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Morning Must-Read: LEGO Lord of the Rings, 'Thor' Casting and the Minions Spinoff Gets a Release Date

Sean OConnell
Animation tidbits kick off today’s Morning Must-Read, starting with the news that Ellen DeGeneres is in talks to once again voice the forgetful fish Dory in Pixar’s planned Finding Nemo sequel. Heat Vision reports that Nemo director Andrew Stanton will return to helm the sequel, which Victoria Strouse currently is writing. And if you need a refresher course in the first Nemo, Disney will have a 3D-converted version of the 2003 Oscar winner in theaters starting on Sept. 14. 
 
Meanwhile, Universal Pictures has chosen Dec. 19, 2014 as the release date for its Despicable Me spinoff starring the yellow, goggle-sporting minions. Save the date. In addition, Despicable Me 2 is heading toward theaters on July 3, 2013, so look for the further adventures of Steve Carell’s evil genius, Gru, and his adorable, adopted daughters. 
 
The Rocketeer could be the latest film picked from our pop-culture past to get a bells-and-whistles remake, according to Vulture. But won’t his similarities to Iron Man cause conflicts?
 

Over on the set of Thor: The Dark World, Natalie Portman wise-cracking sidekick, Kat Dennings, is back for more Marvel mayhem. Rumor has it her role will expand beyond “supporting comedian.” Being on a hit sitcom like 2 Broke Girls helps one’s cause, no? [Deadline]
 
Now that Sean Penn is directing Crazy for the Storm, he may bring a Gangster Squad collaborator along for the ride. Josh Brolin is circling the role of Norman Ollestad’s father in the adaptation of the memoir, the story of a teenager immersed in the world of surfing and competitive skiing who puts his skills to the test when his chartered plane crashes down on the San Gabriel Mountains in the middle of a blizzard. [Variety]
 
NBC has confirmed that The Office will end after the upcoming season, freeing up stars like Ed Helms (The Hangover) and John Krasinski to focus on future film projects. [HitFix
 
Warner Bros. Interactive release artwork for the LEGO Lord of the Rings game, which will be available on all gaming platforms this fall:
 
 
And Variety has the first official photo of Forest Whitaker as The Butler, currently shooting in New Orleans. The film, directed by Lee Daniels (Precious), follows Eugene Allen, a White House servant who worked for eight First Families. The ensemble is kille,r including Oprah Winfrey, Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman, Jane Fonda, James Marsden and Robin Williams. Stay tuned for more details on the film as it head toward theaters. 
 
 
Follow along on Twitter @Sean_OConnell and @Fandango
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