This week in movie news:
Jon Hamm will star as a villain in Baby Driver; a new featurette offers a behind-the-scenes look at the Angelina Jolie-Brad Pitt drama By the Sea; Bridge of Spies actor Scott Shepherd has joined the cast of Bourne 5; the director of Dear White People will helm an original musical; James McAvoy will star alongside Charlize Theron in Coldest City; the Monster High film finds its director; and the Ben-Hur remake and Free State of Jones get new release dates.
Jon Hamm has joined the cast of Baby Driver, the upcoming crime thriller from director Edgar Wright. The film marks the first project the actor has joined since the Mad Men series finale, and Hamm will star alongside Ansel Elgort (The Fault in Our Stars) and Lily James (Cinderella).
Baby Driver tells the story of a young near-mute getaway driver (Elgort) who gets caught up in a doomed heist. Hamm will play one of the film's villains, a former Wall Street trader who has joined a gang of bank robbers. The film is set for release on March 17th, 2017.
Universal Pictures has released a new behind-the-scenes featurette on the making of By the Sea, the marital drama starring real-life spouses Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Inspired by European cinema and theater of decades past, the film is written and directed by Jolie, serving as her directorial follow-up to 2013 last year's Oscar-nominated Unbroken.
In the film, Pitt and Jolie play an American couple travelling through 1970s France, as their marriage sits at a crossroads. The film -- which hits theaters on November 13th, 2015 -- also features international stars Mélanie Laurent, Melvil Poupaud, Niels Aarestrup, and Richard Bohringer.
Source: Universal Pictures
Scott Shepherd (Bridge of Spies) has joined the cast of the upcoming (and still officially untitled) Bourne 5. The new film -- set for release on July 29th, 2016 -- will feature Matt Damon returning to the role of Jason Bourne with Paul Greengrass back to direct, though plot details remain under wraps.
Shepherd has previously appeared on the big screen in films like And So It Goes with Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton as well as Steven Soderbergh's Side Effects. In the new Bourne film, he'll join an impressive ensemble cast that includes Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina), Vincent Cassel (Black Swan), Tommy Lee Jones and Julia Stiles (who was featured in all three previous Bourne films starring Damon).
Justin Simien -- director of last year's critically acclaimed Dear White People -- is developing an original musical project. Details on the film remain a mystery, but it will reportedly tell the story of the rise and fall of the American dream, dealing with race and culture from the perspective of one central character.
Thus far, Simien has only one directorial credit to his name, the aforementioned Dear White People. That film -- which nabbed Simien an Independent Spirit Award for his screenplay -- weaved together satire and social commentary in its tale of four interconnected black students on a journey of self-discovery at an Ivy League college.
James McAvoy (X-Men: Days of Future Past) will star in The Coldest City, the upcoming adaptation of the graphic novel that centers on two spies competing to hunt down a list of Cold War operatives. Charlize Theron had previously joined the project, which starts filming in November.
McAvoy -- who'll next be seen in this fall's Victor Frankenstein alongside Daniel Radcliffe -- recently boarded a new supernatural thriller from M. Night Shyamalan. He'll also appear as Professor Charles Xavier in next summer's X-Men: Apocalypse.
The in-development film version of the popular Monster High toys has found its director in Ari Sandel. The filmmaker made his directorial debut earlier this year with the Mae Whitman comedy The DUFF and won an Oscar in 2007 for his short film West Bank Story.
The Monster High film -- based on the Mattel toys introduced in 2010 -- will focus on the daughters of famous Universal monsters, such as Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolfman. The project has been in the works for years and marks the next step for the franchise, which already includes animated films, video games, apps and other forms of media.
MGM and Paramount Pictures have pushed the release of their upcoming Ben-Hur remake from February 26, 2016 to August 12, 2016, a full six-month delay. The studios -- and director Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) are hoping to capitalize on the late summer slot that led to the success of films like Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy.
Meanwhile, STX Entertainment has pushed its Civil War drama The Free State of Jones from March 11, 2016 to May 13, 2016. The new film from director Gary Ross (The Hunger Games) stars Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey as a Confederate soldier who becomes disillusioned with the South's cause and declares a safe haven in Jones County, Miss.
STX also announced a July 29, 2016 release date for director Peter Chelsom's adventure romance The Space Between Us. The film -- which centers on two star-crossed teens -- stars Gary Oldman, Asa Butterfield, Carla Gugino and Britt Robertson.