Divergent

Lionsgate is feeling so optimistic about Divergent becoming the next big thing that they’re hitting the ground running with the sequel, Insurgent. Akiva Goldsman is working on the script as we speak, and now the production company confirms that shooting is scheduled to begin this spring.

But before we get there, they still have to open the first movie. The studio has just released a new full-length trailer for the original Divergent, starring Shailene Woodley as a brave young heroine in dystopian Chicago. Watch it after the jump.

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Aaron Eckhart / Miles Teller

The 2014 box office has not been kind so far to Miles Teller and Aaron Eckhart. Teller’s That Awkward Moment had a disappointing opening this past weekend, while Eckhart’s I, Frankenstein completely bombed the week before that. But perhaps they’ll fare better when they join forces, with a bit of help from executive producer Martin Scorsese.

The pair are attached to star in Bleed for This, a biopic of boxer Vinny Pazienza being written and directed by Ben Younger (Boiler Room, Prime). Teller will star as the athlete, while Eckhart will play his trainer. Learn more about Pazienza’s remarkable story after the jump.

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In the end credits of That Awkward Moment, we’re treated to a blooper reel. The footage is typically goofy stuff — stars flubbing lines, knocking over props, cracking dirty jokes, and generally getting silly — but it’s a pleasure to watch because the actors are so damn fun. Zac Efron, Miles Teller, and Michael B. Jordan come across as warm and funny people, and the rapport between them is inviting. I can only imagine that the set must have been a blast.

The film itself, however, is not. Although the premise should, in theory, provide plenty of opportunities for sparks to fly and for the cast’s magnetic personalities to shine through, as they do in the blooper reel, writer/director Tom Gormican seems more interested in shoving the characters along predictable plotlines. The result is a tedious romantic comedy that can’t sell the romance, the comedy, or even the bromance.

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Fantastic Four

With about a year and a half left until its release, Josh Trank‘s Fantastic Four is making some significant progress. Fox is reportedly planning to test actors for the parts of Reed Richards / Mister Fantastic and Sue Storm / The Invisible Woman by the end of the month, as Simon Kinberg turns in his rewritten script.

Among those in contention for Richards are Miles Teller, who has been fanning the flames of rumor at Sundance, while Kate Mara and Saoirse Ronan are being eyed for Sue Storm. Hit the jump to see who else might make the cut.

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Miles Teller in The Spectacular Now

Can you see Emile Hirsch as a young John Belushi? Well, how about Miles Teller as a young Dan Aykroyd?

Hirsch, who has been set to play the late Animal House star in Steve Conrad‘s biopic since last fall, announced over the weekend that Teller would play the part of Aykroyd. Should he close his deal, he won’t have to look far to research the role — the real Aykroyd is serving as one of the producers on the project. Hit the jump for more details on the movie.

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The heart of Whiplash is a duel between Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons, and the weapon of choice isn’t a gun or a knife, but a drum kit. The players’ duel is a concept that cuts across musical genres. It can blaze bright in jazz, when players both complement and one-up one another in an effort to push a performance to its limits. The tendency leads to performances like the “drum battles” between Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa.

Andrew, played by Teller, has definitely heard those battles; he idolizes Buddy Rich and wants to be the next great jazz drummer. In his first year at an elite music academy he finds the ne-plus-ultra of instructors: Fletcher (Simmons), a jazz pianist and draconian band conductor. What begins as a simple teacher/student scenario escalates into a full-on battle of wills as Fletcher deploys manipulative tricks to beat Teller into shape as a machine able to perform on cue. The teacher will hurl a chair as quickly as an insult; is he wildly unstable, or a genius?

Whiplash is structured like a jazz tune, with the duel as the central melody out from which spring scenes that attempt to flesh out both characters and inform their tactics. When that melody rises above everything else, the film is unique and viciously energetic; the side notes, however, are wan, and the whole is messy and less driven than either lead character. Read More »

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Is Miles Teller really up for Fantastic Four? What did Bryan Singer reveal in his X-Men: Days of Future Past Twitter chat? Will Sif get a bigger role in more Thor movies? Which major music producer is working on The Amazing Spider-Man 2? How can you make your own Iron Man Arc Reactor? Want to see a trailer for Justice League: War? Read about all this and more in today’s Superhero Bits. Read More »

That Awkward Moment

The red-band trailer for That Awkward Moment really lived up to the film’s title, delivering several incredibly awkward moments. But not all of them were SFW, so the new green-band trailer offers a few different, slightly less awkward moments in their place.

Fortunately, this looks like the kind of movie that has more than mere shock value going for it. Rising stars Miles Teller, Zac Efron, and Michael B. Jordan star as three best friends navigating the dating scene together in this Tom Gormican-directed comedy, and seem to have a grand old time of it. Watch the newest promo after the jump.

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