There are a lot of big, attention-getting films in 2012, and one that I forget about once in a while is Gangster Squad, the film in which Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer follows the efforts of a squad of LA cops (Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Nick Nolte, Giovanni Ribisi, Anthony Mackie) to stop the incursion of organized crime into LA, led by Sean Penn as famed mob boss Mickey Cohen.

A trailer has just been released for the film, and it looks like a good period cops and robbers story, bolstered by that cast into a level of quality that might let it sit alongside other period LA crime tales such as L.A. Confidential. Check out the trailer below. Read More »

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Apparently, everyone in Hollywood returned from this past weekend with the burning desire to shift around their release date calendars. Following Monday’s scheduling shuffle for Summit’s Ender’s Game and Paramount’s The Dictator, Warner Bros. has just decided to push back its Ben Affleck thriller Argo by a few weeks — which wouldn’t really be a big deal, except that Argo‘s new date bumps Ruben Fleischer‘s Gangster Squad off the calendar altogether. More details after the jump.

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As we head toward the Oscars and therefore the end of awards season, it’s time to take a better look at some of the films we’re anticipating from 2012. We have for you today an eclectic mix of photos from some of the entertainments we’re most looking forward to, from Gary Ross‘ deadly serious YA adaptation The Hunger Games to Judd Apatow‘s almost-middle-age comedy This is Forty and everything in between. Check out photos for those films plus The Gangster Squad, Men in Black III, and Frankenweenie after the jump.

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After quite a few set pictures showed up from the LA shoot of Ruben Fleischer‘s Gangster Squad, we’ve now got the first official promo photo for the film, showing Josh Brolin as an LA cop staring down Sean Penn as famed LA gangster Mickey Cohen. There’s not a lot to the pic — it’s two actors in era-appropriate suits with a lot of color correction — but their specific poses and positioning does tell us something about the characters, and the image looks good in general. See a full version below. Read More »

It feels like James Franco is attached to pretty much everything these days, but now there’s one less Franco project we have to look forward to. According to JustJared.com, the star has pulled out of The Iceman, a biopic of Mafia hitman Richard “The Iceman” Kuklinski. Franco was lined up to play Robert “Mr. Softee” Pronge, the “mentor assassin” to Kuklinski (Michael Shannon); Ray Liotta and Maggie Gyllenhaal were also set to star in the picture, by director Ariel Vroman. However, with Franco gone, “it looks like this project might fall apart,” a source told the site.

Details of Franco’s exit have not been revealed, although the same source blames “key contractual issues that didn’t involve financial terms.” The rest of the cast sounds too interesting to waste, so I’m hoping the movie can still come together out even without Franco’s involvement. If not, well, there’s always The Ice Man, the competing project starring Mickey Rourke. [Cinema Blend]

After the jump, Franco’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes co-star Tom Felton gets to play a good guy for once, and Ruben Fleischer is still adding people to the cast of Gangster Squad.

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The theme of this Casting Bits seems to be “rising stars,” as All My Children‘s Ambyr Childers stakes out a spot in an all-star cast, War Horse star Jeremy Irvine leads a movie starring Britain’s finest, and Thor actress Jaimie Alexander signs on to co-star with the Governator himself. Read more after the jump.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

The past few hours saw a whole bunch of release date shuffles as both of Steven Spielberg‘s 2011 releases, The Adventures of Tintin and War Horse, got new US dates, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol will now open five days earlier than planned, but will only play in IMAX for those days, and Gangster Squad gets a 2012 release date that positions it for Oscar. Details on all four films, including some quotes from M:I director Brad Bird about the old-school thinking behind the IMAX plan for his film, are after the break. Read More »

Nick Nolte Joins ‘Gangster Squad’

Briefly: Here’s one more reason to be excited about Ruben Fleischer‘s upcoming ’40s-set LA ‘cops vs. mobsters’ story Gangster Squad. Nick Nolte is taking a role in the film; he’ll be Bill Parker, “the new chief of police in Los Angeles,” and a Chief who isn’t in the pocket of big-time LA gangster Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn). The character is a WWII vet and the guy who gives the gangster squad its mandate to bust Cohen and other organized crime goons.

Nolte joins a cast that also includes Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Emma Stone, Anthony Mackie, Michael Peña, Mirielle Enos, Giovanni Ribisi, Holt McCallany, Robert Patrick, Frank Grillo and Sullivan Stapleton. I don’t know exactly what has Nick Nolte showing up all over the place lately, but I love it. He’s in the David Milch/Michael Mann HBO show Luck, as well as the upcoming films Warrior (pictured above), Parker and The Company You Keep. [Deadline]

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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