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"Les Miserables" Shakes Up Oscar Race

25 November 2012 9:56 AM, PST

Amongst awards pundits, this part of the Oscar season has always been about ticking off the few remaining boxes. The film festivals are long over, a critical verdict has been reached on the various titles screened there, and enough time has passed that the awards chances surrounding each title has settled on a decent consensus.

That just leaves the handful of holdouts - the half dozen or so films hitting at the end of the year that aren't screened until late November/early December. The danger with being a holdout is the dismissal factor. For those key critics who'll be the first to see and review these films, there's only one question - is the film good enough for awards chances? More often than not these tough assayers are left wanting.

Amongst the hold outs, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," "Django Unchained" and "Zero Dark Thirty" will screen in the next few days. »

- Garth Franklin

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Boyle, Gaye, Hutchence Biopics Planned

25 November 2012 9:54 AM, PST

Musical biopics are popping up all over the place with several announced over the holiday weekend.

First up, Fox Searchlight has acquired the life rights to "Britain’s Got Talent" sensation Susan Boyle along with the rights to the UK musical "I Dreamed A Dream" based on her story.

The plan is to reportedly combine the two to develop a re-imagined filmed version of the musical. No director or screenwriter has been attached as yet.

Then there's word that rocker Lenny Kravitz has emerged as director Julien Temple’s choice to play singer Marvin Gaye in a new biopic set towards the end of Gaye's life.

Having fled to London and hopelessly addicted to drugs and alcohol, music promoter Freddy Couseart took Gaye to his flat in Belgium and sorted him out. The result was the album 'Midnight Love' which featured the iconic single "Sexual Healing".

Finally, not one but »

- Garth Franklin

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How Hagman's Passing Will Affect "Dallas"

25 November 2012 9:51 AM, PST

With the passing of the great Larry Hagman on Friday from cancer complications, the grim but necessary question has to be asked - how will this affect the revival of "Dallas" over at TNT.

Hagman portrayed the iconic villainous oilman J.R. Ewing over the span of 35 years. When TNT revived "Dallas", Hagman came onboard while at the same time announcing he was diagnosed with a "common and treatable" form of cancer.

Originally slated to only appear in three episodes, he ended up appearing in all ten of the first season.

Hagman was in Dallas filming the second season when he died. He had completed filming up to six of the fifteen episodes being made for the season.

It's thought some additional days of hiatus will be taken this week or next to allow the writers time to rework the scripts for the remaining episodes. They are also expected to »

- Garth Franklin

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Matthias Schoenaerts Joins "Suite Francaise"

25 November 2012 9:50 AM, PST

"Rust and Bone" and "Bullhead" star Matthias Schoenaerts is in final negotiations to join Michelle Williams and Kristin Scott Thomas in Saul Dibb's WWII drama "Suite Francaise."

Based on Irene Nemirovsky's novel, the story charts the love affair between a young French woman (Williams) and the German officer (Schoenaerts) assigned to watch her in Nazi-occupied France.

Thomas is already onboard to play Williams' mother. Shooting aims to kick off in London next spring.

Source: The Daily Mail »

- Garth Franklin

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"Downton Abbey" Scores A Fourth Season

25 November 2012 9:45 AM, PST

ITV has officially commissioned a fourth season of its hit period drama "Downton Abbey".

Filming of eight new episodes and a Christmas special for 2013 will kick off in February.

The third season recently finished airing in the UK where it was scoring the show's best ever ratings including averaging an incredible 40% audience share per episode.

The third season hits Us screens through PBS on January 6th.

Source: Deadline »

- Garth Franklin

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Live-Action "Grave of the Fireflies" Planned

23 November 2012 5:46 AM, PST

Dresden Pictures has acquired the UK rights to Japanese war story "Grave of the Fireflies" with plans to develop a live-action feature adaptation.

Akiyuki Nosaka's 1967 semi-autobiographical novel is set during and after the firebombing of Kobe, Japan in 1945. It follows the struggle of two orphaned Japanese children – 14 year-old Seita and his four year-old sister, Setsuko – during World War II.

The story is best known to worldwide audiences for Studio Ghibli's 1988 animated feature film adaptation helmed by Isao Takahata, an acclaimed movie that film critics and historians often cite as one of the most powerful and devastating anti-war films ever made. Japanese broadcaster Ntv produced a live action telemovie in 2005.

This however marks the first production company outside of Japan to have optioned development rights to the story. Liam Garvo and James Heath will produce and shooting aims to begin in 2014.

The news comes a few days after the »

- Garth Franklin

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Mendelsohn Joins Gosling's "Monster"

23 November 2012 5:41 AM, PST

Ben Mendelsohn is set to join Christina Hendricks in Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut "How to Catch a Monster."

Described as a dark fairytale, Hendricks plays a mother of two sons, one of whom discovers a secret underwater town. With mother in tow, young Bones enters the dark, macabre place he’s stumbled upon.

