It’s pilot casting season! And as such, Rupert Grint, JK Simmons, Dylan McDermott, Billy Campbell, Jennifer Beals, and tons more have found new homes on the small screen. Also after the jump:

  • Peter Sarsgaard has joined AMC’s The Killing
  • Dexter Season 8 adds a Walking Dead alum
  • Ridley Scott is bringing The Terror to AMC
  • The About a Boy duo will tackle Neal Stephenson
  • FX is moving ahead with Diane Kruger‘s The Bridge
  • Up All Night will shoot just one multi-cam episode
  • ABC shifts Happy Endings to the Friday death slot
  • House of Cards is Netflix’s most-watched program
  • Comcast buys the other 49% of NBCUniversal
  • The first episode of The CW’s Cult hits the web
  • Jason Blum‘s Paranormal-esque reality show gets a trailer

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Once the initial disbelief at Ashton Kutcher‘s casting in Joshua Michael Stern‘s jOBS wore off, it became apparent that the Two and a Half Men star looked the part of late tech guru Steve Jobs, if nothing else. But there’s a wide gap between mimicking Jobs’ hairstyle and outfits and actually embodying his persona.

Sundance Film Festival attendees will get to see how Kutcher really fares when jOBS makes its world premiere as the Sundance Film Festival’s closing night film later this month, but the rest of us won’t have too much longer to wait either. Open Road Films has just picked up the biopic with plans to release it theatrically this spring. More details after the jump.

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Although his credits include all types of films, it’s really within the horror genre that Jason Blum has made his name. The powerhouse producer has been behind some of the biggest hits in recent years, including the Paranormal Activity franchise, Insidious, Sinister, and The Bay. In 2013, he’ll try to continue that winning streak with a slew of new thrillers.

Among them is Dark Skies, an alien invasion flick directed by Scott Charles Stewart. Keri Russell and Josh Hamilton, and Dakota Goyo (Real Steel) play a family targeted by a mysterious force. J.K. Simmons also stars, as an expert who may be able to help them deal with the situation. Check out the trailer after the jump.

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After breaking out with Wedding Crashes and The Hangover a few years back, Bradley Cooper‘s been trying to make the transition into more dramatic roles. Which, for some reason, starts with playing shabby, dishonest writer types.

In last year’s Limitless, Cooper played a hapless copywriter who cheats his way to success with a performance-enhancing drug. In this fall’s The Words, he stars as a middling author who fakes talent by plagiarizing from a manuscript he discovers in an old briefcase. The trouble starts when Jeremy Irons enters his life, claiming to be the true author of the story. Olivia Wilde, Dennis Quaid, Zoe Saldana, and Ben Barnes also star. Watch the second trailer after the jump.

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Cameras have been rolling on the indie Steve Jobs biopic jOBS for weeks now, but apparently there’s still room for some last-minute additions. Kevin Dunn (Luck) had boarded the cast in the role of Apple CEO Gil Amelio, while J.K. Simmons will portray venture capitalist and Apple investor Arthur Rock. Other recently announced cast members include Elden Henson, who’ll play Macintosh developer Andy Hertzfeld; Lenny Jacobson, who’ll play Apple engineer Burrell Smith; Giles Matthey, who’ll play iPod designer Jonathan Ive; and Victor Rasuk, who’ll play early Apple employee Bill Fernandez.

Joshua Michael Stern (Swing Vote) is directing the film from a script by Matt Whiteley. Ashton Kutcher stars as the late Apple co-founder; the cast also includes Josh Gad as Steve Wozniak, Ahna O’Reilly as Jobs’ girlfriend Chris-Ann Brennan, Matthew Modine, Lukas Haas, Dermot Mulroney, Lesley Ann Warren, and many more. As we’ve stressed before, this is a completely separate project from the Walter Isaacson-based, Aaron Sorkin-scripted biopic that Sony has brewing. jOBS is targeting a late 2012 release. [THR]

After the jump, The Killing actor Billy Campbell becomes the sixteenth President of the United States.

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Orlando Bloom‘s most memorable roles tend to be dashing fantasy hero types, a la Lord of the Rings‘ Legolas or Pirates of the Caribbean‘s Will Turner, but Lance Daly‘s indie thriller The Good Doctor will see him heading toward the dark side, and in realistic, contemporary garb, no less.

Bloom plays Martin Blake, a bright, ambitious young doctor whose just can’t seem to get over a deep-seated sense of insecurity. When a flirty teenage patient (Riley Keough) gives him the ego boost he so desperately wants, he purposely keeps her ill so that she can’t leave his side. Taraji P. Henson, J.K. Simmons, Michael Peña, Rob Morrow, and Troy Garity also star. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Briefly: Given that The Words is the directorial debut of Tron Legacy screenwriters Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal, we probably shouldn’t be surprised that the latest addition to the film’s cast is Olivia Wilde, who was one of the only highlights of Tron. The script, which hit the Black List, is about “a successful writer who discovers he has to pay a price for stealing another man’s work.”

Bradley Cooper was recently locked to play the writer (two roles as writers, and now real-life screenwriting ambition, too!) though we don’t know how Olivia Wilde’s character relates to his. The rest of the cast is shaping up to be interesting: Jeremy Irons plays the writer who was wronged, Dennis Quaid plays yet another wordsmith and Zoe Saldana has an unknown role. Today Ben Barnes, J.K. Simmons and John Hannah all signed on, too. A press release announces that Nora Arnezeder, who just shot Safe House, will round out the cast. Oh, and cinematographer Antonio Calvache, whose resume includes a number of seemingly unremarkable films, but also Little Children and In the Bedroom, will shoot the film. Hopefully those two films can be taken as suggestions of what to expect from The Words. [Variety]

Mark Wahlberg is starring in Contraband right now — the film is a remake of the well-regarded thriller Reykjavik-Rotterdam, with Baltasar Kormakur, an actor in the original, directing the new version. The film follows a one-time smuggler (Wahlberg) who has taken a straight job as a security guard, but gets pulled back into illegal activity.

Now the ever-reliable J.K. Simmons is on board as a captain. The also-reliable Ben Foster is the brother-in-law of the main character and the guy that pulls him back into the Life; Kate Beckinsale, Giovanni Ribisi, Diego Luna and Lukas Haas are also on board. [AV Club -- this interview is wonderful and a must-read for fans of the actor.]

After the break, Michelle Rodriguez goes to The Home and Robin McLeavy joins Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter after all. Read More »

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