<p>Logan Lerman stars in 'Percy Jackson &amp;&nbsp;The Olympians:&nbsp;The Lightning Thief&quot; in theaters February 12.</p>

Logan Lerman stars in 'Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief" in theaters February 12.

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Watch: 'Percy Jackson' has teacher trouble at the museum in this exclusive clip

A quick taste of Fox's new franchise picture, 'Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief'

Next week, I'll be sitting down with the director and screenwriter of "Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief," which Fox hopes will be the first in a series of adaptations of the young-adult novels about a young man who learns that he is descended from the Greek gods.

It's been interesting to watch Fox and Warner Bros. jockey for position on this film and "Clash Of The Titans," since they're both obviously covering similar ground.  The difference in tone, though, marks them as dramatically different projects, and I don't think there's much chance of confusion.  "Clash" is aiming at an older audience, and it's actually set in the period.  Fox seems to be targeting younger viewers here, and it's a modern-day story that reintroduces the Greek gods in a new context.

The "Clash" trailers so far have been almost pure action, and while the latest trailers finally mention the idea that Perseus (Sam Worthington) is the son of a God and a mortal, that hasn't been the main thing the trailers have emphasized.  If anything, he seems disdainful of his own heritage, like he wants no part of it.  In "Percy Jackson," the main journey of the character is uncovering the secret of who he is and where he came from, and so you can expect it will be a major part of the movie.

The cast of "Percy Jackson" includes Sean Bean, Pierce Brosnan, Uma Thurman, Rosario Dawson, Steve Coogan, Kevin McKidd, and Catherine Keener as Percy's mortal mother, which sort of reads like the cast lists for the "Night At The Museum" movies, a comparison I'm sure Fox would be happy to make at the box-office if possible.

The clip they sent over is more like a condensed version of a scene set at a museum during a field trip, when Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) first discovers that the world is not exactly what he thinks it is.  You'll get a glimpse of Pierce Brosnan here, who is playing Chiron, and who appears to be a teacher for Percy, evidently so he can stay close and keep an eye on him.

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<p>Logan Lerman, holding the shield in the middle, may turn out to be the new 'Spider-Man' for Sony, particularly if 'Percy Jackson &amp;&nbsp;The Olympians:&nbsp;The Lightning Thief' does as well as Fox hopes next week.</p>

Logan Lerman, holding the shield in the middle, may turn out to be the new 'Spider-Man' for Sony, particularly if 'Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief' does as well as Fox hopes next week.

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Is Logan Lerman going from Greek God to Spider-Man?

'Percy Jackson' star confirms he's in the running for the highly-coveted role

As the press junket for "Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief" takes place in LA this weekend, my guess is that Logan Lerman can expect to be quizzed about this rumor incessantly.  Evidently, Logan Lerman is one of the people currently talking to Sony about playing Peter Parker in the new "Spider-Man" reboot directed by Marc Webb.

It's his own fault, really.  After all, he's the one who spilled the beans to Billy Bush of "Access Hollywood" in the first place.  The casting makes sense.  One studio's already hung a major franchise on the young actor, and he's the right age to play a high-school Peter Parker.  Lerman's 18 years old, and he's been working in film for a decade already, having made appearances in films like "The Patriot," "Hoot," and "3:10 To Yuma."  He's not a big star yet, so Sony won't have to spend out the nose to sign him, but there's a chance he's about to break big, which makes him a good bet.

This is the first truly credible casting rumor so far, and hopefully it puts a bullet in the head of that ridiculous Zac Efron tabloid rumor that's been bouncing around for a while.  Keep in mind, though... Lerman doesn't have the job yet.  He's just had conversations, which is a long way from being "in talks," as many outlets are reporting right now.

In the meantime, we'll be following up on this like prety much everyone else online in the next few days, and if there's solid news about the casting, we'll make sure you hear it right here at HitFix.

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<p>Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse are finally starting to spill some major beans regarding 'Lost,' and we look at some of what they have to say in today's Morning Read.</p>

Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse are finally starting to spill some major beans regarding 'Lost,' and we look at some of what they have to say in today's Morning Read.

Credit: J. Emilio Flores for The New York Times

TMR: The 'Lost' creators start explaining themselves

Plus a new Massive Attack video, 'Watchmen 2' rumors, and more

Welcome to The Morning Read.

What an amazing night.  If you haven't been lucky enough to see "The Pee-Wee Herman Show" in Los Angeles and you're a fan of the character, let me just say that Paul Reubens absolutely still has a handle on what people love about that creation, and the show is preposterous amounts of fun.  That, followed by the two-hour "Lost" premiere here at the house with Quint and Kraken from Ain't It Cool and "Brothers Bloom" director Rian Johnson, made for a great but late evening, especially since I had to write up my "Lost" recap afterwards and then get up at 8:30 this morning for a life insurance physical.

