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Critical Mass: Kevin Costner gets back in the game with 'Draft Day'

Judging from the massive television audiences that tune in for college and NFL football, you might think that football movies would be an easy sell at the American box office. They’re not — and making matters worse, fans who pay to see football in the theater often have to settle for fictional teams, like the Miami Sharks and the North Dallas Bulls, because the NFL doesn’t often play ball with Hollywood.

So give Draft Day credit. It not only got league permission — with sports all-star Kevin Costner playing the embattled general-manager of the downtrodden Cleveland Browns — but the NFL endorsed the film wholeheartedly, with game footage, access, and even a cameo from its commissioner. This is a total NFL joint, and it looks as slick as a Steve Sabol production. READ FULL STORY

'Draft Day' Super Bowl clip: Kevin Costner is about to rebuild the Browns -- VIDEO

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The Cleveland Browns have never reached the Super Bowl, but they’ll pop up on television this Sunday during the commercial teaser for Draft Day, the Kevin Costner movie that hopes to be football’s version of Moneyball. The sports-movie icon plays Sonny Weaver Jr., the embattled general manager of the mediocre Browns, who have an opportunity to trade up for the No. 1 pick.

Jennifer Garner plays the team’s salary-cap guru — and Sonny’s girlfriend — Denis Leary is a coach somewhat modeled after Barry Switzer, and Frank Langella is the team’s spotlight-hungry owner. Ivan Reitman directed the movie from a Black List script written by Scott Rothman and Rajiv Joseph.

The movies arrives in theaters April 11. Watch the Super Bowl clip below: READ FULL STORY

Kevin Costner is on the clock in 'Draft Day' trailer -- VIDEO

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In Draft Day, Kevin Costner is the G.M. of the Cleveland Browns, a franchise that has never won a Super Bowl in a town that hasn’t won a major sports championship since 1964. He’s got a passionate fan base that is counting on him to turn around the team’s fortunes, a billionaire owner (Frank Langella) who wants to make a big splash at the NFL Draft, and an arrogant coach (Denis Leary) who thinks he can “shop for the groceries” better than his nominal boss. But Costner’s Sonny Weaver is a Moneyball type — “You see things other people don’t see,” says Jennifer Garner — and he’s about to use all his Jedi mind tricks of negotiation to rebuild the team in his image.

The real star of the trailer, though, and presumably the film, is the NFL. From the ESPN Draft Day television crew to commissioner Roger Goodell to the licensed footage of hard-hitting gridiron action, director Ivan Reitman clearly won over the league, a nice get that spares viewers phony teams and old footage of USFL games. The Cleveland Browns lend this movie, based on a Black List script from Rajiv Joseph and Scott Rothman, legitimacy. As does Costner in a sports movie, where we seem to love him best. Watch it below:
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Casting Net: Beastie Boy may team up with Ben Stiller; Plus, Kevin Costner, more

• Director Noah Baumbach (Greenberg) knows how to pour lemon juice in the open wounds of aging Gen X-ers. Who better to cast in his film about a pair of middle-aged marrieds yearning for youth than Ad-Rock, or Adam Horovitz, of the Beastie Boys? If cast, Horovitz would play the guy who has grown up, had a kid, and basically moved on with his life, bringing Naomi Watts and Ben Stiller’s still-childless relationship into harsh perspective. Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried star as the young free spirits who Watts and Stiller befriend. Horovitz is no stranger to acting work, and has appeared in a number of projects over the years including A Kiss Before Dying. [The Wrap]

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Kevin Costner movie 'Three Days to Kill' gets release date

Here’s your alternative programming for Valentine’s Day next year. While romantic comedy remake About Last Night and romantic drama remake Endless Love will draw in the date night crowd (and – let’s face it – all the single ladies), Kevin Costner movie Three Days to Kill will be your dose of thriller action. Relativity announced Tuesday that the film will be released on Feb. 14, 2014. READ FULL STORY

Casting Net: Michael Fassbender for 'Macbeth'; Plus, Jamie Foxx in talks for 'Annie', more

• Michael Fassbender (Shame) is attached to play the title role in a film update of Macbeth, William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy about a scheming nobleman intent on ruling Scotland. The play has been adapted for the big screen a number of times, including Orson Welles’ 1948 version in which he also played the character of Macbeth, and Roman Polanski’s 1971 version which starred Jon Finch. Justin Kurzel (The Snowtown Murders) will direct the Fassbender update which will reportedly use the original language. The part of Lady Macbeth has not been cast yet. [Screen Daily]

• Jamie Foxx is in talks to star in Will Gluck’s (Easy A) film update of Annie, alongside Beasts of the Southern Wild’s Quvenzhané Wallis. The Django Unchained star would play Benjamin Stacks, an update on the Daddy Warbucks character, famously played by Albert Finney in the 1982 John Huston film. Foxx is no stranger to musicals, having appeared in both Dreamgirls and Ray. Will Smith and Jay-Z are producing the film, which is aiming for a 2014 release. [THR]

