Steven Soderberg is prepping a movie called Side Effects, a film that he plans to shoot this spring and which will be one of his last two movies. The project ran into a snag recently when financier Megan Ellison and her Annapurna Pictures started to pull away. Part of the problem with the deal was reportedly the fact that Soderbergh wanted to cast Blake Lively in the lead female role. He was trying to push forward with that idea, but was willing to go with someone else if that casting proved problematic with other financiers.

We might assume that it did, because Lively’s role has now been given to Rooney Mara, star of David Fincher’s remake of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Read More »

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There are some changes going on with Steven Soderbergh‘s planned film Side Effects. The past couple months have seen reports of Soderbergh ditching The Man From UNCLE and taking up the Side Effects script by UNCLE and Contagion screenwriter Scott Z. Burns. In the past couple weeks there have been reports that Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Productions would finance Side Effects, with Open Road (The Grey) set to distribute after Summit decided not to pick up the film.

But Ellison has walked away from the film, for reasons that aren’t entirely clear. (Theorize if you like about the middling performance of last weekend’s Haywire opening being a factor.) With the departure of Ellison, some of the previously attached cast is in doubt. But there is one new addition: Soderbergh’ vet Catherine Zeta-Jones (Ocean’s Twelve, Traffic). Read More »

For me, the best part of the trailer for Adam Shankman‘s Rock of Ages is the prominent display of the Motorhead logo in the first few seconds. After that it’s all downhill. The film adapts the stage ‘jukebox musical’ with Diego Boneta and Julianne Hough playing wide-eyed kids caught up in the mid-’80s LA rock scene. Well, they’re caught up in a vision of that scene, at least, as filtered through comedy, nostalgia and the parameters of the movie musical. Check out the trailer below, which holds the reveal of Tom Cruise‘s rocker Stacee Jaxx until the very end. 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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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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As we’ve said in several pieces in the past, Rian Johnson‘s third film Looper (which follows Brick and The Brothers Bloom) is one of our most anticipated pictures in the next year or so. FilmDistrict and Tri-Star are releasing the film, and we’d hoped to see it sometime early next year. Sadly, we’re going to have to wait a bit longer than that. Tri-Star has set a date for the film: September 28, 2012. Read More »

FilmDistrict, the company spun off from Graham King’s GK FIlms, has been very busy at Cannes. The company has picked up distribution rights to the 3D version of Arabian Nights that we reported on a while back, starring Liam Hemsworth, as well as the Gerard Butler and Jessica Biel romcom Playing the Field.

And now that the lousy announcements are out of the way, there are these, too: FilmDistrict is teaming with TriStar to release Rian Johnson‘s film Looper (we just had the first still from that one on Friday) and Angelina Jolie‘s directorial debut, which now has the title In the Land of Blood and Honey. More info on all four films, after the break. Read More »

Malin Akerman Joins ‘Rock of Ages’

Gary Ross’ The Hunger Games isn’t the only movie that can dole out individual casting breaks on a daily basis. Adam Shankman‘s Rock of Ages — the movie version of the ‘jukebox musical’ that tells a tale of love and abition partially through the performances of anthemic ’80s tunes — seems to add a major name every other day.

The latest is Malin Akerman, who takes on the role that was originally intended for Anne Hathaway and then Amy Adams, both of whom bailed to do big comic book movies. (The Dark Knight Rises and Superman: The Man of Steel, respectively.) Can she sing? I’m not sure, but looking at the rest of the cast of the film, I’m not sure that it matters, either. Read More »

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