We’ve already got the villainess (Angelina Jolie), the young princess (Elle Fanning), her father (Sharlto Copley), and the three fairies (Imelda Staunton, Lesley Manville, and Juno Temple), and now, at long last, we have the prince. Young Aussie actor Brenton Thwaites has just boarded Robert Stromberg‘s Maleficent, a Sleeping Beauty retelling seen from the perspective of its big bad.

Thwaites is almost totally unknown in the U.S., though he’s a little more famous in his native country. He first broke out with a starring role in the Australian drama series SLiDE, and has since done a stint on the long-running soap Home and Away. (As have the likes of Guy Pearce, Heath Ledger, Naomi Watts, and Chris Hemsworth before him.) He’ll next appear in the Lifetime Channel’s Blue Lagoon: The Awakening, but I’m betting that the Maleficent casting means this kid will be attracting some much higher-caliber projects soon. [Deadline]

After the jump, Olivia Wilde teams up with Spike Jonze.

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Briefly: There has been a change to the untitled new film that Spike Jonze is putting together. For his first feature since Where the Wild Things Are, Jonze wrote a script about a man (Joaquin Phoenix, presumably) who falls in love with the voice of a computer. Think of someone getting a bit too attached to Siri on the iPhone. Amy Adams and Samantha Morton are in the movie, and Carey Mulligan had planned to play a role as well.

Now Mulligan has had to back out, reportedly due to scheduling issues, and Rooney Mara (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) will take her place. Mara would lock the cast, and this would turn into the project she shoots after Steven Soderbergh’s The Bitter Pill, in which she plays the lead role. She’s also got a part in Terrence Malick’s untitled new movie, formerly called Lawless, opposite Ryan Gosling. Carey Mulligan, meanwhile, has got the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis and Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby this year, so she’s in a good place. [Variety]

Spike Jonze has been plenty busy cranking out short films over the past few years, but he hasn’t directed a full-length feature since 2009′s Where the Wild Things Are. That’s about to change, though, and he’s already lining up quite an exciting cast for his return to feature filmmaking. Samantha Morton, Amy Adams, and Carey Mulligan are reportedly in talks to star with Joaquin Phoenix in the untitled romance, which was also written by Jonze. Read more after the jump.

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An Education wasn’t Carey Mulligan‘s first film, but it’s the one that launched her to the top of every director’s wishlist. Since that coming-of-age tale opened in 2009, she’s been picking up one juicy role after another. This year saw her starring opposite Ryan Gosling in Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive and earning praise for her bold performance in Steve McQueen’s Shame, and she’s currently at work playing the ultimate girl who got away in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby.

Now she’s lining up her next two jobs, and they sound every bit as promising as her previous gigs: the Coen BrothersInside Llewyn Davis, and an untitled Spike Jonze picture. More details after the jump.

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It’s been months since we heard anything about Mourir Auprès de Toi (To Die By Your Side), the stop-motion animated short film that Spike Jonze co-directed with Simon Cahn, based in part on the work of fashion designer Olympia Le-Tan.

The short features cut-felt characters animated as if they’ve come alive from the covers of books on a shelf; the setting is the famed Shakespeareand Company bookshop that sits on the south side of the river Seine in Paris, right by Notre Dame. The short is a gorgeous little piece of work; it is pretty and sad and completely absurd. You can see it in full after the break. (Note that it is also vaguely NSFW due to some, uh, skeleton sex.) Read More »

A new take on one of the most famous stories of all time, one of our favorite filmmakers starts to think about a project down the road, Catwoman puts another possible project on her plate and a four time Oscar-nominee gets another shot at gold. After the jump, read about these casting bits:

  • Chris Noth and Neve Campbell are in talks for Titanic: Blood and Steel, a prequel mini-series
  • Joaquin Phoenix is rumored to be circling a new Spike Jonze project
  • Anne Hathaway might star in a new romantic comedy being re-written by a 30 Rock writer
  • Annette Bening is attached to the Douglas McGrath’s new film Worst Year Of My Life

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Spike Jonze and the Beastie Boys go way back, to 1994, ‘Sabotage,’ and the first volleys of a revival of the ’70s movie aesthetic. Their latest melding of the minds is a stop-motion animated video for the recent Beasties track ‘Don’t Play No Games That I Can’t Win,’ in which the band, guest Santigold and a host of other characters are all brought to life via old-school action figures. (Think big early Mego figures and first-wave G.I. Joes.)

The clip starts off pretty tame, but eventually veers into Dead Snow territory. Sound intriguing? Hit the jump. Read More »

After “quitting” acting in a big, public way, Joaquin Phoenix is navigating an impressive comeback. He’s currently shooting Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master and now he’s also attached to star in the latest collaboration between screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and director Spike Jonze. The film, an untitled political satire, is being financed by Megan Ellison‘s Annapurna Pictures and Warner Bros. has also reportedly come on board, aiming at a March 2012 start date. Read more after the break. Read More »

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