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Watch the trailer for 'Low Down,' about pianist Joe Albany

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During the jazz scene of the 1960’s and 1970’s, pianist Joe Albany struggled with drug addiction. His struggle was then captured by the memoir of his daughter, Amy-Jo Albany.

Now, Jeff Preiss is capturing it all on film. Starring John Hawkes as Joe and Elle Fanning as Amy-Jo, Low Down tells the pianist’s story through the eyes of his daughter. The film also stars Glenn Close, Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage, and more.

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Casting Net: Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana and Elle Fanning to star in Ben Affleck's 'Live by Night'

• Once he takes off his Batman cape, Ben Affleck will direct Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana and Elle Fanning in the Prohibition Era film Live By Night. Affleck has adapted the Dennis Lehane novel himself, reuniting the pair after Affleck’s feature debut Gone Baby Gone, which  was also based on a Lehane novel. The story centers around Joe Coughlin, the police captain’s son who gets himself involved in the world of organized crime. Miller will play Emma, the girlfriend of Coughlin’s mobster boss whom he falls in love with. Saldana has been cast as Graciella Suarez, a woman Coughlin meets in Tampa, with Fanning landing the coveted role of Loretta Figgis, the sheriff’s daughter and an aspiring actress. [Deadline]

• Shia LaBeoufKate Mara (House of Cards) and Gary Oldman will star in Man Down, a psychological thriller from director Dito Montiel (A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints). The film is set in a post-apocalyptic America as an Afghanistan war veteran dealing with his haunted memories searches for his family. Adam Simon (Synapse) has written the script with filming expecting to begin in Louisiana at the end of next month. [Variety]

• Sons Of Anarchy’s Charlie Hunnam and The Wolf Of Wall Street star Margot Robbie are in talks to star in The Mountain Between Us, an adaptation of the Charles Martin book. Paradise Now director Hany Abu-Assad will helm the survival love story about two strangers who meet after their flight is canceled out of Salt Lake City. Robbie is also in early talks to star in the adaptation of the Japanese comic book Ghost in the Shell for DreamWorks. Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) is directing from a script by Bill Wheeler about a member a covert ops unit of the Japanese National Public Safety Commission specializing in technology-related crime. [Deadline, Deadline]

• Danish director Joachim Trier has added Oscar nominees Amy Ryan and David Strathairn to the cast of his English-language debut film, Louder Than Bombs Devin McKenzie Druid, who played a younger version of Louis C.K. on Louie, also joins the cast that already includes Gabriel Byrne, Jesse Eisenberg and Isabelle Huppert about a father and his two sons returning the their childhood home after the death of their wife and mother, a celebrated photographer. [Deadline]

• Nymphomaniac actress Stacy Martin will star in the high-concept thriller Taj Mahal. French screenwriter Nicolas Saada (Sleepless Night) will write and direct the film set during the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India. The international cast will also include Italy’s Alba Rohrwacher (The Wonders), French actor Louis-Do de Lencquesaing (Superstar) and British actress Gina McKee (Jimmy P.). [THR]

PREVIOUSLY: Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts to star in Demolition 

'Young Ones' poster: Michael Shannon soaks up screen in parched Western

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Whether it’s a Krypton fascist, an ice-blooded hitman, or a conflicted Prohibition-era G-man, Michael Shannon is accustomed to playing menacing. But in Young Ones, the new dystopian sci-fi Western that premiered at Sundance in January, he gets to show another side.

“People are used to seeing Mike play very intense, dangerous characters, but I think he’s much more of a classic movie star than maybe people even realize,” director Jake Paltrow said before the film’s premiere. “I think what you’ll see in Mike is a warmth that maybe you haven’t seen in a lot of things—in this, he’s a flawed man who loves his children so much and is sort of trying to do anything he can to ensure their survival.”

