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Happy New Year! January 2015 is shaping up to be an exciting month in the world of film, with cinematic offerings ranging from Oscar-courting Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything to all-star fantasy musical Into the Woods. If these top films are anything to go by, 2015 promises to be a phenomenal year for film and here at Culturefly we have already offered you an exciting preview look at some of the films coming your way this year. The new year heralds a whole new host of casting announcements and previews, so join us as we round up the top movies news from the past seven days.

Casting News: Idris Elba addresses James Bond rumours and Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul to star as Han Solo?

The most interesting revelation sourced from the recent Sony email hacking was that top officials at the entertainment company want Golden Globe winning British actor Idris Elba, internationally known for his starring roles in The Wire and Luther, to take over the role of Britain’s finest secret agent, James Bond. Elba’s fans have been touting the actor as the perfect candidate to take over the iconic role for some time: a popular Facebook page exists entitled ‘We Want Idris Elba for James Bond!’ and has over 32,000 followers.

Meanwhile Elba had said in the past he would love to play the role if asked. It is worth remembering that Spectre, the recently announced upcoming Bond movie, has yet to be released and current Bond Daniel Craig has not officially left the franchise, yet rumours continue to abound that Elba is lined up to take the role after Craig’s departure.

This week superstar rapper Kanye West backed Elba for the role, telling The Sun newspaper that: “You won’t find a British actor who has the talent of Idris […] you won’t find many anywhere who have his talent […] A black Bond would be visionary no doubt.” Meanwhile Elba himself commented on the story via an amusing and humble New Year’s tweet, in which he captioned a photo of himself with the comment: “Isn’t 007 supposed to handsome? Glad you think I’ve got a shot! Happy New year people.”

It’s clear Elba is an actor to watch and, whatever the outcome, the buzz surrounding his announcement as the favourite for Bond will undoubtedly work in his favour and make even more people aware of his talent.

Another current casting rumour that has been circulating in the past few days is that Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul is being lined up to star in a Star Wars spin-off film centring on lovable rogue Han Solo. Disney are currently working on the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, but back when they acquired the rights to the franchise they announced their intentions to release at least two-stand alone spin-off Star Wars movies, one of which is rumoured to be about Han Solo.
han-soloBefore Breaking Bad fans get too excited at the news, there is currently not much evidence to validate the rumours that Emmy award-winning Paul will be following in Harrison Ford’s iconic footsteps. Certain critics have noted that because the film would be a prequel to the original trilogy Disney might be more likely to pick a slightly younger actor than Paul, who is 35. Furthermore, it could be the case that Paul might be lined up to play another character in the movie aside from its protagonist. Certainly any involvement in such a high profile project would be a great opportunity for Paul to build on his Breaking Bad success: we’ll keep you posted on any further updates.

New Releases: Selma to be shown for free in Namesake City and New Avengers Trailer set for 12 January release

Historical drama Selma chronicles the 1965 voting rights marches from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, Alabama lead by Martin Luther King Jr. (played by British actor David Oyelowo). The movie has garnered high praise, particularly for Oyelowo’s performance and for director Ava DuVernay’s direction. Following its premiere at the American Film Institute Festival in November 2014 it has been nominated for four Golden Globe awards, including Best Motion Picture – Drama and a Best Direction nomination for DuVernay, making her the first African American woman to be nominated for a best director Golden Globe.

Selma is due for wide release in the US this month and producer Oprah Winfrey announced recently that the people of Selma, Alabama will be able to see the film for free throughout January: Winfrey said in a statement: “With deep gratitude to the people of Selma, Alabama, we are proud to share this powerful film depicting the historic events that took place there 50 years ago.”

A recent trend in cinema trailers seems to be the ‘trailer for a trailer’ phenomenon: the latest upcoming movie to go down that advertising route is Marvel’s big 2015 release The Avengers: Age of Ultron. On New Year’s Day, Marvel released a fifteen second teaser trailer that confirms we can expect a full-length trailer on 12 January. The short teaser shows brief glimpses of the eight members of the Avengers team, including new additions Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). The movie is the sequel to 2012’s The Avengers and promises to tell the story of the superhero teams attempts to defeat their new antagonist Ultron.

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