Why Ben Affleck Said No to Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby" 

Baz Luhrmann's adapataion of the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic is picking up steam, well, at least until Ben Affleck said no to the project. The director wanted the actor to star as Tom Buchanan in his planned 3D project. Luhrmann begged, hard...but ultimately, Affleck said no. Why?

Because the actor-director who created the brilliant "The Town" last year, is committed to directing "Argo," his cerebral thriller based on the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. Both Luhrmann and Affleck tried to work it out but alas, it's a no go!

But Leonardo DiCaprio is still set to play Jay Gatsby, Carey Mulligan is still Daisy Buchanan, and Tobey Maguire is still committed to playing Nick Carraway. Isla Fisher is still in talks to star as Myrtle. As for the Tom Buchanan role? Apparently, Luhrmann is now looking to hire an Australian actor because it will be good for the bottom line.

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J.J. Abrams Hires Female Writers for Super Top Secret Project! 

J.J. Abrams loves hiring his TV friends for his big screen projects. Good for him! And now, according to Deadline, Abrams has hired his pals, Monica Breen and Alison Schapker to do a rewrite on his top-secret sci-fi project for Paramount!

Breen and Schapker have worked with Abrams on his TV projects "Lost" and "Alias," and now, it's kinda cool that there are some thriving female writing partners working in Hollywood right now, and they're working on a sci-fi project which is deemed a very male-dominated arena!

So this new super top-secret project has a working title of "Zanbato," huh? And as Deadline describes it, a "swashbuckling robots with swords." Isn't that "Sucker Punch?" :happy

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The Two Dueling "Bridesmaids" Trailers -- Which One is Better? 

I heard "Bridesmaids" is really good, well, at least, according to studio insiders. One of my journalist friends even said it's the "funniest movie of the year!" Really?

From the Judd Apatow machine starring Kristen Wiig, this "Hangover" for the ladies seemed to be having an identity crisis. Is it a gross-out comedy, a romantic comedy, a dramedy?

Back in early February, Universal released the first trailer for "Bridesmaids." According to Deadline, some insiders were complaining that the trailer "was not representative of what they claim is a funny comedy."


So Universal just released a new "Bridesmaids" trailer. While the first one aimed to introduce us to the characters, and there are many of them, the second one seemed to go all-out, gross-style!

Let's compare and contrast shall we? Here's the first trailer:

And here's the one that was just released:

What do you think? I hate to admit this, but the second one made me want to see the film, the first one made me want to just rent it when it comes out on DVD.

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"Rio" Soars at Box-Office with $40M, "Scream 4" Lands with a Thud! 

Moviegoers flocked into theaters in support of "Rio!" The animated family film featuring the voices of Anne Hathaway and Jesse Eisenberg claimed the top spot with an impressive $40 million box-office take, giving it the best debut so far this year. "Rango" held that title, but "Rio" beat the Johnny Depp film by about $2 million. ("Rio" Movie Review)

It wasn't that good of a news for Dimension Films though. Its "Scream 4" opened at No. 2 with a weak $19.3 million. Why is it weak? Well, previous two sequels both debuted at over $30 million. I think it's time to give Ghostface a rest, don't you think? (Emma Roberts interview for "Scream 4")

The good news of the box-office weekend belonged to Hollywood! Finally, business is picking up after a prolonged drought. With new blockbuster films coming up for our summer movie watching, I'd say yay Hollywood, now make us great films!

Meanwhile, the Easter bunny flick, "Hop" continued to collect gold coins even though it slipped to No. 3 with $11.2 million. The Universal family film, featuring the voice of Russell Brand, has raised its box-office total to $82.6 million.

Here's the estimated Top 10 box-office films for the weekend of April 15:

1. "Rio," $40 million.

2. "Scream 4," $19.3 million.

3. "Hop," $11.2 million.

4. "Soul Surfer," $7.4 million.

5. "Hanna," $7.3 million.

6. "Arthur," $6.94 million.

7. "Insidious," $6.9 million.

8. "Source Code," $6.3 million.

9. "The Conspirator," $3.92 million.

10. "Your Highness," $3.9 million.

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New "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" Pictures! 

I can't wait for the second part of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows!" I love the last chapter of the saga, yes, I cried, and I know that part two of the film will give us a satisfying finale to an equally-satisfying franchise! ("Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One" Movie Review)

Now, Entertainment Weekly has released exclusive pictures of the upcoming finale like the picture above showing our favorite boy wizard at Gringotts Bank. But wait there's more! Like new pictures showing the Evil Bellatrix (Helena Bonham Carter) and archvillain Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), and the great twist near the end where Neville (Matthew Lewis) steps up during the Battle of Hogwarts. Click here to see all the exclusive pictures.

The final adventure directed by David Yates starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes, and Bill Nighy is set to cast its spell in theaters July 15th!

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