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Benedict Cumberbatch to Play Doctor Strange

SherlockBenedict Cumberbatch (pictured, via) has been cast to take on the title role for Marvel’s Doctor Strange film adaptation. According to The Hollywood Reporter, other Hollywood stars who were being considered for this part include three-time Oscar nominee Joaquin PhoenixThe Notebook actor Ryan Gosling, and Academy Award winner Jared Leto.

Filmmaker Scott Derrickson will serve as the director for this project. Screenwriter Jon Spaihts will oversee the script; the first draft was a collaborative effort between writers Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer.

Here’s more from Deadline: “Doctor Strange was hatched by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko during that Marvel Comics heyday of the early 1960′s. He’s a neurosurgeon who becomes Sorcerer Supreme, protecting Earth against magical and mystical threats with powers of sorcery, mysticism, and martial arts.” (via The Verge)

J. Randy Taraborrelli to Write Biography On Beyoncé Knowles

BeyoncéAuthor J. Randy Taraborrelli has landed a deal to write a biography about Beyoncé Knowles. This project will be the the first comprehensive biographical profile on the Grammy Award-winning singer (pictured, via).

Grand Central Publishing, a division of the Hachette Book Group, will publish the not-yet-titled book in Fall 2015. President Jamie Raab negotiated the terms of the agreement with literary agent Mitch Douglas.

According to the press release, Taraborrelli conducted exclusive interviews with people who share important personal and professional relationships with the diva. In the past, he has written biographies on music icons including Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, and Madonna.

Fred Armisen Narrates ‘If You Give a Mouse an iPhone’ For the Book Trailer

Blue Rider Press has unveiled a book trailer for Ann Droyd’s If You Give a Mouse an iPhone: A Cautionary Tail. This project parodies Laura Numeroff’s beloved picture book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

Comedic actor and Saturday Night Live alum Fred Armisen lends his voice and serves as the narrator. The animated video embedded above features a story that discusses “the perils of our tech-obsessed lives and a fully charged romp for readers of all ages”—what do you think?

Air New Zealand Creates a New ‘Hobbit’-Themed Safety Video

Air New Zealand has unleashed “The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made” on their YouTube channel. The video embedded above features the airline’s new Hobbit-themed safety video with appearances from actor Elijah Wood and filmmaker Peter Jackson.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “the video is, in itself, a sequel to the airline’s 2012 safety video, An Unexpected Briefing, which brought actors and characters from the Tolkien story onboard one of Air New Zealand’s 777-300ER planes.” Follow this link to watch An Unexpected Briefing.

‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Teaser Released

Marvel has unleashed a teaser for The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

The video embedded above features “Ultron trying to tear apart Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, and the rest of the world.” What do you think?

An internet leak compelled the company to release the trailer earlier than planned. The theatrical release date for The Avengers sequel has been scheduled for May 01, 2015. (via The Verge)

‘Mockingjay Part 1′ Soundtrack List Unveiled

MockingjayThe full song list for the Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack has been unveiled. Curator Lorde announced on her Tumblr that “each week up ‘til week of release you will receive a new taste” from the album.

Altogether, the Grammy Award-winning songstress selected 14 tracks. She contributed 2 tracks of her own including “Yellow Flicker Beat” and “Flicker” (a Kanye West remix). Lorde posted the lyrics for “Yellow Flicker Beat” on her blog.

Other artists being featured include The Chemical Brothers, Grace Jones, and more. Follow this link to listen to the first single. Click here to watch the new TV spot video, entitled “CHOICE,” for Mockingjay Part 1. (via Entertainment Weekly)

Macmillan to Publish New Board Book By Jimmy Fallon

DadaThe Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon has been working on a new book. Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group will release Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada as a board book on June 09, 2015.

The story follows a father as he tries to make is so that his child’s first word is “dada.” This project was inspired by Fallon’s mission to compel his daughter, Winnie Rose, to say “dada” for her first word. Sadly, the young girl did not comply and instead said “mama.”

Here’s more from The Hollywood Reporter: “This is Fallon’s second board book. The first, Snowball Fight, about kids having fun when school is canceled for snow, came out in 2005. He’s also the author of a couple of funny books for adults — Thank You Notes and Thank You Notes 2 — that were based on skits from his late night TV show.”

‘Batman vs. Superman’ Movie May Feature a Female Robin

bvsBatman’s famous sidekick, Robin, may be played by a female in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Rumors have been swirling in Hollywood that Catching Fire actress Jena Malone will be taking on that role. According to Variety, the movie studio has not confirmed this to be true. The theatrical release date has been scheduled for March 25, 2016.

Here’s more from Time: “Making Robin a woman, though, isn’t all that drastic. Zack Snyder’s Batman v. Superman movie is reportedly based largely on Frank Miller’s comic The Dark Knight Returns, in which Batman’s sidekick is a woman named Carrie Kelley. In the comics, a raven-haired Kelley—obsessed with the Dark Knight—saves him from some bad guys in order to win his trust and become the new Robin.”

John Leguizamo Inks Deal For ‘Ghetto Klown’ Graphic Novel

Ghetto KlownActor John Leguizamo has landed a deal to create a graphic novel adaptation of his hit one-man Broadway show, Ghetto Klown. ComicArts, an imprint at ABRAMS, has scheduled a release date for Spring 2015.

Cartoonist Christa Cassano has signed on to create the artwork. Executive editor David Cashion negotiated the deal with Foundry Media literary agent Anthony Mattero.

Leguizamo had this statement in the press release: “Ghetto Klown is the history that I probably never should have told anyone but my therapist, but it’s a real lesson that even if you suffer a certain amount (a lot) of self-doubt and anxiety, you can still accomplish great things. It’s a lesson I’m really excited to impart to a whole new audience and in a whole new way with the help of artist Christa Cassano and Abrams Books. My life’s work took me my whole life to figure out, but, hey, better late than never”

Aasif Mandvi Asks Fellow Comedians to Appear in His Book Trailer: VIDEO

Have you ever asked a celebrity to appear in your book trailer? In the “Funny or Die” video embedded above, Aasif Mandvi makes this request of Jack Black, Wyatt Cenac, John Oliver, and more.

Mandvi has written a book of personal essays entitled No Land’s Man: A Perilous Journey through Romance, Islam, and Brunch. Chronicle Books will release it on November 04, 2014. (via The Huffington Post)

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