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Morgan Freeman Joins Luc Besson's 'Lucy'; Christina Hendricks Takes The 'Measure Of A Man' & More
From a Luc Besson action flick getting a veteran to Armie Hammer getting swapped for a hot rising actor, a few casting bits and bobs to keep you ahead of the game.... First up, Morgan Freeman has joined Luc Besson's upcoming actioner "Lucy." Scarlett Johansson leads the movie playing a woman who is forced to become a drug mule but finds the substances have entered her body instead turning her into some kind of ass-kicking badass. Uh, okay. Scratch that -- she basically becomes all the X-Men combined as "her new abilities allow her to see into the future, move objects with her mind and disregard pain and other emotions." Lord. Freeman will play a science dude who can explain all this, who Lucy attempts to find before she dies or something. This sounds pretty dumb. [The Wrap] "Mad Men" star Christina Hendricks will star in the '70s drama "Measure Of A Man. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
FilmDistrict Picks Up Zac Efron Movie ‘Dating’
Story follows three guys who decide to support a friend after he’s devastated by a recent breakup by vowing to maintain their single status for as long as possible. The plan gets derailed when they each fall in love and have to secretly work around their pledge to bachelorhood.
FilmDistrict plans to release the film on Jan. 31, 2014. »
- Justin Kroll
Two More 'Spider-Man' Sequels On the Way
We don't call this site NextMovie for nothing. We've got news on release dates for two more sequels to "The Amazing Spider-Man."
Sony Pictures is smartly making sure those Spidey rights don't default and slip back to Marvel anytime soon (a la "Daredevil" and sorta with "Ghost Rider," for example). They've got release dates on the schedule for "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," of course, plus a second sequel and another one beyond that, running all the way into 2018.
We've long had our calendars marked for May 2, 2014, when director Marc Webb's followup to last year's reboot is set to premiere with Andrew Garfield back under the mask. "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" will introduce Paul Giamatti as The Rhino, Jamie Foxx as Electro and is rumored to setup the introduction of The Green Goblin, either in this film, or the next.
So about those next movies. We'd heard about the rebooted version being a trilogy, »
- Ryan J Downey
Jennifer Lopez joins Antonio Banderas in Chilean miners film 'The 33'
Jennifer Lopez has signed up to star in a film based on the Chilean mine collapse in 2010.
The 33 will tell the story of the 33 miners who were trapped for 69 days before they were freed during a rescue operation that received extensive media coverage.
The singer and actress joins the cast alongside Antonio Banderas, who will star as charismatic miner Mario Sepulveda, also known by the nickname 'Super Mario'.
One of the miners, Juan Andres Illanes, said at the time: "One year after the collapse of the mine, we consider this to be a great step towards the realisation of a film based on our experience in the mine.
First Look at Jack Reynor and Nicola Peltz on Set of Transformers 4, Plus a New Vehicle and Michael Bay’s Attractive Additions to the Cast
Scope out the above image and then I'll give you two guesses who's directing the movie. Give up? Michael Bay! These lovely ladies were spotted on set of Transformers 4, along with stars Jack Reynor, Nicola Peltz and Mark Wahlberg. In addition to the eye candy, some military personnel were also present, plus a new vehicle that is featured in a quick set video. It's not much to go on but at least we know Bay is sticking to his roots, even if Megan Fox isn't along for the ride this time around. Also starring Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, T.J. Miller and Bingbing Li, the untitled Transformers sequel opens June 27, 2014. Hit the jump to see the new images and watch a video featuring the new vehicle. Check out the new set images and videos below (via Cbm): [gallery link="file" order="Desc" columns="1"] »
- Dave Trumbore
‘Godzilla’ Ready to Roar at Retail (Exclusive)
The licensing biz is showing no fear in rallying around Godzilla.
Fifteen years after Sony stumbled with its big-budget “Godzilla,” leaving many partners left with unsold merchandise tied to the Roland Emmerich-helmed film, Legendary Entertainment is finding that licensing partners are ready to line up behind its big screen adaptation of the Japanese monster.
