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Weekend Box Office: 'Wreck-It Ralph' Levels Up To First Place With Biggest Disney Animation Opening Ever

4 November 2012 8:57 AM, PST

A week after theaters on the East Coast faced Hurricane Sandy, business was back to normal in Hollywood, with Disney debuting “Wreck-It Ralph” to a nearly $50 million gross. This is the biggest stateside Disney Animation Studios opening ever, which, coming off the acquisition of Lucasfilms, suggests the studio has had a very good week. U mad, Hollywood? “Wreck-It Ralph” was an unusual beast, in that it was marketed to kids and families with its shiny color schemes and antic animated slapstick, but also pushed to a certain generation weaned on video games. The “A” Cinemascore suggests that the older viewers weren’t put off by bait-and-switch ads that spotlighted major characters from games like “Sonic The Hedgehog” and “Street Fighter,” which would suggest to the uninitiated that the film was an adaptation of these properties, when in fact these characters were only peripheral to the main story. Then again, »

- Gabe Toro

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Val Kilmer Wields Chainsaw, Uses Walker In Set Pics From Terrence Malick's Latest

4 November 2012 8:33 AM, PST

We've seen a lot of set pics over the past few months of various actors dropping in to Terrence Malick's "Knight Of Cups" and his untitled music-set movie now filming in Austin. But Val Kilmer wins the prize for having the best snaps of any the stars caught on camera. Of all the people who are going to end up getting cut from this movie, here's hoping he isn't. As usual, Malick and his crew visited Fun Fun Fun Fest this weekend and a surprise guest was on hand in Val Kilmer. Along with Rooney Mara, he joined Black Lips on stage and entered with a walker, wielded a chainsaw, cut his own hair (probably a wig) and then was "forcibly removed." Awesome. We're calling for an immediate Black Lips/Val Kilmer North American tour and/or "The Doors 2" detailing what would've happened if Jim Morrison lived. Anyway, check »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Jeff Goldblum Confirms Role In Wes Anderson's 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'

4 November 2012 7:34 AM, PST

Tickets are being booked, bags are being packed and German tour books are being purchased as the cast for Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel" gets ready to start work next year. And now another name is confirmed to join the director's merry gang. Jeff Goldblum, who featured in Anderson's "The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou," will return to work with the helmer, but of course, no details on his role just yet. And it will be part of a very packed calendar for the actor. "I do a couple of movies the day after I finish this. I go off to Paris to do this movie that Roger Michell is directing ['Le Weekend'] who I worked with in 'Morning Glory,' who did 'Notting Hill,' and a couple independent movies that I've seen, 'Venus' with Peter O'Toole…," he told Kpcc about this forthcoming plans. "Then »


- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: What Mark Hamill Said About Luke Skywalker's Role In 'Star Wars: Episode 7' 29 Years Ago

3 November 2012 11:36 AM, PDT

Given the hoopla arond Disney's announcement of a new trilogy of "Star Wars" films, it's no surprise that fans are digging into the vast archives of tidbits George Lucas and co. have given to press about the series over the past thirty-plus years. While Lucas himself has been cagey with the press -- both confirming and denying that there are more stories to tell in that universe over the years -- around the release of "Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi" in 1983, Mark Hamill was under the impression that there were going to be three trilogies. Thanks to the magic of the internet, an interview he did with Maria Shriver (that hair!) just two days before 'Jedi' hit theaters finds him somewhat confirming that Lucas was already planning a new trilogy of movies, that would be made/released around 2004. Well, with the prequel series "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Edgar Wright's 'The World's End' To Possibly Feature Dance Sequence & Zombies

3 November 2012 11:04 AM, PDT

Here's what we know so far about Edgar Wright's "The World's End": it's the final chapter of the Cornetto Trilogy. It stars Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Rosamund Pike, Martin Freeman and Eddie Marsan. And the story involves friends who reunite after twenty years to go on an epic pub crawl, only for the fate of humankind to somehow cross their paths. And with production currently underway, a few more intriguing morsels about the film have emerged. The folks over at Bleeding Cool have been tracking the progress of the movie on Twitter, and picked up on a couple tweets by actor Thomas Matthews that said: "1st day filming The World's End - suitably heading for Zone 8....Have no idea what I'll be asked to do but everyone else learning dance routine. Exciting." But there's a bit of an interesting twist. Actress Courtney Cornfield has also been tweeting, revealing »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Wally Pfister's 'Transcendence' Starring Johnny Depp Will Feature An Evil Self Aware Computer & More

