It’s been a few days since our last TV Bits (sorry!), so we have a ton of stuff to catch up on. After the jump:

  • Alexis Bledel, Kyle McLachlan, Hope Davis, and more get pilots
  • Downton Abbey loses one character but gains six more
  • Jeffrey Wright will be a series regular on Boardwalk Empire
  • A bunch of Fox shows including The Following get early renewals
  • The Zero Hour has gets cancelled by ABC after just three episodes
  • Will Jimmy Fallon take over for Jay Leno on The Tonight Show?
  • The X-Files finally gets a tenth season… as a comic book
  • Steven Soderbergh‘s Behind the Candelabra gets EW cover
  • Hannibal and Mad Men offer up not very revealing teasers
  • See character posters and an extended trailer for Game of Thrones
  • Peek behind the scenes of Breaking Bad‘s final season

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Justin Reardon‘s feature directing debut A Many Splintered Thing isn’t even out yet, but he already seems to have a knack for attracting strong on-camera talent. The star-studded ensemble for that film includes Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Giovanni Ribisi, Audrey Plaza, Anthony Mackie, and Luke Wilson, for starters. Now Jennifer Aniston, Mark Duplass, and Ben Kingsley have attached themselves to his sophomore effort, Convention.

The film is billed as a sci-fi comedy, which isn’t such an unusual genre combination. However, this one sounds intriguingly offbeat, as the marketing materials reference Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Being John Malkovich for comparison. Hit the jump for more details.

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I’d never really thought of it before, but the same low-key, naturalistic approach that distinguishes the Jay and Mark Duplass in their indie dramedies also makes them well suited for the found-footage trend in horror. And indeed, that’s exactly where they’re headed next.

Jason Blum, the powerhouse producer behind the Paranormal Activity series, has picked up the distribution rights to the Duplass-produced Peachfuzz. Newcomer Patrick Brice directs, with a cast that includes Mark Duplass. Hit the jump to keep reading.

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Married couple Katie Aselton and Mark Duplass have worked together on a range of projects, including The Puffy Chair and The League, but their latest collaboration looks like a pretty sharp change of pace. Unfortunately for them, different doesn’t always mean better.

Directed by Aselton (The Freebie) from a script by Duplass, Black Rock centers around three women (Aselton, Kate Bosworth, and Lake Bell) on a camping trip on a remote island. They cross paths with a trio of war vets (Will BouvierJay Paulson, and Anslem Richardson) who happily take up the girls’ invitation to join their cozy party. After one sexual encounter takes a very nasty turn, however, the ladies find themselves running for their lives. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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The ad campaign for Kathryn Bigelow‘s Zero Dark Thirty, which chronicles the mission that led to the killing of Osama Bin Laden by a Navy SEAL team, has been pretty low-key so far. But then, the studio hasn’t had to do much, as there has been a fair amount of publicity for the movie thanks to accusations that the original October release date was meant to remind audiences of President Obama’s role in the mission, just before the Presidential election takes place. There have been far more serious (but unproven) allegations that the film is based on access to classified data that was given illegally to the production.

Now it’s time to move beyond those talking points to look at the actual film. Derspite featuring Joel EdgertonJessica ChastainChris PrattKyle ChandlerMark Strong, and Jason Clarke, the teaser trailer showed few faces, and relied upon audio montage to set up the story of the hunt for Bin Laden. A few images later gave us a bit more. Now you can see a lot more of Bigelow’s follow-up to The Hurt Locker, in the full trailer below. Read More »

You’d be hard pressed to find a guy with more going on than Mark Duplass. First and foremost, he’s the star of the wonderful and charming film Safety Not Guaranteed, which premiered at Sundance and opens June 8. In the film he plays Kenneth, a mysterious man who places an ad looking for a partner to help him travel back in time. The ad is answered by Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation) and Jake Johnson (New Girl), skeptical journalists who, through Kenneth, discover their own truths.

But that’s so far from everything the actor/producer/writer/director has going on. He’s the star of the FX comedy The League, which has a new season about to start shooting. He was recently cast in Katherine Bigelow’s Osama Bin Laden film Zero Dark Thirty, he and his brother will soon release their 5th film, The Do-Deca Pentalathon on July 6 and he’ll also appear in Your Sister’s Sister, starring Emily Blunt, on June 15 and People Like Us, starring Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks, on June 29.

Yeah, Mark Duplass is busy. But he took 20 minutes out of his day to talk to us about all of it. After the jump, we’ve got a two part video interview where we discuss all those projects as well as his thoughts on new forms of distribution, his Netflix Recommendation A Day on Twitter, mullets, Sundance and much more. Read More »

Although the timing of the release makes it seem like the Duplass brothers’ The Do-Deca-Pentathlon is a follow-up to this spring’s Jeff Who Lives at Home, the filmmaking duo actually shot the film shortly after 2008′s Baghead and then shelved it while they moved onto Cyrus. Nevertheless, The Do-Deca-Pentathlon works as a smaller-scope continuation one major theme from Jeff – namely, the messy relationship between brothers.

Mark Kelly and Steve Zissis star as a pair of siblings who’ve been estranged for years, ever since they competed in their own homegrown, private, 25-event Olympics dubbed The Do-Deca-Pentathlon to see which of them was better. Now middle-aged, the guys reunite and find themselves compelled to give the game one more try. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Earlier this year there was a rundown of films that Todd Phillips (the two Hangover movies, Old School, Due Date) might direct next. Phillips is already set to do a third Hangover movie for Warner Bros., and his production company has a first-look deal with the studio. One of the possible films was described as: Mule, adapted from Tony D’Souza‘s novel “about a young couple that turns to drug trafficking to scratch a living during the recession.” At the time, WB and Phillips were looking to hire a writer.

Now two writers have been hired, and they’re somewhat surprising. Mark and Jay Duplass, who wrote and directed films like The Puffy Chair, Baghead, Cyrus, and Jeff Who Lives at Home, will script for Phillips to direct. Read More »

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