After months of speculation, rumors, and reports, Tom Hooper‘s Les Misérables has finally found its Éponine. Producer Cameron Mackintosh has just announced that 21-year-old stage vet Samantha Barks has landed the role. Barks is a newcomer when it comes to film and television, but has racked up plenty of experience in the theater — including a stint playing Éponine in a London production of Les Misérables.

Meanwhile, another fresh face, George Blagden, has also boarded the project, in the part of cynical young revolutionary Grantaire. Blagden and Barks join a high-profile cast that includes Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Eddie Redmayne, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter, and Aaron Tveit. Read more after the jump.

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[Update: Deadline now reports that Seyfried is in final negotiations for the role.]

Tom Hooper‘s already star-studded cast for Les Misérables is about to expand by two more, as news breaks that Amanda Seyfried and Taylor Swift have been offered the roles of Cosette and Éponine, respectively. If Seyfried and Swift accept, they’ll also be joining Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen, Aaron Tveit, and Eddie Redmayne in the musical, which is due out next winter. Read more 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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If you ask me, Helena Bonham Carter playing bitter Miss Havisham in Mike Newell‘s Great Expectations has sounded like ideal casting from the very start. But if you had any doubt in your mind whatsoever as to Bonham Carter’s suitability, let these new photos put those worries to rest. Two new stills from the film have been released, showing Bonham Carter looking right at home as the shut-in of Charles Dickens‘ classic tale. After getting ditched at the altar, the character wastes away in her decaying wedding dress for the rest of her life.

Also starring in Newell’s adaptation are Ralph Fiennes, Holliday Grainger, Robbie Coltrane, Jason Flemyng, Sally Hawkins, and War Horse actor Jeremy Irvine as protagonist Pip. Check out the images after the jump.

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Garrett Hedlund in Talks for ‘Akira’ [Updated]

[UPDATE: Variety has just confirmed that Garrett Hedlund is in negotiations to star as Kaneda in Jaume Collet-Serra's Akira. Original story follows.]

Speculation on who would be cast in the lead character of Kaneda has abounded just as long as reports of a live-action American remake of Akira have been floating around, with Keanu Reeves, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, and James Franco among the names who’ve been rumored over the past few years. But as the film has inched closer to reality, with Warner Bros. giving the green light to the Jaume Collet-Serra-helmed incarnation last month, Tron: Legacy‘s Garrett Hedlund emerged as the frontrunner to star in the film. Now a new report says he’s just received a formal offer for the role. More details after the jump.

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The live-action, English-language remake of the Japanese animation classic Akira has suffered so many stops and starts over the years that I was beginning to think (/hope) it’d never happen. But now that Warner Bros. has officially greenlit the movie, it seems director Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan) isn’t wasting any time getting things together. We heard last week that Garrett Hedlund (TRON: Legacy) was the frontrunner to star as Kaneda, and now it looks like a couple of other actors have been tapped as well. According to a new report, Gary Oldman and Helena Bonham Carter have been offered roles in the film. More details after the jump.

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If you’re the kind of person who got all emotional during all those Harry Potter cast interviews about shooting the final scene, or if you referred to the last movie, without irony,  as “the end of an era,” then When Harry Left Hogwarts is for you. The documentary, by BAFTA-winning filmmaker Morgan Matthews (The Fallen), chronicles the making of David YatesHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and Part 2, and will make you get teary-eyed all over again as cast members talk about what it’s been like to be part of the franchise for the past ten years. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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The theme of this Casting Bits seems to be “rising stars,” as All My Children‘s Ambyr Childers stakes out a spot in an all-star cast, War Horse star Jeremy Irvine leads a movie starring Britain’s finest, and Thor actress Jaimie Alexander signs on to co-star with the Governator himself. Read more after the jump.

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