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First Avatar screening receives a standing ovation! Moviegoers in London rose to their feet in praise of James Cameron’s new SF feature Avatar, lauding the technical achievements of the hugely expensive epic, CNN reports.

Cameron has reinvented genre cinema before with the still-pretty-awesome CGI of 1992’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day. He then went on to direct Titanic, which would become the highest-grossing film of all time. To say that after a 12-year absence from features the stakes were high for Cameron would be an understatement, given that Cameron developed entirely new camera systems to create the world of Pandora, where his 3-D saga takes place.

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Casting for The Hobbit begins! OK, all you New Zealand hopefuls … start slathering Rogaine on your feet. Casting for the first part of director Guillermo del Toro’s two-part version of The Hobbit (for the present simply called The Hobbit, Part 1) has officially begun today.

TheOneRing.Net reports that the address for the casting of principals through Liz Mullane Casting will be announced later, and that the casting of extras will be handled by Miranda Rivers in Wellington, New Zealand. Mulane has worked with Hobbit producer Peter Jackson going all the way back to his Heavenly Creatures and The Frighteners days. Rivers has previously handled casting for the earlier Lord of the Rings movies, as well as Jackson’s King Kong.

Now, one thing you really have to hand to Jackson-produced movies is that the casting is usually pretty awesome. Remember that almost no one had heard of Kate Winslet before Jackson and company got hold of her for Heavenly Creatures, and think of all the people who became big stars after appearing in Jackson’s vision of Middle-earth.

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‘Thor’ writers join vampire film ‘Damn Nation’ Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz, who wrote “Thor” for Marvel, have come aboard to pen “Damn Nation,” a futuristic vampire project lurking at Paramount.

Dark Horse Entertainment’s Mike Richardson and Keith Goldberg are producing the adaptation, which is based on a comic by Andrew Cosby and art by Jason Alexander (not the “Seinfeld” actor). Michael Aguilar and Dean Georgaris are also producing.

Set in a U.S. evacuated after an attack from “inhuman nocturnal predators,” the comic tells the tale of the survivors after the government has been forced to relocate to London while scientists search for a solution.

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‘Creature From Black Lagoon,’ ‘Brood’ remakes due Several classic horror titles are stepping out of the crypt.

“Creature From the Black Lagoon,” the remake of the 1950s camp classic about a mythic monster who terrorizes scientists, and “The Brood,” David Cronenberg’s 1979 science-fiction/horror film about a woman who telepathically instructs her children to act out violently, are both landing new directors.

Carl Rinsch, the hot commercials director who recently signed on to direct the samurai adventure “47 Ronin,” is now in talks to direct Universal’s “Black Lagoon,” updating the story of the Gill-man and the Amazonian havoc he wreaks.

Meanwhile, Breck Eisner, the man who was once attached to direct “Black Lagoon” (before parting ways with the project after the writers strike), has signed on to remake “Brood” for Spyglass Entertainment.

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Will you be watching Avatar? What do you expect from it? Are you excited about the Hobbit? What do you think of more vampire films being done? Should they do something else? Yes or No for the remakes? OBS loves to here you!