After being rumored, debunked and reaffirmed, it appears Benedict Cumberbatch won't be taking a role in Star Wars: Episode VII after all. The actor's name first surfaced last fall, but the actor completely debunked those rumors while appearing at the Toronto International Film Festival last year. But the source of the rumor reaffirmed their story a couple weeks later when they reported Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones, The Grand Budapest Hotel) had auditioned for a role. But now Cumberbatch says that he will not be in the film, but seemingly confirms that he was in the running for a role, at least at one time. More below!
This should definitely perk up some ears. After hearing rumors for months, it looks like it might actually be true - Johnny Depp is appearing in Kevin Smith's new "horror" film Tusk. Depp is apparently playing the role of a detective assigned to the case in the movie, and has a smaller role investigating the incidents, hence why he was cast late and quietly filmed without anyone knowing. This latest casting tidbit comes directly from Justin Long, who also appears in Tusk, in an interview a few weeks ago most recently scooped up by The Wrap. He mentions, at least in their transcript, quite simply: "Johnny Depp is in that one." There we go.
Now that Jennifer Lawrence and Shailene Woodley have their own young adult franchises, it's time for an equally talented young actress to get her own as well. The Wrap has learned that Sony Pictures has landed Chloe Moretz (Carrie, Let Me In, Kick-Ass) to lead The 5th Wave, based on Rick Yancey's popular young adult novel of the same name. The book is the first in a young adult trilogy (of course) about Cassie Sullivan, who survives four waves of deadly attacks of human-looking aliens against Earth. On the run to save her younger brother, she meets a mysterious young man who may become her final hope to survive. Read on!
Though we don't know much about the Alice in Wonderland sequel developing at Disney, other than it will be called Through the Looking Glass and feature the return of Mia Wasikowska in the title role along with Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter and Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen, we might have a hint of what's to come with the latest casting reveal. Variety has word that stage actor Mark Rylance is currently in talks to play the father of Depp's looney, top hatted character. Of course, without any plot details, we're unsure just how integral the actor will be in the progression of the sequel's story. More below!
With a voice cast that only includes one actress amongst a crew of actors, the animated R-rated comedy Sausage Party was beginning to live up to its name. Kristen Wiig is the only female in a cast that also includes Seth Rogen (who co-wrote the film with This is The End co-director Evan Goldberg), James Franco, Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Edward Norton and David Krumholtz. But now Deadline reports Salma Hayek is on board too. The film follows a sausage and his friends, fallen out of a shopping car, who must journey through the supermarket in order get back to their proper aisle before the big sale on the Fourth of July.
After starring in both The Railway Man (hitting limited theaters this weekend) and Paddington (arriving this holiday season), Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman are getting together on the big screen yet again. NY Daily News has learned that Kidman will join Firth in Genius, a film about literary editor Max Perkins (who worked with the likes of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe). The film follows the relationship between Perkins (Firth) and Wolfe, played by Michael Fassbender. But it's not clear what role Kidman will have in the drama from Hugo writer John Logan, adapted from Perkins' biography.
Over a year ago we learned that Tina Fey would team up with Pitch Perfect director Jason Moore for a new comedy called The Nest set up at Universal. The film hails from "Saturday Night Live" veteran writer Paula Pell and follows two thirtysomething sisters come home to find their parents’ house has been put up for sale, so they decide to spend one more wild weekend together there, bonding, feuding and finally growing up. Now Showbiz 411 reports another "SNL" alum will join Fey in the fun, and we couldn't be more thrilled that it's the comedienne's awesome Golden Globe co-host, "Parks & Recreation" star Amy Poehler. Read on!
Over the past few years, Prometheus star Noomie Rapace has found some unique thrillers to sink her teeth into on the big screen. Dead Man Down was a refreshing, quiet thriller, while Passion was erotic and sensual, and coming up later this year she has Child 44 and The Drop, both films with Tom Hardy. Now Deadline has word on a new thriller called Unlocked being set up as an indie project. The story will see the actress playing a female CIA interrogator duped into getting a terrorist to provide key information to the wrong side, thrusting her into the middle of a plan for a devastating biological attack in London. Read on!
Now that Captain America: The Winter Soldier is in theaters, people who caught the Marvel sequel already are looking forward to the next few films in their cinematic universe. After all, the first credits scene (yes, there's two) teases a couple new characters in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, so that's pretty exciting. But after our heroes assemble for another battle to save the world, we have Phase Three kicking off with Ant-Man from director Edgar Wright in the same year. Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas are leading the film as two different versions of the hero, and Deadline reports Matt Gerald will play a bad guy. Read on!
It's been nearly four years since the rumblings of a sequel to the remake of The Karate Kid starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan began, and we just assumed that Sony Pictures had decided to bail on continuing the story. But now Deadline reports both Smith and Chan will be back for The Karate Kid 2, and The Crazies director Breck Eisner has been signed to direct. Harald Zwart directed the 2010 remake that actually became a decent hit with $343 million at the worldwide box office, and now that the son of Will Smith is growing up considerably, this could be a bit more of an edgy sequel to the family friendly original.
Just over the weekend we learned that casting was nearly complete for Star Wars: Episode VII as some preliminary shooting was happening overseas. However, we've yet to hear any concrete details on who will be the new heroes in the sci-fi sequel, and which of the saga characters will be returning. We already know R2-D2 will be back (and likely C-3PO), but now THR has word that Peter Mayhew will have a role in the film. If that name doesn't sound familiar, Star Wars fans like myself are happy to inform you that he's the man under the big walking carpet that is Chewbacca, loyal sidekick and co-pilot to Han Solo. More below!
"No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!" Oooh now this sounds nearly perfect. A number of Hollywood trades, including Variety/The Wrap, are reporting that MGM/Sony is looking at Oscar nominated actor Chiwetel Ejiofor for a villain role in the next James Bond movie. Casting and pre-production is underway on Bond 24, as it's currently known since they haven't revealed a title, but we do know Sam Mendes and of course Daniel Craig are back as director and 007, respectively. Their "sources" say that Ejiofor "is the top choice to play the villain" but no offer has been made and scheduling would need to work out before it's confirmed.
February brought news that horror director Eli Roth was going to reteam with Nicolas Lopez and Guillermo Amoedo, the writers of the earthquake thriller Aftershock he produced, for a new horror film called Knock Knock. The film was said to follow two young girls who show up unexpectedly at the home of a married man where they seduce him and wreak havoc on his perfect life. Now Deadline has word that Speed and The Matrix star Keanu Reeves will venture into horror with a commitment to star in the film as the married man, and he will also executive produce with production slated to begin in under two weeks.
While we know that not much will have to be done in order to make the late Philip Seymour Hoffman's performance in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay complete, production on the film isn't finished yet. The first chapter of the two-part finale hits theaters this November, but one of the cast members in a pivotal role in the second chapter has just been replaced. Previously, Lily Rabe was slated to play Commander Lyme, one of the leaders of District 13 and previous victor of The Hunger Games from District 2, but now it will be "Game of Thrones" fan favorite star Gwendoline Christie taking the role instead. More below!