Justin Reardon‘s feature directing debut A Many Splintered Thing isn’t even out yet, but he already seems to have a knack for attracting strong on-camera talent. The star-studded ensemble for that film includes Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Giovanni Ribisi, Audrey Plaza, Anthony Mackie, and Luke Wilson, for starters. Now Jennifer Aniston, Mark Duplass, and Ben Kingsley have attached themselves to his sophomore effort, Convention.

The film is billed as a sci-fi comedy, which isn’t such an unusual genre combination. However, this one sounds intriguingly offbeat, as the marketing materials reference Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Being John Malkovich for comparison. Hit the jump for more details.

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How much do you want to know about Iron Man 3 before the film is even finished shooting? We’re in the center of the Venn diagram that features circles of rumor and spoiler, so I’ll keep things after the break.

But the basics are as follows: Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) is in North Carolina shooting Iron Man 3 now, with Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, and Jon Favreau reprising their roles from the past films and The Avengers. Actors new to the series include Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce, Andy Lau, James Badge Dale, Rebecca Hall, Ashley Hamilton, and likely William Sadler. We know that Kingsley is a villain, and rumors have persisted for months that he plays the Mandarin, which Marvel roundly denies. Now there’s a report that claims to shed some light on how the film’s villainous power structure works.

Update: There’s also new info about the appearance of a specific Iron Man suit, the Iron Patriot. Details on that have been added below.

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If even Martin Scorsese can’t convince people to watch Sacha Baron Cohen‘s The Dictator, I don’t know what can. But Paramount, of course, continues to try their hardest. Their latest effort is a red-band trailer that offers several fresh jokes, including bits on childbirth and 9/11.

It also finally, helpfully, offers an explanation of exactly how Admiral General Aladeen (Cohen) goes from being the all-powerful ruler of the Republic of Wadiya to being a grubby-looking cashier at a grocery store. Watch the trailer after the jump — and as usual, be warned that red-band means NSFW, in this case mostly for language.

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Thanks in a large part to this past weekend’s The Avengers, we’ve got a ton of superhero-related odds and ends for you today. After the jump:

  • Kick-Ass illustrator claims sequel will shoot this summer
  • Scarlett Johansson really wants a Black Widow spinoff
  • Joss Whedon isn’t ready to think about Avengers 2 yet
  • Captain America 2 will be closely linked to Avengers
  • Ben Kingsley is still developing his Iron Man 3 character

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After the Avengers face off against Loki in next month’s The Avengers, Tony Stark will be striking out in his own to contend with his own nemesis — but who will it be? After the jump:

  • Is Iron Man 3‘s big bad the Mandarin?
  • G.I. Joe is testing two different endings
  • Peter Farrelly talks Dumb & Dumber 2
  • Cast interviews from the set of Skyfall
  • Seven new images from Piranha 3DD
  • A small peek at Ice Age: Continental Drift

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Filming begins next month for Shane Black‘s Iron Man 3, and we still havent heard many details of what to expect in the next installent of Marvel’s popular movie franchise. We know that many of the regulars have signed on to return, including Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts and Don Cheadle as Lt. Col. James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes. But where are the new characters and new casting announcements?

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Of the nine movies currently up for Best Picture, Martin Scorsese‘s Hugo is my personal favorite. There’s so much I love about the film, from its eye-popping visuals and impeccable use of 3D to its inspiring tale and lovable performances. I’m not the only one that feels that way, of course — Hugo‘s been a popular pick on many critics’ lists and awards ballots. And now, as Academy voters mull over their final decisions, Paramount is eager to remind everyone of Hugo‘s many wonderful qualities.

The studio has released a six-minute featurette titled “The Magic of Hugo,” which goes behind the scenes to look at the hows and whys of making the picture. Scorsese, editor Thelma Schoonmaker, production designer Dante Ferretti, producer Graham King, visual effects supervisor Robert Legato, composer Howard Shore, and stars Ben Kingsley and Sacha Baron Cohen all appear to discuss their work on the project, and to talk about what made the film so special. Watch it after the jump.

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The Bridesmaids ladies aren’t the only female ensemble cast enjoying a well-deserved career boost this awards season. Hours after we reported that Octavia Spencer had signed on for Bong Joon-ho’s post-apocalyptic thriller Snow Piercer, Spencer’s The Help co-star Viola Davis has booked supporting roles in Gavin Hood‘s sci-fi flick Ender’s Game and Richard LaGravenese‘s fantasy adaptation Beautiful Creatures. Read more after the jump.

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