As much time and money and effort as Hollywood pours into big-budget franchises, only a handful manage to make a real lasting impression on moviegoers. But the best of them live on long after the last installment has hit theaters, and one that falls into that category is Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter series.

From 2001 to 2011, the studio released eight films based on J.K. Rowling‘s books. Collectively, they’re are one of the most successful cinematic series of time by any standard — critically, commercially, culturally. Even now, after all the cast and crew have moved onto other projects, fans still harbor a deep affection for the Boy Who Lived.

In tribute to the beloved fantasy saga, Kees Van Dijkhuizen Jr. has edited together a gorgeous thirteen-minute retrospective titled “Mischief Managed.” Hit the jump to watch his video, and be warned that you may get a lump in your throat once John Williams‘ iconic theme kicks in.

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Jennifer Connelly was one of the earliest names being rumored for Darren Aronofsky‘s Noah, with The Tracking Board preemptively announcing her casting as Naameh, wife of Noah (Russell Crowe) all the way back in April. However, while a slew of other names including Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth, Emma Watson, and Ray Winstone have boarded the cast over the past several weeks, her status has remained uncertain. As of several days ago, we were even hearing that Julianne Moore was in consideration for the role originally said to Connelly’s.

But sometimes even apparently unfounded rumors turn out to have some truth to them, and this is one of those times. Various outlets are now reporting that Connelly has finally received an official offer, and is now in negotiations to join Aronofsky’s Biblical epic. More details after the jump.

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During the tail end of the Harry Potter series, we began to wonder what would happen to the young leads once the last movie wrapped. Hollywood, after all, is full of one-time kid stars who were never able to replicate their early success, or worse, who fall off the rails altogether. But so far, it seems like we have nothing to worry about from that cast.

Emma Watson in particular seems to be transitioning out of Hogwarts with ease. Her first post-Potter job was a supporting part in My Week with Marilyn, and over the next couple of years we’ll also see her in the YA adaptation The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring. But her newest role sounds like it could be the most intriguing yet. Watson has entered talks to board Darron Aronofsky‘s biblical passion project Noah, joining Russell Crowe, Douglas Booth, and her Wallflower co-star Logan Lerman. More details after the jump.

UPDATE: After posting this story, we also got wind of some new names being eyed. Hit the jump to find out who.

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Having established himself as an in-demand actor, writer, and producer, Seth Rogen is now moving into directing. Or co-directing, to be more exact, with frequent collaborator Evan Goldberg. The pair recently began shooting their first directorial effort together, the apocalyptic comedy The End of the World. And while it remains to be seen just how they’ll do in their newfound role as co-helmers, it appears that their past work has allowed them to call in some favors and collect quite a cast.

Among the various stars set to populate the upcoming movie are Rogen himself, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Aziz Ansari, Rihanna, and many, many more.

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Let’s look past the current summer movie for just a second to take a look at a couple of works that are a bit farther off on the horizon. Sofia Coppola‘s fact-based The Bling Ring stars Harry Potter actress Emma Watson as the leader of a band of fame-obsessed thieves who steal from the likes of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, while David Fincher‘s Netflix miniseries House of Cards stars Kevin Spacey as a ruthless politician who’ll stop at nothing to claw his way to the top. Check out the first official photos from both after the jump.

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Until very recently, it looked like Harry Potter director David Yates and the former Hermione Granger, Emma Watson, would reunite to make a film based on the memoir Your Voice in My Head. The book tells the story of a young journalist who attempts suicide but is tethered back to life by a friendship with her psychiatrist. It was an interesting choice after Warner Bros. wooed Yates for a couple of much more obvious ‘big’ films, but also a promising one.

Now the film won’t happen in that configuration. Yates has moved on, reportedly for reasons having to do with a family health issue. Meanwhile, it seems like the show will go on. Read More »

The writing team of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have obviously made a bunch of talented friends writing films like Superbad, Pineapple Express and The Green Hornet. Many of those friends also happen to be huge movie stars and the pair, who’ll soon make their directorial debut with End Of The World, are calling in the cavalry.

The film, which was previously called The Apocalypse and is based on the short Jay and Seth vs. the Apocalypse, will star Rogen and Jay Baruchel as two friends in an apartment as the world ends. Cameos from James Franco, Danny McBride, Aziz Ansari, Jonah Hill and Craig Robinson have already been revealed and now several new names have been added to the list: Michael Cera, Jason Segel, David Krumholtz, Rihanna and Emma Watson.

The first three, much like the five before that, all make sense. Each of the actors have appeared in a previous project connected to Rogen or Goldberg. The last names though, Watson – best known as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films – and Rihanna, who’s acting debut Battleship opens later this month, seem a bit more out of left field. Especially since all of the above actors will be playing themselves. There’s more after the jump. Read More »

One of the last two films Steven Soderbergh plans to shoot before retiring from directing is The Bitter Pill, a thriller scripted by Scott Z. Burns (The Informant!, Contagion) that follows a troubled and highly medicated woman (Rooney Mara) who is dealing with her anxiety pending the release of her husband (Channing Tatum) from prison.

The promising actress Vinessa Shaw (Two Lovers, pictured above, and 3:10 to Yuma) is now set to play the wife of one of Mara’s doctors, who will be portrayed by Jude Law. After The Bitter Pill, Soderbergh will move on to his Liberace biopic for HBO, and then he’s done. (So he says.) [Deadline]

After the break, Ray Liotta lives with chemistry and Stanley Tucci joins two Harry Potter veterans. Read More »

I don’t know how she’s doing it, but Kristen Bell‘s been booking roles almost faster than we can write them up this week. Hot on the heels of news that she’d been cast in Disney’s Frozen and the Neil LaBute adaptation Some Girls, Bell has also landed a part in the dramedy Writers. Recent additions to the film also include Logan Lerman (The Three Musketeers), Nat Wolff (The Naked Brothers Band), Liana Liberato (Trust), and Lily Collins (Mirror, Mirror) joining previously cast stars Greg Kinnear and Jennifer Connelly.

Written and directed by Josh Boone, Writers follows the dysfunctional Borgens family: successful novelist dad Bill (Kinnear), his ex-wife (Connelly), their college-aged daughter (Collins), and teenage son (Wolff). Lerman will play a fellow student pursuing the daughter, while Liberato will play the son’s first love. Bell is lined up for the part of Tricia, who, as Bill’s friend-with-benefits, helps him get over his ex. Shooting on Writers begins next week in North Carolina. [Deadline]

After the jump, Leslie Mann is the mother of thieves.

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The cast of Stuart Zicherman‘s A.C.O.D. just keeps getting better. Mary Elizabeth Winstead has just joined Adam Scott, Richard Jenkins, and Jane Lynch in the comedy, which centers around around thirtysomething Carter (Scott). When his younger brother gets engaged, Carter must try and keep the peace between his long-divorced parents lest they ruin the wedding. Winstead is set to play Lauren Stinger, Carter’s supportive longtime girlfriend.

Winstead drew raves at Sundance earlier this year for her turn in James Ponsoldt’s Smashed, and has A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter due out later this year. [Deadline]

After the jump, Mila Kunis gets demonic, while Vera Farmiga’s little sister goes on a crime spree.

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