Sam Rockwell in Early Talks for ‘Poltergeist’

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Briefly: You can complain about the idea of a remake of Poltergeist, but there’s not much bad to say about the cast for the movie so far. Rosemarie DeWitt was the first cast, and now Sam Rockwell is in talks for a role in the remake, says The Wrap. Rockwell is choosing between this and other films, but the site says he’s the top choice on MGM and producer Sam Raimi’s list, and that Rockwell likes the idea of working with Raimi.

Gil Kenan (Monster House) is directing from a script by David Lindsay-Abaire (Oz: The Great and Powerful). The Wrap says Rockwell would be the husband in the Bowen household, with DeWitt playing his wife. Their daughter Madison is “abducted by supernatural forces that trap her in the netherworld between life and death.” Based on this report, the story  features the Bowens standing in for the Freelings of the original film, but we still don’t know how closely this film will resemble the Tobe Hooper and Steven Spielberg original.

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Rosemarie DeWitt in The Company Men

Briefly: The new version of Poltergeist, to be directed by Gil Kenan (Monster House) has found its first victim, er, resident. Rosemarie DeWitt (Mad Men, United States of Tara) will take the lead female role. David Lindsay-Abaire scripted, and we’ve heard the film might be a semi-remake/semi-sequel, vaguely in the vein of the recent Evil Dead re-do. The specific story details are unconfirmed, and I’ll let you explore them here to prevent spoilers.

When MGM officially announced the new version, a press release offered this story description: “In a revisionist take on the classic horror film, a family struggling to make ends meet relocates to an outdated suburban home and is confronted by an angry spirit who kidnaps their youngest daughter and challenges them to band together to rescue her from the clutches of evil.” [Deadline]

Touchy Feely

Lynn Shelton made her name with intimate, improvised dramedies like Humpday and Your Sister’s Sister. But her latest, Touchy Feely, sees her taking a broader, more traditionally scripted approach, to mixed reactions.

The new film reunites Shelton with her Your Sister’s Sister star Rosemarie DeWitt, who’s playing warm, free-spirited masseuse Abby this time around. Her life turns upside-down when she develops a sudden and inexplicable aversion to human touch, putting not just her career but her relationship with her boyfriend (Scoot McNairy) in jeopardy.

Meanwhile, her uptight dentist brother Paul (Josh Pais) journeys in precisely the opposite direction, as he mysteriously gains a “healing touch” that sends new patients flocking to his practice. Ellen Page, Allison Janney, and Ron Livingston round out the cast. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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HBO’s The Newsroom already stars Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, Sam Waterston, and Alison Pill, among many others, with recurring appearances by folks like Jane Fonda, Chris Messina, Hope Davis, and Paul Schneider, so I don’t think that casting was ever really the problem with the show. Still, I suppose it never hurts to add a few more great guest stars.

The newest arrivals at the Atlantis Cable News offices are Rosemarie DeWitt and Patton Oswalt, two actors I’m pretty much always happy to see. Both are expected to recur in the next season of the Aaron Sorkin media drama. Read more after the jump.

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Gus Van Sant‘s Promised Land became a surprise awards contender when Focus Features decided relatively late in the game to give it an Oscar-qualifying limited run, but this first trailer suggests it’s more than worthy of the competition. Matt Damon stars as Steve, a likeable corporate salesman who arrives in a small rural town to pick up drilling rights. The locals, struggling to recover from the economic recession, initially appear more than eager to oblige — until a grassroots campaign against the purchase, led by Dustin (John Krsasinski) and local teacher Frank (Hal Holbrooks) starts picking up steam.

OK, I’ll admit that the synopsis sounds pretty dry when described that way. But between Van Sant’s steady direction and Damon and Krasinski’s engaging performances, Promised Land looks like a powerful, thought-provoking piece. Frances McDormand and Rosemarie DeWitt round out the excellent supporting cast. Check out the trailer after the jump.

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Although he’s still known as small-screen sweetheart Jim Halpert on The OfficeJohn Krasinski‘s also been building up his film resume with about a dozen films in the past five years. Most of them have landed on the lighter end of the comedy-drama spectrum, but his starring turn in the Sundance indie Nobody Walks sees him traveling into somewhat heavier territory.

Krasinski and Rosemarie DeWitt play a married couple whose lives are disrupted when a beautiful acquaintance named Martine (Olivia Thirlby) comes to stay with them in LA. Krasinski’s character soon finds himself irresistibly drawn to her, as his wife and teenage stepdaughter (India Ennenga) are dealing with illicit longings and impulses of their own. Nobody Walks is the third feature directed by Ry Russo-Young, who seems to be moving away from her mumblecore roots with this polished picture. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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If Sundance 2011 was the year of Brit Marling, Sundance 2012 was the year of Mark Duplass. Of course Marling was the new girl in town that year and Duplass had already been around the block, both as an actor and filmmaker, with movies like The Puffy Chair, Humpday and Baghead. Still, he came to Sundance in January with two movies that provided very different perspectives on his range. There was Safety Not Guaranteed, which showed his wacky, paranoid, lovable side. And then there was Your Sister’s Sister, where a rugged exterior and sensitive interior lead the audience to believe two sisters, played by Emily Blunt and Rosemarie Dewitt, can fall for him in the midst of a tragedy. That would be a struggle for any actor but Duplass pulls it off (in both films really) and ultimately is the heart of a unique romantic comedy.

Directed by Lynn Shelton, Your Sister’s Sister will be released June 15. The film avoids the typical romantic comedy tropes, instead focusing on authentic characters and unpredictable reality framed in a classic love triangle. Check out the trailer for the film below. Read More »

Johnny Depp and Rob Marshall are working to make a new version of The Thin Man, the Dashiell Hammett novel about drunk detective socialite Nick Charles, his charming young wife Nora and the unusual family mystery in which they become embroiled.

The question is: who plays Nora? Deadline says there is a shortlist that will begin to meet with Warner Bros. next week. Names on the list include Eva Green, Amy Adams, Emma Stone, Carey Mulligan, Rachel Weisz, Kristen Wiig, Emily Blunt and Isla Fisher. That is, just about every smart actress with free time in her schedule and an interest in starring opposite one of the few semi-legit movie stars in the business. And without knowing more about what Marshall, Depp and WB are specifically looking for, it seems pointless to try to play the guessing game based on a list that long.

The original The Thin Man, released in 1934, spawned a series of comic detective films and, later, even a TV show, and that precedent is fueling fire that the material might become a hit once again.

After the break, Albert Hughes’ film Motor City might finally have a lead, and Hal Holbrook joins Gus Van Sant’s new film Promised Land. Read More »

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