You wouldn’t think that a playful family comedy like Aardman Animation’s The Pirates! Band of Misfits would court much controversy, especially seeing as it won’t even be released for another two months. But one joke shown in the trailer, released last year, has already drawn enough criticism to prompt the studio to take action.

Aardman has agreed to change a scene showing a leper boat after objections from leprosy groups like Lepra Health in Action and the International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations (ILEP), who were concerned that it could increase the stigma associated with the disease. Read more after the jump.

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Two months ago, Bridesmaids director Paul Feig decided he didn’t want to helm the third Bridget Jones movie, leaving the project without a director. The film had a script and a star-studded returning cast, but was left in search of someone to give it a more “British sensibility.” That person has been found.

Peter Cattaneo, who most recently directed Rainn Wilson in The Rocker but also was Oscar-nominated for directing The Full Monty, will direct the third fil. The movie is now called…wait for it…. Bridget Jones’s Baby. There’s more after the break. Read More »

You’d be forgiven for suffering from pirate fatigue after this year’s lackluster fourth entry in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, but these delightful trailers for Aardman Animation’s The Pirates! Band of Misfits prove there’s still plenty of fun to be found on the high seas.

Directed by Peter Lord and Jeff Newitt, the stop motion adventure follows an eager but misguided Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) as he competes for the Pirate of the Year Award — because, as he explains, “Every time I’ve entered, I’ve failed to win. So, I must have a really good chance this time.” Along the way, he and his similarly off-kilter crew (Martin Freeman, Brendan Gleeson, Russell ToveyAshley Jensen, and a fish with a hat on it) encounter all manner of strange characters including lepers, stuffy scientists, an evil queen (Imelda Staunton), and at least one monkey butler. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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‘The Pirates! Band of Misfits’ UK Trailer #2

Can you resist the grinning appeal of a new claymation animated film from Aardman Animation? I’m not certain that I can, if the first trailer for The Pirates! Band of Misfits is any indication. The film adapts Gideon Defoe‘s book The Pirates! In an Adventure With Scientists — a loopy tale of high-seas misadventure and scientfic discovery — with a vocal cast that includesHugh Grant, Martin Freeman, David Tennant, Imelda Staunton, Jeremy Piven, Salma Hayek, Brian Blessed, Brendan Gleeson, Russell Tovey, and Ashley Jensen.

Here’s a new UK trailer for the film, which bears the original subtitle ‘In an Adventure With Scientists,’ and pushes the overall story structure more than the last US trailer, but keeps the levels of charm and appeal as high as the crow’s nest. Read More »

The Wire‘s Michael K. Williams (who, like John Goodman, just guest-appeared on Community) was in the running for the title role in Quentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained, and though he lost the part to Jamie Foxx, he may still end up in the film, in a part written just for him.

Hopefully another new job won’t get in the way; Williams will now also be a producer and actor in Life Garland‘s indie thriller The Suspect, written by Stuart Connelly. Here’s how the writer describes the film: “Two African American social scientists pose as bank robbers in an effort to understand the racial dynamics of small-town law enforcement. However, their experiment takes an unplanned, deadly turn.” That’s a great premise that could be the beginning of a compelling film. We’ll definitely follow the development. Shadow and Act reveals that Isaiah Washington is also set for the film.

After the break, David Duchovny rides a sub, and The Last Stand and Cloud Atlas get new actors. Read More »

This isn’t the sort of movie that we normally see Hugh Grant agree to make. The guy is drawn to romcoms of various stripes, with the last vaguely edgy movie he made possibly being the ’96 thriller Extreme Measures.

So it’s a big surprise — and not an unpleasant one — to see Grant booking a role in Cloud Atlas, the century-spanning, genre-hopping literary adaptation from co-writers and co-directors Tom Tykwer and Andy & Lana Wachowski. Read More »

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Both Renee Zellweger‘s grocery store manager and nutritionist are having a very good day. They’re each sure to make a ton of money now that the Oscar-winner is going to have gain, and subsequently lose, weight for a third film playing Bridget Jones. Entertainment Weekly broke the news that Working Title Pictures is moving ahead with a third film in the series about an adorable English woman who is unlucky in love, though there’s no word if Paul Feig will actually direct as previously rumored.

The character, created by Helen Fielding, spawned two books and movies, both of which were international hits: Bridget Jones’s Diary in 2001 and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason in 2004. Read more about what the story could be after the jump. Read More »

Aardman Animation doesn’t just have the CGI holiday film Arthur Christmas to release in the next year. The company also has the stop-motion The Pirates! Band of Misfits, based in part on Gideon Defoe‘s book The Pirates! In an Adventure With Scientists. The cast was announced not long ago, and is a thing of beauty: Hugh ‘News of the World Killer’ Grant, Martin Freeman, David Tennant, Imelda Staunton, Jeremy Piven, Salma Hayek, Brian Blessed, Brendan Gleeson, Russell Tovey, and Ashley Jensen.

The trailer for the film hit today, and if you are (a) dissatisfied with the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels, (b) hungry for anything new from Aardman, (c) ready to see a weirdly appropriate use of a Ramones song in a kids’ pirate movie, or (d) all of the above, check it out after the break. Read More »

The oversized success of Bridesmaids instantly turned Freaks & Geeks veteran Paul Feig into a big director in Hollywood. He’s already got possible foll0ow-up projects brewing, including one comedy that would see him working again with Bridesmaids breakout star Melissa McCarthy. But his next film may not even be made in Hollywood, as one report says he’s in negotiations to make a third Bridget Jones film. Read More »