Rush reunites director Ron Howard with his Frost/Nixon screenwriter Peter Morgan (The Queen), to tell the story of real-life racing rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda, whose competition came to a head during Formula 1 series in the mid-’70s. Chris Hemsworth (Thor, The Cabin in the Woods) plays Hunt and Daniel Brühl (Inglourious Basterds) is Lauda, who nearly died in a terrible crash in 1976, but strapped himself back into the driver’s seat only weeks later to challenge Hunt. Also appearing in the movie are Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara, Christian McKay, and Natalie Dormer.

We’ve seen on-set pics from the production, but the still above is one of four images that recently hit the film’s official site. Given the fact that the opening date is more than a year away we’re not likely to see much footage any time soon, but the official stills give us a fairly good idea of how things look, at the very least. Read More »

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With Cannes around the corner, new film projects are cropping up, and deals are being signed. As Germain mentioned earlier we’ll see a lot of indie projects cropping up in the next couple weeks, but there are also studio projects moving forward.

For instance, Antoine Fuqua has added another project to his slate. Chicagoland, written by Peter Morgan, now has the director attached at New Line. It’s one of several films to which the director is attached, but he jumps on and off films with seeming alacrity, so it’s hard to say if this one will get made under his guidance. (For reference, the last theatrical film Fuqua made was the 2009 release Brooklyn’s Finest. He’s been attached to a good half-dozen or more since then.) The most interesting film on his slate, however, the Eminem-starring boxing drama Southpaw, seems to be pushed into the ether at this point while Eminem rides the latest wave of his music career.

There isn’t a lot of info about Chicagoland, but the script has been vaguely likened to Fuqua’s greatest success, Training Day. It seems like that comparison has been thrown at other films to which Fuqua has been attached, too. So we’ll see if it helps this one; a Peter Morgan script certainly isn’t a bad thing. [Variety]

After the break, Gavin O’Connor, who made the sadly under-seen film Warrior, will direct Yakuza, a thriller set in Japan. Read More »

As Sacha Baron Cohen‘s new comedy The Dictator strolls towards theaters, I know some have been wondering if his plan to play late Queen singer Freddie Mercury remains intact. As it turns out, that plan has not changed, and now Stephen Frears (High Fidelity) is the frontrunner to direct the film that has the backing of remaining Queen members Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon. Read More »

Olivia Wilde has landed the coveted role of ’70s supermodel Suzy Miller in Rush, Ron Howard‘s Peter Morgan-scripted drama about the real-life rivalry between British Formula One driver James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Austrian racer Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl). Miller married the womanizing Hunt, but then fell in love with Hunt’s friend Richard Burton. Burton agreed to pay the $1 million divorce settlement that Hunt owned Miller, and then married Miller.

Howard is reportedly eyeing Russell Crowe to play the supporting role of Burton, but it doesn’t sound like negotiations are too far along at this time. Rush began preliminary shooting last month, but real principal photography is starting soon. [Deadline]

After the jump, Billy Crudup gets to show off his comedic chops while Helen Hunt, Maggie Grace, and Aaron Paul get to fight breast cancer.

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It’s an action/thriller casting break this evening, featuring the return of some classic actors to familiar old stomping grounds. So after the break you’ll find:

  • Peter Stormare is a bad guy in Arniold Schwarzenegger’s The Last Stand,
  • Anthony Hopkins will hunt a serial killer in Solace,
  • and Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme and John Travolta may be confirmed for The Expendables 2.

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I’d like to make this the ‘leading lady’ edition of Casting Bits, but I don’t think Caleb Landry Jones would like that very much. (Jason Segel would probably be OK with it.) Still, after the break you’ll find that two films have chosen their lead actresses, while Jones joins Jordan. Ahem. To wit:

  • Alexandra Maria Lara (above) takes the (female) lead in Ron Howard’s racing movie Rush,
  • Cody Horn will be the leading lady in Soderbergh’s Magic Mike,
  • Caleb Landry Jones, aka the First Class version of Banshee, joins Neil Jordan’s Byzantium,
  • and, as a final note, Jason Segel appears to be confirmed for Judd Apatow’s This is Forty.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds featured three breakout performances by actors who were previously little-known to US audiences. Christoph Waltz and Michael Fassbender have gone on to very high-profile studio work, but Daniel Brühl, who played the Nazi sniper hero Frederick Zoller, has taken his time choosing Hollywood roles. (He has continued to work, doing so mostly in Europe.)

Now he is in talks for a film by a major Hollywood player — he’s looking at the role of Austrian Formula One champ Niki Lauda for Ron Howard‘s racing movie Rush. Read More »

The Avengers is currently in production, then it’s Snow White and the Huntsman and with Thor 2 on the horizon after that, Chris Hemsworth is going to race to fit in another film. Deadline is reporting that Hemsworth will play British Formula One driver James Hunt in Rush, the story of a rivalry between Hunt and another driver named Niki Lauda in the mid 1970s. The script is by Peter Morgan, an Oscar-nominee for his work on The Queen, and Ron Howard is looking likely to direct now that The Dark Tower has cooled off. Read more after the break. Read More »

I’ve been looking forward to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy since I first heard that Let the Right One In director Tomas Alfredson had been tapped to direct from Peter Morgan‘s (The Queen, Frost/Nixon) script. My excitement has only increased with each new casting announcement — Gary Oldman! Colin Firth! Tom Hardy! Mark Strong! Now a first teaser has dropped for the film, and though we don’t get to see a whole lot, what we do see looks frankly fantastic. See if you agree with me after the jump.

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