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Paul King Returning To Direct Paddington 2

27 October 2015 9:32 AM, PDT

Worries about the look of the main character turned to smiles and a healthy run at the box office for one of last year’s most pleasant surprises. So it makes sense that, when starting to think about a second Paddington, the producers might want co-writer/director Paul King to return, and Deadline brings word that he is now aboard. King, who helped develop the story of the original with writer Hamish McColl, is going to be even more closely involved from the start for this one, working alongside regular collaborator Simon Farnaby to create the sequel’s narrative. We'd expect Farnaby, who showed up to memorable effect in Paddington, to also play some role this time.Little else is known about the film: we don’t know what our furry hero will be up to this time, but it’s a fair bet that his human family, including Hugh Bonneville’s Mr. Brown, »


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Ryan Reynolds Finds Truth In Advertising For A New Dramedy

27 October 2015 9:31 AM, PDT

He’ll be shooting his mouth (and several guns) off as Deadpool next year, but Ryan Reynolds also wants to explore the world of print advertising. No, he’s not angling to star in a Mad Men movie – he’s in final talks to lead new comedy drama Truth In AdvertisingRoger Michell, who last brought us Le Week-End, is attached to direct the film, which novelist John Kenney adapted from his own award-winning book. Reynolds will be Fin Dolan, a hard working sort at an advertising company. His boss asks him to cancel his Christmas holidays to work on a new campaign, but when his best friend announces her engagement and his estranged father is admitted to hospital at the same time, he starts to question the direction is life is taking. Is he simply drifting through it while others are moving on? “John Kenney has adapted his genius »


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Elizabeth Banks Officially Directing Pitch Perfect 3

27 October 2015 9:30 AM, PDT

After the huge, $259 million plus box office haul of Pitch Perfect 2, another entry was aca-inevitable. Less certain was director/producer/actor Elizabeth Banks coming back for another crack behind and in front of the camera, given that she was being offered other high profile jobs. But she’s sticking with the franchise she helped create, signing on to call the shots and songs for the third. And she’ll have plenty of familiar faces around her, as Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and Brittany Snow are all confirmed to return, alongside writer Kay Cannon, who is already at work on the third script. As for what will happen in the film? No one is saying yet, though they’ll have to find some way to have Kendrick’s Beca and Wilson’s Fat Amy come back since they – spoiler warning – graduated at the end of the latest movie. Still, we »


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The Headhunter's Calling Adds Alison Brie And Gretchen Mol

27 October 2015 9:28 AM, PDT

Headed to the American Film Market to nail down a few more sales, Gerard Butler-starring drama The Headhunter’s Calling is also adding to its cast. Alison Brie and Gretchen Mol will be part of the ensemble.Butler has the lead as a ruthless, hard-charging corporate headhunter called Dane Jensen, who has been surging at the company he works for and is primed to snatch the top job. But then his 10-year-old son falls gravely ill and Jensen’s priorities take a major shift. Willem Dafoe is playing Butler’s boss, the CEO who is planning to retire and hand the reigns to his driven employee. And Alfred Molina will be a family-focused engineer who is struggling through unemployment. Mol has signed on to play Butler’s wife and Brie will be a career rival.  Producer Mark Williams is making his directorial debut with the film, written by The Judge’s Bill Dubuque. »


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Rooney Mara And Nicholas Hoult Fall For The Discovery

27 October 2015 9:22 AM, PDT

If you were the person who discovered that the afterlife is, after all, real, and could be scientifically proven, what would you do? Find religion? Become depressed? Or use the knowledge to convince someone to fall in love with you? Because that’s what Nicholas Hoult might be doing with Rooney Mara in the new sci-fi drama The Discovery.Admittedly, that’s probably not his big plan, but he is a scientist who finds out that heaven – or some version of it – might be really real, and he will meet and fall for Mara, a woman whose past is tinged with tragedy. Bet his big discovery ties into that somehow. And sorry Kristen Stewart – if you thought you had the monopoly on sci-fi love stories co-starring Nicholas Hoult after Equals, you need to think again. Charlie McDowell is directing this one, working with his The One I Love co-writer Justin Lader »


