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Casting Bits: Brendan Meyer in ‘Ender’s Game’, James Frain in ‘Lone Ranger’

19 December 2011 3:00 PM, PST | Slash Film | See recent Slash Film news »

[1] Casting on the long-gestating adaptation of Orson Scott Card's sci-fi Ya novel Ender's Game has been falling into place over the past month, with Asa Butterfield (Hugo) signed on for the lead role [2] and Hailee Steinfeld and Ben Kingsley in talks [3] to join [4] as well. Now Canadian teen star Brendan Meyer has boarded the project in the role of Stilson, a classmate who bullies Ender. Meyer is best known for his lead role in the Canadian series Mr. Young, which follows a child prodigy who graduates college at 14 and returns to his high school as a science teacher. Gavin Hood will direct the film from his own script, about a gifted boy who is drafted into a special military program that trains children to fight against an alien species called the Formics. Ender's Game will begin shooting early next year for a March 2013 release. [The Hollywood Reporter [5]] After the jump, Tom Wilkinson »

- Angie Han

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The Lone Ranger Adds James Frain

16 December 2011 | Comingsoon.net | See recent Comingsoon.net news »

James Frain has signed on to join the cast of Gore Verbinski's upcoming The Lone Ranger , says a story at The Hollywood Reporter . He'll play a railroad foreman who works for the film's chief villain, Latham Cole (Tom Wilkinson). Starring Armie Hammer as the titular hero and Johnny Depp as the Ranger's legendary sidekick, Tonto, the film will begin production early next year. "It's sort of 'Don Quixote' told from Sancho Panza's point of view," Verbinski told ComingSoon.net last year , suggesting that Tonto will, in many ways, be the lead. Frain recently appeared in Tron: Legacy , Water For Elephants and on the short-lived television series, "The Cape". The Lone Ranger is set for a for a May 31, 2013 release. (Photo Credit: Daniel Tanner / »

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Tom Wilkinson Rejoins The Lone Ranger

7 December 2011 | Comingsoon.net | See recent Comingsoon.net news »

Although Tom Wilkinson was originally cast back in June , the delays that hit Gore Verbinksi's The Lone Ranger threw the supporting cast into question. Today, Deadline confirms that Wilkinson is back aboard and that the Jerry Bruckheimer production is keen on getting back everyone who was originally attached. Wilkinson's part is said to be that of Latham Cole, a villainous railroad tycoon. He'll appear opposite Armie Hammer as the titular hero and Johnny Depp as the Ranger's legendary sidekick, Tonto. Though unconfirmed at this time, Helena Bonham Carter, James Badge Dale, Barry Pepper and Dwight Yoakum are likely to return as well. "It's sort of 'Don Quixote' told from Sancho Panza's point of view," Verbinski told ComingSoon.net last year , suggesting »

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Sundance lineup for feature films in competition

30 November 2011 3:40 PM, PST | AwardsDaily.com | See recent AwardsDaily news »

Sundance will premiere 16 American narrative feature films, and 26 films in the world cinema dramatic and documentary competitions. (via LATimes) U.S. Dramatic Competition: “Beasts of the Southern Wild”: In »

- Ryan Adams

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Daily Briefing. Before Sunrise/Sunset 3quel

23 November 2011 9:31 AM, PST | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

I haven't seen a newsy item excite so many cinephiles in quite a while. Talking to Allocine, Ethan Hawke has let on that a followup to the delightfully Rohmeresque films he's made with Richard Linklater and Julie Delpy, Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, may be in the works. The Playlist's Simon Dang has the full video interview and has helpfully transcribed the money quote: "Well, I don't know what we're going to do but I know the three of us have been talking a lot in the last six months. All of three of us have been having similar feelings that we're ready to revisit those characters. There's nine years between the first two movies and, if we made the film next summer, it would be nine years again so we're really started thinking that would be a good thing to do. We're going to try write it this year. »

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Bored to Death 3.07 "Forget the Herring" Review

22 November 2011 12:02 PM, PST | TVovermind.com | See recent TVovermind.com news »

Bored to Death 3.07 "Forget the Herring" Review

Bored to Death season 3 keeps digging deeper with its latest “Forget the Herring,” another guest-star packed half-hour that sees Jonathan (Jason Schwartzman) investigating a new lead in the search for his father, while George (Ted Danson) and Ray (Zach Galifianakis) make desperate gambles of their relationship troubles.  But with only one episode of the season remaining, is this the last we'll see of Bored to Death?

