When you say "animated films," which studios come to mind? Disney and DreamWorks, of course. But Fox? Darn tootin'. The studio's 'Ice Age' franchise has pulled in more than $2 billion at the worldwide box office, making the series one of the most profitable around. Fox is forging ahead with the next outing, 'Ice Age: Continental Drift,' and announced on Tuesday that Jeremy Renner, Wanda Sykes, Keke Palmer and Jennifer Lopez are joining the voice cast along with Aziz Ansari and hip hop star Drake. Returning are 'Ice Age' franchise stars Ray Romano, Queen Latifah, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Seann William Scott and Josh Peck. 'Ice Age: Continental Drift' will hit theaters on July 13, 2012. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Zac Efron has been trying to change his teen heartthrob image by looking for adult fare and he's found it in the just-finished 'The Lucky One' and 'The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman,' which is in preproduction. Add to that list 'Die in a Gunfight,' which has just picked up a director: photographer and music video/commercial director Anthony Mandler. Efron is attached to play a fight-prone and death-obsessed young society man who pursues a romance with the daughter of his father's enemy. Mandler has directed videos for Rihanna, Drake, Usher, Jay-Z, The Killers, John Legend, T.I., One Republic and Muse. For you writers out there, the film was written by Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari, right out of NYU; the script made it to the 2010 Black List and was acquired by Media Rights Capital, who are producing the film. [Deadline/Playlist]

Two more tributes in Lionsgate's adaptation of Suzanne Collins' 'The Hunger Games' trilogy have been cast: newcomers Ian Nelson and Kalia Prescott. They join Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Amandla Stenberg, Dayo Okeniyi, Leven Rambin and Jack Quaid. Liam Hemsworth, Paula Malcolmson and Willow Shields have also signed on. Elizabeth Banks is in talks to play a lead role. (BTW: Tributes are children forced to participate in the annual Hunger Games battles in a post-apocalyptic America). The film, directed by Gary Ross, hits theaters March 23, 2012. [THR]

And, for you 'Lord of the Rings' fans, AMC Theatres has a treat for you: Just before the Blu-ray release of 'The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy: Extended Edition' on June 28, the movie chain will book all three extended versions of the films into theaters around the country. 'The Fellowship of the Ring' will screen on June 14, 'The Two Towers' on June 21 and 'The Return of the King' on June 28.
CATEGORIES Movies