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Noomi Rapace May Join Michael Mann's Ferrari Film

27 October 2015 9:20 AM, PDT

The engine is well and truly rumbling for Michael Mann’s Enzo Ferrari passion project. He has Christian Bale locked in to star, Paramount agreeing to distribute the film and now a likely female lead, as Noomi Rapace is in talks to join the cast.Mann has been working to help get this made for nearly 15 years, and at one point was setting it up for the late Sydney Pollack. Now, he’s firmly in the director’s chair for the story of the man who redefined the high-powered Italian sports car and was partly responsible for kick-starting Formula 1 racing. Mann has taken two existing scripts, one by The Italian Job’s Troy Kennedy Martin and another from Out Of Africa’s David Rayfield and bolted them together. Everything is based on Brock Yates’ 1991 book Enzo Ferrari: The Man, The Cars, The Races.Bale will be Ferrari, the charismatic, »


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First Trailer For Adam Sander's Ridiculous Six

27 October 2015 9:18 AM, PDT

Hotel Transylvania 2’s animated antics aside, Adam Sandler could use a win at the moment, what with Pixels underperforming and the catastrophic failure of The Cobbler to keep his more serious indie acting cred afloat. The first release from his multi-film Netflix deal, Western farce The Ridiculous 6 is part of his attempt to see if an original serving of his broad comedy stylings will work for the streaming service’s audience, and the first trailer is now online. Sandler stars as an outlaw named Tommy, Aka White Knife, an orphan raised by Native Americans who discovers that he has five half-brothers (including the likes of Luke Wilson, Terry Crews, Rob Schneider and Taylor Lautner) and decides that they’ll go on a mission to find their wayward, deadbeat dad. Oh, and they’ll keep committing robberies along the way. Naturally, this leads to the authorities (embodied in part »


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Empire's Guide To Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse

27 October 2015 5:43 AM, PDT

Our cinema screens have played host to a number of unlikely battles down the years. There’s been monsters versus aliens, aliens versus predators, cockneys versus zombies and Kramer versus Kramer. Now it’s the time of cub scouts to take on the shuffling undead in Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse. Too intrigued to let this one pass by uninvestigated, Empire headed down to the movie’s Hollywood set to sniff around the corpses and see what was what. The answer is here in the second part of our exclusive on-location report.Says director Christopher Landon of his Goonies-inspired comedy-horror: “It’s three best friends, who are also boy scouts, who have to save their town from the zombie apocalypse on the eve of their final campout.” With Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead also name-checked as a touchpoint, expect some inventive offings. As scouts, though, the method of undead »


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Dan Stevens Will Be Part Of The Colossal Cast

26 October 2015 7:56 AM, PDT

When Anne Hathaway appeared on the Empire Podcast a few weeks ago, she made mention of the unusual monster movie Colossal she’s just started shooting. There’s even more reason to get excited about the film, as Dan Stevens has joined the cast.Hathaway stars as a young woman down on her luck after losing her job and being dumped by her boyfriend in New York. Deciding to cut her losses, she moves back to her hometown, only to learn that she has a weird connection to a giant creature that has materialized over Seoul and is starting to destroy the city. It really does sound like a Godzilla film written by someone on powerful narcotics, but we can’t wait to see it. Nacho Vigalondo is the man responsible for the script and who is calling the shots now in Vancouver.Stevens will be the aforementioned boyfriend, who realises he wants her back, »


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Common Is John Wick 2's Big Threat

26 October 2015 7:55 AM, PDT

Keanu Reeves cut a swathe through bad guys in John Wick, so it makes sense he’ll need some even tougher opposition in the sequel. He’s set to get just that, as Common will be playing one of the main threats. Chad Stahelski, who called the shots (and wrangled the punches) for the original alongside David Leitch, is directing this one on his own, with cameras starting to roll and fists starting to fly this week. The first film, of course, had Reeves’ hitman thinking he was out of the violence game after his wife died, only to strike against mobsters when they covet his car, invade his home and slaughter the puppy she had bought him as a way to help him with his grief. What will spark the next round of action madness has yet to be revealed, but we do know that Common will be one of the main antagonists, »