3 November 2012 10:18 AM, PDT

Update: The Playlist has learned the film does not deal with stem cell research nor is it a drama. Hopefully more details emerge soon. Perhaps this is why plot details were being kept guarded? Among the many political issues that earn hot-button status, stem cell research is near the top. But basing a $120 million movie starring Johnny Depp around the subject? That's pretty damn ballsy. While info has been under lock and key for cinematographer Wally Pfister's directorial debut "Transcendence," The Wrap has quietly spilled a few details and they will surely get the Twittersphere to light up. In addition to the aforementioned budget, the trade reveals that "the story follows three scientists, attempting work on stem cell and advanced computer technology, which will change the fundamentals of human life. Tension comes into play when they are met by protest and resistance." The Film Stage has also learned that »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Guillermo Del Toro Denies Involvement In 'Justice League,' But Says He'd Love To Do 'Heaven Sent'

3 November 2012 9:54 AM, PDT

Update: Gah. Such as it is with rumors, it seems there was a bit of mixup. But Guillermo Del Toro clarifies his position on "Heaven Sent" on his own forums: "Wow- please contact whoever said I denied it. I cannot recall ever answering a question like that. Sadly I dont do tweeter. I denied being involved in Jla but ['Heaven Sent'] I would love to do!!!" As we said in our report yesterday, this didn't really make much sense. But it was a juicy rumor, and conceivably something Guillermo Del Toro would be interested in doing. But alas, it turned out to be dead wrong. Originally reported by Latino Review, their story went something like this: Warner Bros. were so happy with "Pacific Rim" they were throwing projects left and right at Del Toro. But the filmmaker decided he wanted to do a comic book team-up movie with the second tier DC Comics characters Deadman, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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20 Minutes Of Deleted Scenes Coming To 'The Master' DVD Plus Watch The John Huston Docs That Inspired The Film

3 November 2012 9:41 AM, PDT

Even if "The Master" isn't quite the breakout hit that "There Will Be Blood" was, it is undeniably one of the most talked about movies of the year. Paul Thomas Anderson's film continues to spur discussions and debates, and conversations are nothing less than passionate. The picture is one whose enigmas last long after the viewing is over, encouraging and demanding a second or third viewing, and luckily for fans, there will be even more to dive into on the forthcoming DVD and Blu-ray release of the film. Earlier this week, Film Independent at Lacma presented "An Evening With Paul Thomas Anderson," and the filmmaker brought the goods. First off, as he has extensively talked about in the press run for the film, Anderson has cited two wartime documentaries by John Huston as being influences on "The Master" -- "Battle Of San Pietro" and "Let There Be Light" -- »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Jude Law Joins Werner Herzog's 'Queen Of The Desert' With Naomi Watts & Robert Pattinson

2 November 2012 8:17 PM, PDT

Well, we're breathing a bit of a sigh of relief. Just over a week ago it was reported that Werner Herzog's "next project" would be an adaptation of Dbc Pierre's "Vernon God Little." It made us a bit worried that his Gertrude Bell biopic had been put on ice, but not only is it still moving, it has a new cast member and a start date on the horizon. Jude Law has come on board the film, joining Naomi Watts and Robert Pattinson. Penned by Herzog as well, the film will tell the true story of Gertrude Bell (Watts) – the traveler, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer, and political attaché for the British Empire at the dawn of the twentieth century. Pattinson will play T.E. Lawrence, aka Lawrence Of Arabia, who worked with Bell to establish the Hashemite dynasties in Jordan and Iraq. No word yet on Law's role. But damn, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Kristen Stewart Gets Into 'Focus' With Ben Affleck

2 November 2012 8:08 PM, PDT

With Kristen Stewart seemingly back with Robert Pattinson and the so-called scandal from this summer behind her, the actress is getting ready to get back in the game. She's on the press trail for "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 2," and her junket tour will likely continue for "On the Road" next month. And with Volturi now in the rearview, she's looking at her post-Bella career, and this is a pretty good choice. Stewart is in talks to join Ben Affleck in "Focus." Originally set up as a vehicle for Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, the Warner Bros. movie tells the story of a veteran con-man (Affleck) who becomes romantically involved with a newcomer (Stewart) and finds the relationship challenged by their illegal activities. When they meet again down the line, the complications have long-lasting effects. "Crazy, Stupid, Love." team Glenn Ficarra and John Requa wrote the script and will direct, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Famed Action Choreographer Yuen Woo-ping To Make Hollywood Directorial Debut With 'Vigilantes – The Lost Order'

