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Prepare yourselves now, because the profusion of Wizard of Oz projects hitting in the next few years may start to get a little overwhelming. In no particular order, we already have lined up: Oz, the Great and Powerful, starring Robert Downey Jr. and (potentially) directed by Sam Raimi; Drew Barrymore’s proposed Wizard of Oz sequel, Surrender Dorothy; the Polish brothers’ Oz prequel; Dorthy of Oz, an animated outing; and one of two Warner Bros. remakes, which could either be the Todd McFarlane-produced re-envisioning or the simply titled Oz, written by Darren Lemke (co-writer of Bryan Singer’s upcoming Jack the Giant Killer).

That enough Oz mayhem for you? Or do you think we need one more?

Yup, Universal thinks we need one more. To fill out that already full roster, there’s the upcoming musical adaptation Wicked, a prequel to the classic Wizard of Oz tale that’s told from the perspective of the witches. This will mark the title’s third incarnation, which started as a bestselling novel before finding great success as a stage musical. Which director will be bringing the material to the big screen? The current line-up is enough to titillate: J.J. Abrams, James Mangold, Ryan Murphy and Rob Marshall. More on these selections after the break. Read More »

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The fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film, On Stranger Tides, began production last week in Hawaii. Disney has sent out a press release to commemorate the occasion, and while normally this sort of thing is just a lot of hot air, in this case there is some useful information contained therein, at least if you’re curious to know exactly what adventure Johnny Depp will be sashaying through this time.

Hit the jump for the plot details as officially presented by Disney. Read More »

depp-rush-pirates

As the development and casting of the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film has gone forward, we’d basically known that Geoffrey Rush (the series’ secret weapon) would return as the formerly villainous pirate Captain Hector Barbossa. Now his return is confirmed. Read More »

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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is gearing up to shoot in the next few weeks, so it’s time to hear about all the additional cast that will join Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane under the direction of Rob Marhsall. A few weeks back we mentioned that Stephen Graham was among the new recruits. He was recently seen in The Damned United and Public Enemies, but possibly best remembered for acting opposite Jason Statham in Snatch. (“Dags? Oh…DOGS.”) After Pirates 4, he might be best remembered for playing sidekick to Jack Sparrow. Read More »

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Jerry Bruckheimer is getting less Disney money to play with. Over the years, Bruckheimer has produced a great many films for the studio, many with lavish budgets and appropriately epic scale. None more so than the Pirates of the Caribbean films, which have grown ever more outsized and expensive.

For the fourth chapter, On Stranger Tides, things will be different. And the changes could be quite positive. Read More »

Astrid Bergès-Frisbey

French Actress Astrid Bergès-Frisbey has been selected by producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Rob Marshall to star in the key role of Syrena, a beautiful and alluring young mermaid, in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. How big of a role will Syrena the Mermaid have in the fourth installment of the Pirates franchise? Big enough that Disney issued a flashy press release announcing her casting (something that isn’t the norm for unknowns or supporting roles). Bergès-Frisbey’s credits include the following French films: La Fille du Puisatier, Bruc, Extase, La Premiere Etoile and Un Barrage Contre le Pacifique.

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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

British actor Stephen Graham, Sam Claflin, and Max Irons are in talks to join the cast of Rob Marshall’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Graham has appeared in Public Enemies, This Is England, Gangs of New York, Band of Brothers and Snatch. Irons, the 24-year-old son of actors Jeremy Irons and Sinéad Cusack, has appeared in Dorian Gray and Being Julia. Claflin is currently working on British television series The Pillars of the Earth in Budapest. Graham will play the character of Scram, a character whom we have no more details about.

Read More »

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That headline might seems like a strange clash of conflicting stories, but they’re closely tied together by one thing: back in February, news bubbled up that Penelope Cruz would be taking the lead in Lars von Trier‘s sci-fi disaster movie Melancholia; then one day later, we heard she wouldn’t be doing it all and had signed on to Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides instead.

I was rather disappointed. It was too easy to see her choice as either greedy or, perhaps worse, cowardly. And as a fan of both Cruz and von Trier, I had instantly become keen to see their collaboration. Rats.

Now, though, it seems that Lars von Trier has filled the role with Charlotte Gainsbourg, his collaborator on Antichrist. This is interesting in part because von Trier doesn’t appear to have repeated his lead actors before, unless you count Jens Albinus’ characters in both The Boss of it All and The Idiots as leads. Not only does this mean von Trier wants to work with Gainsbourg again, it means she wants to work with him.

Read More »

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