Briefly: Here’s your WTF cast of the week: the indie drama Lives of the Saints is about to shoot next month with the following cast lined up:¬† Meg Ryan, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, John Lithgow, Joe Anderson and Kat Dennings. The picture follows “intertwining story lines about a group of Angelinos seeking redemption for past mistakes,” according to THR.

Chris Rossi wrote and will direct the film, and I can’t wait to see how these various actors’ storylines will actually intersect. Visions of Crash float into mind. (The bad one — the Paul Haggis film — that is. I’ll never get over having to distinguish between that and the David Cronenberg movie.) Perhaps we can get a special edition DVD that allows viewers to select only specific storylines featuring the actors they like? I’d choose John Lithgow and Kat Dennings, but that’s probably obvious.

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andy-serkis-3a

The history of Rise of the Apes, the Planet of the Apes prequel to be directed by The Escapist‘s Rupert Wyatt, goes back a few years. It was set in motion at Fox by Scott Frank, who developed a script called Caesar, which was intended as “a hard science fiction film about humans that use science to create hyper-intelligent chimpanzees.” Obviously, the primary super-chimp created in the story is Caesar, and that creature sets in motion events that eventually lead to Planet of the Apes.

A few things have changed, with a new script by Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa, but Caesar is still in the story with a primary role. And now he’ll be played by an actor with great simian experience: Andy Serkis. Read More »

John Lithgow Joins Planet of the Apes Prequel

John Lithgow

John Lithgow has signed on to join in 20th Century Fox’s Planet of the Apes prequel Rise of the Apes. Lithgow joins James Franco (Spider-Man/Milk) who is set to play the lead, “a young, driven scientist who becomes a crucial figure in the war between humans and apes.” Lithgow will play Franco’s Alzheimer’s-stricken father. and Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire) is set to play Caroline, the film’s female lead who is “a primatologist.” Don Cheadle (Iron Man) is also rumored to be on board. The Escapist helmer Rupert Wyatt will direct from a screenplay by Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa.

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Because almost everything in certain parts of Comic Con was already running late today, but not quite everything, I raced from the Avatar footage (impressive, incredibly detailed, still more cartoonish than I expected) to the Dexter panel, only to finally be allowed to enter the hall just as the Season Four trailer finished. So I didn’t get to see the first footage of Dexter, Rita and their new son Harrison, nor the clips of John Lithgow as this season’s ‘killer of the year’.

I did see an image from Dexter: Early Cuts, the animated webisodes that will detail the killer’s early years, and a bit of footage from the video game soon to be released on the iPhone/iTouch platform. And even without seeing the trailer, I got quite a bit of information out of the panel discussion that followed. It’s after the break, as are embeds of both the season four trailer I missed and the Early Cuts teaser. Read More »

John Lithgow Joins Dexter, 24 Casts Two More

dexter 24

Entertainment Weekly is reporting that John Lithgow is joining the Season 4 cast of Dexter and The Hollywood Reporter has word that¬† Jennifer Westfeldt and John Boyd have joined the cast of the eigth season of Fox’s 24.Full details after the jump.

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If true, this is a bad move. PR Insider reports that Sylvester Stallone is in negotiations with Sony Pictures to revise his character Cliffhanger, er, Gabe Walker, in a sequel to 1993′s Cliffhanger, which grossed $84 million domestically and $200 million plus worldwide. The sequel will be entitled The Dam, which automatically makes me think of the “surefire” pitch that became 1996′s megaflop Daylight: Stallone versus dam tunnel. And, I’m so sure, there are challenging cliffs to hang from on a dam.

“There’s only one man for this job.” – Guy in Hard Hat with Walkie Talkie

Stallone’s Rambo is nearing $40 million domestic, but won’t reach the $70 million heights of Rocky Balboa. Super Bowl weekend seemed to take out a chunk of its potential business, as word of mouth was overwhelmingly positive. Worldwide, the sequel is still rolling out, and the industry already views the film as a success; the press, another success story. As much as I think Stallone remaking Charles Bronson’s Death Wish is uninspired, bookending another of his Golden Oldies, one memorable only for its atmosphere and a bug-eyed villain played by John Lithgow, narrows the scope of his latest comeback and opens up the punchlines.

Does anyone see potential in Cliffhanger 2: The Dam?

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