Bryan Cranston Matt Smith

How do you follow up a years-long stint as one of modern television’s most iconic characters? For Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston and Doctor Who star Matt Smith, the answer lies on the stage.

Cranston is set to make his Broadway debut this winter with All the Way, a historical drama in which he plays former U.S. president Lyndon B. Johnson. Meanwhile, Smith has signed on for the British musical version of American Psycho, which launches in December. Hit the jump for more details on their new roles.

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Ali Frazier

Another impressive name has joined Muhammed Ali and Joe Frazier for Ang Lee’s latest film. A few months back, we reported that the multiple Oscar winner is prepping a 3D film based around some of the classic boxing matches of the Sixties and Seventies. Very little was revealed beyond that. Now a screenwriter has been added, and he gave up a few more details.

Peter Morgan, the Oscar-nominated writer of The Queen, Frost/Nixon, The Last King of Scotland and Rush, will write the film for Lee. Read his quotes below. Read More »

Into the Woods logo

Of all the Disney live-action fairy tale adaptations due out in the next several years, Rob Marshall‘s Into the Woods may be the biggest. The kitchen-sink musical features some of the most iconic characters of all time, from Cinderella to the Big Bad Wolf, and has huge, stellar cast to match.

The first still from the movie features arguably its starriest star of all, Meryl Streep. The normally lovely actress has clearly undergone several hours of makeup and an attitude adjustment for her role as the witch whose actions set the plot in motion, and it’s almost tough to recognize her here. Check out the image after the jump.

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August Osage County header

Fall brings no shortage of star-studded prestige pics, but even in that crowd August: Osage County stands out. The John Wells-directed film stars Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts and Benedict Cumberbatch and Ewan McGregor and Chris Cooper and Abigail Breslin (plus half a dozen others) which means we’re all but guaranteed to see it making waves during awards season.

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tracy Letts, August: Osage County chronicles a family gathering in the Midwest. So the setup is fairly simple, but as anyone who’s ever suffered through an extended family trip can attest, it’s ripe for hilarity and emotion. A new trailer has been released by The Weinstein Co., and you can check it out after the jump.

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Amelie

Broadway is about to get a dose of French whimsy. Jean-Pierre Jeunet‘s 2001 romantic comedy Amélie is coming to the stage, as revealed by composer Dan Messé (of the Brooklyn-based folk group Hem). Playwright Craig Lucas (Prelude to a Kiss) and co-lyricist Nathan Tysen (The Burnt Part Boys) are also working on the project.

While the film featured a memorable score by Yann Tiersen, Messé says the play will feature new music with a different sound. “I don’t think I’m even going to use accordion in my score,” he explained. Hit the jump for more details on the show.

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Romeo and Juliet header

These days, teen romances are as likely as not to involve vampires, werewolves, zombies, aliens, and/or hellish dystopian landscapes. At their heart, though, so many of them are about forbidden love of one kind or another. In other words, they’re essentially Romeo & Juliet with supernatural bells and whistles.

Now along comes the original Romeo & Juliet to (hopefully) show us all how it’s done. Carlo Carlei‘s apparently faithful adaptation stars Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth as the iconic star-crossed lovers. Paul Giamatti, Damian Lewis, Ed Westwick, Stellan Skarsgard, and Kodi Smit-McPhee also star. Watch the new trailer after the jump.

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Breaking Bad Pilot Bryan Cranston

“If you’re a writer tonight, you might want to hide your knives,” said Jason Reitman at Tuesday night’s special summer live read. “This script is so good you’ll never want to write again. You f***er, Vince.”

The script Reitman was referring to, the script that could get the writer/director to come back and do a live read in July when he’s not scheduled to come back until October, was the pilot of AMC’s Breaking Bad. The “Vince” is creator Vince Gilligan. And as fantastic the first episode of Breaking Bad is to watch, to hear it read reveals another level of brilliance. If you were to travel back in time, sit down with Gilligan in 2007 and ask him to describe what happens in the show over a few beers, that’s what his writing sounds like. It’s perfectly, brilliantly descriptive with a language that’s filled with vulgarity and humor. It has a conversational, culturally current tone that pops off the page.

The latest live read at the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art, presented by Film Independent, revealed not only this fantastic writing, but some fun interpretations by great actors, appearances by the original actors, deleted scenes and more. Read about it below. Read More »

Disney Considering ‘Muppets’ Stage Show

The Muppets - Rainbow Connection

The Mouse House has had great success turning their big-screen hits into Broadway smashes in the past, with shows like Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Tarzan, Mary Poppins, and The Little Mermaid. Now Kermit and Miss Piggy could be headed to the Great White Way as well.

Disney Theatrical Productions is quietly exploring the possibility of a stage production centered around the Muppets, and has gone as far as staging a 15-minute presentation at the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York City. The trial was intended to test whether the puppets and puppeteers would be up for the unique challenges of a stage show — and apparently, the company was pleased with the results. More details after the jump.

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