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Four months ago since the announcement that the 24th James Bond film would be entitled Spectre, fans of the iconic action franchise are now getting a glimpse of what’s in store for 007.

Following up the critical success of the previous outing, Skyfall, Daniel Craig returns to the role of Bond for a fourth time as he tackles new foes in a brief trailer (posted below).

Directed again by Skyfall filmmaker Sam Mendes, the plot sees Bond receive a message from his past which leads to him tracking down a sinister organisaton that could become a global threat.

Ralph Fiennes (M), Naomie Harris (Moneypenny), Ben Whishaw (Q) and Rory Kinnear (Bill Tanner) are all reprising their roles from the previous outing.

In contrast, two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds), Léa Seydoux (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Blue is the Warmest Colour), Monica Bellucci (Irreversible, The Matrix trilogy), Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Andrew Scott (Sherlock, Pride) are all set to make their Bond debuts in the new film.

Part of an action-packed year for cinema, Spectre is set for release on November 6th.

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When it comes to films wanting to ‘break free’ from production, one that continues to be caught in a spiral is the Freddie Mercury biopic.

The project was first announced back in 2012 and was initially set to star Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat, Les Miserables) as the iconic singer only for the Golden-Globe winning comedian to drop out in 2013.

British actor Ben Whishaw (Skyfall, Paddington) looking to be stepping in as the replacement but news from today has confirmed that Cohen is returning to the project but with more involvement second time round.

He will not only be playing the role of the late musician but will also be writing, producing AND directing the film.

Reports had suggested that he previously left the film after falling out with the remaining members of Mercury’s band Queen but manager Jim Beach announced his return at the Artist and Management Awards last night.

Cohen will be ‘under pressure’ in trying to get production back up and running with the rest of the cast needing to be filled as well as setting up a new release date.

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The last decade has proved to be hugely successful for Jake Gyllenhaal particular with his recent work in dark crime films like Prisoners (2013) and last year’s brilliant Nightcrawler.

But the Oscar-nominated star is now heading for the ring in his latest feature, the gritty drama Southpaw.

Gyllenhaal (The Day After Tomorrow, Brokeback Mountain) has gone through physical change for the new film by putting on 15lbs of muscle to play the leading character. The official trailer was released earlier today.

Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, The Equalizer) and written by Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter, the plot sees Gyllenhaal’s Billy “Great White” Hope competing to become a Junior Middleweight Champion. But when he suffers a great personal loss, he must attempt to regain custody of his child and plot a comeback into the ring.

Oscar-winner Forest Whittaker (The Last King of Scotland, Taken 3), Rachel McAdams (The Notebook, Sherlock Holmes), Naomie Harris (Skyfall, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson (Get Rich or Die Tryin’, Righteous Kill) and British singer Rita Ora (50 Shades of Grey) co-star in the powerful drama.

Gyllenhaal is set to follow in the footsteps of other major stars who have put on the boxing gloves on screen including Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro, Will Smith, Russell Crowe and Mark Wahlberg.

Southpaw is scheduled for release in the US on July 31st but it is not yet known when it will be out in the UK.

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The 50 Shades franchise is looking for a new director following news from this morning.

Despite being heavily involved with this year’s most successful film so far, filmmaker Sam Taylor-Johnson has confirmed that she will NOT be coming back to helm the sequels to 50 Shades of Grey.

The Nowhere Boy director is said to have turned down the opportunity to return after disagreements with the novel’s author EL James but hoped that the sequels would prove just as successful.

“While I will not be returning to direct the sequels, I wish nothing but success to whoever takes on the exciting challenges of films two and three.”

“Directing Fifty Shades of Grey has been an intense and incredible journey for which I am hugely grateful. I have Universal to thank for that. I forged close and lasting relationships with the cast, producers and crew and most especially, with Dakota and Jamie.”

Screenwriter Kelly Marcel has also dropped out of writing the next film which is entitled 50 Shades Darker.
However actors Jamie Dornan (Christian Grey) and Dakota Johnson (Anastasia Steele) are set to reprise their now-iconic roles with the new installment due out in 2016.

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Almost 20 years since pulling off his first death-defying stunt in the blockbuster Mission Impossible, Tom Cruise is once again continuing his physical commitment to action roles with his fifth appearance in the action franchise.

Having grappled with moving trains, canyons and giant buildings, Cruise finds himself dangling off the side of a plane in the upcoming sequel Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation.

The full trailer for the thrilling flick premiered earlier today.

Reuniting with his Jack Reacher director Chris McQuarrie, Cruise reprises his role as secret agent Ethan Hunt as he and his team are threatened by an organisation known as “The Syndicate”, who are looking to destroy the world’s economy.

Previous MI actors Simon Pegg (Benji), Jeremy Renner (Brandt) and Ving Rhames (Luther Stickell) also return for the fifth outing.

Rebecca Ferguson (The White Queen) will play Hunt’s latest love interest with Alec Baldwin (The Departed, Still Alice) and British actor Sean Harris (Harry Brown, The Borgias) also involved.

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation will be released in cinemas on July 31st.

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With a third Clerks film currently in production, filmmaker Kevin Smith has revealed that another of his original hits is to receive a sequel.

Mallrats, which starred Jeremy London and Jason Lee as two friends trying to overcome break-ups by hanging out at their local mall, was an underrated hit upon its release in 1995. After almost 20 years, Smith has now confirmed that the film will receive a follow-up which will begin shooting in 2016.

He told Rock102 Mornings with Shmonty & Carolina:

“Yeah, that’s what we’re working on,” he said. “It’s half a script right now, and we’re pulling our loot together.

“We’ve got up until the beginning of 2016. By the time we get to May 2016, we’re going to be shooting.”

He also added that he was more concerned with trying to enjoy his career in contrast to worrying about pleasing other people.

“Lately I’ve been doing this thing where I’m like, ‘Do you want to do what’s good for your career, or do you just want to have fun?’ Nobody’s clamouring for a Mallrats sequel, but I would love to make one. It’s been like 20 years. I had a cool idea and a bunch of investors that were like, ‘Do it!’ So here we are, man.”

The controversial filmmaker went on to add that he will begin shooting the sequel after he has finished working on Clerks III plus new original work like the upcoming sports comedy Hit Somebody and horror Moose Jaws.

Smith himself starred in the comedy playing his iconic character Silent Bob, part of a double act with Jason Mewes’ Jay. Their appearance in that film coincided with their cameos in other Smith productions like Clerks (1994) and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001).

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When it comes to making sequels, Disney tend to have a surprisingly dismal record particularly with their non-Pixar productions.

Barring the exception of The Rescuers Down Under (1990) and The Return of Jafar (1994), their other feature films have churned up some rather woeful straight-to-video/DVD follow-ups from Cinderella and Peter Pan to Pocahontus and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

However that poor run could be ending after it was announced yesterday that the corporation’s more recent big-screen success Frozen would be receiving a cinematic sequel of its own.

The winter-based animation surprised many in 2013/14 by becoming the most successful Disney release of all time grossing $1.2 billion worldwide. It also scored two Oscar wins for Best Animated Film and Best Original Song for its iconic tune “Let It Go”.

Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed the news during a shareholders meeting and also confirmed that co-directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee would be involved again.

In terms of the cast, Josh Gad is set to reprise his popular role as Olaf the Snowman but there is no official word on whether female stars Kristen Bell (Anna) or Idina Menzel (Elsa) will return.

Both actresses did lend their voices to the recent short Frozen Fever which is set to be shown before Disney’s new take on Cinderella is released later this month.