Lately it feels like we have two different kinds of Bored to Death episodes, those heavy with celebrity guest appearances, and those focusing on the interpersonal dynamic of its three leads.  “Forget the Herring” falls into the former, though that’s not any kind of level at the show’s humor, only a minor distracting in an otherwise engaging story.

Two weeks ago with “I Keep Taking Baths Like Lady Macbeth” it was Sarah Silverman, Mary Steenburgen, »

- Kevin Fitzpatrick

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Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote May Have New Life (Again); Gilliam also Circling Adaptation Mr. Vertigo

21 November 2011 8:57 AM, PST | Collider.com | See recent Collider.com news »

No matter how the movie eventually turns out, you have to admire Terry Gilliam's tenacity in getting The Man Who Killed Don Quixote made.  The collapse of the production was told in painful detail in the documentary Lost in La Mancha.  In May 2010, it looked like the movie would finally get off the ground again with Robert Duvall playing Quixote and Ewan McGregor as a 21st century advertising executive who travels back in time to 17th century Spain and joins in Quixote in his adventures.  Then the project fell apart again when financing collapsed four months later. But according to Italian site Altarimini [via The Playlist], Gilliam says he plans to start shooting in the spring with Duvall still attached to play Quixote (it's unclear if McGregor is still on board).  While that's far from a confirmation of a hard start date, Gilliam says the project has found new life.  He tells »

- Matt Goldberg

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Terry Gilliam to Resume Tilting at Windmills; Hopes Spring Start For ‘Don Quixote’

21 November 2011 8:28 AM, PST | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

It was more than a year ago that tireless and quirky director Terry Gilliam unhappily admitted production had once again stalled on The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, his adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes’ classic novel. This was the latest in a litany of production complications that have lead many to speculate that Gilliam’s efforts here are cursed. After his first attempt was crushed by a series of catastrophes (detailed in the striking documentary Lost in La Mancha), the film was scrapped, then later recast and remounted. Instead of Jean Rochefort and Johnny Depp, the roles of the Lord of La Mancha and his loyal but dubious sidekick were to be played by Robert Duvall and Ewan McGregor. But in the midst of production, funding fell through again, leaving The Man Who Killed Don Quixote only partially shot once more. At the time, Gilliam made it clear he had »

- jpraup@gmail.com (thefilmstage.com)

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‘Lone Ranger’ Saddles Up After Participants Take 20% Pay Cut; Johnny Depp Calls Tonto a Salute to Native Americans

13 October 2011 10:36 AM, PDT | Slash Film | See recent Slash Film news »

We're still talking about Disney's crazy-ass $215m Lone Ranger, to be directed by Gore Verbinski with Johnny Depp playing Tonto and Armie Hammer as the Ranger, because Disney is still planning to make the damn thing. The studio put the project on hold [1] weeks ago, then went through quite a bit of public wrangling [2] over budgets and fees. The movie that Gore Verbinski once described as "Don Quixote from Sancho Panza's point of view" (with the Ranger being Quixote, making Tonto the lead) suddenly had werewolves -- goddamn werewolves -- and giant expensive train sequences. But the film got a green light this week, in part because many of the above the line participants -- Depp, Verbinski, Hammer and producer Jerry Bruckheimer -- agreed to a pay cut. There's even a scheduled start date: February 6, 2012, with the producing aiming for a May 31, 2013 release date. To make that happen, quite a few changes were made. »

- Russ Fischer

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A Look Back as ‘The Lone Ranger’ Rides Again

12 October 2011 2:44 PM, PDT | newsinfilm.com | See recent newsinfilm news »

In a continuing saga befitting of its resilient 78-year-old subject, The Lone Ranger will ride again at Disney, after another round of delays and negotiations that scaled the movie’s budget down to a measly $215 million.  Johnny Depp is still on board as Tonto, the masked hero’s Native American sidekick, three years after his role was officially announced, while emerging “it” actor Armie Hammer will contribute his all-American looks and Winklevii charms as the titular character when cameras start rolling in New Mexico next year.

