Oliver Stone is quickly locking down the cast for Savages, the adaptation of Don Winslow‘s novel about two pot dealers (Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch) whose mutual girlfriend (Blake Lively) is kidnapped by a drug cartel (Salma Hayek and Benicio del Toro) in an effort to coerce the guys into bowing to the cartel’s will. John Travolta and Uma Thurman also signed on, with that casting announced just hours ago.

Now Emile Hirsch, the great young(ish) actor who seems to do a spate of films then drop off the radar for a while, is in the film playing a role that is yet to be announced. That makes quite a cast so far — while it is difficult to get excited about John Travolta of late, the collection of people is a pretty serious lineup. Is this going to be the movie where Oliver Stone really roars back to life? [Variety]

After the break, while Ralph Fiennes remains a possible addition to the next James Bond film, he’s also in line for a part in Mike Newell’s new version of Great Expectations. Read More »

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Mike Newell will follow up Prince of Persia, not quite a modern classic, with a new take on a genuine classic and perennial enemy of disinterested English classes across America. He’ll direct a new version of Great Expectations as part of a year-long celebration of the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens‘ birth, in 2012. Read More »

simon

There is little doubt in the minds of many critics and cultured viewers that any single season of The Wire would be perched near or atop the best films of the decade if it qualified. In a new eight-page interview with Vice, the writer and creator behind all five seasons of the HBO series, David Simon, offers characteristically solid, amusing no-bullshit insight into how The Wire was created.

Even post-finale, any casual conversation about The Wire is akin to slitting open the belly of a five-headed Jaws, and Simon dives in afresh. The series’ overarching theme, he says, is that, “Human beings—in [America] in particular—are worth less and less.” He also extends on why Charles Dickens “punked out” and why seasons weren’t set aside to tackle immigration and health care. What’s the main thematic difference between The Wire and his new, New Orleans set HBO series, Treme? Simon’s impassioned explanation, after the jump…

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