The US marketing hasn’t really kicked into gear yet, but maybe you saw the first international trailer for Taken 2, which puts Liam Neeson in conflict with some guys who are pretty angry about all the stuff Neeson did when his daughter was kidnapped a while back. The old guy and his fam (Maggie Grace and Famke Janssen) are in Istanbul, where they’re targeted by the father (Rade Sherbedgia) of one of the guys Neeson killed in Taken.

This trailer gives away a big part of the plot setup that wasn’t shown in the last trailer. In fact, the last trailer deliberately obscured it. It’s something that we’ve known to some extent for a while, and something that will end up in the US trailers eventually, so I wouldn’t call it a big spoiler. But if all you know of Taken 2 is what was in the last trailer, then this will have a small surprise. Check out the trailer below. Read More »

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It’s been a few months since we first reported that Netflix and Hostel helmer Eli Roth would be teaming for an original series titled Hemlock Grove, but it’s just now that the pieces are really falling into place. This week, Netflix and Roth finalized a deal for a 13-episode run to premiere exclusively on the streaming service in early 2013, with Famke Janssen (X-Men) and Bill Skarsgård (Anna Karenina) in the leads. The series will be written by Brian McGreevey and Lee Shipman based on a gothic horror novel by McGreevey that’ll hit shelves next week. More details after the jump.

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Now that we’ve seen the trailers for both of next year’s Snow White adaptations, it’s time to turn our attentions to another fairy tale that’s getting the Hollywood revamp treatment. Starring Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters picks up with the titular siblings years after their traumatic encounter with a cannibalistic witch. As adults, the duo have become bounty hunters determined to cleanse the countryside of witches.

So, what exactly do a pair of childhood fairy tale victims turned vengeful grownups look like? Hit the jump for the first glimpse of Renner and Arterton in costume and ready for business.

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With Saoirse Ronan already locked in for Andrew Niccol‘s The Host, the search is on for two handsome young lads to play the male leads. Jake Abel has just been selected for the part of Ian, beating out several competitors including Dane DeHaan (The Place Beyond the Pines), Thomas McDonnell (Prom), and Augustus Prew (Charlie St. Cloud). Abel, who’s still negotiating his deal, has worked with Ronan once previously on Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones. More recently, he’s also starred in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and I Am Number Four.

Based on a novel by Stephenie Meyer, The Host revolves around a woman named Melanie (Ronan) whose body is possessed by an alien parasite named Wanderer. Ian is a human who initially attacks Wanderer, but eventually falls in love with her. The other major mail character, that of Melanie’s boyfriend Jared, is still being cast; Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games), Kit Harrington (Game of Thrones), Jai Courtney (One Shot), and Max Irons (Red Riding Hood) are among the contenders for that part. [Deadline]

After the jump, Taken 2 adds another newcomer and Rose McGowan gets some company in Napa.

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Two sequel shoot dates have cropped up in the last 24 hours. The first is for Taken 2, which Luc Besson told ComingSoon will shoot in October. Director Olivier Megaton has “everyone back for the sequel,” including Famke Janssen, says Besson. Which means that Taken 2 is going to be about Liam Neeson fighting the reanimated corpses of all the people he killed in the first movie, I suppose. (If one wants to read ComingSoon’s paraphrasing literally.) I’d see that movie.

After the break, we’ve got the possibly bigger news: The Wolverine is now likely to push back to a Spring 2012 start date, to accommodate both Japanese weather and Hugh Jackman‘s schedule making Les Miserables. Read More »

Briefly: Paramount has got Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters just about packaged and ready to shoot, with Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton in the lead roles as grown-up Hansel and Gretel, who have dealt with their childhood trauma at the hand of a witch by hunting other witches. (Cheaper than therapy, and probably more fun.) Famke Janssen plays the leader of the witches being hunted by our heroes. Tommy Wirkola (Dead Snow) directs.

Now the film has a March 2, 2012 release date, and we know that MGM will co-finance the film. Which is weird, given that MGM has been looking to other studios to co-finance its own films. Chalk it up to bridge-building. Spyglass Entertainment is now running MGM, and the heads of that company have a long-standing friendship with Paramount, so it mostly makes sense. Oh, and in Deadline‘s report about the release date the film is called Hansel & Gretel 3D. Contacted for clarification, Paramount reps say that, yes, the film is in 3D (we knew that) but it is still called Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.

Minor news on the Snow White battle front today. We’ve talked twice about Julia Roberts possibly joining the cast of Relativity’s The Brothers Grimm: Snow White, to be directed by Tarsem Singh. First time was when she was rumored, then when it looked like she would take the plunge. Now we’ve got confirmation that Tarsem’s evil queen will be Julia Roberts.

No word on further casting for the film at this point, but with one of the most famous actresses in the world as the evil queen, one imagines the rest of the cast won’t take long to fall into place. This also puts the Snow White battle into a more pitched mode — neither Relativity or Universal (which has Snow White and the Huntsman set to shoot) seem willing to back down. Are we really going to end up with two big Snow White revamps? [Deadline]

After the break, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters also gets a female villain. Read More »

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