Into the Woods logo

When most people think of Walt Disney films, they think of two genres: the animated musical and the live-action family film. Beauty and the Beast or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Snow White or Swiss Family Robinson. What’s slightly more rare of late is a blend of the two, the live-action musical, as we’ve seen in films like Mary Poppins, Newsies, Enchanted or The Muppets. These come out much less frequently.

Next year, however, Disney will be releasing two live-action musicals: Muppets Most Wanted and one that’s likely to be their most elaborate and star-studded live action musical to date, Into The Woods.

Directed by Rob Marshall and based on the Tony Award-winning broadway show with music by Stephen Sondheim, Into the Woods just began production aimed at a Christmas 2014 release. Below, read the full press release including the list of confirmed cast members, such as Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, Chris Pine, Anna Kendrick, Christine Baranski and Tracy Ullman. Read More »

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Just as Disney moves one film into the crowded summer of 2015, another has been taken out. Pirates of the Caribbean 5, originally scheduled for release July 15, 2015, has been delayed. The move comes a day after Marvel’s Ant-Man moved into the same month.

Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg have been tapped to direct the film, which is rumored to be called Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. No new release date has been set, but the summer of 2016 seems likely. Read More »

Joel Edgerton to Replace Johnny Depp in ‘Shantaram’

Joel Edgerton

It’s been a good week for projects stuck in development hell. Yesterday, James Gray’s The Lost City of Z got a new lease on life as Benedict Cumberbatch entered talks to star. Today, the even longer-gestating Shantaram looks like it could spring back to life, with Joel Edgerton in the lead role.

Based on the novel by Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram centers on an escaped Australian convict named Lin who moves to Bombay and reinvents himself as a doctor. He eventually gets involved with the local mafia, and uses the dark skills he develops with them in the guerilla war against invading Russians in Afghanistan. Even more remarkable than the plotline itself is the fact that it’s based on Roberts’ own life. Hit the jump for more details on the project.

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Pirates of the Caribbean

Briefly: Jerry Bruckheimer and Johnny Depp are prepping the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie, with Kon Tiki directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg taking the helm. Jeff Nathanson is scripting, and while we don’t know any story details at this point, now we’ve got a title. The series will finally get around to using a classic pirate phrase, as the film is reportedly titled Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

The info comes via This Is Infamous, which got the title in an interview with the directors. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will shoot in early 2014, and is set for release on July 15, 2015. There has been talk that Disney will limit Bruckheimer’s autonomy on this chapter, but it remains to be seen how that will affect the film, if indeed it will at all.

The Lone Ranger

There’s no question at this point that The Lone Ranger was a big fat flop, but why it failed so badly remains up for debate. Were audiences turned off by the cultural insensitivity? Does Johnny Depp need to put down the white makeup? Was the movie just not very good?

According to director Gore Verbinski, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and stars Depp and Armie Hammer, the answer is none of the above. Instead, the team pegs the film’s poor box office performance on film critics, whom they believe were “gunning for” the movie due to its production troubles. Cue every single movie reviewer I know: If only we had that kind of power. Hit the jump to watch them complain.

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Johnny Depp

If the failure of The Lone Ranger suggested that audiences may be ready to take a break from Johnny Depp, the actor’s latest statements indicate that the feeling may be mutual. Depp told UK press today that he was “probably not too far away” from retiring from acting, after about three decades in the business.

Even if Depp decides to quit, however, it won’t be for some time yet. He’s got about five films lined up for the next couple of years, four of which haven’t even begun shooting yet. Hit the jump to read his comments.

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Gwyneth Paltrow / Ewan McGregor

The Lone Ranger was a low point for Johnny Depp, but the actor’s already brushed himself off and moved on. Wally Pfister’s Transcendence is shooting now, Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods enters production later this year, and he’s got David Koepp’s Mortdecai coming together after that.

The last film on that list got a nice shove forward last month when Depp started closing in on a formal deal after years of development. Now it’s picking up even more big names, as Gwyenth Paltrow and Ewan McGregor enter talks to co-star. Hit the jump for plot details and more.

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Johnny Depp

The Lone Ranger flopped so hard last weekend that it had pundits wondering whether Johnny Depp‘s star was, at long last, on the decline. But despite the $150 million it stands to lose on that film, the folks at Disney haven’t lost faith in him. In fact, they’re eager to take their relationship with him to the next level.

Depp’s production company Infinitum Nihil has closed a first-look deal with the Mouse House, after years set up at Warner Bros. In addition, Depp’s just about set to reprise his role as the Mad Hatter for the Alice in Wonderland sequel, currently titled Into the Looking Glass. More details after the jump.

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