If three is a trend, stage magic seems to be Hollywood’s next big obsession. McG recently signed on to direct Magic Castle, based on Hollywood’s secretive club for magicians, but he’s not even at the front of this wave. Next year sees the releases of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and Now You See Me, both of which also center around illusionists.

But hey, if they all look this fun I’m not about to complain. Directed by Louis Leterrier, Now You See Me stars Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, and Woody Harrelson as a quartet of acclaimed magicians who team for a special series of shows. Their jaw-dropping finale catches the attention of an FBI agent (Mark Ruffalo) and an Interpol agent (Melanie Laurent) when it turns out to involve literally stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman round out the impressive cast. Watch the first trailer after the jump.
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Hollywood has no shortage of movies about Christmas, Halloween, and Valentine’s Day, while poor old Thanksgiving tends to get overlooked. It’s a great release date, but not a movie subject. Not so any longer. Relativity Media is diving into the animation game with Turkeys, a CG comedy due out in 2014. Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson will lend their voices to two of the titular creatures, while Jimmy Hayward is on board to direct. Read more after the jump.

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We’ve got some odds and ends from Sequel-Land after the jump:

  • Warner Bros. is seeking writers for Contagion 2
  • Will Black Dynamite 2 be like Blazing Saddles?
  • Ian McKellan almost declined to do The Hobbit
  • See new photos from Catching Fire‘s Georgia set

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Funny as the first Seven Psychopaths trailer was, as a green-band trailer it could only get across so much of director Martin McDonagh‘s twisted, decidedly R-rated sensibility. This, after all, is a guy whose first feature picked up in the aftermath of a hitman killing a child — and only got bloodier and more foulmouthed from there. A new red-band trailer allows things to get a little more profane, and a little more violent, to great effect.

Colin Farrell leads the cast as a struggling screenwriter who gets caught up in his best friend’s (Sam Rockwell) dog-napping scheme: take the puppy, return it to its owner, and collect the reward. But when they target the wrong man, a maniacal gangster named Charlie (Woody Harrelson), they find themselves in way over their heads. Christopher Walken, Tom Waits, Gabourey SidibeAbbie Cornish, and Olga Kurylenko also star. Watch the video after the jump.

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I’ve made no secret of my disdain for the recent Total Recall remake, but thankfully Colin Farrell‘s 2012 isn’t looking like a total bust. This fall sees him reuniting with his In Bruges director Martin McDonagh for Seven Psychopaths, in which Farrell plays a screenwriter who gets tangled up in a dog-kidnapping scheme gone awry.

Farrell’s In Bruges co-star Brendan Gleeson sits out the nuttiness this time around, but Farrell’s joined by a host of other interesting talents including Sam Rockwell, Woody Harelson, Abbie Cornish, Olga Kurylenko, Christopher Walken, and Tom Waits. Watch the entertaining first trailer after the jump.

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Cary Fukunaga impressed us with his first two features, Sin Nombre and his version of Jane Eyre, and he has been looking at interesting follow-up projects that include a Civil War heist film, and a sci-fi thriller for Universal. But it looks like his next project will be an eight-episode ‘event series’ called True Detective, starring Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey as a pair of cops on a seventeen-year hunt for a Louisiana serial killer.

HBO has just picked up the show with a straight to series order, and Fukunaga will direct all eight episodes. Read More »

One of the wildcard films of 2012 is Now You See Me, directed by Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk, Clash of the Titans).

Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher and Dave Franco play The Four Horsemen, a group of illusionists that perform big business heists even as they’re on stage doing their magic act. Hot on their heels is FBI agent Mark Ruffalo and an Interpol agent played by Melanie Laurent. The film also features Common, Morgan Freeman, and Michael Caine. That cast, combined with the premise, has locked my interest in the film.

The first video look at the project is now available in the form of a set visit report from Entertainment Tonight. Check that out below. Read More »

When Lionsgate began the task of adapting The Hunger Games for the screen, the odds were never in its favor. The book was too violent, too well-known and too hard to translate because not only was it about kids killing each other, it would also have to create a whole new world.

I’m happy to report that director/co-writer Gary Ross has made the impossible possible. With The Hunger Games he has made a rousing, highly-emotional, and epic film that will be engaging for new audiences and give chills to true fans. It’s hard to imagine someone making a better adaptation of Suzanne Collins‘ popular novel.

Major set pieces all carry the emotional resonance and excitement they deserve. Every single performance pops with life and energy. When changes are made, they’re made to streamline the huge story. Even so, the film never feels slight. If anything, at 2 hours and 22 minutes, it might be too long and a little more subtle than most audiences are used to. It demands us to infer and enjoy the ride. And we oblige.  Read More »

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