One of the big sleeper hits of 2010, the musical comedy “Pitch Perfect,” grossed $115 million worldwide off a small $17 million dollar budget, so the Hollywood law of averages dictates a sequel must be made (even though the movie was a perfectly enjoyable, self-contained story that really needed no second chapter). A producer on the original, co-star Elizabeth Banks will now make her directorial debut by helming “Pitch Perfect 2.” Originally, it was thought that only Rebel Wilson would return from the original cast, but The Hollywood Reporter says Anna Kendrick, who played the reluctant singing star of the movie, is also expected to return.
Quickly becoming one of 2014’s most anticipated projects, “A Most Violent Year” has made another stellar cast addition. Directed by J.C. Chandor, the filmmaker behind the Robert Redford-starring, Oscar-snubbing “All Is Lost” (which is awesome), the helmer’s film already stars Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain—an enviable one-two punch. Today veteran comedian Albert Brooks joined the cast as well. Being released in the fall, by A24 (Oscar bait alert), “A Most Violent Year” also co-stars Alfred Molina and centers on an immigrant and his family whose heating oil business collides with the crime element in New York in the early 1980s (1981 to be exact; a year in which the city had one of its highest tallies of violent crime). [Deadline]
“Attack The Block” breakout star John Boyega is already having a good 2014. First he’s coming off another great performance in the Sundance Award-winning indie “Imperial Dreams,” and now he’s landed a role in Fox’s TV event series, “24: Live Another Day.” Perhaps this makes up for the Spike Lee/HBO pilot he starred in which was unfortunately scrapped last year. The actor was also recently tapped to play Jesse Owens in the upcoming biopic “Race” so fortune is with this young lad. The new “24” series is in lieu of the “24” movie that never took off (though it still might one day) and picks up four years after the events of the original series. Stephen Fry was recently tapped to play the British Prime Minister and additional newcomers to the Kiefer Sutherland-starring cast include Yvonne Strahovski, Giles Matthey, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Michael Wincott and Judy Davis. [Variety]
They may have stumbled briefly with 2010’s more populist “It's Kind of a Funny Story,” but the world needs more Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden movies (“Half Nelson,” “Sugar”). And fortunately, one is on the way. The duo's gambling drama, “Mississippi Grind" has Ryan Reynolds signed on, and just added Analeigh Tipton from "Crazy, Stupid, Love." Alfre Woodward, Sienna Miller and Ben Mendelsohn will co-star in the picture, about a charismatic drifter who sets off on a road trip through the South, with a down-on-his-luck poker player, where the duo plan to win back what they’ve lost. Sounds like this one will be a reality soon and thank goodness for that. [The Wrap]
The directing duo behind “American Splendor," Bob Pulcini and Shari Berman have a new gig and it's called "Ten Thousand Saints." An adaptation of the Eleanor Henderson novel set in New York's Lower East Side in the 1980s, the movie “is a coming-of-age story that follows three screwed-up young people and their equally screwed-up parents in the age of CBGB, yuppies and the tinderbox of gentrification that exploded into the Tompkins Square Riots.” Hailee Steinfeld, Asa Butterfield, Emile Hirsch and Ethan Hawke are already set to co-star; Emily Mortimer and Julianne Nicholson have just joined the cast. [THR]