When a project starts out with A-list leads like Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson, it’s not surprising when the supporting cast turns out to be equally impressive. Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, and Ruth Wilson have just joined the cast of Saving Mr. Banks, Disney’s drama about the making of Mary Poppins.

Though the film’s still in pre-production, it already boasts some serious pedigree, and not just in terms of acting talent: The Blind Side helmer John Lee Hancock is on board to direct from a Black List script by Kelly Marcel. More details after the jump.

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It seems like biopics and other similar true life stories are exploding in development right now, and we’ve got casting for three big ones. First up, the Jimi Hendrix film All is By My Side has just added a young Keith Richards. British actor Ashley Charles will play the Rolling Stones songwriter and guitarist.

John Ridley is directing the film now, with Andre Benjamin as Hendrix, and Hayley Atwell as Linda Keith, who during the story’s time frame was dating Richards. She ‘discovered’ Hendrix and tried to get the Stones management to work with him, to no avail. Keith Richards likely won’t play a big part in the film, which chronicles the days before Hendrix made it big.

Fun fact checking: let’s see how people refer to Richards in this film. In ’63 the Stones manager started listing the guitarist as Keith Richard, and it wasn’t until the ’70s that he once again became Richards.  [THR]

After the break, Donal Logue plays an important figure in the New York music scene, and Colin Farrell is in talks for the Mary Poppins film Saving Mr. Banks. Read More »

Lots to see in today’s Sequel Bits, including a DVD featurette, a blooper reel, a TV spot, posters, and a (not at all revealing) set photo. After the jump:

  • Another new TV spot debuts for Men in Black 3
  • Gary Busey goes nuts in Piranha 3DD outtakes
  • Watch a featurette from the Underworld: Awakening DVD
  • Simon Pegg and Zachary Quinto tweet wrapping Star Trek 2
  • Check out the Korean G.I. Joe: Retaliation posters
  • Donnie Yen is set to return for Ip Man 3D
  • Who wants to be an extra on Atlas Shrugged Part 2?

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You’ve seen them in trailers, clips, images and now /Film is proud to exclusively introduce you to the King and Queen of Disney/Pixar’s 2012 release, Brave: King Fergus and Queen Elinor. So, Fergus and Elinor, meet the online film community. Online film community, meet King Fergus and Queen Elinor.

Voiced by Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson respectively, the King and Queen are incredibly important to Brave as they represent the opposing views inside the main character Merida, a saucy Princess who wishes to be more outgoing and physical like her father, but is forced to try and be more prim and proper, like her mother. Those relationships are a key component in the film and, after the jump, you can see some brand new images of both characters as well as read their official biographies. Read More »

The way Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks is shaping up, we might as well pencil it in now for the 2014 Oscar race. Based on true events, Kelly Marcel‘s 2011 Black List script centers around company founder’s Walt Disney‘s 14-year effort to convince Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers to turn over the rights to her book. Since the early days, the project’s sought big names, with Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep said to be among the top choices to play the leads and The Blind Side helmer John Lee Hancock boarding the picture in late February. Now casting has begun in earnest, with Hanks in talks to play Walt Disney and Emma Thompson negotiating for the role of Travers.

So to recap: Bittersweet real-life drama, check. Best Picture-nominated director, check. Oscar-kissed stars, working on a double check. Yep, Saving Mr. Banks wants badly to be an awards contender, all right. More details after the jump.

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We already know all of you are pissed about Raging Bull 2. But if you’re wondering what Marty thinks, you’ll want to hit the jump to read his response. Plus:

  • True Lies 2 is probably still a ways off
  • Steven Seagal offered The Expendables 3
  • Anchorman 2 is being scripted as we speak
  • Cloverfield 2 isn’t official just yet
  • More new images from Men in Black 3
  • Another behind-the-scenes vid from Skyfall
  • Skyfall‘s trailer to debut before MIB 3

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

If you were hoping to see more Star Trek: The Original Series stars in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek 2, George Takei says you’re out of luck. If you’ve been waiting to see Emma Thompson step back into her Oscar-nominated role from In the Name of the Father as real-life human rights lawyer Gareth Peirce, on the other hand, things are looking up. After the jump:

  • Luke Wilson isn’t sure he’ll be back for Anchorman 2
  • … but he wouldn’t mind another Old School
  • A new behind-the-scenes video from Skyfall drops
  • Producer Jon Landau talks Avatars 2 and 3, briefly
  • Emma Thompson will reprise her role as Gareth Peirce
  • George Takei says not to expect TOS cameos in Star Trek 2
  • Another new Men in Black 3 television spot

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Michael Peña has called labor organizer Cesar Chavez his dream role, and now the actor is set to play the part in Chavez, which will be produced and directed by Diego Luna. That’s a great step up from supporting roles in films like Battle: Los Angeles, Tower Heist and The Lincoln Lawyer.

Peña will be joined by America Ferrera as Helen Chavez, and Rosario Dawson as Dolores Huerta. Variety says the film, scripted by Keir Pearson, “depicts Chavez organizing the largest non-violent protest in U.S. history to accomplish his ultimate goal of obtaining basic human rights for over 50,000 farm workers in California.”

Chavez will start shooting in Sonora, Mexico in April. Gael Garcia Bernal and John Malkovich are also among the film’s producers. This is Luna’s second film about a public figure, as his first directorial effort was the documentary J.C. Chavez, about Mexican boxer Julio Cesar Chavez.

After the break, Jennifer Beals produces and stars in a jazz-themed indie called The Lord of Vinyl, and the supernatural YA adaptation Beautiful Creatures gets a little addition from Project X. Read More »

This is a must-see. I know some opinions have been divided on Pixar’s upcoming film Brave. Personally, I was captured by the first teaser trailer and then felt as if the clip and full trailer that followed were a bit scattershot. I was left not really knowing what to expect from the film.

Now a Japanese trailer has surfaced for Brave, and I think it is the best look at the film yet. Doesn’t hurt that this trailer features a lot of new footage, and that much of that footage emphasizes the mystic aspects of the story, rather than the comic. (The title, as translated in this case, is even cool: Merida and the Frightening Forest.) Check it out below. Read More »