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Sundance 2013: Jennifer Hudson as a drug addict mom in 'The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete' -- EXCLUSIVE CLIP

Jennifer-Hudson-Sundance

The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete, premiering next week at the Sundance Film Festival, is the kind of heart-wrenching, emotional, and funny coming-of-age drama that isn’t afraid to be rough around the edges. It also boasts big names, from Alicia Keys as co-executive producer and composer, to American Idol alums Jennifer Hudson and Jordin Sparks as stars.

The movie, directed by George Tillman, Jr. (Soul Food), follows two boys — sad-eyed, feisty, and ambitious 14-year-old Mister (breakout Skylan Brooks) and small, innocent 9-year-old Pete (Ethan Dizon) — abandoned by their moms and surviving within the gritty world of the Brooklyn projects. They fend for themselves, searching for food and avoiding the police.

Check out an exclusive clip from the movie, below, with an intro by Hudson, Keys, Brooks, and Tillman, Jr. in our very own Sundance EW video suite. Future Oscar buzz may kick in swiftly for Brooks and Oscar-winner Hudson, who plays against type as Mister’s heavily abusive, tattooed, prostitute drug addict mom.
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'Broken City' star Jeffrey Wright talks Mark Wahlberg, 'Catching Fire,' and Sundance -- EXCLUSIVE CLIP

Jeffrey Wright is the kind of weighty actor that directors fiend for, able to handle both indie and big budget movies, down-in-the-dirt roles and parts that require square-jawed strength.

So it’s no surprise Wright took on the intense role of police commissioner Carl Fairbanks in the upcoming political thriller Broken City, directed by Menace II Society filmmaker Allen Hughes and out in theaters Jan. 18. Co-starring Mark Wahlberg as an ex-cop who is hired by a corrupt mayor (Russell Crowe) to photograph his cheating glam wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones), the noir-ish movie explodes into a full-out scandal laced with murder.

Check out an exclusive clip from the film, below, in which Wright has a heated chat with Wahlberg at a crime scene. EW spoke with Wright about exploring the confines of power in Broken City and working with Wahlberg, playing a much different down-and-out character in The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete, which premieres at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and taking on the part of District 3 tribute Beetee in The Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire and working with Jennifer Lawrence.

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'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

Jeffrey Wright cast as Beetee in 'Catching Fire'

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire casting is wrapping up, and there are just a few more announcements to go. The latest? Jeffrey Wright will play District 3 tribute Beetee, a.k.a. Volts, Lionsgate announced in a press release today. An electronics expert, Beetee becomes an ally for Katniss in the 75th Hunger Games.

Wright is best known for his work in the play Angels in America, earning him a Tony Award in 1994. In 2003, he reprised his role in the HBO miniseries, winning a Golden Globe and an Emmy. He’s also appeared in Basquiat, Source Code, Casino Royale and Quantum Of Solace, W, Syriana, and Cadillac Records.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will arrive in theaters Nov.22, 2013.

Read more:
‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire': Let’s cast the rest of the movie!

Official: Sam Claflin is Finnick Odair in ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’
‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’: Meet the Cast!

Casting Net: Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks sign on for 'Inevitable Defeat.' Plus: Kellan Lutz, Camilla Belle to play straight lovers in a gay world

Sam Worthington is in preliminary negotiations to star opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in Ten, an indie thriller about a corrupt DEA task force that absconds with a drug cartel’s money, only to have each member of the team die one at a time. David Ayer (Street Kings, this fall’s End of Watch) will direct. [Variety]

• Camilla Belle and Kellan Lutz are nearing deals to star as forbidden lovers in Love is All You Need?, a What If drama about a world in which homosexuality is commonplace and heterosexuality is taboo. Belle would play a star football quarterback (that’s not a typo); Lutz a journalist. Kim Rocco Shields will direct from a script she co-wrote with David Tillman, adapted from a similarly themed short film. [Variety]

Read more:
Casting Net: Kenneth Branagh to play villain in (and direct) Jack Ryan film. Plus: Lena Headey, Abigail Breslin, Josh Holloway
Casting Net: Gwyneth Paltrow eyeing foodie pic ‘Blood, Bones, & Butter.’ Plus: Amy Adams, Robin Williams, Kevin Kline
Casting Net: Jeremy Renner eyeing David O. Russell drama. Plus: Daniel Radcliffe, Juliette Lewis, Johnny Depp

Thanksgiving, movies, and reasons to be grateful

The gratitude lists emailed among friends and families this Thanksgiving are lovely and thoughtful, expressing heartfelt appreciation for  food, shelter, health, friends, family, babies’ smiles, rainbows, Mom’s lasagna, all that good stuff. The only problem is, when mentioned in the same breath as Mom and rainbows, offering thanks for the genius of Netflix looks pretty puny. But not here: Here’s where movie lovers can offer up movie love in the spirit of the holiday. I’ll go first:

1. Thanks to great American actors whose appearances invigorate every movie they’re in. My choice trio: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, and Jeffrey Wright, above. Who would you add to the list?

2. Thanks for cup holders and stadium seating in movie theaters.

3. Thanks to filmmakers who know the proper length for their movies. Sometimes 90 minutes is all that’s needed to tell a story; occasionally 140 minutes feels right. (Mostly, the 90-minute range is plenty. Thanks again.)

4. Thanks for the work of great actors already famous in their own countries, stars in the bigger world, including READ FULL STORY

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