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Briefly: Neill Blomkamp is following Elysium with the film Chappie, in which a couple of gangster steal a robot named Chappie, which ends up adopted into “a very strange and dysfunctional family.” Sharlto Copley is providing the voice of Chappie, and Hugh Jackman and Dev Patel are cast as well.

Now Sigourney Weaver has joined the cast of the film. We don’t know the specifics on her role, but given that “dysfunctional family” aspect of the story, it’s possible to imagine she’s the matriarch of that setup.

Sony has set a March 27, 2015 date for the film. The following is what we’ve known of the story so far: “Chappie tells the story of a robot imbued with artificial intelligence who is stolen by two local gangsters who want to use him for their own nefarious purposes. The film will star Sharlto Copley as the voice of Chappie, with Ninja and Yolandi Visser, voices of the South African Zef counter-culture movement and members of rap-rave duo Die Antwoord, as the two gangsters.” [Variety]

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Dev Patel

Actor Dev Patel spent much of his feature film debut, Slumdog Millionaire, trying to escape the slums, but for his next role he may head back into them. The British actor has entered early talks for Neill Blomkamp‘s sci-fi comedy Chappie. He’d play the human lead opposite Blomkamp’s District 9 and Elysium star Sharlto Copley, who’s been attached to play a robot for months. Hit the jump for more details on the project.

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On the long list of professions people are surely curious to learn more about, you’d have to think “pornography” is near the top of the list. The taboo explicit sex genre has been at been the focus of interesting movies of all tones: dramatic (Boogie Nights), comedic (Zack and Miri Make a Porno) or real life (Inside Deep Throat). A new addition to that list, Stephen Elliot‘s About Cherry, tries to give the industry a real-world dramatic view. Its been on the festival circuit for the majority of the year, is currently on demand, and opens in limited release this week.

Ashley Hinshaw plays a young girl who gets slowly seduced into the world of pornography and sees it change everything around her. A decidedly NSFW red band trailer is now on line featuring lots of nudity as well as supporting performances from James Franco, Heather Graham, Dev Patel and Lili Taylor. Check it out below. Read More »

The mantra that “sex sells” remains as true now as it ever did, but sometimes what sex is selling turns out not to be all that interesting. That appears to be the case with About Cherry, Stephen Elliott‘s flat-looking indie about a gorgeous 18-year-old who falls into the porn industry.

Ashley Hinshaw stars as said protagonist, who’s eager to escape a sad home life with an alcoholic mom (Lili Taylor) and an abusive stepdad (Stephen Wiig). She sees a way out when a rocker boyfriend (Jonny Weston) lures her into light porn, and before long she’s pursuing a more serious career under the guidance of star-turned-director Margaret (Heather Graham). Dev Patel and James Franco also star. Watch the trailer after the jump.

HBO has released a second full length trailer for Aaron Sorkin‘s return to television — The Newsroom. In the series, Jeff Daniels plays “a big-time, buttoned-up news anchor who finally lets his real personality fly, and then has to deal with the career fallout that results.” Watch the trailer embedded after the jump, and leave your thoughts in the comments below. Read More »

Ellen Burstyn gets political, while Mitt Romney goes Hollywood. After the jump:

  • Ellen Burstyn is Sigourney Weaver’s mom in Politcal Animals
  • Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney could cameo on SNL
  • Relax: Maggie Smith is not leaving Downton Abbey yet
  • DirecTV and Starz renew their distribution deal
  • A first look at the cast of Aaron Sorkin’s Newsroom
  • … the premiere of which will feature Jesse Eisenberg’s voice
  • The first episode of HBO’s new comedy Girls is now online
  • True Blood unveils a playful new teaser for Season 5
  • Fringe has shot two different endings, in case it gets cancelled

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Aaron Sorkin returns to television with The Newsroom, and this first trailer makes the show out to be so very Aaron Sorkin. For fans of The West Wing and Sports Night, that’s probably all you need to hear.

For those who aren’t predisposed to love Sorkin’s work, here’s the attraction in The Newsroom: Jeff Daniels, playing a big-time, buttoned-up news anchor who finally lets his real personality fly, and then has to deal with the career fallout that results. There are a few potential red flags in this trailer: Sorkin’s near-trademark treatment of women; the possibility that the main figure is a political mouthpiece in search of a character; and a reliance once more on Sorkin’s classic “one man fighting the good fight” approach.

But good lord, Jeff Daniels just looks great. He’s an actor that is often dismissed, I think, and the brief couple minutes of this trailer may be enough to change that for many people. Read More »

Every once in a while porn comes back around to being a subject for mainstream cinema, and we’re edging towards that point again. Not quite ‘mainstream,’ perhaps, as both competing biopics about Linda Lovelace are indies, as is Cherry, which follows a young woman’s entry into the business.

Cherry premiered last week at the Berlin film festival to middling reviews. It stars Ashley Hinshaw (Chronicle) as a young woman who is slowly drawn into the skin trade, first by an enthusiastic boyfriend (Jonny Weston), then by an older lawyer (James Franco). The film also stars Heather Graham, Dev Patel and Lili Taylor, and is written by porn veteran Lorelei Lee. We don’t have any distribution info on Cherry at this point, but you can check out a trailer below. Read More »

HBO Picks Up Aaron Sorkin’s Cable News Drama

After some notable success in the world of feature films, Aaron Sorkin will be making his triumphant return to television with a brand-new drama about the goings-on at a fictional cable news network. A Greg Mottola-directed pilot has already been shot, and HBO has now given the greenlight to an entire season of the hourlong show. Formerly titled More as This Story Develops, the series revolves around a cable news anchor Will McCallister (Jeff Daniels) and his tough executive producer Mackenzie (Emily Mortimer) as they attempt to get their show back on track after a massive staff shake-up. Read more after the jump.

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