Whatever you thought of The Amazing Spider-Man, it couldn’t be denied that Marc Webb had put together an amazing cast. But at the rate the sequel is snapping up stars, it could wind up topping even its predecessor on that front.

Paul Giamatti has entered talks to join the movie in the role of the Rhino, a hulking villain whose dim intelligence is balanced by severe strength and the ability to charge at superhuman speed. Meanwhile, Felicity Jones has also begun negotiations for an unspecified role. Should the two close their deals, they’ll be joining returning stars Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, along with franchise newcomers Jamie Foxx, Shailene Woodley, and Dane DeHaan. More details after the jump.

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Movie superheroes tend to be faithful boyfriends, sticking with a single love interest for the entire duration of their franchise, or at least a couple of installments. But alas, the specific circumstances surrounding Captain America’s romance with Peggy Carter (i.e., the whole “being frozen in a block of ice for six decades” thing) make it impossible for the pair to reunite in proper fashion.

So the search is now underway for a new lady to star in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and directors Joe and Anthony Russo have reportedly whittled down the options to three excellent actresses: Anna Kendrick, Felicity Jones, and Imogen Poots. More details after the jump.

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Paramount’s Jack Ryan reboot has had its share of false starts, but the fact that it’s finally begun casting in earnest can only be a positive sign. Chris Pine‘s been attached to play the beloved Tom Clancy creation for years, but he’s been all alone in the spotlight.

That changed a few weeks ago when director Kenneth Branagh (who got the helming gig back in March) cast himself as the villain, and now he’s narrowing down the possibilities for the female lead role as well. On that short list are Keira Knightley, Felicity Jones, and Evangeline Lilly. More after the jump.

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Tanya Wexler‘s Hysteria boasts the kind of premise that’s bound to make viewers sit up and take note: In Victorian-era England, the handsome young Dr. Mortimer Granville (Hugh Dancy) invents the vibrator to help him treat his “hysterical” female patients by inducing paroxysms. (Or as we call it today, masturbating them to orgasm.) That it’s based on a true story, or a true-ish one anyway, makes it even more intriguing. So it’s a little disappointing that Hysteria is actually much tamer than that description would suggest, but it’s got so much charm I found myself enjoying the hell out of it anyway.

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As usual, this summer season looks to be stuffed with massively hyped, massively budgeted blockbusters, from May’s The Avengers to August’s The Expendables 2. Whenever you tire of glossy, expensive explosions in IMAX 3D, however — and at some point you will — there are plenty of other smaller movies on the calendar that could be worth a look.

After the jump, we have trailers for Maggie Gyllenhaal and Hugh Dancy‘s Victorian-era sex comedy (yes, really) Hysteria, Noel Clarke’s sci-fi thriller Storage 24, and the latest installment of Fox’s kid-friendly Diary of a Wimpy Kid franchise, Dog Days. Watch after the jump.

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While most people are just now discovering the wonder that is Felicity Jones, I was lucky enough to be on the bandwagon a few months early. As a huge Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant fan, I went out of my way to see their tiny period comedy, and feature directorial debut, Cemetery Junction. The film is a delight and part of the reason is the female lead played by a beautiful, talented actress I’d never seen before named Felicity Jones. Fast forward a few months later, Sundance 2011, and she’s the talk of the town for her performance in Drake Doremus’ Like Crazy, which is now slowly rolling into a theater near you.

Jones has now booked her next big thing and “big” is a bit of an understatement. She’ll play the female lead and sorted love interest in Warren Beatty‘s return to acting and directing, an untitled Howard Hughes love story. Read more about the film, role and actress after the jump. Read More »

This is quite possibly the most absurd thing I’ve seen today, but also fairly cute and just a bit charming. The trailer for Hysteria shows the work of Jonathan Pryce, Hugh Dancy, Rupert Everett and Maggie Gyllenhaal in a period sex comedy about the invention of the vibrator. Or, to borrow a line from the trailer, “we are NOT going to take a dangerous electrical device and press it against a lady’s most gentle areas.” Actually, yes. You are. Many, many times. See the trailer, erm, below. Read More »

Here’s a massive post-weekend catchup casting roundup, with a headlining turn from Jean-Claude van Damme. How can you resist the Muscles From Brussels? Answer: you can’t. Just give in to his suave, over-confident appeal. After the break you’ll find details about:

  • JCVD taking part in a sci-fi film called UFO,
  • Danny Glover joining the cast of a different sci-fi thriller, Mentryville,
  • Sullivan Stapleton becoming the latest member of the Gangster Squad,
  • Nico Tortorella from Scream 4 joining Guy Pearce and Amy Ryan in an indie,
  • and What to Expect When You’re Expecting adds more.

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