Winter is slowly but surely inching to an end, so let’s look ahead to what the next season has in store for us. The next few months promise to be an interesting one for indie releases, as both Spring Breakers and Zal Batmanglij‘s The East are slated to open.

Further down the road, The Weinsteins are getting into the paranormal YA game next winter with Vampire Academy, and Universal’s Untitled Illumination Entertainment Project (not the final title, obviously) has been slotted for summer 2015. Hit the jump for all the details, in chronological order.

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When Harmony Korine‘s Spring Breakers premiered in Toronto late last year, it instantly became a must-see film. Some people hated it, other people loved it; arguments went that many either loved that they hated it so much or hated that they loved it so much. Films like that don’t come along very often.

Four girls (Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, Rachel Korine and Ashley Benson) rob a store to go on spring break, get arrested and are sprung by a rapper calling himself Alien (James Franco). His promise is that they’ll have more money and drugs than they could ever imagine if they just join him in his life of debauchery and crime. The first trailer looked absolutely insane and now this French, non-censored trailer throws even more sex and profanity into the mix. Check it out below. Read More »

Even before its debut at Venice last fall, Harmony Korine‘s Spring Breakers was attracting attention for its unexpected cast and wild premise. Former Disney gals Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez star with Rachel Korine and Ashley Benson as longtime pals desperate to get out of their boring college town. They hatch a plan to rob a convenience store, and then use the cash to head to Florida and party all day in skimpy neon bikinis. But the police eventually get the jump on them, and the girls are arrested.

Enter James Franco‘s Alien, flashing a totally ridiculous grill and even more absurd-looking cornrows. The drug kingpin/rapper bails the girls out of jail and convinces them to join his crew, promising all the debauchery and adventure they could ever ask for. Watch the trailers after the jump.

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Since it premiered at festivals last year, Harmony Korine‘s latest film Spring Breakers has been turning heads and earning more than a few WTF? reactions as it rolled from one screening to another. Doesn’t hurt that it features Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, and Rachel Korine vamping around in bikinis as they circle a cornrowed malcontent played by James Franco, who leads the girls straight to hell (or just Florida) after they’re jailed for robbing a convenience store.

The film will now hit New York and LA on March 22. Check out the new teaser poster for the movie below. Read More »

Harmony Korine‘s edgy oeuvre isn’t exactly typical awards bait, but his upcoming Spring Breakers is apparently gunning for at least one of those little gold men. The drama is getting an Oscar-qualifying year-end release to give star James Franco, who plays drug kingpin Alien, a shot at the Best Supporting Actor award.

Franco isn’t totally unknown to the Academy, having previously been nominated for his lead turn in 127 Hours. But he’ll be up against some stiff competition, many of whom did fine work in films more likely to be appreciated by the older Academy crowd. More after the jump.

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Whether you love James Franco or can’t stand him, it can’t be denied that the man works hard. As if he didn’t have enough on his plate already — what with films including Oz: The Great and Powerful, Lovelace, Spring Breakers, and his directorial effort The Broken Tower all coming up, plus all of his non-movie projects — he’s now added Mapplethorpe, a biopic of the late photographer. The Tribeca-backed picture will be the first narrative feature by documentary director Ondi Timoner (Dig!, We Live in Public).

Franco will topline the cast as Robert Mapplethorpe, whose explicit works sparked debate over public funding for the arts in the late 1980s. Between this and Howl, it seems Franco’s becoming the go-to guy for historical movies about controversial artists. Timoner, Miles Levy, and Eliza Dushku will produce along with Nate Dushku (Eliza’s brother), who was lined up to play Mapplethorpe at one point before Franco came on board. [The Hollywood Reporter]

After the jump, Emma Roberts refuses to let James Franco bail her out of jail.

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There’s still no word on who’ll be playing Éponine in Tom Hooper‘s Les Misérables, but the project has landed yet another well-known star to play her father. According to LondonNetSacha Baron Cohen is set to join Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, and Eddie Redmayne in the musical, in the role of the villainous inn owner Monsieur Thénardier. Helena Bonham Carter was said to be in talks to play Thénardier’s wife earlier this year, but it’s not clear whether she’s actually attached at this point.

Cohen did a bit of singing in his last big-screen musical, Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and is slated to do still more as the lead of that Freddie Mercury biopic from producer Graham King. In terms of non-singing roles, Cohen recently appeared in Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, and already has three more movies scheduled to open next year — The Dictator, Madagascar 3, and Django Unchained. Get used to that face, because you’ll be seeing a lot of it in 2012.

Les Misérables opens December 7, 2012. [via The Playlist]

After the jump, a Disney gal decides it’s time to break into more mature territory, and Diablo Cody’s next project finds a mom for Julianne Hough.

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From anyone but Harmony Korine, known for scripting Kids and directing Gummo, Julien Donkey-Boy, and Trash Humpers, the plot for Spring Breakers would sound like a wild piece of material. For Korine, it almost sounds like a family film. The story follows four late-teen girls who rob a restaurant in order to finance a spring break trip, and end up enlisted to kill the rival of their drug dealer.

Now Emma Roberts is in talks to play one of the four girls, and James Franco is attached to play the dealer. Read More »

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