July 19, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
Filming is still underway in North Carolina, but Lionsgate is wasting no time showing off its answer to “the next Harry Potter/Twilight”, unveiling the fiery (and pretty awesome) motion poster for “The Hunger Games”, complete with music accompaniment. Gary Ross directs Jennifer Lawrence in the film about Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old who lives in District 12, a poor area in post-apocalyptic America, who volunteers herself for the Hunger Games when her little sister’s name is called by random draw. The Games are nationally televised and feature 24 kids aged 12-18 battling to the death, with only one victor emerging alive. Aiding and fighting Katniss along the way are a cast that includes Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Josh Hutcherson, Stanley Tucci, Wes Bentley, Lenny Kravitz and Toby Jones.
The pin set aflame in the poster depicts a mockingjay, a creature that becomes a symbol for Katniss and the rebellion she inspires. “The Hunger Games”, which is to have no presence at Comic-Con, will be released on March 23, 2012.
July 14, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
Joe Manganiello, Rebel Wilson and Wendi McLendon-Covey are the three newest actors to jump on board ensemble romantic comedy “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”, reports THR and EW. The three play supporting characters (read: none of them are expected to spawn a child in the film) and join a cast that already includes Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Cameron Diaz, Brooklyn Decker, Anna Kendrick, Chace Crawford, Rodrigo Santoro, Rob Huebel and Chris Rock.
The Kirk Jones directed film, based on the international best-selling advice books, follows four couples preparing for the arrival of a new child. The expectant mothers are presumably played by Lopez, Banks, Kendrick and Decker. “True Blood” werewolf Manganiello plays Davis, a ladies-man photographer whose travels and child-free lifestyle is the envy of a dads-only support group led by Rock. Wilson, the hilarious British roommate to Kristen Wiig in “Bridesmaids”, will play an employee at Banks’ baby store “The Breast Choice” while her co-star McLendon-Covey will play a friend and co-worker of Lopez’s.
Manganiello was recently shortlisted for Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot “The Man of Steel” and continues his increasingly more visible role as werewolf Alcide Herveaux on HBO’s “True Blood”, now in its fourth season. McLendon-Covey will continue her series regular role as Liz on hit CBS sitcom “Rules of Engagement”. Aussie Wilson recently completed her native country’s answer to “The Hangover”, “A Few Best Men” starring “Twilight” star Xavier Samuel, and also has a role in Tom Hardy-Chris Pine-Reese Witherspoon action/romantic comedy caper “This Means War.”
“What To Expect When You’re Expecting” is expected to shoot in late summer for a May 11, 2012 release date.
June 23, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
Some usual suspects are lining up for the next Next Big Role. Thanks to his huge success shepherding “The Fighter” to audiences and the awards circuit, David O. Russell now has the enviable task of hand-picking the female lead of his next film from a crop of the hottest actresses around. THR reports the sometimes volatile director is screen-testing today and through the weekend for a young lady to play love interest to Mark Wahlberg in “The Silver Linings Handbook”, and names include Elizabeth Banks, Kirsten Dunst, Blake Lively, Rooney Mara, Rachel McAdams, Andrea Riseborough and Olivia Wilde. Other reports indicate Jennifer Lawrence may also be in the running, though being significantly younger than her competitors and tied up with “The Hunger Games” through September may make her a bit of a longshot even if she was being considered.
The film revolves around Wahlberg as a man who suffers a mental collapse, goes through treatment at an institution and is released with a new found determination to find the silver linings in life. The female role is that of a depressed woman who goes on a sexual spree in the wake of the death of her husband. She befriends and becomes a love interest to Wahlberg’s character.
May 11, 2011 | Posted by Lindsey Young
After weeks of stringing us along with daily announcements of unknown actors cast in the roles of mostly nameless characters, the list of the 24 Tributes of Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games” has been completed. The final pair to join the group are Alexander Ludwig and Isabelle Furhman who will be portraying Cato and Clove, the deadly duo from District 2 who are among Katniss’ greatest enemies while in the arena. Ludwig and Furhman will join Jennifer Lawrence who plays protagonist Katniss Everdeen and Josh Hutcherson as her partner/love interest Peeta in the post-apocalyptic battle royale.
