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From the announcement that Ralph Fiennes and Tilda Swinton will be teaming up with the Coen Brothers, to the highly anticipated first teaser trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, 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 seven days:

Casting News: from The Cold War to the Coens

Currently breaking hearts across the globe in the box-office topping The Fault in Our Stars, twenty-year-old Ansel Elgort has now signed up to play the eponymous lead in upcoming movie Van Cliburn. Van Cliburn was an American pianist who famously triumphed at the International Piano Competition in Russia 1958. The Competition had been designed to demonstrate Russian power and consequently Van Cliburn’s victory led to a fierce political face-off between Cold War rivals the USSR and the USA.

Elgort is hot property following his performance in The Fault in Our Stars. Its period setting, autobiographical characters and intriguing premise mean Van Cliburn could be Elgort’s most exciting project yet.
ansel-elgort-fault-in-our-starsEarlier in the year it was announced that everyone’s favourite Thor villain Tom Hiddleston will be playing the lead in director Ben Wheatley’s High Rise. Last week, The Hobbit star Luke Evans and Mad Men’s Elizabeth Moss were confirmed to be joining Hiddleston in the upcoming movie. High Rise, an adaptation of J.G Ballard’s thrilling 1975 novel of the same name, follows a young doctor (Hiddleston) who becomes convinced something is not right in the luxury block of flats in which he lives. Moss and Evans join a cast which also includes Sienna Miller and Jeremy Irons: with an all-star cast and an intriguing plot, this is definitely one to watch out for.

Since the Coen Brothers announced their latest feature film was to be a comedy set in 1950s Hollywood entitled Hail Caeser! the rumour mill has been buzzing about which actors might be involved. George Clooney and Josh Brolin have been attached to star in the film for some time, but this week it was announced that the Coens are also in discussion with Channing Tatum, Ralph Fiennes and Tilda Swinton. Tatum is said to be playing a Gene Kelly-esque star, Swinton an influential Hollywood tabloid reporter and Fiennes is set to star as Laurence Lorenz, a studio director. The movie is in its early stages so much is subject to change, but certainly Tatum, Fiennes and Swinton would be a winning combination. Here’s hoping we’ll be hearing more news soon.

Tantalising Trailer

Last week saw the online premiere of the first teaser trailer for upcoming The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, the third film in the wildly successful The Hunger Games franchise. The highly-anticipated movie follows protagonist Katniss (Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence) as she reluctantly becomes the symbol for the rebellion against the evil President Snow (Donald Sutherland). The tantalizing trailer is cleverly presented as a disturbing propaganda broadcast by the corrupt Capitol. President Snow is dressed all in white and at his side, to the surprise of those unfamiliar with Suzanne Collins’ best-selling novels, is Katniss’ sometime love interest, ally and fellow Hunger Games victor Peeta (Josh Hutcherson).

Some fans have criticised the trailer, arguing Peeta standing side-by-side with Snow is a spoiler. Spoiler or not, the trailer is enticing, clever and sets the tone for the upcoming movie. Looking forward to Mockingjay: Part 1 hitting cinemas this autumn? What do you think of the trailer? Let us know in the comments.

Pharrell Williams and 270 others invited to vote on Oscars 2015
theoscarsLast week the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced it had invited a total of 271 people involved in the world of cinema to join the prestigious Academy. Those invited to become members will have the opportunity to vote on the Oscars ballot next year.

Many critics and film websites have noted that the list appears to show a conscious decision by the Academy to become younger and more diverse.

12 Years a Slave co-stars Lupita Nyong’o and Michael Fassbender, musician Pharrell Williams and actor-comedian Chris Rock are just a few of those who have been invited to join. The list also includes Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, the writers of Frozen hit ‘Let it Go’, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in February.

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