Matthew Vaughn to Direct Next X-Men Spin-Off

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It’s been rumored for awhile, but today it was made official: Matthew Vaughn, fresh off the critically acclaimed Kick Ass, has officially signed on to helm the next X-Men spin-off, known as X-Men: First Class. The movie will center around the younger versions of Cyclops, Jean Grey, and others as they become the first students at Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, leading up to their eventual team up as the X-Men. The film goes into production this summer with the release date set for June 3, 2011.

This makes three Marvel-related movies scheduled for the next Summer season (Thor drops May 2011 and Captain America July 2011). I understand superhero movies are a license to print money, but with this being the fourth comic book movie slated for Summer 2011 that I can remember off the top of my head (the other being the DC adaptation of Green Lantern), Hollywood is really trying to run this into the ground. How long before over saturation destroys this once profitable genre?

Cary Elwes Confirmed for Saw 7

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WARNING: Possible Spoilers for the Saw series.

Screen Rant confirms that Cary Elwes will be reprising the role of Dr. Lawrence Gordon for the seventh (and supposedly final) installment of the long-running Saw franchise. Gordon, who lopped his foot off to get away in the first Saw film, has been absent from the five sequels that followed and there has been no real hint at his fate. Since this is supposed to be the last movie in the series, I think it’s definitely good of the people in charge to bring Elwes back and to finally tie up all the loose ends the series has made during the past six years.

I know it’s not really cool to like the Saw series in the film site world, but I am personally excited to see how things go down…and for them to finally end it once and for all. Saw 7 comes out (in 3D!) October 22nd of this year. Anyone else excited? Anyone? Hello?

Percy Jackson To Be the New Spider Man?

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According to an article on HitFix, Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief star Logan Lerman is Sony Pictures’ first choice to take over the role of Spider Man / Peter Parker in its upcoming reboot of the franchise. There are other names on the short list (including Anton Yelchin, who I assume would turn it down since he already belongs to a successful franchise), but Lerman’s almost a lock. However, the contract negotiations haven’t even started yet, so this could change at the drop of the hat. The Marc Webb-directed Spider Man, which will feature a more teen-friendly take, is scheduled for a July 3, 2012 release date and should begin production later this year.

I haven’t seen Lerman’s work outside of The Patriot (and he was like 8 so it doesn’t really count), so I don’t know how good or bad of a decision it is, but I am intrigued at the new direction. The Spider Man franchise pretty much shot itself in the foot with the third movie, so it is in need of something new to spice it up… but is making it a teen friendly version the way to go? And more importantly, what do you (yes, YOU!) think about Lerman donning the costume of Spider Man?

A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas To Begin Shooting in the Summer

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The long talked about third Harold and Kumar movie is now back on track, as it has been reported that New Line Cinema is eyeing a summer start date to begin production. Tentatively titled (at least every time I have heard about it) A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas, it will obviously have a holiday theme, and there is talk that it could be shot in 3D, much like every other movie that seems to be announced lately.

This seems to conflict with Kal Penn’s current job with President Obama’s administration, so one would assume he is either leaving his post permanently to return to acting or is just taking a leave of absence to do this movie (a stoner movie is not exactly the kind of movie I would ask the President of the United States time off to do). New Line is aiming for the movie to be finished and released during the holidays in either 2011 or 2012 (provided the world doesn’t end).

The first Harold and Kumar is still a funny movie to this day, but the second film left a lot to be desired, feeling like everyone tried too hard to one up everything they did in the first film. Is a third installment even necessary at this point?

The Hangover Cast Officially Signed On for the Sequel

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Deadline Hollywood has reported that Warner Brothers has officially signed the main cast of The Hangover, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis, for the sequel which is scheduled for release Memorial Day Weekend next year. The deal will give each member five million dollars against 4% of the first dollar gross. Justin Bartha has also signed on, but his payment is unknown. Considering that he was nearly absent in the first movie and was unbearably annoying in the few scenes he got, he should be lucky he’s even invited to the second movie.

With the amount of money The Hangover made last summer, not to mention the great reviews, it would have been dumb not to lock in the main cast for the second movie. Couple this with it most likely being shot in 3D, and Hollywood may have a gigantic hit on their hands. The question is… can they capture lightning in the bottle twice?

Malkovich, McDormand, and Jeong Sign On for Transformers 3

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The third Transformers movie has begun its casting and three names have been announced: John Malkovich, Frances McDormand… and Ken Jeong. Two of these people are critically acclaimed actors, and one of them is…well, Ken Jeong. Michael Bay begins pre-shoots on the movie next month and it will be shot all around the world in such locales as Russia and China. Transformers 3 will be released July 1, 2011 and will probably gross 500 bajillion (it’s a real number, Google it!) dollars in its opening weekend.

The fact that Bay has cast Malkovich has actually done the impossible: get me excited for a Transformers movie. The first two are better left ignored and forgotten, but if they get Turturro and Malkovich in the same scene to play off each other, I am so in. I am not pumped, however, to see Ken Jeong in this. He is oversaturating himself and in my opinion, he hasn’t been funny since his role as the doctor in Knocked Up.

Regardless, what do you think of these casting choices, and did the previous Transformers movies get you ramped up for a third one?

