Kenneth Branagh elected not to pursue the director’s gig on Marvel Studios’ Thor sequel, and now we know the film he’ll make instead. The director will helm Italian Shoes, based on Henning Mankell‘s meditative novel of the same name.

Producing will be the Swedish company Yellow Bird. You might not know that name, but you’ll probably recognize the company’s logo, as it is tacked on the front of the original The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, as well as on the other two Millennium Trilogy novel adaptations that follow it and the film Headhunters, which played Fantastic Fest and is already set up to be remade. Read More »

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It’s an action/thriller casting break this evening, featuring the return of some classic actors to familiar old stomping grounds. So after the break you’ll find:

  • Peter Stormare is a bad guy in Arniold Schwarzenegger’s The Last Stand,
  • Anthony Hopkins will hunt a serial killer in Solace,
  • and Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme and John Travolta may be confirmed for The Expendables 2.

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Whenever an existing property gets optioned for a new show or series, fans are left to hold their breaths and hope that the adaptation does the source material justice. If rumors of Noah Baumbach signing on for a TV adaptation of Jonathan Franzen‘s award-winning The Corrections is true, I’m guessing Franzen’s fans have nothing to worry about. After all, who could be better suited to bring Franzen’s disenchanted suburban family to life than the guy who directed The Squid and the Whale, Margot at the Wedding, and Greenberg?

To add icing on the cake, rumors also suggest that Donald Sutherland and Anthony Hopkins are among the actors eyeing a role in the project. Scott Rudin, who optioned the film rights to the novel a decade ago, is reportedly attached to executive produce. Read more after the jump.

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One of the more appealing TIFF premieres is 360, from director Fernando Meirelles (City of God). We’ve covered the film a bit in the past year and change as it cast Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, Anthony Hopkins, Ben Foster and more, but things have been a bit quiet since then.

The film is written by Peter Morgan based on Arthur Schnitzler‘s play Reigen. (Also adapted by Max Ophuls as La Ronde; a Schnitzler story was also the source for Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut.) The play is an erotic drama that features a number of couples, with one half of the couple from one scene appearing as half the couple in the next, and so forth. (So the couples would be essentially: AB, BC, CD, DA.)

With the film about to premiere at the festival, we’ve got some new images, which you can see below. Read More »

Anthony Hopkins revealed in a recent interview that he’s been talking to Angelina Jolie about taking on the role of Sir Winston Churchill in Churchill and Roosevelt. Although I haven’t heard too many details about the film, it’s probably safe to assume that Churchill and Roosevelt will focus on the two leaders’ professional relationship during World War II.

Jolie is said to be “developing” the film, though it’s not clear whether her official role will be that of a producer, director, actress, or some combination thereof. She’s apparently very excited about the project, however — Hopkins said that Jolie has “got a thing about Churchill,” whatever that means.

Jolie recently sent a synopsis of the script to Hopkins, but the actor has not yet confirmed his involvement. One thing holding him back may be the politician’s famously rotund physique: “I don’t know, I’d have to put on some weight to play Churchill,” Hopkins joked to the interviewer. “I’ve just taken the weight off, I’d have to put it back on again.” The project is still seeking a Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Churchill’s most recent big-screen appearance was in last year’s The King’s Speech, where he was played by Timothy Spall. Hopkins, in case you haven’t heard, is starring in this weekend’s Thor as the Norse god Odin. [MTV News]

After the jump, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior star Michael Kelly signs on for a sci-fi flick. Did you even know Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior was a thing that existed? Because I didn’t.

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Director Sam Mendes and the production team behind the 23rd James Bond film are searching high and low for a big name, bad ass villain. Mainstays Daniel Craig and Judi Dench have already signed on to reprise their roles but rumors and speculation have been running rampant as to who will play the film’s villain, how many villains there will be and more. We heard that Mendes really wanted Kevin Spacey for a role, Ralph Fiennes was being courted, Javier Bardem was more or less attached and now it’s rumored that Anthony Hopkins might be up for a role as a villain. Read more about it after the break. Read More »

Marvel Studios and Paramount will be unleashing Thor upon the world in just under two months — the film opens on May 6 — and we could well see another chunk or two of the film released to the public before opening day. In the meantime, check out the French trailer for the film, which offers a couple of very slight new visions that didn’t make it into the last couple domestic trailers. Read More »

New ‘Thor’ Poster and Banner

God of thunder, or god of blood? Marvel and Paramount have dropped a new banner and poster for Thor today, and they’re both very…red. The look works quite well, actually — it says that the movie is a hell of a lot more severe than some of the other ad materials have suggested. Whether that is really the case remains to be seen, and the footage we’ve seen so far still suggests a very pop-fantasy comic book vibe. Either way, these images are solid.

See both in full after the break. Read More »

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