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For the past few months, Steven Soderbergh has been all over the place with the cast and crew of Contagion. They’ve been shooting in San Francisco over the past week or so, and will close out work in that city with a massive scene at Candlestick Park that involves over 1000 extras. (The production manager for the film described the scene at the 49ers home field as “like a large vaccination center.”)

Before that happens, we’ve got some set pics showing at least one urban setting for the film, which follows the outbreak and effects of a global pandemic. Read More »

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I’m always excited to see independently-produced science fiction films at the Sundance Film Festival because it usually means I’m in for a treat. Notable mentions include Shane Carruth’s 2004 time travel movie Primer, and Duncan Jones’ 2009 psychological space thriller Moon. This year’s line-up is almost completely devoid of sci-fimovies. As far as I can tell, the only two films are: the Midnight movie selection Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same and a film in the dramatic competition called Another Earth.

Another Earth is described as follows: “On the night of the discovery of a duplicate planet in the solar system, an ambitious young student and an accomplished composer cross paths in a tragic accident.” Sounds like a cool concept for a sci-fi movie, right?
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Adam Shankman‘s big-screen version of the rock opera Rock of Ages is slowly coming together. There has been a lot of word about actors circling the project, but no hard and fast casting news as of yet. The biggest name being discussed so far has been Tom Cruise, who will reportedly take a supporting role in the musical. Now Russell Brand is circling a role as well. A rundown of the possible cast as it stands is after the break. Read More »

Briefly: Sometimes offer stories turn into something real; not long ago we reported that Tom Cruise had been offered a role in the film version of the stage musical Rock of Ages. Now we know, thanks to EW, that Mr. Cruise is now in talks for an unspecified role, and that another offer is out to Gwyneth Paltrow. The actress confirms the offer, saying, “It sounds cool… I just got the script and I will read it on the plane home tomorrow. But it sounds like it could be fun.”

Adam Shankman is set to direct the film version of the musical that follows the romance of a couple with, telling their story in part through arrangements of ’80s rock songs. Appropriately, the news about Gwyenth Paltrow’s involvement comes from her appearance at the Country Strong premiere; she sings in the film, and has also made a recent appearance on Glee, so this offer makes all sorts of sense. Chime in below with opinions about who she’s likely to play, if things move forward.

Briefly: While he didn’t talk in too many details about The Avengers during the LA Times web chat on Friday, Kevin Feige did hint that the film might have a cameo or two beyond the scope of the giant announced cast. But one character who won’t be appearing, according to Gwyneth Paltrow, will be Iron Man’s girl Friday Pepper Potts.

Speaking to Collider, the actress said, “No. No Pepper… I think it’s a for sure. I think they’re starting shooting soon and they probably would have asked me by now.” Actors are often the last to know what’s going on with a film (unless they’re also producers) but in this case, given that The Avengers is set to shoot within the next few months, we can likely take her at her word.

Movie Trailer: ‘Country Strong’

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Here’s something a little different from Screen Gems, which is far better known for mid-budget genre fare like Resident Evil and Priest than a movie about a country singer trying to get her career back on track.

But looking at this trailer for Country Strong, you might make the argument that this movie is courting a genre audience in exactly the same way that Resident Evil courts its fanbase: by giving people what they want in a stripped-down, not too challenging scenario. See what you think when Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw, Garrett Hedlund, and Leighton Meester take the stage to get crazy (heart), after the break. Read More »

Earlier this week, it was reported that M. Night Shyamalan is shopping his next screenplay around Hollywood, trying to find someone to produce his next directorial effort. At the time we knew very little about the project, as that’s the way Shyamalan likes it. Apparently only a few studio execs have read the script, and in every case, Shyamalan’s assistant was in the room to supervise.We dont even have a title, only that the cast will include The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable star Bruce Willis, Gwyneth Paltrow and Bradley Cooper.

We now have a few new details about the project… Well, actually… Russ slipped this update in with the report about the M Night-produced Twelve Strangers, but I thought the bit was big enough for its own story (as some of you might have glossed over the previous story). So if you missed it, hit the jump for more info on Night’s new project.

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Briefly: M. Night Shyamalan‘s The Last Airbender opens soon, and advance of that opening he’s apparently trying to set up financing for a new script that he’s penned. Details are thin right now, but he reportedly has some notable talent attached: his The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable star Bruce Willis, plus Gwyneth Paltrow and Bradley Cooper.

THR reports that Shyamalan is shopping the script, and keeping it shrouded in as much secrecy as possible. At this point we don’t know a title, subject or logline. The story is that only a few studio execs have read the script, and that they’ve done so under the supervision of Shyamalan’s assistant. No word on a sale, or where this would fit into projected Airbender sequels. Does it say anything about Airbender that Paramount didn’t just grab this one before it could go out to other studios, or did Shyamalan want to take the new script elsewhere?

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