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The Playlist

Kristen Stewart Takes 'Anesthesia,' Christopher Walken & Lenny Kravitz Team Are Father & Son In ‘Little Rootie Tootie’ & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 4, 2013 12:27 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Kristen Stewart continues to line up her post-"Twilight" schedule with interesting gigs. Having already wrapped the Guantanamo Bay drama "Camp X-Ray" and Olivier Assayas' "Sils Maria," she'll next tackle the indie "Anesthesia." The actress has booked a small role in Tim Blake Nelson's film "about a group of New Yorkers whose lives are touched by the same philosophy professor." Production is now underway in New York City.

Review: 'Lee Daniels' The Butler' Starring Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey

  • By Kimber Myers
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  • August 9, 2013 8:59 AM
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  • 1 Comment
The Butler Forest Whitaker Cuba Gooding Jr.
“Lee Daniels’ The Butler” is nothing if not full of sincerity and effort. Which is why it’s so entirely confusing why they cast former teen heartthrob John Cusack as hangdog Richard Nixon. He’s fallen from his “Say Anything” days (and even the highs of “High Fidelity”), but this is maybe the worst casting we’ve seen in a major Hollywood film since Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist. Having Robin Williams play Dwight Eisenhower comes a close second, and Liev Schreiber as Lyndon B. Johnson isn’t much better. The decades-spanning drama tries so hard to create a moving, seemingly accurate look at the titular character’s time spent on the staff at the White House during turbulent times that these missteps stand out particularly strongly, especially when compared to lookalike contest winners James Marsden’s JFK and Alan Rickman’s Ronald Reagan.

New Pics From 'The Butler' As Warner Bros. & The Weinstein Company Fight Over Title Rights

  • By Cain Rodriguez
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  • July 2, 2013 9:24 AM
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  • 1 Comment
The Butler Forest Whitaker Oprah Winfrey
For all the cash and capital that flows through Hollywood, it’s still very much an industry prone to pettiness. With all those egos, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise when one studio decides to screw over another. And yet, the news of Warner Bros. beef with The Weinstein Company over the title of the latter’s upcoming period-drama “The Butler” still feels random.

'Law & Order' Star Jesse L. Martin Back To Star In Marvin Gaye Biopic 'Sexual Healing,' Replaces Lenny Kravitz

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 4, 2013 3:48 PM
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  • 0 Comments
What goes around comes around, or something like that. The forever developing Marvin Gaye biopic "Sexual Healing" has once again switched out its lead, but this time has gone back the man who was originally tapped for the gig.

What's Going On: Lenny Kravitz To Play Marvin Gaye In Julien Temple's 'Sexual Healing'; Michael Hutchence Biopics In The Works

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 26, 2012 10:05 PM
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  • 1 Comment
It certainly hasn't been for lack of trying that we haven't had a Marvin Gaye biopic. Cameron Crowe has been trying for years to get one made, while F. Gary Gray was also attached to helm a project titled simply "Marvin." But now it looks like Julien Temple is getting ahead of the pack with a leading man who has acting and musical chops.

Minka Kelly To Play Jackie Kennedy Opposite Matthew McConaughey's JFK In Lee Daniels' 'The Butler,' Lenny Kravitz Also Joins

  • By Ryan Gowland
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  • May 23, 2012 9:20 AM
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  • 3 Comments
While "Precious" helmer Lee Daniels is nominally in Cannes at the moment to promote the debut of the follow up to his Oscar-nominee, "The Paperboy," which screens tomorrow morning (keep your eyes peeled for our review), it seems the director also intends to leak out casting news for his upcoming project, "The Butler." Earlier this week, it was revealed that Daniels would reunite with his "Paperboy" star Nicole Kidman on the project, and now Daniels has revealed that "Friday Night Lights" star Minka Kelly and "Precious" actor Lenny Kravitz have been added to the growing ensemble of "The Butler" as well.

Review: 'The Hunger Games' Is Thoughtful, Thrilling Popular Entertainment That Genuinely Deserves To Be A Franchise

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • March 16, 2012 9:01 AM
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  • 12 Comments
Complexity and understatement are two criminally under-utilized values in most mainstream movies these days, but they’re at the core of, and the chief reason for the success of “The Hunger Games.” Director Gary Ross, screenwriter of the proletariat presidential fantasy “Dave” and writer-director of the social-consciousness-as-sci-fi tome “Pleasantville,” has always engaged his subjects with a light and yet substantial touch, but his adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ acclaimed young-adult novel is a truly remarkable achievement: he turns escapism into a deeply emotional experience. Instantly razing comparisons – qualitative especially -- to other female-friendly series such as “Twilight,” “The Hunger Games” is the first film in a long time that deserves Hollywood’s instant-franchise ambitions because it appeals to genre fans regardless of gender by crafting a story that’s both epic and intimate, spectacular and subtle.

Watch: Lenny Kravitz Talks Playing Cinna In 'Hunger Games,' Paying His Dues & Growing As An Actor

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 1, 2012 1:00 PM
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  • 2 Comments
While Lenny Kravitz has dominated the stage as a musician for years, his recent transition to the big screen has been a fascinating journey to follow. The burgeoning actor made his movie debut in Lee Daniels' "Precious," and it was pretty far from the charismatic persona he developed as an axe slinger and singer. Playing the sympathetic Nurse John, his performance showed a sensitivity and depth that was a pleasant surprise. And he's changing things up once again, swinging from an indie film to franchise project, playing Cinna in the forthcoming "The Hunger Games." 

Watch: Full Trailer For 'The Hunger Games' Is Mostly Convincing

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 14, 2011 9:25 AM
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  • 14 Comments
If a trailer's going to bow on "Good Morning America," it feels like you're safe in making some assumptions on the content of that trailer. Something frothy, we would imagine, in the vein of "New Year's Eve" or "Eat Pray Love," perhaps. At the very most, something from the latest Disney film, bearing in mind that ABC is a subsidiary of Disney. Not on our shortlist? A violent, dystopian sci-fi film about children made to fight each other to the death for the benefit of the general public. 

'Abduction' Soundtrack Can't Steal A Good Song, Features Lenny Kravitz, Train & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 2, 2011 3:46 AM
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  • 6 Comments
Music supervision is a tricky business. It's a careful balance of working with a filmmaker in choosing songs that will be effective their movie, while in many cases, also ensuring it will be something that will appeal to the intended audience. It's a strange sort of curation but when it works well, everyone is happy. Say what you will about the "Twilight" soundtracks but they have been a savvy blend of tunes that courted both Twihards and those would couldn't care less about the franchise. All of which brings us to "Abduction," Taylor Lautner's first stab at a leading-man action role, and the music chosen for the movie is a pretty bizarre mix, to the say the least.

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