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Russell Brand skips premiere of biopic, plus more movie buzz

Russell Brand on February 9, 2014.

Russell Brand on February 9, 2014. Credit: Getty Images / Thomas Lohnes

WHO Russell Brand

THE MOVIE "Brand: A Second Coming"

THE DEAL The unpredictable actor-comedian was so chagrined by a new documentary about him that he canceled his appearance when the movie premiered at the South by Southwest film festival. According to, director Ondi Timoner ("DIG!") said that the film -- which was seven years in the making -- felt "too raw and personal for him." In her interview, Timoner essentially confirmed a message Brand posted on his website last week which said, "My life was hard enough the first time round and going through it again was painful and sad."


WHO Anthony Mackie

THE DEAL The actor known as Falcon in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is in talks to play Jesse Owens in a film from Relativity Media, according to Variety. Owens, the African-American track star whose four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics left Hitler's master race in the dust, is now the subject of at least three feature films being developed by Hollywood studios. The other two are Focus Features' "Race" and Disney's untitled project based on the book "Triumph" by ESPN's Jeremy Schaap.


THE ACTOR Jack Huston

THE MOVIE "The Crow"

THE DEAL The star of HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" is officially playing the title role in a remake of the goth-rock classic "The Crow," according to reports. James O'Barr, creator of the original graphic novel, recently confirmed Huston's casting -- and that of "Downton Abbey" actress Jessica Brown Findlay -- at a comic-book convention in Kentucky. The 1994 movie, about a rock musician brought back to life to avenge his fiancee's murder, starred Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee, who was accidentally killed on set during filming.

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