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2013 Movie Preview: Oz: The Great And Powerful

Release Date: March 8
Director: Sam Raimi
Rating: Not Yet Rated

The intense, quirky, sometimes gruesome talents of director, Sam Raimi get put to a different kind of test in this re-imagined prequel to The Wizard of Oz. We will soon get to see how a struggling, ambitious, but shady circus magician becomes the man behind the curtain in The Emerald City.

What We Know:

Oscar Diggs (James Franco) truly believes that he's destined for great things. Unfortunately, his path towards this grand benevolence might be a bit rocky, seeing as this sleight-of-hand Svengali hasn't always used his skills for genuine purposes. However, his true worth would soon be tested when a whirlwind of fate intervenes, whisking his hot air balloon out of dust-bowl Kansas and into the Land of Oz.

He would find himself in a land of magic, munchkins, and mouthy monkeys. (Either that, or he smoked way too much of his Pineapple Express stash.) The hopeful huckster immediately began to see dollar signs from the potential fortune he stood to make from this amazing discovery. That, however, would soon be halted when its diverse denizens begin to see his arrival as the fulfillment of a prophecy heralding the arrival of a great wizard who will save their sieged state.

Now, his opportunity for true greatness has been set upon him. With the help of some off-the-wall companions and three beautiful witches, Glinda (Michelle Williams,) Theodora (Mila Kunis,) and Evanora (Rachel Weisz,) he'll need to dig deep into his sleazy set of skills to battle a wicked witch and her dark armies.

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2013 Movie Preview: Jack The Giant Slayer

Release Date: March 1
Director: Bryan Singer
Rating: Not Yet Rated

The ancient English folklore gets an updated epic live-action treatment from the maestro of the X-Men films.

What We Know:

Modest farmboy, Jack (Nicholas Hoult, who will also occupy theaters with Warm Bodies,) somehow finds himself entrusted with some magical seeds that, much like a Gremlin, is not supposed to get wet. However, one night, in what seemed to be a slice of serendipity, beautiful Princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson) wanders to his doorstep lost in the rain and looking for a place to stay. The unlikely couple seemed to be hitting it off, when Jacks's seeds somehow got splashed (heh-heh) and a c-block of gigantic proportions would occur when a voluminous vine vaults through his meager little pad, sending the princess to a land of menacing giants once thought to be cut-off from the human world.

Now, this poor kid's lost opportunity to procure a royal hookup ends up escalating to a major diplomatic disaster between the people of Earth and the kingdom of the giants, who see an opportunity to conquer the land that was once theirs.

The King (Ian McShane,) not so keen on losing his daughter and being attacked, sends an army up the vine lead by elite guard, Elmont (Ewan McGregor) to get the princess back and make those pituitary-challenged pirates pay for their destructive romp. -- They'll be joined by a newly-smitten Jack, of course.

Bill Nighy and John Kassir also lend their voices to the (literal) dual role of Fallon, the two-headed leader of the Giants.

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Guardians Of The Galaxy Casting Rumors Galore

Marvel's 2014 live-action space epic, The Guardians of the Galaxy is gaining some serious steam in the department of casting rumors. A plethora of names are popping up for the role of leader, Peter Quill, aka, Star-Lord.

Additionally, the first crop of names for another crucial role in the team's emerald-skinned enforcer, Drax The Destroyer has just surfaced with some rather surprising names.

Back at the end of November a short-list of candidates for the film's leading character of Star-Lord was released. However, barring one exception, the previous group have allegedly panned out, taking us to the point where yet another crop of names have been thrown into the mix.

This is certainly looking to be a comic book film that's far different than anything we've ever seen. Check below as we delve deep into the long list of candidates for these two critical characters!

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2013 Movie Preview: A Good Day To Die Hard

Release Date: February 14
Director: John Moore
Rating: Not Yet Rated

It looks like John McClane's tradition of haplessly stumbling into the evil elaborate plots of international terrorists will not be stopping anytime soon. This time, his signature brand of wise-cracking carnage finds its way to Moscow, Russia, where teamed with his son, Jack, a lot of baddies are in for some serious death-dealing.

