One of the last two films Steven Soderbergh plans to shoot before retiring from directing is The Bitter Pill, a thriller scripted by Scott Z. Burns (The Informant!, Contagion) that follows a troubled and highly medicated woman (Rooney Mara) who is dealing with her anxiety pending the release of her husband (Channing Tatum) from prison.

The promising actress Vinessa Shaw (Two Lovers, pictured above, and 3:10 to Yuma) is now set to play the wife of one of Mara’s doctors, who will be portrayed by Jude Law. After The Bitter Pill, Soderbergh will move on to his Liberace biopic for HBO, and then he’s done. (So he says.) [Deadline]

After the break, Ray Liotta lives with chemistry and Stanley Tucci joins two Harry Potter veterans. Read More »

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Emma Stone has been moving into more dramatic territory lately with parts in The Help and Gangster Squad, but she may be returning to her comedy roots soon. The actress has entered talks to star in He’s Fuckin’ Perfect, a comedy by first time feature writer Lauryn Kahn. The film is being produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay‘s Gary Sanchez Productions, where Kahn has worked for the past several years as McKay’s assistant.

He’s Fuckin’ Perfect revolves around a pessimistic woman who uses her social media know-how to research her friends’ dates and help them weed out the losers. But when she stumbles across the ideal man, she convinces her friend to dump him so that she can claim him for herself, using her Internet savvy to turn herself into his perfect match. [Deadline]

After the jump, Michelle Monaghan is a sex-addicted FBI agent, Alice Eve is a homewrecker, and Brian Cox gives Zach Galifianakis some serious daddy issues.

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Nicole Kidman‘s Blossom Films and Olympus Films have teamed up to acquire the movie rights for Kevin Wilson‘s bestselling book The Family Fang, which they plan to develop as a starring vehicle for Kidman. The two companies previously collaborated on Rabbit Hole, for which Kidman received a Best Actress Oscar nomination.

Wilson’s debut novel centers around a couple of performance artists who regularly incorporate their unwilling children into their bizarre acts. Years later, misfortune prompts the now-grown son and daughter to return home, where they find their parents gearing up for one final masterpiece. [Deadline]

After the jump, New Line pulls together an intriguing shortlist for Burt Wonderstone‘s female lead, and The East‘s terrorist organization gets one more member.

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2012 isn’t shaping up to be quite the Year of Sudeikis that 2011 was, but the Saturday Night Live star seems to be looking forward to another busy year. In addition to his ongoing gigs on SNL and Fox’s The Cleveland Show, Jason Sudeikis is also slated to guest star in the third season of HBO’s Eastbound & Down, and he’s now landed a role in Jay Roach‘s political satire Dog Fight.

Formerly titled Southern Rivals, the comedy centers around two politicians (Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis) running against each other in a congressional district race in South Carolina. Katherine LaNasa and Sarah Baker will also co-star, as Ferrell and Galifianakis’ respective wives. Filming will begin next month in New Orleans for an August 2012 opening. [The Hollywood Reporter]

After the jump, John Cusack is a black-ops agent, Michelle Monaghan is a hardened war vet, and Lily Collins is that girl you hated in high school.

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This is kind of a catch-all casting break, as it goes all over the map. I’d love to tie the four stories that follow to a theme beyond ‘these people are all in new movies,’ but if that theme exists, I’m afraid it escapes me now. So, after the break you’ll find:

  • Sienna Guillory appears to be confirmed to return as Jill Valentine in the fifth Resident Evil film,
  • comedian Gabriel Iglesias will spin records (or CDs, more likely) in Soderbergh’s Magic Mike,
  • Olivia Wilde takes what formerly belonged to Jennifer Garner,
  • and James Hong will play Ryan Reynolds, sort of, in R.I.P.D.

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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 »

So, Jeremy Renner has finally given up one of the roughly five million roles he’s been linked to since he became Hollywood’s hottest rising star. The Playlist reports that Sam Rockwell is currently in negotiations to replace Renner as the lead in Better Living Through Chemistry, an indie drama by Geoff Moore and David Posamentier. Rockwell would be playing an unhappily married pharmacist who enters an affair with a trophy wife customer (Jennifer Garner). As their prescription drug-fueled romance escalates, things spin out of control and the two begin plotting to kill her husband.

Much as I like Renner, I’m equally happy to see the talented Rockwell in the part. Moore and Posamentier are building up quite the cast — in addition to Rockwell and Garner, the film is also set to star Dame Judi Dench and Michelle Monaghan.

After the jump, Justin Timberlake picks up a new gig, and Wizards of Waverly Place actor Gregg Sulkin joins fellow tween faves Booboo Stewart and Harry Shum, Jr. in Quentin Lee’s new film.

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Infographic: What Is ‘Source Code’

Check out this infographic for Moon director Duncan Jones‘ upcoming sci-fi action thriller Source Code, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan and Vera Farmiga. The film tells the story of a soldier who “wakes up in the body of an unknown man and discovers he’s part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train.” In Groundhog Day-like repetition, he hopes to find the bomber and try to change history (if that is even possible?). The infographic illustrates his mission. Check it out after the jump.
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