<p>Jude Law, Robert Downey Jr., and Rachel McAdams are all set to reprise their roles as Watson, Sherlock, and Irene Adler in 2011's just-confirmed 'Sherlock Holmes 2.'</p>

Jude Law, Robert Downey Jr., and Rachel McAdams are all set to reprise their roles as Watson, Sherlock, and Irene Adler in 2011's just-confirmed 'Sherlock Holmes 2.'

Credit: Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. gets serious about 'Sherlock 2,' 'Superman' reboot and 'The Flash'

Studio sets release dates and confirms development on a handful of projects

Warner Bros is, in my opinion, the model of what a modern movie studio can be.

That doesn't mean I think every one of their films is a classic or that every decision they make is perfect.  I just mean that they manage their assets as well as any company could, and in the process, they actually seem to support filmmakers in taking risks sometimes.

Running a studio has very little to do with the love of movies, and that makes film fans absolutely mental sometimes.  Deservedly.  I find decision-making infuriating sometimes from a creative point-of-view, but taken simply as numbers in a ledger, some of those choices end up making a lot more sense.  What's great is when the artistic and the financial occasionally collide.

I'm not remotely surprised to hear that they've set a release date for "Sherlock Holmes 2."  As recently as a month ago, Jude Law was denying that the sequel was going to happen, but now there's a release date of December 16, 2011 set for the film, something that was announced at a presentation this morning in New York by Warner chairman and CEO Barry Meyer.

If I were a Warner Bros. stockholder, I'd be pretty excited about the information Meyer gave to them today according to an article in the Hollywood Reporter.  In addition to confirming the "Sherlock Holmes 2" date, he talked about the end of the biggest franchise in Warner Bros. history, the "Harry Potter" films.  It now seems that "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II" will hit theaters in 3D on July 15 on 2011, wrapping up a franchise that's going to end up being worth somewhere around $7.5 billion worldwide.

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<p>Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz co-star in the big summer action/comedy 'Knight &amp;&nbsp;Day,' just one of several films with new trailers in circulation this week.</p>

Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz co-star in the big summer action/comedy 'Knight & Day,' just one of several films with new trailers in circulation this week.

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Watch: New trailers for 'Knight & Day,' 'Jonah Hex,' 'Morning Glory,' and more

See the latest from Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Josh Brolin, Megan Fox and more

It's been a busy week for new trailers.

So busy, in fact, that I haven't had a chance to catch up with all the new trailers that are bouncing around the interwebs until this morning.  It's a strange blend of stuff, big studio movies and tiny indies, long-delayed troubled projects alongside big mechanical release-date-fodder, horror and comedy and action all represented.

I have a theory that "Jonah Hex" is going to sneak up on people as a commercial force this summer, and for reasons that have little or nothing to do with "Jonah Hex" itself.  The other day, when I went to G4 to make an appearance to discuss "Lost," I was in the green room before going on, talking to an eclectic group of people that included me, Devin Faraci, some of the producers of the show, Kevin Pereira, and one of the guys from "Chuck," and we all ended up talking about "Red Dead Redemption," the latest game from Rock Star Studios.  If you haven't seen or played it, the game is basically "Grand Theft Leone."  It's a sprawling sandbox Western game, and heaps of fun.  It is, in the opinion of this casual gamer, an immersive and somewhat amazing experience, and for a lot of kids who don't see many Westerns, it's got to be a bit of a crash course in the joys of this particular genre.

"Jonah Hex" has elements of the supernatural in it, which gives it a slight edge and makes it different than your standard Western.  Like "Red Dead Redemption," it's set towards the end of the Western age, and there are modern mechanics involved in both the evil plan of Quentin Turnbull (John Malkovich) and the arsenal that Hex uses to fight him.  It's a movie that straddles a few different genres, and we'll see if they can pull them all together into a satisfying whole.   For now, here's the second trailer for the film which just premiered on IGN:

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<p>Gemma Arterton and Jake Gyllenhaal star in Disney's 'Prince Of Persia,' opening in theaters this week.</p>

Gemma Arterton and Jake Gyllenhaal star in Disney's 'Prince Of Persia,' opening in theaters this week.

Credit: Walt Disney Company

The M/C Review: 'Prince Of Persia' seems terribly familiar

Is going through the motions enough?

I don't mean to sound like a grumpy jerk this year.  I swear to god I like movies.  In fact, I like many movies, and I like them often.

