Romeo and Juliet

Since her Oscar-nominated breakthrough performance in 2010’s True Grit, Hailee Steinfeld has mostly kept out of the limelight. In fact, she hasn’t appeared in a single movie since then. But with half a dozen releases planned for the next couple of years (including Ender’s Game, Can a Song Save Your Life, and Three Days to Kill) she now looks ready to make up for lost time.

Among the many projects on her slate is the Carlo Carlei-directed, Julian Fellowes-scripted Romeo and Juliet. Steinfeld and rising star Douglas Booth play the iconic star-crossed lovers, surrounded by a talented if somewhat random cast that also includes Paul Giamatti, Damian Lewis, Natasha McElhone, Ed Westwick, Kodi Smit-McPheeStellan Skarsgård, and Lesley Manville. Check out the new trailer after the jump. Read More »

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Director Matt Reeves is turning to his previous filmography to round out the cast of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. A few weeks back, he cast his Let Me In star Kodi Smit-McPhee in a major role, and now he’s tapped his former Felicity star Keri Russell to take the female lead. Russell is the first actress to board the project, joining actors Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, and Gary Oldman. Hit the jump to keep reading.

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Director Matt Reeves is going back to his last film to fill a key role in his next one. Let Me In star Kodi Smit-McPhee has just been cast as one of the leads in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the sequel to 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes. He joins Andy Serkis and Jason Clarke in the sequel to the prequel of 1967’s Planet of the Apes which takes place 15 years after Caesar (Serkis) began his ape vs. man revolution.  Read More »

Halloween’s still a couple months off, but Laika’s getting the spooky season started early this weekend with ParaNorman. Focus Features has just unveiled the final trailer for the 3D stop-motion animation, which features tiny bits of scenes under some unsettling percussion and an entertainingly creepy voiceover by John Goodman.

Directed by Sam Fell and Chris ButlerParaNorman centers around a boy (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee) who can speak to the dead. When an old witch’s curse puts his entire town in jeopardy, however, he becomes the only person who can save the day. Anna KendrickCasey AffleckChristopher Mintz-Plasse, and Tucker Albrizzi also lend their voices to the cast. Watch the new trailer after the jump.

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Movie studios release b-roll footage for tv producers to splice in between their 30 second junket interview clip on the local morning show (or other such productions). We often post this unedited footage on the site because we love the brief glimpses it gives us at the creation of a movie.

After the jump you’ll fine 18 minutes of behind the scenes b-roll footage from LAIKA’s new stop-motion animated feature film ParaNorman. This includes a look at all aspects of the production, including how Laika used color 3D printers to create the facial animations. Stop-Motion Animation is the most intimately handcrafted flavor of filmmaking. Even after knowing how these movies get made, you probably have no idea of just how much time it takes to create the puppets, the costumes, the sets, never-mind animate each scene by hand. Be warned that some of the footage contains no sound. Enjoy!

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We’ve already seen a couple trailers for ParaNorman, the new film from Coraline-animating studio Laika, but I’m not going to complain about the release of one more. The film is about a boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee) who has to use his ability to communicate with the dead to save his town, and this new UK trailer has a few new bits of footage.

Most notably, there is a lot more footage of the big old bum voiced by John Goodman. There are other new bits showing off the characters voiced by actors like Jeff Garlin, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Leslie Mann, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Elaine Stritch, and Tucker Albrizzi, too. Overall, this continues to look like a cute, clever family film that should play well for kids and those who love horror and animation. After all, who can resist Laika’s great stop-motion work? Read More »

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It’s a good week for fans of all-ages stop-motion animated films with a deathly twist. Just yesterday, we showed you the trailer for Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, and we now have a new trailer for ParaNorman, the upcoming feature by Coraline studio Laika.

Kodi Smit-McPhee lends his voice to Norman, a misfit kid with the ability to see and speak with the dead. When an ancient curse is unleashed, however, his unique abilities make him his community’s best hope for salvation from the attacking supernatural forces. The film boasts an excellent cast that also includes Jeff Garlin, John Goodman, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Leslie Mann, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Elaine Stritch, and Tucker Albrizzi. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Whether the world really needs another Romeo and Juliet adaptation is up for debate, but Carlos Carlei‘s upcoming film boasts some intriguing talent, at least. The script comes from Gosford Park and Downton Abbey writer Julian Fellowes, while young up-and-comers like Hailee Steinfeld, Douglas Booth, Ed Westwick, and Kodi Smit-McPhee are lined up to star.

The latest addition to the project is the always welcome Paul Giamatti, who’s set to play Friar Laurence. A confidant to both Romeo and Juliet, the character plays a key role in the star-crossed lovers’ fates. Shooting on the film, which is rather discouragingly being described as “Romeo and Juliet for the Twilight generation,” is slated to begin this month in Italy. [Variety]

After the jump, Dr. John Watson and the Earl of Grantham book big-screen gigs.

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We’ve been tracking Ari Folman‘s film The Congress for three years. That’s because Folman’s last film was Waltz With Bashir, a great animated look at a soldier’s unreliable perspective on war. The Congress is something quite different, however. Based on a story by noted speculative fiction author Stanislaw Lem, this one features Robin Wright, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Paul Giamatti and Danny Huston in a story — greatly reworked from Lem’s text — about an actress who makes a deal that changes her future in ways she could never predict.

It is a sci-fi story, of sorts, and the film is being constructed in an usual manner. There is a big live-action component, but a good amount of the movie will be animated. A new interview with Folman makes the film sound like it is on track, but taking time to complete. Read More »