But Hammer’s leading status underscores just how long this project has been in development.  When former chairman Dick Cook unveiled his plan on “Disney Day” at the Kodak theater in September ‘08 (following a performance of the theme song by the USC marching band), the Mouse House was only just confirming Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, Pirates 4 was only a green twinkle in Jerry Bruckheimer’s eye, »

- Jeff Leins

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Sitges 2011: Verbo Review

12 October 2011 8:17 AM, PDT | Twitch | See recent Twitch news »

Sara is a very pretty, but very lost and confused teenager. As with many of her age, she has trouble relating to her parents; her mother tries and fails to talk to Sara, and Sara's father is increasingly absent. Sara is not doing well in school, and has become obsessed with graffiti art by a Banksy-type unknown. She feels much like Don Quixote, able to see the dangers that no one else notices. Confused and feeling very alone, Sara takes her own life. But she finds herself in a strange, dark world whose in habitants take her under their wing and will try to convince her that life is, indeed, worth living. Thus begins Eduardo Chapero-Jackson's feature film debut, Verbo. It is a visually stunning »

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The Lone Ranger Rides Again

12 October 2011 | Comingsoon.net | See recent Comingsoon.net news »

Two months to the day that word broke that Walt Disney Pictures had halted production on The Lone Ranger , comes word, via Deadline , that budgetary conflicts have been worked out and that the film will move forward, eyeing a February 6, 2012 start date. Described by Verbinksi as "'Don Quixote' told from Sancho Panza's point of view," the film will star Armie Hammer as the titular western hero with Johnny Depp as his Native American sidekick, Tonto. The supporting cast includes Ruth Wilson, Dwight Yoakam, Helena Bonham Carter, James Badge Dale and Barry Pepper. There's no word yet on whether or not the shifting schedule may lead to recasting, but check back soon for updates as soon as they're available. Originally planned for December 21, 2012 release, The Lone »

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Disney Ready to Let ‘Lone Ranger’ Back On the Range

23 September 2011 5:00 PM, PDT | Slash Film | See recent Slash Film news »

Are you tired of the back and forth, 'maybe they will, maybe they won't' non-action [1] on Disney's Lone Ranger? If so, you might be in luck, at least if the idea of the movie happening still seems like a good idea. The studio looks like it is ready to re-commit to the project with Jerry Bruckheimer, Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp. The green light hasn't been given yet, but the current word is that Disney will probably flash that signal next week, leading to an early 2012 shoot. I won't recap the entire history of the film here, but the short version is that Disney canceled the film [2] in August, after which there were ongoing discussions [3], fee cuts, budget reductions and script changes. The end result is that we might get a version of Lone Ranger that ditches some of the supernatural elements (that is, werewolves) that were once part of the script, »

- Russ Fischer

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The Further Adventures of ‘Lone Ranger:’ The Budget is Cut, Disney Remains Undecided

1 September 2011 9:42 AM, PDT | Slash Film | See recent Slash Film news »

Today in The Continuing Adventures of Disney's Lone Ranger, that film production cliffhanger that I'm not certain actually has people on pins and needles to discover what happens next, we've got budget cuts and stalwart friendship. One of those things is, at least, a core value of the Lone Ranger. What we've known so far is that producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Gore Verbinski, star Johnny Depp and screenwriter Justin Haythe handed Disney a script that was going to cost well over $250m -- closer to $275m -- and the studio rightly balked [1]. So for the past couple weeks there has been a very public back and forth [2] over the film, with Disney exec Rich Ross saying he wants to make it [3], but only for a much lower price. Script changes are being made; supernatural elements are being (thankfully) cut; and there was even discussion about whether the film might get »

- Russ Fischer

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Fall Preview: Cameron Crowe talks "We Bought a Zoo," buying into Matt Damon and why animals make great characters

26 August 2011 10:43 AM, PDT | ifc.com | See recent IFC news »

Cameron Crowe is an intimidating interview. After all, he's the guy who was such a brilliant journalist as a kid that he was a Rolling Stone contributor before the age of 20. In other words: it's never easy to speak to someone who's better at your job than you are. Plus, there's the whole part about him writing or directing some of my very favorite films, including "Say Anything..." "Almost Famous" and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." For me and for most kids of my generation, these movies defined our teenage years. So, y'know, no pressure.