Both Ludwig and Furhman’s past roles definitely give them an advantage in portraying the fearless Cato and menacing Clove. Furhman is best known for her appearance in the thriller/horror film “Orphan” in which she portrayed the mysterious title character. Currently, she is working on the dark comedy “Salvation Boulevard” which also stars Marisa Tomei and Pierce Brosnan. Ludwig’s most notable roles to date include leads in “The Seeker: The Dark is Rising,” a film based on a YA fantasy series and “Race to Witch Mountain,” a remake of the 1975 picture.
April 26, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
Gary Ross is continuing to steadily fill in the 24 spots allocated for Tributes from each of Panem’s 12 districts who fight each other to the death in his adaptation of “The Hunger Games”. With Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson set as main characters Katniss and Peeta from District 12, the rest of the Tributes have gone to even lesser-known names. Thresh, the physically imposing tribute from District 11, will be played by Dayo Okeniyi, while Rue, his fellow District 11 tribute and the youngest in the Games, will be portrayed by Amandla Stenberg. From District 1, tributes Glimmer and Marvel will be played by Leven Rambin and Jack Quaid, respectively.
Joining them today from District 3 will be two unfamiliar names, Ian Nelson and Kalia Prescott. The District 3 tributes are not named and have less presence than some of their counterparts, due mostly to the fact that (spoiler alert?) there can be only one survivor slash victor in the end and the playing field thins out as the story moves along. Outside the arena, Liam Hemsworth will play the role of Gale, Katniss’s best friend and potential love interest, Willow Shields is Katniss’s little sister Prim and Paula Malcomson Katniss’s mother. Additionally, some bigger names are also potentially signing on as well, with Elizabeth Banks in talks for the role of Katniss’s handler Effie Trinket and John C. Reilly eyeing the role of Haymitch Abernathy, Katniss and Peeta’s mentor.
Prescott brings an impressive resume of stunts and martial arts to her sure to be highly action oriented role, having stunt doubled in “Red Dawn”, “Spider-Man 2″ and “The Santa Clause 3″. Nelson is an accomplished singer who has done various stage musicals but whose only feature film credit thus far is a supporting role in indie “Alone Yet Not Alone”.
“The Hunger Games” begins filming next month for a March 23, 2012 release date.
April 19, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
“The Hunger Games” news is coming fast now as May 23 draws nearer, and today, Deadline reports that up and coming actress Leven Rambin has been set for the role of Glimmer, the District 1 Tribute who comes face to face with Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss in the arena. Joining Rambin from District 1 as Marvel is Jack Quaid, announced via the official THG Facebook. Facing off against them are Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark, Katniss’s fellow District 12 Tribute and love interest, and newcomers Dayo Okeniyi and Amandla Stenberg as Thresh and Rue, the Tributes from District 11.
The Gary Ross directed teen action pic, adapted from the first of Suzanne Collins’ best-selling trilogy, sees 24 kids selected by random draw and forced into an arena fight to the death where only one can survive and be the victor. Outside the arena, Katniss’s circle of friends and foes also include Liam Hemsworth as her best friend Gale, Elizabeth Banks as Effie, Katniss and Peeta’s chaperone and many characters still to be cast, including Haymitch, Katniss and Peeta’s alcoholic mentor and Prim, Katniss’s younger sister.
Rambin, primarily a TV actress, has appeared on shows ranging from “All My Children” to “Grey’s Anatomy” to “One Tree Hill” and Disney’s “Sonny with a Chance”. She was last seen on the big screen in 2010 indie “Case 219″. Quaid, the son of Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid, recently signed with management company Anonymous Content but appears to have no prior acting credits.