Mendelsohn worked with Gosling on the upcoming "The Place Beyond the Pines." Shooting on 'Monster' kicks off in May.

Source: Moviehole »

- Garth Franklin

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Marisa Tomei Joins Marc Lawrence's Next

23 November 2012 5:40 AM, PST

Marisa Tomei is in negotiations to join Hugh Grant in the untitled Marc Lawrence rom-com project at Castle Rock Entertainment.

The story centers on an Oscar-winning British screenwriter (Hugh Grant) now creatively washed up, divorced and broke.

He takes a job teaching screenwriting at a small East Coast college, and ends up in a romance with a single mom who has gone back to school.

Shooting kicks off in New York next spring. Martin Shafer and Liz Glotzer are producing.

Source: The Wrap »

- Garth Franklin

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Chevy Chase Departing "Community"

21 November 2012 9:16 PM, PST

Chevy Chase and the producers of NBC’s "Community" are parting ways effective immediately and by mutual agreement.

Almost all thirteen episodes of the upcoming fourth season have already been filmed including the finale. Chase's character Pierce Hawthorne won’t appear in the remaining one or two episodes left to shoot.

Chase has voiced his displeasure with the role and the show over the years, which lead to very public feuding between him and creator Dan Harmon (who left at the end of last season).

His absence will only truly be felt if the show gets renewed for a fifth season, which itself is far from a sure thing at present.

Source: Deadline »

- Garth Franklin

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"Young Sherlock Holmes" Being Remade

21 November 2012 9:07 PM, PST

"The Lion King 1 1/2" writer Evan Spiliotopoulos is in talks to pen the script for a remake of "Young Sherlock Holmes" at Paramount Pictures.

The story follows Sherlock Holmes and John Watson as they meet at a British boarding school as teenagers and stumble upon a series of murders.

Chris Columbus, who penned the original Barry Levinson-directed 1985 film, is producing.

Source: The Wrap »

- Garth Franklin

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Casting: Linney, Corden, De Ravin, Labine

21 November 2012 9:05 PM, PST

Wikileaks Film

Laura Linney is in talks to re-team with her "Kinsey" director Bill Condon on the Wikileaks project in development at DreamWorks Pictures. Shooting kicks off in Berlin and Iceland early next year.

Benedict Cumberbatch will play Assange, and James McAvoy is circling the role of Assange's former right-hand man Daniel Domscheit-Berg. [Source: The Wrap]

School For Santas

Working Title is developing the Richard Bean-penned holiday film "School For Santas" as a vehicle for actor James Corden.

The story follows a down-on-his-luck dad who needs to find his inner Father Christmas to win back his kids. Shooting will take place next year in New York and London. [Source: Deadline]

The 34th Battalion

Emilie De Ravin has joined the cast of Ian Sparke's "The 34th Battalion," the saga of an Australian Army unit that fought heroic battles with the Germans during World War I.

De Ravin will play the wife of Nick Farnell’s character, »

- Garth Franklin

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First Look At Sequel To Korea's "The Host"

20 November 2012 9:55 PM, PST

Bong Joon-ho’s 2006 South Korean monster movie "The Host" became a cult hit all around the world, so many have been keen to see a follow-up.

Today we get our wish as Twitchfilm has scored a clip featuring the first footage from the follow-up that commercials director Park Myeong-chan is directing.

The video itself comes from visual FX house Micrograph and the second half breaks down how the effects shots work.


- Garth Franklin

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Kasdan, Kinberg To Pen "Star Wars" 8 & 9

20 November 2012 9:05 PM, PST

Scribes Lawrence Kasdan ("The Empire Strikes Back," "Raiders of the Lost Ark") and Simon Kinberg ("Sherlock Holmes," "X-Men: Days of Future Past") have reportedly closed deals to pen the final two instalments of the new "Star Wars" trilogy at Disney Pictures.

The pair join Oscar winner Michael Arndt ("Toy Story 3," "Little Miss Sunshine") who is writing the script for the upcoming "Episode VII," the first of a new trilogy of 'Wars' films being made without the hands-on input of creator George Lucas.

The division of whom will write Episode VIII and/or Episode IX has yet to be determined. Kasdan and Kinberg would also join the projects as producers alongside Kathleen Kennedy.

Disney and Lucasfilm are declining to comment at this time.

Source: THR »

- Garth Franklin

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Posters: Catching Fire, Evil Dead, Forgives

20 November 2012 8:24 PM, PST

A couple of key one-sheet premieres today including an official motion poster for the much anticipated sequel "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" due for release this time next year, the first poster for the remake of "The Evil Dead" which states a bold claim up front - you will be scared sh*tless, and a beaten to a bloody pulp Ryan Gosling-centric poster for Nicolas Winding Refn's "Only God Forgives".