As soon I got on the phone with Crowe, though, I realized what made him such a great interviewer: the man is easy to talk to. He's funny and smart, and he's obviously excited about "We Bought a Zoo," his first fiction feature in six years. The film, based on a true story, stars Matt Damon as Benjamin Mee, »

- Matt Singer

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‘Lone Ranger’ May Not Be Dead Yet

17 August 2011 1:00 PM, PDT | Slash Film | See recent Slash Film news »

At the end of last week the biggest news might have been that Disney had canceled development of Gore Verbinski's Lone Ranger, which was set to star Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as the title character. At issue was the budget. The film, based on a script full of visualizations of Native American mysticism and werewolves, and featuring a few big action sequences, was going to cost about $250 million to make. What? $250m for a western! The Coens spent barely $40m on True Grit. Another $210m? Even with Johnny Depp, that's a lot of digital werewolves. Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer aren't ready to let the movie go just yet, however. Quite a few script changes and fee cuts are under way now. The werewolves have been given the boot (thankfully!) and it looks like some other big alterations are taking place in order to get the »

- Russ Fischer

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Whoa, Pardner: Disney Shuts Down 'The Lone Ranger'

13 August 2011 2:16 PM, PDT | Planet Fury | See recent Planet Fury news »

In a move that's surprising only for its leisurely execution, Disney has suspended production of The Lone Ranger, its Gore Verbinski-directed western starring Armie Hammer as the titular hero and Johnny Depp as his loyal Native American sidekick, Tonto. Now, a once-hopeful generation weeps, brokenhearted in the knowledge it may never truly appreciate the "who was that masked man?" jokes grandpa is so fond of.

While I'm a bit surprised this movie got a green light in the first place, you can rest easy, kiddies. It's believed Disney's power play is just an attempt to rein in (get it?) the cost of The Lone Ranger, which was set to begin shooting in October. The film is currently budgeted at $250 million, but Disney would like it slashed to a more reasonable $200 million. Really, Disney? What's a few million bucks between friends? And make no mistake, Verbinski and Depp are your friends. »

- Theron

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Disney Stops Production on The Lone Ranger

12 August 2011 | Comingsoon.net | See recent Comingsoon.net news »

Walt Disney Pictures has halted production on The Lone Ranger , Deadline reports. This comes as surprising news as the project has been fully cast and was planned to begin shooting this fall. Described by Verbinksi as "'Don Quixote' told from Sancho Panza's point of view," the film was to star Armie Hammer as the titular western hero with Johnny Depp as his Native American sidekick, Tonto. The supporting cast was to include Ruth Wilson, Dwight Yoakam, Helena Bonham Carter, James Badge Dale and Barry Pepper. The reason for the move is said to be due to ballooning production costs and an increasingly expensive upcoming slate for the studio. Still, the most recent collaboration between Depp and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides »

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John Wood obituary

11 August 2011 3:30 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Ferociously intelligent actor who reigned supreme in Stoppard and Shakespeare

John Wood, who has died aged 81, was one of the greatest stage actors of the past century, especially associated with his roles in the plays of Tom Stoppard. But a combination of his enigmatic privacy and low profile on film – he cropped up a lot without dominating a movie – meant that he remained largely unknown to the wider public.

As with all great actors, you always knew what he was thinking, all the time. Wood was especially striking in the brain-box department. Tall, forbidding and aquiline-featured, he was as much the perfect Sherlock Holmes on stage as he was the ideal Brutus. He exuded ferocious intelligence, and the twinkle in his eye could be as merciless as it was invariably amused.

As the Royal Shakespeare Company's Brutus in Julius Caesar in 1972, he was undoubtedly the noblest Roman of them all, »

- Michael Coveney

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John Wood obituary

10 August 2011 9:06 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Ferociously intelligent actor who reigned supreme in Stoppard and Shakespeare

John Wood, who has died aged 81, was one of the greatest stage actors of the past century, especially associated with his roles in the plays of Tom Stoppard. But a combination of his enigmatic privacy and low profile on film – he cropped up a lot without dominating a movie – meant that he remained largely unknown to the wider public.

As with all great actors, you always knew what he was thinking, all the time. Wood was especially striking in the brain-box department. Tall, forbidding and aquiline-featured, he was as much the perfect Sherlock Holmes on stage as he was the ideal Brutus. He exuded ferocious intelligence, and the twinkle in his eye could be as merciless as it was invariably amused.

As the Royal Shakespeare Company's Brutus in Julius Caesar in 1972, he was undoubtedly the noblest Roman of them all, »

- Michael Coveney

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