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The Playlist

David Fincher Says Despite A Great Audition, Scarlett Johansson Was Too Hot To Play Lisbeth Salander

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 17, 2011 7:00 AM
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  • 15 Comments
David Fincher Views The Series As A "Pervy Franchise"While Rooney Mara eventually won the coveted lead role of Lisbeth Salander in David Fincher's "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo," it was an arduous wait and the list of the contenders was fierce. Sarah Snook, Sophie Lowe and Léa Seydoux were said to be the final candidates, and a mix of established and lesser known names like Ellen Page, Natalie Portman, Carey Mulligan, Emma Watson, Mia Wasikowska, Emily Browning and Katie Jarvis were all in the running at various points. However, people might remember that just before Mara snagged the part, Scarlett Johansson was surprisingly being tipped as a "shoo-in." At the time it seemed somewhat unlikely, but talking to Vogue magazine as part of a profile on Rooney Mara, Fincher confirms that Johansson did indeed deliver strongly at the audition but that she was ultimately just too darned attractive to play the squirrely, oddball and rebellious Lisbeth Salander.

Magnolia Picks Up 'Take This Waltz' With Michelle Williams & Seth Rogen For Summer 2012 Release

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 17, 2011 6:20 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Five years after the excellent drama "Away From Her," Sarah Polley delivered her sophomore directorial effort "Take This Waltz," premiering it to critics and audiences at TIFF last month and the reception was mixed. Described by James Rocchi -- who gave the movie an A grade review -- as "a modernist version of a late ‘60s or early ‘70s relationship film," the film stars Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen, as a young couple who struggle with monogamy and fidelity, as the former is torn between her husband and a new man. Sarah Silverman and Luke Kirby round out the film that has been described as sexually frank (and somewhat explicit), but bracingly honest about the complex emotions that arise out of sex and love. Frankly, it sounds right up our alley and though it took a bit longer than we thought to happen, the movie now has a U.S. distribution deal in place, though we'll have to wait until next year to see it.

LFF '11 Review: 'Dreams Of A Life' Is An Authentically Moving Portrait Of A Forgotten Life

  • By Sam Price
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  • October 17, 2011 6:01 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Joyce Carol Vincent died in her flat in 2003. An unmarried forty year-old woman living alone in a less-than-luxurious one bedroom London bedsit, and surrounded by unopened Christmas presents, it would be three years before her remains (now simply decomposed to that of a skeleton), would ever be found -- and only then able to be identified by dental records.

Hasbro Talking To Director Michael Bay & Producer Steven Spielberg About Another 'Transformers'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 17, 2011 5:52 AM
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  • 7 Comments
$1,119,241,043 worldwide for "Transformers: The Dark Of The Moon." That's pretty much the only reason why Hasbro is (obviously) looking at another entry in their "Transformers" franchise. That, and the fact that it's the only movie property they have right now generating any money (not to mention it played a big role in the company's third quarter earnings going up 10%).

James Mangold To Direct Remake Of Icelandic Thriller 'City State'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 17, 2011 5:11 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Iceland, so hot right now? It would appear to be so. The upcoming Mark Wahlberg flick "Contraband" has its origins in the 2008 film "Reykjavik-Rotterdam," and now another thriller from the nation that gave us Bjork and Sigur Ros is getting the remake treatment.

Review: 'Being Elmo: A Puppeteers Journey' Is An Inspirational Doc About The Man Behind The Muppet

  • By Cory Everett
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  • October 17, 2011 5:03 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Suddenly, it’s a good time to be a Muppet again. After a few decades of sub-par films, co-writers (and massive Muppet fans) Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller appear to be bringing some of the magic back with “The Muppets,” their attempt to revive creator Jim Henson's beloved characters for a new generation of kids. The Museum of the Moving Image in Queens has assembled a massive exhibit to the fuzzy creatures and their creator called “Jim Henson’s Fantastic World” which includes drawings, storyboards, props, and a puppet making workshop as well as screenings of the films. “Sesame Street” has been plugging along steadily on PBS since it’s debut in 1969 but some recent high profile guest stars like Katy Perry have really put the show back into the public consciousness. And now we have director Constance Marks and her feel-good documentary “Being Elmo: A Puppeteers Journey” about Kevin Clash, the man who brought Elmo to life.
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Watch: Clark Gregg Kicks Ass In Marvel Short 'A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Thor's Hammer'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 17, 2011 4:38 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Marvel Head Kevin Feige Says He Hopes ‘Dr. Strange’ Will Be Part Of Company’s “Phase 2” PlanThe one constant in the uneven world of Marvel universe films so far -- aside from the omnipresent Samuel L. Jackson -- has been Clark Gregg as S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil Coulson. Playing the character almost with a knowing wink to audience as if to acknowledge how silly these comic book movies kind of are, he's been consistently enjoyable even if the movies he's in don't always deliver. As has been talked about for a while, Marvel is continuing to build the on screen universe this time with short films that will make appearances on the DVD/BluRay releases of the movies (the first was "The Consultant" on the "Thor" DVD). And the second short, "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Thor's Hammer," boasts a title that is almost as long as the actual movie itself.

Review: 'Sing Your Song' A Fascinating Look At The Activist Life Of Harry Belafonte

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 17, 2011 4:03 AM
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  • 0 Comments
In the pop culture sphere, it's been a while since Harry Belafonte has made a mark musically or on the big screen. His last album came out more than two decades ago, 1988's Paradise in Gazankulu while his last film role was a small appearance in Emilio Estevez's "Bobby" a few years back. But don't think that at 84 years old, Belafonte is merely basking in the rewards of his undeniable entertainment legacy in his twilight years. A tireless activist, "Sing Your Song" is straightforward, and fascinating look at his career at the front of the civil rights movment, striving to end hunger in Ethiopia, looking to find ways to curb inner city violence all within his journey as a musician and actor. Though produced by his daughter Gina Belafonte, the film directed by Susanne Rostock is a balanced, honest look at the life of a man whose success only fueled his work for humanist causes even more.

Keanu Reeves' Directorial Debut ‘Man Of Tai Chi’ Will Start Shooting At The End Of The Year

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 17, 2011 3:47 AM
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  • 4 Comments
For the seven of you holding out for "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure 3" -- sorry dudes.

Bryan Singer Says Death Of 'Excalibur' Has Allowed Him To Focus On Developing 'Battlestar Galactica'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 17, 2011 3:20 AM
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  • 5 Comments
As you might remember, at one point both Guy Ritchie and Bryan Singer were chasing remakes of John Boorman's "Excalibur" over at Warner Bros, however during the summer, both projects were quietly killed by the studio. But speaking with SFX (via Punch Drunk Critics) Singer reveals that it was actually David Dobkin's recently announced, and much more prepared "Arthur & Lancelot" that stalled out "Excalibur," and moreover, he's returning to big sci-fi project he signed on for years ago, that we figured was on a distant backburner.

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