“From the moment it launched just three short weeks ago, it was so clear to us that six-second loops of video, edited in-phone, and posted in real time was and will be the future of film distribution.” So says Oscilloscope’s “Minister of Informative Updates” Bruce Farnsworth, who is currently releasing the upcoming film, It’s A Disaster, on the Vine video app.

Obviously, he’s joking.

What’s not a joke is that the Oscilloscope Vine account (accessible through their Twitter @OscopeLabs) is releasing a sizeable amount of It’s A Disaster, Todd Berger‘s upcoming apocalyptic comedy starring David Cross and Julia Stiles. Check out a few examples below and read the full release. Read More »

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Ever been the new person at a small party where there are awkward tensions and undercurrents of conflict that you’re aware of, but have no part in? That’s where the character played by David Cross finds himself in Todd Berger‘s film It’s a Disaster. Cross’s character shows up to a “couples brunch” with his new girlfriend, played by Julia Stiles.

Things are obviously weird, and they progress to a point where a lot of people would wish for just about any excuse to get out of the situation. And then the attendees find out that the party might be their last. That changes the uncomfortable scenario just a bit, as decorum and inhibitions fully dissolve.

Check out a trailer below. Read More »

It’s been some four years now since we first heard about The Happytime Murders, the Jim Henson Co.’s puppet-centric noir satire, but perhaps spurred on by the success of last year’s The Muppets, the project seems to finally be coming together for real. Katherine Heigl signed on for a starring role sometime last month, and now IM Global has released the first pieces of concept art from the film as well as an official synopsis. Check them out after the jump.

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There is a staggering amount of casting news today thanks in part to the in-progress European Film Market at the Berlin Film Festival, where producers take projects to gather foreign distribution deals and financing. So let’s get right to it.

First up, the Princess Diana film Caught in Flight, which will be directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel (The Invasion, Downfall) has found a new Princess. Last year Jessica Chastain was in talks for the role — there was a moment where she was in talks for every big female role, it seems — but now Diana will be played by Naomi Watts. Losing Chastain is unfortunate, but if Watts is the replacement I can’t see too many complaints being aired.

Written by Stephen Jeffreys, the film will shoot later this year with an emphasis on the last two years of Diana’s life; that is, after her 1995 divorce, and through her relationship with heart surgeon Dr. Hasnat Khan. “It charts how finding true personal happiness for the first time allowed her to achieve her defining successes evolving into a major international campaigner and humanitarian.” [Deadline]

After the break, Haley Joel Osment goes back to science fiction, and we catch up with two new roles for Katherine Heigl that were announced not long ago. Read More »

Two projects based on world-famous properties you probably loved growing up are inching just a little bit closer to the big screen. MGM has tapped Todd Berger to adapt Martin Handford‘s children’s book series Where’s Waldo? into a feature, while over at Warner Bros., Invictus and Sherlock Holmes writer Anthony Peckham has entered talks to do a rewrite of Matt ReevesThe Twilight Zone. More details after the jump.

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If you happened to catch a screening of Attack the Block this summer, you probably walked away thinking the same thing we did: this John Boyega kid is going to be a huge star. Well, Boyega’s now landed his first part since Attack the Block opened, and it sounds like a great one. He’ll play the lead, Donnie, in HBO’s series Da Brick, a fictionalized telling of the earliest days of Mike Tyson‘s boxing career. Spike Lee is set to direct the pilot episode from a script by John Ridley (Three Kings), and will also executive produce along with Tyson, Ridley, Jim Lefkowitz, and Entourage creator Doug Ellin.

Da Brick centers around a young man in modern-day Newark, NJ who gets released from juvenile detention on his 18th birthday. The series will aim to deal with larger issues like “what it means to be a young, black man in supposedly post-racial America” and “what it means to be a man both for himself, and to those around him.” As long as the British Boyega can pull off a convincing Jersey accent, this seems like pitch-perfect casting. [Deadline]

After the jump, In Plain Sight‘s Rachel Boston faces a possible apocalypse with Julia Stiles and America Ferrera, and Harry Lloyd, a.k.a. Viserys Targaryen, joins Vera Farmiga and Mark Strong in Closer to the Moon.

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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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Jim Henson’s Muppets have always have a little subversion to them be it Miss Piggy’s sexual innuendo or their more recent viral videos. Well, Lionsgate seems to be on board with that idea as they’ve just acquired Happytime Murders, a dark, comedic murder mystery set in a world where Muppets and humans co-exist. It’s written by Todd Berger with Brian Henson, son of Jim, set to direct. Read more about the film after the jump. Read More »

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