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Briefly: The action-packed video game adaptation Need For Speed doesn’t open until March 14, but DreamWorks is hosting 100 free screenings of the film February 19 across the United States. Tickets are available now; find out how to get them below. Read More »

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LABOR DAY

Briefly: John Hillcoat (Lawless, The Proposition) can dredge whatever material he wants up out of the depths of his mind and it probably won’t generate the ridiculous controversy set in motion by his thoroughly non-controversial Super Bowl Coke ad. So the film Triple Nine, about “a group of crooked cops who plan to kill one of their own so they can cover up a major heist,” probably won’t move the needle in a way even vaguely like the Coke ad did.

But it will have a great cast: Kate Winslet has signed on for the long-gestating picture. She joins a cast that still includes Casey Affleck and Chiwetel Ejiofor, who have been attached to the film for a while. Matt Cook scripted, and as far as we know his draft remains the basis for the film. [Variety]

Update: Michael B. Jordan, who had been linked to the film last year, has also been confirmed as being in talks, and Deadline reports that Aaron Paul, Teresa Palmer, Gal Gadot, and Michael Pena are also in talks to join.

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The “pulse” TV spot for Need for Speed that aired during the Super Bowl is all about adrenaline and action — it’s cars moving fast, and tight shots on the intense expressions of the people within. And it’s pretty effective! Check out that short spot, below; we’ve also got an extended trailer, with an introduction from Aaron PaulRead More »

NEED FOR SPEED

What do you do after spending five years creating one of the lead characters on a TV show commonly cited as among the best to ever air? For Aaron Paul, whose breakout role as Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad launched his career to new levels of popularity, the choice was simple: do something different. Asked if his lead role in the video game adaptation-turned-car action film Need for Speed was intended as a break from the show, Paul said “Yes, absolutely.” He went on to say “with ‘Breaking Bad’ I lived and breathed every moment as Jesse. I loved the kid. I miss him so much, but … you know.”

So what about Need for Speed? The film puts Paul in the role of a guy whose friend dies as a result of the douchebaggery of rich racing enthusiast Dino (Dominic Cooper). Paul’s character ends up in jail, and upon release is determined to have his revenge. He takes to the roads accompanied by a young woman (Imogen Poots) with multiple law enforcement agents on his tail. Or, as Paul recounts the story, “This movie stems from a lot of revenge. My character gets blamed for the death of one of his best friends. He spends some time in prison so revenge is on his mind and it’s a race against time. But he’s a good guy who’s trying to right a wrong, so I don’t know if he’s an antihero, but he is out to get that bastard.”

Act of Valor director Scott Waugh, the son of a stunt man, directed the film with the intention to make a modern film packed with practical effects and legit stunts. A couple months back we sat in on a 20-minute footage presentation, and spoke with Paul and Waugh. Below, they talk about how the film came together. Read More »

A LONG WAY DOWN

Nick Hornby‘s books have long been popular with filmmakers. To date, his bibliography has inspired Stephen Frears’ High Fidelity, two Fever Pitch movies, one About a Boy film, one failed About a Boy TV show, and one upcoming About a Boy TV show. Now the latest of his novels to get adapted is A Long Way Down, a heartwarming tale that begins with four attempted suicides.

Adapted by Jack Thorne and directed by Pascal Chaumeil, the dramedy follows four very different people who meet by chance when they each decide to commit suicide by jumping off of a London skyscraper on New Year’s Eve. As they get to talking, however, they form a bond and ultimately make a pact to live, at least for a little while longer.

The group includes Martin (Pierce Brosnan), a disgraced TV personality; Maureen (Toni Collette), a desperate single mother; Jess (Imogen Poots), a troubled teen; and JJ (Aaron Paul), a failed musician. Watch the first trailer after the jump.

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Aaron Paul on Breaking Bad

Ron Howard‘s ambitious adaptation of The Dark Tower has been through plenty of ups and downs over the year, but as of last fall it was coming along slowly but surely. Although Howard declined to offer a specific timetable, he said that he was “continuing to work” on the project.

Now it may be about to take a step forward in the casting department. Former Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul revealed that he has met for the role of Eddie Dean, going so far as to sit down with Howard. Hit the jump to read his comments.

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Aaron Paul on Breaking Bad

Before Jesse Pinkman ever fell under the sway of Mr. White, Aaron Paul had already made an impression on TV audiences as Scott, gentle suitor to Sarah (Amanda Seyfried) on Big Love. The cute couple made their last appearance in the show’s 2011 finale, but the actors are now set to team up on the big screen for Fathers and Daughters.

Directed by Gabriele Muccino and written by Brad Desch, the Black List drama stars Russell Crowe and Seyfried as a father and daughter with a difficult relationship. Hit the jump for more details on the project.

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Harrison Ford on David Blaine Real or Magic

As a 71-year-old man who’s played both Han Solo and Indiana Jones, Harrison Ford ought to be pretty tough to amaze. Sure, it’s not like he was battling real space aliens or actual Nazis, but he’s been a rich, powerful icon of Hollywood long enough to see some crazy stuff. And yet, apparently not even he is immune to the charms of an expertly executed card trick.

Magician David Blaine has been stopping by celeb homes to perform illusions for his recent TV special David Blaine: Real or Magic. Most have responded with great enthusiasm, but arguably the best reaction is Ford’s. Watch the clip after the jump.

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