Warner Bros. Consumer Products has begun putting together a growing list of partners around the summer film that stomps into theaters May 16, 2014.
Already Bandai America Incorporated has landed the deal to serve as the film’s master toy partner, and will create action figures and building sets around the film. Also on board are Neca, with gifts and novelties; Jakks Pacific (large scale figures); Bioworld (apparel); Trevco (apparel); Rubie’s (costumes for kids and adults); and Sideshow Collectibles, with detailed statues.
The idea is to attract attract mass and specialty retailers with toys and figures, »
- Marc Graser
Has Summit Pulled A Rabbit Out Of The Hat With Dean Parisot And Houdini?
Exclusive: Summit Entertainment is in early negotiations with Dean Parisot to direct the Noah Oppenheim-scripted feature about Harry Houdini that Summit has been developing the project for several years. It’s based on the William Kalush and Larry Sloman book The Secret Life of Houdini, The Making of America’s First Superhero. The tale paints Houdini as more than a master illusionist: He was a spy and a true renaissance man across the globe. This project had Hunger Games helmer Gary Ross involved for a bit, but he fell off the project. There have been several Houdini projects in development, including at DreamWorks, but like a lot of magic movies, they’ve faltered. I’ll tell you more when I know it. Wme-repped Parisot just wrapped the Summit Entertainment sequel Red 2, with Bruce Willis, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren returning, and Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta-Jones among the new castmembers. »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
Casting Net: J. Lo in Chilean miner drama, 'Harry Potter' actor joins 'Eliza Graves,' more
• Jennifer Lopez may be the latest network exec, but she’s still a movie star. The triple-threat singer is set to star opposite Antonio Banderas in The 33, a film based on the true story of 33 Chilean miners who were trapped in a mine for 69 days in 2010. Martin Sheen and Rodrigo Santoro have also joined the cast of the Patricia Riggen (La Misma Luna)-directed drama. [THR]
•Argo actor Scoot McNairy will join Jude Law in Black Sea, about a search for sunken treasure aboard a submarine in the — you guessed it — Black Sea. Kevin MacDonald is directing the Focus Features film. »
- Laura Hertzfeld
'Prometheus 2' Will Use 'Transcendence' Writer Jack Paglen To Terraform The Sequel
Welcome to Hollywood, Jack Paglen. The writer has seen a quick ascension up the Hollywood food chain, thanks to his 2012 Black List placing script for "Transcendence," which is now being made into a Wally Pfister-directed, Christopher Nolan-produced, Johnny Depp-starring movie. Not bad. And for his next trick? He's jumping on board what could be the most difficult sequel in development. Yep, the "Prometheus" sequel is indeed brewing, and Fox are in negotiations for Paglen to write the script. He's inheriting a movie that got a very mixed reception, as well as a franchise that is beloved and practically guarded by fans with very, very high expectations. Regardless, it's a massive stepping stone for Paglen, and if he nails it, the gig could see his career vaulted even further than before. It's easy to see why he'd be willing to take it on -- it's a big challenge »
- Kevin Jagernauth
The Real Lone Ranger—At Auction
I’m trying to keep an open mind about the upcoming Lone Ranger movie, but I can’t imagine what Dawn Moore must be feeling; Clayton Moore was her father. A devoted daughter, she has kept her father’s flame alive since his passing in 1999. Now, she has decided to part with a number of his personal Lone Ranger items, including two costumes crafted by Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors and another by famous Western designer Manuel, a Stetson hat, three pair of boots, and best of all, his Edward H. Bohlin double-holster gun rig. If you’ve never seen a Bohlin piece up close, I can tell you it’s pretty impressive. This one was custom designed with leather carving and inlaid silver pieces. Dawn has...
