• Robert Pattinson (Twilight) and Dane DeHaan (The Place Beyond the Pines) are set to star in Life, which tells the story of Magnum photographer Dennis Stock (Pattinson) and his burgeoning friendship with James Dean (DeHaan) as they embark on a road trip on assignment for Life magazine in 1955. Music video and feature director Anton Corbijn (The American, Control) is helming the project from a screenplay by Luke Davies, who penned 2006′s Candy. The shoot is expected to begin this February in Canada. [ScreenDaily]
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• Matt Damon may have laughed off speculation that he’d play Robin to Ben Affleck’s Batman, but he will be teaming up with The Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan for Interstellar. He’ll join the Iceland-based production of the secretive time travel epic starring Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, and Matthew McConaughey for two weeks out of the four month shoot. Damon’s “small role” is, naturally, being kept under wraps. The large ensemble cast also boasts Casey Affleck, David Oyelowo, Topher Grace, Michael Caine, John Lithgow, and Ellen Burstyn. This marks Damon’s first time working with Nolan. [IndieWire]
Casting Net: Topher Grace in talks to take on time travel in 'Interstellar'; Plus, Danny McBride joins Cameron Crowe pic, more
• Topher Grace (Spider-Man 3) is in talks to join Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar in a supporting capacity. Naturally, no details were given about the nature of the role, but we’re hoping this could be the beginning of a Topher Grace career reboot. He has a number of projects in the works including The Invitation with Zachary Quinto, The Calling with Susan Sarandon, and A Many Splintered Thing with Aubrey Plaza and Chris Evans, a.k.a. April and not Andy. [Deadline]
• He might be King of the North to some, but Game of Thrones actor Richard Madden (he plays Robb Stark on the HBO series) is about to reach a whole new demographic when he takes on the role of Prince Charming in Disney’s live-action adaptation of Cinderella. Downton Abbey’s Lily James will play the title role in the Kenneth Branagh-directed film, with Cate Blanchett as the wicked stepmother. With a script from Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada), we’re starting to get excited to see what Branagh does with the film, and to finally see Madden in a less stressful role.
• It’s quite a departure from her work in Anna Karenina and A Royal Affair, but up and coming actress Alicia Vikander is in talks to star opposite Tom Cruise and Armie Hammer in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The Swedish actress would play a British agent. For those of you who might remember the television series, don’t worry, you’re not losing your mind — this character is a new addition. Vikander can also be seen in The Seventh Son (out October 18) and The Fifth Estate (out November 13). [THR]
• Joel McHale, Robin Williams, and Lauren Graham have signed on star in the new holiday comedy A Friggin’ Christmas Miracle. Lorelai Gilmore and Jeff Winger will play a married couple forced to spend Christmas with their crazy extended family. On Christmas Eve, Boyd (McHale) realizes he forgot to bring his son’s gifts and embarks on an eight-hour road trip with his father (Williams) to retrieve them before his son wakes up. British director Tristram Shapeero, best known for directing television shows like Community and New Girl, will make his feature film debut directing the project. [THR]
• Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage is set to star in A Long Way Home, described as an “epic adventure about friendship, courage, magic, adventure and the lengths one boy will go to reunite his family.” Production designer Paki Smith (set decorator on The Dark Knight Rises and Batman Begins) will direct the project. [Variety]
If the lap dance in the newly released photo above is any indication, the Machete sequel Machete Kills, both directed by Robert Rodriguez, will be yet another sassy, violent romp starring perennial tough guy Danny Trejo.
Open Road Films announced Thursday it’s distributing the film, out in wide release in 2013. The second movie in the trilogy, about Trejo as craggy faced ex-Federale agent Machete, hails from a screenplay by Kyle Ward, based on a story by Marcel Rodriguez and Robert Rodriguez. Besides Trejo, the movie stars a long list of known names, including pop diva Lady Gaga, making her acting debut, as well as Oscar nominee Demian Bichir, Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, Charlie Sheen, Antonio Banderas, Jessica Alba, Alexa Vega, Vanessa Hudgens, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Mel Gibson. READ FULL STORY
Jessica Alba and Sarah Jessica Parker are among an all-star cast joining the new animated film Escape from Planet Earth. In a release issued today, The Weinstein Company announced the actors who’ll lend their voices to the film include Alba, Parker, Brendan Fraser, James Gandolfini, Rob Corddry, and Craig Robinson. “We’re excited to have such a talented group of actors bringing this action-packed comedic tale to life,” said Donna Gigliotti, TWC’s President of Production.