April 18, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
Elizabeth Banks is in talks to join the cast of “The Hunger Games” as Effie Trinket, according to Variety. Banks would join a cast that already includes Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson and just announced newbies Amandla Stenberg and Dayo Okeniyi in the Gary Ross adaptation of Suzanne Collins‘ best-selling teen novels.
In the film, revolving around 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen and her attempt to be the sole survivor/victor in the annual Hunger Games which pits 24 children against each other in a fight to the death in front of a nationwide audience, Effie Trinket is the uptight and manically perky chaperone who leads Katniss and Peeta through the process of transforming from poverty stricken residents of District 12 into camera-ready Tributes.
Banks appears to be the most perfect casting on the film thus far, having shown time and again her dramatic chops and quick-witted comedic timing, even having played an uptight/perky character once or twice already. She recently completed filming “Man on a Ledge” opposite Sam Worthington and “Welcome to People” opposite Chris Pine, and is known for a wide array of films including “Definitely, Maybe”, “W” and “Zack and Miri Make a Porno” and her current recurring role on “30 Rock”.
“The Hunger Games” begins filming in North Carolina on May 23rd for a March 23, 2012 release.
January 22, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
Alex Kurtzman’s directorial debut “Welcome to People” is racking up an impressive cast, with Olivia Wilde the most recent addition to the cast, joining Elizabeth Banks and Chris Pine in the drama about a man who is reunited with a sister and nephew he never knew he had after the death of his alcoholic father. Banks and Pine play the brother-sister duo, with Wilde on board as Hannah, Pine’s character’s girlfriend. Michelle Pfeiffer is also on board to play Pine’s mother.
Recently, B-list actor and A-list director Jon Favreau – you may have heard of such tiny indie hits as Iron Man and this summer’s Cowboys vs Aliens – took to Twitter to announce that he just shot a cameo for the film: “Did a cameo role today in Welcome To People. Fun to act again, even if it was only for a day.”
No word on a release date yet. See below for several images of Pine cruising in a red convertible on his first day of shooting, courtesy of Just Jared.
January 3, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
Happy new year, visitors! Today we bring you our first bit of casting news of 2011, with Olivia Wilde joining the cast of “Welcome to People”, as reported by THR. Wilde joins Elizabeth Banks and Chris Pine in Alex Kurtzman’s drama about a man who is reunited with a sister and nephew he never knew he had after the death of his alcoholic father. Banks and Pine play the brother-sister duo, with Wilde on board as Hannah, Pine’s character’s girlfriend.
Kurtzman is stocking his directorial debut with familiar faces, as he previously wrote the script for “Star Trek”, starring Pine, and this summer’s “Cowboys and Aliens” stars Wilde. He also co-wrote the “People” script with regular collaborator Roberto Orci and Jody Lambert.
2011 should prove to be tremendous for Wilde, as she has not only the highly anticipated “Cowboys” in July, but also the Jason Bateman comedy “The Change Up” in August and Justin Timberlake/Amanda Seyfried futuristic thriller “Now” in September.
November 10, 2010 | Posted by Linda Ge
Speaking of the former Betty Brant! Elizabeth Banks will take the female lead in Alex Kurtzman’s indie drama “Welcome to People”, according to THR. “People” centers around a man who must deliver $150,000 left to an alcoholic sister he didn’t know he had, following the death of their father, getting caught up in the life of her angry 12-year-old son in the process. Banks will play the sister.
A prolific actress who hasn’t quite made a big breakthrough, Banks has starred in “Role Models”, “Definitely, Maybe” and has a recurring arc on NBC’s “30 Rock”. She can currently be seen opposite Russell Crowe in “The Next Three Days” and is in production on “Man on a Ledge” opposite Sam Worthington.
Rumors have linked actors including Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Rachel McAdams and Chris Pine to “Welcome to People”. It remains unclear if any of them are actually involved, as it seems likely Banks has signed on to the role that Adams or McAdams would have taken.