The long Labor Day holiday weekend is upon us, and between that and the Venice and Telluride film festivals, it seems like a lot of Hollywood has shut down in anticipation of the last relaxing days of summer. But we’ve got a few new casting bits to throw your way regardless. After the break,

  • Ed Helms will remake a French pimp comedy,
  • Paul Dano is among the cast additions to Kelly Reichardt’s new film Night Moves,
  • The unlikely duo of Stephen Dorff and Steve Coogan are in an adaptation of the novel The Catastrophist,
  • and found footage film Evidence gets new players.

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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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Last month, Nicole Kidman came in as a replacement for Sofia Vergara on The Paperboy, after Vergara and Tobey Maguire dropped out of the project due to scheduling issues. Now, a new actor has stepped up to fill Maguire’s role: John Cusack. Based on a 1955 novel by Pete Doctor, The Paperboy follows a reporter and his brother as they investigate a murder that put the suspect on death row. Cusack will play the part of the prisoner. Kidman, as previously reported, will be a woman who writes letters to inmates on death row.

The Paperboy marks Lee Daniels‘ follow-up to 2009′s Precious, which was nominated for six Academy Awards. The film will also star Zac Efron; Matthew McConaughey is currently in advanced negotiations. [Variety]

After the jump, Antonio Banderas, Steve Coogan, Elliot Gould, Chris Messina, and Deborah Ann Woll sign up for the Little Miss Sunshine team’s new project.

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Most audiences probably wouldn’t recognize Josh Pence from his big role in The Social Network — after all, his face was completely edited out of the film — but it looks like the part’s paid off for Pence all the same. Pence has just joined the cast of The Social Network writer Aaron Sorkin‘s upcoming HBO pilot More As This Story Develops, along with Broadway stars John Gallagher Jr. and Thomas Sadoski. Scott Rudin, who also produced The Social Network, is executive producing with Sorkin.

More As This Story Develops revolves around a cable news anchor named Will McCallister (Jeff Daniels) and his executive producer Mackenzie (Emily Mortimer) as they attempt to get their show back on track after a massive staff shake-up. Gallagher will play the part of Jim, who develops a crush on the show’s associate producer Maggie (Alison Pill), while Pence will play Maggie’s boyfriend and the show’s senior producer Rob. Sadoski will be an executive producer who left Will’s series to work for Will’s former protege. Olivia Munn and Sam Waterston are also set to star. [Deadline]

After the jump, Annette Bening and Robert De Niro consider new projects with the Little Miss Sunshine team and David O. Russell, respectively.

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“We’re not lost, we’re just finding our way.”

I’ve heard nothing but good things about Kelly Reichardt‘s Oregon Trail western Meek’s Cutoff, which premiered at Venice last year and has gone on to do well at other festivals. Michelle Williams stars as one member of a multi-family wagon train that is led into the wilderness by co-called frontier expert Stephen Meek (Bruce Greenwood). Check out the trailer for the film after the break. Read More »

Little Miss Sunshine became a rare indie to mainstream crossover hit, and directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris haven’t made another feature film since. Now they’re set to finally move forward on another picture, called He Loves Me. And the movie is shaping up to be a full-fledged LMS reunion. Read More »

‘Happythankyoumoreplease’ Trailer

Winner of the U.S. Dramatic Audience Award at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, Happythankyoumoreplease ( or “Happy Thank You More Please” for people who like spaces in their titles), was scheduled to come out this summer. It didn’t – obviously – but finally, the funny, poignant and contemporary story of how a missing boy changes the lives of a bunch of struggling New Yorkers will be released this March. Written, directed and starring Josh Radnor of How I Met Your Mother, the romantic comedy also stars Malin Akerman, Zoe Kazan, Kate Mara, Pablo Schreiber and Tony Hale. The poster was revealed earlier today and you can check out the brand new trailer, and read some thoughts about the film, after the jump. Read More »

This Week In Trailers: Top 10 Trailers of 2010

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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