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From the first look at Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne in his newest role, to casting news for The Huntsman and the new poster for the Avengers: Age of Ultron, the past seven days have seen some exciting developments in the world of cinema. Join us as we round up the top movie news from the past week:

Jessica Chastain joins the cast of The Huntsman, British EastEnders Actor Joins X-Men: Apocalypse
snow-white-and-the-huntsman2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman, a reimagining of the Snow White story starring Kristen Stewart alongside Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth, opened to mixed reviews upon its cinematic release. Despite this varied critical response, the film generated enough box-office income to guarantee a second film. Last year it was confirmed a prequel concentrating on Hemsworth’s Huntsman character was in the works and this week Variety reported Oscar-nominated actress Jessica Chastain had signed on to join the film in a key role.

Chastain has enjoyed a varied and successful career following her breakout role in critically acclaimed Zero Dark Thirty; from independent projects such as A Most Violent Year to blockbuster hits including Interstellar. Chastain’s addition to a cast that is also set to include Emily Blunt means The Huntsman looks as if it will a promising film despite its divisive predecessor.
x-men-days-of-future-pastThere has been a flurry of recent casting announcements for X-Men: Apocalypse as the movie prepares to begin filming this spring. The film will be the third in the X-Men prequel trilogy in which James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender play mutant friends-turned-enemies Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr.

January brought the news that Games of Thrones’ Sophie Turner had joined the cast of the new film as a young Jean Grey, alongside fellow up-and-coming actors Tye Sheridan as Cyclops and Alexandra Shipp as Storm. This week reports suggested that twenty-four year old British actor Ben Hardy has joined the production.

Hardy is best known for his role as Peter Beale in long-running BBC soap EastEnders. In fact EastEnders is Hardy’s only acting credit, so if he is confirmed to be joining the cast of Apocalypse, it will be a huge boost to his burgeoning career.

First image of Eddie Redmayne as transgender painter Lili Elbe
eddie-redmayneFresh from his Oscar win last Sunday for critically lauded drama The Theory of Everything, Eddie Redmayne has begun filming his latest role in director Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl. The film tells the story of artist Lili Elbe, formerly known as Einar Wegenar. Widely regarded as a transgender pioneer, Elbe was one of the first people to undergo surgical operations and transitioned to a woman in 1930’s Berlin. Elbe’s official recognition as a woman is seen as a revolutionary step in transgender rights.

Last week Working Title Pictures released the first image from the film, depicting Redmayne as Elbe. Redmayne’s role has already prompted suggestions he might once again be competing for Best Actor in next year’s Academy Awards.

The film reunites Redmayne with Hooper, who directed him as Marius in 2012’s Les Miserables and also stars Testament of Youth’s Alicia Vikander as Elbe’s wife, Greta.

Before Redmayne returns to the big screen, the actor will be fulfilling a childhood dream and lending his voice to upcoming Thomas the Tank Engine film Sodor’s Legend of the Treasure, due to be released on DVD in the Autumn.

I grew up loving to watch Thomas and his pals getting caught up in unexpected and mischievous adventures,” said Redmayne of the project, “I jumped at the opportunity to get involved and what fun it was. I have never voiced an animated character before, and I had a complete blast.”

First Poster for Avengers: Age of Ultron

The upcoming Avengers sequel, Age of Ultron, released its newest poster last week, confirming reports that Idris Elba, Anthony Mackie, Hayley Atwell and Stellan Skarsgard will be appearing in the film.
avengers-age-of-ultron-poster The poster depicts the crime-fighting superheroes in action and is strikingly similar to the poster for the first film. The main difference is the film features even more superheroes: Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlett Witch, Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver and Paul Bettany as Vision. Tom Hiddleston will reprise his role as Loki, but the film’s main villain will be the titular Ultron, played by James Spader.

The movie will hit UK cinemas 1 May, so expect to hear even more news in the lead-up to the date as Marvel continue to drop hints and previews about the plot and cast.

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