Naomi Watts was once set to play Marilyn Monroe in Andrew Domink’s film Blonde. That film was delayed, but could still happen, and we don’t know if Watts will still be in the lead role when (if) it does shoot. But the actress nabbed the lead role in another film that looks at an influential figure in history: she’s playing Diana, Princess of Wales in Caught in Flight, directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel (The Invasion, Downfall).

Watts replaced another actress, as Jessica Chastain was once tipped for the role. The image above is one of the first of Watts in character as the late Royal, and she looks just enough like her subject to suggest that Watts was a good choice for the gig. (Also a good choice: whoever is styling her hair into Di’s signature look.) Check out another pic below. Read More »

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A couple years ago Juan Antonio Bayona got a lot of attention for his debut feature, the Guillermo del Toro-produced supernatural thriller The Orphanage. Now Bayona returns with a film called The Impossible. And while it isn’t a horror film, exactly — not in the way that The Orphanage was — it certainly deals with horror in a specific way.

The Impossible is based in part upon the Indian Ocean tsunami that ravaged Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia in 2004. It stars Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts as a couple vacationing in the country when the tsunami hits the Thai coastline. The results are, as we know from history, devastating.

We’ve got a new trailer for the film, which you can see below. Read More »

There is a staggering amount of casting news today thanks in part to the in-progress European Film Market at the Berlin Film Festival, where producers take projects to gather foreign distribution deals and financing. So let’s get right to it.

First up, the Princess Diana film Caught in Flight, which will be directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel (The Invasion, Downfall) has found a new Princess. Last year Jessica Chastain was in talks for the role — there was a moment where she was in talks for every big female role, it seems — but now Diana will be played by Naomi Watts. Losing Chastain is unfortunate, but if Watts is the replacement I can’t see too many complaints being aired.

Written by Stephen Jeffreys, the film will shoot later this year with an emphasis on the last two years of Diana’s life; that is, after her 1995 divorce, and through her relationship with heart surgeon Dr. Hasnat Khan. “It charts how finding true personal happiness for the first time allowed her to achieve her defining successes evolving into a major international campaigner and humanitarian.” [Deadline]

After the break, Haley Joel Osment goes back to science fiction, and we catch up with two new roles for Katherine Heigl that were announced not long ago. Read More »

Clint Eastwood and Warner Bros. decided to skip this fall’s festival circuit with the biopic J. Edgar. While a good many of the other major fall studio releases have been seen and reviewed in the past three weeks via Telluride, Venice and TIFF, we’ve seen nothing from this biography of America’s most powerful lawman, the first director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, J. Edgar Hoover.

Now the shroud is off the film as Warner Bros. released the first trailer for Clint Eastwood’s latest directorial effort, in which Leonardo DiCaprio plays the FBI chief and Armie Hammer (The Social Network) appears as his second-in-command and rumored love, Clyde Tolson. See the trailer below. Read More »

The years since Jim Sheridan‘s great film In America have been filled with a couple of strange choices: the 50 Cent movie Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, and the remake of Susanne Bier’s Brothers. (The latter being a film I liked in part, but the idea of remaking it still seems like a strange choice.)

Now here’s Dream House, which looks like it might be a too-predictable wacky thriller in which Daniel Craig gets to go a little bit crazy. He moves into a new home with his wife (Rachel Weisz, now his real-life bride as well) and children, only to discover that the previous inhabitants were murdered. From there, Daniel Craig goes off the rails a bit as he discovers that his own past might not be what he assumed it to be. This is definitely a trailer that appears to show too much, but what it might really show is that Dream House is going to be a tough sell. Check it out after the break. Read More »

Zombieland and The Social Network minted Jesse Eisenberg as a new star, but Noah Baumbach was an early booster as he cast the young actor in The Squid and the Whale. That, along with Roger Doger, was what really put the young actor on the map, positioning him for his current success. And now there is evidently a possible reunion brewing for the director and actor. Noah Baumbach is preparing While We’re Young, and is reportedly talking to Jesse Eisenberg for one role and Naomi Watts for another. Read More »

It always happens at this time every year: producers go to the Cannes marketplace with armfuls of potential projects, and we get a flood of casting reports as actors are attached left and right. Some of these will get made, some won’t, and some will get made with an entirely different cast.

One of the big ones today is a boxing drama called The Bleeder, which has Naomi Watts, Liev Schreiber and Christina Hendricks set to appear. Before The Fighter I’d have guessed this might be one that we’d hear about during Cannes and never again, but in the wake of that success it might happen. The Bleeder has Jeff Feuerzeig (The Devil and Daniel Johnston) directing from a script he wrote with Jerry Stahl, based on ” the true story of former New Jersey heavyweight boxer and womanizer Chuck Wepner who boxed 15 rounds with Muhammad Ali and inspired Sylvester Stallone to pen Rocky.” That connection to Rocky might be all this needs to put it over the top. [Variety]

After the break, Dexter‘s next season gets Def, and info on a romantic heist movie.  Read More »

Last time we heard about the film Blackbird, it was called Kin. That was when Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde were cast as “two desperate sibling fugitives (Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde) on the run who subsequently collide with the holiday homecoming of a troubled ex-boxer (Charlie Hunnam).” The film’s name has changed, but that cast remains the same.

Now Kate Mara and Treat Williams have taken roles, playing a father and daughter who factor into the story. Sissy Spacek and Kris Kristofferson are also on board as the parents of Charlie Hunnam’s boxer. That’s a pretty cool parent pairing; in general this is shaping up with quite the strong cast. Stefan Ruzowitzky is directing from a script by Zach Dean, and the film shoots in March in Montreal. [Variety]

After the break, a shortlist for actresses that could end up in The Trade, the film about Yankee baseball players and wife-swapping that is being written by Ben and Casey Affleck. Read More »

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