What We Know:

We are introduced to John's adult son, Jack McClane (Jai Courtney of Spartacus: Vengeance), a CIA operative who's in Moscow investigating the case of some heisted nuclear weapons. However, Jack soon gets himself stuck in a proverbial vodka bottle of trouble, which prompts the elder McClane to hop on a plane and see if he needs help with killing anyone or blowing stuff up. -- Apparently he does.

Now, a new brand of sophisticated, cosmopolitan megalomaniacs with accents and fancy trench-coats have found themselves in the crosshairs of the legendary hero of Nakatomi Plaza, Dulles International Airport, the New York City Federal Reserve Heist, and the Deadwood guy's massive cyber-attack. (The last of which John utilized the help of "A Mac.") This time, however, it's twice the McClane, double the pain.

Besides serving as important US exposure for the Russian cast, Mary Elizabeth Winstead reprises her role as John's daughter, Lucy. Plus, Cole Hauser and Sebastian Koch also round out the cast.

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2013 Movie Preview: Warm Bodies

Baxter

Posted January 3, 2013 - By Joseph Baxter

2013 Movie Preview: Warm Bodies

Release Date: February 1
Director: Jonathan Levine
Rating: PG-13

The post-Twilight era of "girl meets monster" romance may have left the movie-going public divided, but this horror/comedy takes the framework of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and gives it some undead flair.

What We Know:

X-Men: First Class star, Nicholas Hoult is a young man simply known as "R" who is aimlessly drifting through life...literally since he's a zombie who spends his days roaming, looking for human brains to devour.

However, in a twist of irony, this zombie would soon become "infected" by an ailment that completely changes him: Love. After feasting on the brain of a lovesick teen, the sight of his victim's beautiful girlfriend, Julie Grigio (Teresa Palmer,) activates loving memories which become nature's defibrillator, bringing R's dead heart pumping back to life. (Somewhat.)

At that point, what is clearly the natural course of events plays out: The girl falls in love with the zombie who ate her boyfriend's brains. Her father (John Malkovich,) a General in charge of eradicating the undead demographic is not exactly doing cartwheels over the coupling, and R's zombie buddies are also starting to become infected with the love pathogen, making the interaction between these proverbial "Zombagues" and "Cap-Youlets" all the more complex.

Dave Franco, Analeigh Tipton, and Rob Corddry fill out the cast of this meta monster mashup.

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2013 Movie Preview: Bullet To The Head

Release Date: February 1
Director: Walter Hill
Rating: R

The Expendables films have managed to rebuild the playground of the old-school, no-nonsense action hero and the centerpiece star, Sylvester Stallone is back with a new potential franchise in this hybrid between revenge movie and buddy cop comedy.

What We Know:

Stallone plays Jimmy Bobo, a longtime hitman that's being pressured by his daughter (Sarah Shahi) to get out of the business while he's still intact. Unfortunately, his retirement will have to wait when his partner is murdered by a ruthless kingpin named Keegan (Jason Mamoa.)

Like any old-school alpha male that avoids skim milk and doesn't take crap from anyone, Jimmy goes on a quest for vengeance that will lead to this contract killer partnering-up with the most unlikely of allies: A cop!

Proving the old adage that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend," NYPD detective, Taylor Kwon (Sung Kang) is also jonesing for a piece of Keegan after similarly losing his partner. Together, they go on a two-man spree of slaughter and prove that "nothing is over" until a lot of stuff blows up and the bad guy is beaten, bloodied, and killed.

Also filling out the cast are Christian Slater, Holt McCallany, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje.

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2013 Movie Preview: Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters

Release Date: January 25
Director: Tommy Wirkola
Rating: Not Yet Rated

What We Know:

Yet another one of your childhood bedtime stories is getting a stylized, action-packed big-budget treatment. (At least, until Michael Bay decides to tackle Little Miss Muffet.) This time, it will feature Hawkeye and a Bond Girl that ended up bathed in black gold.

Here, we have a slick follow-up to the 1812 Grimm fairy tale that taught us the value of leaving breadcrumb trails and that witches who don't get proper education at Hogwarts end up living alone in an edible cabin in the woods, craving the taste of children.

