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One of the many YA series to get life on movie screens has been Percy Jackson and the Olympians. The first film in the series, The Lightning Thief, bowed in 2010 and introduced film audiences to the story’s modernized take on classic mythological characters.

Like many YA adaptations outside the Harry Potter and Twilight series, The Lightning Thief didn’t quite wow audiences. Unlike many stillborn series, however, this one is actually getting a sequel. Star Logan Lerman may quickly be aging out of the role, but he’s back for Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters, in which Percy, the half-human son of Poseidon, goes after the legendary Golden Fleece.

This chapter features Alexandra Daddario and Brandon T. Jackson returning to support Lerman’s hero, and we get to see Stanley Tucci as Dionysus. Oh, and Nathan Fillion plays Hermes, which might be enough to get people watching. Read More »

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Here are some sequel-related odds and ends for the start of the week. After the jump:

  • Transformers 4 scouts the GM plant as a possible location
  • Dredd isn’t getting a sequel, but may get a short film
  • Win one of 50 uniform from Star Trek Into Darkness
  • Star Trek Into Darkness participates in Earth Hour
  • Universal’s “Despicablimp” embarks on a cross-country tour
  • See the first pics from Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

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Now that a director’s been locked in for Episode VII, the big question is who’ll get to star in it. And that’s what today’s Star Wars Bits is all about. After the jump:

  • Disney CEO confirms the original trio is in talks to return
  • Billy Dee Williams has also been asked to come back
  • Warwick Davis is “definitely” looking to do more Star Wars
  • New details revealed for Star Wars: First Assault game
  • Eli Roth, JGL, Mila KunisStanley Tucci and more weigh in

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The first Hunger Games film was released one year ago this month. Feels longer than that, doesn’t it? Maybe that’s because so many other huge blockbusters have been released since then. But The Hunger Games, unlike those other blockbusters, continues with a sequel coming out this year.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will be released on November 22 and Lionsgate has already started marketing for the film. We saw the Victors Posters and now individual character portraits are being released. To start, we see Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci) and Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson), all of whom are reprising their roles in the sequel.

UPDATE: We’ve added Cinna, played by Lenny Kravitz.
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In Jack the Giant Slayer, Bryan Singer engages in the time-honored tradition of taking a classic fairy tale and reshaping it to fit the times. Current trends being what they are, that means turning the film gritty and (relatively) realistic, with plenty of Lord of the Rings-style action.

Screenwriters David Dobkin and Darren Lemke take the basic touchstones of Jack and the Giant Beanstalk — the poor farm boy, the magic beans, the scary giants — but introduce several brand-new elements to the story. In this version, Jack (Nicholas Hoult) heads upward to rescue a beautiful princess (Eleanor Tomlinson) and stop her evil betrothed (Stanley Tucci) from taking over the kingdom. It’s a version of Jack that’s never been told in all the centuries that the character has been around. So why does it all feel so tiresomely familiar?

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Despite the seven-decade leap between Captain America: The First Avenger and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, there are a few stars from the former set to reprise their roles in the latter. That group includes Chris Evans as the title character, obviously, along with Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes and Toby Jones as Arnim Zola. It won’t, however, include Stanley Tucci, who revealed in a recent interview that his character Dr. Abraham Erskine won’t be in the sequel.

But contrary to previous reports, Tucci claims that Cap’s former flame Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) will make an appearance after all, as part of a flashback sequence. Hit the jump for more details.

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A movie I’m really curious to see, whenever the chance arises, is Gambit. Directed by Michael Hoffman, the movie is a remake of a 1966 romantic caper movie that originally starred Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine. This version was scripted some time ago by Joel and Ethan Coen, and finally shot with Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz in the lead roles, supported by Alan Rickman, Stanley Tucci, Tom Courtenay and Cloris Leachman.

The original version of the story features Caine as a slick professional thief who recruits MacLaine to help him accomplish a major theft. This version is a bit different, as it follows this path: “An art curator decides to seek revenge on his abusive boss by conning him into buying a fake Monet, but his plan requires the help of an eccentric and unpredictable Texas rodeo queen.” With the Coens scripting I’m hoping that some of the weird comic charm of the original is intact, or altered in an interesting fashion.

We don’t know much about how the project came out, but two posters have come online as part of the film’s international promotion, and there is also a very brief look at footage. It’s all below. Read More »

It’s weird to see a trailer for a film that feels like it has to throw out a recap definition of the Weather Underground, that group of radical leftists who in the early ’70s embraced violent tactics (riots, bomb attacks on banks and government buildings) in order to protest government actions and argue for revolution. But time marches on, and audiences don’t remember everything.

That said, the trailer for The Company You Keep actually argues that time does not march on, as it follows the efforts of a dogged young newspaper reporter (Shia LaBeouf) as he tracks an at-large WU member (Robert Redford) after the arrest of another formerly free suspect (Susan Sarandon). Redford directed based on a script by Lem Dobbs (The Limey, Haywire) and the trailer makes it look like a pastiche of classic Redford political thriller hits All the President’s Men, and Three Days of the Condor.

There’s an appeal to that classic thriller style, however, and the large cast (Julie Christie, Sam Elliott, Brendan Gleeson, Terrence Howard, Richard Jenkins, Anna Kendrick, Brit Marling, Stanley Tucci, Nick Nolte, and Chris Cooper also appear) lends a real prestige feel to the proceedings. Check out the first trailer below. Read More »

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