Jena Malone has landed the part of Southern Gothic writer Carson McCullers in Lonely Hunter, a biopic written and directed by Deborah Kampmeier (Hounddog). The film will encompass some 35 years of McCullers’ 50-year life, including her struggles with alcoholism, various illnesses, and a tumultuous marriage. McCullers is probably best known for her debut novel The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, but she also published poems, plays, and short stories throughout her lifetime and was part of the same literary circle as Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote.

Malone appeared in Sucker Punch earlier this year, and will star in next year’s lesbian werewolf romance Jack and Diane. Lonely Hunter is scheduled to begin shooting in spring 2012. [The Hollywood Reporter]

After the jump, World War Z gets a late addition and Vinessa Shaw struggles with the downside of smelling really, really good.

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Similar to the globetrotting plot of the film, excitement for World War Z has been all over the map. Fans were initially jazzed that, after years of development hell, director Marc Forster was finally going to adapt Max Brooks‘ book about a global battle between humans and zombies. The early casting of Brad Pitt was another high point. But as shooting finally began, details leaked that the plot of the film had major variations from the novel. A video depicting a violent zombie transformation then won back a few of those naysayers.

Forster, taking a break from shooting next December’s zombie film to promote Machine Gun Preacher, has finally addressed some of these changes and concerns. Watch the video after the jump. Read More »

Set Video: Wild ‘World War Z’ Zombie Attack

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Whether you’re talking about George Romero, Danny Boyle, Edgar Wright or any one else who has made a famous contribution to the zombie genre, some of the most important things to note are the differences in the undead. Do they run? What do they eat? How do they eat? Is the transformation fast? These are all questions any zombie filmmaker worth his weight in brains has to ask. Director Marc Forster is currently adapting Max Brooks‘ zombie best-seller World War Z with Brad Pitt and, despite some major issues fans have with the rumored changes, a new video shows he’s not only made those decisions, he’s made frightening ones. Read More »

After years of being stuck in development hell, the big-screen adaptation of Max Brooks‘ beloved novel World War Z is finally getting off the ground. As of this summer, the film has finally entered production with Marc Forster directing a cast led by Brad Pitt. Brooks recently took a trip to the set in Glasgow (standing in for Philadelphia), and had a few things to share about his experience there.

Brooks’ original novel is comprised of after-the-fact recollections of the catastrophic zombie war, as told to UN employee Gerry Lane. However, the film takes a different format, following Gerry (Pitt) as he races around the world working to stop the ongoing zombie pandemic. Read more about Brooks’ thoughts on the adaptation after the jump.

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The story behind Machine Gun Preacher is inspiring: Sam Childers traded criminal activity for a life attempting to rescue children in Sudan who would otherwise be co-opted into warfare by the Lord’s Resistance Army.

But the movie that dramatises Sam Childers’ story — Gerard Butler stands in for Childers, with a seemingly unstable accent — looks like total by the numbers superficial claptrap. He finds Jesus! He finds a soul! He helps kids! And when the resistance army fights back, he picks up a bazooka and blows them to hell! It’s like Rambo: First Blood Part II for a more sensitive, post-2000 set, courtesy of Monsters Ball director Marc Forster. Check out the trailer below. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

The subtitle of Max Brooks‘ awesome book World War Z is “An Oral History of The Zombie War.” From page one, the book takes place in a world where zombies and humans have already waged an epic war and now a researcher is traveling the world, talking to survivors to try and put together some of the pieces. Brooks’ structure gives the book an almost documentary feel where characters are forced to relive some of the most frightening moments of their lives.

Reading the book, it’s pretty easy to assume that a movie adaptation wouldn’t be a to-the-letter adaptation. There really aren’t any characters to latch onto and it’s mostly vignettes. Paramount has now confirmed that assumption with their official plot description of the currently shooting movie starring Brad Pitt and directed by Marc Forster. World War Z, the movie, takes place as the zombie outbreak is happening with a U.N. employee racing to stop it. Read the full description and more after the jump. Read More »

December 2012 just got a bit more interesting. The end of the year is already anchored by the first chapter in Peter Jackson’s two-film adaptation of The Hobbit, on Dec 14, and the week following was crowded with three potentially big films: Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, Phillip Noyce’s Hunter Killer and Gore Verbinski’s Lone Ranger all on the 21st. Then, only four days later, Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained arrives as the most unlikely Christmas movie ever.

Now Paramount has set Marc Forster‘s adaptation of the Max Brooks novel World War Z for Dec. 21, 2012  as well. This one is also a postentially big picture, as Brad Pitt plays UN officer Gerry Lane, who is trying to compile a report of the aftermath of a zombie uprising. So which of these films will blink and shift to another date? I’m looking at you, Hunter Killer.

In addition to the release date, we’ve got a few new images of Brad Pitt on a boat in full post-apocalypse regalia; check those out below. Read More »

Bryan Cranston in Talks for ‘World War Z’

Another week, another Bryan Cranston casting story. The Breaking Bad star was recently forced to drop out of Ruben Fleischer’s Gangster Squad due to scheduling conflicts, but don’t think that’s slowed his meteoric rise any. The actor is currently in negotiations to join World War Z, Marc Forster‘s adaptation of Max Brooks‘ acclaimed novel.

Subtitled An Oral History of the Zombie War, the book takes place in an apocalyptic future in which mankind is fighting back against the zombie threat. The film will star Mireille Enos and James Badge Dale, along with Brad Pitt as United Nations employee Gerry Lane. Read on after the jump.

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If you’re more interested in the typical fall slate of festival entrees than summer’s glut of tentpole action fare, this is a great week. The Toronto International Film Festival announced the first wave of films that will play the fest in September. This is a batch of about 50 titles, which makes up only a small chunk of the programming. Usually TIFF features between two and three hundred films. But these are some of the highest-profile entries.

Below you’ll find rundowns on the new films from George Clooney, Bennett Miller, Jay & Mark Duplass, Todd Solondz, Francis Ford Coppola, Cameron Crowe, Sarah Polley, Fernando Meirelles, Lars von Trier, Marc Forster, Steve McQueen, Alexander Payne, and Lynne Ramsay. No announcement yet of the Midnight Madness programming choices, always some of my faves, but this is a great start. Read More »

After seeming like it would succumb to the depths of development hell, a film based on the Max Brooks novel World War Z is finally shooting with Brad Pitt in the lead. Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace, Monster’s Ball) is directing the movie right now, and the first photos of Brad Pitt in costume have been shot as the movie is in Malta, shooting scenes that take place in Israel. Check a few out after the break. Read More »