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The Playlist

Latest 'Star Wars: Episode 7' Rumors Swirl Around Benedict Cumberbatch, Saoirse Ronan & Simon Pegg

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 19, 2013 9:05 AM
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  • 10 Comments
It's been just over a week since we last talked about "Star Wars: Episode 7," and at the time it was all about Benedict Cumberbatch's seeming denial about turning down Guillermo Del Toro's "Crimson Peak" so he could do J.J. Abrams' film instead. Well, it looks like the internet insists he'll still go to a galaxy far, far way...

Watch: Lives Are At Stake In 2 Clips From 'The Fifth Estate' Starring Benedict Cumberbatch Plus Lots Of New Photos

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 13, 2013 1:08 PM
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  • 1 Comment
The Fifth Estate
With an opening slot at the Toronto International Film Festival, zeitgeist-capturing subject matter and a compelling lead character in Julian Assange, played by none other than Benedict Cumberbatch, it seemed on paper that Bill Condon's "The Fifth Estate" was going to shake things up this fall. But now, over a week since it premiered, it's safe to say that isn't the case. Received with mostly a shrug in Toronto, as we wrote in our review, the film disappointingly never quite captures "the revolution that's still happening keystroke by keystroke on computer screens around the world."

'August: Osage County' Ending Still In Flux After TIFF Premiere

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 11, 2013 3:12 PM
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  • 7 Comments
August Osage County
While we weren't too keen on John Wells' adaptation of Tracey Letts' "August: Osage County" (you can read our review here), that doesn't mean that the film isn't still a heavy Oscar contender, especially with the star wattage of the cast (Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ewan McGregor, the list goes on) and the raw schmoozing power of its producer, Harvey Weinstein. One thing that seems to be very much in the air, though, is the nature of the ending, which was changed at the last minute due to test audience reactions and Weinstein's insistence, but still could go back before the movie's theatrical opening in December. Read on for details of the saga; spoiler warning for those who care about the downbeat conclusion to a Pulitzer Prize-winning play that ran on Broadway for a hundred years.

Benedict Cumberbatch Wants To Be In Gary Oldman's Next Directorial Effort; Says 'Star Wars' Had Nothing To Do With Leaving 'Crimson Peak'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 11, 2013 11:22 AM
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  • 9 Comments
Star Trek Into Darkness, Cumberbatch
In a lengthy profile in The Hollywood Reporter, Benedict Cumberbatch, the man of the hour following his deliciously villainous turn in this summer's blockbuster "Star Trek Into Darkness" and in anticipation of a streak of hotly anticipated fall movies in the form of "The Fifth Estate," "12 Years a Slave," "August: Osage County" and "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," the British thespian clarified some points regarding his involvement in "Star Wars: Episode VII," including his reasons for leaving Gothic horror movie "Crimson Peak." He also expressed interest in being in the next film directed by Gary Oldman. Weird British character actors have to stick together!

TIFF Review: 'August: Osage County' Starring Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 9, 2013 10:43 PM
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  • 67 Comments
August: Osage County' Starring Meryl Streep
It's undeniable that, at least on paper, "August: Osage County" looks like a can't-miss proposition. Pairing Tracey Letts' Pulitizer Prize and Tony Award-winning play with an outstanding ensemble cast ranging from awards-nominated veterans to rising young stars—Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Abigail Breslin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis, Margo Martindale, Dermot Mulroney, Julianne Nicholson, Sam Shepard, Misty Upham—it's hard to fathom the material not working. And while the choice of helmer John Wells ("The Company Men") might not seem like the most inspired decision, all he theoretically has to do is put the camera on a tripod and let the actors do their thing. And he does. And yet, 'Osage County' still turns out be an exhausting, screechy drama, in which a lot of very good actors work very hard, and yet produce so little as a result.

Genredom: Vin Diesel, Marvel, Bad Robot Teaser, Benedict Cumberbatch Might Still Be In 'Star Wars' (Probably Not Though) & More

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 9, 2013 5:30 PM
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  • 6 Comments
Nerds are an easily excitable bunch, especially if they're in the position of also being journalists (or maybe "journalists" with airquotes is a better distinction), where flights of fancy and endless speculation can easily usurp actual reporting. Such is the case with boundless theorizing about Benedict Cumberbatch being in "Star Wars: Episode VII," which seems to be more a case of collective wishful thinking than anything concrete or remotely plausible. Well, there's even more on that subject (prepare your eyes, as they're about to roll), as well as further details on that mysterious Bad Robot trailer from a few weeks ago and Vin Diesel running his mouth again about what he's doing with Marvel. Have the largest grain of salt you can find at the ready.

Tom Hiddleston Replaces Benedict Cumberbatch In Guillermo Del Toro's 'Crimson Peak'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 6, 2013 2:36 PM
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  • 4 Comments
The speculation that followed Benedict Cumberbatch's exit from Guillermo del Toro's R-rated Gothic romance "Crimson Peak" was deafening and absurd, most of it hinged around the fact that the star (whose "The Fifth Estate" just opened the Toronto International Film Festival) was supposedly leaving to headline J.J. Abrams' "Star Wars: Episode VII." When that turned out to be patently false, people sort of forgot about the spot that he had left in "Crimson Peak," a spot that has just been filled with an equally charming British dandy: Tom Hiddleston.

TIFF Review: 'The Fifth Estate' Starring Benedict Cumberbatch & Daniel Brühl

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 6, 2013 8:33 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Fifth Estate
It's hard to argue that Julian Assange is one of the most powerful and polarizing figures of our current times. From childhood pranks hacking NASA and National Defense computer systems to exposing the dirty laundry of banks and governments around the world, he has become a hero to those seeking transparency and valuing privacy and a villain to those who believe security also means some secrets are worth keeping. But through it all, Assange has never doubted his convictions, and has boldly defended his actions, speaking broadly of revolution and accountability. And thus one might think a film about the man who continues to make headlines would be equally bold. You would be mistaken.

Benedict Cumberbatch Heads To 'The Lost City Of Z' With James Gray

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 4, 2013 4:41 PM
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  • 9 Comments
James Gray, Benedict Cumberbatch
The Internet has been a funny place the last few days. Over the long weekend, "Star Wars" fans worked themselves up into a lather when rumors began circulating that Benedict Cumberbatch was certain to be cast in "Star Wars: Episode 7" based on his exit from Guillermo Del Toro's "Crimson Peak," supposed confirmation from a site with no track record for scoops, combined with vague reasoning that Lucasfilm likes to put out press releases on Tuesdays. Well, Tuesday came and went with nothing from the "Star Wars" camp but we now see what may have lured Cumberbatch away from Del Toro's project.

Benedict Cumberbatch Won't Climb Guillermo Del Toro's 'Crimson Peak'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 21, 2013 7:52 PM
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  • 10 Comments
Our alternate headline for this was Benedict Cumberbatch Cumber-bails On "Crimson Peak" but that seemed a bit ridiculous. But either way, Guillermo Del Toro is now down a man, but he has plenty of time to find a replacement, so it's probably not a project altering departure.

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