LEGO Cast Confirmed, More Story Info Revealed

We’ve heard some cast rumors for the LEGO film set to be directed by Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and 21 Jump Street directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, including names such as Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Chris Pratt and Morgan Freeman. Now all four are confirmed for the film, thanks to info from Village Roadshow Pictures and Warner Bros.

The title LEGO: The Piece of Resistance seems to have been abandoned for now, with the film just referred to as the 3D animated LEGO film for now. After the break we’ve got some plot info. Read More »

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To follow up their live-action debut 21 Jump Street, filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller are heading back into the world of animation with Warner Bros.’ 3D tentpole Lego: The Piece of Resistance. And they’re luring some very funny stars to go along with them.

Parks & Rec star Chris Pratt landed the lead role in June, with Will Arnett and possibly Channing Tatum up for the roles of Lego Batman and Lego Superman, respectively. Now Elizabeth Banks and Morgan Freeman have signed on to lend their voices to the animated 3D tentpole as well. More details after the jump.

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While any new work from Charlie Kaufman would’ve automatically piqued our interest, the more we heard about his second directorial effort Frank or Francis — musical numbers! animatronic robot heads! “ghost-like thumbs with a Romanian political agenda”! — the more intriguingly bizarre it sounded. Add in a top-shelf cast including Steve Carell, Jack Black, Kevin Kline, Catherine Keener, and Elizabeth Banks, and Frank or Francis was shaping up to become an absolute must-see.

But alas, it seems the project isn’t meant to be, or at least not yet. After months of the actors expressing their excitement for the project but admitting they didn’t know when it’d actually get going, Banks has finally confirmed that Frank or Francis has fallen apart. Read her comments after the jump.

UPDATE: The Playlist has heard from Kaufman’s reps, who say only that Frank or Francis is “postponed” for the time being.

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Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci made their name as a team crafting geek-friendly TV like Alias and Xena: Warrior Princess, before moving on to properties like the Transformers films, Mission: Impossible, the Star Trek reboot and the ‘swing and a miss’ film Cowboys & Aliens.

Now Alex Kurtzman has directed his first feature, People Like Us, written by the duo with Jody Lambert. (The movie was formerly called Welcome to People.) The movie isn’t a genre film, based on a licensed property, or anything along those lines. It is a story about the son (Chris Pine) of a father who maintained two families, and had kids with both. When his father dies, Pine’s character has to figure out how to handle a new relationship with Frankie (Elizabeth Banks), his half-sister from dad’s other family.

Check out the trailer below. Read More »

When Lionsgate began the task of adapting The Hunger Games for the screen, the odds were never in its favor. The book was too violent, too well-known and too hard to translate because not only was it about kids killing each other, it would also have to create a whole new world.

I’m happy to report that director/co-writer Gary Ross has made the impossible possible. With The Hunger Games he has made a rousing, highly-emotional, and epic film that will be engaging for new audiences and give chills to true fans. It’s hard to imagine someone making a better adaptation of Suzanne Collins‘ popular novel.

Major set pieces all carry the emotional resonance and excitement they deserve. Every single performance pops with life and energy. When changes are made, they’re made to streamline the huge story. Even so, the film never feels slight. If anything, at 2 hours and 22 minutes, it might be too long and a little more subtle than most audiences are used to. It demands us to infer and enjoy the ride. And we oblige.  Read More »

It’s not surprising that most of the marketing materials so far for What to Expect When You’re Expecting have focused primarily on the women. It’s inspired by a world-famous pregnancy manual, after all, and (Arnold Schwarzenegger in Junior notwithstanding) men don’t often get pregnant. But with a comedically gifted male cast that includes Chris Rock, Thomas Lennon, Ben Falcone, Rob Huebel, and Dennis Quaid, it’s about time we got to see what the dads have been up to. Watch the dude-centric new trailer after the jump.

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Of course that last The Hunger Games poster wasn’t really the final one, no matter what the marketing folks claimed. But I’m not complaining. Two more banners have just dropped, promoting the film’s recently announced IMAX run. One is very much in line with the earlier poster, showing Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) taking aim with her trademark bow and arrow, while the other shows a uniformed Katniss in her training gear. In addition, we have a dozen new character photos of Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), Effie (Elizabeth Banks), Caesar (Stanley Tucci), and more, fresh from the official website. Check ‘em out after the jump.

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The great, wacky 2001 comedy Wet Hot American Summer didn’t do any respectable box office business, but the deep goofiness of the film has generated a fervent cult following in the decade since its original release. It doesn’t hurt that the film featured a treasure trove of comic talent, some in the early stages of their careers: Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Showalter, Michael Ian Black, Zak Orth, A.D. Miles, Paul Rudd, Christopher Meloni, Molly Shannon, Ken Marino, Joe Lo Truglio, Amy Poehler, Elizabeth Banks and Bradley Cooper.

The film suggested the possibility of a sequel, and the sequel is a frequent object of inquiry when director David Wain or one of the primary cast members does an interview, even a decade later. In the last couple years, Wain has said that a sequel or prequel isn’t out of the question, despite the fact that Universal doesn’t seem to believe in the project, and several of the original cast members have a much higher quote now than they did a decade ago.

But there may be reason to rejoice, fans of WHAS: Michael Showalter now says that a sequel is “absolutely happening”! Read More »

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