Managing to avoid becoming the main ingredients in a witch's oven-baked kid pies, grown siblings Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) used their childhood trauma and went the Sam and Dean Winchester route, hunting these evil broom-bucking bitches wherever they may hide.

Now, it appears that the baddest of them all, Muriel (Famke Janssen) is lurking about and needs to be stopped. She's kidnapping children to be sacrificed at a massive gathering of witches on "Blood Moon" night. (Of course, this was before the Blood Moon sacrifice of children festivities got all corporate, charging high ticket prices and forcing you to pay $50 for just one eye of newt.)

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2013 Movie Preview: The Last Stand

Release Date: January 18
Director: Jee-woon Kim
Rating: R

While he's made a notable comeback in The Expendables films, the name of Arnold Schwarzenegger will grace the top of a marquee for the first time in a decade, this time sporting a sheriff's shield, a grizzled demeanor, and a modernized take on the traditional western movie plot.

What We Know:

The Governator plays Ray Owens, a jaded ex-LAPD narcotics officer who now lives a quieter life as sheriff in a sleepy small town on the US/Mexican border. However, the town's sleepiness is about to receive a wake-up call when a vicious drug cartel head their way after a speed-heavy caper that freed their leader from FBI custody.

Now, circumstances have forced Ray to give his upstart deputies a quick lesson in badass action and even badder puns since their happy hamlet is the final geographic obstacle before the pernicious pushers can elude authorities across the border.

Aided by an eccentric sidekick in Jackass star, Johnny Knoxville, Ahnuld will truly be "back" and joined by a cast consisting of Rodigo "Xerxes" Santoro, Forest Whitaker, Luis Guzmán, and Thor's Jaimie Alexander.

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The Wolverine: Hugh Jackman Reveals Timeline

While Hugh Jackman is riding high from the solid holiday numbers for Les Misérables, it turns out the actor has recently revealed an important detail about the return of his signature character. (And no, I'm not talking about Van Helsing.)

In an interview with Parade magazine, Jackman let loose some details about The Wolverine, his return next summer as Marvel's adamantium-aligned ass-beater. Apparently, everything we thought we knew about where the film fits in the timeline of the X-Men franchise was wrong. According to the star, The Wolverine will actually take place AFTER the events of 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand. (You know, the one where a lot of important characters met lame, anticlimactic deaths? Yeah...)

As a result, The Wolverine is apparently not a prequel-sequel to the 2009 prequel, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but is, in actuality, a spinoff sequel to the 2000-2006 X-Men trilogy. -- Does that make sense?

Check out what Jackman had to say about the matter below, as well as his hint of a cameo from another X-Men member.

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Mad Max Sequel: First Look At Tom Hardy

A photo has surfaced from next year's Mad Max: Fury Road, giving us our first look at star, Tom Hardy as the film's titular "Road Warrior."

The image came from a set of autographed low-res set snapshots sent to Ain't It Cool News. Initial doubts surrounding them were quickly quelled when Warner Bros officially confirmed their authenticity.

Now, we can certifiably see Tom Hardy as he dumps his Bane respirator to take over Mel Gibson's star-making role of "Mad" Max Rockatansky. For the uninitiated, Max was an Australian federal police officer serving the remnants of a post-apocalyptic society until a vicious gang killed his wife and infant son. After his vengeance was satisfied, he became a roaming warrior of justice in a savage future.

Check out the full pic below, as well as a look at one of the post-apocalyptic vehicles from the film.

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The Walking Dead Showrunner Glen Mazzara Steps Down

AMC has announced the not-so-shocking news that The Walking Dead, its hugely-successful zombie apocalypse drama has been renewed for a fourth season. However, it appears that for the second time in the (after)life of the hit series, the ship will require a new captain. 

Executive producer and showrunner, Glen Mazzara will be making what is referred to as an "amicable" split from the show after creative disagreements with the network over its direction. However, Mazzara will remain on board during the post-production phase for season 3's second half (which returns February 10) before leaving the "survival of the fittest" world full of rovers, walkers, and dictatorial smooth talkers.

