Even as Lee Daniels‘ follow-up to Precious, The Paperboy, makes its debut at Cannes this week, the filmmaker’s wasting no time assembling a stellar cast for his next project, The Butler. The talented Forest Whitaker leads the picture as Eugene Allen, the late White House butler who served under eight different presidents from 1952 through 1986, with Oprah Winfrey and rising star David Oyelowo signed to play his wife and son.

And the cast only gets more buzzworthy from there. The roster also includes Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Nicole Kidman, Alan Rickman, Jane Fonda, Lenny Kravitz, and John Cusack. Now we can add Minka Kelly to the list as well, as Daniels says he’s cast her to play Jackie Kennedy to Matthew McConaughey‘s John F. More after the jump.

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What happens when a studio dedicates a decade to adapting one of the most popular novel series in the world, and does so with an eye for quality? In the case of Harry Potter, the result is a massive payoff. Warner Bros. upset its own record for the biggest domestic opening weekend box office take, set by The Dark Knight in 2008, as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 opened to a $168.5 million domestic haul and earned nearly half a billion dollars worldwide. Read the numbers below. Read More »

Last week, we showed you two new posters for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 — one featuring a roughed-up Harry and another showing a concerned-looking Hermione. Since then, Warner Bros. has released five more character posters, for Ron (Rupert Grint), Neville (Matthew Lewis), Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), Draco (Tom Felton) and Snape (Alan Rickman). Check out the images after the jump.

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Some few years ago the Coen Brothers scripted a remake of the ’60s romantic caper comedy Gambit (originally starring Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine) and the remake is finally shooting now under the direction of Michael Hoffman (The Last Station). Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz star in the key roles, and Stanley Tucci and Cloris Leachman have joined Alan Rickman and Tom Courtenay in the supporting cast. The first image of the leads is out now, and you can see a larger version after the break.

Also lurking below the jump is the first image from Abel Ferrara‘s new film, 4:44 Last Day on Earth, which stars Willem Dafoe. Neither of these images are quite earth-shaking, but they’re minor teases of what is to come. Read More »

The full theatrical trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 has hit a bit early this evening. The eighth film in the Harry Potter series depicts the Battle of Hogwarts and the final confrontation between Harry and Voldemort. The trailer, appropriately, promises a conclusion on a massive scale. Check it out after the break. Read More »

Update: Warner Bros has sent us high resolution versions of the photos released in EW. Hit the jump to check them out.

There are new photos floating around today from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, which concludes the epic Harry Potter series when it opens on July 15. These images show a bit more of the massive final battle that brings the story to a close — you’ll see Harry fighting in a Gringott’s vault, and there’s a shot of Neville doing a little battle work of his own, in addition to a few other glimpses at the film.

Check out all five after the break. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

The casting for David Cronenberg‘s adaptation of the Don DeLillo novel Cosmopolis has been an up and down affair, with original talents Colin Farrell and Marion Cotillard dropping out. Robert Pattinson is now the male lead — he plays a young billionaire who deals with quite a few problems as he spends a day crossing Manhattan in his limo. Also in the cast are Juliette Binoche and Paul Giamatti.

And now Robert Pattinson tells MTV that Samantha Morton is in the film, and that a new young actress has been chosen to play his character’s wife, but that he can’t yet reveal her name. I’m very interested to hear who that will be, but in the meantime having Samantha Morton in the cast is a great thing. She is reliably excellent, and even without knowing her specific role the fact that she is cast says good things about the movie overall.

After the break. The Coen Brothers-scripted Gambit gets Alan Rickman, and Rick Yune is in RZA’s kung-fu movie. Read More »

We haven’t yet seen a trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, but tonight ABC Family aired a making-of featurette about the film featuring some pretty tasty first-look footage. That featurette is now online, via Facebook. There will be more Potter footage unveiled over the weekend, but this is a good start. Read More »

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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