Just one month after election night, the 2012 presidential campaign already feels like a distant memory. For most of us, that feels like a good thing. It’s a relief to not have to think about debates, polls, stump speeches, email campaigns, political ads, and what have you for another couple of years. But HBO’s eagerly preparing to relive the magic, with a movie about this year’s big race.

The cable network has just optioned the book Double Down: Game Change 2012 from journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, who also penned the source material to this year’s HBO film Game Change. The tome is scheduled to hit shelves in fall 2013, while the movie will air in 2016. More details after the jump.

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In America, we’re told that if we work hard, we can accomplish anything. Jessica Chastain‘s character in Zero Dark Thirty, Maya, personifies that patriotic belief, as over the course of a decade she strives to capture the terrorist Osama Bin Laden. Her inspiring true story is the driving force behind the latest film from the Oscar winners behind The Hurt Locker, director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal.

Other than being incredibly interesting and historic, what makes Maya’s hunt so riveting is how her goal of finding Bin Laden is constantly opposed by everyone surrounding her. At every turn, powerful American officials argue that the architect of September 11 and Al Qaeda leader is a white whale, an impossible-to-find needle in a haystack. Yet Maya perseveres through almost unfathomable tragedy and opposition, until her efforts culminate on that fateful night in May of 2011.

Zero Dark Thirty is a fantastic, detailed procedural in the mold of Zodiac, All the Presidents Men or The Insider, but with more action along the lines of Traffic or Heat. Structurally, it’s much more straightforward than those films, but the fact that it centers on a strong, singular female character gives it a powerful emotional core. Come 2013, Zero Dark Thirty is going to be a major player at the Oscars. Read more after the jump. Read More »

If you want to check out David Fincher‘s newest project next year, you’ll find yourself heading not to the theater but to your own living room. The filmmaker is making his first foray into television with House of Cards, a Netflix original series starring Kevin Spacey.

A remake of the BBC miniseries of the same title, House of Cards centers around a ruthless politician (Spacey) clawing his way to the top by any means necessary. Robin Wright plays his equally ambitious wife; Kate Mara, Michael Kelly, Kristen Connolly, and Corey Stoll also star. A first trailer has just hit the web. Hit the jump to learn more.

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It’s already time to look ahead to January, apparently, seeing as today’s TV Bits includes updates on three shows premiering in early 2013. After the jump:

  • Leslie’s celebrity crush Joe Biden is coming to Parks & Recreation
  • ReelzChannel is planning a sequel to 2011′s political soap The Kennedys
  • Netflix is on the verge of a deal to save AMC’s The Killing for Season 3
  • Vampire Hunter Abe steals Jesse Pinkman’s job (not the meth-making one)
  • Watch the trailer for the spy drama  The Americans, starring Keri Russell
  • Portlandia sets a return date and announces a winter special watch a clip
  • The Sex and the City prequel Carrie Diaries hits The CW on January 14
  • The CW’s Beauty and the Beast and NBC’s Chicago Fire will stick around

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When Steven Spielberg‘s Lincoln was first announced, we all had a very rigid idea of what it would be: a beautiful, well-acted, historically accurate tale of our landmark 16th President. We then found out it would focus primarily on the last few months of his life and, most recently, we’ve been told the movie is surprisingly funny and expansive beyond just the title character, played by Daniel Day Lewis.

The international trailer for the film has just been released and it sells a slightly different feel than the original domestic trailers did. It’s similar, of course, but people who’ve seen the movie say this is a much more accurate portrayal of what you can expect when Lincoln hits theaters November 9 (or 16, depending on where you live). Check it out below. Read More »

Under what circumstances might you see Harry Potter and Don Draper taking a bath together? Hit the jump to find out. Plus:

  • Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert go live for the election
  • What does your favorite show say about your politics?
  • Brendan Fraser won’t be one of TNT’s Legends after all
  • AMC puts Hell on Wheels‘ Season 3 renewal on hold
  • FX isn’t so happy with the second Powers pilot, either
  • An adaptation of Tim Seeley‘s Revival is in the works
  • HBO goes forward with Stephen Merchant‘s Hello Ladies

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Gus Van Sant‘s Promised Land became a surprise awards contender when Focus Features decided relatively late in the game to give it an Oscar-qualifying limited run, but this first trailer suggests it’s more than worthy of the competition. Matt Damon stars as Steve, a likeable corporate salesman who arrives in a small rural town to pick up drilling rights. The locals, struggling to recover from the economic recession, initially appear more than eager to oblige — until a grassroots campaign against the purchase, led by Dustin (John Krsasinski) and local teacher Frank (Hal Holbrooks) starts picking up steam.

OK, I’ll admit that the synopsis sounds pretty dry when described that way. But between Van Sant’s steady direction and Damon and Krasinski’s engaging performances, Promised Land looks like a powerful, thought-provoking piece. Frances McDormand and Rosemarie DeWitt round out the excellent supporting cast. Check out the trailer after the jump.

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The lone secret premiere of the 2011 Telluride Film Festival ended up being Ben Affleck‘s dramatic thriller Argo.

I’ve never understood the negativity regularly thrown at Ben Affleck. When given the right material, he’s delivered some great performances as an actor (Good Will Hunting, Shakespeare in Love, Boiler Room, Hollywoodland…etc). And in recent years he’s made the transition and proven himself to be a great director (Gone Baby Gone, The Town). Argo is his third feature film and it’s his smartest yet.

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