All too often, “romantic comedies” wind up being neither romantic nor comedic. But if the recent casting is any indication, I Give It a Year seems to have the latter part down, at least. Rose Byrne and Anna Faris have joined Rafe Spall and Simon Baker in the film, written and directed by Borat scribe Dan Mazer. Byrne and Spall are set to play newlyweds trying to navigate their rocky first year of marriage, while Faris and Baker have been cast as “strong supporting characters.”

Though Byrne’s racked up lots of experience as a dramatic actress, she’s recently demonstrated a real knack for comedy in Get Him to the Greek and Bridesmaids. Her next big-screen appearance, in Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines, will see her back on the more serious end of the spectrum.

Faris’ last several films (What’s Your Number?, Take Me Home Tonight, Yogi Bear, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakel) haven’t all been winners, but I’m still rooting for her to turn things around. She’ll next star in The Dictator (which Mazer exec produced) and Movie 43. [Variety]

After the jump, Seth Cohen dumps Veronica Mars. The nerve!

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The man who brought us Borat, Ali G, and Brüno heads back into the realm of sociopolitical satire in the first trailer for The Dictator, which hit the Web today. Sacha Baron Cohen stars as Middle Eastern despot along the lines of Muammar Gaddafi, who gets sent to the United States in exile and spends his days riding camels down Fifth Avenue, ziplining across Manhattan, and sleeping with Megan Fox. John C. Reilly and Ben Kingsley also star. Watch the first trailer after the jump.

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‘Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked’ Trailer

Most days, I love my job. Other days, I’m forced to watch the trailer for Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. Yep, the squeaky-voiced CGI hellions are back for a third installment of their regrettably successful film franchise. Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, and Jesse McCartney return as the Chipmunks, along with Anna Faris, Christina Applegate, and Amy Poehler as the Chipettes and Jason Lee and David Cross as human beings. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Ruth Wilson will be breaking into the boys’ club as the female lead of Gore Verbinski‘s The Lone Ranger, starring Armie Hammer as the Texas ranger and Johnny Depp as his sidekick Tonto. Although Wilson’s name may be unfamiliar to most Americans, she’s known in the UK for her work on the BBC’s Luther and the Masterpiece Theatre miniseries Jane Eyre. Wilson was selected over Jessica Chastain and Abbie Cornish, who were also being considered for the part, and is currently in negotiations. Very few details have been revealed about her character, named Rebecca.

Unlike the earlier versions of the property, Verbinski’s Lone Ranger will be told from Tonto’s perspective — “Don Quixote told from Sancho Panza’s point of view,” as Verbinski has described it. The film will hit theaters December 21. [Deadline]

After the jump, B.J. Novak joins The Dictator opposite Sacha Baron Cohen a.k.a. Borat, and Peter Mullan takes on an action thriller.

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We’ve got classic cops fighting notorious gangsters, giant mechs fighting notorious monsters, and a despot and his double fighting…um…the boundaries of comedy? Something along those lines. After the break, check out details of the following three recent casting breaks:

  • Giovanni Ribisi joins the impressive cast of Gangster Squad.
  • Rinko Kikuchi takes the female lead in Pacific Rim.
  • J.B. Smoove is added to The Dictator. Read More »

Earlier this week we saw an on-set snap of Sacha Baron Cohen in costume as one of the characters in The Dictator. Now we’ve got the first official look at Sacha Baron Cohen in costume as the other main character in The Dictator. The full snap is after the break. Read More »

Sacha Baron Cohen is preparing his next semi-improvised, semi-political comedy. The Dictator, which may or may not be inspired by Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator (bet on ‘may’) has Borat director Larry Charles set to direct from a script by Alec Berg, Jeff Schaffer and David Mandel. The script, which has Sacha Baron Cohen playing dual roles, may or may not be followed to the utmost degree.

Last week we heard about an actress shortlist assembled as producers cast the film’s female lead, and one of the primary concerns for the woman in question was an ability to improvise. So it isn’t much of a surprise that Anna Faris got the nod. She’s now negotiating a deal to appear in the film. Read More »

The latest casting for The Three Stooges puts the great Jane Lynch in the role of Mother Superior, the nun who runs the orphanage where the Stooges grow up. (Cher was once mentioned for the role.) That means she’ll be a big part of the first of the film’s three segments, which takes place with slightly younger Stooges; it’s conceivable that she’ll be in the other segments, too, likely with less screen time.

Jane Lynch will be the very experienced comic voice to complement Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe, Will Sasso as Curly, and Sean Hayes as Larry. The film begins shooting in Atlanta within the next couple weeks. No idea what to expect out of this Farrelly Brothers effort, but it is their long-standing passion project (as weird as that seems to some) and I keep hearing rumors of really extravagant slapstick setpieces. That’s enough to keep me interested, at least. [Deadline]

After the break, Sacha Baron Cohen’s new film, The Dictator (which seems to be a remake or riff on Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, more or less) is considering a few different strong female leads. Read More »

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