With just days to go until Oscar nominations are announced, the Writers Guild of America has unveiled its list of nominees for their top screenplay awards. As expected, many of these are films that have picked up plenty of accolades already. It’ll surprise no one to see that Zero Dark ThirtyMoonrise Kingdom, and Lincoln are among the contenders. But they’ve made room for some more offbeat choices as well, including LooperPerks of Being a Wallflower, and The Master. (Jason Reitman should be pleased.) Hit the jump to see the list.

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Amongst even the most fervent Quentin Tarantino fans, the subject of Death Proof is touchy — is it a good film, or not? I love the movie, seeing it as precisely the sort of grindhouse movie that it hoped to replicate, with a layer of commentary thrown in for good measure. But Tarantino stirred up new conversation about the film today with comments in a long interview about the fact that he hopes Death Proof ends up judged as the least of his films.

The beginning of awards season each year sees THR assembling talent in one room for great roundtables, and this year the director roundtable features Ang Lee, Tom Hooper, Ben Affleck, David O. Russell, Gus Van Sant, and the dominating presence of Tarantino.

The comment about Death Proof may have been the most attention-getting thing Tarantino said, but he had a lot more to offer, from a breakdown of his own writing and directing process, to plans to write books (novels and film criticism) after he stops actively directing. And the end of his directorial career seems prompted by technological change, as the move to digital projection leaves him cold.

And there’s a lot more, too — while Tarantino tends to dominate the conversation, each of the participants has great stuff to add about the business of directing. It’s worth an hour of your time to watch the whole thing. Read More »

David O. Russell and The Fighter were good to Christian Bale — they gave the actor a chance to really dig deep into a role rich with dramatic potential, and he took home an Oscar for it. Now Bale is going back to work for Russell, in the film once called American Bullshit, which is working without a title for now.

Bale joins Bradley Cooper, fellow Fighter vet Amy Adams, and Jeremy Renner in the film, which is based on a true story of a con man recruited to take down other con men. Read More »

When Bradley Cooper stepped up to replace Mark Wahlberg in David O. Russell‘s Silver Linings Playbook, it seems he took over for the former Fighter star in more ways than one. Where Russell once spoke excitedly of his plans with Wahlberg, these days it’s Cooper who apparently serves as his muse.

Although Silver Linings Playbook hasn’t hit theaters yet, the pair are clearly eager to keep a good thing going. Russell cast Cooper in the untitled Abscam sting movie (formerly titled American Bullshit) several months back, and now the duo are eyeing another reunion in the Navy SEAL biopic American Sniper. More after the jump.

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David O. Russell‘s experience working with his Silver Linings Playbook star Robert De Niro must’ve been a good one, because the pair are already looking to reunite. Nope, not for a sequel — Russell and De Niro are headed to CBS, for a new legal drama written by Game Change scribe Danny Strong.

The plot will center around a fictionalized version of real-life defense attorney duo Murray and Stacey Richman. The father-daughter pair are as well known for their outsized personalities as for their high-profile clients, which include Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, and the Genovese and Lucchese crime families. More details after the jump.

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Turns out David O. Russell‘s going to have himself a The Fighter reunion on the set of his upcoming crime drama after all — it just won’t be with Christian Bale. Though we learned yesterday that Bale had dropped out of the project formerly titled American Bullshit, to be replaced by Jeremy Renner, today comes news that Bale and Russell’s Fighter colleague Amy Adams has signed on for the film. She joins Renner and Bradley Cooper in the film, which is based on the real-life FBI “Abscam” sting of the ’70s and ’80s. Read more after the jump.

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When we last checked in on David O. Russell‘s crime drama American Bullshit, it was looking like a double reunion for the director. His Oscar-winning The Fighter actor Christian Bale was rumored for one of the leads, while Silver Linings Playbook star Bradley Cooper was in talks for the other.

Since then, however, Bale’s dropped out, and Russell’s now adding another fast-rising star to the roster. The ubiquitous Jeremy Renner is reportedly negotiating to replace Bale as FBI agent Jimmy Boyle, who teams up with “the world’s greatest con man” (Cooper) for a sting. Oh, and the movie’s not called American Bullshit any more — it’s going without a title at the moment until filmmakers and marketers can come up with something less profane. Read more details after the jump.

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Jennifer Lawrence exploded as a great new talent thanks to Winter’s Bone, and some of her major roles that followed (such as X-Men: First Class, and The Hunger Games) had her playing a variation on the young girl who steps up to adult responsibility in a big way.

So it’s a joy to see her in footage from David O. Russell‘s new film Silver Linings Playbook. This is Lawrence playing a really adult sort of role, as she is a woman with some pretty serious, if occasionally gently comic mental issues. The film nominally revolves around Bradley Cooper, playing a guy recently released from institutionalization and trying to segue back into “real” life with the help of his parents (Jacki Weaver and Robert De Niro). He meets Lawrence, and their particular problems seem to mesh. Oh, and Chris Tucker shows up, too.

The film looks like a partial return to the sort of story on which Russell cut his teeth (think Flirting With Disaster and Spanking the Monkey), though there seems to be a lighter, more generally crowd-pleasing third act here. Lawrence looks great in the role, and Cooper also seems to be expanding under Russell’s tutelage. (Something that we’ve seen other actors do in the past.)

Check out the trailer below. Read More »

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