David O. Russell

David O. Russell‘s got a knack for attracting great actors, but his next project could come with prominent A-listers already attached. Russell will reportedly write and direct the JFK assassination pic Legacy of Secrecy, featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook star Robert De Niro. The conspiracy drama posits that mafioso Carlos Marcello was behind the murder. Hit the jump for more details.

DiCaprio has been set to produce and star in the pic since 2010, while De Niro is a more recent addition. Based on the book of the same title by Lamar Waldron and Thom Hartmann, Legacy of Secrets hinges on mob kingpin Marcello’s confession to FBI informant Jack van Laningham that he was the one to order the killing.

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Briefly: Disney’s live-action retelling of Cinderella has been coming together over the past couple months, with Kenneth Branagh stepping in to direct after Mark Romanek moved on, and Cate Blanchett cast as the wicked stepmother who makes Cinderella’s life a minor hell.

Now, after a report that indicated Disney and Branagh were looking at Bella HeathcoteLily James, and Margot Robbie as possible fits for the glass slipper, Downton Abbey actress Lily James has won the role. There’s relatively little info beyond that — Disney’s press release announcing the casting is a terse two sentences — but we’ll likely hear more soon.  Richard Madden (Robb Stark on Game of Thrones) was floated as one possible choice to play the Prince, and with James cast the producers can figure out who’ll best play opposite her as the romantic lead.

Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada) wrote an early version of the script, and the current version was written by Chris Weitz (Twilight: New Moon).

In keeping with the film-a-year pace he’s kept up for decades now, Woody Allen has a new movie due out in 2013. Blue Jasmine sees the master filmmaker returning to the U.S., for the first time since 2009′s Whatever Works.

Allen’s keeping most of the plot details under wraps, as usual, but we know the movie will center around ”the final stages of an acute crisis and a life of a fashionable New York housewife.” The first image shows Cate Blanchett looking deeply unhappy while Sally Hawkins looks on impassively. Check it out after the jump.

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It wasn’t really a surprise when Mark Romanek moved away from directing Disney’s live-action version of Cinderella. The director’s sensibility has never seemed to be much in line with that of any major studio, and his track record with big studio projects didn’t bode well for this one.

Now, a director who is much more able to meld his approach to that of a studio is coming on board: Disney is in talks with Kenneth Branagh to direct Cate Blanchett in the film. Read More »

Briefly: Woody Allen continues to work at a pace that other directors can only dream of. He’s following To Rome With Love with a new film that stars Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, Bobby Cannavale, Louis C.K., Andrew Dice Clay, Sally Hawkins, Peter Sarsgaard and now Michael Stuhlbarg. And now the movie has a title, Blue Jasmine, and a distribution deal with Allen’s regular partner Sony Pictures Classics.

Allen scripted (of course) and the film follows “the final stages of an acute crisis and a life of a fashionable New York housewife.” In form typical to the director, that’s just about all we know beyond the cast roster. We do know the film will shoot in the US, making it the director’s first film at home since the 2009 release Whatever Works. The fact that this will be Allen’s fourth movie since that picture came out is a testament to his wonderfully relentless work habit. [THR]

The revisionist Snow White fable The Order of the Seven was scrapped several months ago, but prospective star Saoirse Ronan may get her shot at playing a Disney princess just yet. Provided she can beat out the competition, that is.

Along with Alicia Vikander (Anna Karenina) and Gabriella Wilde (Carrie), the Host actress is one of three names in the mix for Mark Romanek‘s live-action Cinderella adaptation. Whoever lands the gig will star opposite Cate Blanchett, who’s in negotiations to play the evil stepmother. More details after the jump.

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With Snow White and the Huntsman and Mirror, Mirror behind us and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Jack the Giant Slayer, and Maleficent all due out within the next couple of years, it’s clear the live-action fairy tale trend isn’t going away anytime soon. One of the more promising projects coming down the pipeline is Disney’s untitled Cinderella adaptation, which has Mark Romanek attached to direct from a script by Chris Weitz. Now casting seems to be off to a great start, with Cate Blanchett the first to board. More after the jump.

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Dreck like He’s Just Not That Into You and New Year’s Eve are proof that a star-studded ensemble isn’t everything — sometimes, it just means the studio was willing to cut sizable checks to A-listers for not very much work. But when a more promising picture books a bevy of top-shelf talent, it can’t help but add to the film’s allure.

Last week, Cate Blanchett and Bill Murray were the first stars announced as being attached to The Monuments Men, and now director/star George Clooney is beefing up his cast with even more recognizable names: Daniel Craig, Jean Dujardin, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville, and Bob Balaban. Eat your heart out, Argo. More details after the jump.

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