So why is Hollywood disappointing me so regularly this year?

Maybe I've just reached a saturation point.  After all, "Prince Of Persia" is technically well-produced, and Jake Gyllenhaal makes a perfectly amiable lead as Prince Dastan, a street urchin who was adopted into the royal family of Persia after the King saw a demonstration of his courage as a child.  Gemma Arterton certainly plays the eye candy role with all the "oh, I'm so sassy" energy that is required of her.  Ben Kingsley skulks about looking all skulky, which is what he was hired to do.  Alfred Molina satisfies the "colorful supporting comedy role" requirement with all the skill you'd expect.  John Seale's photography is lush and colorful, and the FX are top-notch, as is the stunt work which does a nice job of actually suggesting the physicality of the game.

So what's missing?  Why is it that at the end of the film, I walked away feeling like I just saw a big trailer with no movie attached?  Why, when all the elements are in place, does "Prince Of Persia" feel like a big fat miss?

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<p>Dany Boon as Bazil, Marie-Julie Baup as Calculator, and Omar Sy as Remington in the latest film from Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 'Micmacs'</p>

Dany Boon as Bazil, Marie-Julie Baup as Calculator, and Omar Sy as Remington in the latest film from Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 'Micmacs'

Credit: Bruno Calvo/Sony Pictures Classics

Watch: Jean-Pierre Jeunet introduces an exclusive 'Micmacs' clip

Get a sneak peek at the new film from the director of 'Amelie'

I've got a real fondness for directors who have a voice, even if I don't always love the films they make.

I think it's because the longer I spend writing about films and mainlining everything from around the world, the more I realize just how hard it is for a director to exercise the absolute stylistic control it takes to make a movie that's got the precise, crystal-clear voice of something like "Amelie" or "City Of Lost Children" or "Micmacs".  Even when Jean-Pierre Jeunet makes a film that is less than personal like "Alien Resurrection," his signature is all over the movie, and you realize just how strong a stamp he leaves on the material he touches.

I reviewed the movie when I saw it at the Toronto Film Festival last year, and then I saw it again at last year's BNAT in Austin.  Both times, what came through most clearly while watching the film was the purity of Jeunet's vision, the way he has once again built one of his crazy mousetraps filled with unforgettable eccentrics.

When Sony asked if we wanted to premiere an exclusive clip, I thought the chance to throw a little support behind this filmmaker whose work I've always enjoyed so much.  But when we saw the beginning of the clip, it was a nice added "WOW" that we didn't expect.

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<p>Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) and Gideon Graves (Jason Schwartzman) fight over the love of Ramona Flowers in 'Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World'</p>

Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) and Gideon Graves (Jason Schwartzman) fight over the love of Ramona Flowers in 'Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World'

Credit: Universal Pictures

Michael Cera and Jason Schwartzman do battle on the set of 'Scott Pilgrim'

Plus director Edgar Wright discusses his vision for the film

When you're on the set for "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World" directed by Edgar Wright, there are a few priorities.  You want to see fighting.  You want to talk to Edgar Wright.  And, ideally, you want some time with Scott Pilgrim himself.

Thankfully, towards the end of a long day on-set, we did finally have some time to sit down with Edgar Wright, Jason Schwartzman, and Michael Cera together to talk to them about the sequence they were shooting, which you can see pictured just to the left of this text.  This is the scene that the whole movie builds towards, the climactic fight between Scott (Cera) and Gideon (Schwartzman), the most Evil of all of Ramona's Seven Evil Ex-Boyfriends.

The set was Gideon's club, a giant LCD-screen nightmare of blinking lights and weird pyramids.  At first, we just had Edgar, who told us as he joined us that he never ever sits in his own canvass-backed director's chair, the one with his name on it, as a matter of superstition.  We asked him first about directing something so much larger than anything else he's made so far, and how he was pacing himself through the epic production.

"There are lots of espressos basically.  I think I reached my espresso limit."  He talked about how he hits a wall on every film, "It’s like when you work so hard you just can’t function anymore and you have sort of a mini meltdown.  And this has happened like twice already, so that I take as a yardstick of how long I’m shooting and how hard I’m working.  I’ve had two sets of mini espresso-based meltdowns on this film."

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<p>Wait... they're making 'Mass Effect' into a movie?&nbsp; Now I&nbsp;don't have any reason to go buy that XBOX&nbsp;360 after all.</p>

Wait... they're making 'Mass Effect' into a movie?  Now I don't have any reason to go buy that XBOX 360 after all.