The problem is water, or the lack of it. Two decades or so in the future, water is scarce and drought has scorched the American west, where a family has stubbornly stayed behind with the hopes of revitalizing their farm—if Shannon’s Ernest can persuade the industrial drillers in the nearby mountains to run a water-line to his place. Elle Fanning plays his rebellious daughter, who falls for a rebel on a motorcycle (Nicholas Hoult) who wants some of the same things Ernest does. Crown prince of the dystopian cinematic future, Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road), plays Ernest’s loyal but distant son. “The core of the movie—at least in the beginning—is really this friendship between this father and son,” said Paltrow.

Click below (or on the above photo) to see the exclusive new poster for Young Ones. READ FULL STORY

Casting Net: Jamie Foxx to play Mike Tyson

• Jamie Foxx will reportedly play Mike Tyson in an untitled biopic. Terence Winter is set to write. Rick Yorn, Foxx’s manager, will produce. The project is still in the works and is currently without a studio. Though HBO released 1995’s Tyson, this is the first feature film to follow the controversial boxer. [Variety]

• Dakota Johnson will star in the Luca Guadagnino-directed A Bigger Splash. Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes have signed on as well, and Michael Costigan will produce. The film, based on the 1969 French crime drama La Piscine, follows a triangle that develops between a couple and a younger woman on the couple’s vacation; it doesn’t end well. David Kajganich is writing the script. Shooting begins in Italy next month. [Variety] READ FULL STORY

Video: Nicholas Hoult fights Michael Shannon for water in 'Young Ones' trailer

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Water is scarce in Young Ones, Jake Paltrow’s latest film, but tension is everywhere as the world fights over the now-precious resource.

The futuristic film, which first premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, stars Michael Shannon, Elle Fanning, and Kodi Smit-McPhee as a family struggling to find water in the barren Western-like wasteland opposite Nicholas Hoult, a teenager trying to take over the family’s land for himself.

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'The Boxtrolls' trailer: There's nothing to fear -- VIDEO

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Get ready for trolls! The big mythical beings get a makeover as sweet and stout creatures in the newly released trailer for the stop-motion, animated adventure film The Boxtrolls.

In the trailer,  viewers can get a glimpse at the underground mechanics and high-flying action of the trolls, as well as the extreme love of cheese by Cheesebridge’s townspeople, all of which is portrayed in a unique, eye-catching animated style. Based on the children’s novel Here Be Monsters by Alan Snow, The Boxtrolls tells the story of a young orphaned boy, Eggs (Isaac Hemstead Wright), who is raised by underground, cave-dwelling trolls.

The townspeople of Cheesebridge believe the trolls to be monsters who are out to steal its children and fine cheeses, when in reality, the trolls are sweet oddballs — who wear boxes, hence the title — interested in dumpster diving and mechanical junk collecting. When Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley), an evil exterminator, is out to get the trolls in order to enter the high society of Cheesebrige, Eggs and his friend Winnie (Elle Fanning) must come to the defense of his adopted family.

Can’t wait until The Boxtrolls‘ Sept. 26 release date? Check out the trailer, and its adorable trolls, here: READ FULL STORY

Critical Mass: Are the critics under Angelina Jolie's spell in 'Maleficent'?

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In nearly 80 years of delicious Disney animated villains threatening princesses, nobody’s ever been as truly frightening as Maleficent, the horn-headed sorceress who could transform into a dragon and cursed baby Aurora in 1959’s Sleeping Beauty. But much as Wicked did for the evil witch of The Wizard of Oz, Maleficent digs deeper into the backstory of the sharp-cheeked villainess, with Angelina Jolie bringing her to vivid life.

Of course, such revisionist fairy tales have become increasingly common. As EW’s Keith Staskiewicz notes in his review, “The first line of Maleficent [''Let us tell an old story anew and see how well you know it"] could be emblazoned on a sticker and slapped onto the back-bumper of Hollywood, an industry that has at this point become more interested in recycling than Ed Begley, Jr.”

But with a story credited to Linda Woolverton (Beauty and the Beast) and directed by Avatar production designer Robert Stromberg, Maleficent creates a different beast altogether, all the while staying true to the Disney brand. Elle Fanning plays the princess who really shouldn’t spin thread before turning 16 — but it’s Jolie, of course, that you’re aching to see at the baby’s christening. I’m sure she has her reasons for cursing a child, but I just want to hear that maniacal, echoing laugh.

