Up to this point, Baz Luhrmann‘s been filling his 3D adaptation of The Great Gatsby with well-known talents: Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire, and of course, Leonardo DiCaprio as the titular Gatsby. So it’s surprising and intriguing that the latest addition to his cast is a newcomer — Elizabeth Debicki, who comes straight out of Australia’s Victorian College of the Arts. Debicki will play golfer Jordan Baker, who in F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s classic novel is a friend of Daisy Buchanan (Mulligan) and the love interest of Nick Carraway (Maguire).

In an interview, Luhrmann acknowledged the unusual nature of his selection:

It was a surprising result, but Elizabeth’s grasp of the material and her chemical connectivity to Tobey Maguire, in addition to her striking, athletic appearance, had us in a place where we were fully confident and ready to take the leap of giving the role of Jordan Baker to what, I guess, people would term ‘a discovery’… We are thrilled.

The major characters yet to be cast is Daisy’s husband Tom Buchanan (Ben Affleck was in talks, but bowed out due to schedule conflicts). Isla Fisher has been in talks to play Tom’s mistress Myrtle Wilson. [Deadline]

After the jump, Katie Holmes and Chace Crawford find love, and Alexander Skarsgard signs on for a dramedy.

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A new trailer has been released for Michael Winterbottom‘s The Trip, starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon as fictionalized versions of themselves — similar to what they did in 2006’s Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story. When Coogan’s (fictional) foodie girlfriend dumps him, he reluctantly invites Brydon to join him on a ten-restaurant tour of North England as part of an assignment for The Observer. Much bickering, sniping, and mimicking of Michael Caine ensues. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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One film I’ve been looking forward to is Our Idiot Brother (formerly known as My Idiot Brother), which premiered at Sundance earlier this year to warm, if not spectacular, reviews. Jesse Peretz‘s dramedy stars Paul Rudd as a good-hearted but dim man who gets passed around between his three sisters (Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel and Emily Mortimer) as he tries to get his life together after his latest set of mishaps — one of which involved selling weed to a uniformed police officer. He’s that dumb. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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First Look: Paul Rudd in ‘My Idiot Brother’

One of the more eye-catching comedies playing at Sundance is My Idiot Brother, which stars Paul Rudd (and his beard) as Ned, a guy who is passed around between his three sisters (Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer) after he tries to get back on his feet in the wake of a string of foolish failures. That’s the first image, above, and there’s another after the break. Read More »

the-trip-1

It’s been a busy year for Michael Winterbottom. He made it to Sundance with The Killer Inside Me, which hit theaters earlier this year. He put together The Trip, which reunited him with actor Steve Coogan. That film appeared at the Toronto International Film Festival and was just picked up by IFC. And now Winterbottom may have a project going to dramatize the story of murdered British exchange student Meredith Kercher, with an offer for one role out to Colin Firth. (The image above is from The Trip.) Read More »

Justin Timberlake

Andrew Niccol is prepping I’m.mortal, a sort of sci-fi film with shades of Logan’s Run that already has offered the female lead to Amanda Seyfried. Now Deadline says the male lead has been offered to Justin Timberlake. The film is an explicitly 20-something skewed idea, in which people have to buy time if they want to age past 25. The Seyfried / Timberlake pairing could work well, and I like the idea of Niccol doing more original sci-fi.

After the break, Steve Coogan and Cillian Murphy take new jobs. Read More »

Percy Jackson & The Olympians Trailer 2

Though it settles into exactly the same groove as the previously released teaser trailer just half of the way through, the new, second trailer for Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief finally gives us a look at what we want to see – the name-actor stars of the film. There’s Pierce Brosnan, Rosario Dawson, Steve Coogan and Sean Bean in here, if rather briefly. I have to say I’m digging Pierce’s beard – check it out for yourself in the embed below the break.

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partridge

While doing the rounds to promote his small role in the second Night at the Museum movie, Steve Coogan stopped by BBC Radio One and spoke to Edith Bowman. It would have been for her not to push him on plans for future movies and this being England, specifically the chance of an Alan Partridge picture.

Here’s Coogan’s response:

Yeah, we are planning on making a movie. We’re talking at the moment. What it is we’re not quite sure. But yes, there are plans afoot to make a film.

