Plus, Michael Fassbender and Ridley Scott may reunite, Natalie Portman in two Terrence Malick projects, and a new Beauty and the Beast film is in the works...
The Hobbit Casting News: Peter Jackson made it official by announcing Billy Connolly has indeed joined The Hobbit. Connolly will be playing Dain II Ironfoot, a great dwarf warrior and a key figure in Tolkien's universe. For those not up on all things Hobbit, TheOneRing.net offers this description of the character: "Dain, actually named Dain II Ironfoot, was one of the great Dwarves of his age or perhaps any age and was an important figure in The War of the Ring, although much less heralded in the histories of Elves, Men and Hobbits."
Miley Cyrus Leaves Hotel Transylvania: E Online broke the news that Miley Cyrus has opted out of providing the voice of Dracula's daughter in Sony Picture Animation's Hotel Transylvania, with Selena Gomez stepping up to take over the role. Adam Sandler's set to voice Dracula, with Kevin James, Fran Drescher, David Spade, Cee Lo Green, Molly Shannon, Steve Buscemi, and Andy Samberg also lending their voices to animated monsters. Hotel Transylvania is set for a September 21, 2012 release.
Ridley Scott + Michael Fassbender = The Counselor?: Could director Ridley Scott be reuniting with his Prometheus star Michael Fassbender for The Counselor? Maybe. Deadline's reporting Scott will make The Counselor next and is eyeing Fassbender as the film's star. Cormac McCarthy wrote the spec script which quickly attracted the attention of big name directors, including Scott. Discussing the story, producer Steve Schwartz had this to say to Deadline back when the sale was initially announced: "Since McCarthy himself wrote the script, we get his own muscular prose directly, with its sexual obsessions. It's a masculine world into which, unusually, two women intrude to play leading roles. McCarthy's wit and humor in the dialogue make the nightmare even scarier. This may be one of McCarthy's most disturbing and powerful works."
Natalie Portman Gets Back to Work: After taking time off to give birth and spend some time with her son, Aleph, Oscar winner Natalie Portman (Black Swan) is ready to return to work in front of the camera. According to Deadline, Portman's returning in a big way with not one but two Terrence Malick films. Portman will first do Knight of Cups this coming summer and then move on to Lawless immediately afterward. Knight of Cups is set to star Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, and Isabel Lucas. Bale and Blanchett are also part of the Lawless cast with Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara and Haley Bennett.
The Return of Beauty and the Beast: When it rains, it pours. Disney's gorgeous animated film Beauty and the Beast just returned to theaters in 3D and there are multiple Beauty and the Beast TV projects in the works. Now word comes via Deadline that Silent House director Christophe Gans will helm a film version of the classic fairy tale. Filming's expected to begin later this year with Vincent Cassel and Léa Seydoux in the lead roles.
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