Aardman Animation doesn’t just have the CGI holiday film Arthur Christmas to release in the next year. The company also has the stop-motion The Pirates! Band of Misfits, based in part on Gideon Defoe‘s book The Pirates! In an Adventure With Scientists. The cast was announced not long ago, and is a thing of beauty: Hugh ‘News of the World Killer’ Grant, Martin Freeman, David Tennant, Imelda Staunton, Jeremy Piven, Salma Hayek, Brian Blessed, Brendan Gleeson, Russell Tovey, and Ashley Jensen.

The trailer for the film hit today, and if you are (a) dissatisfied with the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels, (b) hungry for anything new from Aardman, (c) ready to see a weirdly appropriate use of a Ramones song in a kids’ pirate movie, or (d) all of the above, check it out after the break. Read More »

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The ubiquitous Michael Fassbender will be joining fellow Irishmen Gabriel Byrne, Colin Farrell, Cillian Murphy and Domhnall Gleeson in Brendan Gleeson‘s directorial debut, a big-screen adaptation of Flann O’Brien‘s classic novel At Swim-Two-Birds. The project has been a long time in the works — Gleeson initially acquired the book rights seven years ago — but it seems to finally be picking up steam thanks to some new financers. Shooting is scheduled to begin next spring.

First published in 1939, At Swim-Two-Birds is considered one of the greatest examples of metafiction ever written. The plot revolves around a university student and writer whose characters rebel and eventually conspire to kill him. Although I’ve never read the novel, that all-star cast seems like reason enough to get excited for the film. [ThePlaylist]

After the jump, Isabelle Huppert joins a mystery project and Roswell FM gets two more stars.

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Update: Two more images were released over the weekend, and you can see them in the gallery below.

We’ve seen another shot or two, semi-official and not at all official, of John Cusack in costume as Edgar Allan Poe in James McTeigue‘s film The Raven. Now this is the first for-real official shot of the character, and the only downside is that it looks like the other shots.

Still, The Raven has settled on a March 9, 2012 release date (and evidently decided to keep the title The Raven), and I’m very interested to see more from the movie in which Poe ends up looking for a killer whose methods seem tied to the author’s work. We’ll see some footage at Comic Con when Relativity presents the film in Hall H on Friday July 22, but for now you can see the full image after the break. Read More »

Sony and Aardman Animation have teamed for a new 3D stop-motion animated film, called The Pirates! Band of Misfits, based in part on Gideon Defoe‘s book The Pirates! In an Adventure With Scientists. (Which is also the film’s title in the UK, I believe.) That isn’t news, but the first still, above, and the announcement of the full cast definitely is.

Aardman co-founder and Chicken Run co-director Peter Lord is directing the film, which is animated in the now-classic Aardman clay figure style, and he’s got Hugh Grant making his clay debut as the chap you see above. There are a bunch of other great names on hand to provide voices as well, and you can get the full list after the break. Read More »

A couple quick updates on James McTeigue‘s The Raven today: The Edgar Allan Poe thriller, starring John Cusack as Poe, has lost its title, and is currently being referred to by the working title The Untitled Raven Project. On the plus side, the film now has an official release date of March 9, 2012. Read more about the project after the jump.

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The film Safe House has been shooting for some time now, and it’s one that has our interest thanks to a great collection of talent: Snabba Cash director Daniel Espinosa makes his English-language debut with the movie and the cast is toplined by Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds, with additional roles filled out by Brendan Gleeson, Sam Shepard and Robert Patrick.

Now, despite the fact that it’s a little late in the game, Vera Farmiga has been added to the cast. Read More »

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Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington will soon shoot Safe House, in which a CIA trainee (Reynolds) has to transport a criminal (Washington) who is under fire from other enemies. Daniel Espinosa (Snabba Cash) is directing from a script by David Guggenheim. Now the film picked up four more actors: Brendan Gleeson, Robert Patrick, Sam Shepard and Liam Cunningham. No word on the roles for the quartet, but I hope they play the team trying to take down Denzel.

The film shoots starting next week, and has a February 10, 2012 release date. [Variety]

After the break, Ed Harris and Diane Keaton book a new film, Ari Folman’s The Congress gets one more, and a Glee cast member gets his own caper movie. Read More »

What is Page 2? Page 2 is a compilation of stories and news tidbits, which for whatever reason, didn’t make the front page of /Film. After the jump we’ve included 30 different items, fun images, videos, casting tidbits, articles of interest and more. It’s like a mystery grab bag of movie web related goodness. If you have any interesting items that we might’ve missed that you think should go in /Film’s Page 2 – email us!

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The Guard, which was picked up at Sundance by Sony Pictures Classics, is one of those movies you’re going to be quoting and turning your friends on to. Though it seems pretty surface based on a general description, once you see it, you realize it’s a truly special movie complete with humor, action, heart and one of the most memorable characters in recent years. That character, Sergeant Gerry Boyle played by Brendan Gleeson, is sort of Bad Lieutenant Light. He’s got plenty of bad habits – drinks on the job, says horrible things – but is actually a decent guy and great cop. Put that character in the middle of a simple murder mystery, co-starring Don Cheadle and Mark Strong, written and directed by John Michael McDonagh, and you’ve got one of the best movies at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Read More »