Of the nine movies currently up for Best Picture, Martin Scorsese‘s Hugo is my personal favorite. There’s so much I love about the film, from its eye-popping visuals and impeccable use of 3D to its inspiring tale and lovable performances. I’m not the only one that feels that way, of course — Hugo‘s been a popular pick on many critics’ lists and awards ballots. And now, as Academy voters mull over their final decisions, Paramount is eager to remind everyone of Hugo‘s many wonderful qualities.

The studio has released a six-minute featurette titled “The Magic of Hugo,” which goes behind the scenes to look at the hows and whys of making the picture. Scorsese, editor Thelma Schoonmaker, production designer Dante Ferretti, producer Graham King, visual effects supervisor Robert Legato, composer Howard Shore, and stars Ben Kingsley and Sacha Baron Cohen all appear to discuss their work on the project, and to talk about what made the film so special. Watch it after the jump.

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Since breaking out in 2007′s Superbad, Emma Stone has become one of the fastest-rising starlets in Hollywood. She held her own against acting heavyweights Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer in last summer’s The Help, has a splashy superhero pic lined up in The Amazing Spider-Man, and will star as the female lead in her Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer’s Gangster Squad. But she’s been taking her time deciding on her next steps, with only next year’s animated comedy The Croods scheduled beyond that.

That is, until now. Stone has just committed to star in and executive produce Little White Corvette, an action comedy from 30 Minutes or Less writer Michael Diliberti. More details after the jump.

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Reports of the death of creativity in Hollywood are probably somewhat exaggerated, but it can’t be denied that there are a lot of reboots, remakes, adaptations, sequels, prequels, etc. in the pipeline. After the jump, updates on three we’ve got our eye on:

  • Jose Padilha describes his Robocop as being about “a man being turned into a product by a corporation”
  • Tomb Raider producer Graham King confirms that he has a completed script, and explains how he took inspiration from Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • Dark Shadows star Helena Bonham Carter discusses what makes Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows such a tough sell

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What is Lara Croft’s character, beyond boobs, ponytail and guns? There’s her adventurous spirit, I guess, but beyond that? Hard to say. Looks like we’re going to find out, as the new version of Tomb Raider that GK Films is putting together is starting to sound a lot like a prequel-ish origin story. Read More »

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck earned worldwide fame and screenwriting Oscars thanks to the film Good Will Hunting. While each has developed his own career in the years since, the possibility of another collaboration between Affleck and Damon has always been a subject of inquiry. Now, only days after Damon announced his intent to direct his first film (an as-yet untitled legal drama he co-wrote with John Krasinski) and Affleck was said to be the chosen director for The Stand, we’ve got word that the two are going to re-team for a new Boston-set picture.

The subject of the film, which Affleck will direct, is recently captured gangster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger. Whitey Bulger was a prominent member of Boston’s notorious Winter Hill Gang (named for a Somerville, MA neighborhood) starting in the early ’70s, and took control of the gang in ’79. He  fled Boston in the mid-’90s and was on the run until this past summer, when he was arrested in Santa Monica. Other producers are putting together their own Whitey Bulger films, so will Affleck and Damon be able to beat them to the screen? Read More »

The latest comic book story to get a development deal is The Vault, an Image Comics title written by Sam Sarkar and drawn by Garrie Gastonny. This one has a better chance of making it to screens than most, as Sam Sarkar is also an exec at Johnny Depp‘s production company Infinitum Nihil, and one of the producers on the film is Graham King (The Tourist, Rango, Hugo). Read More »

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One of the biggest and most celebrated Broadway musicals of the past decade is finally coming to the big screen. The film rights to the Tony award winning Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons have just been purchased in an auction that was rumored to have included Steven Spielberg at DreamWorks, Tom Hanks at Playtone, Warner Brothers and Fox. None of them won, however. The rights were actually sold for a reported “substantial seven figures” to Graham King and GK Films who just released The Town and has an impressive slate of films coming up including The Tourist with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, Martin Scorsese’s latest Hugo Cabaret, the Gore Verbinski film Rango and others.

