Sarah Palin has become such a ubiquitous cultural figure at this point, it’s hard to believe it was just four years ago that John McCain pulled the then-relatively unknown pol into the spotlight by announcing her as his running mate for his 2008 presidential campaign. But as the 2012 race slowly heats up, now seems as good a time as any to think back to what happened the last time we as a nation chose a leader.

Directed by Emmy winner Jay Roach (Recount), HBO Films’ Game Change follows McCain (played by Ed Harris), Palin (Julianne Moore), and their unsuccessful bid for the White House. Whereas the first trailer focused more on McCain and his decision to name Palin as his potential VP, the new one centers around Palin and what happens to her after she agrees to board the campaign. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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While I’m sure that Luck, Life’s Too Short, and Angry Boys each have their charms, it’s HBO’s spring lineup I’m really looking forward to. Between Game of Thrones‘ return and the debuts of Judd Apatow’s Girls and Armando Iannucci’s Veep, I already know exactly what I’ll be doing each Sunday from April through June. And now, at long last, the network’s provided some premiere dates to mark on the calendar. Get the details and watch the trailers after the jump.

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Dan Aykroyd Joins Political Comedy ‘Dog Fight’

Here’s something that will keep Dan Aykroyd from beating his giant Ghostbusters 3 drum for a minute: the comic actor and enthusiastic vodka pitchman has a small role in the political comedy Dog Fight, alongside Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. Read More »

Though the actual presidential elections are still eleven months away, if you’ve been paying even casual attention to the news you’ll know the Republican fight for the nomination is already speeding along. What better time, then, to look back and remember the high drama of the last time we all went through this as a nation?

HBO has just released the first trailer for Jay Roach‘s Game Change, based on John Heilemann and Mark Halperin‘s bestselling chronicle of the 2008 presidential elections. Though the book covers both the Republican and Democrat sides of the race, Roach’s film narrows its focus to John McCain (Ed Harris), Sarah Palin (Julianne Moore), and their bid for office. Woody Harrelson, Sarah Paulson, and Ron Livingston also star. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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One of the Stephen King novels to elude the forces of film adaptation has been Rose Madder, which combines phantasmagoric fantasy and spousal abuse in a way that is very characteristically King, and seemingly rather difficult to put on the screen.

That is changing now, as the 1995 novel is part of a trio of film projects announced at the American Film Market by Palomar Pictures (Brothers, Killer Elite) and Gosvenor Park. The companies will team to remake French heist movie Joseph and the Girl, Norwegian film Elling, and to bring Rose Madder to the screen. Read More »

Emma Stone has been moving into more dramatic territory lately with parts in The Help and Gangster Squad, but she may be returning to her comedy roots soon. The actress has entered talks to star in He’s Fuckin’ Perfect, a comedy by first time feature writer Lauryn Kahn. The film is being produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay‘s Gary Sanchez Productions, where Kahn has worked for the past several years as McKay’s assistant.

He’s Fuckin’ Perfect revolves around a pessimistic woman who uses her social media know-how to research her friends’ dates and help them weed out the losers. But when she stumbles across the ideal man, she convinces her friend to dump him so that she can claim him for herself, using her Internet savvy to turn herself into his perfect match. [Deadline]

After the jump, Michelle Monaghan is a sex-addicted FBI agent, Alice Eve is a homewrecker, and Brian Cox gives Zach Galifianakis some serious daddy issues.

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It was announced earlier this week that Ben Affleck and longtime pal Matt Damon would reunite for a biopic about Whitey Bulger, with Casey Affleck set to co-star. We now have a more information about the younger Affleck’s part. He’ll be playing Bill Bugler, little brother of Whitey Bugler (Damon’s role). Unlike notorious gangster Whitey, Billy was an upstanding member of society — Korean war vet, lawyer, politician, and educator. He lost his post as the president of the University of Massachusetts in 2003 when he was found to have spoken with his fugitive brother in secret.

In addition to starring, Damon will also script the film; Affleck the Elder will direct and co-star. It’s unclear when exactly the picture will get off the ground, as both brothers and Damon have plenty of other projects on their plates. But they’ll have to get moving if they want to beat the two other Whitey Bulger movies in the works — there’s one in development with producer Graham King, who produced The Departed, and another titled Black Mass, which was scripted by Russell Gerwitz. [Showbiz 411 via The Playlist]

After the jump, new jobs for Dylan McDermott, Rufus Sewell, Gabriel Byrne, and Toby Stephens.

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2012 isn’t shaping up to be quite the Year of Sudeikis that 2011 was, but the Saturday Night Live star seems to be looking forward to another busy year. In addition to his ongoing gigs on SNL and Fox’s The Cleveland Show, Jason Sudeikis is also slated to guest star in the third season of HBO’s Eastbound & Down, and he’s now landed a role in Jay Roach‘s political satire Dog Fight.

Formerly titled Southern Rivals, the comedy centers around two politicians (Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis) running against each other in a congressional district race in South Carolina. Katherine LaNasa and Sarah Baker will also co-star, as Ferrell and Galifianakis’ respective wives. Filming will begin next month in New Orleans for an August 2012 opening. [The Hollywood Reporter]

After the jump, John Cusack is a black-ops agent, Michelle Monaghan is a hardened war vet, and Lily Collins is that girl you hated in high school.

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John Cusack and Johnny Knoxville are set to star in Carnaval, a comedy directed by Josh Stern. Cusack will play a sports scout who tavels to Rio de Janeiro during Carnaval in order to sign a soccer star, while Knoxville has been cast as Cusack’s musician best friend who tags along. Cusack’s character needs to bring the player on board so that he can take over his agency, but his plans go awry when Knoxville’s character sleeps with the player’s girlfriend. Carnaval will begin shooting in Rio this January.

Knoxville’s been on a roll lately in terms of landing roles. Over the past few months, he’s signed on for the teen comedy Fun Size, an untitled camping comedy with Patton Oswalt, and the Arnold Schwarzenegger action flick The Last Stand. Cusack also has a handful of movies lined up for next year, including Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy, the Edgar Allan Poe thriller The Raven, and the serial killer drama The Frozen Ground. [The Hollywood Reporter]

After the jump, TV actress Katherine LaNasa gains two movie husbands, and a whole bunch of people board Night Train to Lisbon.

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After years of talk, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp are finally making a film version of the ’60s supernatural soap opera Dark Shadows, and Warner Bros. has just given the film a plum date: it will open on May 11 2012. So one year from now, you’ll be able to join the argument over whether the film is the latest step for one of the most significant director/actor teams of the past two decades, or only another predictable product of Tim Burton’s well-documented idiosyncrasies. I have no idea what to expect out of the film, but the cast includes Helena Bonham Carter, Chloe Moretz, Eva Green, Michelle Pfeiffer and Jackie Earle Haley, which should be a lineup strong enough to convince even the Burton-averse to take a look.

After the break, info on releases for The Rock’s next movie, and a Will Ferrell/Zack Galifianakis pairing. Read More »