It’s been about five years now since Zac Efron became a household name thanks to High School Musical, and for the last few of those he’s been attempting to branch out with more serious, grown-up roles. Unfortunately, he hasn’t had much luck in that department so far. Though Richard Linklater’s Me and Orson Welles received favorable reviews, it failed to draw much of an audience, and the schmaltzy Charlie St. Cloud didn’t do him any favors. I haven’t seen Garry Marshall’s New Year’s Eve yet, but it’s probably safe to guess that won’t do much to boost Efron’s career, either.

Next year’s looking a little more auspicious for the former Disney star, with Josh Radnor’s Liberal Arts, Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy, and the Dr. Seuss adaptation The Lorax all lined up — but first, he’s got one more crappy-looking drama to get out of his system. Based on a novel by (but of course) Nicholas Sparks, The Lucky One sees Efron starring as a Marine who comes across a photo of a beautiful stranger (Taylor Schilling) during a tour in Iraq. When he returns to the States, he sets about trying to find her and woo her.

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If last month’s trailer for The Lorax seemed surprisingly cutesy and sweet for an urgent environmental fable, perhaps the new Australian trailer will balance it out. Where the last one really played up the colorful setting and playful tone, the new video offers a much better look at the destruction the greedy Once-ler (voiced by Ed Helms) hath wrought. Seriously, the Once-ler seems to live in some Seuss-ified version of the bleak post-apocalyptic landscape from The Road.

Based on a classic children’s book by Dr. Seuss, the film sees a young boy named Ted (voiced by Zac Efron) who sets out to learn the true story of how the Once-ler came to trash the Truffula trees over the warnings of the righteous, if slightly annoying, Lorax (Danny DeVito). Watch the new trailer after the jump.

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Here’s the trailer for The Lorax, the CGI animated adaptation of the Dr. Seuss book of the same name. The story describes a budding industrialist, the Once-ler, who destroys a small ecosystem in order to make and sell his invention, the theed, a thing that everyone needs. In doing so he meets the disapproval of the Lorax, who speaks for the trees.

In the book and original 1972 animated version, a boy finds the Once-ler and provides our window into the story. He was just a boy who wandered up to the Once-ler’s home, but in this film the boy seems to have a much more active role, and the trailer spends about half its time with him before introducing the Once-ler, voiced by Ed Helms, and the Lorax, gruffly voiced by Danny DeVito. Check it out below. Read More »

The cast of Christopher McQuarrie‘s One Shot has been filling up at lightning speed over the past month. Robert Duvall, Alexia Fast, Richard Jenkins, and David Oyelowo have all boarded the project within the last few weeks, and now comes news that Spartacus: Blood and Sand star Jai Courtney has signed on as well. Based on the novel by Lee Child, the story follows military cop turned drifter Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) as he investigates a string of sniper shootings. Rosamund Pike is also set to star, as a detective who works with Jack to solve the case.

Courtney will be playing one of the bad guys, a highly trained sniper who tries to keep Reacher from finding out the truth. One Shot is scheduled for a February 8, 2013 release. [Cinema Blend]

After the jump, Hugh Jackman thinks that he might want to do Glee, and Highlander actor Clancy Brown gets competitive with Dennis Quaid.

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‘New Year’s Eve’ Trailer #2 and Poster

A new poster and trailer have dropped for New Year’s Eve, Garry Marshall‘s follow-up to his commercial hit Valentine’s Day. The film appears to be essentially just Valentine’s Day with warmer clothing and some casting changes. Once again, Marshall brings together lots of big-name celebs for a collection of interlinked love stories that revolve around the holiday name-checked in the title.

This time around, the stars are Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Biel, Hector Elizondo, Robert De Niro, Halle Berry, Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel, Til Schweiger, Lea Michele, Zac Efron, Abigail Breslin, Sofia Vergara, Alyssa Milano, Hilary Swank, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ice Cube, Seth Meyers, John Stamos, Jon Bon Jovi, John Lithgow, Ludacris, and Ryan Seacrest, who all converge in or around Times Square on New Year’s Eve. Watch the trailer and check out the poster after the jump.

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Alia Shawkat may not be quite as ubiquitous as Arrested Development co-star Jason Bateman, but she’s been quietly beefing up her film resume over the past few years. Recently, Shawkat added two more projects to her slate: He Loves Me, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris‘ follow-up to Little Miss Sunshine; and The Brass Teapot, starring Juno Temple and Michael Angarano.

He Loves Me revolves around a lonely young novelist (Paul Dano) who writes a fictional dream girl for himself — and manages to will her into existence. (She’ll be played by Dano’s real-life girlfriend Zoe Kazan, who also wrote the script). Shawkat will play a hipster who’s obsessed with one of Dano’s literary creations, and who has a crush on the novelist himself. Annette Bening, Deborah Ann Woll, Steve Coogan, Elliot Gould, and Chris Messina are also set to star.

The Brass Teapot marks the feature film debut of director Ramaa Mosley, known for her work in commercials and music videos. The dark comedy follows “a broke young couple who steal a brass teapot that produces cash whenever someone feels pain.” Shawkat will play the best friend of Temple’s character; I’m assuming Temple and Angarano will play the main couple. [Variety]

After the jump, Animal Kingdom star Jacki Weaver picks up a new gig, and David Oyelowo signs up for Lee Daniels’ new project.

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The first trailer has dropped for New Year’s Eve, Garry Marshall‘s not-quite-sequel to his 2010 hit Valentine’s Day. If you’ve ever seen Valentine’s Day, you probably know what to expect: big-name celebrities, a bunch of disparate storylines, and people crowing about how goddamn magical the holiday in question is.

This time around, many mini-plotlines converge in New York City on the titular holiday, and the cast consists of Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Biel, Hector Elizondo, Robert De Niro, Halle Berry, Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel, Til Schweiger, Lea Michele, Zac Efron, Abigail Breslin, Sofia Vergara, Alyssa Milano, Hilary Swank, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Abigail Breslin, Ice Cube, Seth Meyers, John Stamos, Jon Bon Jovi, John Lithgow, Ludacris, and Ryan Seacrest. (Just in case you didn’t notice that that’s a lot of famous people, the trailer includes a shot of Heigl’s character exclaiming, “There’s going to be more celebrities here than rehab!”) Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Zac Efron and Seth Rogen are set to team up for an untitled R-rated comedy based on a pitch by Judd Apatow associates Andrew Cohen and Brendan O’Brien. The pairing itself seems unlikely enough, but perhaps even more surprising is which role each actor will play — in this film, it’ll be funnyman Rogen who plays the straight man, while the clean-cut Efron tackles the part of a hard-partying frat boy.

The story revolves around Rogen’s character, a normal guy with the bad fortune to live next door to Efron’s loud, obnoxious frat house. Rogen is also set to produce the film along with his partner Evan Goldberg. [Deadline]

After the jump, Hilary Swank picks up a graphic novel adaptation, while Ruben Fleischer’s star-studded Gangster Squad loses a cast member.

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