Writer/director Gavin Hood is having no problem landing a stellar cast for his adaptation of the classic sci-fi novel Ender’s Game. He’s already got Asa Butterfield, star of the Best Picture-winning Martin Scorsese film Hugo, playing the title character. Rumor has it he’s looking at Harrison Ford for a major role and now True Grit Oscar-nominee Hailee Steinfeld is in talks to play Petra Arkanian, one of Ender’s closest allies and one of the few girls at Battle School, the primary setting for the film. Read more after the jump. Read More »

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Hailee Steinfeld, Dave Franco, and Deborah Ann Woll have been offered the leads in Rosaline, a retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet that’s told from the perspective of the girl Romeo ditches to be with Juliet. Michael Sucsy is directing from a script by by (500) Days of Summer writers Scott Neustader and Michael H. Weber, which in turn is an adaptation of Rebecca Serle‘s forthcoming debut novel When You Were Mine. The comedy will use modern-day dialogue in a 16th-century Verona setting.

Woll would play the title character, while Franco and Steinfeld could play Romeo and Juliet, respectively. If Steinfeld signs on it’ll be her second time playing the iconic character, as she’s also lined up to play Juliet for Carlo Carlei’s more straightforward adaptation. Much as I like Steinfeld, her casting here strikes me as a bit off since she’s eleven years younger than Woll and Franco — but maybe that’s part of the story? [Showblitz]

After the jump, Anne Hathaway becomes a producer, and Sawyer from Lost explores the world of competitive international breakdancing. Really.

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Briefly: I get the idea that yet another version of Romeo and Juliet isn’t something that people are wildly keen to see, but that isn’t putting the brakes on the film that Carlo Carlei (Flight of the Innocent) will direct based on a script by Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park).

The main reason to be interested in the movie, for me at least, is that it is looking like it will be the sophomore feature from True Grit breakout star Hailee Steinfeld. She’s playing Juliet, and Holly Hunter, Ed Westwick and Kodi Smit-McPhee are also set for roles. Now Douglas Booth (Pillars of the Earth, the upcoming Great Expectations) will be her Romeo. Variety says he took the job over hundreds of other young applicants, but again, I’m not convinced that this one really has much heat. Still, the cast is shaping up well and there are few pieces of more proven material. If Carlo Carlei can make it feel like a fresh telling, no matter what style he adopts, it might surpass expectations.

One of my big hopes for True Grit was that the Coen Brothers might have found a genuine new talent in Hailee Steinfeld, who made her feature debut playing the young heroine Mattie Ross. Indeed, she gave a tremendous performance in the film, scoring an Oscar nomination and building a fanbase very interested in seeing her next move.

But that next move can be very difficult to chart, especially for someone relatively new to the business. Working for a talented newcomer (how about Cary Fukunaga’s Civil War heist movie?) or another established master (I hear Paul Thomas Anderson has a new film) would be ideal. Anything else could look like a backward step after True Grit. So what to do? Hopefully not star in the possible remake of Carrie. But that is exactly what a new report suggests could happen. Read More »

Great Hope Springs, the movie in which Meryl Streep plays one half of a married couple spending a week of marriage and sex therapy with a famous therapist (Steve Carell) has gone through a few possible male leads. Jeff Bridges was mentioned early on, and James Gandolfini looked like a possibility at one point. (Those were when Mike Nichols was going to direct, but now The Devil Wears Prada director David Frankel will make the film instead.)

Tommy Lee Jones was next in the casting rumor series, but now he definitively has the gig playing husband to Meryl Streep. That’s a great pairing, and while the director may not be my top choice, I’m still as interested in watching these two actors trade barbs as I was when the idea first came up.

The synopsis for Great Hope Springs is after the break, along with news of new gigs for Maggie Gyllenhaal and Holly Hunter. Read More »

Hailee Steinfeld may have lost Katniss Everdeen to Jennifer Lawrence, but she’ll be portraying an even more famous teenager soon. The young True Grit star is reportedly in talks to join Carlo Carlei‘s Romeo and Juliet as Juliet. For those who’ve somehow managed to get this far in life without knowing about Romeo and Juliet, the classic William Shakespeare play centers around a pair of teenagers from rival families who meet and fall in love, with tragic results. Kind of like Romeo Must Die, only with more emphasis on the romance angle and less on the martial arts stuff.

Carlei’s earlier features include 1993′s The Flight of the Innocent and 1995′s Fluke. The script is being written by Julian Fellowes, whose past work includes Gosford Park, last year’s The Tourist, and the critically acclaimed Brit series Downton Abbey. The $15 million picture is scheduled to begin shooting in Italy later this spring, so expect to hear an announcement about who Steinfeld might be killing herself for soon. Um, spoiler alert. [The Hollywood Reporter]

After the jump, an intriguing new project for everyone’s favorite Pumpkin.

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The fascination with fairy tales continues. Thanks to Alice in Wonderland and the impending end of big franchises like Harry Potter and Twilight we have loads of fairy tale films headed our way. There are several Snow White, Oz and Peter Pan films in development, as well as movies like Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters that are nearing their production start dates.

Add one more to the pile, as Hailee Steinfeld from True Grit is now attached to a spec script that updates Sleeping Beauty. Read More »

Director Gary Ross knows, the studio knows, the author knows and the fans definitely know. Without an amazing actress in the lead role of Katniss Everdeen, the film adaptation of the popular book The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins will be a failure. In the past, Ross has said Lionsgate wasn’t pressuring him to cast a movie star in the role and that the actress had to bring a “deep and fierce” truth to the role. With that in mind, two recent Oscar-nominees seem to both be in contention.

At the Oscars, True Grit star and Oscar-nominee Hailee Steinfeld confirmed that she had met with Ross to discuss the role and now Lainey Gossip is reporting that another Oscar-nominee, Winter’s Bone and X-Men: First Class star Jennifer Lawrence, has already read for the role. Read more about each after the break. Read More »

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