Since the run-up to the release of Blue Sky Studios’ Ice Age in 2002, the best spokesman — spokesanimal? — for the film series has been a creature that can barely speak. The acorn-obsessed Scrat, a sabre-toothed squirrel, has starred in trailers and shorts and is one of the most consistently entertaining parts of the actual films. With the latest film in the series, Ice Age: Continental Drift, hitting theaters in July 2012, Fox and Blue Sky are way ahead of the curve in getting the word out. The first part of the short Scrat’s Continental Crack-Up showed up way back in January of this year, and now we’ve got the conclusion. Check it out below. Read More »

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Walden Media, the team behind The Chronicles of Narnia series, has just purchased the rights to Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego? Jennifer Lopez is attached, and though she seems perfect for the lead role, she’s reportedly only going to produce. The hope is that the film, based on a series of geography games that were adapted into a popular Nineties game show and later an animated cartoon, turns into a family adventure along the lines of National Treasure. Read more about the deal and listen to one of the best theme songs in television history after the jump. Read More »

Here’s a massive post-weekend catchup casting roundup, with a headlining turn from Jean-Claude van Damme. How can you resist the Muscles From Brussels? Answer: you can’t. Just give in to his suave, over-confident appeal. After the break you’ll find details about:

  • JCVD taking part in a sci-fi film called UFO,
  • Danny Glover joining the cast of a different sci-fi thriller, Mentryville,
  • Sullivan Stapleton becoming the latest member of the Gangster Squad,
  • Nico Tortorella from Scream 4 joining Guy Pearce and Amy Ryan in an indie,
  • and What to Expect When You’re Expecting adds more.

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Sometimes there’s no way to make a casting roundup conform to any sort of sense. Such is the case here, as we’ve got info on a wild reality-based political thriller set in 1979, an animated sequel, and an indie family drama with a very unlikely cast. In other words, after the break you’ll find info on:

  • Monsters star Scoot McNairy joining Ben Affleck’s Argo,
  • Nick Frost and seven hundred other actors doing voices for the fourth theatrical Ice Age movie,
  • and an indie called Little Boy, which has Kevin James and Emily Watson set to star.

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Here’s one of several casting breaks to come your way in the next few hours, and this one is pretty damned good. Why? Because after the break you’ll find info on the following:

  • Nick Nolte takes a role in hard-boiled crime thriller Parker.
  • Jesse Eisenberg plays dopplegangers in The Double.
  • And Mark Ruffalo and Amanda Seyfried join the increasingly promising FBI vs magicians thriller Now You See Me. Read More »

Three more have signed on for What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Kirk Jones‘ adaptation of the classic pregnancy manual. The comedy follows several different couples, Love Actually-style, as each experiences pregnancy and the miracle of childbirth. Bridesmaids actress Wendi McLendon-Covey will play a colleague and friend of Jennifer Lopez‘ character; True Blood‘s Joe Manganiello will be a single guy whose carefree, glamorous lifestyle is the envy of all the local dads; and Glee star Matthew Morrison has won the part of Evan, who teams up with Cameron Diaz‘ character on a celebrity dance show (really) and eventually gets her pregnant.

In addition to the actors named above, What to Expect will also feature Elizabeth Banks, Chris Rock, Brooklyn Decker, Anna Kendrick, Rodrigo Santoro, Chace Crawford, Rob Huebel, and McLendon-Covey‘s Bridesmaids co-star Rebel Wilson. The film will begin shooting this summer for a Mother’s Day 2012 release. [The Playlist, The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline]

More ensemble comedy news after the jump: Robert Smigel and Annie Mumolo board Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up spin-off, while Christina Hendricks, Sarah Hyland, and Dermot Mulroney sign up for Struck by Lightning.

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Briefly: Casting has been coming together quickly for Parker, which Taylor Hackford is directing with Jason Statham starring as the classic Richard Stark anti-hero. (As previously played on screen by Lee Marvin, Mel Gibson and others.) Jennifer Lopez is in talks for a key role, and Clifton Collins Jr. and Wendell Pierce signed to play other small roles. Now Deadline says that Michael Chiklis will play “Jason Statham’s nemesis” in the film. Word is that the John J. McLaughlin script jumps off from a number of Stark’s novels to create a new story. The debut novel The Hunter (’62)and later novel Flashfire (’00) are said to be part of the ingredient list.

Parker shoots in August.

Professional tough guys Val Kilmer and Ving Rhames, along with Luke Goss and Rebecca Da Costa, are set to star in the indie thriller Seven Below. Written by Kevin Carraway and Lawrence Smith and directed by Carraway, the film centers around:

…a group of strangers brought together when a terrible storm leaves them stranded in a house in the woods where a terrible event transpired exactly 100 years prior. The group seems trapped in a ghostly time warp, and history is repeating itself.”

I haven’t seen much by either Carraway or Smith, so I have no idea how the film will actually play out. But the concept, at least, sounds solid. Production for Seven Below is set to begin in Cincinnati next month. [Collider]

After the jump, new additions to What to Expect When You’re Expecting and Cherry.

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