As a comedy, Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s upcoming Birdman falls well outside the director’s usual misery-soaked wheelhouse. But one thing that hasn’t changed is his ability to attract major talent.

In a brilliant bit of casting, former Batman star Michael Keaton has been chosen for the lead role of a washed-up actor who once played an iconic superhero. Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis, and Edward Norton round out the rest of the cast. Hit the jump to read more.

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Michael Keaton Has a ‘Need for Speed’

As Dom Toretto and Brian O’Conner rev their engines for Universal’s Fast & Furious 6, DreamWorks is preparing a high-speed franchise of its own. Last spring, the studio nabbed the rights to the EA Sports racing video game Need for Speed and set Scott Waugh (Act of Valor) to direct. Casting got off to a strong start last fall as Aaron Paul and Dominic Cooper joined the cast, picking up Imogen Poots and Kid Cudi along the way. Now it’s bringing on some more grown-up talent, in the form of Michael Keaton. More details after the jump.

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Sometimes the only way to really get clarity on an old idea is to see someone else do it first.

While Christopher Nolan directed Christian Bale in three Batman films that push a screen vision of the character that will likely be the defining one for some time, those movies would likely never have happened without Tim Burton and Michael Keaton. Burton directed Keaton in Batman, released in 1989, at a time when that sort of major studio superhero movie was quite rare. The film was a resounding success, and the pair went on to make Batman Returns, released in 1992.

For a while after the release of that sequel, Keaton was in the mix for a third film, but ended up walking away when it became clear that he and new director Joel Schumacher wanted to make a different sort of movie. Keaton now says that he wanted to make a film very much like Batman Begins, but walked away because  Schumacher wanted something else.  Read More »

We’ve got a hodgepodge of new images after the jump, including set photos from Robocop and The Wolverine, stills from Hitchcock and Beautiful Creatures, and even a snapshot of the National Lampoon’s Vacation cast, reunited.

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Michael Keaton to Direct Indie Dramedy ‘Buttercup’

It’s not just Michael Keaton‘s acting that’s on the rise again — he’s looking to fire up his career behind the camera again as well. Just a week after he landed the juicy villain role in Jose Padilha’s Robocop reboot, Keaton has attached himself to direct the indie Buttercup. The dramedy would mark his second time in the director’s chair, after he made his debut with 2008’s The Merry Gentlemen. More details after the jump.

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The search has been on for a new Robocop villain since last week, when negotiations with Hugh Laurie fell through. For a hot second it looked like Clive Owen could step up to replace him, but now word is that it’s actually Michael Keaton who’ll take over the part instead.

It seems like good news, if only because it means more big-screen appearances for Keaton. The former Batman and Beetlejuice actor fits right into a star-studded cast that also includes Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, Abbie Cornish, Jennifer Ehle, Jackie Earle Haley, Jay Baruchel, Michael K. Williams, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, and lead Joel Kinnaman. More details after the jump.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Earlier this Summer, news broke that Larry David was shopping a semi-improvised feature film idea with Greg Mottola at the helm. Fox Searchlight was reportedly interested in distribution.

Now, however, it seems David’s film might not make it to the big screen after all. HBO has apparently swooped in, offered the star of the show Curb Your Enthusiasm a higher budget, and might end up premiering the film on their network. The plot of the film is still under wraps but is believed to feature David, Michael Keaton and Jon Hamm among others. Read more after the jump. Read More »

So much for Beetlejuice being a reboot and not a remake. Now writer Seth Grahame-Smith it’s not a reboot either, but a straight-up sequel. Also after the jump:

  • Madagascar 3 gets a cute new poster to go with its cute new trailer
  • There’s a teaser for the upcoming teaser for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II
  • Maggie Grace talks Taken 2 and not fixing things that aren’t broken
  • Warwick Davis does not want a Leprechaun remake, but he has an idea for a sequel

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Let’s kick off another sequel news roundup with some info on a film that will be out soon. Jon M. Chu directed G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and the trailers released so far have generated a good level of interest in the film.

In an interview with Moviefone, Chu talks about enthusiasm for various Joe characters and the difficulty his team had with creating a linear follow-up to the first Joe film, The Rise of Cobra. One question many of our readers has asked regards Cobra Commander, and how this film’s character connects to the Joseph Gordon-Levitt version in the previous movie. Chu says, “Cobra Commander was an issue. But I know we couldn’t lose Cobra Commander.”

Asked if this is the same character under the mask, the director says,

No. [Smiling] But we figured out a way that’s pretty nice. And you get the Cobra Commander that you’ve always wanted. Or, to me, what I always wanted: a bad-ass villain. He’s one of the most iconic villains ever. I’m even following him on Twitter — he’s so funny.

After the break, a brief update on the chance of a Rambo 5, Michael Keaton is reportedly excited about a Beetlejuice sequel, and we’ve got some info on Judd Apatow’s sorta-sequel to Knocked Up, This Is 40. Read More »