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The Latest X-Files Teaser Arrives

26 October 2015 7:53 AM, PDT

You know there’s really only one team, who, when informed their latest case has monsters in it, would be quick to start investigating. Well, two if you count the Scooby Gang*. But The X-Files is about Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, and the new teaser for the revival of the series has them back in action.  The miniseries picks up with David Duchovny's Mulder and Gillian Anderson's Scully in very different places in their lives, but still committed to finding the truth behind the big conspiracies that have plagued them. But there’s also time to investigate other mysteries, too... And yes, there are definitely going to be appearances by old favourites such as William B. Davis' Cigarette Smoking Man, despite his seeming death by giant bloomin’ missile in the series finale back in 2002. And the likes of Mitch Pileggi, Annabeth Gish, Tom Braidwood, Dean Haglund, »


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Josh Hutcherson Learns Backstabbing For Beginners In A New Thriller

26 October 2015 7:53 AM, PDT

As the American Film Market approaches (it kicks off next month), a whole host of potential films will be jostling for attention and looking for buyers. It helps to have names attached and Backstabbing For Beginners has two: Josh Hutcherson and Ben Kingsley.Per Fly is directing the thriler, working from a script he wrote with Daniel Pyne. Backstabbing For Beginners casts Hutcherson as Michael, an idealistic young sort who scores a dream job working for the United Nations’ Oil for Food program and delves into the chaotic market of post-Iraq war crude. Discovering that there’s a conspiracy in the trading program that reaches the highest levels, he reaches out to his boss and mentor Pasha (Kingsley) for help, but learns that he might just have put them both at risk.Fly is aiming to start shooting the film in January and it’ll likely be out sometime in »


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Patricia Arquette Joins Claire Denis' New Sci-Fi Film

26 October 2015 7:52 AM, PDT

Director Claire Denis is putting the pieces together for her surprising and enticing science fiction English-language debut. She already has Robert Pattinson and Mia Goth in the cast and has now added Patricia Arquette.The film, which has yet to lock down a title, features a script by White Teeth author Zadie Smith and her husband Nick Laird, based on an idea conceived by Denis and regular writing partner Jean-Pol Fargeau. And with Screen International’s latest report on the film comes a few more details on what we can expect from the story, which had already been mentioned as taking place in space, in a future time that feels like the present. Now we know that the idea will be a Suicide Squad-style mission for skilled criminals facing death sentences or life behind bars who are offered a potentially fatal space mission to find new energy sources in »


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Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell And More Starring In New Comedy

26 October 2015 7:50 AM, PDT

Once a project that was being shepherded by Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann for him to produce and her to star in, the comedy formerly known as Bad Moms lost them and is now without a title, but does have an acting triumvirate for its leads, with Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Christina Applegate joining up.Paramount has been hoping this one would stay afloat, with Hangover writers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore providing the script and remaining attached to direct. The plot will follow an overachiever of a mother who would seem to be living the perfect life, but unbeknownst to her family, is also incredibly stressed and so very ready for a break. So she takes off with two equally harried moms on a quest for fun, freedom and frivolity. But their actions bring them into conflict with the local PTA leader and seeming queen of the local mothers’ clique, »


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Logan Marshall-Green Heads For War Drama Sand Castle

26 October 2015 7:46 AM, PDT

There’s another casting change afoot for war drama Sand Castle, and we’re afraid it means bad news for Luke Evans fans. With Nicholas Hoult long attached and Henry Cavill joining more recently, the casting ranks have swelled by one, as PrometheusLogan Marshall-Green is now aboard, replacing Evans.Sand Castle is scripted by Chris Roessner, who spent two years serving in Iraq and went on more than 200 missions during his stint as a machine gunner in the war-torn country’s Sunni Triangle. The story will focus on Matt Ocre (Hoult), and platoon leader Sergeant Baker (Marshall-Green), as they and their troops attempt to protect a farming village called Baqubah in the crosshairs of some very dangerous enemies. At the same time, Baker has to keep his troops sane in the face of mounting casualties. As for Cavill, he’ll be the special forces captain running the operation.Fernando Coimbra, »