Chris Evans Reportedly Offered the Part of Captain America (Updated)

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There have been many names bandied about for the role of Captain America since the film was announced, but according to an article on The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision Blog, Chris Evans (Push, Cellular) has been given a legitimate offer from Marvel Studios. This deal would include roles in the upcoming The First Avenger: Captain America (for release in 2011),  the superhero team-up The Avengers as well as future sequels (the offer says it includes “up to three”). Although this has been reported, both Marvel and Evans’ agency the CAA has yet to confirm or deny this rumor, so it could still be up in the air.

Wow. Chris Evans. The guy from Not Another Teen Movie. That would not have been my first choice. Simply put, he’s too pretty and young looking for the role, and doesn’t feel as natural of a fit as it was getting Robert Downey Jr. for Iron Man. I am not on board with this, but you never know. I will remain optimistic, and since no one is confirming anything, I will hold out hope they find someone better…as long as it isn’t John Krasinski.

What do you think Film Junk? Is the dude from The Nanny Diaries a good fit?

Update: It’s a done deal! Variety has now confirmed Chris Evans for the role.

Hollywood Remake #230243543299434: The Monster Squad

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The Monster Squad, a kid’s film from the 1980s that has achieved cult status over the years (and finally got a release on DVD a couple of years ago), is on the docket to be remade, adding to the ever growing list of Hollywood remakes (and I feel like its the 500th I’ve heard about in the past month). Rob Cohen is looking to direct the film for Paramount, and has called on his producing buddies Michael Bay (…ugh), Brad Fuller, and Andrew Form to give him a hand.

Cohen helped produce the original, so at least there is some sort of connection, but the fun of The Monster Squad is how cheesy it is, and I doubt it would retain that in its remade, probably heavily CGI-ed version. First Fright Night, now this…it’s like Hollywood has decided to remake all the fun horror/comedy films from my youth.

SyFy Channel Announces Upcoming Slate of Original Movies

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I’ve got to hand it to the SyFy Channel. Even though they have re-branded themselves so people wouldn’t think they were just a bunch of basement-dwelling nerds compared to the other networks, they are still sticking by what sells: the SyFy Channel Original Movie. Cheaply done, they are sci-fi/horror films with cheesy plots and acting that would make The Love Guru look like Lawerence of Arabia. SyFy has announced their upcoming lineup of Saturday original movies and their plots, which you can read after the jump. To whet your appetite though, I’ve got one word for you: SHARKTOPUS.

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RIP Peter Graves 1926-2010

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Not even a week after the death of former teenage heartthrob Corey Haim, another actor has passed away: Peter Graves, a longtime actor and best known (to my generation at least) as Captain Oveur in the Airplane! films, was found dead outside of his home in Los Angeles. The cause of death was determined to be a heart attack, as he collapsed after returning from brunch with his family and was unable to be revived.

Before he was piloting airplanes with Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Graves was widely known for his role as James Phelps in Mission: Impossible, a show that lasted from 1966-1973 and spawned the Tom Cruise films as well as other iterations. He was also one of the hosts of Biography on A&E, and had countless film and TV roles under his belt. Graves leaves behind a solid legacy of film and TV work and he will be missed in the entertainment world.

Showgirls 2 Trailer… Seriously.

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Showgirls, despite being a horrible trainwreck, has gained cult status since it sank Paul Verhoeven’s career back in the mid-1990s. After years and years of wishing, hoping, and praying, a sequel has finally come to fruition, called Showgirls: The Return.

A few warnings before you watch it: it is definitely NOT suitable for work, it’s about five minutes long, and it may cause violence on your part. Up to the challenge? Trailer and my thoughts after the jump.

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Richard Pryor Biopic Begins Shooting in the Fall

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The long talked about Richard Pryor biopic, tentatively titled Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said?, begins shooting in the fall with Marlon Wayans tackling the gigantic (and possibly future Oscar-nominated) role. Originally, Eddie Murphy was supposed to play Pryor, but in October of last year, he was taken out and replaced with Wayans, best known for the first two Scary Movie films as well as the offensively horrible White Chicks. According to Mark Gordon, one of the producers of the film (others include Chris Rock and Jennifer Lee Pryor, Richard’s widow), Eddie Murphy brought along too much baggage to the role, which pretty much amounts to audiences not being able to disconnect from the Murphy they know in order to buy him as Richard Pryor.

Marlon Wayans is an interesting choice though, and a casting announcement I missed so this came as a surprise to me. I cannot stand the movies he’s been in these past few years (Little Man? Really?!?), but he does seem like he is capable of much more than what he has been doing his whole career. In fact, if you check out The Sixth Man, a ’90s film he did in which his dead brother helps his college team reach the NCAA finals, you can see some great flashes of his dramatic capabilities (I’m sure a lot of people will bring up Requiem for a Dream, but I haven’t seen it because I am a horrible person). I for one am excited to see a Wayans brother do something watchable again.

After scanning IMDB, however, I see that White Chicks 2 is in development, and that may kill his Oscar chances, much like Norbit did for Murphy. Do you think Marlon Wayans will nail the role and take the Jamie Foxx route to an Oscar? More importantly, will you join me in a White Chicks 2 boycott if it does get made?