Just over ten years ago, French director Christophe Gans got a lot of attention for helping raise global awareness of Monica Bellucci when he cast her in his movie The Brotherhood of the Wolf, inspired by centuries-old stories of beasts raiding the French countryside. He has only made one film since: Silent Hill, which received a much more chilly reception than did Brotherhood.

Now Gans is one of several people trying to revive the classic story of Beauty and the Beast. We’ve just seen the 3D re-release of Disney’s version, and there was the horrible tween take called Beastly released last year. Two new TV version are in the works, at ABC and the CW. Now Gans has written and will direct his own, starring Vincent Cassel (The Brotherhood of the Wolf) and Lea Seydoux (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol). Read More »

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Rising French stars Léa Seydoux (Midnight in Paris, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) and Tahar Rahim (A Prophet) are set to lead Grand Central, a France-set contemporary romantic drama by Rebecca Zlotowski. Rahim will play a danger-addicted man whose nuclear facility job exposes him to deadly radiation levels. He’s transformed by a forbidden affair with a woman he meets at the plant (Seydoux).

Grand Central marks a reunion for Seydoux and Zlotowski, who previously worked together in Zlotowski’s directorial debut Belle Épine. Seydoux was also recently cast in Michel Gondry’s The Foam of the Days, and will next appear opposite Diane Kruger in March’s Farewell, My Queen. Rahim starred last year in Jean-Jacques Annaud’s Black Gold, and has just wrapped Joachim Lafosse’s Loving Without Reason. Grand Central is expected to begin filming this summer. [Variety]

After the jump, Riddick adds to its cast and Sex Bob-omb frontman Stephen Stills boards an indie.

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Briefly: Here’s the first news of the official lineup for what could well be a very impressive Cannes Film Festival. Woody Allen‘s Midnight in Paris will open the 64th incarnation of the festival on May 11. It’s an easy choice — the director is a French favorite, and the film is packed with actors that will look great on the opening night red carpet, including a handful of French stars. Sure, Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life might have been a more impressive opening, but hopefully it will spool out within a couple days of the festival’s opening.

The film, packed with a cast that includes Owen Wilson, Marion Cotillard, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates, Michael Sheen, Adrien Brody, Nina Arianda, Corey Stoll, Mimi Kennedy, Kurt Fullerby, Carla Bruni, and Léa Seydoux. The plot sounds like classic Woody Allen: “A romantic comedy about a family traveling to the French capital for business. The party includes a young engaged couple forced to confront the illusion that a life different from their own is better.” Sony PIcutres Classics has picked up the film already, and will release it later in 2011, most likely in the fall.

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Brad Bird is pulling together quite a cast for the fourth Mission: Impossible film, which is now shooting in Europe. Specifically, the evil end of the spectrum is now well-represented by a core trio of actors.

Michael Nyqvist from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is the lead baddie, but now Anil Kapoor from Slumdog Millionaire and French actress Léa Seydoux have both signed on as evildoers — or at least the opponents of the Impossible Mission Force — in the series’ third sequel. Read More »

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Robin Wright has an increasingly promising slate of films coming up: she’s in Robert Redford’s The Conspirator (in the title role) and is shooting a part in Moneyball, where she’ll play the ex-wife of Billy Beane, played by Brad Pitt.

And now she’s in talks to work with David Fincher in his new version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which was recently confirmed to star Daniel Craig and may also feature Stellan Skarsgård. Read More »

Ridley Scott’s Full Robin Hood Cast Announced

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Universal has announced the full cast listing for Ridley Scott‘s Yet-To-Be-Titled Robin Hood movie, which has begun production in the United Kingdom. Joining Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett will be:

  • Vanessa Redgrave (Julia, Atonement) as John and Richard’s mother, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine
  • Mark Strong (Body of Lies, Stardust) as King John’s vicious henchman, Sir Godfrey
  • Oscar Isaac (Che, Body of Lies) as King John
  • Léa Seydoux (13 French Street, Inglourious Basterds) as the woman who will become queen, French Princess Isabella

Robin’s band of men:

  • Scott Grimes (ER, American Dad) as Welshman Will Scarlet
  • Kevin Durand (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, 3:10 to Yuma) as Robin’s right-hand, Scotsman Little John
  • Alan Doyle as their troubadour, Irishman Allan Adayle

We are also given the first official plot synopsis for the film, which you can read after the jump.
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