Warner Bros. evidently has high hopes for Stephen Daldry‘s adaptation of the Jonathan Safran Foer novel Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, as the studio recently set the film for a December 25 debut. Indeed, the novel, which is a quirky but heartfelt account of a young boy’s attempt to uncover some family history in the wake of 9/11, could easily be the basis for a moving holiday film.

I’m anxious to see a trailer, in part because the key role in the film — the boy Oskar — went to a non-actor: young Jeopardy! winner Thomas Horn. The potential that this film will reveal a new young talent seems high, much as True Grit did last year with Hailee Steinfeld. While we wait for that trailer, check out the first official image from the film, which shows Horn with Tom Hanks, as Oskar’s father. Read More »

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‘The Help’ International Trailer

The Help isn’t the platonic ideal of a summer movie — actually, it’s kind of the opposite. But thanks in a large part to the cast, it’s one of the upcoming films I’m most curious about. Tate Taylor‘s adaptation of Kathryn Stockett‘s novel follows a young writer named Skeeter (Emma Stone) who causes an uproar in 1960s Jackson, Mississippi when she publishes a book from the point of view of “the help.” Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard, Allison JanneyJessica Chastain and Sissy Spacek also star. Watch the new international trailer after the jump.

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We can thank the MTV Movie Awards for the bounty of new videos today — in addition to that new Breaking Dawn trailer, which I’m sure you all loved, we also have brand-new clips from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and The Help. See them all after the jump.

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Great Hope Springs, the movie in which Meryl Streep plays one half of a married couple spending a week of marriage and sex therapy with a famous therapist (Steve Carell) has gone through a few possible male leads. Jeff Bridges was mentioned early on, and James Gandolfini looked like a possibility at one point. (Those were when Mike Nichols was going to direct, but now The Devil Wears Prada director David Frankel will make the film instead.)

Tommy Lee Jones was next in the casting rumor series, but now he definitively has the gig playing husband to Meryl Streep. That’s a great pairing, and while the director may not be my top choice, I’m still as interested in watching these two actors trade barbs as I was when the idea first came up.

The synopsis for Great Hope Springs is after the break, along with news of new gigs for Maggie Gyllenhaal and Holly Hunter. Read More »

Universal’s been saying for a while now that the entire American Pie gang would be returning for American Reunion, and what do you know, they’re actually making good on that promise. Thomas Ian Nichols has just signed on for the fourth theatrical entry of the long-running American Pie franchise, making him the last major character to sign on. Fellow Pie stars Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott, Jason Biggs, Tara Reid, Mena Suvari, Chris Klein, Eddie Kaye Thomas and Eugene Levy have all previously confirmed their involvement.

I haven’t heard any news on whether Jennifer Coolidge might be reprising her role as the original MILF, but as The Hollywood Reporter calls Nichols the “last holdout,” I’m guessing that’s a no. We’ll miss you, Stifler’s Mom!

In the 1999 film, Nichols’ Kevin Myers was one of the four central friends who made a pact to lose their virginity before graduation. The new sequel will see the original gang returning to their hometown for their ten-year high school reunion. American Reunion will hit theaters April 6, 2012. [The Hollywood Reporter]

After the jump, new projects for Al Pacino, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, and… Warren Buffet?

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‘The Help’ Trailer and New Photos

The trailer has landed for The Help, the Tate Taylor-scripted and directed adaptation of Kathryn Stockett‘s novel of the same name. The story follows Skeeter (Emma Stone), a young college grad who, incensed by the treatment of the women who work as maids in her hometown of Jackson, Mississippi, decides to write a book from the perspective of ‘the help.’ The results, as you might expect in Jackson in the ’60s, are explosive.  Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Octavia Spencer are also in the cast. See the trailer and a few new high-res photos from the film after the break. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

In addition to offering up quite a few new images of Captain America, the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly has first looks at many other films. There’s the first image from The Help, starring Viola Davis and Emma Stone in what is sure to be one of the prestige pictures of fall 2011. There are also new images from Something Borrowed, starring John Krasinski and Kate Hudson, and even an on-set image, enlarged above, from Oren Moverman‘s Rampart, which stars Woody Harrelson and Ice Cube. More info and pics after the break. Read More »

Movie Trailer: It’s Kind of a Funny Story

Focus Features has released the first movie trailer for Half Nelson writer/directors Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck‘s new film It’s Kind of a Funny Story.

The comedy-drama has been adapted from Ned Vizzini’s 2006 novel of the same name; “16-year-old Craig (Keir Gilchrist of United States of Tara), stressed out from the demands of being a teenager, checks himself into a mental health clinic. There he learns that the youth ward is closed – and finds himself stuck in the adult ward. One of the patients, Bobby (Zach Galifianakis of The Hangover), soon becomes both Craig’s mentor and protégé. Craig is also quickly drawn to another 16-year-old, Noelle (Emma Roberts). With a minimum five days’ stay imposed on him, Craig is sustained by friendships on both the inside and the outside as he learns more about life, love, and the pressures of growing up. Academy Award nominee Viola Davis (Doubt) plays Dr. Minerva, the adult ward’s staff psychiatrist; Zoe Kravitz (The Brave One) portrays Nia, Craig’s longtime crush; Aasif Mandvi (The Proposal) is cast as Dr. Mahmoud, a hospital psychiatrist; and Lauren Graham (Parenthood) and Jim Gaffigan (of Focus’ Away We Go) play Craig’s parents, Lynn and George.

This definitely isn’t One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, but it looks long a good indie dramedy, with an interesting cast and some talented filmmakers. The movie is the third feature from the filmmaking team of Boden and Fleck, following Half Nelson (2006), for which lead actor Ryan Gosling received an Academy Award nomination, and Sugar. Hit the jump to watch the trailer. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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elias-koteas-1

Elias Koteas has never been one of the more high-profile character actors out there, but he’s always one of my favorites. (Not because of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, where he played Casey Jones, but for films like Crash and The Adjuster.) Directors like David Fincher and Martin Scorsese have started using Koteas, which has increased his profile, and now he’s cast in Winnie, the biopic about Winnie Mandela.

He joins Terrence Howard and Jennifer Hudson, who play Nelson and Winnie Mandela. Koteas will be De Vries, “an overzealous officer in the apartheid police stage who rises in power and becomes intent on stopping Winnie and the black anti-apartheid activists from gaining power.” So not a role that audiences will look kindly on, but a major role. I’ll take it. [THR]

After the break, Green Lantern gets a dad and Fred Ward and Jessica Chastain book new roles. Read More »