Whitney Houston is set to return to the big screen for the first time in 15 years for Sparkle, a remake of the 1976 drama based on the real-life tale of Diana Ross and The Supremes (yes, kind of like Dreamgirls, only Sparkle came first). The story follows the rise and fall of fictional girl group Sister & the Sisters, the members of which find their personal lives falling apart even as their act reaches ever higher levels of fame and success.

Houston, who’s also set to executive produce, will play the “not-so-encouraging” mother of the girls in the band. Houston has actually been attached to the project since back when it was supposed to star Aaliyah, who passed away in 2001. Also in the cast are Jordin Sparks making her cinematic debut in the title role, and Mike Epps in the part of destructive comedian Satin. Salim Akil (Jumping the Broom) is set to direct the feature from a script by his wife Mara Brock Akil. [Movieline]

After the jump: Dustin Hoffman snags some fine British talent (including two notable Harry Potter actors) for his directorial debut, and Twilight star Ashley Greene signs on for a weird, “ultra-modern” version of a Charles Dickens classic.

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No one will ever argue that this past weekend was Pixar’s best, as Cars 2 opened with a solid but not overwhelming take and a fairly dismal critical reception. But there is a bright spot: the teaser trailer for next year’s Pixar summer film, the fairy tale Brave. The teaser is now online, and it is a small piece of beauty. Check it out below. Read More »

Editor’s Update: I have updated the story with a new super high resolution photo officially released by Disney of Brave’s main protagonist. Hit the jump to see the full image.

If you pay to see Cars 2 this weekend or in the near future you’ll be treated to a teaser for the Pixar film that is due to be released a year from now: Brave, once called The Bear and the Bow. We don’t have that teaser online just yet, but yesterday the first teaser poster arrived (complete with a small, misty look at the bear that was once in the title) and now we have good new looks at three of the main characters. Check them out, along with a high-res version of the teaser poster, after the break. Read More »

‘Brave’ Teaser Poster

This might not be Pixar’s best week, with Cars 2 premiering to generally unfavorable reviews. (Germain was more charitable to it than others, but still said “it places near the bottom of [Pixar's] impressive list.”)

But with Cars 2 comes a teaser trailer for Brave, the film the studio will release next June. That teaser may not appear online for a bit, but a teaser poster has been spotted in the wild for Brave as well, and you can see it in full after the fold. Read More »

Next summer brings us Pixar’s first original fairy tale, Brave, and today brings a significant update. Entertainment Weekly got their hands on some very cool concept art and a couple announcements in regards to the voice cast and direction credit. First up, Reese Witherspoon will not be lending her voice to the lead character, Merida, because of scheduling issues. Instead, that character will be given life by Scottish actress Kelly Macdonald (Boardwalk Empire, Trainspotting) which is appropriate because the film is set in Scotland. The rest of the cast will also be from across the pond. Merida’s parents, King Fergus and Queen Elinor, will be voiced by Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson, a wise woman who plays an important role will be voiced by Julie Walters and three comedic lords will be voiced by Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson and Robbie Coltrane.

Also, while there had been some controversy surrounding Pixar’s first female director Brenda Chapman, who left the project last year, she’ll now officially receive a co-director credit with Mark Andrews, who is now finishing the film. Read some new plot details and see the concept art after the break. Read More »

Most of us won’t be seeing Disney’s new short, The Ballad of Nessie, until it comes attached to Winnie the Pooh this summer. But the film actually had its world premiere earlier this month at Anima, the animation festival in Brussels, and early word is that it’s a charming tale in the classic Disney style. Read more and see three hi-res images after the jump.

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Movie Trailer: Gulliver’s Travels

Gulliver's Travels

20th Century Fox has released a movie trailer for the Jack Black fantasy comedy Gulliver’s Travels. Directed by Rob Letterman (co-director of Monsters vs Aliens) and co-starring Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Romany Malco, Billy Connolly, T.J. Miller, and Amanda Peet. Based on the book by Jonathan Swift, this adventure comedy tells the story of “travel writer Lemuel Gulliver who takes an assignment in Bermuda, but ends up on the island of Liliput, where he towers over its tiny citizens.”

While this movie definitely doesn’t look good, it certainly doesn’t look as horrible as I thought it was going to be — especially judging from the posters and billboard which made it look like a fake movie in Funny People or Tropic Thunder. But yes, Emily Blunt was forced to turn down a role as Black Widow in Iron Man 2/Avengers to be in this movie. Watch the trailer embedded after the jump. Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Boondock Saints

Sony Pictures has announced the details of The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day panel at 2009 San Diego Comic Con International. The trailer for the much anticipated sequel to the 1999 cult classic film The Boondock Saints will premiere during the panel on Saturday, July 25th at 3:30pm. Talent in attendance for the panel includes:

  • Troy Duffy (writer/director)
  • Billy Connolly (Noah ‘Il Duce’ McManus)
  • Norman Reedus (Murphy McManus)
  • Sean Patrick Flannery (Connor McManus)
  • Julie Benz (Eunice Bloom)
  • Clifton Collins, Jr. (Romeo)
  • David Della Rocco (Rocco)
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