HBO has developed quite a reputation for attracting high-profile, high-quality talent, with the likes of Steve Buscemi and Dustin Hoffman leading shows on the network, and now they’ve brought on one of their biggest names yet. Ben Stiller has signed on to star, direct, and executive produce All Talk, a comedy from Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close novelist Jonathan Safran Foer, with Alan Alda in talks to co-star. Scott Rudin is set to executive produce with Foer, Stiller, and Eli Bush. More details after the jump.

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Warner Bros. evidently has high hopes for Stephen Daldry‘s adaptation of the Jonathan Safran Foer novel Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, as the studio recently set the film for a December 25 debut. Indeed, the novel, which is a quirky but heartfelt account of a young boy’s attempt to uncover some family history in the wake of 9/11, could easily be the basis for a moving holiday film.

I’m anxious to see a trailer, in part because the key role in the film — the boy Oskar — went to a non-actor: young Jeopardy! winner Thomas Horn. The potential that this film will reveal a new young talent seems high, much as True Grit did last year with Hailee Steinfeld. While we wait for that trailer, check out the first official image from the film, which shows Horn with Tom Hanks, as Oskar’s father. Read More »

Briefly: 2011 could be a good year for John Goodman and his fans. He’ll be seen in Kevin Smith’s Red State, and looks to be part of The Artist (with James Cromwell and Penelope Ann Miller) and Thicker (with Alison Pill, Guy Pearce and Christopher Lloyd). And now he’s been cast alongside Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

Stephen Daldry‘s film is based on a script by Eric Roth that adapts the Jonathan Safran Foer novel about Oskar (played by newcomer Thomas Horn), a young boy who deals with the death of his father, a 9/11 victim, by exploring New York City looking for clues related to a key left in his father’s possessions. John Goodman will play the doorman in Oskar’s building, who takes part in a crucial aspect of the boy’s story. [Reuters]

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The fiction of Jonathan Safran Foer represents a very specific way of looking at the world, and celebrate the ways in which language works and fails. Foer is extremely skilled at creating images that are both fantastic and genuine; his prose can generate such an impression of seeing things unfold that they seem like natural raw material for film adaptations.

Liev Schreiber made a solid directorial debut with an adaptation of Everything is Illuminated, and now Stephen Daldry is set to bring Foer’s follow-up novel, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, to the screen. Read More »

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