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 »

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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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George Clooney is no stranger to criminal activities. With films like Ocean’s Eleven, From Dusk Till Dawn, and Out of Sight, more often than you might remember, he plays a character who steals or kills for a living. Does that make him the perfect person to direct a film on the subject?

Earlier this year, Clooney signed on to star and direct Monuments Men, the true story of art historians who attempted to protect the world’s greatest pieces of art from a thieving Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. He’s been trying to get the film together (along with another movie) and it seems that Sony has now agreed to split the cost of this one with 20th Century Fox. That should help get the film going sooner, as well the attachment of Cate Blanchett and Bill Murray in unspecified roles. Read more after the jump. Read More »

Next week we’ll likely see some new footage from Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit: An Unexpected journey, but for now let’s have a gander at ten new photos from the film. Pete mentioned EW’s cover story on the film in passing earlier today, but the site also has a whole batch of images that some of you won’t want to miss.

That’s Martin Freeman in warrior pose as Bilbo, above, and after the break you’ll get a look at Gollum, as well as at Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Hugo Weaving as Elrond, and a bunch of dwarves stuffed into barrels for a river escape. Since Comic Con could ignite the whole “does shooting/projecting at 48fps suck or does it not?” conversation, for now let’s just check out the revival of Jackson’s vision of Middle-Earth. Read More »

Woody Allen‘s latest film will be his first to shoot in the US in almost a decade, but that might not be the big reason to pay attention to it. The film just added three cast members, and they’re quite a set. One of them is a great surprise: Louis C.K., a man we know is a fan of Allen’s work if only for the homage he paid Manhattan in the third season of Louie. Another is also a surprise, but a much more surreal one: Andrew Dice Clay, whose comic sensibility is everything a classic Allen character would claim to hate, but might secretly love. Then, to balance things out, we have Peter Sarsgaard.

A bit more info on the film follows. Read More »

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