If you're like me, you probably wanted to follow up "Lost" today with some reading on the subject, and a good place to start would be with this conversation with Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse over at EW.com.  They talk about their overall plan for this year, but they keep things just vague enough to be delightfully maddening.  I'm amused by the people who have already started bitching about the ending of the series after just seeing the season premiere, but not surprised.  This show has always been a magnet for naysayers, and in almost every case I've read, I think they are reacting to their own expectations and not what they're actually watching.  You can find another worthwhile Lindelof interview over at Collider as well.

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<p>This is exactly what your mother warned you would happen if you didn't stop in a painful moment from Universal's 'The Wolfman,' in theaters February 12.</p>

This is exactly what your mother warned you would happen if you didn't stop in a painful moment from Universal's 'The Wolfman,' in theaters February 12.

Credit: Universal Pictures

The best preview yet of Benecio Del Toro and Emily Blunt in 'The Wolfman'

Check out Benecio, Emily Blunt, Anthony Hopkins, and plenty of fur and fangs

The more I've seen of the film, the more I'm crossing my fingers (even the disturbingly broken ones) that Universal has pulled off a stylish and freaky remake of "The Wolfman."  Benecio Del Toro approached this as a passion project, and I love that it's a no-joke Monster Kid wearing Rick Baker's make-up in this one.  I still wish I could have seen what Mark Romanek would have done with the material, but considering when Joe Johnston stepped into the process, this sort of is Romanek's film.  He made a lot of the big choices that will influence what you see onscreen a week from Friday.

Toshi's become a big fan of the original Universal "The Wolfman" in the last few months.  It started when his godfather gave him a series of monster books, each one highlighting a different classic monster.  He's had me reading them to him at bedtime almost non-stop, and he's particularly drawn to the plight of "Lorren Tablet," as played by Lon Chaney Jr.  I get it.  There's something heartbreaking about a monster who doesn't want to be a monster, and if this new film gets that part of it right, that'll go a long way towards making the film work.  Lawrence Talbot always resonated for me as a kid, and it's interesting to see that my little budding film nerd feels the same way.  It'll be a looooooong time before he ever lays eyes on this new film, of course, since it's an R-rated take on the material, but for now, he's happy to watch the final fight from "Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman" over and over, cheering as he does so.

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<p>Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, and Abigail Breslin all star in the horror/comedy 'Zombieland,' available today on BluRay and&nbsp;DVD.</p>

Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, and Abigail Breslin all star in the horror/comedy 'Zombieland,' available today on BluRay and DVD.

Credit: SPHE

DVD & Games Forecast: 'House Of The Devil' goes VHS and pan-and-scan and we love it

Plus 'Star Trek Online' sends Trekkies into orbit

Welcome to the DVD & Games Forecast.

It's not a terrible week for releases, but as I'm looking at the weeks ahead, it seems to me like the industry is just going through the motions.  I'm a film nerd, so I absolutely will find something to be excited about every week, but for the general public, there are fewer and fewer must-have titles, fewer and fewer great surprise catalog releases.  It just seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy, like the industry has decided that VOD is going to take over, so they're doing everything they can at this point to make that come true.

Blech.  I love my physical media, and I don't want an all-VOD future.  Let's see what's going on this week that will keep me feeling like someone somewhere cares:

THIS WEEK'S FEATURED TITLES:

"The Music Man" (BluRay)

That's right... the beloved Robert Preston vehicle finally hits BluRay, and that starts with "B" and that rhymes with "P" and that stands for "pool."  I watched this Sunday night with both of my boys, and they loved it.  The music delights, number after number, the comedy still plays loud and clear, and the new transfer by Warner Home Video is probably the best we could ask of the film.  There are places where the grain inherent to the print is a little overwhelming, but for the most part, the colors pop and the image shimmers.  This is one of those feel-good movies that you can never overplay, and that was built to last, and this new edition only underlines just how true that is.

"Zombieland" (BluRay/DVD)

quite liked Ruben Fleischer's debut feature, and the BluRay looks sensational. What's interesting about rewatching the film is that you can clearly see how it was structured originally as the kick-off of a TV series, several episodes from a larger arc smooshed into a theatrical feature instead.  The film's got clever to spare, whether in the way it establishes the rules at the beginning or in the case of the Big Movie Star Cameo sequence, and Fleischer has an excellent eye.  I think one of the reasons the film ended up being so much fun is because it didn't use the idea of zombies to push a larger metaphor, which is typically how the genre ends up playing out.  Not that I dislike zombies as a metaphor, but it's just occasionally nice to see a film cut loose and have fun.  It helps that the cast is all on their game, and that the film plays more to the comedy side of the horror/comedy equation.  "Zombieland" may not be an all-time genre classic, but sometimes "just plain fun" is exactly what you're looking for.

