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[News Bites] Gary Ross WON’T Direct ‘Hunger Games’ Sequel, ‘Pacific Rim’ Tokyo Set, Real Life Scam Artist Busted & More ‘Hemlock Grove’ Casting

Switching to this gorgeous new site has been quite taxing (and we apologize sincerely for all of the hassle and know it’ll be worth it once it’s complete), so for the sake of my own sanity here’s a slew of breaking stories juxtaposed into one sexy story.

Variety just broke the disheartening news that Gary Ross, director of overly impressive The Hunger Games, has decided against directing sequel Catching Fire. “As a writer and a director, I simply don’t have the time I need to write and prep the movie I would have wanted to make because of the fixed and tight production schedule,” he said in a statement released Tuesday evening.

Australian actress Freya Tingley (Beneath The Waves) has been cast as a regular in Netflix’s Famke Janssen-starring original series “Hemlock Grove,” from Eli Roth and Gaumont International TV, reports Deadline. Written by Brian McGreevey and Lee Shipman based on McGreevy’s upcoming goth horror novel, “ ‘Hemlock Grove’ revolves around the murder of a young girl found close to the former Godfrey steel mill. The suspects in her killing include Peter (Landon Liboiron), a 17-year-old Gypsy kid from the wrong side of the tracks, and Roman (Bill Skarsgard), the arrogant Godfrey scion, whose sister Shelley is disturbingly deformed and whose mother, Olivia (Janssen), is the beautiful and controlling grand dame of Hemlock Grove.” Tingley will play Christina Wendall, a precocious and friendly, self-dubbed novelist who interviews Peter after catching him swimming in her grandfather’s pond.

Brett Morgen will direct When The Street Lights Go On, the Eddie O’Keefe & Chris Hutton Black List script that is being put together by Anonymous Content. Deadline explains that the film is in the vein of Stand by Me, with a story that “Revolves around a teen boy who becomes obsessed with solving a murder case involving a young girl that has their sleepy suburban town in a panic in the summer of 1982.

A piece of crap – Kerry Haggard, 47, was arrested in April 2011 – living in Georgia was sentenced to 6 1/2 years for forging horror movie posters and lobby cards and selling them on eBay. The Hollywood Reporter states that according to the indictment, he devised a scheme to fraudulently sell these nostalgia items as authentic. Later details from the case indicated that he used a New York digital printing company to replicate posters for movies such as Frankenstein and Son of Frankenstein, and earned about $1.3 million by selling these items at prices up to $5,000. His big legal error turned out that he used the U.S. Postal Service to deliver the items. That, and perhaps the arrogant belief that his buyers would never attempt to get the items authenticated by experts. In October, he pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud. On Monday, according to a report in a local Atlanta newspaper, a judge sentenced him to 78 months in prison, plus three years of supervised release, plus the forfeiture of $1.38 million. Hopefully the people ripped off will be notifed and refunded accordingly.

Lastly, thanks to Canada’s CBS News, we have a look at one of the sets for Guillermo del Toro’s now-filming Pacific Rim, his giant monster movie starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Charlie Day, Rinko Kikuchi, Max Martini, Robert Kazinsky, Clifton Collins Jr., Diego Klattenhoff and Ron Perlman. In theaters July 12, 2013, the footage takes to the Toronto streets that look like Tokyo in the middle of a monster attack.




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