Summer doesn’t technically begin until June 21st, but the summer movie season has certainly begun. “Iron Man 3” just blew away the first weekend of May, crushing the competition with a wildly impressive $175.3 million start.

We’ve got a number of upcoming projects vying for a similar blockbuster status, making big moves in their casting departments to conjure interest and hopefully eventually draw a crowd. The “Pride, Prejudice and Zombies” adaptation is back on the map with its new director, Burr Steers, recruiting Lily Collins to star. Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” also just got a whole lot bigger by adding Michael Caine and possibly Jessica Chastain to the cast while Michael Bay locked in his “Transformers 4” villain, Kelsey Grammer.

Ready for the latest on all of those films, “The Crow,” “Jurassic Park 4,” and more? Continue on for your weekly Movie News Cheat Sheet.

1. Chastain and Caine for “Interstellar:” Christopher Nolan already has Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway for his upcoming production, “Interstellar,” and now not only has he locked Michael Caine, but he might add Jessica Chastain, too. According to Deadline, Chastain is currently in talks to take the film’s third lead, but little is known about the role, let alone the “Interstellar” logline. The news of Caine’s involvement comes from Deadline as well, but, yet again, no news on the details involved in his sixth collaboration with Nolan.

2. David Slade takes “The Widow:” The director of “30 Days of Night” and the writer of “The Crazies?” I’m in! As reported by THR, David Slade is officially locked to direct Vendome Pictures’ “The Widow.” Ray Wright penned the psychological thriller, which hones in on “a young woman who befriends a lonely widow only to discover that their encounter was not a coincidence.” The hunt is currently on for lead actresses in preparation for a projected late 2013 start date.

3. “Jurassic Park 4” to Return to Isla Nublar: We know little to nothing about the plot for the fourth installment of the “Jurassic Park” franchise, but thanks to a tweet from director Colin Trevorrow, we do know the tale will take us back to Isla Nublar. Trevorrow recently tweeted, “Nublar. #JP4,” with a link to a behind-the-scene photo from a location scout. Isla Nublar was the location for the first film’s theme park where as “The Lost World” and “Jurassic Park III” relocated to Isla Sorna, InGen’s research locale. Considering “The Lost World” didn’t meet “Jurassic Park” standards and “JP III” merely achieved guilty pleasure status, perhaps the return to Isla Nublar will be just what we need to reclaim the first film’s standards. We’ll find out if that’s the case when “Jurassic Park 4” arrives in theaters on June 13, 2014.

4. Lily Collins to Lead “Pride, Prejudice and Zombies:” Perhaps I should wait until “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” hits theaters in August to pass any more judgment, but based on “Abduction,” “Mirror Mirror,” and even the promos for “Mortal Instruments” that have dropped thus far, I’m far from sold on Lily Collins as a leading lady. Still, director Burr Steers must see something in her because according to Variety, Collins just landed the top role in the adaptation of “Pride, Prejudice and Zombies.” It’s been quite some time since the long-awaited project was in the news, possibly as far back as October 2011 when Craig Gillespie ditched his directorial duties and bowed out, but now that there’s a new director attached and lead too, so perhaps the film might really move forward this time.

5. More “Jane Got a Gun” Drama: Just when we thought all was well on the set of “Jane Got a Gun,” yet another big name walks away from the project. Original star Michael Fassbender left, director Lynne Ramsay never even showed up, and then Jude Law took that as his cue to exit, but everyone was eventually replaced, and with some top-notch talent, too. Gavin O’Connor came in for Ramsay, Edgerton moved into Fassbender’s role and then Bradley Cooper stepped in to take Edgerton’s vacated villain role. However, “Jane Got a Gun” is now without a villain yet again because, according to Deadline, Cooper is out due to scheduling conflicts. O’Connor and co. are currently hard at work trying to find new options. So far Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tom Hiddleston are all in the mix and any would serve as a solid substitution. Hopefully it’s finally smooth sailing for the Natalie Portman-starring and produced pic from here.

