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.

Sherlock Holmes gets female heavy

The new Sherlock Holmes movie from director Guy Ritchie (RocknRolla) is shaping up to be sexier than the world’s greatest detective has ever been, as after Rachel Mc Adams (The Family Stone) joined the cast as Holmes’ love interest, British actress Kelly Reilly (Mrs Henderson Presents) has now signed to play Watson’s.

[Her character Mary] causes tension between Watson – who wants to marry her – and Holmes – who resents her competition for Watson’s affections.

One of the most talked about forthcoming movies, Sherlock Holmes is said to be a reinvention of Arthur Conan Doyle’s character and starts shooting tomorrow in London for a 2010 release. It star Robert Downey Jr. (Tropic Thunder) as Holmes, Jude Law (Sleuth) as Watson, and Mark Strong (RocknRolla) as Blackwood, the villain. The film was co-written by Ritchie, Anthony Peckham (Don’t Say A Word), Simon Kinberg (Jumper) and newcomer Mike Johnson.

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Shorts: Sherlock Holmes, Lethal Weapon 5, and more

Actress Rachel McAdams (The Family Stone) has been cast as Irene Adler, Sherlock Holmes’ love interest in the forthcoming adaptation from director Guy Ritchie (RocknRolla) starring Robert Downey Jr. (Tropic Thunder) and Jude Law (Sleuth).

Series creator Shane Black has written and intends to direct Lethal Weapon 5, which introduces two young new NYPD cops (wait, aren’t the Lethal Weapon films set in LA?). Plans will move forward as soon as series co-star Mel Gibson approves the script. In the meantime, Black is directing Cold Warrior.

Steve Pink (Accepted) will write and direct a remake of the 1988 comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Apparently several big names are interested in joining the cast.

Harold & Kumar creators Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg will write and direct Til Beth Do Us Part, a comedy about two buddies whose friendship is put in jeopardy when one of them gets engaged.

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Elementary, my dear Jude Law

After debunked rumors casting Russell Crowe (American Gangster) in role, it seems Jude Law (Sleuth) will play Sherlock Holmes’ buddy Dr. Watson in the forthcoming film from Guy Ritchie (RocknRolla), starring Robert Downey Jr. (Tropic Thunder) in the titular role.

The movie is said to be a reinvention of Arthur Conan Doyle’s character and will start shooting next month in London for a 2010 release. It was co-written by Ritchie, Anthony Peckham (Don’t Say A Word), Simon Kinberg (Jumper) and newcomer Mike Johnson.

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New Poster: The Soloist

The Soloist is the new film from immensely talented British director Joe Wright (Atonement). Based on a true story, it tells the tale of schizophrenic violinist prodigy Nathaniel Ayers and the Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez who rediscovered him as a homeless man playing half-broken instruments on LA street corners.

Despite my anticipation for the film, which premieres November 21st in the US, I was quite unimpressed by the very poorly-made trailer which you can watch here. The poster however is another story, as it is quite beautiful, even though it somehow reminds me of the 12 Monkeys poster. How do you like it? And are you looking forward to this film?

New Trailer: The Soloist

Honestly this trailer looks rather poorly made to me, but The Soloist remains one of my most anticipated films of this year, simply because it marks the third feature effort for British director Joe Wright, whose previous two films, Pride & Prejudice and Atonement, are amazing masterpieces which you should watch if you haven’t already.

The Soloist is based on the true story of schizophrenic violinist prodigy Nathaniel Ayers and the Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez who rediscovered him as a homeless man playing half-broken instruments on LA street corners. Lopez went on to befriend Ayers and wrote a series of articles on him, followed by a book which served as the basis for this film.

Talented screenwriter Susannah Grant (Charlotte’s Web) penned the adaptation, which stars Jamie Foxx (The Kingdom), Robert Downey Jr. (Tropic Thunder) and Catherine Keener (Into The Wild). The Soloist will premiere in the US on November 21st.

Russell Crowe not Watson, maybe Moriarty

A days ago, rumors were going around that Australian actor Russell Crowe (American Gangster) was cast as super detective Sherlock Holmes’ assistant Dr. Watson in the forthcoming Holmes film from cult English director Guy Ritchie (Snatch.), but Ritchie quickly replied with:

“I don’t have a Watson, somebody just told me that I have Russell Crowe lined up but that’s news to me. I suspect that hasn’t happened and I’m still looking for my Watson.”

Notice how he doesn’t say Crowe won’t be part of the movie, just that he won’t be playing Watson. Indeed, the word on the street is that Crowe is in fact in the running to play Professor James Moriarty, Holmes’ arch-nemesis.

Sherlock Holmes is slated for 2010 and stars Robert Downey Jr. (Tropic Thunder) as the world’s most famous detective. Meanwhile, Guy Ritchie’s latest, RocknRolla, premiered a couple of days ago in the UK.

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