It seems like just yesterday that “The Avengers” kicked off the summer with a record-breaking opening. With July coming to a close, we’re now rounding third and heading home for the final stretch of the summer movie season. Lucky for film fans, the movie industry never stops and even though the summer blockbusters will soon be behind us, we’ve got a slew of quality material to look forward to.

The Toronto International Film festival just unveiled its gala and special presentation lineups and both rock quite a few highly anticipated productions like “Looper,” “Byzantium,” “Argo,” “Cloud Atlas,” and more. Speaking of “Cloud Atlas,” we may have a few months to go before the film hits theaters for the general public, but thanks to the recently released extended trailer, we’ll have more than enough incredible imagery and concepts to pour over while we wait.

In sequel news, Illumination Entertainment is hard at work developing a Minion movie in addition to “Despicable Me 2” while producer Frank Marshall revealed that “Jurassic Park 4” could hit the big screen within the next two years.

Check out all the details on those stories and much more in your weekly Movie News Cheat Sheet.

1. Lady Gaga in “Machete Kills:” Surprise! Lady Gaga is apparently part of the cast of Robert Rodriguez’s “Machete Kills.” Super Hero Hype tracked down a Tweet in which Rodriguez announced, “I just finished working with @LadyGaga on @MacheteKills,” and, “she kicked SO MUCH ASS! Holy Smokes. Blown away!” Even better, there’s no need for that who’s-she-playing-what-does-she-look-like speculation because right alongside the news via Rodriguez comes Gaga’s very own “Machete Kills” character poster. Say hello to La Chameleón.

2. “Cloud Atlas:” Technically the release of the first trailer for Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski’s “Cloud Atlas” should fall under the Trailers section of the Movie News Cheat Sheet, but there’s just no way to confine this material to a mere few sentences, let alone a Cheat Sheet section of its own. The film is an adaptation of the award-winning novel by David Mitchell, which consists of six different stories. Having never read the book, I won’t dare try to break down the narrative myself, but I recommend checking out’s “Cloud Atlas” guide which features the film’s extended trailer, the directors’ introduction, a bunch of images and summaries of the six sections.

3. Reshoots and New Release Date for “Gangster Squad:” In response to the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado, not only did Warner Bros. pull the trailer for “Gangster Squad,” which features a scene during which gangsters shoot at a theater audience, but, according to THR, the studio is taking it two giant steps further, uprooting the film from its planned September 7 release date and putting in the January 11 slot, and reshooting that theater scene. Clearly this is a responsible and respectable decision to make, but for lack of better terms, it just isn’t fair. Not that making changes to a feature film can compare to taking innocent lives, but this is another unfortunate repercussion of this senseless disaster. A ton of people worked very hard to finish this feature and thanks to one man’s twisted mentality, they must make changes and possibly compromise their original vision.

4. Hans Zimmer’s Song for the Aurora Victims: “The Dark Knight Rises” composer Hans Zimmer has taken it upon himself to write and record a song called “Aurora.” The Academy Award winner posted this piece on his Facebook page with this message: “‘Aurora’ is dedicated to those who lost their lives and were affected by the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado. I recorded this song in London in the days following the tragedy as a heartfelt tribute to the victims and their families.” Click here to download the track where you have the option to make a donation ranging from 10¢ to $2,500. The entirety of the proceeds will go to the Aurora Victim Relief organization.

5. The Toronto Film Festival Is Coming: With the Toronto International Film Festival just over a month away, the event’s lineups are pouring in and they’re wildly impressive. “Looper” is set to kick things off as the festival’s Gala Opening while Ben Affleck’s “Argo,” Robert Redford’s “The Company You Keep,” Mike Newell’s “Great Expectations,” David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook,” and Billy Bob Thornton’s “Jayne Mansfield’s Car” will all play as part of the Gala program. In the Special Presentation section we’ll get the International Premiere of Joe Wright’s “Anna Karenina,” Ramin Bahrani’s “At Any Price” starring Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron, Neil’s Jordan’s “Byzantium,” “Cloud Atlas,” “Ginger and Rosa” starring Elle Fanning, Alice Englert, Christina Hendricks, Annette Bening and Alessandro Nivola, the world premiere of J.A. Bayona’s “The Impossible,” Joss Whedon’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” the big screen adaptation of “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” and much more. Click here to check out the full list of gala and special presentation films.

