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Casting Corner: Ashley Judd, Jeremy Renner and More

Ashley Judd

Here’s a quick look at some of the casting announcements made recently:

Ashley Judd: The actress will return to the big screen in Flypaper, an indie project being helmed by The Forbidden Kingdom‘s Rob Minkoff. Judd replaces the originally-cast Liv Tyler in the bank heist film. The movie written by The Hangover‘s Jon Lucas and Scott Moore also includes Patrick Dempsey and Tim Blake Nelson.

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Sequel News: Romy and Michele, Planet of the Apes and More

Planet of the Apes: The apes will rise again in 2011 when Fox delivers a Planet of the Apes prequel. The movie - currently titled Rise of the Apes - will have photo-realistic apes incorporated into the cautionary tale. The story, written by The Relic‘s Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa, will explain how genetic engineering experimentation lead to the apes’ development. The Rupert Wyatt-directed film will be set in present-day San Francisco.

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Early Reviews for Iron Man 2

Iron Man 2 poster

While most have you probably decided months ago what you’ll be doing on May 7, there are some who may still be on the fence.

Should you be buying tickets to in advance? Or will the movie disappoint like many other blockbuster sequels out there? Here are some of the early reviews:

Hollywood Reporter:  “Everything fun and terrific about Iron Man, a mere two years ago, has vanished with its sequel. In its place, Iron Man 2 has substituted noise, confusion, multiple villains, irrelevant stunts and misguided story lines. A film series that started out with critical and commercial success will have to settle for only the latter with this sequel.”

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Robert Downey Jr Has Iron Head

Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man has an Iron Man head at his house.

The actor - who plays the superhero and his alter-ego Tony Stark in upcoming sequel - took the metal mask from the set as a memento but insists his home isn’t too geeky.

Downey - who lives with his film producer wife Susan Levin - said, “I have an Iron Man head at home and various other bits downstairs but my home isn’t a shrine to Iron Man. But I think it’s cool.”

The 45-year-old star can’t wait for fans to see the movie and admits he is immensely proud to play the much-loved comic book character. He added, “It’s mind-blowing to me because I’d always felt like I wanted to - and could - do something like this. I have probably taken Iron Man 2 more seriously than any other movie I’ve ever done, which is appropriately ridiculous for Hollywood.”

Downey has previously revealed he asked film bosses to let him take one of the superhero’s full suits home: “The producers keep telling me that they’re going to give me a suit with all the bells and whistles but I still don’t have it. I don’t know, maybe I should get it in my contract. It would be great to have one at home - a talking point.”

Edward Norton Hopes For Hulk Role

Edward Norton as Bruce BannerWill the third time be the charm for Marvel superhero the Incredible Hulk? Edward Norton thinks so.

The actor—who was believed to be unhappy with the final version of 2008’s movie about the green superhero, in which he played the title character and his alter ego Bruce Banner—says that he will happily appear in The Avengers, which unites Marvel Comic heroes Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and The Incredible Hulk, and is being planned for 2012.

Asked if he can see himself appearing in The Avengers, Edward said, “Yeah, oh yeah. The thing about Marvel‘s universe that’s fun is that it all cross-pollinates. Even when I was working on the script for The Incredible Hulk, I tried to plug in the whole Super-Soldier Serum from Captain America.”

Edward even hopes that the movie will see his character portrayed as the villain, fighting against the other characters: “He kind of was the villain, not in the books, but in the comics there was always a tension between the rest of the superhero community and he was always this problem. They treat him as this problem. I don’t know, I think that’s a fun way to go with it.”

Disney to Pay $4 Billion for Marvel Entertainment

Posted by Veronica Santiago Categories: Disney, Corporate Shakeups,

Marvel Entertainment characters

has just added 5,000 characters to its arsenal.

In a deal announced today, The Walt Disney Company says it intends to purchase comic book giant . The acquisition is worth a whopping $4 billion.

“This transaction combines Marvel’s strong global brand and world-renowned library of characters including Iron Man, Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America, Fantastic Four and Thor with Disney’s creative skills, unparalleled global portfolio of entertainment properties, and a business structure that maximizes the value of creative properties across multiple platforms and territories,” Robert A. Iger, Walt Disney Company’s President and CEO, said in a press release.

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Scarlett Johansson Talks ‘Iron Man 2’

Scarlett Johansson as Black WidowNewlywed Scarlett Johansson seems to have her eyes on comic book roles as of late. First was last year’s The Spirit; next up is the highly-anticipated sequel to Jon Favreau’s Iron Man as Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widow.

Despite her scoring several Golden Globe nominations, Johansson wasn’t offered the role—Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada) was in line to portray the Russian spy. After Blunt dropped out due to scheduling conflicts, Johansson was quick to take action:

“I actually met with [director] Jon Favreau and [Marvel Studios executive] Kevin Feige a year before pre-production started. We just talked about some of the super heroines in the Marvel Universe and one of them was Black Widow. I think they were kind of toying with the idea of putting the character into the film and how they would work it in and all that. When I met Jon the second time I had red hair and a part of that, I think, was me wanting to experiment with my hair color and the other part of that was me kind of hoping that Jon would like the fact that I was experimenting.”

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Read More | Comic Book Resources

Terrence Howard Says Marvel Made “Bad Choice” with Iron Man Snub

Terrence Howard in Iron Man

Depending on how you feel about karma, and Marvel could both have some stuff coming their their way. Whether it’s good or bad remains to be seen.

In an interview with Parade magazine, the Fighting star talked about being replaced for Iron Man 2. Although it was rumored that Howard’s monetary demands were too high, the Oscar nominee claims it was the greedy studio that dropped the ball.

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Read More | Parade

Bring Wolverine Premiere to Your City

Interested in seeing People’s Sexiest Man Alive in the flesh? Well, here’s your chance!

Effective immediately, fans of the X-Men series can vote to bring the premiere of X-Men Origins: Wolverine to their hometown. Submissions will be accepted until April 17 with the winning city announced on April 20.

The lucky city will get - and the whole red carpet treatment - on April 27, just days before the nationwide debut on May 1.

Read More | Us Magazine

Sequel News: Eclipse, Iron Man 2, Scream and More

Alvin and the Chipmunks

Alvin and the Chipmunks: You can look forward to a few new characters in the family-oriented sequel. Chuck‘s Zachary Levi has signed on to play Jason Lee’s cousin in Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. (Yes, Squeakquel.) Meanwhile, the furry little guys will be introduced to Brittany, Jeanette and Eleanor (a.k.a. the Chipettes) - their female rivals/counterparts.

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