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Relativity Media has announced a deal with Netflix, to stream upcoming theatrical movie releases to Netflix subscribers instead of being released on premium television channels like HBO, Cinemax Showtime and Starz. The company claims this is the first time this has been done, and marks a “big shift in the film distribution model.

Among the first wave of films covered under the Netflix-Relativity deal are “The Fighter,” starring Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg and Amy Adams and distributed by Paramount Pictures, and “Skyline,” co-directed by the Brothers Strause and released by Rogue Pictures and Universal Studios. Both films are scheduled for theatrical release later this year and to be available at Netflix in early 2011. Also on tap for Netflix are Rogue Pictures’ Nicolas Cage action/thriller “Season of the Witch” and “Movie 43,” written and directed by Peter Farley. Both are set to hit theaters this year as well.

I’m not clear what this really means for the consumer. Some could argue that if more studios make deals with Netflix, then Premium cable channels will only be worth what they offer for original programing (if that isn’t already the case). I’m more excited about the possibility of having Hollywood movies distributed on Netflix streaming day and date with a theatrical release. That is when the distribution model will really shift. Read the full press release after the jump.
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Not a lot of cast announcements this week, as Sundance has a great deal of Hollywood on hold. But there’s one big story and a handful of small ones to report. The big one is that Will Ferrell is reportedly going to star in a remake of I Do: How to Get Married and Stay Single. That’s a French film from 2006, and in this version Ferrell would play “a 40-something bachelor whose seven sisters and mom try to force him to get married, prompting him to ask a friend’s sister to leave him at the altar so that everyone will leave him alone.” No writer or director is yet on board. [Pajiba]

After the break, new projects for Jay Mohr, Mandy Moore and Kellan Lutz. Read More »

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UPDATE: The Simon Pegg tweet from which the Andy Serkis info was ‘sourced’ has been deleted. Was this a case of announcing too soon and/or without authorization, or is something else in the works? Mark this one as ‘uncertain’ for now. Original article follows.

Sad news if you were looking forward to seeign Dr. Who‘s David Tennant work opposite Simon Pegg in Burke & Hare, the upcoming horror comedy from John Landis. Tennant has been forced to drop out, leaving a core cast of Pegg, Bill Nighy and John Cleese. But all is not bleak, as Tennant has been replaced by Andy Serkis.

The news comes direct from Simon Pegg, who said “David Tennant had to drop out of B&H but by sheer glorious serendipity a legend of Middle Earth and Skull Island has come aboard. Welcome AS.” Good enough for me. I’d love to see Tenant do more feature work, but I’ll take Serkis in a pinch. As we’ve reported before, Burke and Hare were itinerant Irish immigrant murderers who sold corpses of their victims to a medical college in Scotland. Very much looking forward to seeing Landis return with this one. [Pegg's Twitter, via CHUD]

After the break, news on two projects that couldn’t be more different. Read More »

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