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- Leonard Maltin
Forever Developing 'Highlander' Reboot Loses Ryan Reynolds
It seems this "Highlander" reboot just can't get moving, can it? Having already gone through a plethora of writers -- Art Marcum and Matt Holloway ("Iron Man"), the Wibberlys, "Twilight" scribe Melissa Rosenberg, and most recently Neal Oppenheim -- and directors, including Justin Lin and Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Ryan Reynolds was the most recent piece of talent keeping this forever developing project alive, and now it's back to square one. The Wrap reports that Reynolds has exited the project, which is being spun as good news (kind of). Why? Well, because the thinking goes that a new director can now come onto the project and cast whoever they like to lead the movie, rather than being saddled with Reynolds. Okay, fine. But frankly, given how long this movie has spun its wheels as well as how many people have gone through the turnstiles, we're not holding our breath that this »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Scoot McNairy Shores Up ‘Black Sea’ Role
Exclusive: Scoot McNairy is set star with Jude Law in Black Sea, the underwater adventure film for Focus Features that Kevin Macdonald is directing. Law plays a rogue skipper who gathers a crew and a submarine in order to search for sunken treasure in the Black Sea. McNairy plays an American who convinces the captain to undertake a mission, even though the skipper has been double crossed before and knows it could be a set-up. McNairy just wrapped David Michod’s The Rover with Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson, and he starred alongside Michael Fassbender in Frank. The Argo star also has Twelve Years A Slave wrapped and just starred in the AMC pilot Halt And Catch Fire. McNairy is repped by Wme, The Group and Jackoway Tyerman. »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
New Myth, Toonz Ent. Help Launch Epiphany, A $200 Million Film Fund
Exclusive: Well, it didn’t take long to find out where New Myth will be finding the money to make tentpole-sized movies. A group of investors and distributors led by New Myth and Toonz Entertainment Pte Ltd have launched Epiphany, a $200 million film fund that intends to strategically build a content platform and invest in a slate of event films with an eye toward global appeal. Epiphany aims to get involved as producer and co-financier of franchise films with major studios. It starts with New Myth and Toonz and also in the investor group is European distributor A-Company, an affiliate of Ar Film in Russia. Related: New Myth Forms With ‘X-Men/Transformers’ Tom DeSanto; Goal To Hatch Tentpoles New Myth is a Hollywood-based production company founded by principals Tom DeSanto, David Ranes, Grace Oppenheimer and Wayne Duband. Epiphany will co-finance its projects. Toonz is one of the largest animation and VFX studios in Asia, »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
With Star Wars and Princesses, Disney Now Has Six of the Top 10 Licensed Franchises
As studios produce more summer tenptoles based on established brands, they’re looking to take a larger share of the nearly $50 billion in licensed merchandise sales generated from film and TV characters in the U.S. and Canada in 2012.
Last year, Disney dominated the entertainment category with 80% marketshare, generating $39.4 billion. Company again ranked No. 1 as the world’s largest licensor, according to the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Assn.
Through its purchases of Marvel and Lucasfilm, Disney now has six of the top 10 franchises in the world: Disney Princess (No. 1), “Star Wars” (No. 2), Winnie the Pooh (No. 3), “Cars” (No. 4), Mickey & Friends (No. 6) and “Toy Story” (No. 8), with Disney Fairies (No. 11), and Spider-Man (No. 16) in the top 20.
The next studio, according to Lima, was Warner Bros., which came in at No. 7 with a $6 billion haul, consistent with previous years. It’s doing well this summer with merchandise tied to “Man of Steel. »
- Marc Graser
Watch Hit Girl Team Up with Jim Carrey in Latest ‘Kick Ass 2′ Trailer (Video)
Universal is having fun this year with hits like “Fast and Furious 6,” and the studio is hoping “Kick Ass 2″ will continue that streak when it bows later this summer.
The studio’s latest trailer features main characters Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz) beating up more bad guys with the help of Jim Carrey’s new character, Colonel Stars and Stripes.
With a slew of tentpoles like “Despicable Me 2″ and “2 Guns” still slated to bow, “Kick-Ass 2″ will try to draw the same audience that helped films like “The Expendables” movies become such big hits. Sources say the pic’s budget is in the same range as the original, around $30 million.
