Seth MacFarlane‘s first foray into feature filmmaking, Ted, was an unqualified success, grossing over $500 million on a $50 million budget and even picking up some strong reviews along the way. Naturally, then, he’s having no trouble recruiting strong talents for his sophomore effort, A Million Ways to Die in the West. Charlize Theron and Amanda Seyfried are already on board to star, and now they’re being joined by Giovanni Ribisi and Liam Neeson. Hit the jump to read more.

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Once Seth MacFarlane is done hosting the Oscars in a couple weeks, he’ll move on to directing the feature follow-up to his 2012 hit Ted. That film will not be Ted 2, however. It will be A Million Ways To Die In The West, a comedy western in the mold of Blazing Saddles. MacFarlane will star and it now seems Charlize Theron is nearing a deal to play opposite the Family Guy creator. She’d be playing one of two love interests for MacFarlane’s character. There are more plot details below. Read More »

A Thomas Pynchon novel is really, truly headed to the big screen from a reputable director. And that director is Paul Thomas Anderson — what a wonderful world this is!

Anderson took quite a long time to finance, make and release The Master, which hit theaters five years after his previous film, There Will Be Blood. But if there’s any justice, his follow-up to The Master could hit in 2014. Reports now say that he plans to shoot Inherent Vice, based on Pynchon’s novel, this spring. We knew he wanted to shoot the film this year, but we’ll be excited every time the start date gets closer to finalization. That’s quite a shortened turnaround time for the director.  Read More »

It’s not every actor that can steal a scene right out from under Philip Seymour Hoffman’s nose, but in The Master, Joaquin Phoenix did just that. No wonder, then, that director Paul Thomas Anderson is eager to reunite with him on his next movie. Phoenix is now in talks to join Anderson’s Thomas Pynchon adaptation Inherent Vice, replacing long-attached star Robert Downey Jr. Read more about the casting updates after the jump.

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Thomas Pynchon fans have reason to celebrate this year. The reclusive author (is Pynchon’s name ever mentioned without the word “reclusive”?) has announced the imminent publication of a new novel, for one. And his previous novel, Inherent Vice, is the subject of an adaptation effort by none less than Paul Thomas Anderson.

Pynchon’s novels have never yet been the basis for a major film, though his influence has been felt in small ways in more than a few movies in the past. Inherent Vice will be the first major film based on a Pynchon novel, and it benefits from quite a creative team. Anderson is writing, possibly with the help of Pynchon himself, and Robert Downey Jr. has long been in place as the likely choice to play the central character, burnout detective “Doc” Sportello.

And now Charlize Theron is reported as a likely addition as well. Read More »

Where to start with the big remake news of the past twenty-four hours? How about with the version of Park Chan-wook’s Sympathy for Lady Vengeance that Charlize Theron has been trying to make for so long that when it cropped up again today, many people thought it was new. The third film in Park’s “Vengeance Trilogy” features a woman released from prison after years-long confinement for a murder she didn’t commit. After her release, she sets in motion a complex revenge plan.

Back in ’08 Theron was linked to the remake as a producer, and it hasn’t gone anywhere since then. But now Annapurna Pictures (The Master, Lawless) is backing it, with William Monahan (The Departed, London Boulevard) scripting and Theron set to star. That’s a good collection of talent, and Monahan explained in a statement today, “this will be very American — and very unexpected.” There’s no director yet.

After the break, proto-slasher thriller The Town That Dreaded Sundown gets a remake. Read More »

It looks like this new Mad Max film is really happening, at long last. George Miller wrote and has planned to direct Mad Max: Fury Road, but the production has been delayed to the point where we wondered if it might evaporate in the African sun. The film has been discussed as the possible kick-off of a new trilogy, but first it has to shoot.

Stars Tom Hardy (who plays the new Mad Max) and Charlize Theron have both said shooting starts within weeks, and Theron has been spotted sporting a closely-cropped haircut, presumably for the role.

Now Fury Road has added another actor: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who made the jump from Victoria’s Secret model to actress thanks to Michael Bay and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Read More »

Briefly: Shakespeare in Love and The Debt director John Madden had a pretty good spring thanks to the $100m global take of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, but now he’s going into a new mode with a new mystery. A Murder Mystery, to be exact, as Madden will make shoot a film with that title from a script by James Vanderbilt (The Amazing Spider-Man, Zodiac).

Co-producing and in talks to star is Charlize Theron, who has her own run this summer thanks to Snow White and the Huntsman and Prometheus. The film is called an “affectionate deconstruction” of a story in the vein of Agatha Christie tales, and features “comedy, action, and mystery” as an American couple travels abroad.

I like the idea of the guy who wrote Zodiac putting together a comic take on the classic whodunnit, and I like the idea of Theron taking a moment to do a solid comic turn in the same sort of project. We’ll watch for more details on the script, and hope that Madden doesn’t keep things too fluffy. [Deadline]

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