Murder on the Orient Express casting / Daisy Ridley as Rey in Star Wars The Force Awakens

Director Kenneth Branagh seemed to have his work cut out for him when it came to casting his Murder on the Orient Express remake. Sidney Lumet’s 1974 version was a star-studded affair, featuring Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Jacqueline Bisset, Sean Connery, Anthony Perkins, and Vanessa Redgrave. Could any new cast in 2016 possibly compare?

Well, we won’t know for sure until the new film opens in theaters, but it does seem to be off to a great start in terms of star power. Branagh himself is leading the Agatha Christie adaptation as detective Hercule Poirot, and yesterday we learned Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer had also hopped on board. Today, a new report adds several more big names to the passenger list including Daisy RidleyJudi DenchMichael Peña, and Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr. Find out who’s playing whom below. Read More »

Not even a long, tryptophan-fueled weekend can slow down the Star Wars talk. After the jump:

  • Jon Favreau raises eyebrows by tweeting about Stormtroopers
  • Sir Derek Jacobi wants in on the new Star Wars trilogy
  • Carrie Fisher was kidding about being cast in Star Wars VII
  • Longtime producer Rick McCallum has retired from Lucasfilm
  • A screenwriter says timing will be tricky on Star Wars VII

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Almost three years back, Emma Thompson and her husband Greg Wise starting to drop info about a script they’d written called Effie, which would follow Victorian art critic, social thinker and poet John Ruskin, who had a strange and ultimately disastrous marriage to a woman named Euphemia ‘Effie’ Gray. Ruskin couldn’t consummate the marriage, and Effie finally fell for Ruskin’s protege John Everett Millais.

A few different actresses have been attached or rumored for the role of Effie Gray, most notably Carey Mulligan and Saoirse Ronan. Now the film is finally coming together with Richard Laxton (An Englishman in New York) directing and Dakota Fanning playing Effie. Read More »

For his latest film, Anonymous, Roland Emmerich departs from his established world-busting pattern…or does he? While the film doesn’t feature scenes of overt global destruction as per 2012 and Independence Day, the movie does seek to drop a bomb on the literary world by taking seriously the conspiracy theory that says the works of William Shakespeare were in fact penned by someone else.

The cast is quite good (Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, Joely Richardson, David Thewlis, Xavier Samuel, Sebastian Armesto, Rafe Spall, Edward Hogg, Jamie Campbell Bower and Derek Jacobi) and now you can get a taste of how this particular dramatic experiment plays out by checking out the trailer below. Read More »

Proving once more that the work of William Shakespeare is versatile enough to power a story with just about any genre trappings, here’s Henry 5, which glues together a stellar cast — Michael Caine, Ray Winstone, Gerard Depardieu and Derek Jacobi — in what appears to be a sci-fi or apocalyptic version of Henry V. It boasts the tagline “How will they justify why they went to war.” Hm. Couldn’t someone have come up with a more topical angle? More details after the break. Read More »

Tom Hooper‘s film The King’s Speech won the People’s Choice Award (aka top prize) at the Toronto Film Festival, and wowed audiences just a week prior at Telluride. Now there’s a trailer for the picture, which suggests that the film is every bit the crowd-pleaser it is said to be. Read More »

there-be-dragons-1

Fair warning: this teaser trailer for Roland Joffe‘s Spanish Civil War tale There Be Dragons has actually been online since the summer, but we’d completely missed its existence until the recent launch of a new website to promote the film. Joffe’s film sounds superficially like it falls right into the middle of a classic conceit: we see two brothers, one of whome becomes a priest, the other a fascist spy.

But the movie is also about St. Josemaría Escrivá, founder of the Catholic organization Opus Dei, aka ‘work of God,’ which ” teaches that everyone is called to holiness and that ordinary life is a path to sanctity.” And in case that’s a turn-off (it shouldn’t be!) the trailer looks purdy. Read More »