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'Movie 43' co-director Peter Farrelly praises comedic Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts -- EXCLUSIVE

Peter Farrelly has never turned up his nose at total silliness, directing such raunchy comedies such as There’s Something About Mary and Dumb and Dumber with his brother Bobby. But collaborating as one of a dozen directors on the upcoming ensemble comedy Movie 43 had its own unique perks, not the least of which was getting to see a slew of A-list stars such as Naomi Watts and Kate Winslet let loose.

The movie, set to release Jan. 25, 2013, has a cast and story as celebrity-steeped and plot-twisty as a Robert Altman film crossed with the shameless spunkiness of Jackass. In addition to Watts and Winslet, it includes appearances by: Elizabeth Banks, Halle Berry, Kate Bosworth, Gerard Butler, Kieran Culkin, Josh Duhamel, Anna Faris, Chris Pratt, Richard Gere, Terrence Howard, Hugh Jackman, Johnny Knoxville, Chloe Moretz, Justin Long, Leslie Bibb, Liev Schreiber, Seann William Scott, Emma Stone, Jason Sudeikis, and Uma Thurman. Whoosh, that’s a mouthful. With all those actors, more than 15 writers, and several directors, including Farrelly and actress Banks herself, the movie took several years to make.

“It’s the brainchild of Charlie Wessler, who produced most of our movies. Never before have such huge actors pushed the envelope so much,” said Farrelly by phone. “Charlie knows all these people. He went to them, huge stars, like Kate Winslet, and she said, ‘I’m shooting this movie, I’m not free for a year and a half.’ This movie was made over four years, and they just had to wait for a year or two years for different actors. They would shoot for a week, and shut down for several months. Same thing with the directors. It was the type of movie you could come back to.”


'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' begins shooting in Georgia, before moving to Hawaii

The 75th annual Hunger Games are on!

Lionsgate announced Monday that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has officially started production in and around Atlanta, Ga., with director Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) at the helm, before moving to shoot in Hawaii. Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson are, of course, reprising their respective roles as winning tributes Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark; Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, and Donald Sutherland are all also returning, with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sam Claflin, Jeffrey Wright, Jena Malone, and Amanda Plummer joining the franchise. Shooting is set to conclude in December.

Intriguingly, the announcement was notable for what it didn’t mention as much as what it did. READ FULL STORY

Casting Net: Michael Douglas aiming to play Ronald Reagan. Plus: Michael Keaton new 'Robocop' villain

• Michael Keaton has joined Robocop as the main villain, Raymond Sellars, the CEO of OmniCorp, the conglomerate that transforms Joel Kinnaman‘s Detroit cop into the titular crime-fighting cyborg. Keaton is taking on the role after Hugh Laurie dropped out from the project last week. Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, and Abbie Cornish costar in the film, which is being directed by Jose Padilha (Elite Squad). [Deadline]

• Elizabeth Banks and Morgan Freeman will join Chris Pratt and Will Arnett in the untitled animated feature based on the world of LEGO. The film follows average LEGO minifigure Emmet (Pratt), who is mistaken for the champion of the world by Lucy (Banks), which launches him on an epic odyssey. Freeman will voice a mystic named Vitruvius; Arnett will voice Batman. (Yes, that Batman.) Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (21 Jump StreetCloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) are directing from their screenplay. [Facebook]

• Ben Foster has been attached to star in Red Light Winter, an indie about two buddies whose vacation in the famously licentious city of Amsterdam turns dark when they become entangled with a prostitute (Kirsten Dunst). Director Adam Rapp (Winter Passing) adapted his own play of the same name. [Variety]

Read more:
Casting Net: Evan Rachel Wood in talks to play female trucker in ’18 Wheel Butterfly.’ Plus: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Frances Fisher
Casting Net: Abbie Cornish cast to play Fellini’s lover. Plus: Josh Holloway, Minnie Driver, Cobie Smulders
Casting Net: Adrien Brody in negotiations to play villain in thriller ‘Motor City.’ Plus: Jason Momoa, Chloe Moretz, Benedict Cumberbatch

Ann Romney speaking at RNC conjures up memorable Republican first ladies on film


With her sleekly-styled hair and outspoken support of her husband, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Ann Romney makes her debut Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention as one in a long line of would-be first ladies.

