For a while there it looked like Ariel Vromen‘s The Iceman was on the verge of falling apart, as James Franco dropped out of the project. But the hitman biopic is moving along with David Schwimmer and Chris Evans added to the cast in recent weeks, and now Winona Ryder has boarded the picture as well in a role once slated for Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Ryder will play the wife of mob contract killer Richard Kuklinski, a.k.a. The Iceman (Michael Shannon), who’s unaware of the true nature of her husband’s career. Ray Liotta and Ryan O’Nan will also star.

Based on interview footage and Anthony Bruno‘s book The Iceman: The True Story of a Cold-Blooded Killer, the picture is scheduled to begin production early next year in Louisiana. [Deadline]

After the jump, a former Everybody Loves Raymond star gets fired by a former The Office star, a Broadway adaptation casts a Broadway star, and a trio of rising Brit talents sign on for an artsy romance.

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As we head toward the end of the year, it’s clear that 2011 has yielded some damn great performances from both established stars (Gary Oldman, Glenn Close) and rising talents (Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska). So naturally, the best way to celebrate their accomplishments is by inviting each of them to play characters wholly unlike the ones they’ve recently received acclaim for.

In a video gallery from The New York Times Magazine titled “Touch of Evil,” thirteen of this year’s most notable stars tackle thirteen villainous types, from “The Menacing Dummy” (Oldman) to “The Sociopath” (Rooney Mara channeling A Clockwork Orange‘s Alex DeLarge) and everything in between. Hit the jump for a photo gallery from the feature.

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How much did Nicolas Cage‘s copy of Action Comics #1 sell for? Is there an update on a comic book sequel to Watchmen? What does Robert Rodriguez have to say about Sin City 2? Does Michael Shannon have a funny anecdote about the differences between Take Shelter and Man of Steel? How should have X-Men: First Class really ended? Read about all of this and more in today’s Superhero Bits. Read More »

He’s played the Human Torch, and now Chris Evans will be in The Iceman. This is a movie about a different Iceman, though — one wholly unrelated to Marvel’s mutant supporting character.

There are two biopics brewing of Richard ‘The Iceman’ Kuklinski — one called The Ice Man: Confessions Of A Mafia Contract Killer, starring Mickey Rourke as the Iceman. Then there is this one, which features Michael Shannon as the hit man, and now boasts Chris Evans in a role once earmarked for James Franco. Read More »

Hot off two of the year’s most buzzed-about performances in Albert Nobbs and Martha Marcy May Marlene, Glenn Close and Elizabeth Olsen have signed on to star in Thérèse Raquin. Charlie Stratton is writing and directing the erotic thriller, which is based on a 19th century novel and play by Émile Zola. Olsen will lead the cast as the titular young woman, who’s pushed into an unhappy marriage by her overbearing aunt (Close). Thérèse eventually falls into a passionate affair with her husband’s friend Laurent, with destructive consequences for all involved.

Close has reportedly been attached to the film for years, though Olsen’s involvement appears to be a recent development. Thérèse Raquin is scheduled to begin shooting this spring. [Entertainment Weekly]

After the jump, David Schwimmer gears up to kill people and Saoirse Ronan gets another love interest for The Host.

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Which major celebrity created their own, customized Batmobile? Want to watch Michael Shannon and Tom Hiddleston talk about Man of Steel and The Avengers? How about see a ton of new images from the New York set of The Dark Knight Rises? What do cats look like dressed up as superheroes? Curious how you can make your very own flourescent kryptonite candy? How is North Carolina reacting to their Iron Man 3 news? What is Stan Lee doing with Michael Eisner? Is there video of the Man of Steel scene from which a spoiler-filled set photo surfaced recently? Read about all that and much more in this special four page, weekend edition of Superhero Bits. Read More »

What does James McAvoy have to say about a sequel to X-Men: First Class? Did Michael Shannon reveal any General Zod details from Man of Steel? Want to hear what Rhys Ifans‘ The Lizard might sound like in The Amazing Spider-Man? Can we finally put the question of Captain America 2‘s timeline to bed? How can you win a trip to the Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance world premiere? Read about this and much more in today’s Superhero Bits. Read More »

‘Premium Rush’ Bumped to August

Sony and Columbia have evidently decided that David Koepp‘s bicycle chase thriller Premium Rush is going to do well with a summer audience. The film has been bumped back from January 13, 2012 to August 24, 2012. There’s nothing else on that date right now, possibly because late August is a summer dead zone. But perhaps Koepp’s film can build an audience there.

Premium Rush stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as an impetuous bike messenger in New York City who finds himself becoming an object of great attention for the NYPD after he makes a package pickup. Hot on his heels is Michael Shannon as a cop with a violent temper — seeing Shannon chew some scenery is probably the best reason to check out the film. And Jamie Chung plays another daredevil messenger.

If you missed the trailer when we ran it in September, you can hit the jump to check it out now. Read More »

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