Briefly: I get the idea that yet another version of Romeo and Juliet isn’t something that people are wildly keen to see, but that isn’t putting the brakes on the film that Carlo Carlei (Flight of the Innocent) will direct based on a script by Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park).

The main reason to be interested in the movie, for me at least, is that it is looking like it will be the sophomore feature from True Grit breakout star Hailee Steinfeld. She’s playing Juliet, and Holly Hunter, Ed Westwick and Kodi Smit-McPhee are also set for roles. Now Douglas Booth (Pillars of the Earth, the upcoming Great Expectations) will be her Romeo. Variety says he took the job over hundreds of other young applicants, but again, I’m not convinced that this one really has much heat. Still, the cast is shaping up well and there are few pieces of more proven material. If Carlo Carlei can make it feel like a fresh telling, no matter what style he adopts, it might surpass expectations.

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Zoe Saldana is in talks to join Mark Ruffalo in Infinitely Polar Bear, the directorial debut of screenwriter Maya Forbes. The drama follows a bipolar man (Ruffalo) and his long-suffering wife (Saldana). When the husband goes off his meds, he finds his life deteriorating along with his psychological condition. As he loses his job and his mind, his wife returns to work and then eventually moves out, leaving him to take care of their children.

The film is being produced by J.J. Abrams, who previously worked with Saldana on Star Trek, and financed by Megan Ellison, who executive produced True Grit. Shooting for Infinitely Polar Bear will take place in September, just before Saldana is scheduled to reprise her role as Uhura in the Star Trek sequel. [Vulture]

After the jump, Xavier Samuel and Myles Pollard board Drift, and ParaNorman adds to its voice cast.

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An up and comer, a recognizable character actor and a seasoned veteran have all signed on to very different projects. The up and comer, Kodi Smit-McPhee, best known for his awesome work in The Road and Let Me In, is reportedly circling the role of Benvolio in Carlo Carlei‘s new film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet along side Haliee Steinfeld, Holly Hunter and Ed Westwick. Michael Pena, the recognizable character actor, has joined the already impressive cast of Gangster Squad, Ruben Fleischer‘s upcoming true-life gangster film starring Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin. Then the seasoned veteran, Corbin Bernsen joins the female-centric gambling story Lay the Favorite starring Bruce Willis, Vince Vaughn and Rebecca Hall directed by Stephen Frears. Read about each film, and role, after the break. Read More »

In 2009 Focus Features and LAIKA released Coraline, the great stop-motion animated adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s kids’ book of the same name. Now the companies are teaming again for two more stop-motion 3D films. The first is ParaNorman, which will be released on August 17, 2012. The second is an unnamed project that will be released in 2014.

The voice cast and plot for ParaNorman were sent out today via press release; check the details below. Read More »

One of the more promising projects for the next couple years (don’t expect this until 2012 at least) is The Congress, in which Waltz With Bashir director Ari Folman liberally adapts a story (‘The Futurological Congress‘) by revered speculative fiction author Stanislaw Lem. The film is planned as a mix of live-action and animation, and we’ve already seen a taste of what the animation will look like.

Robin Wright stars as a struggling actress whose image has been bought and co-opted; she’s essentially outmoded and unnecessary. As the film moves forward, animation takes the place of live action and Robin Wright’s character is seen in what appears to be a dystopian future of sorts, where manufactured pharmaceuticals play a big role in life. Details are thin right now and, honestly, that’s OK. It’s good to be tantalized by a film like this, and with Ari Folman directing I’m happy to be along for the ride. But there are new details: Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road, Let Me In) has been cast, and it appears that Danny Huston, Paul Giamatti and Harvey Keitel have parts, too. Read More »

Let Me In

Somewhere along the line, Director Matt Reeves had seen our coverage of Let Me In, and had enjoyed our enthusiasm yet hesitant intelligent debate (thanks Adam) regarding the film. So when I saw Matt in Austin, he decided to give us a cool exclusive. Reeves showed me an intense deleted sequence from the film, and he somehow convinced Overture Films to let us post it to help promote the film.

While the deleted sequence would have taken place a bit late in the film, it really doesn’t spoil anything. So as Matt suggested, you could watch this clip without having seen the movie. In the scene, Abby (Chloë Grace Moretz) shows Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) how she became what she is. And yes, we did get a chance to chat with Matt about the clip, and get a full explanation of why this didn’t make the final cut.

Watch the scene now and listen to Matt’s explanation, after the jump!
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Fantastic Fest 2010 began with a bang. Matt Reeves’ Let Me In served as the opening night film at the Paramount theatre in downtown Austin. You can watch my previously recorded review/reaction to the film here.

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Just in case you haven’t yet gotten your fill of trailers, clips and posters for Let Me In, Cloverfield director Matt Reeves‘ adaptation/remake of Let the Right One In, Overture has released more of each to make sure that you do.

Check them all out after the break. Read More »

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