When Steven Soderbergh announced that he would make a film based on experiences Channing Tatum had in his youth as a male stripper, there was some collective eye-rolling and giggling. But Tatum’s image has changed a lot in the last few months thanks to 21 Jump Street. We knew the guy had beefcake dance moves (thanks to Step Up) and that he could act (Stop Loss), but films like Dear John kept many from really taking to him.After his effective comic work in 21 Jump Street, however, I think this trailer for Magic Mike will go over a lot better.

Here we see Tatum as a confident guy who knows how to work the stage, but has his ambitions outside the club as well. There isn’t much time given to Alex Pettyfer, who plays a protege of Tatum; rather we see his developing romance with a young woman played by relative newcomer Cody Horn.

The good news is: the trailer makes the film look entertaining. It is recognizably in Soderbergh’s style, but the sort of work he’s been doing lately seems to lend itself well to this story. Check out the footage below. Read More »

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Love him or hate him, you’ll be seeing a lot of Channing Tatum in 2012: Shooting at things in Steven Soderbergh‘s Haywire, romancing Rachel McAdams in The Vow, going to the prom with Jonah Hill in 21 Jump Street, fighting Cobra in G.I. Joe Retaliation, and possibly getting killed by Steve Carell in Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher. But if I’m being honest, the one I’m really curious about is Soderbergh’s Magic Mike, which stars Tatum as an experienced stripper who takes a newbie (Alex Pettyfer) under his wing.

It’s not just the idea of near-naked men parading around, I promise — I’m intrigued by the unusual premise and the interesting cast, and am hoping to see a bit of Soderbergh’s sly sense of humor. But yeah, the promise of buff, shirtless dudes helps too.

After the jump, check out the first image, featuring Tatum, Pettyfer, and Joe Manganiello in military-themed costumes, while Matthew McConaughey, who plays the owner of the club, takes charge as a shirtless Uncle Sam. More details after the jump.

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Briefly: Steven Soderbergh has already wrapped his movie Magic Mike, which stars Channing Tatum and is based on Tatum’s own youthful experience as a male exotic dancer. Because Soderbergh works fast he’s already got a cut of the film, and Warner Bros. has picked up the movie for distribution next summer. Magic Mike will hit theaters on June 29, 2012, when it will provide counter-programming against G.I. Joe: Retaliation, which also stars Tatum. Read More »

Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson hasn’t exactly blown anyone away with his acting chops, but the guy who once got shot 9 (or was it 3? Either way) times and lived to tale the tale isn’t about to get scared off by a couple of negative reviews. He’s already got three films lined up for next year, and he’s just landed one more: Frozen Ground.

Written and directed by Scott Walker, the film is based on the true story of Alaskan serial killer Robert Hansen, who murdered at least 17 victims over the course of twelve years. Jackson will be playing an ’80s-era pimp, which producer Randall Emmett describes as a “substantial role.” He joins a cast that already includes John Cusack as Hansen, Nicolas Cage as a state trooper, and Vanessa Hudgens as the escaped victim who helps catch Hansen. Frozen Ground will begin shooting in Anchorage next month. [The Playlist]

After the jump, a WWE champ and a Breaking Bad star join Channing Tatum’s stripper movie, and The Last Exorcism star Ashley Bell lands two new roles, only one of which is a sequel to The Last Exorcism.

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Briefly: Steven Soderbergh‘s Magic Mike is going to shoot soon, with Alex Pettyfer playing a male exotic dancer under the hustling tutelage of Channing Tatum, whose real-life dancing experience informed the script. Matthew McConaughey, Matt Bomer, Joe Mangianello, Cody Horn, Riley Keough and Olivia Munn co-star, but the project isn’t done adding actors.

THR reports that Wendi McLendon-Covey, a longtime staple on Reno 911! and one of the attention-getting talents in Bridesmaids, now has a part in the film. No word on her role. Perhaps she’s a regular at the club that is central to the film’s story?

And then Deadline announces that CSI: Miami actor Adam Rodriguez has picked up a part not only in Magic Mike, as a male stripper, but that he’ll be in The Dark Knight Rises as well. No word on his specific role in Nolan’s third Batman movie, however.

It’s the ‘late additions’ edition of casting bits today, as we’ve got news on three actors who are all either being revealed as part of three different films late in the game, or are actually coming on well after everyone else. After the break, we’ve got:

  • Olivia Munn joins Steven Soderbergh’s male stripper movie Magic Mike,
  • comedian DeRay Davis is in the G.I. Joe sequel,
  • and character actor Alan Dale takes a role in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo at the very last minute.

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This is kind of a catch-all casting break, as it goes all over the map. I’d love to tie the four stories that follow to a theme beyond ‘these people are all in new movies,’ but if that theme exists, I’m afraid it escapes me now. So, after the break you’ll find:

  • Sienna Guillory appears to be confirmed to return as Jill Valentine in the fifth Resident Evil film,
  • comedian Gabriel Iglesias will spin records (or CDs, more likely) in Soderbergh’s Magic Mike,
  • Olivia Wilde takes what formerly belonged to Jennifer Garner,
  • and James Hong will play Ryan Reynolds, sort of, in R.I.P.D.

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I’d like to make this the ‘leading lady’ edition of Casting Bits, but I don’t think Caleb Landry Jones would like that very much. (Jason Segel would probably be OK with it.) Still, after the break you’ll find that two films have chosen their lead actresses, while Jones joins Jordan. Ahem. To wit:

  • Alexandra Maria Lara (above) takes the (female) lead in Ron Howard’s racing movie Rush,
  • Cody Horn will be the leading lady in Soderbergh’s Magic Mike,
  • Caleb Landry Jones, aka the First Class version of Banshee, joins Neil Jordan’s Byzantium,
  • and, as a final note, Jason Segel appears to be confirmed for Judd Apatow’s This is Forty.

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