Billy Crystal is the New Oscar Host [Updated]

In the wake of Ratnergate and the subsequent departure of Eddie Murphy as the host of next year’s Oscar ceremony and telecast, many questions have flown about who might step in to tell mild jokes and introduce musical numbers. The Muppets have a groundswell of support as possible hosts, but the logistics involved in making a Muppet-hosted Oscars work would seem to make that impossible. (That is, if the Academy was even really considering the option, which I doubt.)

Brian Grazer took over as telecast producer from the departed Brett Ratner, and a more than a few jokes were made about last-minute calls going out to Billy Crystal to host the Oscars once more. Now Deadline says that Crystal is in talks to host.

Updated: A tweet from Variety says that the Academy has confirmed Crystal as Oscar host. Read More »

Below you’ll find a minute of the opening of Disney’s The Muppets, whcih hits screens on November 23. The scene is a fun little song and dance number that introduces new Muppet Walter and his human friend Gary, played by the film’s co-writer Jason Segel.

This is a pretty effortlessly charming little piece of film that helps sell The Muppets as a film that still has at least one foot firmly planted in the classic musical storytelling style that always made the show a small wonder. I think you’ll like it. Read More »

Along with Fox’s reveal of the name and release date for the fifth, mostly unwanted Die Hard movie, the studio today added a bunch of other films to the calendar for 2012 and 2013. We begin with Olivier Megaton‘s sequel to Taken. The Liam Neeson action movie is currently called Taken 2, and it will open just under a year from now, on October 5, 2012.

The following month is busy for Fox: Curtis Hanson‘s surfing dram about real-life surfer Jay Moriarty, formerly called Mavericks, will co out on October 26 2012 as Of Men and Mavericks. And Parental Guidance, starring Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, and Marisa Tomei, will open on November 21, 2012.

Then a couple dates have hit for 2013: the second Percy Jackson film, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters will now hit on March 27 2013. And the BBC co-production Walking with Dinosaurs, which brings the popular show and traveling animatronic dinosaur exhibit to screens in 3D, moves up to October 11, 2013, from December 20, 2013. [BoxOfficeMojo]

Ellen Page is in final negotiations to star with Brit Marling and Alexander Skarsgard in The East, Zal Batmanglij‘s thriller about a mysterious eco-terrorism organization called The East. Marling, who co-wrote the script with Batmanglij, leads as an undercover agent who infiltrates the group but then finds herself developing feelings for the group’s leader (Skarsgard). Page will play Izzy, a member of The East and Skarsgard’s ex, who becomes jealous of relationship between Marling and Skarsgard. Page replaces Felicity Jones, who had to drop out of the project due to press commitments for Like Crazy.

The addition of the Oscar-nominated Page should add even more buzz to a film that’s already been getting plenty of it. Marling and Batmanglij broke out at this year’s Sundance with Sound of my Voice, and True Blood star Skarsgard has a handful of interesting projects in the works. Page’s next big-screen appearance will be in next year’s Woody Allen-directed Bop Decameron, alongside Jesse Eisenberg, Penelope Cruz, and Alec Baldwin.

The East is set to begin shooting in Nashville in October. [Variety]

After the jump, Anthony Mackie dreams up a new project for himself and Tom Everett Scott pairs up with Marisa Tomei.

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The latest to join One Shot, the adaptation of Lee Child‘s thriller novel about former military cop Jack Reacher and the investigation of a strange set of sniper murders in the midwest, is David Oyelowo. Fresh from The Help and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, he’ll play a veteran homicide detective who investigates the sniper deaths.

Tom Cruise plays hero Jack Reacher, and Christopher McQuarrie scripted and will direct. [Variety]

After the break, Marisa Tomei joins Us & Them, and Nathan Lane teaches alongside Julianne Moore in an indie comedy. Read More »

Pixar’s Monsters Inc prequel Monsters University tells the story of how Mike Wazowski and Sulley became friends during their college years at scare school. This weekend at D23 Expo, we learned a lot more about the project. Hit the jump to read the ten things we learned about Monsters University, and even see some unfinished concept renderings of what young Mike and Sulley will look like in the movie.
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International Poster For ‘The Muppets’

It has been fun to watch Disney remind audiences about The Muppets as it prepares to release a new feature starring Jim Henson’s classic characters. There have been some creative, playful trailers and a poster that was a little bit unusual as Muppet depictions tend to go — Muppets with legs! But this new international poster is a pure and simple old-school look at the crew, with no humans allowed. You’ll probably love it.  Read More »

Funny or Die has been killing it recently. This time, the site has roped in quite a collection of talent: Billy Crystal, Rob Reiner, Helen Mirren and more (Mike Tyson!) to create a fake trailer for a very ill-considered sequel to When Harry Met Sally. It is a lot like Robert Altman’s film The Player, condensed to under five minutes and with a few 2011-appropriate thrown in. Check it out below. Read More »

Dan Scanlon Will Direct ‘Monsters University’

Briefly: Just two days ago the title of the Monsters, Inc. sequel (or prequel, as it really is) was revealed to be Monsters University. As far as we know, Billy Crystal and John Goodman will return to voice Mike and Sully, but this time we’ll see them as they train to scare kids.

Now ComingSoon has confirmed that Dan Scanlon, director of Cars short Mater and the Ghostlight and story artist on Cars and Toy Story 3, will direct the film. We don’t have any further details right now. Monsters University will arrive on November 2, 2012.

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‘The Muppets’: More Cameos Announced

Production is underway on the new Muppet movie, The Muppets, and information regarding the many cameos in the film have been flooding onto the internet. We have a couple new names to add to the ever-growing list. In the fairness of the spoiler-conscious, we’ve put the names after the jump (although I’m sure many of these cameos will be teased in the eventual marketing and trailers). Continue on to find out which of your favorite comedy stars will be appearing in the new film.

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