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Casting Net: Naomi Watts in talks to join Matthew McConaughey in 'Sea of Trees'; Plus, Dave Franco, more

• Naomi Watts (The Impossible) is in talks to join Matthew McConaughey and Ken Watanabe in Gus Van Sant‘s Sea of Trees. Van Sant teased her potential casting at Cannes, where he hopes to shop the film. The drama follows an American ex-pat intent on taking his life in Japan’s Suicide Forest (or, the Sea of Trees) until he runs into Watanabe’s character — a fellow lost soul — and they both decide to find a way out of the forest together. Watts would play McConaughey’s wife in segments told in flashback. She currently has three movies in post including Birdman, St. Vincent De Van Nuys with Melissa McCarthy and Bill Murray, and Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young, with Ben Stiller and Adam Driver. [THR] READ FULL STORY

'Neighbors' with Seth Rogen, 'Space Station 76,' more join SXSW features lineup

Funny or Die friends Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, and Dave Franco are bringing their brand of humor to the SXSW Film festival this year in Neighbors, directed by The Muppets scribe Nick Stoller. Neighbors is about a young couple (Rogen and Rose Byrne) who are forced to live next to a fraternity house after the birth of their newborn baby. The comedy joins already announced films including Jon Favreau’s food truck sendup Chef and the much-anticipated premiere of the Veronica Mars movie at this year’s fest. The full lineup includes 68 films from first-time filmmakers, 76 world premieres, 10 North American premieres, and seven U.S. premieres.

Also debuting are Space Station 76, a sci-fi feature starring Patrick Wilson, Matt Bomer, and Liv Tyler; Cesar Chavez, the biopic about the iconic California labor activist from actor/director Diego Luna, starring Michael Pena; and We’ll Never Have Paris, written by The Big Bang Theory star Simon Helberg and starring Helberg and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

As for the choice of Neighbors to premiere at the fest, it’s hardly Rogen’s first time at SXSW, having appeared in Knocked Up in 2007 and Observe and Report in 2009. Comedies are not unusual for the festival, but Head of SXSW Film Janet Pierson says they have to have unique slant to work. “We like stuff that has an edge to it, where you can really feel the hand of the writer/director,” she says. “We try not to go too broad with comedy but we love to include it when we can.”

Space Station 76 is among several films that feature sci-fi and time travel prominently, Pierson points out, noting that Predestination starring Ethan Hawke, and Australian film The Infinite Man have similar elements. “Sometimes you don’t show a film because it has something another film has, but this time we went with it. It’s in the zeitgeist,” she says. Space Station 76 “is really unique, really different, and kind of wonderful,” Pierson adds.
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'Neighbors' trailer: 'You guys just woke a sleeping giant' -- VIDEO

What goes well with a house full of 50 fraternity brothers? Well, other than booze, hazing, and women … not much.

In the newest trailer for Neighbors, Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne play a quiet married couple who spend their days dressing their daughter up as TV characters for a calendar shoot. But when a fraternity moves in next door, their lives become a lot less about calendars and a lot more about parties, pranks, and one very unfortunate incident involving a condom. With Zac Efron and Dave Franco as neighbors, things are about to get a little crazy.

Watch the latest trailer below:
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Casting Net: Sacha Baron Cohen exits Freddie Mercury biopic; Plus Rapunzel gets a new prince in 'Into the Woods,' more

Sacha Baron Cohen will no longer play Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in the long-gestating biopic about the band, reportedly due to creative differences with the surviving members of Queen. Apparently, the band was quite involved in the process, rejecting proposed directors such as David Fincher and his Les Misérables director Tom Hooper, and insisting that the movie be PG. No word yet on other options to play Mercury. [Deadline]

• Tony-nominated actor and former As The World Turns star Billy Magnussen is set to replace Jake Gyllenhaal (who dropped out recently, reportedly to star in Nightcrawler) as Rapunzel’s prince in Rob Marshall’s film adaptation of Into the Woods. Magnussen recently appeared on Boardwalk Empire as Roger and had a memorable turn in Whit Stillman’s Damsels in Distress as Thor. [Deadline]

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'Now You See Me': How real illusionists made movie magic

Magicians have amazed audiences with illusions for centuries, but in modern entertainment, filmmakers are the reigning wizards. Visual effects are their illusions. CGI is their bag of tricks. All that is very familiar to French director Louis Leterrier, whose movies include The Incredible Hulk and Clash of the Titans. But for his latest movie, Now You See Me, opening today in theaters, he set out to limit the use of computer-generated effects.

