In Jack the Giant Slayer, Bryan Singer engages in the time-honored tradition of taking a classic fairy tale and reshaping it to fit the times. Current trends being what they are, that means turning the film gritty and (relatively) realistic, with plenty of Lord of the Rings-style action.

Screenwriters David Dobkin and Darren Lemke take the basic touchstones of Jack and the Giant Beanstalk — the poor farm boy, the magic beans, the scary giants — but introduce several brand-new elements to the story. In this version, Jack (Nicholas Hoult) heads upward to rescue a beautiful princess (Eleanor Tomlinson) and stop her evil betrothed (Stanley Tucci) from taking over the kingdom. It’s a version of Jack that’s never been told in all the centuries that the character has been around. So why does it all feel so tiresomely familiar?

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Another day, another edition of Star Wars Bits. This week’s biggest news, so far, is the rumor that not only is Harrison Ford returning for Star Wars Episode VII, but that Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill will too. Plus some combination of their kids (hopefully not Mark and Carrie’s) may be the protagonists of the film. Of course, this is about as good an educated guess as one could make considering all the facts, but now it comes from an actual source.

After the jump, read more about that as well as the following:

  • The original Boba Fett, Jeremy Bulloch, is excited and willing to return in a Boba Fett spin-off or Episode VII.
  • Check out footage from a cancelled Star Wars fighting video game.
  • Director Bryan Singer thinks Nicholas Hoult would be a great young Han Solo.
  • A new web series called Death Star PR has just launched.
  • Olivia Munn reveals what she’d do to be in a Star Wars movie.
  • Lego will soon release their most realistic looking X-Wing Fighter to date.
  • A new photo of Carrie Fisher as Leia in the Return of the Jedi ”slave” costume has surfaced.

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It’s no coincidence that the official website for author Isaac Marion includes glowing blurbs from both Stephenie Meyer and Simon Pegg. Marion’s novel Warm Bodies, and Jonathan Levine‘s film adaptation of same, owes as much to Twilight as it does Shaun of the Dead. It attempts to infuse some self-aware humor into a tale of star-crossed inter-species romance. Ultimately, however, the combination turns out to be less than the sum of its parts.

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With spring creeping up on us, a whole bunch of images have just been revealed for two very different high-profile releases. Bryan Singer‘s Jack the Giant Slayer is a CG-heavy fantasy epic based on the classic fairy tale, while Derek Cianfrance‘s The Place Beyond the Pines takes an atypical approach to the crime thriller genre.

In addition, we have a new still for Gore Verbinski‘s The Lone Ranger, which isn’t due out until summer but should be revealing a bit of new footage during this weekend’s Super Bowl. Check out all the pictures after the jump.

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Both paranormal romances and zombie thrillers have abounded on the big screen in recent years, but next year’s Warm Bodies promises to do something a little different by combining the two subgenres.

Directed by Jonathan Levine (50/50) based on the book by Isaac Marion, the zom-rom-com follows an unlikely relationship between the handsome-but-undead R (Nicholas Hoult) and the very-much-alive Julie (Teresa Palmer). The promos we’ve seen so far suggest a movie that’s equal parts sweet and funny. Now the first four minutes have come online, giving us a better look at R and the grim, gray world he inhabits.

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2012 saw a couple of high-profile fairy tale releases, but the trend is really just getting started. 2013 has a couple such titles due out in just the first three months, including Tommy Wirkola‘s Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters in January and Bryan Singer‘s Jack the Giant Slayer in March.

Of course, that’s not to say there aren’t promising non-fantasy movies due out as well. One we’re especially looking forward to is Side EffectsSteven Soderbergh‘s possibly final theatrical release. Check out new posters for all three films after the jump.

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There’s a short new trailer for Warm Bodies, the zombie romantic comedy from director Jonathan Levine (50/50, The Wackness), starring Nicholas Hoult as a zombie who falls for a human girl (Teresa Palmer). It’s the classic wrong side of the tracks romantic setup, complete with the girl’s father (John Malkovich) being a guy who is opposed — really, violently opposed — to the idea of their relationship.

Malkovich gets a bit more play in this trailer, which, despite being only one minute long, is probably more effective than the first longer spot for the film was. Read More »

Director Bryan Singer just confirmed on his Twitter that Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart will reprise their roles at Magneto and Professor X in X-Men: Days of Future Past, the sequel to X-Men First Class which starred Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy as younger versions of the same characters. They’ll be returning too, along with Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult. The film is scheduled for release July 18, 2014. Read more after the jump. Read More »

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