Credit: Bioware

Legendary Pictures wants to play 'Mass Effect' on the bigscreen

Can this one break the video-game-to-movie curse?

Avi and Ari Arad will join forces with Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni of Legendary Pictures to bring the popular "Mass Effect" series of videogames to life as a bigscreen franchise, according to an exclusive report from Borys Kit at the Heat Vision blog.

So far, the video game movie has proven to be nearly impossible to crack for some reason.  It seems like any number of games have provided rich and interesting source material so far, but none of the films adapted from these games have worked.

Is it inherently impossible to adapt a game into a successful film?  And I don't mean monetarily... I mean creatively.  I don't think anything is impossible creatively, but it's amazing how much it's vexed producers, writers, and directors so far.

Right now, Avi and Ari Arad are betting big on the video-game-to-movie model, and they're attaching themselves to a number of different properties like "Uncharted" and this one, big marquee titles in the video game world.  Legendary is building their brand by betting big and betting geek, and they're a major part of what looks like this summer's film to beat, "Inception."  I have a PS3, not an XBOX 360, so I haven't played the "Mass Effect" games.  I've seen friends lose weeks to them, though, and they've preached the gospel of "Mass Effect" to me afterwards.  Here's the description of the game from the official website for the first one:

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<p>Dominic Cooper, seen here in last year's 'An Education,' may be stepping in as Howard Stark in Marvel's 'Captain America:&nbsp;The First Avenger' for next summer.</p>

Dominic Cooper, seen here in last year's 'An Education,' may be stepping in as Howard Stark in Marvel's 'Captain America: The First Avenger' for next summer.

Credit: Kerry Brown/Sony Pictures Classics

Dominic Cooper set to play young Howard Stark in 'Captain America'

Just how big a role will Iron Man's father have in the film?

If this pans out, it answers some questions for me about the timeline for "Captain America: The First Avenger."

After all, the footage we see of Howard Stark in "Iron Man 2," where John "Mad Men" Slattery appears in the role, was supposedly filmed in the '70s.  And Slattery appears to be in his 50s at that point.  That would mean he was in his 20s back in the time period of the majority of the action in "Captain America," back when he was one of the founding partners in S.H.I.E.L.D. 

We already know from the "Iron Man" films that Howard Stark helped design at least a prototype for the Captain America shield, because we've seen it in Tony Stark's workshop twice now as part of the junk left behind by his dad.  It seems sort of like a throwaway joke in "Iron Man 2," in particular, but after we see the role that Howard Stark plays in "Captain America," we may think of that scene very differently.

Since Marvel needs a much younger Howard Stark, they're looking at Dominic Cooper to play the part.  He's the guy who played Amanda Seyfried's boyfriend in "Mamma Mia," and last year, he was Peter Sarsgaard's slimy partner in crime in "An Education."  His breakthrough role was both onstage and on film in "The History Boys," and he's proven himself to be an interesting young actor who hasn't really had a mainstream success of his own.

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<p>Michael Cera and Jason Schwartzman do batle for the love of Mary Elizabeth Winstead in 'Scott Pilgrim&nbsp;Vs. The World.&quot;</p>

Michael Cera and Jason Schwartzman do batle for the love of Mary Elizabeth Winstead in 'Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World."

Credit: Universal Pictures

On set with 'Scott Pilgrim': Kim Pine and Young Neil talk Sex Bob-Omb

Alison Pill and Johnny Simmons chat about their characters, the music, and more
It's easy to forget that the entire world is not currently rabid about the upcoming film, "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World," adapted by Michael Bacall and Edgar Wright from the six-volume comic series by Bryan Lee O'Malley.  Mainly, I forget they're not all worked up because they should be.  If there was any justice in the world, people would be camping out right now waiting for the film to open in August.
 
Maybe it's just me.  I mean, I have enormous affection for the work of Edgar Wright so far as a filmmaker.  And I think the comic series is downright amazing.  And, of course, I spent a day on-set, taking a look at just how they planned to pull off this incredibly sweet and silly series as a movie, and in the process, I got a distinct feeling that they're up to something special.
 
For one thing, how often do you see people shoot films in Toronto and actually use it as Toronto?
 