2 November 2012 2:21 PM, PDT

What does "The Matrix" trilogy, Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill" films and Wong Kar-Wai's eventually arriving "The Grandmasters" all have in common? The assistance of legendary Hong Kong action choreographer Yuen Woo-ping. And while Hollywood has come calling for his skills, he hasn't really felt the need to crossover here. He already has a lucrative and celebrated career at home, not only for his stunt work and ability to make punches, kicks and flips looking amazing, but for this directing gigs as well, with movies like "Drunken Master," "Iron Monkey" and "Last Hero In China" all to his name. But now, he's testing the Hollywood waters. Yuen will helm the awkward-titled "Vigilantes -- The Lost Order," which is actually a Chinese-Canadian production. Guess that's close enough to call Hollywood, right? Anyway, it's described as "The Matrix meets Wall Street," with a story that »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Alex Proyas & Martin Campbell Head To ABC For TV Projects

2 November 2012 1:57 PM, PDT

Two directors who have a lot brewing, but not much moving are heading to ABC for some television projects that will likely keep their chops honed as they wait for their various feature efforts to come together. First up, Alex Proyas ("Dark City," "I, Robot") will executive produce and direct "Evolve." The Jamie Paglia ("Eureka")-penned drama is based on the "Toxic City" trilogy of novels by Tim Lebbon, and follows a band of Los Angeles citizens who endeavor to discover the truth about what really happened when a biological agent was released in the air two years earlier, leaving much of the city of quarantined. It turns out those exposed have been given great powers, and the government is looking to destroy them. How very "X-Men." Next, Martin Campbell ("Casino Royale") will executive produce and direct "Coup." Penned by "Mad Men" co-executive producer Chris Black, the show centers on a. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Gael García Bernal & Alice Braga Feel 'The Ardor'; Amanda Seyfried & Patrick Dempsey Are 'Wonderful Tonight' & More

2 November 2012 1:33 PM, PDT

Thanks to Afm, the project announcements are coming fast and furious, so we're just gonna drop a few of them in here so we can all catch up... First up, Gael García Bernal and Alice Braga ("I Am Legend," "On The Road") are set to star in "The Ardor." The film comes from Argentinean helmer Pablo Fendrik ("Blood Appears"), and the story follows an Amazon shaman (Bernal), who takes up with a tobacco farmer and his beautiful daughter (Braga). But one day some deforesters (Environmentalism Alert!) come along and destroy their land and kill the father in front of the daughter. A tale of survival and vengeance ensues. Described as an "action packed Western," lensing begins in March on location in the Amazon with a quick turnaround planned and a fall festival premiere in the cards. [Variety] Next, Amanda Seyfried and Patrick Dempsey feel pretty "Wonderful Tonight." J. Mills Goodloe ("The Mountain. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Justin Lin Goes Into 'Hibernation'

2 November 2012 12:53 PM, PDT

With Justin Lin currently in production on "Fast & Furious 6," the director has been carefully lining up options – lots of options – for what he'll take on once he's done with Vin and co. Since the spring his name has become attached to a smattering of projects including manga adaptation "Lone Wolf & Cub," an adaptation of the stage play "Chinglish," the long-developing inner city drama "L.A. Riots" and earlier this week, the sci-fi "Subdivision." Well, one more is being added to the pile. THR reports that Lin is now attached to helm "Hibernation." Sorry, no details on this except that it's written by newcomers Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Will Frank and is described as "a dynamic futuristic thriller." So, basically, like a zillion other movies.  Lin certainly has his choice of projects, and they seem to be falling into two camps: respected drama or big tentpole »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Third 'How To Train Your Dragon' Movie Being Eyed, While DVD Short Gets Holiday Airing At Christmas

2 November 2012 12:31 PM, PDT

As Disney showed earlier this week with the purchase Lucasfilm, it's all about branding, merchandising and leveraging properties so they keep generating revenue as long as possible. And that's no less true at the other major studios that continue to pursue tentpoles that can be sequelized, spun off, packaged in Happy Meals and more. All of which brings us to "How To Train Your Dragon." DreamWorks Animation honcho Jeffrey Katzenberg recently told analysts that licensed merchandise will become “a bigger part of DreamWorks Animation going forward than it had been” so to that end, it's important to keep properties in front of audience. So, while the company's very successful 2010 hit "How To Train Your Dragon" has a sequel coming in 2014, they are already talking about getting a third movie going. Right now it's just at the "looking at" phase, but frankly, it seems like an inevitability. But four years between. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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What Are You Seeing This Weekend? 'Flight' & 'Wreck-It Ralph' Touch Down In Theaters