6. Kelsey Grammer is the “Transformers 4” Villain: Michael Bay assembled his team of good guys for the next installment of the “Transformers” franchise and now he’s given them a villain. Mark Wahlberg, Jack Reynor, Nicola Peltz, and Stanley Tucci will go head-to-head with Kelsey Grammer in “Transformers 4.” A film synopsis was pulled by Paramount back in March so we’re still light on details, but, according to Deadline, Grammer’s character is Harold Attinger, “a counter intelligence guy.” Production is set to begin in July with the film heading towards a June 27, 2014 release.

7. “Ender’s Game” Trailer is Coming: With the very first trailer for the Orson Scott Card adaptation of “Ender’s Game” arriving on May 7th, sneak peeks of the film are starting to pour in. First Entertainment Weekly debuted the very first look at Ben Kingsley as the legendary International Fleet Commander Mazer Rackham and now we’ve got some actual footage in the form of a trailer teaser. Asa Butterfield and Harrison Ford are a little too rigid to build much excitement in their introduction, but once the footage rolls it manages to build an incredible amount of momentum that’ll undoubtedly have you itching for the full trailer. And having seen that trailer at CinemaCon last month, I can assure you that it’s well worth the wait.

8. Luke Evans is The Crow: Just last week it was reported that Tom Hiddleston was in talks for the role of Eric Draven in Relativity Media’s remake of “The Crow,” but then Deadline shot down the story, stating that the rumor sparked from an “overhyped” conversation. In that same article, Deadline suggested Alexander Skarsgård could be the frontrunner, but just the other day the outlet ran a new update announcing that the role went to “Fast & Furious 6’s” Luke Evans. Apparently Evans was director F. Javier Gutierrez’s top choice all along, but he’d been too busy to commit. However, instead of going with Hiddleston or Skarsgård to stick with the original schedule, the filmmakers opted to push so Evans could have the role after he’s done filming “Dracula Year Zero” and promoting “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” The whole thing is still in the negotiation stage, but Deadline notes that the deal is likely to go through.

9. Trailers: “Girl Most Likely,” “Walking With Dinosaurs,” “Pacific Rim:” The first trailer for “Girl Most Likely” has finally arrived, but sadly, it’s not as funny or charming as you’d expect from a film with Kristen Wiig in the lead. Hopefully the full feature will pack some bigger laughs and a little more heart when it hits theaters on July 19th. On the other hand, the first trailer for the Twentieth Century Fox film, “Walking With Dinosaurs,” suggests it could really be a unique, enchanting piece for the holiday. The December 20th release brings you way back to the time when dinosaurs roamed the earth and delivers the narrative from their perspective. Last up is the latest trailer for “Pacific Rim” and it’s one that packs the power to bring aboard those who’ve yet to be swayed by Guillermo del Toro’s robots and monsters. Not only does it offer up a clear and captivating narrative, but also a slew of impressive battle sequences before making a lasting mark with an alien head-smashing conclusion.

10. Box Office: As expected, not only did “Iron Man 3” blow away the competition, but it also claimed a few box office records while doing so. Its $175.3 million start makes it the second highest opening weekend in history behind “The Avengers” and also the second highest single Saturday and Sunday grossing film, again behind “The Avengers.” Following way, way behind in the #2 position is poor “Pain and Gain,” which suffered a devastating 62.5% hit for just $7.6 million. On the other hand, “42” maintained rather well, dropping just 41.7% for another $6.2 million, but then the percent change jumps right back up for “Oblivion” which took a particularly hefty 67.4% weekend two to three hit, leaving it with just $5.8 million. “The Croods” continues to use its long legs, dropping a mere 37.2% from weekend six to seven, giving it another $4.2 million and raising its domestic grand total to $168.7 million. (via Box Office Mojo)

By Perri Nemiroff

Jurassic Park 4 Location Photo from Colin Trevorrow
Jurassic Park 4 Location Photo from Colin Trevorrow

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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