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EW has the exclusive first look at two pivotal characters in The Hunger Games, the first in a planned trilogy of films based on the series by Suzanne Collins.  Liam Hemsworth portrays Gale, the lifelong friend and closest confidant of heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence).  And Josh Hutcherson assumes the mantle of Peeta Mellark, who fights in the Games alongside, and sometimes against, Katniss.  The film is scheduled for release in March 2012.

A new cinematic trailer has been released for the forthcoming Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine.  The game is scheduled to hit Xbox 360, PS3, and PC on Septemebr 6th, 2011. From IGN: Combining intense melee and ranged combat, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine puts players into the boots of one of humanity’s elite soldiers. You have undergone years of psycho-chemical conditioning and rigorous training, and there’s never been a time like right now when such training and conditioning were so desperately needed. One of the industrial ‘Forge World’ planets, where humanity creates its greatest weapons, has come under attack, and the thousands…

  Plenty of news this week for Kevin Smith fans.  During his annual Q&A session at San Diego Comic Con 2011, Smith announced that Red State, his long-gestating indie horror flick, would see a limited run from August 19th-25th at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles, officially qualifying the film (and its much-talked-about performances) for the Academy Awards.  In addition, Smith unveiled a new poster and trailer for the film, which is still on target for a Video-On-Demand release on September 1st, followed by a DVD/Blu-Ray release on October 21st. Smith also announced that he was involved in a…

Up-and-coming British star Juno Temple, whose past credits include Atonement and Notes on a Scandal, can be seen in this fall’s Dirty Girl, the story of a promiscuous high school girl who journeys to California to find her father.  The film, written and directed by Abe Sylvia, was acquired by Harvey Weinstein at TIFF earlier this year.  The official plot synopsis: Dirty Girl is the story of Danielle (Juno Temple), the dirty girl of Norman High School in Norman, Oklahoma, circa 1987. When Danielle’s misbehavior gets her banished to a remedial class, she is paired on a parenting project with…

Mere days after appearing at San Diego Comic Con 2011 to promote the second season of AMC’s smash hit The Walking Dead, Frank Darabont has shocked the entertainment world by stepping down as showrunner on the series. Deadline broke the story on Tuesday, speculating that Darabont, whose feature film credits include The Shawshank Redemption and The Mist, never quite adjusted to the daily grind of working in television.  Sources claim that despite the shake-up, production on season 2 remains on schedule.  Many expect executive producer Glen Mazzara to step up and take the reins, and there is talk that Darabont…

Variety is reporting that Emma Stone will be rounding out the cast of Gangster Squad, the 1940s true-crime tale being helmed by Zombieland veteran Ruben Fleischer.  The Warner Bros. production features an ensemble cast that includes Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Anthony Mackie, Giovanni Ribisi, and Stone’s Crazy Stupid Love co-star Ryan Gosling. The project is based on “Tales of the Gangster Squad,” a 7-part series of Los Angeles Times articles chronicling the LAPD’s efforts to keep East Coast mobsters out of Los Angeles in the 1940s.  Stone would play “Jean, a sharp-tongued siren caught in a love triangle with Gosling’s…

Remember that awe-inspiring, award-winning CGI trailer for the forthcoming zombie survival game Dead Island?  UK novelist Mark Morris does – in fact, he’s written a book that was largely inspired by that trailer, and it’ll be seeing a release alongside the game.  Morris specializes in horror and thrillers, and has also written a number of Doctor Who novels. Says Morris: “Having marveled, like the rest of the world, at the stunning trailer earlier this year, I absolutely leaped at the opportunity to write the official Dead Island tie-in novel. This is a rich, exotic world of well-conceived characters, stunning locations…

Deadline is reporting that a second draft of The Umbrella Academy has been ordered by Universal Pictures.  They’ve tapped Dodgeball writer/director Rawson Thurber for the rewrite.  The film is an adaptation of the limited series written by Gerard Way, frontman for My Chemical Romance, and published by Dark Horse Comics. The official synopsis from the series: In an inexplicable, worldwide event, forty-seven extraordinary children were spontaneously born by women who’d previously shown no signs of pregnancy. Millionaire inventor Reginald Hargreeves adopted seven of the children; when asked why, his only explanation was, “To save the world.” These seven children form…

George Clooney’s The Ides of March, a political thriller that he co-wrote as well as directed, is on its way this fall. The ensemble cast features Ryan Gosling as an influential young press secretary, and also includes Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Evan Rachel Wood, and Marisa Tomei, as well as Clooney himself.  Here’s a brief synopsis of the film, followed by the trailer. During the frantic last days before a heavily contested Ohio presidential primary, an up-and-coming campaign press secretary finds himself involved in a political scandal that threatens to upend his candidate’s shot at the presidency.  

First optioned in 2001, Chuck Palahniuk’s novel Invisible Monsters is practically the definition of “development hell.”  Numerous directors, producers, and screenwriters have all been attached at various points over the last decade, with no project having come to fruition.  Hopefully, that’s about to change.  Producer Cameron MacLaren has announced that, after “working for the past twenty months” on the script, a director has been hired: Samir Rehem, who has helmed episodes of Degrassi: The Next Generation and Skins. While I would love to start getting excited about this project, the fact remains that we’ve been down this road before.  When…

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