For the past several years, Juno Temple has alternated between mainstream projects and indie fare. And though 2012′s shaping up to be her biggest year yet, her basic M.O. is no different. Temple is poised to make her biggest splash yet in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises as Catwoman pal Holly Robinson, but first, she’ll be leading the indie coming-of-age tale Little Birds.

Written and directed by first-time helmer Elgin James, Little Birds revolves around Lily (Temple) and Alison (Kay Panabaker), a pair of teenage best friends stuck in a dreary ghost town on the Salton Sea. When an opportunity arises for the girls to start more exciting lives in Los Angeles, Lily jumps at the chance and Alison tags along for the ride. Before long, however, they find themselves in over their heads as they get increasingly involved in their new friends’ life of petty crime. Leslie Mann, Kate Bosworth, and Kyle Gallner also star. Watch the first trailer after the jump.

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The ‘special forces soldier versus Mexican gangs’ action film Protection has gone through a lot of changes. Originally to be directed by Simon West, the film got a new director in District 13: Ultimatum helmer Patrick Alessandrin. Paul Walker was originally the lead, then he was replaced by Clive Owen. Now the film has a new lead and needs a new director.

Dwayne Johnson is now attached to star in Protection, and Allessandrin has left the project, with no one yet replacing him. Brandon Noonan‘s script is still in play; it follows ” a disgraced former Special Forces soldier who takes on a Mexican cartel in an attempt to rescue and protect a judge’s 21 year-old daughter, who has been targeted by the cartel for agreeing to testify against one of its members after she witnesses her father’s murder.” Given all the movement on this one, it’s hard to believe we’ll see it any time soon, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Johnson do an actual action movie for a change. [The Wrap]

After the break, a host of actors for Goodnight Moon (not based on the kids’ bedtime book) and Emma Roberts does Homework. Read More »

Sundance Labs

Sundance has announced the 12 projects they have chosen for the 2009 Directors and Screenwriters lab. Why should you care? Well because the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program has hand picked some of the most original filmmakers of the last 28 years.

Here are some of the films that have come out of the program: Quentin Tarantino‘s Reservoir Dogs, Paul Thomas Anderson‘s Hard Eight, Kimberly Peirce‘s Boy’s Don’t Cry, Darren Aronofsky‘s Requiem for a Dream, John Cameron Mitchell‘s Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Peter Sollett‘s Raising Victor Vargas, Miranda July‘s Me and You and Everyone We Know, Ryan Fleck‘s Half Nelson, and most recently Cary Fukunaga‘s Sin Nombre and Alex Rivera‘s Sleep Dealer.

So, what 12 projects have been chosen for this year’s Summer labs? Find out after the jump.
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