Chef (4)

When Jon Favreau released the first Iron Man, he was still seen as an exciting young director on his way up despite having credits like Made, Elf, and Zathura. Then came Iron Man 2 and Cowboys & Aliens, and his name started to elicit more eye-rolls than smiles. But at SXSW this year, he unveiled what seems to be a return to form: a crowd-pleasing indie called Chef.

In it, Favreau plays a once-acclaimed chef rebuilding his life after a heavily YouTubed incident sends his career on the skids. He’s also dealing with a gorgeous ex-wife (Sofia Vergara) and an adorable moppet of a son (Emjay Anthony). So how does this latest effort stack up against some of Favreau’s critically scorned tentpole output? Get the word from SXSW and check out some first-look photos after the jump.

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John Leguizamo

A couple of years ago, The Lincoln Lawyer helmer Brad Furman became the latest in a long string of directors to try and bring the Pablo Escobar story to life. We haven’t heard much about The Ballad of Pablo Escobar since then, but some recent movement suggests that it could be making some big steps forward soon.

According to a new report, John Leguizamo is lobbying heavily to play the drug kingpin, and has gone as far as submitting a screen test. He’d be taking over for Oscar Isaac, who was attached some time ago. Hit the jump for more details on the potential casting.

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Ride Along

After playing one of the most memorable supporting characters in 21 Jump Street, Ice Cube is getting a buddy-cop comedy of his own.

That header image probably tells you everything you need to know about the dynamic at the center of Ride Along, but in case you need more detail: The comedy stars Kevin Hart as Ben, an aspiring cop who wants to ask his girlfriend (Tika Sumpter) to marry him — much to the irritation of her big brother James, a tough Atlanta PD officer. In an effort to scare him off, James invites Ben to prove himself on the worst ride-along ever. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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downey-favreau-header

The ascent of Robert Downey Jr. from near-outcast status to major movie star can be traced in part to Jon Favreau, who lobbied to cast Downey as Tony Stark in Iron Man. The success of the film minted the actor as a bona-fide star, and also helped push Favreau’s directorial career to a new level.

Now the two will work together once again on a much smaller project: an indie ensemble comedy called Chef. (Not to be confused with the project of the same name that once had David Fincher attached to direct.) Favreau scripted, and has assembled a cast that also features Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo, and Bobby Cannavale. Read More »

Jon Favreau Going Indie With ‘Chef’

Jon Favreau

After directing a string of big-budget actioners — Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and Cowboys & AliensJon Favreau will get back in touch with his indie roots with his next project. The filmmaker has signed on to direct in star in Chef, which he also wrote and will produce.

In addition to Favreau, the cast will feature some solid talents including Sofia Vergara and Bobby CannavaleJohn Leguizamo is also said to be circling. Get more details after the jump.

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Over the years, John Leguizamo‘s earned a reputation as the kind of solid character actor who can make the most out of whatever he’s given. But not all supporting roles are created equal, so it’s great to see him land two particularly juicy-sounding ones back to back.

Leguizamo has reportedly booked parts in Ridley Scott‘s drug drama The Counselor, joining the likes of Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, and Cameron Diaz, and Jeff Wadlow‘s comic book sequel Kick-Ass 2, which also stars Aaron Johnson, Chloe Moretz, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. More details after the jump.

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In the decade or so since the start of Fox’s Ice Age series, the franchise has pulled in a range of high-profile stars including Jack Black, Will Arnett, Jay Leno, and Simon Pegg to compliment its central quartet of Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, and Chris Wedge.

This time around, for Steve Martino and Michael Thurmeier‘s Ice Age: Continental Drift, the core characters are joined by the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Nick Frost, Rebel Wilson, Aziz Ansari, Josh Gad, Peter Dinklage, and more. It’s a very solid cast, but is the project worthy of their talents? Watch the first trailer after the jump and decide for yourself. Read More »

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 »

I think it’s fair to say that Katherine Heigl has an image problem. Films like Killers and Life as We Know It haven’t done much to balance the idea of Heigl as ice queen, but maybe adopting a Jersey accent will do the trick. Providing the assist is Heigl’s former Grey’s Anatomy director Julie Anne Robinson, who sat in the director’s chair for this particular effort.

So One for the Money is based on the first of more than a dozen novels by Janet Evanovich that follow the travails of amateur bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. Heigl plays Plum in what looks like a zippy but vapid film in the same basic vein as Romancing the Stone. (Or, if you’re feeling less generous, in the same mode as The Bounty Hunter, with the main gender roles flipped.) Check out the trailer below. Read More »

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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