Briefly: Guillermo del Toro isn’t the only director putting together a haunted house, although this competing effort probably won’t be on the scale of del Toro’s Crimson Peak. Topher Grace is going to star, with Patricia Clarkson, in a haunted house film called Home. Jason Blum, Leonardo DiCaprio and Graham King are producing, which is quite the powerhouse team.

Dennis Iliadis is set to direct from a script by Adam Alleca. All we know about the story at this point is that Grace’s character will be “a man who suspects the mansion he inherited from his parents is haunted.” A pretty classic haunted house concept, in other words, at least at its core. [Variety]


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Don Peyote

There was a moment around the turn of the decade when Dan Fogler seemed ubiquitous, popping up in everything from Fanboys to Kung Fu Panda to Take Me Home Tonight. But for the past couple of years, he’s kept a somewhat lower profile with roles on TV shows like Hannibal and indies such as Scenic Route and Europa Report.

His latest appearance is an indie, too, but this time around he’s much more involved. He’s the co-writer and co-director (with Michael Canzoniero) and also the star of Don Peyote, a trippy comedy about an ordinary man who either achieves enlightenment or goes nuts, depending on how you want to look at it. Anne Hathaway, Abel Ferrara, Jay Baruchel, Josh Duhamel, and Wallace Shawn co-star, or at least cameo. Watch the first trailer after the jump.

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Briefly: Add one more to the cast of Christopher Nolan‘s new film, Interstellar. Topher Grace is in talks to join the cast, which also includes Michael Caine, Anne Hathaway, Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck, Ellen Burstyn, John Lithgow, Bill Irwin, Timothee Chalamet, and Mackenzie Foy. (Grace actually just finished another movie with Burstyn, The Calling.)

Even as we know more and more about the cast, but the core of the film remains shrouded in relative secrecy. All we’ve got is what we’ve known for months, that the film depicts “a heroic interstellar voyage to the furthest borders of our scientific understanding,” and it features “explorers [who] travel through a wormhole.” Christopher Nolan and his brother Jonathan Nolan wrote the script, originally commissioned for Steven Spielberg and inspired by the theories of physicist Kip Thorne. Composer Hans Zimmer and cinematographer Hoyte Van Hotyema are also working on the picture.

Interstellar is scheduled for November 7, 2014. [Deadline]

Jaime King Return of the Jedi

Thirty years ago this Saturday, the Star Wars trilogy came to an end. Return of the Jedi hit theaters May 25, 1983 with the kind of hype and anticipation that’s become almost standard for big movies. In 1983, however, it was not. Fans were rabid to find out the fates of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia and Darth Vader with most assuming it would be the last time we’d see these characters on screen. The film went on to gross $252 million that summer, making it the number one movie of the year.

So much has changed since then. We’ve seen three new Star Wars movies, we’re on the eve of seeing many more, and the film itself has seen some major changes. (Jedi Rocks, the Ewok song, the addition of Hayden Christensen.) Something that hasn’t changed is our memories of Return of the Jedi.

One of the biggest Star Wars fans in Hollywood, Fanboys director Kyle Newman, put together a short documentary about those memories. It’s called The Return of Return of the Jedi: 30 Years and Counting. Featuring interviews with Kevin Smith, Seth Green, Chris Hardwick, Jaime King, Topher Grace, Fall Out Boy, Eli Roth and Jason Mewes, the film originally played at the Entertainment Weekly Capetown Film Festival to raucous applause and, now, it’s finally online.  Read More »

There’s no better place than the Oscars to see all your favorite movie stars assembled in one place, but the trailer for Jimmy Kimmel‘s Movie: The Movie V2 might be a close second.

In his post-Oscars show last year, Kimmel debuted an epic, star-studded 9-minute trailer poking fun at every obnoxious movie trope under the sun. This year, he’s back with an even more epic, even more star-studded trailer for Movie: The Movie V2. Because as Kimmel quips, “When you have a big success in Hollywood, there’s only one reasonable thing you can do, and that is cheapen it with a sequel.”

