bjork-gondry

Michel Gondry and Bjork aren’t exactly strangers. The two have worked together for several of Bjork’s music videos, and Gondry initially wanted her to star in The Science of Sleep. but she refused to return to acting after her miserable experience with Lars von Trier in Dancer in the Dark. Now it seems that the two are working on some sort of secret project — but don’t hold your breath for a film.

The Playlist was first to point out that Gondry teased the project in a recent EW feature, where he said “It’s very undefined, so it’s hard to give more precision.”

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Thanks to a slew of new streaming deals with several independent film distributors, Netflix is adding about 300 indie titles to their Watch Instantly library. According to their press release, distributors include “The Criterion Collection,  Gravitas Ventures, Kino Lorber, Music Box Films, Oscilloscope Laboratories and Regent Releasing.” For Criterion, the new films will be in addition to the 35 they brought to Watch Instantly in December. Many of the films are already available to stream, and the rest will soon appear on the site.

The news comes weeks after Netflix announced that they are voluntarily delaying new Warner Brothers releases for thirty days in exchange for better prices when buying the films in bulk. Netflix mentioned that the money they save from the WB deal could allow them to purchase even more content (particularly of the streaming variety) down the line. This indie deal could be the first result of that situation.

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The Last Airbender

I’m not sure if I’m alone in feeling this way, but I currently consider M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender one of my most anticipated films of 2010. As a fan of the original TV series, I’ve been consistently impressed with what we’ve seen of the film so far — particularly the teaser and some recent photos. Casting issues aside, I’ve gotten the sense that Shyamalan really gets what makes the series so great. The LAT’s Hero Complex blog recently got a chance to speak with M. Night about the film, and he reveals some interesting details on what led him to choose the project.

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It seems like we’ve been writing about Jon Favreau’s Cowboys and Aliens forever, but now the project finally seems to be moving forward. We previously reported that Robert Downey Jr. is out (most likely because of Sherlock Holmes 2), and that Daniel Craig is replacing him as the lead gunslinger. Today we learned that Olivia Wilde (House, The O.C.) is joining the project as a character named Ella who helps the gunslinger fight the alien invasion. I would expect more casting to trickle out over the next few months, especially if Favreau actually wants to start shooting in July.

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Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith has been talking up the hockey drama Hit Somebody as his next project for some time now, and it looks like he’s finally begun pitching the film to studios. A few days ago Smith tweeted that he was heading to WB to pitch the film. If they don’t bite, surely someone else will — but given how much he’s praised WB lately, I’d be surprised if they didn’t take it on. Smith seems to have a lot more confidence in this project than he’s had in recent years, and I think that’s for the better. Just two days before he announced that he was headed to WB, he tweeted the following:

13 years ago today, CHASING AMY had its world premiere @ Sundance97. Been trying to make as good a flick ever since. That’ll be HIT SOMEBODY

Count me in as a believer.

[via News Askew]

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It’s only been a few months since the release of Ricky Gervais’ The Invention of Lying, so I was surprised to learn that his next feature, Cemetery Junction, is gearing up for an April 2010 UK release. We featured a teaser for the film back in July, as well as some comments from Gervais in September. Now we have our longest glimpse at the film yet with a full trailer. Co-written and co-directed by his frequent collaborator Stephen Merchant, Cemetery Junction looks to be as big a stylistic leap for Gervais as Judd Apatow’s jump from 40 Year Old Virgin to Funny People.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

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It appears that a week ago, Paranormal Activity star Katie Featherston auditioned for Danny Boyle, who is currently in pre-production for 127 Hours. Boyle plans to start filming in early March, which leads me to think that he may be interested in Featherstone’s improv drama talent for the film. We know that Boyle is aiming for realism with the film, which tells the tale of mountain climber Aron Ralston — who amputated his own arm after being trapped under a boulder for five days. The film reportedly contains an hour without any dialog, and it’s mostly going to be a one-man show for James Franco.

I thought that Featherston did some surprisingly great work in Paranormal, and I could see her bringing a similar depth and believability to 127 Hours. There’s no word yet if he has chosen her for the part, but I’m wishing her well on this one.

[via Katie Featherston’s Twitter, thanks to Jimmy W. for the tip!]

muppets

If you thought the prospect of a new Muppet film co-written by Jason Segel was exciting, prepare yourself for another potential dose of awesome. Vulture is reporting that Flight of the Conchords co-creator James Bobin may end up directing the project. There’s no solid deal yet, but a Disney insider told Vulture “the movie is James’ to direct — if he wants it.” The project may seem like a perfect fit for Bobin — who also wrote for Da Ali Gi Show — but another potential directing gig with Segel’s bestest bud Judd Apatow may prevent him from committing.

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Mel Gibson Joins Shane Black’s Cold Warrior

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Something tells me that Edge of Darkness is going to do quite well at the box office, and remind us that Mel Gibson is still a viable leading man. We haven’t seem him in a lead role since Signs (and I wasn’t a huge fan of his roles leading up to that), and Darkness looks like it may reawaken the Mad Max we’ve missed for so long. Now we’ve learned that Gibson may be teaming back up with Lethal Weapon writer Shane Black for his post-Kiss Kiss Bang Bang directorial effort, Cold Warrior. Gibson is in negotiations for the lead role — a Cold War spy who emerges from retirement, and teams up with a younger agent to tackle a terrorist threat from Russia. There’s no word yet on who will play the younger agent, but you can already guess the short list that’s being considered.

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