Jersey Boys is based on the real life rags to riches story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons who went from the street corners for New Jersey to massive musical success with songs such as Oh What A Night, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Rag Doll, Sherry, and Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You. Hit the jump for more on the deal, the musical and even a video. Read More »

Oh Boy. It’s the Slashfilm Clean-Up!

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There’s a lot of minor news breaking today and falling in between the cushions of Slashfilm’s buttery soft couch. I’ve decided to reach in and present the tasty morsels for your enjoyment. Don’t like some of ‘em? Well, your dog doesn’t discriminate and if it does, surprise, it’s a kitty.

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October’s Max Payne video adaptation continues to build a curious borderline-honor roll of a cast, with Chris O’Donnell (Robin) climbing out of the Where Are They Now File to star alongside Mark Wahlberg (title role), the foxy Mila Kunis (uh, assassin love interest), Beau friggin’ Bridges (mentor) and Donal Logue (not playing Jimmy the Cab Driver). O’Donnell will play nipple-free “executive Jason Colvin.” Exciting, innit? Now, if only the film was rated R. (EW)

javier_bardem.jpgJavier Bardem, the biggest star in born again director Francis Ford Coppola‘s follow-up to Youth Without Youth, Tetro, has either dropped out or been replaced on a huge creative whim. Coppola will recast the role of Bardem’s mentor to Vincent Gallo’s title character with Carmen Maura, whom you may have caught in Volver. Hmmm, Coppola could have certainly used the awareness of the Oscar winner. Too bad. (HR) As we all do when a job falls through, Bardem is said to be considering a role as a respected wine critic in a film entitled The First Emperor starring naughty monkeys Helen Mirren and Hugh Grant. (DH)

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The horror! Another fresh face from The O.C. has washed ashore on Crystal Lake. Amanda Rhigetti, an 8, is close to signing on as the female lead in Platinum Dunes’ Friday the 13th. How about a cameo by Adam Brody’s head? (Variety)

Latino Review sum up Sam Raimi‘s script to his upcoming Drag Me to Hell with three words: Predictable as hell. Slashfilm previously summed up the entire movie even more succinctly with: Justin Long. Obviously we’re too smart to add “as hell” to that. However, that was before we caught Long’s performance in The Sasquatch Gang (now on DVD), which was maddeningly chuckle-inducing. “Predictable as hell” it is, then.

Billy Crudup is that guy you call when your film is looking good. He’ll play J. Edgar Hoover (kinky) in Michael Mann‘s Public Enemies, which stars Johnny Depp, Christian Bale and the Dorf and has as much chance as sucking as UNC losing the Final Four. Jinx? Hardly. [Variety]

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Where’s my sickly neighbor from 1988′s inhaler? Joshua Jackson says he will not be playing Fletch in the remake. Chevy Chase’s is one of my favorite Chevy Chase films. I say cast Michael Cera and let Jason Lee choke on a furball. [MTV]

The new film from Heathers writer/legend Daniel Waters opens tomorrow in select theaters. It’s called Sex and Death 101. Here’s an interview with Waters that’s so chockfull of amazingly pretentious, pseudo-intellectual name dropping it makes us realize how rarely we come across screenwriter interviews like this anymore. More Waters, please.

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Hard hitter producer Graham King (The Departed, Blood Diamond) and Warner Bros. hope to bring the Hugo Award-winning sci-fi series Hyperion Cantos to life on screen via a script by relative newcomer Trevor Sands. I’m not familiar with author Dan Simmons‘s works, but the plot is said to be set on a planet called Hyperion that has lucid blue skies, “electricity-spewing trees,” and a mysterious region called the Time Tombs, where time travel evidently goes down amongst artifacts. And a very pissed off monster guards them. Ooh la la. Sands will combine the first two novels, Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion in his script. An original, brainy sci-fi film? All for it. Any fans, please sounds off in the comments below. (HR)

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