Could this be seen as an opportunity for fresh perspectives? Or will the move leave the show handcuffed on a roof full of walkers after the late T-Dog dropped the keys?

Check out the official joint announcement from Mazzara and AMC below.

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Iron Man 3: Tony Stark Takes Beating In New Photo

Marvel has unveiled a new photo from the upcoming Iron Man 3, although from Tony Stark's point of view, it hardly captures a Kodak moment.

We don't know who gave Iron Man this serious beat-down, but whoever it was had to be pretty powerful. After being exposed to the first trailer and seeing some of the stills, it's hardly a secret that the Armored Avenger is in for his toughest test yet.

Not only has his greatest enemy in The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) finally surfaced, but a techno-virus making his armor collection go haywire has been unleashed. On top of that, it appears that goons like Coldblood (James Badge Dale) have Tony set in their crosshairs.

Oh, but don't get the impression that this film is going The Dark Knight Rises route, sending Tony off to hiding armed with a cane and a wealth of self-pity. While that techno-virus (Extremis) may cause some weird stuff, which include his armors creeping over Pepper Potts at night, those kinks should be worked out and Iron Man will receive some serious upgrades to fight his new enemies. (I guess Pepper will just have to deal with the nightly gropes from the armors.)

Iron Man 3 directed by Shane Black looks for a body shop that handles Mark VIII armors before hitting theaters on May 3, 2013.

[Source] (Hi-Res version)

S.H.I.E.L.D. TV Show Casts Some Nashville

Marvel's upcoming S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series has added the final regular agent for its spinoff in singer/actress, Chloe Bennet.

The 21 year-old half-Asian attraction made a name for herself in Beijing, China where, billed as "Chloe Wang," she became a bilingual pop star. However, as with most exquisite ingenues, the acting bug eventually bit and she relocated back to the states where she currently appears on ABC's Nashville. (Which stars Hayden Panettiere, whose name on Heroes was Claire Bennet. Coincidence? -- Probably.)

Bennet/Wang will play the role of the energetic Agent Skye. The Hollywood Reporter describes the character as:

"A confident woman who is slightly obsessed with superhero culture and the shadow organizations that exist within it. She's edgy and can out-talk anyone with her unflappable nature."

Essentially, she will be the show's gorgeously geeky beauty with enough of an edge to send fanboys into an amorous haze with the gratuitous use of pop-culture references and big-eyed close-up shots. You can't go wrong with that, I guess.

Bennet joins a cast headed by Clark Gregg's returning Agent Phil Coulson consisting of Ming-Na Wen, Elizabeth Henstridge, Iain De Caestecker, and last month's addition of Brett Dalton. Shooting is said to commence in January.

[Source]

Star Wars VII Rumor: Luke Returns To Yavin 4?

The first of what will surely be many rumors surrounding 2015's Star Wars sequel, Episode VII has been making the rounds. It involves the few days remaining before the impending Mayan-predicted apocalypse, Luke Skywalker's retirement plans, and the place where Chewbacca was screwed out of his rightfully-deserved medal.

The rumor stems from a news story from Reuters discussing a temple located deep within the Guatemalan rainforest called Tikal Four and its connection to the dire December 21 date. Hardcore know-it-all Star Wars fans know it as the exterior shooting location for the Rebel Base on planet, Yavin 4 in the first Star Wars film, 1977's Episode IV: A New Hope.

However, one paragraph in the article has sent shockwaves of speculation down the network of fanboys and fangirls. (Of which we include ourselves.) Check it out below!

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Vin Diesel's New Riddick Film Gets Release Date

After a nine year series hiatus, actor, Vin Diesel finally has an official date to announce for his return as the intergalactic convict-turned-space-savior named Riddick.

According to the star himself, September 6, 2013 will be the date that the long-awaited third film in the series, simply titled Riddick will make its way to theaters -- in IMAX, no less.

For Diesel, it's been a long road to get this project moving. However, it was a process where he and the creative forces used the outlet of social media to garner fan input. As a result, the announcement of the release date for the now-completed film seemed to be an emotional one for the star.

Find out what he has to say below and check out a brand new photo from the set.

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