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Ray Winstone And Johnny Harris Step Into The Ring For A Boxing Drama

26 October 2015 7:45 AM, PDT

Boxing dramas seem to be big at the moment, what with Southpaw, Creed, Hands Of Stone and Bleed For This in the mix. The UK is not being left out, as Ray Winstone, Johnny Harris, Michael Smiley and even Paul Weller are on board for a new, untitled drama that was once called The Ballad Of Jimmy McCabeThomas Napper is stepping up from usual second unit duties (he worked on Anna Karenina and Into The Woods, among others) to make his feature directing debut with the film, which Harris himself wrote loosely based on his own youthful pugilism experiences. He’s starring as Jimmy, a man in search of hope who has been looking in all the wrong places. When he hits the mat of life, he goes looking for some help to his childhood boxing club, where he seeks out owner Bill (Winstone) and cornerman Eddie (Smiley).Getting »


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English-Language Raid Remake In Trouble

26 October 2015 1:01 AM, PDT

Last we heard, just over a year ago, the English-language remake of The Raid was still a going concern. Screen Gems were behind it, The Expendables 3's Patrick Hughes was directing, and Taylor Kitsch and Frank Grillo were in talks to star. This morning, however, it's less Iko Uwais and more Pete Tong, since both Hughes and Screen Gems have abandoned the project. Only production company Xyz Films remains attached.The Tracking Board's sources don't quite address exectly what's caused this collapse. They speculate that continual delays have forced the Aussie Hughes to move on to a more going concern, that of Sydney-To-Hobart Yacht Race disaster drama The Storm Warning - but quite what chilled the collective feet of Screen Gems remains to be seen.Brad Ingelsby (Out Of The Furnace, Run All Night) and Eric and John Hueber (Red) have all contributed to multiple drafts of the screenplay, »


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Crowdfunded Super Troopers Sequel Starts Shooting

26 October 2015 12:03 AM, PDT

Six months after raising more than double what they asked for via their IndieGoGo campaign, the Broken Lizard troupe have started shooting their comedy Highway Patrollers sequel Super Troopers 2.All five original Troopers - Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter and Erik Stolhanske - are returning. There's no sign of Brian Cox yet, but we were promised that meeting the target would allow for "proper actors" so there's still hope... Cox himself says he'll come back if the budget gets to $5m and he gets a scene with "a bullwhip and a rocket launcher".They asked for $2m and, having raised that for the "barebones" version of the film in a single day, are currently at $4.5m: more than quadruple the budget of the original 2001 Super Troopers. It's still going, and the current target is $4.75m, which will allow for a "kick-ass chase scene". It's the second »


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Idris Elba And J.K. Simmons Join Zootropolis Voice Cast

25 October 2015 5:38 PM, PDT

As previously announced, Tangled director Byron Howard's next animation for Disney is Zootropolis (at least here in the UK; Zootopia everywhere else). A buddy-comedy-meets-conspiracy-thriller set in a world entirely populated by animals, it's now just announced its impressive voice cast. Idris Elba, J.K. Simmons, Jason Bateman, Ginnifer Goodwin, Octavia Spencer, Tommy Chong, Nate Torrence and Alan Tudyk will all be rocking the mic for the menagerie.Our main characters are smooth Fox Nick Wilde (Bateman) and cop rabbit Lt. Judy Hopps (Goodwin). Elba is Chief Bogo (a bull); Simmons is Mayor Leodore Lionheart (a lion); Chong (of Cheech &) is hippy yak Yax; Spencer is Mrs Otterton (an otter); Torrence is cheetah Benjamin Clawhauser; and Tudyk is small-time weasel crook Duke Weaselton.“Usually in animal movies, people just make them all human and give them human abilities,” Howard said at Disney’s D23 event back in 2013, “but we wanted to »


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