Simon Pegg and Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol

Today’s action-packed Sequel Bits contains news about spies, martial artists, giant alien robots, tortured mutants, and so much more. After the jump:

  • Transformers 5 and 6 depend on Transformers 4
  • James Mangold offers a minor Wolverine 2 update
  • Winona Ryder is “sworn to secrecy” about Beetlejuice 2
  • Simon Pegg says he’ll return for Mission: Impossible 5
  • Ong-back star Tony Jaa joins Wu Jing in SPL 2
  • Dwayne Johnson shares a fiery Fast & Furious 7 pic
  • Somehow The Hobbit is not done putting out new posters

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Homefront

James Franco got pretty weird in Spring Breakers earlier this year, but Alien is a big old teddy bear compared to the unhinged meth kingpin he plays in Homefront. He’s so scary, in fact, that Jason Statham may be the only man who can take him down.

The Gary Fleder-directed, Sylvester Stallone-scripted thriller follows a former DEA agent who retires to a quiet rural community to start a new life with his daughter. But the peace is soon disturbed when he discovers the town’s secret, and the town discovers one of his. A new red-band trailer has hit, and you can check it out after the jump.

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In most respects, Gary Fleder‘s Homefront sounds like a pretty typical action thriller. Jason Statham stars as a retired DEA agent, who moves to a small, quiet town for the sake of his young daughter. Once there, however, he quickly gets entangled with the local villain, a drug lord played by… James Franco. Wait, what?

It’s an oddball combination for sure, but it’s also an effective one in that it got our attention right away. In addition to those two, Kate Bosworth, Winona Ryder, and Rachelle Lefevre also star. Oh, and Sylvester Stallone wrote the script based on book by Chuck Logan. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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After the dual disappointments of Killing Me Softly and Gangster Squad, I’m feeling a little burned out on mob movies at the moment. So maybe it’s just my mood that has me unimpressed with the new trailer for The Iceman. On the one hand, director Ariel Vromen seems to have a flair for visuals, the cast looks strong, and the fact-based premise is intriguing. On the other, it all looks so tiresomely familiar.

Michael Shannon stars as real-life hitman Richard Kuklinski, who allegedly racked up over 100 kills over a four-decade career. He makes good money whacking people for gangster Roy Demeo (genre staple Ray Liotta), until an incident involving Demeo’s underling (David Schwimmer) forces Kuklinski out of their operation. He then teams up with freelance killer Robert Pronge (Chris Evans), which comes with its own complications. Winona Ryder also stars, as Kuklinski’s oblivious wife. Watch the new trailer after the jump.

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Star-crossed lovers, a sad-sack supervillain, a creepy kid, an obnoxious ghost, and a hard-partying clique all rub shoulders in this installment of Sequel Bits. After the jump:

  • Writer says Dr. Horrible 2 is aiming to shoot in 2013
  • The wolf pack returns to Caesars Palace for Hangover 3
  • Before Midnight eyes a festival debut in early 2013
  • Winona Ryder hasn’t heard anything about Beetlejuice 2
  • Creepy Robbie is creepy in Paranormal Activity 4 trailer

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This week marks not only the 75th anniversary of The Hobbit, but also the shared birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. It’s Tolkien week so we’ve got lots of Hobbit and more in today’s Sequel Bits. After the jump read about the following:

  • Six new photos from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey have been revealed.
  • Peter Jackson reveals a new Hobbit trailer will be released Wednesday.
  • Winona Ryder is aware Beetlejuice 2 could possibly happen.
  • Check out a stunt from the set of Fast and Furious 6.
  • Two major stars will apparently have sex in Scary Movie 5.
  • Atlas Shrugged Part II gets a new poster, which is actually better than the last.
  • The Wolfpack is going to Arizona in The Hangover Part III.

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Michael Shannon is second to none when it comes to channeling intensity, but as the lead of Ariel Vromen‘s The Iceman he could be more frightening than ever. Shannon stars as real-life mob hitman Richard Kuklinski, whose touching devotion to his family masks a knack for cold-blooded killing. (Though he maintains a soft spot for women and children in both lives.) The brutally effective Kuklinski is believed to have murdered over a hundred people before his four-decade career ended in 1986.

There was a little back-and-forth on the film last year, when it looked for a while like it might fall apart altogether after James Franco dropped out of a major role. But they’ve managed to make it work, with Chris Evans taking over for Franco and Franco returning a smaller part. Winona Ryder, Ray Liotta, David Schwimmer, and Stephen Dorff are also among the supporting cast. Watch the first trailer after the jump.

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Tim Burton has been in something of a slump these past couple of years. Alice in Wonderland and Dark Shadows both received mixed to negative reviews, although the former went on to make tons of money anyway. And his latest producing efforts haven’t fared much better: 9 proved a forgettable flop, while this past weekend’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter left audiences rolling their eyes.

But there is one Burton movie on the horizon that could turn things around. Frankenweenie, a black-and-white stop-motion animated feature based on Burton’s own short film from 1984, looks like a return to the weird but warm Burton of old. The early promos focused mainly on young Victor Frankenstein (voiced by Charlie Tahan) and his attempt to bring his deceased dog Sparky back to life, but Germain revealed after watching a 26-minute preview that the story actually becomes much bigger than that. The newest trailer gives us a better idea of what exactly happens next. Watch it after the jump.

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