“I was coming from those big spectacle movies where CGI was almost like one of the main characters, but from the very beginning [of developing Now You See Me] we decided to take a low-tech approach to everything,” Leterrier says.

Now You See Me stars Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson, and Dave Franco as magicians who come to be known as the Four Horsemen. When they rob a bank in the middle of one their spectacular show performances, they’re pursued by FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo). READ FULL STORY

Jesse Eisenberg on 'Now You See Me': Learning magic from experts ... and his birthday party clown mom

Jesse Eisenberg is no stranger to playing with people’s minds in fast-talking, genius-type roles (ahem, The Social Network), but he is a stranger to literally playing with people’s minds. In the summer movie Now You See Me, Eisenberg takes on the role of one of the four horsemen, a team of Robin Hood-inspired  magicians who use their powers to perform illegal maneuvers to take from the rich and give to the poor. EW caught up with Eisenberg to talk about his background in magic, what he learned on set, and what fans can expect from the mysterious flick, which also stars Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Mélanie Laurent, Morgan Freeman, and Michael Caine.
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'Now You See Me': Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson, and Dave Franco with strings attached -- EXCLUSIVE IMAGE

In the new movie Now You See Me Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson, and Dave Franco play a gang of illusionists who rob banks during their performances, giving the profits to their audiences. As we saw in the trailer, the gang can do some pretty miraculous tricks, like when Jesse Eisenberg escapes his handcuffs and put them on his interrogator. Still, sometimes a good magician needs the assistance of some wires. In our exclusive image, the gang gets a little inspiration from N’Sync.

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Casting Net: Chris O'Dowd in talks for 'St. Vincent De Van Nuys'; Plus Gary Oldman joins Tom Hardy pic 'Child 44', more

• Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids, Girls) is in early talks to join The Weinstein Company’s St. Vincent De Van Nuys. The charming Irish actor would join the already incredible cast of Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy to play a Catholic priest. Ted Melfi’s 2011 Black List script follows a 12-year-old kid who befriends his elderly next door neighbor (Bill Murray), a war veteran who spends his days drinking and gambling. Sometimes with prostitutes. The film is expected to start shooting in July. It will be Melfi’s directorial debut. O’Dowd’s latest film, The Sapphires, is currently showing in limited release, before a wider expansion next week. [Deadline]

The Dark Knight Rises co-stars Gary Oldman and Tom Hardy will share the screen again, a under  different set of circumstances. Oldman has signed on to join Daniel Espinosa’s 1950′s Soviet-era thriller Child 44. He’ll play the head of police, naturally. Noomi Rapace and Joel Kinnaman also star. [THR]

Funny or Die buddies (NSFW) Dave Franco (Warm Bodies) and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Kick-Ass 2) are set to join the cast of Townies, alongside Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, and Rose Byrne. The Nicholas Stoller-directed (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) comedy will explore what happens when a fraternity president (Efron) decides to make a family man’s (Rogen) life miserable. [Deadline]

PREVIOUSLY: Robert Redford in talks to join the cast of ‘Captain America 2′; Stephen Amell had a meeting to play Christian Grey

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Kenny G, film composer? How Matt Damon led two filmmakers to a surprising doc about the smooth jazz superstar -- VIDEO

KENNY-G

He’s one of the top-25-selling musicians of all time in the U.S. His name arguably defines an entire genre of music for many listeners. He reportedly holds the record for the longest sustained note ever played on a saxophone. But it turns out that what Kenny G really wants to do is break into movies.

That’s in part the premise of Kenny: A Documentary in G, an in-the-works film by directors Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn about the smooth jazz icon, chronicling his attempt to launch a second career as a feature film composer. Fittingly, it was a surreptitious encounter with a movie star, Matt Damon, that helped bring the project together. McGinn was working on another documentary, American Teacher, that Damon had signed on to narrate. “We needed a [recording] studio near where Matt was shooting We Bought a Zoo,” says McGinn. “Kenny’s house, funnily enough, was the closest studio.”  READ FULL STORY

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