The idea behind In Our Nature couldn’t be more simple: a young couple (Zach Gilford from Friday Night Lights, and Jena Malone from Into the Wild) head upstate for a weekend retreat. At their destination, they run into an expected second couple: Gilford’s character’s father, played by John Slattery, who has weekend plans of his own with much younger girlfriend Gabrielle Union.

Things get a little awkward as the two couples circle one another, and as Gilford and Slattery start to work out their family issues. But the trailer also suggests that there are some really good moments as, for example, Malone and Union talk about their own respective romantic situations. Some of those scenes look like they have an appealingly unvarnished honesty. And then is that Slattery hitting on Malone? How weird. Roger Sterling advancing on a young woman? Never! Check out the trailer below. Read More »

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Having played struggling writers in Being Flynn and Ruby Sparks, Paul Dano is switching gears to play a struggling musician in For Ellen, his third feature of 2012. Directed by So Yong Kim (Treeless Mountain), the indie drama centers around a wannabe rock star named Joby Taylor who never quite attained the fame and fortune he set out to achieve.

He faces failure in other aspects of his life as well: After years of absentee parenting, he suddenly faces the prospect of losing his kid completely when his lawyer (Jon Heder) hands him divorce papers giving his estranged wife (Margarita Levieva) sole custody. He decides to reach out to his daughter in a last-ditch effort to reconnect. Jena Malone and Dakota Johnson also star, along with newcomer Shaylena Mandigo as the titular six-year-old. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Briefly: We’ve reported a bit over the past couple weeks on the search for an actress to play the character Johanna Mason in the sequel to The Hunger Games, Catching Fire. Director Francis Lawrence was said to have auditioned Jena Malone and Zoe Aggeliki in the past week and a half, and that the process led to Aggeliki being in advanced talks to play the axe-wielding District 17 Hunger Games champ.

Turns out that report, which led to many (including us) assuming that Aggeliki basically had the job, was a bit premature. THR says that Jena Malone got the offer to tplay the part, and is in talks now. Our own Angie Han was taken with the idea of Malone playing the role, rather than anyone else, noting that she has the “mix of steeliness and vulnerability that Johanna requires.” Since the role will carry over to the third film in the series, we’ll hope that Francis Lawrence has indeed chosen well.

The earliest The Hunger Games: Catching Fire rumors revolved around Finnick Odair, but the character that seems to be getting all the attention right now seems to be Johanna Mason. Mia Wasikowska and model/actress Zoe Aggeliki were said to be in the mix for the key role last week, but as of now Wasikowska has apparently dropped out while Jena Malone has been added to the list of candidates. And honestly, I think she may be my favorite pick yet.

Meanwhile, rapper/actor Romeo Miller (f.k.a. Lil’ Romeo) and pro wrestler Kevin Nash have both mentioned that they’re circling roles in the series, although they have not revealed which. Read more about Malone, Miller, and Nash after the jump.

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On Mad Men, John Slattery proved to be fantastic at letting down his loved ones; on Friday Night Lights, Zach Gilford demonstrated an equal talent for being disappointed in his. So it makes perfect sense that the pair would team up to play a father and son with a rocky relationship in In Our Nature, an indie drama slated to premiere later this week at the South By Southwest Film Festival.

Specifically, Gilford stars as a son who still harbors resentment over his parents’ split. When a scheduling mishap leads to Gilford and his girlfriend (Jena Malone) sharing the family vacation home with his dad and his girlfriend (Gabrielle Union), father and son are forced to come to terms with one another and with the women in their lives. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Steve Carell‘s been doing quite well for himself in his post-Office career. He’s already got several films lined up for the next couple of years, including Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher and the magician comedy Burt Wonderstone. Now the latest addition to his slate is Conviction, a heist film which he’ll produce and star in. Jonathan Herman‘s Black List script centers around a convicted bank robber who’s forced by the FBI to entrap his former protege.

Which sounds good, except that while Herman’s original screenplay had a tone similar to Heat, it’s now being reworked as an action comedy in the vein of 48 Hours or Ocean’s Eleven. That seems like a pretty major shift, though without having read the script I can’t say for certain whether it’s a terrible idea. The project has yet to confirm a writer to draft a new version of the script. [Deadline]

After the jump, Ben Kingsley, Julian Sands, and Jena Malone join a classic tale with a zeitgeisty twist, while Leslie Bibb, Ryan Kwanten, and Amy Smart board a flight with some paranormal issues.

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Jena Malone has landed the part of Southern Gothic writer Carson McCullers in Lonely Hunter, a biopic written and directed by Deborah Kampmeier (Hounddog). The film will encompass some 35 years of McCullers’ 50-year life, including her struggles with alcoholism, various illnesses, and a tumultuous marriage. McCullers is probably best known for her debut novel The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, but she also published poems, plays, and short stories throughout her lifetime and was part of the same literary circle as Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote.

Malone appeared in Sucker Punch earlier this year, and will star in next year’s lesbian werewolf romance Jack and Diane. Lonely Hunter is scheduled to begin shooting in spring 2012. [The Hollywood Reporter]

After the jump, World War Z gets a late addition and Vinessa Shaw struggles with the downside of smelling really, really good.

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It’s December 2009, and I’m in Vancouver Canada. Earlier this morning we saw the first press screening of James Cameron’s Avatar with an audience of Vancouver press and filmmakers which included District 9 director Neill Blomkamp. A few hours later, I’m standing in a green screen stage at Vancouver Film Studios. This is the production centre where a lot of sci-fi television series are filmed, shows such as Dark Angel, Smallville, Battlestar Galactica, Bionic Woman, Reaper, Caprica, Eureka, Fringe, Human Target and films such as X-Men II and 3, I Robot, Fantastic Four 1 and 2, The A-Team and 2012.

Zack Snyder filmed some of Watchmen on this lot, and has returned to Canada to shoot his latest — Sucker Punch.

Snyder even pushed our set visit back a couple hours so that we could attend that local screening of Avatar, allowing us the ability to see the movie at the same time as the press at the nationwide press screenings. The fact that Snyder was able to arrange this is mind-boggling for a bunch of different reasons, but especially considering studio politics — Avatar was being released by Fox and Sucker Punch was a Warner Bros production. And most other filmmakers probably would have said “Fuck Avatar”, not wanting to be out-done — how can your set visit possibly compete with a film which was billed as a cinema changing event? But that’s the kind of confident filmmaker Snyder has become.

A helicopter is situated about twenty feet above us, and Snyder is on a ladder talking to Jena Malone, one of the four main stars of the film. Jena Malone plays Rocket, beside her is Emily Browning, who plays Baby Doll, Abbie Cornish, who plays Sweet Pea, Vanessa Hudgens who plays Blondie and Jamie Chung who plays Amber. Snyder explains how the helicopter will bank to the left in the upcoming wide shot. Emily asks how far they’re jumping in the real world, and Zack quickly responds “About twenty feet” before stopping himself and laughing “What real world?”

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