Read more from Staskiewicz’s review, as well as a round-up of other notable critics, below. READ FULL STORY

'Maleficent': Five new character posters released

Less than a month before Angelina Jolie casts her spell on us as Maleficent, Disney has released five magical new character posters. Along with stars Jolie and Elle Fanning, the posters showcase Sam Riley as Diaval (Maleficient’s right hand man), Sharlto Copley as Aurora’s father King Stefan, and Juno Temple, Imelda Staunton, and Lesley Manville as the tale’s three fairies (along with some other fantastical-looking forest creatures).

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'Maleficent' TV spot: Beware of Jolies bearing gifts! VIDEO

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Wicked meets Sleeping Beauty in Maleficent, an upcoming live-action film that promises to tell the true story of the Mistress of All Evil. Of course, as this is a Disney flick, it may turn out that Mal (Angelina Jolie) is less evil than misunderstood. Just check out the way she tries to bond with innocent, apple-cheeked Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning) in this new TV spot: “Aurora, there is an evil in this world, and I cannot keep you from it,” Maleficent purrs. Hmm — so perhaps the whole sleeping curse and wall o’thorns around Aurora’s castle were simply meant as a protection from some even bigger bad. Perhaps Maleficent can fight off that evil with her wicked-sharp cheekbones?

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Academy Nicholl Fellowships: Stars turn out to honor new screenwriters

There’s no such thing as a sure path to success in Hollywood, but the Academy Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting is as close as you’re going to get. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the five 2013 finalists just over two weeks ago, and already the honorees are fielding calls from agents, managers and studios eager to work with them. At least one has already signed with an agent and a manager.

The program, now in its 28th year, allows aspiring screenwriters who have never earned more than $25,000 writing fiction for film or television to submit an original script for the chance to win one of five $35,000 fellowships, intended to allow the recipients the time and money to produce another original script in the next calendar year.

In years past, the Nicholl Fellowships Committee, chaired by Walking Dead executive producer Gale Anne Hurd, held a dinner for the finalists before sending them off to craft their next scripts, but this year the Committee wanted to do something a little more special. So Thursday night, the Academy hosted an event at their headquarters in Beverly Hills for both Academy members and the public, and invited notable actors to read scenes from each of the finalists’ scripts. “This is something we’ve wanted to do for years,” said Hurd. Rodrigo Garcia (Albert Nobbs), directed the live reading, Julie Lynn produced, and actors Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter), Elle Fanning (Somewhere), Anthon Yelchin (Star Trek Into Darkness), and Taraji P.Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) perform for an audience of 1,500.

“These are new screenwriters, all of whom are so fantastic and imaginative and haven’t yet had their creative edges knocked off of them by the torturous development process,”  Isaacs told EW at a reception before the reading. “All the scripts are original and interesting and have an optimism and a zing that you rarely find with someone who’s been here for too long. We need new blood and new stories and new imaginations to prop up this town. Things, and people, get stale here very quickly. We need a constant injection of fresh approaches, and every single one of these scripts has it.”

For the five finalists, it’s a pretty significant jolt from anonymity into a promising new career path, made possible partly by the pedigree and promise of previous fellows. Alums include Jeffrey Eugenides, a 1986 Fellow who won the Pulitzer for his novel Middlesex, Susannah Grant, a 1992 Fellow who picked up an Academy Award nomination for Erin Brockovich, Destin Daniel Cretton, a 2012 Fellow whose Short Term 12 wowed critics and festival audiences this year, Mike Rich, whose Nicholl script was made into Finding Forrester, Andrew Marlowe, a 1992 Fellow who created the series Castle, and many others. “One of last year’s winners, James DiLapo, said in his speech last year that he would sell his kidney to write Star Wars VII,” said Academy Nicholl Fellowship director Greg Beal. “That didn’t come about but earlier this year he signed a two picture deal with Warner Bros. The first picture was to adapt The Odyssey…in space.”

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