Murder on the Orient Express casting / Daisy Ridley as Rey in Star Wars The Force Awakens

Director Kenneth Branagh seemed to have his work cut out for him when it came to casting his Murder on the Orient Express remake. Sidney Lumet’s 1974 version was a star-studded affair, featuring Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Jacqueline Bisset, Sean Connery, Anthony Perkins, and Vanessa Redgrave. Could any new cast in 2016 possibly compare?

Well, we won’t know for sure until the new film opens in theaters, but it does seem to be off to a great start in terms of star power. Branagh himself is leading the Agatha Christie adaptation as detective Hercule Poirot, and yesterday we learned Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer had also hopped on board. Today, a new report adds several more big names to the passenger list including Daisy RidleyJudi DenchMichael Peña, and Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr. Find out who’s playing whom below. Read More »

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children trailer

The last time Tim Burton and Eva Green teamed up, we got the fairly awful Dark Shadows adaptation. To be sure, the film’s failures weren’t Green’s fault — indeed, she was one of the few bright spots in it. Still, here’s hoping their new collaboration will turn out better.

Based on the bestselling novel by Ransom RiggsMiss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children stars Asa Butterfield as a seemingly ordinary teenager who discovers a hidden refuge for “peculiars” — people with extraordinary powers. As he gets to know the ins and outs of this secret world, he realizes they’re all in danger, and that he’s the only one who can save them. Watch the new Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children trailer below.  Read More »

Tulip Fever trailer

Alicia Vikander was downright inescapable in 2015. The Swedish actress had no fewer than seven films out in U.S. theaters last year — including The Danish Girl, which won her the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. She’ll be a little less ubiquitous in 2016, but there’ll still be plenty of her to go around. She’s got Jason Bourne coming this summer and The Light Between Oceans due this fall. And before either of those hit cinemas, she’ll be seen in Tulip Fever.

Directed by Justin Chadwick (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), the romantic drama follows Sophia (Vikander), a young woman in 17th century Amsterdam. She’s married to a wealthy older man, Cornelis (Christoph Waltz), but risks everything when she falls into a passionate affair with Jan (Dane DeHaan), the artist hired to paint the couple. Tom Stoppard wrote the screenplay, and it’s based on the book of the same title by Deborah Moggach. Watch the first Tulip Fever trailer after the jump.  Read More »

‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ Trailer

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has revealed its first trailer. John Madden‘s follow-up to his 2012 sleeper hit once again picks up with the colorful residents of the titular retirement center — all of whom, proprietor Sonny (Dev Patel) is careful to confirm, are still alive.

Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, Celia Imrie, Diana Hardcastle, and Ronald Pickup all reprise their roles from the first film. Joining the gang this time around are Guy (Richard Gere) and Lavinia (Tamsin Greig), both of whom want the only vacant room left. Watch The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel trailer after the jump.

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Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Fox Searchlight has made some of the most well-liked films in recent memory. The company has won Oscars and grossed hundreds of millions of dollars, but the one thing it has never done is make a sequel. That is, until now. John Madden is returning to make The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2, the sequel to the 2012 hit. All of the surviving cast members will be back (such as Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy and Dev Patel) and there will be new additions including Richard Gere and David Strathairn. Read More »

Philomena

Stephen Frears‘ last release, the gambling comedy Lay the Favorite, has the unfortunate distinction of being among the worst-reviewed films of his career. His two films before that, Chéri and Tamara Drewe, failed to make much of a mark at all. Fortunately, his next film Philomena looks like it could be a return to form.

Judi Dench stars as the titular character, an Irish woman who was forced to give up her toddler son in the 1950s. She’s spent the years since then searching for him in vain, and eventually gets some assistance in her quest from journalist Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan).

The moving, fact-based tale seems like perfect prestige pic material, and with Oscar winner Dench and the Oscar-nominated Frears involved, Philomena could potentially make waves this awards season. Watch the new trailer after the jump.

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Director Sam Mendes and star Daniel Craig may be the big marquee names of Skyfall, but the real driving forces behind the Bond franchise have long been Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson. The half-siblings are the daughter and stepson, respectively, of late producer Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli — the man who, along with producer Harry Saltzman, first brought Ian Fleming‘s now-iconic spy to the silver screen in 1962 — and have been involved with the series since the Roger Moore era.

At a recent Skyfall press day in New York, I got to speak with the pair about what Mendes brings to the franchise, the advantages of having Craig on board, the importance of interesting female characters, and whether perennial fan favorite Christopher Nolan might ever direct an installment. Hit the jump to read on.

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You’ve probably noticed by now that Sam MendesSkyfall is building some seriously amazing buzz, with ecstatic praise heaped on everything from the cinematography and action choreography to the acting and storytelling. On the plus side, that makes the film’s impending release that much more exciting. On the not-so-plus side, all that hype just makes November 9 (or October 26 for you lucky Brits) seem that much farther away.

For those hankering for an early Bond fix, we have some fun bits of B-roll to share with you today after the jump. The videos show stars Daniel CraigJavier BardemJudi Dench, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finney, Ben Whishaw, and Bérénice Marlohe shooting various key scenes, from quiet conversations to splashy action setpieces. Check them out after the jump.

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‘Skyfall’ Set Visit Preview and Four New Photos

Over the past few days I’ve been in London, and west of the city in Iver Heath. In that small village is the renowned Pinewood Studios, home of the 007 Stage. The occasion was a visit to that massive stage to see a bit of the twenty-third James Bond film, Skyfall, in action, and to spend time talking to Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Berenice Marlohe, and some of the producers and crew.

Information about the film’s characters and story remains tightly controlled, but we did see a few notable things: preparations for and the beginning of the execution of a setpiece involving a confrontation between James Bond (Craig) and the villain Silva (Bardem) that is partially resolved through the intervention of a crashing London Tube train. We saw the construction of a stunning Shanghai casino set, and the remnants of an impressive deserted town meant to be on an island off the coast of Japan.

After the break, see three more new images from Skyfall, and be on the lookout for our full set report next week. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

One of the last two films Steven Soderbergh plans to shoot before retiring from directing is The Bitter Pill, a thriller scripted by Scott Z. Burns (The Informant!, Contagion) that follows a troubled and highly medicated woman (Rooney Mara) who is dealing with her anxiety pending the release of her husband (Channing Tatum) from prison.

The promising actress Vinessa Shaw (Two Lovers, pictured above, and 3:10 to Yuma) is now set to play the wife of one of Mara’s doctors, who will be portrayed by Jude Law. After The Bitter Pill, Soderbergh will move on to his Liberace biopic for HBO, and then he’s done. (So he says.) [Deadline]

After the break, Ray Liotta lives with chemistry and Stanley Tucci joins two Harry Potter veterans. Read More »