Epic

Sure, it’s got noble warriors, a vicious villain, a graceful queen, and an old, bitter feud, but the most epic thing about Epic may be the voice cast. Amanda Seyfried leads as Mary Katherine, an ordinary girl who somehow gets shrunk down and finds herself involved in the grand yet very, very tiny battle between the protectors and the destroyers of the forest.

The characters she meets along the way are voiced by the likes of Christoph Waltz, Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, Aziz Ansari, Chris O’Dowd, Blake Anderson, Steven Tyler, Beyoncé Knowles, and Pitbull. Jason Sudeikis voices her father. The latest trailer makes sure the emphasize just how many celebrities have gone into the making of this movie. Watch it after the jump.

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A star-studded cast works wonderfully as a marketing gimmick, but as films like New Year’s Eve and Movie 43 have proven, it’s no guarantee of quality. Fortunately, Blue Sky Studios’ animated adventure Epic seems to have a little more going for it.

Amanda Seyfried voices Mary Katherine, a normal girl who gets caught up in an old and bitter battle between the protectors of the forest (voiced by Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, and others) and the destructive forces led by Mandrake (Christoph Waltz). Beyoncé, Pitbull, Steven Tyler, Judah Friedlander, Aziz Ansari, and Blake Anderson also star. Watch the second trailer after the jump.

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Today’s TV bits is stuffed to the brim with new project announcements, casting notices, trailers, and much more. After the jump:

  • Mike Judge and Scott Rudin team for Silicon Valley at HBO
  • FX is adapting J. Michael Feldman‘s show Fairy Tale Theater
  • Goonies co-stars Sean Astin and Corey Feldman reunite on TMNT
  • The Newsroom casts someone to play a Romney campaign staffer
  • Sean Bean replaces Brendan Fraser in TNT’s spy drama Legends
  • The CW gives freshman drama series Cult a February premiere date
  • Jon Hamm and John Slattery direct more episodes of Mad Men
  • Is Doctor Who uniting all 11 Doctors for an anniversary special?
  • How would you like to create a title sequence for A&E’s Bates Motel?
  • Read an in-depth oral history of beloved cult classic Freaks & Geeks
  • Hannah fails to get a job in a deleted scene from Season 1 of Girls
  • Laura Dern has big plans in the Enlightened Season 2 teaser
  • See a teaser for the Beyonce-directed documentary about Beyonce
  • Check out a production video from the Game of Thrones set
  • Showtime offers up a teaser for season 6 of Californication

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This extra-British installment of TV Bits includes updates on across-the-pond favorites Sherlock and Downton Abbey — but not all of it is good news. After the jump:

  • BBC’s Sherlock might not come back until 2014
  • Downton Abbey gets picked up for a fourth season
  • … but Dan Stevens, a.k.a. Matthew Crawley may be out
  • Watch the trailer for BBC America’s Ripper Street
  • HIMYM is getting a special hourlong Christmas episode
  • A Two and a Half Men star urges viewers to stop watching his show
  • The Daily Show is losing correspondent Wyatt Cenac
  • Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel join Girl Meets World
  • Beyonce will direct a documentary about herself for HBO
  • Get your first peek at Patton Oswalt on FX’s Justified
  • HBO’s Girls reveals the first images from Season 2
  • See how BSG: Blood and Chrome made its green screen universe
  • AMC warns FiOS customers that they could lose AMC channels

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Even as the male lead of Warner Bros.’ A Star is Born remake has become a revolving door of high-profile celebs, female lead Beyoncé Knowles has remained steadfast in her commitment to the role. In fact, Knowles’ involvement predates director Clint Eastwood‘s. Eastwood didn’t board until early 2011, by which point the pop star had been attached for at least a year.

Apparently, however, even she’s grown tired of waiting for it to get off the ground. Knowles has just left the long-gestating musical, leaving it with no stars and no start date. Read on after the jump.

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Beyonce‘s been attached to the remake of A Star is Born since even before Clint Eastwood signed on to direct in January 2011, but in that time the male lead’s been a revolving door of A-list talent. Russell Crowe, Gerard Butler, Will Smith, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christian Bale, and Tom Cruise have all been rumored or attached at various points, and now joining that club is Bradley Cooper.

It doesn’t sound like actual negotiations have begun at this point, but Cooper is said to be weighing an actual offer. Cooper’s worked with some interesting directors over the past couple of years, including David O. Russell, Derek Cianfrance, and Susanne Bier, and an Eastwood movie could be a nice feather in his cap. Plus, it’ll give him a chance to stretch — don’t you want to see Cooper doing his best Kurt Cobain? [THR]

After the jump, Robocop adds yet another Oscar nominee, and China may have had something to do with Total Recall‘s weirdly Asian vision of Australia.

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Through the Ice Age movies, Blue Sky Studios has become one of the premier CG animation houses for feature films, and the company’s new effort is a whimsical forest battle called Epic. Chris Wedge, who directed the first Ice Age film and has voiced the Scrat character throughout that franchise, is directing.

This one features Josh Hutcherson as the voice of the lead character, a diminutive forest warrior who rides a hummingbird, but all you’ll hear of him in the first trailer is a bunch of grunts and exclamations. Most of the audio in this trailer is Snow Patrol’s song ‘The Lightning Strike,’ though there is a bit of dialogue from Aziz Ansari (as a slug) and Amanda Seyfried as a teenage girl who finds herself in the midst of a strange forest war.

Check out the trailer below. Read More »

Tom Cruise‘s career is on a real upswing, especially when compared to his mid-aughts status in the wake of Scientology videos and Oprah couch-jumping. The last Cruise star vehicle, Brad Bird’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, was a big hit, and Fox seems pleased with his musical turn in Rock of Ages. He’s lined up for two sci-fi films, Oblivion at Universal and All You Need is Kill at Warner Bros, and the thriller One Shot is in the can and will be released just under a year from now.

And now WB is taking a cue from Fox, and is evidently pursuing Cruise to play the male lead in Clint Eastwood‘s new version of A Star is Born. Read More »

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