With his first two features, Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper has shown a penchant towards historical dramatizations and music. Those films, of course, are The King’s Speech and Les Miserables. His third film might be a mix of the two, and the true story of a legendary musician. Hooper is currently circling the Freddie Mercury biopic with Sacha Baron Cohen attached to star. Read More »


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Quentin Tarantino‘s new film Django Unchained is a big beast, but it was once bigger. The original script, widely leaked last summer, is a 166-page monster that features characters and situations that didn’t make the final cut at all, and others that appear in significantly altered form. And then there’s stuff in the film that wasn’t in the script at all, but which was planned to be bigger or more detailed at one point.

If you want to read the script, you can grab it from the Weinstein Company’s “for your consideration” site for the film. Then you can cross reference it with a lot of the info that’s floating around now. For instance, we knew that Sacha Baron Cohen was cast in the film but had to drop out. We’ve got a brief story from him about why he couldn’t play Scotty, a character ultimately cut. And Walton Goggins talks about scenes he shot that didn’t make the final film.

Finally, there’s a secret about the mute character played by Zoe Bell, under a bandanna, which helps reveal why she didn’t have any lines in the film. Vague spoilers follow, but by this point you’ve seen Django, yes? Read More »

The year-end prestige film crush is just beginning, and one of the crown jewels from this year’s crop looks to be Tom Hooper‘s Les Misérables. Between the source material and the on- and off-camera talent, it’s totally clear why Universal believes the musical has the potential to be a massive critical and commercial hit, and the trailers so far have lived up to those lofty expectations.

As part of the promotional push, Les Misérables has landed a lush Annie Leibovitz-photographed spread in Vogue. Hit the jump to see new portraits of stars Hugh Jackman (Jean Valjean), Russell Crowe (Javert), Anne Hathaway (Fantine), Amanda Seyfried (Cosette), Eddie Redmayne (Marius), and Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter (the Thénardiers).

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While we’ve seen a teaser and extended production trailer for Tom Hooper‘s new adaptation of Les Miserables, this UK trailer is the fullest, most traditional look at the film to date.

It has a lot of footage we haven’t previously seen, and introduces most of the primary cast, including Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham-Carter, and Eddie Redmayne. We get to hear almost all of them in song, which is a first for some, and see a good bit of the grand scope of Hooper’s take on the revolutionary France, as originally told by Victor Hugo. Read More »

Every once in a while we get an update on the planned biopic of late Queen frontman and consummate showman Freddie Mercury. For quite a while Borat star and Hugo supporting actor Sacha Baron Cohen has been set to play the mustachioed singer, but beyond that we’ve heard fairly little.

But founding and current Queen guitarist Brian May says the film is still moving forward. There’s been a delay, and so contrary to previous reports shooting is now planned for spring 2013 with a release to follow in 2014, but the thing is still happening. Read More »

For his next act, Sacha Baron Cohen is likely to play a super rich homophobe. The comedic star of Borat, Bruno and The Dictator has just signed a deal with Paramount to develop The Lesbian, a comedic spin on the true story of Cecil Chao, a Hong Kong billionaire who publicly offered $65 million to any man who could woo and marry his gay daughter. It made international headlines and, obviously, is ripe for parody. Read more below. Read More »

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Sacha Baron Cohen May Spoof Bond

Briefly: Sacha Baron Cohen‘s next project with Paramount may be a slightly more traditional type of comedy than his Da Ali G Show spin-off satires have been. The writer/actor just sold a pitch to the studio that “follows a James Bond-like spy forced to go on the run with his long-lost brother, a moronic soccer hooligan.” Sounds like a reasonable plan, and the hooligan brother could be a way to get some of Cohen’s signature comedy style into a film that relies more heavily on scripted setpieces than we’re used to seeing from him.

Cohen will script with Phil Johnston, with whom he delivered the pitch to Paramount. Johnston scripted last year’s comedy Cedar Rapids, as well as the upcoming Wreck-It Ralph, and Alexander Payne’s next film, Nebraska. [Variety]

A sense of humor is like a fingerprint; no two are alike. What one person finds hilarious another doesn’t, and everyone has their own catalog of things that make them falls into hysterics. Sacha Baron Cohen‘s latest vehicle, The Dictator, tries to cover every single kind of humor imaginable. Do you like super offensive, evil humor? It’s got that. Potty humor? That’s there too. Social satire? Sure, why not. This wild unevenness is the film’s distinguishing factor and it leads to moments of genius, outbursts of offensive hilarity, and others of awkward, silent stupidity.

Structured around a boring, run-of-the-mill mistaken identity narrative, the main thing that keeps The Dictator from dying is an incredible level of unpredictability. At any moment, seemingly anything can happen in the name of a joke. This begets huge hits and big misses. Once again directed by Borat and Bruno helmer Larry Charles, The Dictator entertains but is deeply flawed and anything but subtle. Read More »

Following last month’s news that Joseph Gordon-Levitt had left Quentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained, two more of his would-be co-stars confirmed their own departures earlier this week. Kurt Russell and Sacha Baron Cohen will no longer be appearing in the film, which is currently shooting for a December release. It’s disappointing for sure, but at least the remaining cast — which includes Jamie Foxx, Christopher Waltz, and Leonardo DiCaprio — still looks pretty damn great. More details after the jump.

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