The film bows on Aug. 16. »
- Justin Kroll
James Franco Seeks $500,000 in Crowdfunding for Movie Trilogy
James Franco is looking for $500,000 worth of backers via crowdfunding site Indie Gogo to fund “Palo Alto Stories,” three feature films based on pieces from his short story collection about his hometown. The actor, director, artist and film professor has recruited four young helmers — Nina Ljeti, Vladimir Bourdeau, Bruce Thierry Cheung, and Gabriel Demestree — to adapt and direct “Memoria,” “Killing Animals” and “Yosemite,” fictional stories that are nonetheless based on Franco’s high school experiences in the wealthy Northern California town.
“It touches on universal things about being a teenager and coming-of-age and learning about the bigger world,” says Franco of the book in the teaser video. All proceeds from the film will go to the Art of Elysium, which enlists actors, artists and musicians to give their time to children battling serious medical conditions.
- Pat Saperstein
Lotus Entertainment Lands Thriller Spec ‘Revelation’
Exclusive: It has begun to feel like that pre-holiday slumber time, but here is a spec script that just sold in a competitive situation. Lotus Entertainment has landed the rights to Hernany Perla’s spec, Revelation, for a low to mid six figures. Circle Of Confusion’s David Alpert and Stephen Emery will produce with Anil Kurian. Lotus Co-Chairmen Jim Seibel and Bill Johnson will executive produce. D.J. Guggenheim brought in the spec and will oversee the project for Lotus. It’s a high concept thriller with time travel and murder, I’m told. Hernany previously sold the feature spec Day One at MGM and his producing credits include Ghost Team One and the upcoming feature Eden. He was an exec at Lionsgate before the writing took off. Hernany is repped by Original Artists and Madhouse Entertainment. Lotus has been getting aggressive. At Cannes, the label sold out international »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
Star Wars Bits: Zack Snyder, Neill Blomkamp, ‘Star Wars: Battlefront’, Anthony Daniels, Warwick Davis
Luke, Leia, and Han are all set to appear in the new Star Wars trilogy, but what about their trusty pal C3PO? Anthony Daniels will only say “wait and see.” Also after the jump: Here’s why you shouldn’t believe those Star Wars plot rumors Warwick Davis wants to audition for Episode VII Zack Snyder talks about what Man [...] »
- Angie Han
The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones Latest Trailer Delivers More Of The Same
Video: Exclusive Trailer: The Mortal Instruments When it comes to cinematic adaptations of young adult novels, it.s always clear that the main audience is the largely teenaged crowd who spends more of their social time at the movies than adults do. And so whenever I watch a trailer for one, I mentally and metaphorically put myself inside of a teenager.s shoes and question whether or not I would have gone to see the movie in my more naïve youth. And when it comes to the above MSN Video trailer for Harald Zwart.s The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones - based on the best-selling book series by Cassandra Clare . I cannot even imagine going to see this, even if it meant automatic carnal knowledge with the female of my choosing. I really don.t know what this movie is doing; but it.s not for me specifically, »
Sin City: A Dame To Kill For Pushed Back Nearly a Year to August 22, 2014
Well it appears that director Robert Rodriguez won’t have two films opening within weeks from each other after all. The Weinstein Company announced today that Rodriguez’s long-awaited sequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For has been pushed back nearly a year, from this coming October to August 22, 2014, making Machete Kills Rodriguez’s sole release this year. That’s some pretty disappointing news for fans who have already been waiting eight years for the promised Sin City follow-up, so hopefully the finished product will be worth it. The film’s impressive ensemble cast is lead by Josh Brolin as the physically-altered Dwight (played by Clive Owen in the first film), who is “hunted down by the only woman he ever loved, Ava Lord (Eva Green), and then watches his life go straight to hell.” Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is currently the only film slated for release on that August date. »
- Adam Chitwood
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