INCEPTION

We see movie stars zipping around the New York City skyline (or at least a CG version of it) all the time, but it’s usually in the context of superhero movies. For one of his next films, however, Joseph Gordon-Levitt will play a mere mortal who managed to do so without the benefit of web shooters, high-tech suits, freak genetic mutations, or otherwordly gifts.

Gordon-Levitt has taken the lead in Robert ZemeckisTo Reach the Clouds, about the French high-wire walker Philippe Petit. Among Petit’s best known achievements is his 1974 World Trade Center walk, which was chronicled in the 2008 documentary Man on Wire. Hit the jump for more details on the project.

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Why would Joseph Gordon-Levitt sign on to be involved with the Warner Bros. film based on Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman? The obvious overarching answer is that WB has been wanting to put the actor/filmmaker in an even bigger role than he had in The Dark Knight Rises, and with Sandman he gets to be one of the people calling the shots.

But more specifically, why Sandman? It’s a property with a large, dedicated and detail-obsessed fanbase. A Sandman film that gets things wrong will be received particularly poorly, and bringing the story to the screen in an effective manner is going to be a tricky proposition. That could be an appealing challenge. As he puts it, for Joseph Gordon-Levitt, part of the appeal is the fact that Sandman is a unique large-scale project that is out of the typical groove of tentpole films.

And while he’s talking about the project, Gordon-Levitt explains that one of his Sandman tweets should perhaps not be construed as a harbinger of the first storyline to come.

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House of Lies Season 3

It’s been a very slow couple of weeks for television, as most shows go on hiatus for the holidays. But now that New Year’s Day is in our rearview mirror, it’s time to dive back into some returning favorites and get to know some promising newbies.

In the former category are Showtime’s House of Lies and Masters of Sex, while the latter includes Joseph Gordon-Levitt‘s variety show HitRecord on TV. And the good news is that you can get a head-start on your winter TV-viewing by watching the first episodes of all three shows online, for free, right now. Hit the jump to take a look.

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The Wind Rises

Briefly: Joseph Gordon-Levitt is having a big news day. He’s attached to adapt Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and he’s now officially been revealed as the lead voice in Disney’s English-language release of Hayao Miyazaki‘s final film, The Wind Rises.

Gordon-Levitt will voice Jiro Horikoshi, a talented engineer who spends his life building planes, only to realize he can’t fix everything. The actor will be joined by an impressive list of names including his Looper co-star Emily Blunt, her husband John Krasinski, as well as Martin Short, Stanley Tucci, Mandy Patinkin, William H. Macy, Werner Herzog (!), Mae Whitman, Jennifer Grey, Darren Criss, Elijah Wood and Ronan Farrow.

The English dubbed version will be released February 21. [USA Today]

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Briefly: Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been confirmed as a producer and possible director and star for the Warner Bros. film adaptation of The Sandman. (He emphasized his current producer-only role on Twitter.) The comic series created by Neil Gaiman has been the subject of several possible film and TV adaptations in the past, but will now be part of WB’s new push to adapt DC properties.

This development was first reported by Badass Digest when David Goyer pitched a take on Sandman to Warner Bros.; we’ll have to wait to see if he signs on in a capacity other than producer, but it’s looking like we’ll at least see JGL in a role in the film. [Deadline]

Update: Gordon-Levitt tweeted about the deal, suggesting that we’ll see an adaptation of the first story arc in the Sandman series, collected as ‘Preludes and Nocturnes.’ In that arc the title character, Dream, is freed from captivity and has to rebuild his power base. The story features a chapter called ’24 Hours,’ in which a madman uses Dream’s power to influence people trapped in a diner, and which is one of the more horrifying issues in the series.

HitRECord on TV

Having taken over the big screen to the point where it seems like no big-budget pic gets made anymore without his name entering the mix, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is now turning his attention back to the small screen.

His production company HitRECord has just released a new trailer for their series, the rather simply-titled HitRECord on TV. The half-hour variety is set to debut later this winter. Check it out after the jump.

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There’s a new issue of Neil Gaiman‘s The Sandman on stands now. It launches a short ongoing story called The Sandman: Overture, acting as an explanation of events that preceded the first issue of the seminal comic series. It’s the first new Sandman story since 2003, and the first series of multiple issues since the series originally ended in 1996. (And, in keeping with some periods of the original publication, Overture is already experiencing delays.)

All of which is a long way of saying that a lot of people are thinking and talking about Sandman again, and that seems to have re-ignited the interest in making a movie at Warner Bros. The latest word is that David Goyer has pitched a take that WB likes, and that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the ideal candidate to play the lynchpin character Morpheus. Read More »

Kevin Feige

While promoting Thor 2 in London, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige took a few minutes to chat about some other Marvel movies coming down the pipeline — namely, Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man.

Although Vin Diesel‘s recent antics had fans assuming he was a lock for Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy, Feige clarifies exactly where the actor stands right now. Additionally, he comments on the Ant-Man speculation surrounding Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Paul Rudd — just as another new rumor suggests that Rashida Jones could play Ant-Man’s lady love. Hit the jump for Feige’s comments plus the latest buzz on the Wasp.

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