Yet another Inglorious one

The cast for Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Bastards keeps growing as French up-an-coming César-winning actress Mélanie Laurent (Don’t Worry, I’m Fine) has signed on to play Shoshanna Dreyfus, a young Jewish girl who inherits a movie theatre in Paris and tries to avoid the Nazis (duh). The 25 year old Laurent isn’t Jewish, but I guess that’s beside the point.

Inglorious Bastards, which has been a pet project of Quentin Tarantino’s for years, will be a remake of an Italian film from 1978 that is also known as G.I. Bro, Deadly Mission, Hell’s Heroes and Counterfeit Commandos. Described as in the vein of The Dirty Dozen, the film will tell the story of a group of Jewish-American soldiers behind enemy lines (France specifically) who spend their time scalping Nazis.

In addition to Mélanie Laurent, the cast includes Brad Pitt (Burn After Reading), Mike Myers (The Love Guru), Eli Roth (director of the Hostel films), Samm Levine (Sydney White), Diane Kruger (the National Treasure films) and Til Schweiger (King Arthur). Inglorious Bastards will start filming next month in Berlin and is expected to premiere at next year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Fun Fact: Mélanie’s father Pierre Laurent is the French voice for many Simpsons characters including Ned Flanders, Apu, Barney, Reverend Lovejoy and Smithers.

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Inside Man 2 gets a screenwriter

While promoting his new World War 2 movie Miracle At St. Anna, director Spike Lee has confirmed that things are moving forward for his planned sequel to Inside Man, his most successful movie to date. According to Lee, screenwriter Terry George (Reservation Road) is currently in talks with Universal Pictures to pen the script, which will feature the original film’s characters.

Personally, I have trouble figuring out how an Inside Man sequel would work. Another heist by the same crew, being investigated by the same cop? I guess we’ll find out when the movie is released come 2010.

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Witness a Miracle At St. Anna in five days!

Do you live in or near Paris, the city of lights itself? If so, you can be among the first few to view Inside Man director Spike Lee’s latest film, the World War 2 drama Miracle At St. Anna, which premieres today at the Toronto Film Festival.

The anticipated film will screen as part of a mini Spike Lee festival organized by the Cinémathèque Française. Go here to buy seats while you still can!

Miracle At St. Anna tells the story, through flashback, of four African-American “Buffalo Soldiers” who are trapped behind enemy lines in 1944 Tuscany, after one of them saved an Italian boy. It stars Derek Luke (Definitely, Maybe), John Turturro (You Don’t Mess With The Zohan), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Stop-Loss), John Leguizamo (The Happening) and Kerry Washington (the Fantastic Four films) among others. Author James McBride wrote the script based on his own novel. Trailer after the jump.

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Tom Cruise might voice new Shrek villain (maybe)

Controversial superstar Tom Cruise (real name Thomas Cruise Mapother IV) is apparently being considered as the voice of one of the villains of the forthcoming animated sequel Shrek Goes Fourth, according to rumors. This is plausible because the Shrek franchise has attracted many names for its first three outings and Cruise enjoys a good relationship with DreamWorks.

Shrek Goes Fourth will be released in 2010. You can catch Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder right now in theaters. His next movie, the World War II drama/thriller Valkyrie will premiere in December.

Quentin Tarantino gets a “bastard” and a “bitch”

  

Two new actors have been added to the cast of Quentin Tarantino’s forthcoming World War 2 movie Inglorious Bastards, and since both are German, you can bet your millions they’ll be playing Germans. The lucky thespians are Diane Kruger (the National Treasure films) and Til Schweiger (King Arthur).

Diane Kruger, who mainly alternates between French and American films, isn’t one of the biggest names in entertainment yet, but chalk that up to the fact her acting career only started six years ago. I personally think she’s a wonderful actress and physically stunning to boot. In the fim, she’ll play a German actress who help the the heroes infiltrate a movie premiere.

As for Til Schweiger, international audiences may not be overly familiar with him, but he’s one of Germany’s biggest stars, where he is dubbed the “German Brad Pitt”, and you’ll soon be able to seem him in director Uwe Boll’s next “masterpiece”, the Far Cry video game adaptation.

Inglorious Bastards, which has been a pet project of Quentin Tarantino’s for years, will be a remake of an Italian film from 1978 that is also known as G.I. Bro, Deadly Mission, Hell’s Heroes and Counterfeit Commandos. Described as in the vein of The Dirty Dozen, the film will tell the story of a group of Jewish-American soldiers behind enemy lines (France, specifically) who spend their time scalping Nazis.

In addition to Kruger and Schweiger, the cast includes Brad Pitt (the American one), Mike Myers (The Love Guru), Eli Roth (director of the Hostel films) and Samm Levine (Sydney White). Inglorious Bastards will start filming next month in Berlin and is expected to premiere at next year’s Cannes Film Festival.

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The Hollywood shuffle game continues

Release dates just won’t stop changing ever since Warner Bros moved Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince to next July. The latest “victim”? Australian war drama Australia (actually an American co-production), which was pushed back from November 14th to November 21st in the US.

The epic, which is set to be one of the big events of 2008’s last quarter, will mark the return of acclaimed director Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge!) and stars Nicole Kidman (The Golden Compass) and Hugh Jackman (Deception). The movie, which Luhrmann co-wrote with Stuart Beattie (30 Days Of Night), tells the story of an English aristocrat, played by Kidman, who inherits a ranch in northern Australia at the dawn of World War II, and hires Jackman’s character to protect it from a takeover. Then, the Japanese start bombing.

The American change shouldn’t affect other release dates, and as far as I know, Australia will still premiere in Australia on November 13th.

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Samuel L. Jackson may direct new Lucasfilm movie. But probably not.

George Lucas has been talking about his World War 2 project Red Tails for a long time. Now rumors are going around that Samuel L. Jackson, who worked with Lucas on the last two Star Wars movies, may star in, and/or possibly direct the film. Jackson, who can currently be heard as the voice of Mace Windu in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, told IGN.com:

“I just read it like two weeks ago. It’s a pretty good script,” Jackson began. “At one point (Lucas) was asking me if I’d ever want to direct anything. I said, ‘I don’t know, man. I’m trying to find things.’ He said, ‘Well, let me send you this thing. Maybe you might want to direct it.'”

Jackson continued, “Well, I guess if I was gonna direct something George would be a great guy to kind of mentor me through that, especially a big ass special effects flying picture. The script’s good. I like it.”

But when pressed if he would seriously consider helming Red Tails, Jackson replied, “I don’t know. I don’t have a year and a half of my life where I wanna stop acting.”

So there you have it, that seems pretty clear to me. It’s highly unlikely that Jackson will helm the picture, but I think we can expect him to be in there. Also, according to the IMDB, Anthony Hemingway, an assistant director (Freedomland) and sometime TV director (CSI: NY) is currently attached to the project, which is set for release in 2009. Of course these things change so we’ll just have to wait for official announcements.

Red Tails, which was written by John Ridley (Undercover Brother), will tell the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American pilots to fly in a combat squadron during World War II (expect Spike Lee to throw a fit).

Lucasfilm was emerging as a big name production company back in the eighties and early nineties, with films such as Willow and Radioland Murders but has recently only been invested in Star Wars and Indiana Jones projects. I’m personally glad that Lucas is once again diversifying the company and hope that the trend continues (how about a Monkey Island animated movie?). The Movie Planet will of course keep you informed of any further developments.

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