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The Amazing Spider-Man cupcakes

The Amazing Spider-Man is out in UK cinemas from tomorrow - and, one month on from Prometheus, it's the perfect excuse to bake some more movie cupcakes.

Marc Webb's reboot may slip up towards the end, but the tasty ingredients are all there: Rhys Ifans, Emma Stone, Andrew Garfield's hair. So it was easy to find inspiration for these Amazing Spider-Man cupcakes. But not as easy as it was to gobble them all up afterwards.

Read on for the full recipe/instructions on how to bake your own edible baked Spidey goods.

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The King's Speech continued its UK box office reign with a frankly ridiculous total of £4.4m from this past weekend. £4.4m would have been a dream figure for the film's opening week. But a second week's takings, following a £3.5m debut? The mind boggles.

On the back of extremely positive word of mouth and award nominations, Tom Hooper's period biopic actually increased by 20% for its second week of release - a feat rarely seen outside of freak success stories like Slumdog Millionaire. And with the BAFTA and Oscar nominations fast approaching, make no mistake: it is on its way to being this year's Slumdog, with audiences' good intentions pushing it to financial and critical success. 

Danny Boyle's 127 Hours didn't enjoy the same boost (despite similarly positive reactions). Instead, it fell under its rock's weight down to £1.3m, a drop of 38%, not helped by The King's Speech stealing its share of screens across the UK; Colin Firth conquered 30 more, bringing his total cinema kingdom up to 424.

New entry The Green Hornet (with its relatively unknown title character) couldn't match The Firth's buzz, amassing just £1.8m - an altogether different sting to the one Sony wanted after all that marketing money. With Gulliver's Travels placed in third (relatively close to Hornet with £1.2m), the 3D screens and uplifts are being split down the middle, leaving Jack Black to march on towards a total of £13m and Hornet unable to even top the two-week total for The Next Three Days, which has gathered together a disappointing £2m. Perhaps a poorly chosen release date had a part to play there.

But flops are common this week, with Tron Legacy almost out the UK Top Ten altogether without even reaching the £10m mark. There's also barely any sign of new release Conviction, another hoping for awards attention, which arrived in 12th spot with just £279k. That's two thousand more than Season of the Witch's second-week tally of £276k.

Further down the charts in arthouse zone is the depressingly beautiful Blue Valentine, which clocked up £176k. But it did that with just 35 screens - an average taking of five grand apiece. That's a lot stronger than Conviction's average of one thousand for each of its 253 screens. Expect those cinemas to switch loyalties sharpish.

Black Swan, I Spit on Your Grave and NEDs are all out this Friday but for now, nothing can compete with Colin Firth's performance. And with Firthy picking up a Golden Globe (and BAFTA nomination), The King's Speech's reign will just keep on going. Word of a jump towards 500 screens suggests that even Natalie Portman's ballet skills will find it a hard nut to crack.




After Rhys Ifans' involvement was revealed earlier this week, Spider-Man's villain has been revealed. As we expected, Spidey will be facing off against The Lizard - presuming the leak's true of course.

The Wrap announced their exclusive source, who confirmed that Ifans would be playing the part of Dr Curt Connors, aka the Lizard. Connors is a scientist who tries to regenerate his missing arm, only for experiments to go horribly wrong and turn him into a big pile of genetic mess.

Connors has a complex relationship with Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker, acting as something of a mentor for the young scientist while he's at school - expect some solid chemistry (ahem) between Ifans and Garfield.

The saddest part of all this? Poor old Dylan Baker. Who? Exactly. Baker played the part of Dr Connors in Sam Raimi's Spidey franchise, a supporting character waiting to be developed (perhaps in the ill-fated fourth film) into a major villain. He'll be a bit annoyed about Rhys Ifans waltzing in and getting it straight off. No matter how sexy his grey y-fronts are.




Rhys Ifans will be the new villain in Sony's Spider-Man reboot.

Yes, you read that correctly. The unexpected casting announcement comes just after Spidey slung another surprise web in our face, that Emma Stone wouldn't be playing Mary-Jane but Gwen Stacey instead.

In an official statement from Columbia Pictures, President Matt Tolmach said: "We have been very fortunate to attract some of the best actors working today to play the villains in the Spider-Man movies, and it is exciting to see that trend continue with Rhys Ifans. After seeing his performance in our upcoming film Anonymous, we’re in awe of his talent and think he’s the perfect choice to take on this role."

Director Marc Webb added: "What sets the Spider-Man villains apart is the complexity of their relationships with Peter Parker. Rhys' incredible ability to embody both warmth and rage makes him the ideal choice for this character."

There's no word on which bad guy Ifans will play, but rumours are ranging from Green Goblin (again - he does feature in the Gwen Stacey comic book storyline) to Venom (again - unlikely after that third film) and The Vulture (which Sam Raimi once offered to John Malkovich). The other main contender seems to be The Lizard, aka Dr Curt Connors, who acts as Peter Parker's mentor while he studies science at school; a neat match for the complex relationship that Webb hints at.

Let's face it, though, as long as Rhys wears those sexy grey underpants of his, we really don't mind which villain he is. Expect those good firm buttocks to bash Andrew Garfield about in July 2012.