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<p>The cast of 'Lost,' including many figures thought to be long gone, gather for one in a series of mysterious 'Lost Supper' parodies that are leading up to the final season of the remarkable series.</p>

The cast of 'Lost,' including many figures thought to be long gone, gather for one in a series of mysterious 'Lost Supper' parodies that are leading up to the final season of the remarkable series.

Credit: ABC/Touchstone

Sixteen episodes to go, and I'm feeling more 'Lost' than ever

A look back at the series and some thoughts on the final season ahead

Tomorrow night is a huge one in pop culture for me.  The first part of the evening, I'll be at "The Pee-Wee Herman Show" at the Nokia Live in downtown LA.  I'm taking my wife and Toshi, and based on everything we've been hearing from people who have already gone to see the show, it should be a hell of a night.

And as soon as it's over, we'll be speeding back to Northridge, with AICN's Quint and Kraken in tow, so we can watch the two-hour season premiere of "Lost."  I'll be recapping the final season of the show, just as I did last year, and the only reason I haven't been babbling about it for the last few weeks is because I've been distracted by Sundance and other work that's been piled up.  Good thing, too, because when I think about tomorrow night, I get unreasonably excited.

Here's the thing... I don't expect that every single question raised by the series over the past five seasons will be answered this year.  We've got sixteen episodes to go.  They're going to have to cover some serious ground just to cover the big things, and I'm fine with that.  I don't think great fictions comes with every single thing tied up and gift-wrapped.  I remember when I was interviewing Terry Rossio and Ted Elliott a few years ago, and we were discussing the construction of the "Pirates Of The Caribbean" franchise.  Say what you will about those scripts, but one of the things we discussed really rang true for me.  They talked about the theory of "distant mountains" when you're building a series, the idea that you should always leave yourself more room in your world than you explore.  It leaves room for the viewer to insert themselves into the world, giving them things they can "solve" for themselves.  As long as the creators of "Lost" don't give you every single little detail set in concrete, there's still room for interpretation and conversation, and that's just plain smart storytelling.

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<p>What do you think is happening in this new image from the upcoming horror film 'The Crazies'?&nbsp; Read today's Morning Read to find out.</p>

What do you think is happening in this new image from the upcoming horror film 'The Crazies'?  Read today's Morning Read to find out.

Credit: Overture Films

TMR: Three new exclusive stills from 'The Crazies'

Plus possible first looks at 'Thor,' 'Green Lantern,' and 'Captain America' on film

Welcome to The Morning Read.

Any time I take a break from The Morning Read, jumping back into it feels intimidating until I actually do it.  These are probably the most labor-intensive columns I put together for the site.  It probably doesn't help that I had weekend plans with Rip Torn that got a little complicated, and I haven't heard back from him.  I guess I need the distraction, so let's jump right in.

Mike Fleming was the first to reveal the existence of Shane Salerno's mysterious documentary about J.D. Salinger, a passion project that's been underway for years now, and I'm curious to see if the rumored missing five minutes actually turn out to be an appearance by the author, or if this is going to be another hype moment like Morgan Spurlock's ultimately empty Osama documentary.

And speaking of documentaries, Karen Schmeer's work as an editor was tremendous, and her reputation among filmmakers was amazing.  This weekend, Errol Morris broke the shocking news that she had been killed by a car that was speeding away from a robbery.  That's the sort of death that will never make sense to anyone who knew her, and all they can ever hope to do is remember her work and her spirit, much like Shawn Levy did in his moving tribute to her.

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<p>The four Marx Brothers at their very best in the 1933 classic 'Duck Soup,' the first film under discussion in our new column, 'The Basics'</p>

The four Marx Brothers at their very best in the 1933 classic 'Duck Soup,' the first film under discussion in our new column, 'The Basics'

Credit: Universal Home Video

The Basics: A re-introduction to a new column

In which we welcome Will Goss from Cinematical to the fold

Okay, so that didn't exactly go as planned.