6. A Minion Movie: “Despicable Me” was a solid movie all around, but the big takeaway was certainly those adorable little gibberish-talking Minions. According to Deadline, in addition to “Despicable Me 2,” which is due out on July 3, 2013, Illumination Entertainment is making plans for a Minions-based animated feature with Universal. The film will include familiar faces from the “Despicable Me” movies, but Brian Lynch’s script will feature an original story and new characters. Pierre Coffin is set to direct with Kyle Balda co-directing. Coffin will undoubtedly have a busy next few years as he’s also directing “Despicable Me 2,” which will be in production while pre-production on the Minion movie is underway. Then, even once the filmmaking work is done, Coffin will have two years worth of press to handle as the Minion movie is set for a 2014 release, roughly a year apart from “Despicable Me 2.”

7. “Jurassic Park 4” Summer 2014: Excuse the lack of professionalism, but no way! I absolutely cannot believe we’ve finally come far enough along that “Jurassic Park 4” has a tentative release date! Just about a month after news broke that “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” scribes Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver were boarding the project to pen the script, Collider got word that the film is expected to arrive within two years. When asked for a status update, producer Frank Marshall explained, “I would say that it will be on the screen within two years.” Marshall also confirmed that they’re vying for a summer release and noted that “Jurassic Park 4” is indeed a sequel, not a reboot. Marshall also addressed how advancements in the visual effects department will enhance the film, “That’s what’s gonna be great about it, technology’s taken a leap now that we can really do some great things.” However, don’t expect the filmmakers to go totally digital with round four. Marshall also told Collider that they’ll still incorporate practical effects and prosthetic work because it “not only feels real to the audience, but aids the actors in their performances.”

8. “The Shining” Prequel?: As we learned in Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining,” The Overlook Hotel has an eerily rich history and, according to the LA Times, Warner Bros. might be interested in delving back into it. The article says that the studio is “quietly exploring” making a prequel to the 1980 film with writer-producer Laeta Kalogridis and her partners Bradley Fischer and James Vanderbilt attached. The outlet’s source claims the film would focus on what happened before the Torrance family arrived to keep an eye on the property during its off-season. A studio rep warned that the prequel isn’t even far enough along to be labeled “in development,” but considering a story like this will likely get fans riled up and the idea of returning to The Overlook seems like a no-brainer, I wouldn’t be surprised if this project moved forward sooner rather than later. Meanwhile, “The Shining” author, Stephen King, is hard at work on a sequel to his 1977 novel. Could there be two new “The Shining” movies in the forecast? That’s about as far from a guarantee as you can get in this industry, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened.

9. Trailers: “Silent Hill: Revelation 3D,” “Life of Pi,” “Chasing Mavericks:” Hot on the heels of that creepy nurse clip we get the first full trailer for “Silent Hill: Revelation 3D.” The film is a sequel to the 2006 video game adaptation and it shows, as this trailer is packed with imagery reminiscent of the original. Not to knock “Silent Hill,” but if you opt to watch the “Life of Pi” trailer right after the one for “Revelation 3D,” the quality gap is painfully obvious. The latest from Ang Lee looks to be as crisp and vivid as they come, gorgeous imagery further enhanced by emotional moments that don’t need a stitch of dialogue to reach their full potential. By wrapping up this section with the new trailer for “Chasing Mavericks,” we wind up with the equivalent of high-grade meat sandwiched between two soggy pieces of bread. Looking for the quintessential example of a tacky sports movie? This surfing story featuring Gerard Butler looks to be it.

10. Box Office: As expected, “The Dark Knight Rises” took a tough tumble from weekend one to two, but thanks to a $160.9 million start, it still maintained $64.1 million even with a 60.2% loss. “Ice Age: Continental Drift” enjoyed a solid third weekend out, only dropping 34.9% for a total of $13.3 million, which was just enough to trump newcomers “The Watch” and “Step Up Revolution.” Good for “Ice Age,” pretty terrible for “The Watch” and “Step Up Revolution.” While this may be the “Step Up” franchise’s lowest opening, it is only $3 million behind “Step Up 3-D.” “The Watch,” on the other hand, is a major disappointment. The film featured an all-star cast and cost $68 million to make; $13 million opening weekend just isn’t going to cut it. “Ted” continues its stellar run, claiming the 5th position with a weekend five total of $7.4 million. (via Box Office Mojo)

By Perri Nemiroff

Machete Kills Lady Gaga Character Poster
Machete Kills Lady Gaga Character Poster

By Perri Nemiroff

Film producer and director best known for her work in movies such as FaceTime, Trevor, and The Professor. She has worked as an online movie blogger and reporter for sites such as,, Shockya, and MTV's Movies Blog.

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