David O Russell has signed to direct an adaptation of computer game Uncharted: Drake's Fortune.

After dropping out of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the director has revived a previously dead project, which he ditched back in August. The PS3 title, which sees Francis Drake's descendent trying to discover the treasure of El Dorado. A nice adventurous romp for the I Heart Huckabees helmer, then.

Sony, who have a script from Cowboys and Aliens scribes Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer, are happy for O Russell to tinker with it before starting to shoot - that's the kind of treatment you expect when you're surrounded by Oscar buzz for The Fighter, the boxing movie starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale.

David O Russell originally planned to make Old St Louis instead of Natalie Portman's undead Austen flick, and he'll probably stick with that schedule. Not only does it let him work with Vince Vaughn, it also gives him more time to come up with a decent MacGuffin for his Indiana Jones-style summer movie. That's summer 2012, of course. 



After all those rumours and offers, Sony have confirmed that they have cast Emma Stone in their Spider-Man reboot. As Gwen Stacey.

The Zombieland and Easy A star will play Peter Parker's love interest in Marc Webb's 3D spin on the Spidey franchise. Continuing her relationship with Sony (who also produced her earlier films, including Superbad and The House Bunny), Stone's casting opposite Andrew Garfield isn't a surprise. But her character sure is.

Described in the studio's press release as the film's "female lead", we're back in the territory of wondering whether redhead girlfriend Mary Jane will actually feature in the restarted series if Gwen Stacey is such a central focus.

(500) Days of Summer director Marc Webb commented: "The chemistry between Andrew and Emma was stunning and made Emma the clear choice. At the heart of the story of Peter Parker is not only the amazing Spider-Man, but also an ordinary teenager who is wondering what he has to do to get the girl. Andrew and Emma will bring everything audiences expect to these roles, but also make them their own. Much to my surprise, it was fun to find out that our choice for Gwen (Emma) is also a natural blonde."

Spider-Man will be slinging his way towards cinemas in July 2012. With or without Mary Jane.


Doug Sweetland, the director of animated short Presto, has signed with Sony to make his feature debut.

The Oscar-nominated animator, whose tale of a hungry rabbit and a magical hat charmed everyone with a heart or brain before Pixar's WALL-E, will direct The Familiars. A tale of three young wizards who get kidnapped by an evil queen, it's based on the book by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson.

Sweetland has worked at Pixar for the last 16 years, so it's great to see him finally stepping out into his own full-length project. Especially one that involves a cat, a blue jay and a tree frog as magical familiars. And Sam Raimi as an exec producer.



UPDATE: After rumours of this girl and that girl, Deadline have reported that Sony will be offering the role of Mary-Jane to Emma Stone. Sony's reboot will therefore continue the core romance between Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker and the redhead girl next door.

The other names in circulation now include Glee's Dianna Agron, Wasted on the Young's Georgina Haig and Moon's Dominique McElligott, alongside Alice in Wonderland's Mia Wasikowska. They're all up for the part of Spidey's first love interest, Gwen Stacey. More on rumours that Marc Webb's 3D web-slinger may be facing off against Phillip Seymour Hoffman's Venom another day. 

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Emma Thompson is in talks to join Men in Black 3. Yes, Nanny McPhee is going black, baby.

Barry Sonnenfeld's sci-fi sequel sees Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones reunite as Agent Jay and Kay, who have to travel back in time to 1969 for some unknown reason (which will presumably be better than the guff that passed for story in MIB 2). There they meet Josh Brolin, playing the young Agent Kay.

Somewhere in there fits evil villain Yaz, playing by Jemaine Clement. And also involved is Agent Oh - Emma Thompson - who takes charge of the MIB team when monitoring a prison breakout.

That's all the plot details revealed so far by Sony's secretive 3D project. But David Koepp's given the script a once-over, so hopes are moderately raised. Shooting starts later this month.



George Clooney is hitting the campaign trail for his latest directorial effort: a big screen version of the play Farragut North. Written by Beau Willimon, it's a story of spin doctors, presidential candidates, and dirty politics. And Clooney thinks he's found his lead actor: Chris Pine.

Last seen in Star Trek, Pine replaces Leonardo DiCaprio in Clooney's plans to adapt the play. If all goes well, he'll play Stephen Myers, a young and successful press officer who's working on getting his presidential candidate one step higher than a rival senator.

The rest of Clooney's cast is already falling into place, with Phillip Seymour Hoffman taking on Paul Zara, Myers' veteran boss (a role once tipped for Brad Pitt), and Paul Giamatti playing the rival candidate’s campaign manager.

Evan Rachel Wood and Marisa Tomei have also been approached to play a love interest for Myers and a nosy journalist respectively. And with Clooney looking at filling in the (small) role of the candidate himself - he appears in the play briefly - the only thing he's waiting on is Chris Pine. It helps that Captain Kirk played the role off-Broadway last year and apparently was rather brilliant.

There's also the matter of money, too, with Sony ready to distribute but not necessarily fund the whole thing. That said, getting funded independently is hardly going to be a problem with such a stellar line-up of talent. Not to mention the golden combination of politics and George Clooney (see Good Night, and Good Luck for proof of how that works).

Expect all-round brilliance to enter production soon.

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