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Chris Pine learns the secret handshake as 'Jack Ryan' -- PHOTOS

As Tom Clancy’s legendary Jack Ryan, Chris Pine is boldly going where no man has gone before — except Alec Baldwin…and Harrison Ford…and Ben Affleck. (But who remembers The Sum of All Fears anyways?) Thus far, we haven’t seen much from Pine’s Jack Ryan, which is still filming. But in case you’re feeling desperate for your next Ryan fix (he did look good on that motorcycle), here are two new images (courtesy of USA Today) of Pine in character, including one featuring Kevin Costner as Ryan’s mentor. (Irony alert: Costner was initially offered the Ryan role that went to Baldwin for The Hunt for Red October.)

Jack Ryan serves as an origin story of sorts for the CIA analyst, who’s previously appeared in Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, and the lackluster Sum of All Fears. The movie centers on a young Ryan as he uncovers a financial terrorist plot headed up by a Russian oligarch played by none other than Kenneth Branagh (who is also the film’s director). Check out the two new pics below: READ FULL STORY

'Man of Steel' trailer deep dive: Rebuilding Superman with fear and trembling

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Man of Steel won’t be hurting for an audience when the latest cinematic incarnation of Superman swoops into theaters next summer. The casting of Henry Cavill (The Tudors, The Immortals) has been met with great enthusiasm from fanboys, media, and pretty much everyone with working eyeballs. The supporting players ooze quality and clout: Amy Adams, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Michael Shannon, Laurence Fishburne. That’s an all-star team-up of acting Avengers right there. Behind the camera, a marketable, geek-cool, movie-smart brain trust: producer Christopher Nolan, screenwriter David Goyer, director Zack Snyder. With talent like this above and below the line, there’s little doubt people will be buying tickets…

But will they buy Superman himself?

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Up, up, and away! 'Man of Steel' will be released in 3-D and IMAX

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It’s a bird, it’s a plane! Nope, it’s the news that Man of Steel will be released in 3-D in select movie theaters, as well as in 2D and IMAX, Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures announced on Wednesday. The film’s slated for release June 14, 2013.

Directed by Zack Snyder, Man of Steel stars Henry Cavill as resident caped superhero Superman/Clark Kent, alongside Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Russell Crowe, and a bevy of others.

“The film is going to be a visually exciting experience in all formats: 2D, 3D and IMAX. Anticipating how audiences today embrace 3D, we designed and photographed the movie in a way that would allow Man of Steel to captivate those movie goers, while respecting fans who prefer a more traditional cinematic experience,” said Snyder in a statement. “We’ve taken great measures to ensure the film and the story come first, and 3D is meant as an enhancement.”

For more film news

Read more:
‘Man of Steel’ trailers bring wise words from Superman’s two fathers — TWO VIDEOS
‘Man of Steel’ Comic-Con panel: Superman makes grand debut, Zack Snyder makes controversial claim

Casting Net: Seth Green to rock out in 'The Identical.' Plus: Aubrey Plaza, Anthony Mackie, Kevin Costner

• Aubrey Plaza, Topher GraceAnthony Mackie, Giovanni Ribisi and Philip Baker Hall are all likely to join Chris Evans and Michelle Monaghan in the romantic comedy A Many Splintered Thing, about a guy who tries to woo an engaged woman after they meet at a charity dinner at which he impersonates a wealthy benefactor. Commercial director Justin Reardon will helm the film from a Black List script by Christ Shafer and Paul Vicknair. [VarietyDeadline]

• Kevin Costner has officially signed a deal to star in an untitled thriller (previously titled Three Days to Kill) about a dying secret service agent going on one final mission. McG is attached to direct from a script by seasoned-actor-action-movie specialists Luc Besson (Taken) and Adi Hasak (From Paris with Love). [Variety]

• Jean Dujardin, Cate Blanchett, and Paul Giamatti are being considered for roles in George Clooney‘s next directorial effort, The Monument’s Men, about the effort to find stolen art during World War II — but no deal is yet in place for any of the  actors. Clooney would also star, and is writing the script with regular collaborator Grant Heslov from Robert M. Edsel’s book of the same name. [TheWrap]

Read more:
Casting Net: Elijah Wood to be ‘The Late Bloomer.’ Plus: Miles Teller, Richard Madden
Casting Net: Wes Bentley, Brit Marling join Lincoln biopic ‘The Green Blade Rises.’ Plus: Martin Freeman, Judi Dench, Steve Coogan
Casting Net: Justin Timberlake drinking in ‘The Last Drop.’ Plus: Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Hilary Swank

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