Chris Maybach has been enjoying excellent buzz for producing Sundance favorite Martha Marcy May Marlene, but don’t think he’s been resting on his laurels. Maybach has two more films in post-production — Sean Baker’s Starlet and Andrew Dosunmu’s Mother of George — and is in the process of casting yet another project, which he will direct himself.

The new drama, titled The Low Road, follows a young drifter who returns to his hometown and gets wrapped up in a conflict involving two old men on the verge of losing their farm. Maybach told Screen Daily that he has put out offers to Nick Nolte and Tom Waits for the parts of the two older men, though as The Playlist points out, the $1 million budget means that getting both actors may be a bit of a stretch. (Waits has done a song called ‘Lowside of the Road,’ though, so that’s one more reason to think of him for the role.) The film is scheduled to begin shooting in late 2011 or early 2012.

After the jump, Peter Bogdanovich signs on for a supernatural thriller with Super 8 star Joel Courtney, and Colin Salmon looks for Retributon.

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Scarlett Johansson may seem like an unlikely lead for a Judd Apatow film, but in this context her casting actually makes a lot of sense. Johansson has signed on to star in Can a Song Save Your Life?, which will be written and directed by John Carney (Once) and produced by Apatow. The film follows “a washed-up A&R man who forms a passionate bond with a young singer-songwriter (Johansson) from out of town.”

The project calls for Johansson to sing, which shouldn’t be a problem for the actress. Johansson is in fact a professional singer, having released an album of Tom Waits covers titled Anywhere I Lay My Head back in 2008 and a collaboration with Pete Yorn called Break Up in 2009. Though the male lead has yet to be cast, Mark Ruffalo and Jim Carrey have been rumored as possibilities. (FWIW, I vote Ruffalo.) Shooting on the film will begin in New York City next year. [The Playlist]

After the jump, new gigs for the stars of Twilight, Wizards of Waverly Place, and the late-’90s/early-’00s teen alien show Roswell. Gosh, remember that?

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Joel Courtney was an unknown a few months ago; now he is on thousands of movie screens as Joe Lamb, the young man at the center of J.J. Abrams’ movie Super 8. We haven’t had much word on what he might do to follow up that film, but now there is a report that he is in talks for two roles. One of the two is among the most well-known roles a young actor could play: Mark Twain’s adventure archetype Tom Sawyer. Read More »

Ever heard of a turducken? It’s a food item consisting of chicken and duck stuffed into a turkey; three elements that don’t exactly go together, but are delicious enough individually that the end product is a delight. I ask because J.J. Abrams‘ latest film, Super 8, is the movie equivalent of a turducken. It’s a decidedly pleasant blend of innumerable influences, compressed down and stuffed together into a package that might feel a little disjointed and bloated, but ultimately works because each element itself is so good.

Continue reading this non-spoiler review after the jump.

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‘Super 8′ Clip #3

This week, Paramount Pictures has been premiering mini-clips from the Steven Spielberg-produced JJ Abrams-directed 1980′s Amblin film homage Super 8. Each 30-second clip has premiered on Fox at 8pm, with the last one scheduled to air Wednesday.

We’ve posted the first two clips, the first of which showed the kids preparing to shoot their Super 8 zombie movie before the big train crash, and the second of which showed what happens to the kids during the train crash.

The third clip is a continuation, another 30 seconds of footage, showing what happens after the train crash. While the first two clips pretty much showed what happened in the teaser trailer but from the kid’s perspective, this is the first clip in the series that I would warn against watching if you’re worried about learning plot points or spoilers no yet shown in the previous advertising. Watch the new clip embedded after the jump.

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Today Paramount Pictures released their summer movie preview images, which includes a couple new photos from JJ AbramsSuper 8 and Michael Bay‘s Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Check them out for yourself after the jump.

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‘Super 8′ TV Spot Features New Footage

Super 8, the J. J. Abrams film produced in conjunction with Steven Spielberg that very deliberately seeks to recapture the spirit of ’80s Amblin films, is looking like one of the best bets of the summer. Footage wowed audiences at CinemaCon last week, and at a media preview not long before that. A new TV spot for the film ran last night in the States, and it features a few very small bits of new footage. For those who can’t get enough, the clip is after the break. Read More »

New Poster: ‘Super 8′

The trailer for J.J. AbramsSuper 8 went up last night, and no matter what you think of the film’s evident and very overt aspirations to Amblin, you’ve got to admire the way that clip is cut. It gives a great idea of what the movie is without actually seeming to give anything away. Quite an achievement, especially in this current climate of trailers that give the impression that you’ve just seen the whole film, even if that’s not the case.

Anyway, there is also a new poster for the film, and we’ve got a high-res version after the break. Read More »

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