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The Playlist

Watch: Benedict Cumberbatch Is A Wolf In Trailer For DreamWorks Animation's 'The Penguins Of Madagascar'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 11, 2014 12:29 PM
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  • 0 Comments
The Penguins Of Madagascar
You can say many things of Benedict Cumberbatch, but that he lacks range is not one of them. In the last year or so, the British actor has played an insane, murderous superman in space, a Southern slave owner, Julian Assange, Alan Rickman (in an episode of "The Simpsons"), Meryl Streep's nephew, the world's greatest detective, and a big fuck-off dragon. And that's not about to change, it appears, as the actor's latest role is as an animated wolf.

Premature Oscar Predictions: The 2015 Best Actor Contenders

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 10, 2014 2:49 PM
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  • 95 Comments
Premature Oscar Predictions: Actors
In an effort to cut off the head and put a stake in the heart of the awards season for a few months, last week saw us running down a few of the Best Picture possibilities for the 2014/2015 Oscars. Namely, the movies that are likely to dominate discussions in the back six of the next twelve months.

New Pics & Clip From 'Star Trek Into Darkness'; Chris Pine Says The Movie Has Parallels To Real Life Terrorism

  • By Kieran McMahon
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  • April 29, 2013 1:44 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Star Trek Into Darkness, Cumberbatch
Having raised the temperature a few degrees with a tease of a nefarious Benedict Cumberbatch and some pretty thrilling trailers, details are starting emerge about what to expect from the long under-wraps storyline of J.J. Abrams' hotly anticipated space epic “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” and a new clip that just premiered is almost exclusively centered around Cumberbatch's mysterious villain John Harrison.

Emily Watson and Alicia Vikander Added To Joe Wright's 'Anna Karenina;' Saoirse Ronan & Others Out

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 8, 2011 8:47 AM
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  • 3 Comments
As Promised, Keira Knightley, Jude Law & Aaron Johnson To StarWell, Joe Wright and Focus Features have locked down the cast for their lavish adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's classic novel "Anna Karenina," and it seems like a full house of talent – in addition to the already confirmed Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Johnson, Matthew Mcfadyen ("Pride & Prejudice") and Olivia Williams, the film has added Domhnall Gleeson ("Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"), Alicia Vikander ("The Seventh Son"), Emily Watson, and Ruth Wilson (BBC series "Luther").

Venice '11 Review: 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy' Is A Remarkable, Quietly Devastating Spy Movie

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 5, 2011 12:33 PM
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  • 11 Comments
The spy genre, is generally speaking, a euphemism for 'action movie' -- look at the explosions, fistfights and car chases of the Bond films, of the 'Mission: Impossible' series, of the 'Bourne' franchise, none of which have much in the way of actual tradecraft. The business of being a spy is hard, boring work, made up of listening and talking and without a lot of glamor. One of the men who best understands this is novelist John Le Carré, himself a former spy, who for close to half a century has been behind some of the most acclaimed literary examples of the genre. But aside from the much-loved "The Spy Who Came In From the Cold," and the more recent "The Constant Gardener" (the latter not strictly speaking an espionage picture), his works haven't had a huge amount of success on the big screen, lacking the speedboats and fireballs of Ian Fleming or Robert Ludlum. One of the writer's best-known books is "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy," the first of the 'Karla' trilogy, which focuses on George Smiley, a middle-aged veteran of 'The Circus' (Le Carré's term for the British intelligence services) and his rivalry with his Soviet counterpart Karla. Working Title Films has spent the last couple of years on a new cinematic take with Tomas Alfredson, director of the much-acclaimed "Let the Right One In," making his English-language debut at the helm. It's no small undertaking, considering that the novel was previously adapted as a much-loved, seven-part, 290-minute BBC miniseries, headed up by an indelible performance from the great Alec Guinness. Alfredson might have assembled an all-star cast of British talent to bring the book to life, but could the company, led by Gary Oldman taking up Smiley's thick glasses, hope to match their predecessors? And could the film manage to keep the plot coherent and thrilling at a running time less than half of what the TV take had to play with?

New Look: More Images From Tomas Alfredson's 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy'

  • By Simon Dang
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  • July 20, 2011 2:56 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Author John Le Carre & Cast Discuss The AdaptationWith the breathtaking trailer and poster combo recently unveiled, our excitement for Tomas Alfredson's adaptation of John Le Carre's "Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy" is sky high at the moment. Adding to that is the expectation that the film will pop up in one, or both, of the line ups for the Venice (having been invited to open) and Toronto International Film Festivals when they're announced in the coming weeks.

Watch: Get All Kinds Of Goosebumps With Outstanding Teaser Trailer For 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 30, 2011 9:41 AM
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  • 18 Comments
Wow. Maybe it's just the way our brains are wired, but we just saw more fireworks from 70-odd seconds of middle-aged British character actors than we got across two-and-a-half-hours of empty spectacle in "Transformers: Dark of the Moon." The Guardian just debuted the first international teaser trailer for one of our most anticipated films of the rest of the year, Working Title's adaptation of John Le Carre's spy classic "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," the English-language debut of "Let The Right One In" director Tomas Alfredson, and it's easily one of the best trailers we've seen in an age.

Benedict Cumberbatch & Rebecca Hall To Star In HBO Mini-Series 'Parade's End'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 3, 2011 8:00 AM
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  • 6 Comments
As we reported earlier today, Benedict Cumberbatch had to bow out of Joe Wright's "Anna Karenina," but believe us, he has a good reason for what sounds like yet another first rate television project.

Andrea Riseborough, Matthew Macfadyen & Olivia Williams Join Joe Wright's 'Anna Karenina'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 3, 2011 2:22 AM
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  • 6 Comments
Benedict Cumberbatch Out, Choosing To Do Brit WWI-era Mini-seriesIt's been a while since we've heard anything on Joe Wright's "Anna Karenina" -- mostly because the press rounds for "Hanna" have ended -- but today comes a fresh bit of casting news about the film. But before we get to that, let's just re-cap for a second shall we? Last fall, came first word that Keira Knightley would re-team with her "Atonement" and "Pride & Prejudice" director for the film. Then, this spring, Jude Law and Aaron Johnson came aboard with Joe Wright later saying that Kelly Macdonald and Benedict Cumberbatch had joined the film, and that he was waiting on Saoirse Ronan and James McAvoy to confirm.

Martin Freeman Reveals That 'Sherlock' Co-Star Benedict Cumberbatch Will Join Him In 'The Hobbit'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 23, 2011 1:17 AM
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  • 4 Comments
One of the many, many early difficulties facing Peter Jackson's two-part prequel to his "Lord of the Rings" series, "The Hobbit," was that "The Office" star Martin Freeman, the director's first choice for the lead role of Bilbo Baggins, was committed to shoot a second series of the BBC's hit Arthur Conan Doyle reboot "Sherlock" this summer. If you haven't seen the show, from "Doctor Who" head honcho, and "The Adventures of Tintin" scribe, Steven Moffat, and former "League of Gentleman" member Mark Gatiss, it's pretty ace: there was one duff episode in the first three, but the other two were smart, funny, genuinely thrilling and an entirely successful reinvigoration of one of the most famous characters in popular literature.

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