From Up On Poppy Hill, co-written by Hayao Miyazaki and directed by Gor? Miyazaki, was Studio Ghibli’s big 2011 release. It tells the story of two high school students hoping to clean up their hometown who run up against the corporate mindset of a local businessman. When the film came out in Japan last summer, it was a success for the legendary company and soon after, producers Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy decided to bring it to North America via GKids. The film will be released in November for an Oscar qualifying run followed by a wider release in March 2013. Its impressive English language voice cast has now been revealed. Read the full list after the jump. Read More »

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Alexander Payne‘s never been one to just hire the biggest star he could get. Even George Clooney in The Descendants seemed like he’d been selected because he was the right fit for the role, not (just) because Payne was dazzled by Clooney’s A-list wattage, and Clooney was surrounded by an eclectic mix of comedians, newcomers, and TV stars.

For his next project Nebraska, Payne is taking a similarly interesting approach. Bruce Dern and Will Forte were confirmed as the leads a couple of months ago, and since then Bob Odenkirk and Stacy Keach have been added to the supporting cast as well. And now, for the villain of the piece, Payne has chosen Devin Ratray, best known as Buzz McCallister from the first two Home Alone films. Read more after the jump.

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Paramount has finally given the go-ahead to Alexander Payne to shoot Nebraska, the father/son road trip movie he has been working to cast and get into production since the release of The Descendants. While his last film was a relatively audience-friendly affair — for Payne at least — that had obvious appeal thanks to the presence of George Clooney, Nebraska is a slightly tougher sell, at least to the people who make financial decisions at studios.

Payne plans to shoot the script (by Bob Nelson and Phil Johnston) in black and white, with Bruce Dern and Will Forte now confirmed to appear as an aging alcoholic and his son, who are derailed while on what seems at first like a simple cross-country drive. Read More »

Although there was a seven-year gap between Sideways and last year’s The Descendants, Alexander Payne seems eager to get going on his next project sooner rather than later. The filmmaker has begun casting for Nebraska, the black and white father-son road trip comedy he has set up at Paramount, and he now has top picks in mind for the two leads.

While names like Gene Hackman, Robert Duvall, Jack Nicholson, and Robert Forster have been rumored for the older role, and Casey Affleck and Paul Rudd have been floated for the younger, a new report indicates that Payne has ultimately settled on Bruce Dern and Will Forte for the central roles. More details after the jump.

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Watching this trailer for Francis Ford Coppola‘s new film, Twixt, you might have a difficult time understanding why the film was given a rapturous reception not long ago at Comic Con. This teaser, complete with Tom Waits voiceover, introduces Val Kilmer as a failing writer and Bruce Dern as a weirdo small-town sheriff, as well as the dream-characters V (Elle Fanning) and Edgar Allan Poe (Ben Chaplin). Seen outside of the unpredictable and electric performance atmosphere of the film’s Comic Con panel, Twixt looks like little more than a b-thriller with a bit of unusual ambition. Is that enough? Read More »

One word: inspiring. Today Francis Ford Coppola made his first appearance at the San Diego Comic Con since 1991, bringing with him the electronic musician Dan Deacon and actor Val Kilmer. Those two men were among his collaborators on a new film called Twixt, which is a sort of gothic horror story / murder mystery set in a small northern California town. But Twixt, the movie, was only part of the panel and, frankly, it was the least part of why today’s event is the best thing I’ve ever seen in Hall H at Comic Con.

The real hook with Twixt is what Mr. Coppola wants to do with it: he plans a 30-city tour later this year in which he and Dan Deacon, and possibly other talents, will create a dynamic assembly of the film as it plays to each audience. Essentially, they have a great deal of footage which adds up to a movie called Twixt, but depending upon where and when you see the presentation, you might see a totally different telling of the story than others. In other words: ‘Remixd’? Something like that.

There’s a lot of material to cover here, and I’ll begin with a description of the footage and then move into a recap of the panel, after the break. Read More »

I don’t know what I was expecting from Twixt, but this wasn’t quite it. Francis Ford Coppola‘s latest film (formerly Twixt Now and Sunrise) is a gothic thriller of a sort, but one inspired by Hawthorne and Poe, filmed partly in 3D and featuring a soundtrack by analog knob-tweaking electronic musician Dan Deacon.

The film will be previewed at Comic Con later this week — the director’s first visit to the San Diego event since 1991 — and now we’ve got the first image. The on-set snap features, obviously, Mr. Coppola, and also Elle Fanning in costume and makeup seemingly inspired by Delirium from Sandman. See a slightly larger version below. Read More »

Twenty years ago Francis Ford Coppola arrived at Comic Con with scenes from Bram Stoker’s Dracula in hand. The Con was then nothing like the massive entertainment industry showcase it is now, so it will be fun to see how the director takes to the massive crowds when he brings his new film, Twixt, to Hall H. Read More »

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