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Briefly: When Sylvester Stallone assembles an Expendables film, the biggest question isn’t really why the characters are going to be punching and shooting, but who will be doing the punching and shooting. Stallone and Jason Statham are givens at this point, and now we’ve got four more all-but-confirmed names for The Expendables 3.

Jackie Chan, Wesley Snipes, Nicolas Cage and Milla Jovovich, most of whom have been rumored as cast members for a while, are now in “advanced negotiations” to appear, according to the CEO of Lionsgate. Stallone recently said he was looking for a “young Sigourney Weaver” for the film, which could be Jovovich’s role. Patrick Hughes (Red Hill) will direct. [Deadline]

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Kellan Lutz to Star in ‘Hercules 3D’

Kellan Lutz

While Brett Ratner’s Hercules for MGM/Paramount has been busy nailing down supporting actors over the past couple of months, Millennium’s competing Hercules 3D is just getting started on casting. And first up is the legendary warrior himself. Twilight actor Kellan Lutz has just signed on to take the lead in the film, which is being directed by Renny Harlin. Hit the jump for more info.

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If Girls seems to chalk up Hannah’s bad ideas to her relative youth, the first trailer for Writers suggests such misguidedness may simply be an occupational hazard. In the directorial debut by Josh Boone, Greg Kinnear plays an acclaimed novelist who deals with his divorce by alternately spying on his ex-wife (Jennifer Connelly) and screwing his married neighbor (Kristen Bell).

His kids Samantha (Lily Collins) and Rusty (Nat Wolff) are both budding writers as well, though they take totally opposite approaches to life. She racks up “experiences” in the form of notches on her bedpost, while he pines after a pretty high school classmate (Liana Liberato) with a mean boyfriend. Watch the first trailer after the jump.

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Weeks after MGM and Paramount announced a summer 2014 release for their Hercules project with director Brett Ratner and star Dwayne Johnson, Millennium has set a spring 2014 date for its own take on the hero. This one comes from Die Hard 2 helmer Renny Harlin and will be in 3D, as evidenced by its title Hercules 3D. No stars are attached as of yet, but look for that to change soon as the project barrels toward a May start. More details after the jump.

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After the dual disappointments of Killing Me Softly and Gangster Squad, I’m feeling a little burned out on mob movies at the moment. So maybe it’s just my mood that has me unimpressed with the new trailer for The Iceman. On the one hand, director Ariel Vromen seems to have a flair for visuals, the cast looks strong, and the fact-based premise is intriguing. On the other, it all looks so tiresomely familiar.

Michael Shannon stars as real-life hitman Richard Kuklinski, who allegedly racked up over 100 kills over a four-decade career. He makes good money whacking people for gangster Roy Demeo (genre staple Ray Liotta), until an incident involving Demeo’s underling (David Schwimmer) forces Kuklinski out of their operation. He then teams up with freelance killer Robert Pronge (Chris Evans), which comes with its own complications. Winona Ryder also stars, as Kuklinski’s oblivious wife. Watch the new trailer after the jump.

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Over the weekend, there was a report that Texas Chainsaw 3D had done well enough that a sequel was a definite thing. Last night we heard that Millennium Films absolutely plans to shoot another Chainsaw film this year, and that the title might be Texas Chainsaw 4. (We’re still not sure where that title came from, as there’s no way of reckoning the films, with the chronology established by this latest sequel, that makes any sense for that numbering.)

Now, however, the idea of Texas Chainsaw 4, or whatever it would be called, doesn’t really matter. Because it turns out that Avi Lerner of Millennium spoke too soon when announcing sequel plans. The film’s producer Carl Mazzocone and executive producer Mark Burg, aka the guys who really hold the sequel rights, have stepped up to say they have no idea what Millennium was talking about with respect to that quick sequel plan. Read More »

Briefly: ”There’s two of them!” The relative success of The Expendables has led to more than one producer thinking it would be a good idea to make a similar film with a cast of all-star female ass-kickers. One movie along those lines is already in development from the company 1984 Private Defense Contractors, with Gina Carano (Haywire) and Katee Sackhoff attached to appear.

But the actual producers of The ExpendablesMillennium Films and Avi Lerner, are setting up a different film. ExpendaBelles — no joke, or so I think — will be written by Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith (Legally Blonde). The fact that this is billed as a franchise-ready “spinoff action film that will show the feminine side of the mercenary business” makes the project sound serious. The title, however, does not.

We don’t know what the casting plan is here, other than to follow the same “female Expendables” pattern. With the competing film already going for younger action heroines, will Millennium target talent that would be more on par with the male cast of The Expendables? And however this is cast, is Millennium gearing up for its own action movie Avengers with these projects? Can Nan Yu from The Expendables 2 somehow appear? (I haven’t seen the film yet, so don’t know if she lives through it.) [Deadline]

 

With his Cormac McCarthy adaptation Child of God in post-production, multi-hyphenate James Franco is prepping another literary classic for his next feature. Two winters ago, he was trying to get the William Faulkner estate on board for a movie version of As I Lay Dying. It seems he was successful, as the film’s now begun casting for a fall start. As of this week, Danny McBride, Tim Blake Nelson, Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus), Jim Parrack (True Blood), and Ahna O’Reilly (The Help) are all lined up to star alongside Franco himself. More details after the jump.

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