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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First Image of Angelina Jolie as ‘Maleficent’

Disney’s live-action exploration of the hidden life of Sleeping Beauty villain Maleficent has been on the docket for some time, but it seemed like a film that might never get made. That changed when Angelina Jolie‘s schedule opened up and she committed to the role in a serious way. (Thank her kids for that commitment, or don’t, depending on how you feel about the film.) Robert Stromberg is directing, and the film is under way now at Pinewood studios in London. (They were setting up when I was there to see some of Skyfall, but we couldn’t catch a glimpse of anything special.)

Now we’ve got the first image of Jolie in costume as the evil character, and a few new details thanks to a press release from Disney. Read More »

Juno Temple Boards Disney’s ‘Maleficent’

As the pieces fall into place for a summer start, Disney’s Maleficent is rounding out its cast with one more talented Brit actor. Juno Temple has just boarded the live-action project, which retells the classic Sleeping Beauty fairy tale from the perspective of its villainess (played by Angelina Jolie). Sharlto Copley and Elle Fanning also have key roles. Hit the jump for further details.

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Though Maleficent‘s three leads hail from the States (Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning) and South Africa (Sharlto Copley), the Disney production is looking to the U.K. to fill up much of its cast list. American India Eisley and Brits Imelda Staunton, Miranda Richardson, Lesley Manville, Kenneth Cranham, and Sam Riley have all just boarded the Robert Stromberg-directed live-action film, which retells the classic Sleeping Beauty tale from the perspective of its villain. The descriptions of their roles also happen to offer quite a few more clues about the movie’s plotline, so hit the jump for more details.

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In London, a new film called Ashes has pulled together an impressive core trio: Ray Winstone, Jim Sturgess and Lesley Manville. The film also features Jodie Whittaker (who’ll be a lot more known once people have a chance to see Attack the Block) and Luke Evans, and will be directed by Mat Whitecross.

We don’t have many plot details, but the script, by the director and Paul Viragh (the two also did the Ian Dury biopic Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll, starring Andy Serkis) is described as a ‘contemporary noir thriller.’ Good enough for me, especially with that cast. It’s a relatively low-budget affair ($8m), with part of the money coming from Coldplay. Yeah, that Coldplay. The film will begin shooting next week on the Isle of Man.[Variety]

Speaking of Attack the Block, one of the companies behind that movie is assembling another UK genre picture, called Cockneys Vs. Zombies. Details on that are after the break. Read More »

Cannes

The first weekend has finally hit at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, which means bigger crowds, longer lines, and more hub-bub about the star studded premieres on the red carpet. It also means that some of the more anticipated films of the festival have begun to premiere. The photo above shows the crowd of people waiting to get into the new Woody Allen film, as taken from the top of the red carpet stairs. Over the last 48 hours, I’ve screened new films from Oliver Stone, Woody Allen, Mike Leigh and Hideo Nakata. I wish I could rave about any of these films, but so far I’ve been unimpressed.

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Mike Leigh Now Filming His Top Secret 2009 Project

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Wednesday 26th August 2009 marked the first day of photography on Mike Leigh‘s latest picture. Taking roles include Michele Austin, David Bradley, Jim Broadbent, Phil Davis, Karina Fernandez, Oliver Maltman, Lesley Manville, Stuart McQuarrie, Martin Savage, Ruth Sheen, Imelda Staunton and Peter Wight and cinematographer Dick Pope is back again too. Of course, this being a Mike Leigh picture we don’t know which of those actors might be in a lead role or which of them could just pop up for a second in a single scene, we don’t know anything at all about the plot, and we definitely don’t have a title. Better than that even, none of the people making the film know any of this for sure either, including Leigh himself.

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