2 November 2012 12:01 PM, PDT

This weekend belongs to the acting community, as many of the new films feature a big name star (or six). Alright, thespians – you headline those films! And there’s no shortage of variety in tone or style: Denzel is serious, Alicia makes you giggle, Philip scowls, and Russell dextrously throws knives. Let us know in the comments who you decide to spend your time with at the Cineplex! “Flight.” Directed by Robert Zemeckis. Starring Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, Bruce Greenwood, Kelly Reilly, and John Goodman. Our review: “Featuring a thrilling, terrifying opening, plus many of the potent, moving elements that a conventional but admirable morality drama might boast, ‘Flight’ is often undone by its very unsubtle choices and its problematic, strained last act.” Metacritic: 77 Rotten Tomatoes: 79% The Playlist: B “Wreck-It Ralph.” Directed by Rich Moore. Starring John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane »

- Emma Bernstein

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Watch: Third Season Announcement Trailer For 'Luther'; 'Wilfred' Also Gets Renewed For Another Season

2 November 2012 11:38 AM, PDT

...and just like that, out of the dark, "Luther" fans have some very, very good news. Idris Elba and the show are back. As for Ruth Wilson and Alice? You'll just have to wait and see. Yesterday, a trailer dropped by surprise online announcing the third season of the acclaimed show, but details were cryptic. The filmmakers promised "four perfectly dark chillingly-formed chapters" with production beginning this month. Damn. As for Ruth Wilson? "Only Alice knows," they tease. As fans of the show know, the character eventually left London, with series creator Neil Cross saying over the summer that the BBC had been interesting in pursuing a spin-off series of Alice, one that would potentially be set in the United States. Could the third season of "Luther" help set that up? We'll find that out soon enough. In other TV news: Elijah Wood's quirky FX comedy "Wilfred" has been renewed for a thirteen-episode third. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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'The Machinist' Helmer Brad Anderson Replaces Oren Peli On 'Eliza Graves'

2 November 2012 11:24 AM, PDT

Oren Peli announced himself as a genre director to watch after he caught Steven Spielberg’s attention and delivered the stripped back, franchise-launching “Paranormal Activity” in 2007. But since then Peli has only taken on director’s duties once more (on the forthcoming “Area 51”) and has instead seen his focus shift primarily to producing and writing. And that’s a trend that seems set to continue after departing the director’s chair on the Edgar Allen Poe project, “Eliza Graves.” The film has been acquired by Millennium Films at the American Film Market this week, but the news accompanying that acquisition is that Peli is now only attached as a producer while “The Machinist” director Brad Anderson will replace him at the helm. The film is set to go in front of cameras early next year, with Deadline reporting that offers will be made to the principal cast from next week. »


- Joe Cunningham

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Review: 'How Do You Write A Joe Schermann Song' A Rewarding, Crowd-Pleasing Indie Musical

2 November 2012 11:00 AM, PDT

Discounting “The Muppets,” the movie musical has had a bit of a rough go as of late. Fans have a likely sumptuous, probably bloated "Les Misérables" to look forward to in December, a film that hopefully cleanses the palate of the disaster that was "Nine." Due to their grand scales and expensive price tags, they don't come along too often -- it's a huge gamble, and if Rob Marshall’s Oscar flunkee proves anything, it's that even successful Broadway shows don't mean a damn thing at the box office. So why not cut the fat? On the indie side we've seen a few touching, small-scale, and quite lovely films such as "Once" and "Guy And Madeline On The Park Bench" -- movies that were much more raw than the typical big-screen musical we're accustomed to but used the genre's elements in a different, refreshing way. Still, audiences enjoy the sugary-sweet »

- Christopher Bell

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Destroy That Before It Destroys You: Trailer For 'Side Effects' With Channing Tatum & Rooney Mara

2 November 2012 10:45 AM, PDT

We're coming near to the end... Steven Soderbergh's cinematic hiatus is imminent, but he's looking to go out with a bang. This summer's "Magic Mike" was not only a big hit, but managed to make a story about male strippers a throwback to character-driven movies of the '70s. And now we have the first trailer for his penultimate film, and third team up with Channing Tatum: "Side Effects." And, yes, it looks great. Rooney Mara leads the picture as Emily Hawkins, who is reunited with her husband (Tatum), recently released from prison. But his return ups her anxiety, and when she turns to meds to try and regulate her feelings, things begin to spiral out of control. Penned by Scott Z. Burns ("Contagion"), this looks like a pretty ace little mindbender, with a first-rate supporting cast including Jude Law (as Emily's psychiatrist, who seems to have his »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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