Cast announcements: Couples Retreat, The Avengers and a new Jonas Bros/Farrelly Bros movie

Internationally-known French superstar Jean Reno (Flyboys) will join Vince Vaughn (Fred Claus), Jon Favreau (Iron Man), Jason Bateman (Hancock), Kristen Bell (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Malin Akerman (27 Dresses), Kristin Davis (Sex And The City) and Faizon Love (Idlewild) in Couples Retreat for directing newcomer Peter Billingsley.

Story follows four couples who go to a tropical island resort, where they discover that participation in the resort’s couples therapy is not optional.

Favreau wrote the script and production is set to start very soon. Source.

Tween fraternal singing sensations Nick, Joe, Kevin and Frankie Jonas will make their feature film debut in Walter The Farting Dog for sibling helmers Peter and Bobby Farrelly (The Heartbreak Kid). Oh my.

The title character in the “Walter” books is a fat dog with severe flatulence. The brothers play musicians whose parents are asked to care for the dog by an aunt just before she passes away.

“By the time they’ve driven the dog home, everybody’s head is out the window of the family station wagon but Frankie, and only because he has a serious sinus problem and doesn’t notice the stench coming from Walter,” said Peter Farrelly.

While his brothers play music, Frankie and the gaseous hound get involved in a plot that involves liberating a koi fish and thwarting jewel thieves.

Based on a series of bestselling books by William Kotzwinkle (A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master) and Glenn Murray, the screenplay is written by  duo Alec Sokolow & Joel Cohen (Daddy Day Camp). The film is set to be the start of a franchise. Source.

Last but definitely not least, Robert Downey Jr. and Terrence Howard replacement Don Cheadle (Traitor) have both officially signed onto The Avengers, where they will continute to portray Tony Stark/Iron Man and Jim Rhodes/War Machine respectively.

In a movie event, The Avengers will bring together the super hero team of Marvel Comics characters for the first time ever, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Hulk and more, as they are forced to band together to battle the biggest foe they’ve ever faced.

In addition, Iron Man helmer Jon Favreau will serve as executive producer on the film, which is set for July 15th, 2011 in the US (no word on whether he’ll reprise his role as Stark’s driver). So does this mean no other Iron Man characters will appear? Or just that their contracts aren’t ready yet? Source.

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More medieval fantasy for Kevin Lima

Director Kevin Lima (Enchanted), who is currently in pre-production of The Spook’s Apprentice, a medieval fantasy for Warner Bros, already has his next project lined up. Also for Warner, it will be a new interpretation of the medieval folk tale Tom Thumb. Interestingly written by Robert Rodat (The Patriot), the untitled film departs considerably from the classic tale.

An arrogant knight who’s shrunk to 6 inches while assigned to protect a princess and then discovers what it means to be a real hero.

No word on when production will start or as to who may star, but Warner believes this will be one of their big money earners whatever the year is when it’s released. Tom Thumb will apparently be a CGI creation while the rest of the film will be live-action…it sort of works with animals but will it be realistic enough for a human being, whether he’s tiny or not?

Source

Exclusive New Trailer and Poster: Roadside Romeo (also Disney’s plans for India)

I apologize for the sometimes hard-to-read subtitles, but it’s from the official website! Roadside Romeo marks Walt Disney Pictures’ first venture into Indian cinema, in co-production with Yash Raj Films, one of the biggest local studios.

Disney must have confidence in the Indian market as, in addition to two more animated features with Yash Raj Films, they’ve begun planning four live-action films on their own, the first two of which are just about ready to begin production.

‘The 19th Step’ starring top South Indian actor Kamal Hassan, directed by Bharat Bala […] will feature Japanese star Asano Tadanabo and Indian actress Asin. Director Bala is one of India’s best-known music video directors. “Step” is said to revolve around the ancient Indian martial arts form Kalarippayattu and will be a multilingual Indian release.

‘Zokkomon,’ starring top child actor Darsheel Safari and directed by Satyajit Bhatkal, is a children’s tale.

As for Roadside Romeo, which opens October 24th, it is written and directed by newcomer Jugal Hansraj, stars the voice talents of Indian stars Saif Ali Khan (Dil Chahta Hai/Do Your Thing), Kareena Kapoor (Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham…/Happiness & Tears) and Javed Jaffrey (Fire). The film follows a pampered dog who is abandoned by his owner and learns to survive in the streets of Mumbai.

I’m all for American studios producing movies out of the US. Disney is already doing it in China and France, Columbia in India and China, and Warner Bros in France, India and Italy (and those are only the ones I know about). But why stop there? Why not release the movies you make in those movies internationally? Seems like it could only be a win situation wouldn’t it?

Source

Links of the Week

Last week’s /Filmcast and /Filmcast: After Dark.

/Film’s David Chen interviews Eagle Eye producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci here.

Friends, family and fellow thespians chime in about the recently deceased Paul Newman here.

Marvel Studios teams up with Paramount Pictures to distribute films here and DC’s The Green Lantern may start filming in early spring here.

Probably realising her film career is prettty much dead, actress Sarah Michelle Gellar (The Return) is planning her return to TV here…hey, at least she lasted longer than fellow hasbeen Jennifer Love Hewitt (CBS’ Ghost Whisperer)!

A first look at Alice In Wonderland, the anticipated new movie from Tim Burton (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Streethere. Also Tweedledee and Tweedledum have been cast here.

Must see: legendary film critic Roger Ebert answers a Disaster Movie fan here.

New Trailer: Bedtime Stories

Bedtime Stories is a new Disney movie directed by Adam Shankman (Hairspray), starring Adam Sandler (You Don’t Mess With The Zohan), Keri Russell (August Rush), Guy Pearce (Traitor), Courteney Cox Arquette (FX’s Dirt), Russell Brand (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Aisha Tyler (Balls Of Fury), Lucy Lawless (Sci Fi’s Battlestar Galactica), Jonathan Pryce (Leatherheads) and Richard Griffiths (the Harry Potter films) among others.

The film, written by Matt Lopez (The Wild) and Tim Herlihy (Mr. Deeds), focuses on a guy who discovers that the bedtime stories he tells his niece and nephew mysteriously come true. Bedtime Stories premieres in most countries around Christmas/New Year’s. I think Sandler is a great, underrated actor, but this seems to be among his lesser films. In any case there’ll always be Keri and Courteney to look at, so that’s a plus. What do you guys think?