Normally, when a star drops out of a project just before it’s set to begin shooting, it’s a big setback. In Lee Daniels‘ case, Tobey Maguire‘s exit from The Paperboy could turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Maguire recently dropped out of the film, which was originally scheduled to begin this summer. His exit pushed back the timetable for the project, forcing would-be co-star Sofia Vergara to quit due to conflicts with her Modern Family shooting schedule. Now producers are in talks with Nicole Kidman to replace Vergara — a pretty impressive upgrade, at least in terms of star wattage.

Based on a 1955 novel by Pete Dexter, The Paperboy revolves around a reporter who works with his brother to investigate a murder that put the suspect on death row. Kidman would play “a woman with a dark side” who first draws the reporter’s attention to the case, and eventually strikes up a relationship with him. Matthew McConaughey and Zac Efron are still on board to co-star; there’s no word yet on who might be replacing Maguire. [The Hollywood Reporter]

After the jump, Rosario Dawson joins Josh Duhamel, Bruce Willis, and Curtis Jackson a.k.a. 50 Cent in Fire with Fire, Jeremy Irons signs on for Night Train to Lisbon, and I continue to avoid all the obvious puns, for once.

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‘Happy Feet Two’ Teaser Trailer

In 2006 Warner Bros. released Happy Feet, the animated singing/dancing penguin movie that was then the latest step in George Miller‘s strange career. (Mad Max –> Babe –> Happy Feet.) Now he’s back with a sequel, Happy Feet Two, and the first teaser is out. The animation looks good, but if you aren’t looking for a penguin-performed pop music mixtape, then best give this one a pass. Read More »

Oh, look, a new Smurfs trailer. The good news is that this trailer is not as painfully horrible as the first one. The bad news is that it is still a trailer for The Smurfs. But if you want to see mushroom houses, Gargamel (Hank Azaria) on the hunt and a moment where Neil Patrick Harris breaks down over the little blue creatures’ overuse of the word ‘smurf,’ then hit the jump. Watch out for the product placement, though. Read More »

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I know that you’re just burning up with curiosity about progress on the Farrelly Brothers new The Three Stooges and Adam Shankman‘s film version of the stage musical Rock of Ages. So here are some on-set snaps from both films. The Rock of Ages pics show off the film’s very ’80s costumes, while the Three Stooges images give us our first (relatively bad) looks at the new Moe (Chris Diamantopoulos) and Larry (Sean Hayes), but there are also images of Sofia Vergara, and even though they show her made up to be battered and bruised, I imagine no one is going to complain about those. See ‘em all after the break. Read More »

Making a decision about his follow-up to Precious hasn’t been a speedy process for Lee Daniels. He was developing Selma for some time, before lack of funding and complications with the Martin Luther King estate pushed that away. There is the Black List script The Butler, which was looking like his next project (and may still be). There were other possibilities, too: the musical The Scottsboro Boys, a remake of Nights of Cabiria (please: no) and Anna in the Tropics.

Then in February, we heard that he might direct The Paperboy, based on Pete Dexter‘s 1955 novel by the same name. Now he is confirmed to make that last movie, and a cast is in place: Matthew McConaughey, Tobey Maguire, Sofia Vergara, and Zac Efron. Read More »

There’s been a lot of talk in Atlanta over the past couple weeks about The Three Stooges, which Peter and Bobby Farrelly are crewing up to start shooting in a couple weeks, but which hadn’t yet locked down the third lead. We know that Will Sasso will play Curly, Sean Hayes will play Larry, and a few other smaller parts are cast as well. (Sofia Vergara will be a ‘femme fatale’ in the second of the film’s three short stories.)

Now it appears that Chris Diamantopoulos, who had a recurring part on the last season of 24, will be the ‘discovery’ to play Moe. Read More »

The latest addition to the cast roster of The Three Stooges is Modern Family‘s Sofia Vergara, who is now in talks to play a femme fatale. (THR describes her as “a devious woman who pretends to be the wife of a dying man and tells the Stooges she’ll pay them a handsome sum if they kill the man in his sleep.”) The part factors into the middle section of the film; the Farrelly Brothers are presenting the movie structured as three 30-minute shorts. As for the rest of the cast, Will Sasso is Curly, Sean Hayes is Larry, and no Moe has been picked. (Or none has been announced, anyway.) [Original report: Variety]

After the break, Woody Allen and Penélope Cruz reunite; 21 Jump Street gets a bad guy and one more is added to David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis. Read More »

‘The Smurfs’ Trailer

There is now a full-length trailer for The Smurfs, Sony’s live-action/animated hybrid which brings updated CGI versions of the Smurfs to New York City, where they run riot through the lives of Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays as they try to escape the clutches of the wizard Gargamel (Hank Azaria). If that doesn’t sound like a horror film, that’s because you haven’t yet watched the trailer. Do so after the break, if you dare. Read More »

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