What does a high-wattage star cast and a high-concept thriller premise do for you? Broken City, from Allen Hughes (one half of the Hughes Brothers) features Mark Wahlberg as a disgraced/retired cop hired by the NYC mayor (Russell Crowe) to find the man sleeping with the mayor’s wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones). When Wahlberg is successful at this task, he is drawn into a dangerous situation in which the mayor holds evidence of his past against him.

This first trailer for the film makes Broken City look like a pretty standard thriller that works just to leverage our knowledge of the cast. That said, all three of the leads look like they’re fully committed, and Crowe is a natural for this sort of heavy-handed politician. Does the script (by Brian Tucker) go deeper into ideas about what was done to clean up New York City in the Giuliani years, or does it just sit on the surface for thrills? Probably the former, but we’ll see what happens in January. Read More »

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A fresh batch of posters for three films on our radar have just hit the web. The ones for Allen HughesBroken City and Robert ZemeckisFlight both rely heavily on star power, which seems like a reasonable strategy when said stars include Russell Crowe, Mark Wahlberg, and Denzel Washington.

The pretty, snowy poster for David Chase‘s Not Fade Away, meanwhile, captures the heady feeling of youthful romance and rock n’ roll. Get a peek at all three after the jump.

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We’ve got a lot of new images today, and the first two are new looks at characters in Paramount’s pair of upcoming Jack movies — Jack Ryan and Jack Reacher. (Which tough guy will blink and allow a title change first?) Both images show new looks at supporting characters, but in the case of Jack Ryan, the focus is also on the director, and in the case of Jack Reacher, there’s a look at Reacher’s ultimate creator, too.

Plus, there are shots from To the Wonder, Broken City, Grand Piano, and The American Scream, all after the break. Read More »

Things are indeed shaping up quickly for David Dobkin‘s Arthur & Lancelot, which Warner Bros. fast-tracked over the summer at the cost of Bryan Singer’s Excalibur remake and Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur film. Last month saw the casting of Game of Thrones star Kit Harrington and The Killing star Joel Kinnaman in the two title roles, and now WB favorite Marion Cotillard has been offered the part of Morgana, a powerful sorceress and Arthur’s half-sister.

The Arthur retelling, which was written by Dobkin, follows the rise of the legendary leader from his humble beginnings as an illegitimate son being raised by a poor knight, while Lancelot starts out as “a rebellious noble who distrusts the established government.” Arthur & Lancelot will likely begin shooting in March. [Vulture]

After the jump, Friday Night Lights star Kyle Chandler lands another high-profile movie role, while several more actors join Michael Chiklis and Forest Whitaker in Pawn — though sadly, none of the new folks are from The Shield.

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Find it hard to keep up with what films are casting and which actors and actress are doing what? You’re not the only one. It’s all but impossible to keep up with everything, which is why we bring you Casting Bits. Today we’ve got a bunch of big names in smaller movies, a few studio productions sprinkled in and then a couple we missed in recent days. After the jump read about:

  • Miley Cyrus cast as Adam Sandler’s daughter in Hotel Transylvania
  • Rufus Sewell is confirmed to join Paradise Lost, as Lucifer’s buddy Samael
  • Clive Owen is an NSA agent in Recall, written by Paul Schrader
  • Elizabethtown co-stars Kirsten Dunst and Orlando Bloom team up again in Cities
  • Genesis Rodriguez is an FBI agent in The Last Stand
  • Comedians Tracy Morgan and Eddie Griffin are reportedly battling to play the Ol’ Dirty Bastard in a coming biopic
  • Alona Tal and Natalie Martinez will star alongside Mark Wahlberg in Albert Hughes’ Broken City

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Catherine Zeta-Jones has had a slow couple of years, but the Chicago actress stepping it up again. She recently wrapped three films — Lay the Favorite, Playing the Field, and Rock of Ages, all of which are due out next year — and has now landed one more. Zeta-Jones recently finalized a deal to star opposite Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe in Broken City, a noirish tale directed by Allen Hughes. The script, by Brian Tucker, revolves around a Brooklyn detective (Wahlberg) who’s hired by the mayor (Crowe) to find out if his wife (Zeta-Jones) is cheating on him. Then things take a turn for the Chinatown-esque as the wife’s lover ends up dead and a major conspiracy begins to unravel.

Zeta-Jones’ last high-profile project was 2007′s No Reservations, so it’s great to see her coming back to the big screen in full force. Broken City is scheduled to begin shooting next month in New York City. [Deadline]

After the jump, Warner Bros. turns to two rising TV stars for David Dobkin’s Arthur & Lancelot.

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Rather than re-teaming with David O. Russell for The Silver Linings Playbook (Bradley Cooper will take that starring role, instead), Mark Wahlberg will make the Allen Hughes noir Broken City late this fall. And he’ll be joined by Russell Crowe, who has just signed on to play the mayor of New York City, who drives the opening stages of the plot by hiring Wahlberg’s cop-turned-private detective. Read More »

Last year Mark Wahlberg started talking about a noirish screenplay called Broken City by Brian Tucker that he wanted to make under the direction of Allen Hughes. The script was a 2008 Black List entry, and has earned comparisons to Chinatown thanks to the way it depicts urban intrigue and corruption with a cop turned private detective at the center of the action. At the time the actor said they wanted to shoot the film at the end of 2011, but there was also some confusion about whether Allen Hughes was developing Akira with his brother Albert at Warner Bros., and we wondered how those schedules could possibly mesh up.

But Allen Hughes has nothing to do with Akira (and now, neither does his brother) so the schedule doesn’t look nearly as problematic. Broken City isn’t yet greenlist, but the film just got set up with $60m worth of financing, which is a significant step in the right dirtection. Read More »

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