Pedro Aldomovar sees sin in the skies, Penelope Cruz travels to Sarajevo, while Hugh Laurie goes head-to-head with RoboCop.
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15 Jun 2012 - 4:41 PM  UPDATED 5 Nov 2012 - 6:30 PM

Leaving behind the audiences and critics who were divided about the merits of The Skin I Live In, Pedro Almodovar is casting what is reportedly his most frantic farce in years. The Brief Lovers is an ensemble comedy set on board a commercial airplane that may be about to crash land, causing the fearful passengers to start confessing their sins to each other. A main role will be played by Javier Camara, who previously appeared in Talk to Her and Bad Education for Almodovar, while those taking smaller parts include Penelope Cruz and The Skin I Live In star Antonio Banderas, who was once Almodovar's muse in the late 1980s and has recently returned to the fold.

Cruz has also reunited with Italian filmmaker Sergio Castellitto, with whom she made 2004's Don't Move, one of those fine non-English language movies that helped audiences keep faith with her while she trying to make it in daft Hollywood productions such as Sahara. In Venuto al Mondo Cruz will play a single mother who takes her teenage son to Sarajevo, now the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the site of a bloody siege during the break-up of Yugoslavia in the mid-1990s that claimed the life of the boy's father. The cast also includes Emile Hirsch (Milk), Mira Furlan (Television's Lost) and Jane Birkin (Blow Up)

“History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce,” Karl Marx once noted, and that might sum up our attitude to White House Down, the action thriller that we once laughed about because it had the high concept tagline “Die Hard in the White House”. The idea is steaming ahead, with Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, 2012) directing, Jamie Foxx (Ray) to play the U.S. President taken hostage by terrorists, and Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street, The Vow) as the plucky Secret Service agent who has overcome the odds and rescue him from inside the occupied Oval Office. Now Maggie Gyllenhaal (Secretary, the forthcoming Hysteria) has signed on to play a fellow Secret Service agent.

Who was Noah's rival? You'll have to bone up on your Biblical knowledge to find out, but in the meantime that's who veteran British heavy Ray Winstone (The Departed, Beowulf) is playing in Darren Aronofsky's boat building epic. Also joining Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly is Harry Potter star Emma Watson.

The idea of remaking RoboCop is, of course, daft, but the cast for the new version to be directed by Brazilian filmmaker Jose Padilha (Elite Squad) just gets better and better. Joining Joel Kinnaman, Samuel L. Jackson and Gary Oldman in a movie that will probably not have the black humour of Paul Verhoeven's original, are Australian Abbie Cornish (Somersault, Bright Star) as the grieving wife of Kinnaman's fallen police officer turned cyborg, and Hugh Laurie (television's House, pictured) as a crime boss. An admission: if there is a scene featuring Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson and Hugh Laurie together I will pay money to see this film.