The star power that came out in defense of the West Memphis Three was remarkable and now there’s added juice behind an eventual dramatic film version. Oscar-winner Colin Firth has just joined previously cast Oscar-winner Reese Witherspoon in Devil’s Knot, the first narrative feature (after several documentaries) concerning the complicated yet fascinating subject of the West Memphis Three. It’ll be directed by Atom Egoyan and is based on the non-fiction book by Mara Leveritt.

Firth will play Ron Lax, a private investigator who was instrumental in finding key evidence that raised considerable doubt as to the guilt of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley. Witherspoon will play Pam Hobbs, the mother of victim Steven Branch and the wife of the man believed to have committed the crimes. There’s more after the jump. Read More »

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Briefly: It is probably shallow to become more interested in a movie when the rating is R rather than PG-13. But then, the action/comedy/romance This Means War looks fairly shallow, so my slightly elevated interest in the movie might be a perfect match for it. The film stars Chris Pine and Tom Hardy as best friends who are also partners in the CIA. But their friendship is torn asunder when they fall for the same woman, played by Reese Witherspoon.

While Fox was hoping to get the film on screens with a PG-13 rating, the MPAA gave it an R, and upon appeal the board upheld the rating. Why is the film R? Does Chris Pine’s head explode? Nope — it is just R for “some sexual content.” Oh, that repressed MPAA! I can’t imagine the sex in the movie being all that crazy, but we’ll see what the story really is when the film is released on Tuesday, February 14. Or, the Valentine’s Day release was the plan; now that the film will go out with an R, perhaps it will be pushed back tpo the 17th once again.

UPDATE: Deadline now reports that “a couple of racy jokes” were cut, and the film was granted a PG-13 rating.

Check out the trailer again after the break. Read More »

Considering that each of them has done their fair share of bland romantic comedies, it’s a little surprising that Ryan Reynolds and Reese Witherspoon have never starred together. But the two are set to collaborate at last in Big Eyes, an art biopic that’s decidedly not a romcom.

Produced by Tim Burton, the film centers around married couple Margaret and Walter Keane. Walter seemed to hit it big in the ’50s and ’60s when his art became hugely popular, but became the subject of scandal when the couple divorced and it was revealed in court that it was actually Margaret who’d painted all the pictures. More details after the jump.

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Briefly: Figured out your Valentine’s Day plans yet? Well, here’s one idea for you. Fox has moved McG‘s romantic action-comedy This Means War from Friday, February 17 to Tuesday, February 14. The film stars Chris Pine and Tom Hardy as a pair of best friends and CIA partners whose relationship torn apart when they fall for the same woman (Reese Witherspoon). It doesn’t strike me as the most romantic premise in the world — actually, it kind of sounds like all three of them are being assholes — but between Witherspoon’s chick flick pedigree and the promise of Captain Kirk and Bane running around with high-tech weapons, I suppose the movie’s date night appeal is obvious.

This Means War is the only movie currently scheduled to open on the 14th, but it’ll be up against the previous weekend’s films including The Vow, Safe House, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, and the 3D rerelease of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance and Studio Ghibli’s The Secret World of Arrietty will hit theaters three days later, on the 17th.

Relive the magic of the first This Means War trailer after the jump, and let us know which of these films you’ll be taking your date to when the holiday rolls around.

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Months after we first heard of Atom Egoyan‘s planned feature about the West Memphis Three, the project has found its first star. Reese Witherspoon has boarded The Devil’s Knot, based on reporter Mara Leveritt‘s 2003 nonfiction book which chronicled the 1994 trials that put two teenagers in prison for life and another on death row for the murder of three eight-year-old boys, despite a lack of physical evidence. After years of appeals, the three men were finally freed this summer. More details after the jump.

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Frequent collaborators Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller may have toned down their raunchy humor for The Muppets script, but they could be diving back into adult-themed material with Sex Tape. Stoller is in talks to direct the raunchy comedy, written by Kate Angelo, while Segel has been offered the male lead. Though neither has officially signed on just yet, given the material and their proclivity for working together, it seems reasonably likely they’ll ultimately board the project together.

Less certain is who’ll play Segel’s co-star, should he sign on. Though Reese Witherspoon is Sony’s top choice, the A-list actress is apparently a long shot. Happily, the studio already has a shortlist of other strong candidates, which include some of the usual suspects. More details after the jump.

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Do the stereotypical tough guy friends who are total bros until a blonde gets between them really exist? I’ve never seen that particular personality in the wild, but I imagine that McG has. Maybe he sees that guy every time he looks in the mirror. His new film This Means War, in which Chris Pine and Tom Hardy are best friends until they realize they’re both dating Reese Witherspoon, feels like it might be a document of McG’s own friendships and dating experiences. I don’t mean to make any personal assumptions, but I don’t know how else to explain the fact that this film exists. See the trailer below. Read More »

Take Shelter director Jeff Nichols is prepping his third film, Mud, and he’s just added quite a few actors to the cast. Take Shelter star Michael Shannon is on board for a small role, and Sam Shepard, Sarah Paulson, Ray McKinnon, Joe Don Baker and Paul Sparks are all set to appear alongside leads Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Tye Sheridan in the film that started shooting yesterday in Arkansas.

And if you’re afraid this sounds like just another low-key indie, read on for the director’s description, as he likens the film to Peckinpah directing a story by Mark Twain.

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