This latest 3D adventure from Cal Brunker, director of Despicable Me, takes place on the fictional planet Baab. Heroic astronaut Scorch Supernova (Fraser) takes off to save a dangerous planet in peril, despite the warnings of his straitlaced brother Gary (Corddry). When Scorch is trapped by the villainous Shanker (Gandolfini), nerdy Gary is left to defend Baab on his own. Alba plays the Supernova brothers’ boss, and Parker plays Gary’s wife, Kira. Escape from Planet Earth is currently in production and will hit theaters next year.
No, we’re not doing our best Jay Sherman impression. We can safely say from watching the Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World trailer that it will stink. Literally. In addition to being in 3-D, the fourth flick in the kid-friendly franchise will also feature 4-D, meaning that moviegoers will be able to smell what’s going on on-screen by holding up the free scent cards to their noses (as shown in the trailer.) But the Aromavision isn’t the only thing featured in the preview; there’s also plot details about secret-spy mom (Jessica Alba) whose children discover her double life when she comes out of retirement to stop a time-stealing villain, a talking dog (voiced by Ricky Gervais), and a brief appearance by Joel McHale, who dares to ask, “What’s that smell?” Moviegoers will be able to find out on Aug. 4 when Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World invades theaters. READ FULL STORY
Just how similar is the upcoming An Invisible Sign to the 2005 film Proof? Let’s count the ways. Both revolve around a sad, dowdy math genius played by a beautiful, A-List actress (Jessica Alba and Gwyneth Paltrow, respectively). Both of those geniuses start to neglect numbers when their fathers get ill, then are taught how to embrace life again by a studly male academic (Chris Messina and Jake Gyllenhaal, respectively). Oh, and both movies also appear to take place in a perpetual autumn. Did I miss anything? READ FULL STORY
Hey, how was your Valentine’s Day? Did it make you feel like $52.4 million bucks? That’s this morning’s estimated box-office tally for the movie Valentine’s Day, and that’s before adding in the romantics who plan to buy tickets on Presidents’ Day. Before the weekend, I asked you if you, too, were planning a date with Ashton, Topher, and the Jessicas Alba and Biel.T wrote, “It’s the movies, it’s Valentine’s Day, and sap is practically mandatory.” Kim said, “When it comes to rom-coms, I just assume every reviewer will pan them.” Angie reported, “I loved the movie and so did my husband! What I like the most is the scenes show things that could happen in real life.” Carlisle predicted, “I expect it to be light, breezy, cheesy, and schmaltzy.” And bedc01 announced, “The girlfriend and I will avoid this trite, dumb, Hollywood ‘romantic’ movie and will rather stay home and watch the greatest modern-day romantic comedy ever: Shaun of the Dead!
Wow, bedc01, I like your style. Me, I channel-surfed my way onto Casablanca on TCM, watched it for the 43rd time, wept and swooned for the 43rd time, and felt love for the whole wide world, even for Major Strasser and Peter Lorre’s Signor (“just because you despise me, you are the only one I trust”) Ugarte.
But I’m still thinking about Valentine’s Day because I’m guessing that, given its commercial success, Hollywood is about to develop a big 2010 crush on this reliable, recyclable format, the celebrity-ensemble-novelty-act movie. That’s entertainment! Already, plans have been announced for a similar whoop-di-doo pegged to New Year’s Eve. I’d recommend Independence Day, Mother’s Day, Income Tax Day, and the autumnal Jewish harvest festival of Succoth (during which observant Jews eat meals outdoors in little, roofless huts) as equally strong marketing opportunities.
What I don’t recommend, though, is relying on our collective audience goodwill for too long. We the people are able to recognize the difference between pleasurable familiarity of format and lazy cliche. And we demand more from our entertainment dollars than Taylor Swift making out with Taylor Lautner. The best romantic comedies give us what we expect and give it to us fresh — you know, like really good chocolate. Or Taylor Swift on SNL. And we can tell the difference, right? Right?
So here’s your chance: Pick a holiday and a dream ensemble cast, and let’s talk about what you want to see when Garry Marshall directs College Acceptance-Letter Day, Driver’s License Renewal Day, or Thanksgiving 90210.
Image credit: Ron Batzdorff
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