With Saoirse Ronan already locked in for Andrew Niccol‘s The Host, the search is on for two handsome young lads to play the male leads. Jake Abel has just been selected for the part of Ian, beating out several competitors including Dane DeHaan (The Place Beyond the Pines), Thomas McDonnell (Prom), and Augustus Prew (Charlie St. Cloud). Abel, who’s still negotiating his deal, has worked with Ronan once previously on Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones. More recently, he’s also starred in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and I Am Number Four.

Based on a novel by Stephenie Meyer, The Host revolves around a woman named Melanie (Ronan) whose body is possessed by an alien parasite named Wanderer. Ian is a human who initially attacks Wanderer, but eventually falls in love with her. The other major mail character, that of Melanie’s boyfriend Jared, is still being cast; Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games), Kit Harrington (Game of Thrones), Jai Courtney (One Shot), and Max Irons (Red Riding Hood) are among the contenders for that part. [Deadline]

After the jump, Taken 2 adds another newcomer and Rose McGowan gets some company in Napa.

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You’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t like one of the following four movies: The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Independence Day or Batman. Odds are everyone likes at least one of those films (or film series), probably very passionately in fact. And if that’s the case, you’ll definitely want to hit the jump on this story. After the jump we’ve got information on the following:

  • Empire Magazine has an exclusive video of Sean Astin, Elijah Wood, Domenic Monaghan and Billy Boyd reuniting on the 10th anniversary of the release of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
  • Access Hollywood is reporting the sequel to J.J. Abrams‘ 2009 Star Trek will not be simply called Star Trek 2.
  • Roland Emmerich is at it again, saying he’s talked to Will Smith about coming back for Independence Day 2.
  • Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight Rises won’t film at Occupy Wall Street as production hits the Big Apple.

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Back in 2009, the Polish Brothers, Mark and Michael, released two films on the festival circuit: The Smell of Success premiered at Sundance, while Stay Cool opened at Tribeca. Now, two years later, both films are finally getting released in theaters. The Smell of Success just got a very limited opening this month, and Stay Cool will be hitting theaters September 16. A new trailer’s just been released for the latter, and… well, I can see why no one was in a hurry to rush this out.

Stay Cool follows a successful writer named Henry McCarthy (Mark Polish) who returns to his high school as a commencement speaker at the request of Principal Marshall (Chevy Chase). Once Henry arrives, Marshall encourages him to “connect” with the graduating class, which apparently means sitting in on classes and passing notes with students. (I don’t know about you, but I have never had a commencement speaker that did this.) Winona Ryder plays Henry’s high school crush, who’s now a local pharmacist, while Hilary Duff plays a current student who’s got her eye on Henry. Sean Astin, Josh Holloway, and Jon Cryer also star. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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The time has come to really re-launch the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. A new movie is in development at Paramount and Platinum Dunes (Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec were just hired to rewrite it) and Nickelodeon will air a new animated show starting in the fall of 2012. Now we’ve got the voice cast for the quartet. Sean Astin will voice red-masked, sai-wielding Raphael, and he reveals that Rob Paulsen, who voiced Raphael in the original ’90s animated series, will voice Donatello. Jason Biggs will be Leonardo, and Greg Cipes (Ben 10) is Michelangelo. Read More »

How Elijah Wood Will Appear in ‘The Hobbit’

Last night it was reported that Elijah Wood was part of a group of actors shortlisted to return for Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit. This left a lot of people confused, as The Hobbit takes place before Wood’s character Frodo Baggins is even born. But now the official Lord of the Rigns fansite confirms that (as of now) Wood is set to reprise his role as Frodo in The Hobbit, and even explain how this will be possible.

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Ron Howard‘s Cheaters already has Vince Vaughn, Kevin James and Winona Ryder. Now it has put out an offer to Jennifer Connelly for what will be, for her, a rare comedic role. She would be Vaughn’s girlfriend; Vaughn plays a guy torn on the question of whether or not to tell his best friend (James) that his wife (Ryder) is cheating on him. [Deadline]

After the break, Sean Astin and Cheri Oteri make up part of the weird cast for a horse racing movie, and Olga Kurylenko joins a massive CGI adventure. Read More »

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