‘On the Road’ Finally Gets U.S. Distribution

After some thirty-odd years in development, On the Road is finally nearing the end of its long, long journey to the big screen. A week before the film’s scheduled debut at the Cannes Film Festival, IFC Films and Sundance Selects (subsets of AMC Networks) have closed a seven-figure deal for the U.S. distribution rights to the Walter Salles-directed adaptation, which features a strong roster of both rising and established stars.

Among them are leads Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund, who play Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty (understood to be the fictional alter egos of author Jack Kerouac and his pal Neal Cassady), as well as Kristen Stewart, who plays Dean’s wife Mary Lou. Kirsten Dunst, Amy AdamsTom SturridgeDanny MorganAlice BragaElisabeth Moss, and Viggo Mortensen round out the supporting cast. More details after the jump.

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The latest actor to join Christian Bale in Scott Cooper‘s Out of the Furnace is likely to be Zoe Saldana. She’s in early talks for the film that Cooper is rewriting (based on Brad Ingelsby‘s The Low Dweller script) and will direct as his follow-up to Crazy Heart.

Bale will be an ex-con who is determined to avenge the death of his younger brother after being released from prison. Various actors have been mentioned as possible choices for the brother (Casey Affleck, Garrett Hedlund, Taylor Kitsch and Channing Tatum) and Robert Duvall is nearly set to play the main character’s helpful uncle, while Viggo Mortensen could end up being the villain.

Out of the Furnace could shoot this spring if the cast comes together and Relativity gives it the final green light. As we’ve heard before, that green light will primarily be based on the finalization of a deal with Bale, which hasn’t yet happened. [Variety]

After the break, a film called The Occult signs Rufus Sewell and Anne Heche, and Julianna Margulies joines Al Pacino in the comedic action film Stand Up Guys. Read More »

Last year, before The Dark Knight Rises had fully shot, there was a lot of speculation about what Christian Bale would do after his tenure as Batman ended. Turns out he planned a couple films with Terrence Malick, but another project that was mentioned as a possible one for Bale has reared its head once more.

We’d heard that Scott Cooper, who directed Crazy Heart, was courting Bale last year to star in The Low Dweller, a revenge drama that Brad Ingelsby wrote and Cooper had latched on to as director. Cooper was also rewriting, and the project got a new title: Out of the Furnace. Bale had fallen away from the project late last year, but now he’s back in talks to take the lead role. Read More »

One of the reasons — one of the many reasons — that people weren’t too excited about Warner Bros.’ live-action remake of Akira was the casting. Garrett Hedlund was cast as the young biker delinquent-turned hero Kaneda, or a version of him at least. It wasn’t just that Hedlund was too old and too white for the part; it’s that he’s Garrett Hedlund. Did you see Tron: Legacy?

But with Akira back on the drawing board for a bit, Hedlund has an opening in his schedule. Make that ‘had an opening,’ actually, because he was just tapped by Joel and Ethan Coen to be in their new film, Inside Llewyn Davis. Read More »

Looks like the process of studios scrutinizing spending on films in development is a process that will continue into 2012. Disney put Lone Ranger on hold last year when the budget escalated to over $250m, and Warner Bros. started looking keenly at the budget for Arthur & Lancelot in mid-December.

Now the production offices for the live-action Akira have reportedly been closed and the film put on hold while WB figures out how much the film is really going to cost, and decides whether that money will be well-spent. Read More »

With any remake, one of the biggest questions is how closely it’ll hew to the source material. In the case of Jaume Collet-Serra‘s live-action, English-language Akira, we already know that the action has been moved from neo-Tokyo to neo-Manhattan, and that Warner Bros. has tapped the Caucasian, late-20s Garrett Hedlund to star as Kaneda, originally written as a Japanese teenager. A lot of our other assumptions so far, however, have simply been based on our knowledge of the previous film.

Now a recent casting call has revealed a synopsis of the plot, shedding some light on what we can and can’t expect to see changed in Collet-Serra’s version. For the most part the story seems to have made the move to our shores intact, though there are some noteworthy edits. Read more after the jump.

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Say what you will about Jaume Collet-Serra‘s live-action Akira, but the casting folks have been making some pretty intriguing choices so far. Okay, so Garrett Hedlund and Kristen Stewart haven’t exactly gone over great with the fans. But the first two actors we heard of getting offers were Helena Bonham Carter and Gary Oldman, with Keira Knightley being “approached” at some point and the likes of Michael Pitt and Paul Dano testing for the part of Tetsuo.

Now the bad news is that Warner Bros. has been unable to close its deal with Oldman — but on the plus side, they’ve given the offer to Ken Watanabe to replace him. More details after the jump.

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Kristen Stewart Offered ‘Akira’ [Updated]

[UPDATE: Deadline has confirmed that Stewart is in advanced talks for the part of Kei in Akira.]

I don’t have the numbers to back it up, but if I had to guess I’d say there’s a sizable overlap between /Film readers, Twilight haters, and people dreading Warner Bros.’ Akira remake. So I’m guessing that this bit of news is not about to go over so well. A new report has surfaced claiming that Kristen Stewart has been offered the female lead role of Kei in the sci-fi project, which is being directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan). More details after the jump.

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As Garrett Hedlund continues his negotiations over the lead role of Kaneda in Warner Bros.’ Akira remake, the studio and director Jaume Collet-Serra are wasting no time filling in the other roles as well. Buried in one report about Hedlund starring in the film was a tidbit about Keira Knightley being approached for the project. Though her possible role has not been revealed, I’m guessing she’s up for the part of Kaneda’s love interest Kei, member of an underground rebel group.

Knightley’s involvement is far from a done deal at this point, as she’s yet to enter talks. Helena Bonham Carter and Gary Oldman, who were also given offers last month, apparently aren’t any farther along in the process either. Still, the fact that they’ve been approached at all suggests the filmmakers are hoping for a certain caliber of talent for the movie. (Not to mention a certain level of British-ness.) Knightley and Bonham Carter have both been nominated for Oscars in the past, and while Oldman has somehow escaped that honor, it’s not for lack of deserving. [The Hollywood Reporter via The Playlist]

After the jump, another potential project for Gary Oldman, while Jane Campion gets Holly Hunter, Elisabeth Moss, Peter Mullan, and David Wenham to sign on for her latest.

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