While the phrase “behind every great man there’s a great woman” may seem quaintly archaic by modern standards, when it comes to presidential biopics, those married to the president can be just as politically and emotionally fierce as the men they stick by — and stand up to.

Here are some memorable Republican first ladies from movie biopics about the Commander-in-Chief:

MTV Movie Awards: Check out the winners here

Voters for the 2012 MTV Movie Awards spread the wealth, bestowing Movie of the Year and Best Kiss to The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1, Best Female and Male Performance to The Hunger Games‘ Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson, and Best Hero and Best Cast to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2. Check out the full list of winners below:  READ FULL STORY

Casting Net: Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy team for cop comedy. Plus: Mila Kunis, Peter Dinklage, Chloe Moretz, Rupert Everett, Tom Cruise

• Robin Williams, Mila KunisPeter Dinklage, Melissa Leo, and James Earl Jones have signed on for The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, about a patient who is erroneously told he has 90 minutes to live. The comedy marks the first film from Field of Dreams director Phil Alden Robinson since 2002’s The Sum of All Fears. [Screen International]

• Jessica Biel, Chloe Moretz, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan will star in The Devil in the Deep Blue Sea, about a widower (Morgan) who helps a girl (Moretz) construct a raft to cross the Atlantic Ocean. (Biel will play Morgan’s late wife.) Justin Timberlake will add two more hyphens to his multi-hyphenate resume, meanwhile, serving as the film’s composer and music supervisor. Bill Purple will make his feature directing debut from a script by Robbie Pickering (Natural Selection). [THR]

• Speaking of Chloe Moretz, the in demand actress is also in talks for Kick-Ass 2, reprising her role as Hit Girl, who will go into retirement. But will she stay there?! (No.) [Total Film]

Colin Firth, Emily Watson, and Tom Wilkinson will star in actor Rupert Everett‘s directoral debut The Happy Prince, a biopic about Oscar Wilde. Everett will play the famed author and playwright, and also wrote the screenplay. [Variety]


'People Like Us' trailer: Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks are secret siblings

The trailer for the upcoming film People Like Us puts you, the viewer, into a bit of a bind. On one hand, you can’t help but admire the fact that the movie looks like a romantic comedy — gauzy overlit visuals, chipper pop music on the soundtrack, a cast so gorgeous that Olivia Wilde is relegated to a supporting role — but is actually not a rom-com. Instead, it’s the story of a guy (Chris Pine) who learns that his late father had a secret illegitimate child — a child who has grown up to be a struggling single mom (Elizabeth Banks). Intriguing! But then Pine meets Banks, and pointedly does not tell her who he is. And they’re both so pretty… and so tortured… Look, suffice it to say: Awkward half-sibling incest chemistry go! Watch the trailer:  READ FULL STORY

How 'Hunger Games' star Elizabeth Banks brought Effie Trinket to life. (Katharine Hepburn helped.)

Hunger Games super fans, you’ve met your match. Elizabeth Banks, who plays bubbly Capitol minion Effie Trinket, the woman charged with shepherding Katniss and Peeta from District 12 into the Games, can meet your passion head-on. “I was a really early adopter of The Hunger Games,” she tells EW of her long-term love affair with Suzanne Collins’ best-selling YA trilogy. “I’d read a book called The Maze Runner that’s similarly themed and I loved it. And this friend in publishing said ‘Well then you’ll probably really love The Hunger Games.’ Which I devoured. Then immediately had to read Catching Fire, and then I was on the wait list on Amazon for Mockingjay.”

It was Banks who first reached out through a mutual friend to director Gary Ross, whom she’d worked with on Seabiscuit. “I love Effie Trinket,” she said. “So tell Gary that if he’s talking to Lionsgate about the movie that I want to do it.’” When Ross invited her to his office to talk about the role, she came prepared with a fully fleshed-out vision for Effie. “I always saw her as a very three-dimensional, very unique character,” she said. “Even in the book she can be written off as sort of comic relief.” READ FULL STORY

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