- Garth Franklin

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"Independence Day" 3D Re-Release Scrapped

20 November 2012 8:11 PM, PST

20th Century Fox appears to have scrapped plans for a 3D re-release of Roland Emmerich’s 1996 sci-fi alien invasion epic "Independence Day."

Exhibitor Relations revealed through Twitter that Fox has decided not to release the post-converted film in theatres. The Will Smith-starrer was slated for release on July 3rd 2013.

How this affects the proposed sequels in development is uncertain at this time.

Source: Twitter »

- Garth Franklin

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Trailer Updates: "Steel," "Wolverine," "Fast 6"

20 November 2012 8:06 PM, PST

A bunch of trailer news has hit over the past 24 hours in answer to a rumor that emerged over the weekend.

Along with the already confirmed teaser trailer for "Star Trek Into Darkness" airing in front of non-imax copies of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," the rumor suggested that next month we'd see the premiere of new trailers for the likes of "Man of Steel," "The Wolverine," "Pacific Rim," "After Earth," "R.I.P.D." and "The Hangover Part III".

Well, one of those titles has been confirmed while another has been shot down. Though we got a short teaser back in July, director Zack Snyder has now confirmed that the first full-length trailer for "Man of Steel" will debut in front of copies of Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."

On the flip side, director James Mangold has tweeted that there will be no trailer for "The Wolverine »

- Garth Franklin

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First Photo From A&E's "Bates Motel"

20 November 2012 7:52 PM, PST

EW has released the first photo from A&E's new "Psycho"-prequel TV series "Bates Motel" starring Freddie Highmore as young Norman Bates and Vera Farmiga as his mother. The series itself will premiere in the Spring.

Developed by "Lost" showrunner Carlton Cuse and "Friday Night Lights" producer Kerry Ehrin, the series explores the relationship between these two and how it shaped Norman into becoming the insane killer of the classic Hitchcock film.


- Garth Franklin

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Starz's "Boss" Axed, But May Get A TV Movie

20 November 2012 7:43 PM, PST

Starz's Chicago political drama "Boss" starring Kelsey Grammer will not be getting a third season, but that doesn't mean the story is quite over yet.

In an official statement today, Starz says "After much deliberation, we have made the difficult decision to not proceed with (a third season of) Boss. We remain proud of this award-winning show, its exceptional cast and writers, and are grateful to Kelsey Grammer, Farhad Safinia and our partners at Lionsgate TV."

Now there's word of discussions between Starz and Lionsgate TV about potentially doing a two-hour movie that would wrap up the story. The second season has been averaging around 2.4 million across all platforms per episode and delivered the network its first major awards nominations.

With the cancellation of "Boss", "Spartacus" becomes the only Starz original series so far to go beyond two seasons.

Source: Deadline »

- Garth Franklin

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Casting: Cranston, Dreyfuss, Meloni, Stasey

20 November 2012 7:36 PM, PST

Eye of Winter

Bryan Cranston, Alice Eve, Logan Marshall Green, Ursula Parker and Leo Fitzpatrick are all set to star in Tze Chun's indie "Eye of Winter" at Syncopated Films and Sasquatch Films. Chun co-wrote the script with Osgood Perkins and Nick Simon.

Eve plays a struggling motel owner who, along with her daughter, is taken hostage by a nearly blind career criminal (Cranston) to be his eyes as he attempts to retrieve his cash package from a crooked cop (Marshall-Green). [Source: Variety

Killing Winston Jones

Richard Dreyfuss, Danny Masterson, Danny Glover and Jon Heder have all signed on for the Joel David Moore-directed dark indie comedy "Killing Winston Jones" at RadioactiveGiant. Albert Sandoval and Daemon Hillin are producing and shooting kicks off Monday in Georgia.

Masterson plays a sixth-grade English teacher on a mission to get the newly constructed junior high gymnasium named after his father (Dreyfuss) despite the »

- Garth Franklin

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Hugh Laurie Is Blackbeard In "Crossbones"?

20 November 2012 7:20 PM, PST

"House" star Hugh Laurie looks to be returning to television as he's entered negotiations to star as Blackbeard for NBC’s new pirate drama "Crossbones".

"Luther" creator Neil Cross is serving as show runner on the series which is set in the Bahamas in 1715. Laurie's Edward Teach is the fearsome English pirate who rules over island town New Providence.

It's a rogue nation of thieves, outlaws and miscreant sailors - and a mounting threat to international commerce. To combat the threat, skilled undercover assassin Tom Lowe is sent to take down Blackbeard, but the closer he gets, the more enthralled with the community he becomes.

Cross wrote the script and is executive producing with Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald. The series is based on Colin Woodard's book "The Republic of Pirates."

Laurie is expected to retain his native British accent in the show which has been given a ten episode order by the network. »

- Garth Franklin

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