Although this November’s Breaking Dawn Part 2 is the last film currently planned in The Twilight Saga, Stephenie Meyer will be back at the box office again just four months later, with March’s The Host. The adaptation of Meyer’s first non-Twilight novel has been in the works for a couple of years now, and picked up steam last year when Saoirse Ronan and Andrew Niccol (In Time) signed on to star and direct, respectively. Max Irons, Jake Abel, and William Hurt joined a few months later, and now Inglourious Basterds actress Diane Kruger has been announced as the latest addition to the cast. More details after the jump.

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William Hurt is the latest addition to The Host, the adaptation of Twilight author Stephenie Meyer‘s sci-fi romance that will be directed by Andrew Niccol (In Time, Gattaca). The actor is in talks to play Jeb, “eccentric uncle” to Saoirse Ronan‘s character Melanie. Ronan’s character has her mind taken over by an alien intelligence called Wanderer as part of an invasion. But Melanie fights off Wanderer’s dominance, and the girl’s love for a boy named Jared (Max Irons) ends up infecting the alien.

Jake Abel will play another character named Ian, who has his own feelings for Wanderer. In addition to being Melanie’s uncle, Jeb is a leader of the human resistance to the alien effort. The Host will be released on March 29, 2013. [EW]

After the break,Abbie Cornish joins the new film from In Bruges director Martin McDonagh, and Felicity Jones will play a lover of Charles Dickens, for director Ralph Fiennes. Read More »

Hot off two of the year’s most buzzed-about performances in Albert Nobbs and Martha Marcy May Marlene, Glenn Close and Elizabeth Olsen have signed on to star in Thérèse Raquin. Charlie Stratton is writing and directing the erotic thriller, which is based on a 19th century novel and play by Émile Zola. Olsen will lead the cast as the titular young woman, who’s pushed into an unhappy marriage by her overbearing aunt (Close). Thérèse eventually falls into a passionate affair with her husband’s friend Laurent, with destructive consequences for all involved.

Close has reportedly been attached to the film for years, though Olsen’s involvement appears to be a recent development. Thérèse Raquin is scheduled to begin shooting this spring. [Entertainment Weekly]

After the jump, David Schwimmer gears up to kill people and Saoirse Ronan gets another love interest for The Host.

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With Saoirse Ronan already locked in for Andrew Niccol‘s The Host, the search is on for two handsome young lads to play the male leads. Jake Abel has just been selected for the part of Ian, beating out several competitors including Dane DeHaan (The Place Beyond the Pines), Thomas McDonnell (Prom), and Augustus Prew (Charlie St. Cloud). Abel, who’s still negotiating his deal, has worked with Ronan once previously on Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones. More recently, he’s also starred in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and I Am Number Four.

Based on a novel by Stephenie Meyer, The Host revolves around a woman named Melanie (Ronan) whose body is possessed by an alien parasite named Wanderer. Ian is a human who initially attacks Wanderer, but eventually falls in love with her. The other major mail character, that of Melanie’s boyfriend Jared, is still being cast; Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games), Kit Harrington (Game of Thrones), Jai Courtney (One Shot), and Max Irons (Red Riding Hood) are among the contenders for that part. [Deadline]

After the jump, Taken 2 adds another newcomer and Rose McGowan gets some company in Napa.

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With the uber-successful Twilight film series due to end next November, Hollywood is turning its attention that other Stephenie Meyer adaptation, the sci-fi romance The Host. In Time writer/director Andrew Niccol boarded the project earlier this year with Saoirse Ronan set to star, and now a group of young up-and-comers are getting ready to compete for the two male leads.

Liam Hemsworth (The Last Song), Kit Harrington (Game of Thrones), Jai Courtney (Spartacus: Blood and Sand), and Max Irons (Red Riding Hood) are set to test for a character named Jared, while Dane DeHaan (The Place Beyond the Pines), Thomas McDonnell (Prom), Augustus Prew (Charlie St. Cloud), and Jake Abel (The Lovely Bones) will test for the part of Ian. More details after the jump.

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We’ve got a handful of release dates to share, with the biggest possibly being Guillermo del Toro‘s upcoming Pacific Rim, which, if things go well, will begin shooting late this summer or in early fall. Warner Bros. will distribute the Legendary Pictures production, and has just set July 12, 2013 as the release date. Pacific Rim is scripted by Travis Beacham and already boasts Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba and Charlie Day in the cast. The story is “set in a future where giant malevolent creatures threaten to destroy the earth, and the planet must band together and use advanced weapons technology to eradicate the growing threat.” [THR]

After the break, a new date for Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion, and dates for the Stephenie Meyer adaptation The Host, as well as for Roman Polanski’s Carnage, Pedro Almodovar’s The Skin I Live In, and Tucker & Dale Vs Evil. Read More »

There’s been a little bit of back and forth over who will sit in the director’s chair for the adaptation of Twilight author Stephenie Meyer‘s sci-fi novel The Host. Andrew Niccol scripted and was going to direct before he ran off to do Now with Amanda Seyfried and Justin Timberlake. Earlier this year it looked like Susanna White (the Nanny McPhee sequel) would direct instead, but when Saoirse Ronan was set to star Andrew Niccol started circling back around. Now he’s back in the director’s chair for good. Read More »

You may not realize that Twilight author Stephenie Meyer wrote another novel that sounds far crazier than her sparkly vampire series, but The Host is exactly that novel. The 2008 tale seems like a riff on Heinlein’s The Puppet Masters (and several other stories) as it describes altruistic alien parasites called Souls (seriously) that attach themselves to host bodies — in this case humans — and then make their society all great and stuff. Imagine the monolith from 2001, but far more active, and you’re probably on the right track.

The book was optioned some time ago and has been developed as an indie with Stephenie Meyer offering a lot of input. Scripting is Andrew Niccol (Gattaca, Now). He was once set to direct, and likely will in fact make the film. When he does, it looks like he’ll have Saoirse Ronan in the central role of a girl who rejects the probing tendrils of her own personal alien parasite. Read More »

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