More of their back and forth after the break…

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Our friends at FilmSchoolRejects learned today that Josh Peck has been cast in a film project called Hearts of Men about three guys “a white boy” (we assume this is Peck), “a black gang member” and “a latino” who witness the latino’s brother get murdered. And like The Wackness, this movie also has some musical undertones. Peck says “The thing that draws them together is that they are all in love with Tupac and his music.” You would think witnessing a murder would be enough to draw them together, but no. The music of Tupac is used as narration or some sort of thematic framing device. I’ve searched and searched for more information on this project, but I can’t even find out the name of the screenwriter. I really fell loved what Peck did in The Wackness, and it will be great to see him in more movies.


Next up Peck will reteam with the lovely Olivia Thirlby (Juno) for What Goes Up (formerly titled Safety Glass), about
a reporter who is sent to cover the Challenger Space Shuttle launch only to become mixed up in the lives of some local students during the mid-1980’s. Hilary Duff, Steve Coogan, Molly Shannon also star. We discovered a bunch of production photos from the film, one of which can be seen above, and the rest of which we’ve included after the jump.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Page 2 for May 4th

Here is a round up of stories that just didn’t make the /Film front page, or what we like to call…. Page 2!

Iron Man Concept Art

Hamlet 2 PosterComingSoon has the poster for Focus Features’ Hamlet 2.

The New York Times has a audio commentary slideshow with Aaron McBride, the visual effects art director for Iron Man, describing how the suit up machine was created for the film, featuring concept art like the photo seen above.

Big-time Southern California real estate developer is obsessed with Blade Runner. He recently unveiled plans to hang a 14-story LED billboard on the facades of two 33-story condos a la Blade Runner. [i09]

An animatronic mobile WALL-E has been spotted wandering the Disney parks. [pixarplanet]

The contract between CBS and Cedar Fair (current owners of Star Trek The Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton) ends December 31st, and a spokesperson for Cedar Fair tells TrekMovie “there are currently no plans to renew” it. [trekmovie]

Wizard counts down the 200 Greatest Comic Books of All Time.

Academy Award Winning screenwriter Diablo Cody interviews John Cusak on MySpace’s Artist on Artist.

Iron Man SideshowSideshow Collectables has announced their Comic-Con 2008 Exclusives which includes the Iron Man Archive Set Mark II (pictured right).

Lessons from Pixar’s Brad Bird on fostering innovation in the workplace: “In my experience, the thing that has the most significant impact on a movie’s budget — but never shows up in a budget — is morale. If you have low morale, for every $1 you spend, you get about 25 cents of value. If you have high morale, for every $1 you spend, you get about $3 of value. Companies should pay much more attention to morale.” [kottke]

The first rule of Twitter Fight Club is we don’t talk about Twitter Fight Club!

The Hollywood Reporter says The Descent 2 is going forward with Celador Films and Pathe. Budgeted at $10 million and scheduled for an eight-week shoot with no start date has been announced.

Picturehouse delays Amusement until fourth quarter 2008. [bloody-disgusting]

Paramount Home Entertainment’s Cloverfield topped both the national DVD sales and rental charts its first week in stores. [CS]

The Weinstein Company and Senator Entertainment are producing a big screen adaptation of Capcom’s Clock Tower, directed by Martin Weisz, of Grimm Love and The Hills Have Eyes 2, with a script by Eric Poppen of Borderland. [FirstShowing]

ToplessRobot counts down the 10 Crappiest Iron Man Villains Who Won’t (and Shouldn’t) Make the Movies.

High School Musical 3L Senior Year PosterDisney has released the poster for High School Musical 3: Senior Year.

Is Iron Man the first comic-book movie better than its source material? [spout]

SpikeTV
plays Press Junket Trivia with Son of Rambow writer/director Garth Jennings and producer Nick Goldsmith.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2
now has a second movie trailer. I’m sure someone out there might care… maybe not. [cinemablend]

The Smallville producers, The CW, Warner Bros. Television, and Michael Rosenbaum announced Thursday that the actor will be leaving the show. [SHH]

James Gandolfini, Steve Coogan, David Rasche and former child actor Anna Chlumsky will star in the political satire “In the Loop” for BBC Films. [THR]

Iron Man has earned $96.7 million in 57 countries since it began opening Wednesday, putting its worldwide total at $201 million after just five days!  [shh]

Sylvester Stallone
Loved Son of Rambow. [wells]