Waaaaaaay back on May 8th of last year, I wrote a piece called "The Basics:  My Favorite Film, or Where The Conversation Begins."  It was meant to be a spin-off from my ongoing series, "The Motion/Captured Must-See Project," and it began because of some criticisms that were leveled against another online writer.  Here's what I wrote about the reasoning behind the column:

"... one of the reasons I have spent the last 14 years writing about movies online is because I think those of us who have this voracious appetite for movies, who have gone out of our way to mainline thousands and thousands of films, good and bad, big and small, mainstream and obscure... it's our obligation to pass on to others why we do that, what makes those films worth that sort of investment of time and energy, and to steer people to the things that we think are most essential. In a world where you have as many options as we do now for entertainment, where you can constantly swim in the new without ever looking backwards, it seems to me more essential than ever to communicate our enthusiasm for the greats, the films that we hold dear.

So I called Alex [Billington]. And instead of just lambasting him about what he hasn't seen, I suggested a different approach to this, one that acknowledges that there are probably far more people out there whose relationship to movies is like his than like mine. Or Devin's. Or Harry's. One of the reasons I've had this long friendship with some of these other film writers is because they speak the same language I do. They have the same vocabulary. If I reference a movie, they'll understand it, and they understand why I draw a comparison. And so if we're going to treat this... all of it... like a conversation, then we have to acknowledge that if we want people to take part in that conversation, we have to invite them in, not attack them for something they haven't experienced yet."

At that point, my idea was that I would reach out to Alex and suggest one film at a time to him that he hadn't seen, writing a column to explain why I felt like that film was essential, and then he would write a response column on his own site in which he could talk about his reaction to the movie.  To start, I suggested he go see a 70MM screening of my favorite film, "Lawrence Of Arabia," and he agreed.

That was the last I ever heard from him about it.

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<p>Katie Aselton stars with Dax Shephard in 'The Freebie,' which she also directed and which screens as part of this year's Sundance Film Festival.</p>

Katie Aselton stars with Dax Shephard in 'The Freebie,' which she also directed and which screens as part of this year's Sundance Film Festival.

Credit: Sundance Film Festival

Sundance 2010: 'The Freebie'

Katie Aselton's knowing film tells hard truths about fidelity and love

Marriage is hard work, and for anyone in the trenches, this year's Sundance was a rough ride.

"The Freebie" is ostensibly a comedy, but it's a comedy that plays rough.  Katie Aselton, who wrote, directed, and stars in the film, offers up a a tough look at the way couples can find themselves stalled out in their emotional connection, and what they'll do to try to reforge those connections.  In this case, Darren (Dax Shepard) and Annie (Aselton) have been married for several years, and they have a relationship that looks perfect from the outside.  They spend all their free time together, they laugh, they share crosswords in bed, and they seem genuinely happy.  But their sex life has grown stagnant, to the point that they can't remember the last time they were together, and as they confront that idea, they try to figure out the best way to kickstart things.

What begins as a theoretical conversation quickly becomes an agreement:  for one night, they'll call a time out, and each of them is allowed to pick one person to have sex with.  No questions asked.  No strings attached.  No recriminations.  Their thinking is that the vacation from fidelity will rekindle the passion between the two of them, and after setting some ground rules, they kick things off.  The film then jumps in time to after the night off, and leaves the question hanging:  who did what, and how is it going to affect them in the long run? 

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<p>The corner that is the center of a debate over abortion in the new documentary '12th &amp;&nbsp;Delaware,' part of this year's Sundance Film Festival.</p>

The corner that is the center of a debate over abortion in the new documentary '12th & Delaware,' part of this year's Sundance Film Festival.

Credit: Sundance Film Festival

Sundance 2010: '12th & Delaware'

The directors of 'Jesus Camp' return with a look at the abortion debate

We live in a country where genuine debate seems to be dead, and has instead been replaced by polemic, polar opposites that scream at each other.  Most documentaries these days are produced to advance an agenda by one side or another, and as a result, sitting in a theater frequently feels just like watching this biased news channel or that one.  Not that I think bias is necessarily a bad thing, or even something that can be avoided, as long as it's open and not disguised.  A film like "Outrage," for example, is profoundly biased, but it still makes its points in a clear-eyed, well-argued way.

What's truly difficult is to make a film about something as hot-button divisive as abortion and still somehow give both sides of the debate equal time and equal weight.  Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, the filmmakers behind the terrifying "Jesus Camp," found the perfect way into the conversation in their new film "12th & Delaware."  Even the title of the film serves as a microcosm, since I'd imagine there are thousands of 12th and Delawares in America.  In this case, Ewing and Grady went to Fort Pierce, Florida, where they found a remarkable situation that sums up exactly where we are with this dialogue right now.  Their approach to the film was to give both sides of the situation half the film to present the case with no editorializing at all, and in doing so, I think they've made a powerful film that is infuriating and heartbreaking.

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