O'Malley's series is set in Toronto, and his artwork makes exceptional use of photo reference to bring the city to life.  Instead of trying to make it look like someplace else, Wright's movie goes out of its way to adapt the book and celebrate this oft-disguised city.  A group of us flew up to spend an afternoon on several different soundstages, taking time to speak to the cast as well. 
 
Today, we're going to feature quotes from various interviews, with more of those tomorrow, and then later in the week, we'll take a look at the sets themselves, and then we'll wrap up with some time spent with Edgar Wright and Scott Pilgrim himself, Michael Cera, along with the film's main villain, the most evil of the Seven Evil Ex-Boyfriends.
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<p>In the original film, Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) and Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) were played by European stars, but David Fincher's new version should replace them with more familiar faces.</p>

In the original film, Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) and Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) were played by European stars, but David Fincher's new version should replace them with more familiar faces.

Credit: Music Box Films

More news on 'Girl With The Dragon Tattoo' remake release date, script drafts

Will Brad Pitt star in the remake, and where will they find their Lisbeth?

While I initially thought that the decision to do English-language adaptations of these books even as the original Swedish-language films are being released seemed like an unnecessary decision, I'm starting to think David Fincher is sitting on a potential blockbuster franchise, and some of the announcements that are starting to come out about the series makes me think we're going to be talking about these films a lot in the next few years.

The books have become a genuine phenomenon, and I get it.  They scratch the same itch as something like the Thomas Harris Hannibal novels, and getting that sort of material just right is harder than it looks.  The Millennium Trilogy, written by Stieg Larsson, concludes its English-language publication this week with The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest, and it's interesting to watch this mania catch on here after spending time in Europe, where it's been a big deal for some time now.  I haven't seen the first of the Swedish films, although a DVD should arrive here this week sometime, and I'm hoping to see and review "The Girl Who Played With Fire" as it starts to roll out a limited arthouse release very soon.

Fincher is a little on-the-nose as a choice to direct, but I don't blame him or Scott Rudin for making that obvious choice.  When you're given something that fits this perfectly, sometimes you do it because it buys you the right to do other more esoteric material.  The nice thing is that the books are sort of rough and wild and filthy, but mainstream at the same time, and that makes people feel like they're watching or reading something extreme.  Fincher's great at that.  "Se7en" is one of those films that makes you think you've seen far more than you actually have, that masterfully paints pictures in your imagination by showing you almost nothing. 

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<p>MacGruber (Will Forte) may be an expert at defusing bombs, but that didn't help him this weekend as his film opened to general indifference from the ticket-buying public.</p>

MacGruber (Will Forte) may be an expert at defusing bombs, but that didn't help him this weekend as his film opened to general indifference from the ticket-buying public.

Credit: Universal Pictures

Saturday Night At The Movies: 'MacGruber,' 'Wayne's World,' and the legacy of 'Shrek'

A new ongoing series in which the films that 'SNL' spawned are revisited

You know what I need more of?

Ongoing columns here at HitFix.

Even so, there's a project I've been working on for a while now, and it seems like this weekend might be the perfect time to kick it off.  I'm a film geek first and foremost.  I’ve had the bug my whole life. Well, since I was seven, anyway.  Like many people who are in their mid-30s now, it was "Star Wars" that first spurred me to pursue my interest in film.  For a while, I was only into certain types of movies.  Sci-fi, monster flicks, fantasy films, cartoons... these were the shared dreams that first infected me.  As I grew older, my tastes grew broader as I realized that it was the medium itself with which I was in love.  It’s the potential for all types of storytelling that excites me. 

I have a particular fondness for great comedy.  My list of favorite comic influences is long and diverse, and I find different things funny at different times.  The slapstick of the Three Stooges, the anarchy of the Marx Brothers, the wry wit of "The Thin Man" movies, the elegant precision of Buster Keaton, and the willing surreality of Monty Python all appeal to me equally depending on my mood.  When discussing film comedy, though, there’s one television show that is literally impossible to ignore.

NBC’s "Saturday Night Live" has long since ceased to be “just” a television show.  It’s an institution that’s celebrating its 237th season, a cornerstone of show business, one of those gigs everyone has to try at least once.  The show has launched dozens of careers, maybe even hundreds by now.  If you make a list of every film involving alumni from the show -- as actor, director, writer, or producer -- one is faced with a cross-section of American film that involves titles as disparate as "The Last Picture Show" and "Doctor Detroit," as different as "JFK" and "Modern Problems".  For better and for worse, the show is inescapable.
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