There’s nothing earth-shattering in this edition of Sequel Bits, but hey, that’s why they’re Bits and not separate stories. At least it seems like mostly good news. After the jump:

  • Jim Henson’s Labyrinth is getting a prequel — but not in movie form
  • Now Bridesmaids star Wendi McLendon-Covey says Wiig isn’t entirely out of the sequel after all
  • Alice Eve talks about working with Benedict Cumberbatch and not disappointing Star Trek fans

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Just as Emma Thompson’s Victorian Effie is finally coming together, competition has sprung up in the form of a rival project inspired by the exact same subject. Keira Knightley is reportedly in talks to take the lead in Untouched, a biopic of Effie Gray written by Aleksandra Crapanzano with Andrucha Waddington (House of Sand) directing.

Both films are based on the same scandalous 1850s love triangle between Gray, the art critic John Ruskin, and painter John Everett Millais. Gray was married to the much older Ruskin, but Ruskin could not bring himself to consummate the marriage (despite being virile, as he demonstrated in court. Seriously). Gray eventually had the marriage annulled and left Ruskin for his protege Millais.

Development on Untouched is still in the early stages, with no other cast attached at this time and no start date announced. Knightley currently stars as the center of a different mentor-protege love triangle, in David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method. Effie is filming now, with Dakota Fanning starring and Richard Laxton directing. [Thompson on Hollywood]

After the jump, a Bridesmaids star who’s not named Kristen Wiig or Melissa McCarthy lands a leading role, and Captain America‘s Hayley Atwell goes hunting for sea monsters or something.

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Briefly: Steven Soderbergh has already wrapped his movie Magic Mike, which stars Channing Tatum and is based on Tatum’s own youthful experience as a male exotic dancer. Because Soderbergh works fast he’s already got a cut of the film, and Warner Bros. has picked up the movie for distribution next summer. Magic Mike will hit theaters on June 29, 2012, when it will provide counter-programming against G.I. Joe: Retaliation, which also stars Tatum. Read More »

Briefly: Steven Soderbergh‘s Magic Mike is going to shoot soon, with Alex Pettyfer playing a male exotic dancer under the hustling tutelage of Channing Tatum, whose real-life dancing experience informed the script. Matthew McConaughey, Matt Bomer, Joe Mangianello, Cody Horn, Riley Keough and Olivia Munn co-star, but the project isn’t done adding actors.

THR reports that Wendi McLendon-Covey, a longtime staple on Reno 911! and one of the attention-getting talents in Bridesmaids, now has a part in the film. No word on her role. Perhaps she’s a regular at the club that is central to the film’s story?

And then Deadline announces that CSI: Miami actor Adam Rodriguez has picked up a part not only in Magic Mike, as a male stripper, but that he’ll be in The Dark Knight Rises as well. No word on his specific role in Nolan’s third Batman movie, however.

Three more have signed on for What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Kirk Jones‘ adaptation of the classic pregnancy manual. The comedy follows several different couples, Love Actually-style, as each experiences pregnancy and the miracle of childbirth. Bridesmaids actress Wendi McLendon-Covey will play a colleague and friend of Jennifer Lopez‘ character; True Blood‘s Joe Manganiello will be a single guy whose carefree, glamorous lifestyle is the envy of all the local dads; and Glee star Matthew Morrison has won the part of Evan, who teams up with Cameron Diaz‘ character on a celebrity dance show (really) and eventually gets her pregnant.

In addition to the actors named above, What to Expect will also feature Elizabeth Banks, Chris Rock, Brooklyn Decker, Anna Kendrick, Rodrigo Santoro, Chace Crawford, Rob Huebel, and McLendon-Covey‘s Bridesmaids co-star Rebel Wilson. The film will begin shooting this summer for a Mother’s Day 2012 release. [The Playlist, The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline]

More ensemble comedy news after the jump: Robert Smigel and Annie Mumolo board Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up spin-off, while Christina Hendricks, Sarah Hyland, and Dermot Mulroney sign up for Struck by Lightning.

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Want to see more Bridesmaids? Well, a sequel might be in the works but until then, or the inevitable feature packed Blu-ray release, this hilarious outtake reel from Funny or Die will have to do. We knew that many of the comediennes in the film – Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ellie Kemper – were good at improv but who knew Jon Hamm could come up make up sex position names with the best of them. This video is decidedly NSFW but you’ve gotta check it out. Read More »

‘Bridesmaids’ Trailer #2

Freaks and Geeks creator Paul Feig is finally making his first big film. Bridesmaids stars Kristen Wiig as a woman whose best friend recruits her to be the maid of honor in her wedding. The film has already had one great trailer, and played to excellent reception a couple days ago at SXSW. Now there is a second trailer, and it is just as good as the first. Read More »

Yesterday, the poster for Bridesmaids hit the web and today we’ve got a full trailer. Both are awesome. The comedy, directed by Paul Feig and produced by Judd Apatow, stars Kristen Wiig as a single woman struggling with the fact that her best friend, played by Maya Rudolph, asks her to be her Maid of Honor. Rounding out the bridal party are Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper.

It’s been a while  – if ever – that we’ve seen a broad comedy with a full female cast so I have a feeling that Bridesmaids is going to be a hit. The trailer certainly seems like that’s the case. Check out, along with some new images, below. Bridesmaids opens May 13. Read More »

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