Ben Affleck bailed on acting in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby in order to direct his third film, a picture called Argo. (Good choice!) The film is from a Chris Terrio script that follows a true-life story about a CIA effort to pull diplomats out of Tehran in 1979. The hook: they use a plan that has them posing as a Hollywood studio crew making a sci-fi film called Argo. (Much more background detail is here.)

The first piece of casting (other than Ben Affleck, who is taking a role) is now out: Alan Arkin will play Lester Siegel, the OSS agent turned film producer who is key to the plan. The role is described as “equal parts bookie and rabbi,” in which case Alan Arkin is perfect. But then, when is he not close to perfect? George Clooney and Grant Heslov are producing the film, and if that conjures up images of the tone of Men Who Stare At Goats — another partially true military/political tale — then you’re probably thinking along the right track. Only, let’s hope, better. [Variety]

After the break, World War Z and the G.I. Joe sequel get new cast additions. Read More »

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‘The Change-Up’ Red-Band Trailer

The Change-Up, directed by David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers) asks a very important question: what if two drunk friends pissing in the same fountain accidentally changed bodies and got to live each others lives? Yep, The Change-Up is a body-switching comedy, and it gives about as much weight to the reason for the switch as Hot Tub Time Machine did time travel. The point is really to watch Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds freak out as they try to navigate the life they momentarily envied. Watch the freakout begin in the new red-band trailer, after the break. Read More »

‘The Muppets': More Cameos Announced

Production is underway on the new Muppet movie, The Muppets, and information regarding the many cameos in the film have been flooding onto the internet. We have a couple new names to add to the ever-growing list. In the fairness of the spoiler-conscious, we’ve put the names after the jump (although I’m sure many of these cameos will be teased in the eventual marketing and trailers). Continue on to find out which of your favorite comedy stars will be appearing in the new film.

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Writer/director Hany Abu-Assad tackled some pretty weighty subject matter with his 2005 film Paradise Now, a very well received drama about suicide bombers. For his latest picture though, the upcoming action/thriller The Courier, he’s turned his focus to more audience-friendly fare. The film was written by Derek Haas and Michael Brandt (the team behind the 3:10 to Yuma remake and Wanted), and stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan as “a courier who has tackled dangerous assignments and never missed a drop. He’s hired to deliver a briefcase to a notorious crime boss who can’t be found. The courier finds himself pursued by corrupt cops, double-crossing feds and rivals from the criminal underworld.”

Now Mickey Rourke and Til Schweiger (Inglourious Basterds) have joined the cast, with Schweiger playing an FBI agent and Rourke in an unspecified role. Additionally, Schweiger has also joined This Means War, McG’s spy flick about two best friends (Chris Pine and Tom Hardy) who fall in love with the same woman (Reese Witherspoon).

I loved Morgan’s work in Watchmen, and have been awaiting another stand-out performance from him. With this cast and director alongside him, The Courier may provide him an opportunity to live up to his potential—if not as a thespian, at least as an action star. [The Wrap, Variety]

After the break, Jennifer Aniston gets a dad in Buttercup. Read More »

Warner Bros has released a new international movie trailer for Hangover director Todd Phillips‘ next comedy Due Date. The film stars Zach Galifianakis and Robert Downey Jr in a buddy-comedy story which has been described as kinda Hangover meets Planes, Trains and Automobiles. The screenplay by Alan R. Cohen and Alan Freedland (with rewrites by Adam Sztykiel) has Galifianakis as a wannabe actor who becomes the companion to an expectant father / businessman (Downey) as they dash cross-country to (hopefully) arrive in time for the childbirth.

Robert Downey Jr has gone on record saying he thinks this might be “the second greatest movie” he’s ever made. Is it? The pairing of Downey Jr and Galifianakis seems to have worked brilliantly. Downey is the perfect straight man to Galifianakis’ comic relief/foil.

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer now. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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We’ve seen the trailer for Due Date, the new Todd Phillips road comedy that stars Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis. Now there’s a poster via Yahoo, which you can see in full after the break. Read More »

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Movie Trailer: Todd Phillips’ Due Date

Due Date

Warner Bros has released the first movie trailer for Hangover director Todd Phillips‘ next comedy Due Date. The film stars Zach Galifianakis and Robert Downey Jr in a buddy-comedy story which has been described as kinda Hangover meets Planes, Trains and Automobiles. The screenplay by Alan R. Cohen and Alan Freedland (with rewrites by Adam Sztykiel) has Galifianakis as a wannabe actor who becomes the companion to an expectant father / businessman (Downey) as they dash cross-country to (hopefully) arrive in time for the childbirth.

Robert Downey Jr has gone on record saying he thinks this might be “the second greatest movie” he’s ever made. Is it? Hit the jump to watch the trailer now. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below. The pairing of Downey Jr and Galifianakis seems to have worked brilliantly. Downey is the perfect straight man to Galifianakis’ comic relief/foil.

Read More »

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While Hollywood held its breath in anticipation of this morning’s Oscar nominations, a few new casting notes slipped out, mostly for upcoming indies. For example, Orlando Bloom will take the lead role in The Good Doctor, which he’ll produce as well. Written by John Enbom, the film is about “a frustrated doctor looking to impress his superiors and colleagues. When his 18-year-old patient, admitted for a kidney infection, provides him with the esteem he so craves, the doctor tampers with her treatment so that she’ll have to stay at the hospital with him.”

Co-starring with Bloom may be an excellent cast: Michael Pena, Troy Garity, Courtney Ford, Taraji P. Henson, Rob Morrow and J.K. Simmons are all negotiating roles. [THR]

After the break, new cast members for the indie The Convincer, which sounds like a point of interest for fans of movies like Fargo. Read More »

Sunshine Cleaning Movie Trailer #2

A couple weeks ago, we posted the first trailer for Sunshine Cleaning, an wonderful indie dramedy which premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

The film has been compared to Little Miss Sunshine, probably because it was produced by the same guys, features a couple of the same cast members, including Academy Award winner Alan Arkin, and even has “Sunshine” in the title. I think this led to some disappointment at Sundance, as the film is a darker and much different film than Little Miss. If you know that going in, you’ll probably enjoy the film a lot more. The second trailer is more traditional, and will give you a better sense of the story. As always, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Rose Lorkorswki (Amy Adams), a former high school cheerleader and now a thirty-something maid, is trying to create a better life for herself and eccentric eight-year-old son Oscar. Her burn-out younger sister Norah (Emily Blunt) still lives at home with their father Joe (Alan Arkin), who;s on the latest of a life-long string of get-rich-quick schemes. When Rose learns of the big money to be made in the crime scene cleaning and bio-hazard removal business, she and Norah partner up to create their own company, Sunshine Cleaning.

The film sold to Overture films for an estimated $2 million. A July 2008 release date was originally announced, but now the film is scheduled to hit theaters sometime in 2009.

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