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Taylor Swift won't play Joni Mitchell because of Joni Mitchell

In 2012, long before the days of 1989 and cat Olivia Benson, it seemed Taylor Swift was going to play Joni Mitchell in a film based on the book Girls Like Us. Not so anymore, says Mitchell herself. READ FULL STORY

'The Giver' actor Cameron Monaghan on Asher's expanded role, jamming with Jeff Bridges and Taylor Swift


In Lois Lowry’s 1993 book The Giver, we meet Jonas’ best friend Asher. In their highly controlled world, his energy, tardiness, and carelessness with words often results in disciplinary measures. He’s important in illustrating the different ways the restrictive society affects various personalities, but he is very much a side character.

In the Phillip Noyce-directed adaptation of The Giver (out Aug. 15), however, besides being aged along with the other main characters, actor Cameron Monaghan says, his character “has definitely been expanded.” READ FULL STORY

'The Giver' character posters: The eyes have it


All right, I’ll admit it: I spoke too soon.

You may recall the outcry that erupted when the first trailer for The Giver, a long-gestating film adaptation of Lois Lowry’s seminal middle-grade dystopian novel, hit the internet in March. The main gripe from fans: The entire trailer was in bright, lurid color, even though The Giver takes place in a world ruled by “sameness” — there’s no real free will, no real individuality, and, most importantly, no color besides shades of gray, at least until the story’s protagonist begins to learn more about the world as it used to be.

A featurette released a few weeks later, however, revealed that at least some parts of the film were shot in black and white — and a new set of character posters appear mostly without color, minus a small strip that runs through the center of each image. The message: “We hear you, Giver fans.” Think this means they might reconsider that random spaceship too?

Check below for the full set of posters, featuring eight of the film’s major characters — including those played by Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, and, yes, Taylor Swift. READ FULL STORY

'The Giver': First Look at Jeff Bridges and Brenton Thwaites in Lois Lowry's classic

Jeff Bridges has been trying to make Lois Lowry’s 1993 classic The Giver into a film for nearly 20 years. In that time, his kids became adults, his father Lloyd, who he’d wanted to play the Giver, died, and he got rejection after rejection from everybody in town till Harvey Weinstein came along.

“He said, yeah let’s go man,” laughs Bridges, who took on the role of the Giver and is serving as a producer on the film (out Aug. 15), which recently wrapped its Cape Town shoot. Australian newcomer Brenton Thwaites plays Jonas, a boy living contentedly in a seemingly perfect community of sterilized, controlled “sameness” till he is assigned to receive all the memories of history — sublime and evil alike — from the Giver (pictured above in the Library of Memory — a set specifically constructed for the film on location in an old factory in Cape Town).


Golden Globes: Party Report! Inside scoop from all the after-ceremony festivities

EW is inside all the Golden Globes parties tonight. Check out our reports from inside all the carousing and celebrating. Check back often for updates and follow us on Twitter at #EWglobes.

Taylor Swift will co-star in long-awaited adaptation of 'The Giver'

After more than 15 years of development hell, a film adaptation of Lois Lowry’s Newbery-winning 1993 novel The Giver will finally begin production next month — with singer Taylor Swift in one of its supporting roles.

The Weinstein Company announced Swift’s casting today in a release that also names the rest of the film’s principals, many of whom have been attached to The Giver for months. They include Australian actor Brenton Thwaites as Jonas, a boy living in a colorless dystopian world; Jeff Bridges as The Giver, Jonas’s mentor (as well as one of the film’s producers); Meryl Streep as the Chief Elder of Jonas’s community; Katie Holmes as Jonas’s mother; Alexander Skarsgard as Jonas’s father; Cameron Monaghan as Jonas’s best friend Asher; and Odeye Rush as Jonas’s friend and love interest Fiona.

TWC tells EW that Swift will play Rosemary, the last teen mentored by The Giver before he meets Jonas.

Salt helmer Phil Noyce will direct the film, with a screenplay by The Current War scribe Michael Mitnick. Production begins Oct. 7 in Cape Town, South Africa. Its release date has been set for August 15, 2014.

Casting Net: Taylor Swift nearing noteworthy role as Joni Mitchell, plus Mark Wahlberg, Guy Pearce, Jaden Smith

Mark Wahlberg will come a-knockin’ for Avon Man. Hugh Jackman was supposed to headline the long-in-development project, but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts with his X-Men spin-off The Wolverine. Wahlberg is now looking to produce and star. [Deadline]

• Lockout lead Guy Pearce is in final talks to join Robert Downey Jr.Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson, and Don Cheadle in Iron Man 3. Pearce will play geneticist Aldrich Kilian, who develops nanotechnology that can spread viruses and sells it to terrorists. [Variety]


Valentine's Day: Does big box office equal love?

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

'Valentine's Day': Big box office predicted for bad movie. Who's going? Are you?

I don’t exactly shower Valentine’s Day with roses today in my review. That’s because it’s Crap, Actually! But I’m not alone: Check out Rotten Tomatoes before you accuse me of overdosing on cranky pills. Meanwhile, my EW colleague Nicole Sperling declares right here on this site that she predicts opening-weekend ticket receipts to reach into the trillions!–or at $50 million! So I’d like to spend this romantic weekend discussing the following with all of you, my dearest Valentines:  Are you planning to go see Valentine’s Day? And if so, why? Is it Taylor Lautner, Taylor Swift, Ashton Kutcher, Jamie Foxx, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, or Hector Elizondo who draws you like a bee to honey? Is it the urging of your own dearest Valentine?

Other topics for conversation between pauses to eat more chocolate: Do critics’ reviews influence you about this particular movie? Have you decided to go or not to go because of something you’ve read? In spite of something you read? Because of the trailer? In spite of the trailer? Are you choosing between Valentine’s Day and another title at the movie theater, and if so, which? Are you waiting to hear what your friends say? Do you think that if I, Lisa, hate it, it’s a good bet that you’ll like it, because I gave Twilight: New Moon a B+, so I must be crazy? Be specific — and as you always are (hah!) be nice. I’ll be checking in over the weekend, and will write more about critic-proof crowd-pleasers on Monday.



Image credit: Ron Batzdorff

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