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Ron Perlman Out Of ‘The Hobbit,’ Nic Cage Talks “Abstract” ‘Ghost Rider 2’ & More Sequel News

Ron Perlman Out Of 'The Hobbit,' Nic Cage Talks "Abstract" 'Ghost Rider 2' & More Sequel News

Jeff Bridges Talks Sequel To ‘The Last Picture Show’; ‘American Pie 4’ In The Works & More

Ron Perlman has confirmed that with the exit of Guillermo del Toro, he too will be skipping “The Hobbit.” “I’m not doing [it],” he told ComingSoon. His giant forehead will next be seen in “Season of the Witch” and will probably be a candidate to show up in del Toro’s “At The Mountains of Madness.”

Nicolas Cage confirmed to io9 that “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” is more of a standalone story than an actual sequel to 2007’s dodgy “Ghost Rider.” “This one is completely reconceived,” he says, comparing the original to a “fairy tale,” adding, “It’s not even connected to the first one, it’s a different origin story. But I think it will be a brand new experience.” Cage adds, “…we’re getting into some really abstract stuff that I think will mess with people’s minds.” He also states that the involvement of directors Brian Taylor and Mark Neveldine were the reason he signed to do the project in the first place, which certainly makes it seem like he doesn’t owe millions of dollars to the IRS. But hey, castles don’t pay for themselves.

-Guess Jeff Bridges has the way-overdue-sequel bug. With “Tron: Legacy” coming up, the Oscar winner has revealed that he’s interested in another go-round with Peter Bogdanovich in a sequel to “The Last Picture Show.” “I was just in Texas with Peter,” he says to Collider, ” and we’re looking at doing the next installment… there’s actually five books that Larry McMurtry wrote about these characters and so we’ve done two and we wanna do the next thing.” The first sequel was “Texasville,” which was twenty years ago, so it would be exciting to see Bogdanovich playing in this sandbox again, though it remains to be seen when he might get it to it as he’s also developing a new comedy, “Squirrel To The Nuts” with producers Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach.

-Despite rumors of a theatrical release, the extra footage from “Jackass 3D,” now being called “Jackass 3.5,” will debut online next March with clips released weekly before the whole shebang gets released on DVD. “We also shot some additional footage in Europe specifically for 3.5,” offers Johnny Knoxville, adding, “I have staples in my head right now to prove it. Woo hoo.” Now THAT’S entertainment.

-It looks like the upcoming “American Pie 4” from writer-directors Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg (“Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle“) will be a straight sequel. “For me, it makes sense to bring everybody back,” says producer Craig Perry. “Those characters have become part of the cultural lexicon… and I think there’s an interest in seeing where they are, because they haven’t been onscreen for seven years.” So that’s the deadline for when people lose interest in the marginal horndogs in your three film “Porky’s” knockoff. Good to know.

-Are theatergoers ready for the return of Benji? 2004’s “Benji: Off The Leash” suggested that, no, they were not properly prepared. But that isn’t stopping Walden Media from diving headfirst into another relaunch of the character. Brandon Camp (“Love Happens“) will write, direct and produce a new “Benji” reboot (“Benji Begins”?) which is fitting since Camp’s father created the original “Benji” and because no one gave a shit about “Love Happens.”

USA has aired some sort of spy series (or cop procedural or something — Characters Welcome and all) called “Burn Notice” for a couple of years now. We can’t verify that people watch the show, but it can’t be all bad, since it gives a weekly paycheck to Bruce Campbell. Campbell’s about to get the spotlight in a standalone prequel to the show, a two-hour telemovie that features his well-named Sam Axe as a Navy SEAL in Bogota. Jeffrey Donovan, who apparently stars in “Burn Notice,” will direct.

-The Whistler Film Festival is preparing a tribute to filmmaker Bruce McDonald, but the real surprise is the debut of the highly anticipated “Hardcore Logo II.” Canadian rock enthusiasts, the line starts here.

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