Movie News at Sunrise: Rachel Weisz is Wicked, Post-Avengers Plans and The Looney Tunes Show

What is Movie News at Sunrise? Due to some site maintenance late last night, Movie News After Dark could not be completed before it was my bed time. So I’m up early to bring you its cousin, Movie News At Sunrise. This slightly less witty, marginally more tired column should serve as the perfect pinch-hitter just in time for your morning commute. Powered by a Chick-fil-a breakfast sandwich and a hope that spelling errors will be kept to a minimum at this ungodly hour, I am here to bring you the news.

Director Sam Raimi has cast Rachel Weisz as an evil witch in Oz: The Great and Powerful. She will star opposite James Franco and alongside Mila Kunis. They will play Evanora and Theodora, respectively. Weisz’s Evanora, however, becomes the Wicked Witch of the East. Sadly, we all know how things work out for her. For Raimi, the remaining major character to be cast is Glinda, the Good Witch of the North. Olivia Wilde, Amy Adams, Kate Beckinsale, Keira Knightley and Rebecca Hall are said to be on the shortlist. Hall sounds like an awesome choice, to me.

The folks at OverThinkingIt have appeared in this column several times before, but this Economics of the Death Star Planet Destruction in Star Wars is a personal favorite of mine. It takes the discussion about contractors from Clerks to a frighteningly detailed new level.

Before you get upset about what I’m about to say, just remember that Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai has been “remade” countless times. Pixar even did it once, as did Three Amigos. So the fact that Scott Mann, the director who brought us The Tournament, is using the structure of Seven Samurai for a movie about contractors in Thailand hired to defend a village from attack is not that big of a deal. It would be ballsy to do a more direct remake of Samurai. But this is not that movie.

Movieline’s Jen Yamato asks Where are the Women of Summer? And she’s right to ask, as there is no big girl flick this year — no Sex and the City, no Eat Pray Love. Just gals hanging on the arms of superheroes.

Up in the Air star Anna Kendrick and Freaks and Geeks lead kid grown up John Francis Daley will join Craig Robinson in the apocalyptic romantic comedy Rapture-Palooza. The film is being called “Zombieland meets The Big Lebowski.” In the highly unlikely scenario in which that combination might manifest, that’s a movie I would definitely watch.

I’m a sucker for a good infographic. And this one, found via /Film and designed by James Wright and Josh Eckert at Words That Fit, is a good infographic. It’s called the Geek Zodiac Calendar. That’s right, I was born in a year of the Treasure Hunter. Which is why I write a nightly column about finding news stories. Get it?

The Austin Film Society is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Richard Linklater’s seminal work of Austin film, Slacker, this year. No, they aren’t hosting a special screening and Q&A. In this contemporary landscape, there is but one option: remake the film. They’ve called upon 23 local filmmakers to each film a portion of the film, only to have it spliced together vignette-style as Slacker 2011, the ultimate homage/remake. It’s a whacky idea, but it could be fun. Now all they need is money, which is where you come in.

The Book of Mormon, the Broadway show written by South Park‘s Trey Parker and Matt Stone, led the way in Tony award nominations this year, with a whopping 14 nominations. Well done, great satirists.

The following photo may or may not by Rhys Ifans hiding his lizardy face from paparazzi on the set of The Amazing Spider-Man. It definitely came from the film’s New York set, and it certainly looks lizardy, but it’s hard to say either way.

Orlando Bloom and Greta Gerwig will team up for the romantic comedy Lola Versus, the story of a woman who is dumped just weeks before her wedding by her college sweetheart. Gerwig will play the distraught lady, a role to which she’s become accustomed.

Out doing press for Thor this week, Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige is talking about post-Avengers movies. Or more to the point, he’s talking about when Marvel will announce their post-Avengers plans. The end of this summer, to be exact. Which coincides with that time when they will know just how well Thor and Captain America did at the box office. I’d expect something around Comic-Con, perhaps coupled with footage for The Avengers, which has already begun shooting.

Over at TheFlickCast, Matt Raub is tired of hot chicks who pander to nerds by wearing Star Wars t-shirts. Seriously ladies, stop giving nerds more reasons to ogle you.

Nicolas Winding Regn has found a cast for his remake of Pusher, based on his own 1996 film. He is producing with Luis Prieto directing. And now they’ve found a cast that includes a few relative unknowns named Paul Kaye, Richard Coyle, Bronson Webb and Agyness Deyn. Alright fine, Richard Coyle is no unknown.

Not long ago we reported that Anna Faris was among the final three ladies being considered to star alongside Sacha Baron Cohen in The Dictator. She is now said to be in talks. As I’ve said many times before, Anna Faris is good for just about any movie.

We close this morning with something lovely, a clip from the new Cartoon Network series The Looney Tunes Show. It’s the rebirth of Looney Tunes as a variety show, a la The Muppet Show. Hero Complex has an interesting piece on the show, and how its creators didn’t like the idea at first. We’ve also got this clip, in which Elmer Fudd serenades a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s nice to have you back, oh Tunes of Looney.

Neil Miller is the Founder and Publisher of Film School Rejects. For almost a decade, he has been talking movies on television, the radio, and the Internet. As of yet, no one has stopped him.

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