With his modern update of Shakespeare‘s Coriolanus, first-time director Ralph Fiennes earned quite the warm reception earlier this year at the Berlin film festival. Some of the most vocal adulation went to the supporting performance by Vanessa Redgrave. Indeed, even in this trailer her performance looks nuanced and impressive, with fierce notes that stand out even against the intense work from director/star Fiennes as Coriolanus. He’s a powerful general, she’s his controlling and power-hungry mother; when Coriolanus fails in a bid for greater power, he is expelled from Rome and allies with a former enemy (Gerard Butler) to take revenge.

This first trailer certainly makes the film look like a compelling piece of work and a persuasive translation of Shakespeare to a modern setting. Check it out below. Read More »

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We’ve got a diverse set of projects on which to report in this latest casting break: a political prestige project, a more routine-sounding thriller, and a dark comedy with quite a good pedigree. After the break, you’ll find:

  • Brit Marling seems to have settled on Robert Redford’s The Company You Keep as her next big role,
  • Gerard Butler will play a rogue former FBI agent in The Bricklayer,
  • and Natasha Lyonne joins Kristen Wiig’s passion project, Imogene. Read More »

There have been some conflicting, or perhaps we should say contended, reports about when and how Steven Soderbergh‘s new film Haywire will be released. Relativity financed the film and originally made a deal with Lionsgate to distribute in the US and worldwide, but when Relativity’s domestic distribution arm was formed, a long process of bringing the rights back to the company took place. There have been multiple possible release dates reported (January ’11, April ’11, then August ’11) and now the film will go out to the US via Relativity on January 20, 2012. Lionsgate will still distribute in foreign markets. Read More »

As we’ve said in several pieces in the past, Rian Johnson‘s third film Looper (which follows Brick and The Brothers Bloom) is one of our most anticipated pictures in the next year or so. FilmDistrict and Tri-Star are releasing the film, and we’d hoped to see it sometime early next year. Sadly, we’re going to have to wait a bit longer than that. Tri-Star has set a date for the film: September 28, 2012. Read More »

For all you Gerard Butler fans hoping the star of 300 and RocknRolla had grown out of his Ugly Truth/Bounty Hunter romantic rut, we’re very sorry. He’s just signed on to star in Playing the Field, a “soccer comedy,” along with Uma Thurman and Jessica Biel. Butler will play a former soccer pro who agrees to coach his son’s team and finds himself fending off gorgeous soccer moms. Biel will play his ex-wife who is getting re-married and Thurman will be one of the soccer moms. Gabriele Muccino (The Pursuit of Happyness, Seven Pounds) will direct a script by Robbie Fox (So I Married An Axe Murdered, In the Army Now). Read more after the jump. Read More »

Dean DeBlois is pulling together the cast for his sequel to How to Train Your Dragon. Most of the original cast has already been locked, including: Jay Baruchel as Hiccup; Craig Ferguson as Belch; America Ferrera as Astrid; Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Fishlegs; Jonah Hill as Snotlout; TJ Miller as Ruffnut and Kristen Wiig as Tuffnut. Now Gerard Butler has been confirmed to return as well, and cinematographer Roger Deakins will once more be on board to supervise the lighting work. (Many people don’t realize he had anything to do with the first film, it seems. Great that he’s back.)

The director gave the info to Empire and you can see a video of him talking about the film after the break. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Gerard Butler Joins Surfing Picture ‘Mavericks’

Almost a year ago we heard that Curtis Hanson (The River Wild, L.A. Confidential) would make a film about the late surfer Jay Moriarty, who rode massive Northern California wave breaks called ‘mavericks,’ but died at 22 in a diving accident.

When we first reported on the film Sean Penn was rumored; the role he was very vaguely linked to is Rick ‘Frosty’ Hesson, the young surfer’s friend and mentor. Now Gerard Butler will play that role instead. Read More »

We just talked about the possibly-revived Neighborhood Watch; now here’s news on another sci-fi comedy that has been kicking around for a while. Used Guys was once meant to be directed by Jay Roach (Austin Powers, Meet the Parents) with Jim Carrey and Ben Stiller starring as men “in a future run by women, where cloned male slaves are traded like cars.” Fox shut down the film when the budget started to escalate and most of the talent moved on to other projects.

Now Danny McBride is attached to the role Jim Carrey would have played. Little Miss Sunshine directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton were attached to direct last year, and they remain a part of the project. A small mention in Variety says that Fox is looking for a ‘scaled-down’ production, compared to the expensive Jay Roach version. No word on other cast attachments for now, including whether Ben Stiller, who stuck around when others bailed, is still part of the film. [The Playlist]

After the break, Katherine Heigl backs out of her next picture, and Gerard Butler teams up with Antoine Fuqua. Read More »

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James Franco was just cast in the Planet of the Apes prequel, which instantly makes me a bit more interested in that movie, but in the meantime he’s also booked a smaller picture. Franco will star in Ricky Stanicky, a comedy by Jeff Bushell, writer of Beverly Hills Chihuahua.

That dubious credit aside, the spec is intentioned as an R-rated ensemble comedy. And while that means The Hangover is inevitably invoked in the description, the story is about “three teens [who] pull a prank and burn down a house in their neighborhood. They create a fake person to take the blame — Ricky Stanicky did it! Twenty years later, we see that the three guys have been using this alibi to get out of every uncomfortable situation in life. When their wives force them to set up a meeting with Stanicky, they hire an actor (Franco).” OK, not actually a bad setup, and with Franco as the ‘imaginary’ character, it could work. [THR]

After the break, The Perks of Being a Wallflower finds its, um, wallflowers, and Gerard Butler sings! Read More »