After taking a hiatus for the birth of her son, Natalie Portman is gearing up to get back to work. Portman, who won Best Actress at last year’s Academy Awards, has found her first post-Oscar roles in two upcoming Terrence Malick films, Knight of Cups and Lawless. Details on the two films are still scarce, but given the combination of Malick, Portman, and her co-stars on the two projects, I’m pretty excited all the same. More details after the jump.

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Ten years ago this week The Fellowship of the Ring was released. Peter Jackson‘s first Tolkien adaption silenced a great many naysayers who said J.R.R. Tolkien‘s novels could never be properly translated to film. It also fostered a mainstream interest in fantasy movies that continues a decade later.

The development of a film based on Tolkien’s original Middle-Earth novel, The Hobbit, was the subject of speculation as soon as Jackson started work on The Lord of the Rings. Actually making the movie was a terrifically complicated process that involved rights deals, the financial solvency of MGM, a long period of development under original director Guillermo del Toro, and the eventual return of Peter Jackson to the director’s chair.

Now the first teaser trailer — a long teaser, at that — has been released for the first of two films based on the novel. Get the first look at footage from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, after the break. Read More »

I don’t know what meds Terrence Malick started taking last year, but I like the result. From 1973 to 2011, the director released only five films. Now he has another four in the pipeline. Malick took years finishing The Tree of Life and is still reportedly working on the IMAX doc Voyage of Time. That latter film is new project number one.

He has already shot a film that may or may not be called The Burial, which features Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Javier Bardem and Rachel Weisz. That’s number two. And he has been prepping a movie with Christian Bale and newcomer Haley Bennett, which shot partially at the Austin City Limits fest in mid-September. That’s number three, and the title has been revealed as Lawless.

In addition to those, he has a fourth film on the docket, also with Bale: Knight of Cups. Details on both of those last two films are after the break. Read More »

At this point what more is there to say about yet another dwarf reveal from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey? (Other than, perhaps, “uh, where’s Thorin?”) Here is the latest image dispatch from Peter Jackson‘s version of Middle-Earth, featuring Ken Stott as Balin (on the left) and Graham McTavish as Dwalin.

These two guys are peers, more or less, for Thorin, the dwarf who assembles the company that travels from the Shire to the Misty Mountain. We’ll likely see Thorin next week, and hopefully a couple of the new human character, too. In the meantime, see the full new image below. Read More »

As fans eagerly await Peter Jackson‘s next video diary from the set of The Hobbit, the super-interactive director has begun a new feature on his Facebook page. Jackson will, once again, be answering 20 specially selected questions over the next few months and the first one is now up. The question is:

Are we going to see the White Council attacking Dol Guldor?

Jackson’s answer not only gives an idea of the scope of these films (which were just given official release dates and titles) , but reveals an exclusive new image. Don’t worry, it’s spoiler free and a little bit of a joke. Read what he had to say, what the question means and check out the image after the break. Read More »

Warner Bros/New Line Cinema and MGM have announced the start of production on The Hobbit in New Zealand, which includes a full update on the signed cast (many of which have been previously announced or rumored, but a couple new additions):

Martin Freeman takes the title role as Bilbo Baggins and Ian McKellen returns in the role of Gandalf the Grey. The Dwarves are played by Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield), Ken Stott (Balin), Graham McTavish (Dwalin), William Kircher (Bifur) James Nesbitt (Bofur), Stephen Hunter (Bombur), Rob Kazinsky (Fili), Aidan Turner (Kili), Peter Hambleton (Gloin), John Callen (Oin), Jed Brophy (Nori), Mark Hadlow (Dori) and Adam Brown (Ori). Reprising their roles from “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy are Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Andy Serkis as Gollum and Elijah Wood as Frodo. Jeffrey Thomas and Mike Mizrahi also join the cast as Dwarf Kings Thror and Thrain, respectively. Further casting announcements are expected.

Director Peter Jackson has also launched a facebook page which will be updated throughout the production. The first updates includes two production photos featuring Jackson in a couple of the completed sets. Hit the jump to see everything.
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One of the soon-to-be-released films that’s currently flying under the radar is Hanna, directed by Joe Wright and starring Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett. Focusing on a young girl trained as an assassin by her father, we’ve already seen a domestic and international trailer and now we’ve got two clips adding up to three minutes of footage and a slew of slick new images including an upgraded poster. Word around the campfire is that Wright has a winner with Hanna, a blend of Hit Girl in Kick Ass with the emotion of Leon: The Professional complete with cool music by The Chemical Brothers and a compelling story wrapped around it all. Form your own opinion by checking out the material after the jump. Hanna will be released April 8. Read More »

‘Hanna’ International Trailer

Hanna

Focus Features has released a new international movie trailer for Joe Wright‘s Hanna, which stars Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones) as a 16-year-old killing machine in. Saoirse plays the title character in Hanna, who has been “raised from childhood to be the perfect assassin by her ex-CIA man father (Eric Bana) in rural Finland.” Wright is probably best known for his period dramas Atonement and Pride & Prejudice. Hanna is a different type of film: an action/adventure/thriller. The film also stars Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett (Robin Hood), Eric Bana (Star Trek), and Niels Arestrup (Un Prophète).

The film looks completely different from Wright’s recent filmography, movies like Atonement and Pride & Prejudice. Watch the trailer now embedded after the jump. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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