Watch Movie: The Movie V2 after the jump, followed by Kimmel’s other big movie parody, Life of Psy. Yup, that’s exactly what it sounds like.

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38 years after The Godfather Part IIRobert De Niro and Diane Keaton are sharing the screen once again in the The Big Wedding. Don’t expect another all-time cinematic classic, however — this one looks somewhere between “forgettable” and “downright awful.”

De Niro and Keaton play a long-divorced couple who, by some contrived movie logic, are forced to pretend they’re still married for the duration of their adopted son’s (Ben Barnes) wedding. Topher Grace and Katherine Heigl play their other kids, Amanda Seyfried is Barnes’ blushing bride, Robin Williams a priest, and Susan Sarandon De Niro’s new wife. Watch the first trailer after the jump.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Last month I received a cryptic e-mail inviting me to a private screening of a new Star Wars film edited by Topher Grace — which is funny because I had no idea there was a new Star Wars film in the works, with or without Grace’s involvement. I was told the screening was a secret private event arranged only for friends only and was asked not to talk about it beforehand. The event was held somewhere in the Hollywood area in a a screening room filled with filmmakers, editors, actors, actresses and only a few press friends. I was told I could blog about it afterwards if I wanted, so here goes…

For those of you who don’t know, Topher Grace is a film geek. He loves the Star Wars films, the Back to the Future movies and all the same signature titles of any film geek who grew up in the 1980s. He recently became interested in the editing process and wanted to learn more about the art form. Instead of cutting a short film, he wanted to use something he was more familiar with.

His idea was to edit the Star Wars prequels into one movie, as they would provide him a lot of footage to work with. He used footage from all three prequels, a couple cuts from the original trilogy, some music from The Clone Wars television series, and even a dialogue bit from Anthony Daniels’ (C-3PO) audio book recordings. He even created a new opening text crawl to set up his version of the story.

The result is an 85-minute movie titled Star Wars: Episode III.5: The Editor Strikes Back. It should be noted that the Star Wars prequel trilogy is almost 7 hours in total length, and the shortest film (Episode 1) is more than 51 minutes longer than Grace’s fan cut. What this means is a lot of footage ended up on the editing room floor, and a lot of creative choices were made in the editing process. And the result? Topher Grace’s Star Wars film is probably the best possible edit of the Star Wars prequels given the footage released and available.

Whats most shocking is that with only 85 minutes of footage, Topher was able to completely tell the main narrative of Anakin Skywalker’s road from Jedi to the Sith. While I know the missing pieces and could even fill in the blanks in my head as the film raced past, none of those points were really needed. Whats better is that the character motivations are even more clear and identifiable, a real character arc not bogged down by podraces, galactic senates, Jar Jar Binks, politics or most of the needless parts of the Star Wars prequels. It not only clarifies the story, but makes the film a lot more action-packed.

UPDATE: The movie still isn’t online but Topher Grace has published a trailer of his Star Wars Prequel edit online, watch it here.
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If you have any interest at all in seeing The Double, in which Richard Gere plays a former CIA operative partnered with a young FBI agent (Topher Grace) to hunt down the head of a Russian ring of assassins, I’d say skip this trailer. Because in less than three minutes it might not show you the full movie — there has to be more to The Double than this — but it sure feels like it does. If you’re not that invested, or just morbidly curious as to how a trailer can be totally artless, then carry on past the jump. Read More »

We had a couple of days where mid-level casting for a lot of projects was going crazy. Maybe there was something in the air; maybe casting directors and agents just all got together and had a field day. It’s been a bit slower today, but still there are a couple of items to catch up on. After the break, you’ll find info on how:

  • Robin Williams appears to be cast in Gently Down the Stream, with Robert De Niro and Susan Sarandon.
  • Joel David Moore (Avatar) will be in Oliver Stone’s Savages.
  • and Katie Cassidy takes the lead in Freaky Deaky. Read More »