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J.K. Rowling is coming to HBO. The network has debuted the new trailer for The Casual Vacancy, a three-part miniseries based on Rowling’s first post-Harry Potter novel.

Rory Kinnear plays Barry Fairbrother, a parish councillor in the English suburb of Pagford. His unexpected death throws the seemingly idyllic town into turmoil, as various factions compete to replace him in the government. Michael Gambon plays council leader Howard Mollison. Watch The Casual Vacancy trailer after the jump.

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The Casual Vacancy

For the first time since 2011’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, we’re getting a new J.K. Rowling adaptation this year. But with its down-to-earth feel and grown-up themes, The Casual Vacancy is miles away from Hogwarts.

The drama miniseries unfolds in an English village whose idyllic appearance belies a town in turmoil. When a local leader passes away, the community falls apart as various individuals and factions vie to take his place.

The Casual Vacancy features a very large cast, among them Rory Kinnear (Skyfall), Simon McBurney (Mission: Impossible 5), and Dumbledore himself, Michael Gambon. Jonny Campbell directed from a script by Sarah Phelps. Watch The Casual Vacancy trailer after the jump.

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The Bond 24 Title Is ‘Spectre’

Bond 24 title

Early this morning — well, late this morning in the U.K., but very early for us in the U.S. — Sony Pictures, MGM Studios, and Eon Productions teamed up to reveal some long-awaited details on the 24th James Bond movie. From the Bond stage at Pinewood (“where budgets go to die,” joked director Sam Mendes) the first details of the film were revealed.

The Bond 24 title will be Spectre. More about the new title and cast after the jump. Read More »

Cumberbatch Knightley

Benedict Cumberbatch sure does love movies about technology. He stars as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate;Star Trek is based around technological advancement; and now the Sherlock star will play one of the most famous computer scientists and codebreakers in history. Leonardo DiCaprio was circling the filmThe Imitation Game, a while back, but the role went to Cumberbatch.

Production has just begun on The Imitation Game, directed by Morten Tyldum (Headhunters). It tells the story of Alan Turing, a British computer pioneer who is (among many other achievements) credited with cracking a top-secret German code during World War II. Cumberbatch plays the lead (which we already knew), Keira Knightley is a fellow code-breaker, and they’re joined by Matthew Goode, Mark Strong and Rory Kinnear.

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Rory-Kinnear-skyfall

There’s been a lot of talk about Doctor Who in the past week. The eleventh actor to play the title role, Matt Smith, announced that he would be leaving the show after this year’s upcoming Christmas Special. Smith is the third actor to play the Doctor since the show was revived by the BBC in 2005. Christopher Eccleston played the Doctor for revival’s first season; he was followed by David Tennant. Eccleston was well-established before taking the role, while both Tennant and Smith found the Doctor to be a career-making gig.

But who’ll follow Smith? Hopes have been aired that a female or black actor would become the next incarnation of the time lord. Now, however, it looks like the BBC might stick to tradition. The Guardian reports that Rory Kinnear, recently seen in Skyfall, has been offered the role.  Read More »

I’m still haunted by Lynne Ramsay‘s last film, We Need to Talk About Kevin, which I believe is one of the best horror films of the last few years. And so “We Need to Talk About Moby Dick in Space” is a great title for the announcement that Ramsay now has financial backing for Mobius, the film in which she’ll launch a version of Herman Melville‘s novel Moby Dick into space. But BAD already took that one, so we’ll go with something more basic.

Regardless, Ramsay and Kevin co-writer Rory Kinnear may now get to make their “psychological action thriller set in deep space.” With many other directors on board, that might sound like a pretty routine effort, but from Ramsay Mobius could become one of the films I’m most excited to see in the next few years. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Tim Roth and Cillian Murphy have boarded Rufus NorrisBroken, along with Rory Kinnear, Robert Emms, Zana Marjanovic, Bill Milner, and newcomer Eloise Laurence. The story, which was adapted by Mark O’Rowe (Boy A) from Daniel Clay‘s novel of the same title, follows a young girl whose life changes after she witnesses a brutal attack. Broken will be the first feature film by helmer Norris, an accomplished theater director.

Roth recently came off of three seasons as the lead of Fox’s Lie to Me, and will star in next year’s Arbitrage. Murphy will appear in this month’s sci-fi thriller In Time, and has several projects lined up for 2012 including the thriller Red Lights with Robert De Niro and Sigourney Weaver. [The Hollywood Reporter]

After the jump, Hope Davis joins Murderball director Henry Alex Rubin’s ensemble drama, and Rutger Hauer boards a miniseries.

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Christopher Eccleston to Play John Lennon

lennon_eccleston

While Nowhere Boy, the account of John Lennon‘s teen years, is drawing tepid to good reviews after a recent London festival debut, I’m still seeing voices of dissent and disinterest aimed at the film, which stars Aaron Johnson as the young Lennon. I’m curious to see how the same people will react to Naked Lennon, an upcoming BBC Four production written by Robert Jones that has just cast Christopher Eccleston as Lennon circa ’67-’71.

This is the opposite end of the Beatles’ timespan. While Nowhere Boy tackles the years in which Lennon became a songwriter, Naked Lennon will look at the years “when the Beatle was ending his first marriage to Cynthia as Yoko Ono entered his life, coping with the death of manager Brian Epstein and the group’s own messy and acrimonious disintegration.” Read More »