Casting tidbits: Defendor, Zombieland, Unthinkable and Alice In Wonderland

Kat Dennings (Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist) will join Woody Harrelson (Semi-Pro) in the superhero-themed comedy Defendor, while Jesse Eisenberg (Cursed) will join him in the horror comedy Zombieland, which we’ve previously talked about.

Brandon Routh (Superman Returns), Gil Bellows (The Weather Man) and Martin Donovan (The Sentinel) have joined the cast of the terrorism-themed thriller Unthinkable from Australian director Gregor Jordan (Ned Kelly), which we’ve also previously mentioned. The film will start shooting on October 20th in Los Angeles.

Unsurprisingly since she shares his bed, British actress Helena Bonham Carter (every Tim Burton movie since Planet Of The Apes) has joined the cast of Burton’s Alice In Wonderland currently filming adaptation, as has Anne Hathaway (Get Smart). The actresses will play the Red Queen and the White Queen respectively.

Source: /Film

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New Trailer and Poster: Valkyrie

This second, probably final trailer for Valkyrie, the new movie from director Bryan Singer (Superman Returns) and writers Christopher McQuarrie (The Way Of The Gun) and newcomer Nathan Alexander based on the true story of several German officers who plotted to assassinate Adolf Hitler in 1944 looks like it was made specifically to please all those who were unenthusiastic about the first one, by adding a more cliché kind of tension and showcasing more action.

I thought the first trailer was more engaging, since this one really is a lot more stereotypical, but if it gets more people to go see it, then fine. Reaction to this movie so far has baffled me. That whole argument about already knowing the ending, isn’t that true about every movie based on a true story? And since when do people pay so much attention to accents when English-speaking people play characters of other nationalities? Anyway, star Tom Cruise (Tropic Thunder) had this to say in a recent interview:

You know, we spent a lot of time going back and forth over that. All of a sudden you’re listening to people trying to put on accents and Bryan finally said, ‘No, no, no.’ Just tell the story. We don’t want to do an accent movie, just try and find something neutral that won’t distract from the story and the characters.

Also the talent contained in this film is amazing. In addition to Cruise, Valkyrie stars Kenneth Branagh (Five Children And It), Terence Stamp (Get Smart), Tom Wilkinson (RocknRolla), Stephen Fry (St. Trinian’s), Eddie Izzard (Across The Universe), Thomas Kretschmann (Wanted), Bill Nighy (Hot Fuzz) and WW2 regular Carice Van Houten (Black Book) among others. It will be released in the US and Austria on December 26th, and most other countries in January or February 2009.

You can watch a well-made behind the scenes featurette after the jump. As for the poster, I think it looks pretty cool, but yet somehow feel it doesn’t really suit the film. What do you think of the new trailer and poster?

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Cameron Diaz has heart of gold, will take care of your dog

Eco-friendly actress Cameron Diaz (What Happens In Vegas) is apparently also animal-friendly. The 35 year old blonde airhead took in an injured lost dog over this weekend, and reunited him with his owner, even going to the trouble of later visiting the pet at the vet’s.

Diaz, despite being one of America’s highest paid actresses, is believed by many to be one of the least deserving, most untalented, annoying and ugly A-list actress out there, with people nicknaming her “Pizzaface”, “Joker smile”, or simply “hag”, but I on the contrary think she’s a knockout and one of the most talented actresses in Hollywood. So, what does that say about me? All I know is I’m glad her heart matches her looks (or according to some people, transcends them).

Cameron Diaz will next be seen alongside James Marsden (27 Dresses) and Frank Langella (Superman Returns) in the science-fiction thriller The Box, written & directed by Richard Kelly (Southland Tales) and based on a short story by Richard Matheson (I Am Legend).

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Superman: The Man Of Steel cancelled, series reboot planned

Following months of rumors, Warner Bros honcho Jeff Robinov has finally confirmed that Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns sequel has been cancelled, and that the company is now planning to relaunch the franchise…again. The Wall Street Journal has the details:

“Superman [Returns] didn’t quite work as a film in the way that we wanted it to,” said Robinov. “It didn’t position the character the way he needed to be positioned. Had Superman worked in 2006, we would have had a movie for Christmas of this year or 2009. But now the plan is just to reintroduce Superman without regard to a Batman and Superman movie at all.”

Robinov goes on to say that Warner is hoping to have eleven big movies a year starting 2011, two of those based on DC Comics properties. No word on when we can expect the new Superman movie and who will be involved, but annoucements should be made within a month or so. Also, following The Dark Knight‘s mega success, they’re looking to make Superman (and possibly other superheroes) darker.

I thought Superman Returns (which took a freaking 13 years to see the light) was a decent movie, but it was still somewhat disappointing and did have its share of silly (*cough*Superkid*cough*). It’s too bad that Singer and team won’t get to follow through with their vision, but in Caesar’s words alea jacta est. As a Superman fan, all I can hope is that they get the franchise on its feet. Earlier in the year, Wanted creator Mark Millar has expressed interest in rebooting the franchise, though Warner will probably want to look at several pitches before taking a decision.

What I really wonder is what this means for Brandon Routh? Logically, if they want to sever ties with Superman Returns, Warner will have to let him go, which is a shame since he was simply perfect casting. If a new actor has to be found, could Tom Welling be a possibility? With Smallville‘s forthcoming eight season rumored to be its last, the new Superman film franchise could follow-up. I’m convinced this could be very interesting, what do you think?

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