The man who brought us Borat, Ali G, and Brüno heads back into the realm of sociopolitical satire in the first trailer for The Dictator, which hit the Web today. Sacha Baron Cohen stars as Middle Eastern despot along the lines of Muammar Gaddafi, who gets sent to the United States in exile and spends his days riding camels down Fifth Avenue, ziplining across Manhattan, and sleeping with Megan Fox. John C. Reilly and Ben Kingsley also star. Watch the first trailer after the jump.

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Who designed the awesome young Tony Stark above? Want to hear Chris Evans talk about Stan Lee and Captain America 2? What new character has been announced for Batman: Arkham City? Would Megan Fox like to do another comic book movie? Did the reboot of the DC Universe make any un-PC changes to their characters? And can Clark Gregg be serious and funny when being interviewed for The Avengers? Read about all of this and more in today’s Superhero Bits. Read More »

When Judd Apatow announced his upcoming film, once tentatively titled This is Forty, we immediately wondered about the cast. That’s not just a result of Apatow’s fondness for a stable of comic actors that goes back to the Freaks & Geeks days, but a natural question given that the film is a spin-off from Apatow’s previous movie Knocked Up.

The story centers around Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann‘s characters from Knocked Up, so one obvious question concerned the participation of Seth Rogen. Would he show up? Now the actor says no. As a consolation prize, he announces that he and Evan Goldberg (left, above) will shoot Jay and Seth Vs the Apocalypse, a film they’ve talked about for a couple years, next February. Read More »

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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Michael Bay may be best known as the guy who blows things up, but like any auteur, he’s got more than one signature move in his bag of tricks. Perhaps his second-favorite tool — after those big, loud, fantastically expensive explosions — is the slow-motion, low-angle, 360-degree shot. You know what I’m talking about: The character, who’s usually recovering from some earlier incident that’s landed him on the ground, looks off into the distance at something alarming and/or horrifying that we can’t see. As he comes to realize that shit has just gotten really real, the camera slowly revolves around him for dramatic effect.

This new supercut pulls together clips of Bay’s favorite shot while revealing what it is that has all these characters so riled up. (Hint: It’s another Bay staple.)

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We’ve got classic cops fighting notorious gangsters, giant mechs fighting notorious monsters, and a despot and his double fighting…um…the boundaries of comedy? Something along those lines. After the break, check out details of the following three recent casting breaks:

  • Giovanni Ribisi joins the impressive cast of Gangster Squad.
  • Rinko Kikuchi takes the female lead in Pacific Rim.
  • J.B. Smoove is added to The Dictator. Read More »
Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Megan Fox‘s name has come up this week through conversations that are a little bit unsavory (personally, I’m done with the backstage Transformers stuff, inasmuch as it was ever of interest beyond her role being recast) but here’s a better piece of news for the actress.

She and John C. Reilly have both been added to the cast of The Dictator. That’s the new film in which Sacha Baron Cohen and his Borat and Bruno director Larry Charles chronicle the not really true tale of a Middle Eastern despot who ends up in the US, and a goat herder who happens to be his exact double. Read More »

As you probably recall: Back in 2009, actress Megan Fox went public with her professional issues with Michael Bay, calling her Transformers director “a tyrant” and likening him to Napoleon and Adolf Hitler. Fox (unsurprisingly) caught heat for her comments, and though Bay made some attempts to smooth things over, the two continued sniping publicly and eventually parted ways. Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley was brought in to replace Fox as Shia LaBeouf‘s even more improbably gorgeous love interest, Fox pursued other projects, and the story should have ended there.

Unfortunately, Fox, Bay, and LaBeouf all have a tendency toward what might politely be called outspokenness, and what might less charitably called a constitutional inability to shut the hell up — and so here we are, a year later, still reporting on this ridiculous story. Bay is attempting to set the story straight. Again. And this time, he’s bringing Steven Spielberg into it for some reason. Sigh. Read the latest chapter in this tiresome and apparently endless saga after the jump.

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‘Passion Play’ Trailer

When Mitch Glazer pulled together the cast for Passion Play, it seemed like there might be reason to pay attention: Mickey Rourke is a faded trumpeter who encounters what may be a real-life angel (Megan Fox) being held in a sideshow by Bill Murray. But the film was savaged at TIFF last year and is scoring only a limited NY/LA theatrical release on May 6 before it hits DVD on May 31. There’s a new trailer for the movie, which you can see below. Only the most die-hard Bill Murray fans need apply. Read More »