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The last time we saw anything from The Frozen Ground, in which Nicolas Cage plays a detective on the trail of a serial killer played by John Cusack, it was an artless sales trailer that didn’t do the film any favors. Made it look like a direct to DVD throwaway, in fact. This theatrical teaser is a better look at the movie, if only because it leaves some mystery for the story to reveal.

Surprisingly, this also minimizes the presence of Vanessa Hudgens, who plays a prostitute who escaped the killer’s clutches and is working with the cops to capture him. A cheery intro from Hudgens contrasts with the chilly, creepy tone of the trailer, but we’ll have to wait to see how much she really plays into this telling of the true crime story. Read More »

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The trailer for the Nicolas Cage / John Cusack serial killer move The Frozen Ground starts with quite a one-two punch: a Bible verse followed by the tag “based on actual events.” So you know this is serious. And, sure, this is serious subject matter, as Cusack plays a version of real-life killer Robert Hansen, and Cage is the weary detective on his trail. In fact, Cage’s current over-exposure and general sense of weariness are fairly perfect for this sort of “tired cop” role.

Yet as Vanessa Hudgens grinds away her Disney image on a stripper stage and everyone else stumbles around to the tune of ‘All Along the Watchtower,’ the production looks terribly flat and barely appealing. Hopefully that’s just the way the trailer is cut; make your own guess after watching below.

And note: while this seems to be more like a sales trailer than anything else, with some rough cuts, low audio and a bit of R-rated language, it isn’t quite a red-band edit. But it might not be quite office-safe, either. Read More »

John Cusack and Johnny Knoxville are set to star in Carnaval, a comedy directed by Josh Stern. Cusack will play a sports scout who tavels to Rio de Janeiro during Carnaval in order to sign a soccer star, while Knoxville has been cast as Cusack’s musician best friend who tags along. Cusack’s character needs to bring the player on board so that he can take over his agency, but his plans go awry when Knoxville’s character sleeps with the player’s girlfriend. Carnaval will begin shooting in Rio this January.

Knoxville’s been on a roll lately in terms of landing roles. Over the past few months, he’s signed on for the teen comedy Fun Size, an untitled camping comedy with Patton Oswalt, and the Arnold Schwarzenegger action flick The Last Stand. Cusack also has a handful of movies lined up for next year, including Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy, the Edgar Allan Poe thriller The Raven, and the serial killer drama The Frozen Ground. [The Hollywood Reporter]

After the jump, TV actress Katherine LaNasa gains two movie husbands, and a whole bunch of people board Night Train to Lisbon.

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Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson hasn’t exactly blown anyone away with his acting chops, but the guy who once got shot 9 (or was it 3? Either way) times and lived to tale the tale isn’t about to get scared off by a couple of negative reviews. He’s already got three films lined up for next year, and he’s just landed one more: Frozen Ground.

Written and directed by Scott Walker, the film is based on the true story of Alaskan serial killer Robert Hansen, who murdered at least 17 victims over the course of twelve years. Jackson will be playing an ’80s-era pimp, which producer Randall Emmett describes as a “substantial role.” He joins a cast that already includes John Cusack as Hansen, Nicolas Cage as a state trooper, and Vanessa Hudgens as the escaped victim who helps catch Hansen. Frozen Ground will begin shooting in Anchorage next month. [The Playlist]

After the jump, a WWE champ and a Breaking Bad star join Channing Tatum’s stripper movie, and The Last Exorcism star Ashley Bell lands two new roles, only one of which is a sequel to The Last Exorcism.

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We’ve just got the first word of The Frozen Ground and already it is starting to sound like a film that is emulating Christopher Nolan’s approach to remaking Insomnia. The Frozen Ground is a film about Alaskan ‘serial predator’ Robert Hansen (pictured above middle), who abducted and then hunted women. Nicolas Cage and John Cusack are in talks to take the two starring roles of killer and cop in pursuit. And like Insomnia, which cast Robin Williams as the killer, this will put John Cusack into the shoes of the seemingly shy and mild killer. Read More »

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