What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

Tonight’s big story is that I’m back. Hooray! Second on the list is the image above, one that depicts Peter Jackson back in the Shire. Out of the hospital, feeling healthy and ready to get the action underway in Bag End. The photos are in celebration of the first day of shooting on The Hobbit. So you can all rest easy — it’s actually happening.

Only a day after news stories read “Joseph Gordon-Levitt to Join The Dark Knight Rises, Role to Be Kept Secret,” Variety has scored the scoop on what role he will play. Meanwhile, Christopher Nolan is sitting in a room somewhere thinking, “Is nothing sacred?!”

Billy Bob Thornton is “in solid talks” to join a sequel to Bad Santa.

For his next trick, Judd Apatow will lampoon the celebrities who do good in a comedy called Do Gooders. It will send up all of the “selfless” celebrities who use their fame for pet causes. That actually might be funny — it’s better than another relationship comedy.

Empire has debuted a new poster for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, depicting the badass known as Blackbeard, as played by Ian McShane. This character is the reason why I will see this film in theaters. Because Ian McShane demands your attention:

Author Michael Chabon is in talks to come on to the Jon Favreau-directed family comedy Magic Kingdom to rework a script originally put together by Battlestar Galactica‘s Ronald D. Moore. Just seeing those three names together in a news story makes me aroused, just a little bit.

Dustin Rowles over at Pajiba has written an interesting inside-baseball piece called How to Be a Better Whore, in which he takes contemporary film journos to task for being ethically bankrupt, a discussion that spawned from a little scuffle over at AOL/Moviefone/Techcrunch. It’s a self-righteous, but interesting read. We don’t agree on the entire situation, but his heart is in the right place. It’s about being honest with you, the reader. It’s high on our list, which is the #1 thing we have in common with sites like Pajiba.

We close tonight’s brief (but punchy) edition of News After Dark with a video I found over at Badass Digest. It’s a video anthology of the roles of Jesse Heiman, the world’s greatest extra. The guy’s got a specific look to him, so you’ll be recognizing him quickly and laughing mightily at all the places he’s popped up.

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