We have some interesting tidbits of all kinds today, but let’s be real — we both know you’re mainly here for The Walking Dead trailer and clip and the True Blood teaser. After the jump:

  • HBO offers the first 3 minutes of The Walking Dead‘s midseason premiere, plus a teaser
  • The first teaser for Season 5 of HBO’s True Blood comes online
  • Shirley Maclaine will be calling on Downton Abbey
  • Details on The CW’s new Beauty & The Beast reboot reveal a surprising 9/11 connection
  • Jimmy Kimmel is shopping a “Borat Meets Green Acres” hybrid series
  • Kevin Smith and Adam Carolla bicker over an upcoming untitled project

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Whether the world really needs another Romeo and Juliet adaptation is up for debate, but Carlos Carlei‘s upcoming film boasts some intriguing talent, at least. The script comes from Gosford Park and Downton Abbey writer Julian Fellowes, while young up-and-comers like Hailee Steinfeld, Douglas Booth, Ed Westwick, and Kodi Smit-McPhee are lined up to star.

The latest addition to the project is the always welcome Paul Giamatti, who’s set to play Friar Laurence. A confidant to both Romeo and Juliet, the character plays a key role in the star-crossed lovers’ fates. Shooting on the film, which is rather discouragingly being described as “Romeo and Juliet for the Twilight generation,” is slated to begin this month in Italy. [Variety]

After the jump, Dr. John Watson and the Earl of Grantham book big-screen gigs.

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Just as Emma Thompson’s Victorian Effie is finally coming together, competition has sprung up in the form of a rival project inspired by the exact same subject. Keira Knightley is reportedly in talks to take the lead in Untouched, a biopic of Effie Gray written by Aleksandra Crapanzano with Andrucha Waddington (House of Sand) directing.

Both films are based on the same scandalous 1850s love triangle between Gray, the art critic John Ruskin, and painter John Everett Millais. Gray was married to the much older Ruskin, but Ruskin could not bring himself to consummate the marriage (despite being virile, as he demonstrated in court. Seriously). Gray eventually had the marriage annulled and left Ruskin for his protege Millais.

Development on Untouched is still in the early stages, with no other cast attached at this time and no start date announced. Knightley currently stars as the center of a different mentor-protege love triangle, in David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method. Effie is filming now, with Dakota Fanning starring and Richard Laxton directing. [Thompson on Hollywood]

After the jump, a Bridesmaids star who’s not named Kristen Wiig or Melissa McCarthy lands a leading role, and Captain America‘s Hayley Atwell goes hunting for sea monsters or something.

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burke_and_hare

Simon Pegg has Tweeted a link to the extended cast list for John Landis‘ Burke and Hare on IMDB. He indicated just one mistake on the roster – John Cleese will not be appearing – but called the rest of it “pretty spot on”. Not only does this mean that Spaced’s Tim and Daisy, Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes, will be reunited, but also that several other alumni of their sitcom will be cropping up, namely Michael Smiley, Bill Bailey and Reece Shearsmith. And then, not noted by Pegg in particular, there are also roles for some of my faves: Hugh Bonneville, John Woodvine and Ronnie Corbett. Superbness.

I’d previously wondered if Margaret Laird would be given space in the film’s narrative, and so far she’s not shown up on the list. Pegg does promise more surprises, however…

UPDATE: And now I’ve received an official press release to announce the start of production which lists both Tim Curry and Christopher Lee as being amongst the cast. it just keeps getting better and better.

One small mystery was put to rest as Paul Davis’ cameo was revealed to be as a patient, presumably of Dr. Knox.

Incidentally, the image at the top of the post shows the death masks of the real Burke and Hare.

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