No one has ever truly confirmed the full intent of the numbers stations. For decades — since WWII, some say since WWI — shortwave broadcasts around the world have repeated strings of numbers for unknown recipients. The voices are male and female, some children, some synthesized. Supposedly the stations are government-maintained, the numbers strings of one-time pad code. None have ever been acknowledged in an official capacity. Some still broadcast.

The stations have invaded popular consciousness in small ways: a huge collection of recordings was released as The Conet Project; one of those recordings found its way into Wilco’s song ‘Poor Places;’ another is used in ‘Gyroscope‘ by Boards of Canada. The show Lost famously used the idea of the stations as part of its incorporation of a string of powerful numbers into the main storyline.

And now a numbers station is the setting and namesake for a routine-looking thriller starring John Cusack and Malin Akerman. Read More »

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christian-slater-action

In the past couple years, Christian Slater has been seen much more on TV than in films, and quite a few of the films he has made, well, have been…underexposed. (Show of hands: who saw Lies & Illusions? That’s what I thought.) But perhaps Playback will fare better than most. Or maybe not: Slater will star in Playback as “a sinister cop who is pivotal in exposing a small town’s deepest, darkest secret.”

Johnny Pacar, Toby Hemingway, Jonathan Keltz, Alessandra Torresani, Ambyr Childers, and Daryl “Chill” Mitchell also appear, and the story is kicked off when high school kids start poking into their town’s ‘mysterious past’ and expose an evil that preys upon them all. In the end, I bet Slater’s character would have gotten away with it if not for those meddling kids. Michael A. Nickles wrote the script and is directing right now in Grand Rapids, MI. [Variety]

After the break, Lauren Ambrose works for David Wain and Malin Akerman joins Ethan Hawke in a thriller. Read More »

Marilyn Manson

A bunch of new casting bits hit over the weekend, and can be found after the jump including an update on who Cameron Crowe is in talks with a new star to play Marvin Gaye, Marilyn Manson and Evan Rachel Wood sign on for “a sexploitation-serial-killer-slasher-road-movie circa 1989″, Dustin Hoffman to star in a new adaptation of an Irwin Shaw novel and much more.

Read More »

deathgames-jackson-lutz

I’ll be fairly well amused if Kellan Lutz ends up being the real breakout star from Twilight. He’s in a few films now, and even though he lost the lead role in Conan, the fact that he’s not angling for ridiculous paydays (a la Taylor Lautner) makes me think he’ll be around for a minute.

Now he’s set to co-star with Samuel L. Jackson in Deathgames. Former VFX supervisor Jonah Loop is making his directorial debut with the film, which is about “a young man (Lutz) who is kidnapped and forced into the savage world of a modern gladiator arena, where men fight to the death for entertainment of the online masses. Jackson orchestrates the games, overseeing them from his computer lair with the help of twin ladies who see to his every desire.” Jackson’s life sounds more or less like the existence I dreamed of when I was 16. [THR]

After the break, more on another Twilight star’s new movie, and Ethan Hawke is attached to a mysterious movie. Read More »

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