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Popcorn: Roman Polanski is going back to work

Now that his legal woes are settling down and he's back in France (where he has citizenship), Roman Polanski is heading back to work.

American authorities tried to extradite him from Switzerland recently so he could be tried for a sex crime dating back to 1977, but the Swiss refused the extradition request. Anyway, his next film, God of Carnage, is based on the Tony-award winning play by Yasmina Reza. The comedy/drama will focus on two sets of parents who meet to discuss a schoolyard fight their sons have been involved in, but amicable negotiations soon get nasty. Whatever one thinks of Polanski's personal life, his films are almost always worth watching and, as usual, he's gathered a great cast: Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and Matt Dillon.

Stephen Fry joins Sherlock Holmes 2

Cockney filmmaker Guy Ritchie has nabbed a refined thespian to join his Sherlock Holmes sequel. Actor, writer, Twitter-favourite and general raconteur Stephen Fry (right) will be joining the cast of the big-budget sequel, playing Sherlock's smarter, but less honourable, brother Mycroft. Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law will be returning in the lead roles. The film is set to open on December 2011, the same day as the next Mission: Impossible film.

And speaking of Mission: Impossible ...

Mission: Impossible 4 might seem like too many trips to the well, but I for one confess to being a little excited about it. It'll be directed by one of my favourite filmmakers (Pixar's Brad Bird, making his first non-animated film) and the cast is shaping up nicely: Tom Cruise (of course) will be reprising his role, and he'll be joined by Paul Patton (Precious), Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner (so good in The Hurt Locker) and now Michael Nyqvist has climbed aboard.

Critics 'like' status of The Social Network

At time of writing, The Social Network, a drama about the painful birth of Facebook, has garnered near universal acclaim. The review aggregation side on Rottentomatoes.com lists 100pc approval among those who have seen it: "If Coppola were into computers, this would be The Godfather," raves Screen Junkies; and Pete Hammond of Boxoffice magazine said (get this) "As socially significant to this generation as films like Network, All The President's Men and The Graduate were in their own time."

Cillian Murphy and Thandie Newton join The Retreat

Irish production company Ripple World Pictures started shooting their new film The Retreat in Wales last week. The film stars Cillian Murphy and Thandie Newton as a couple who escape to an island retreat following a tragedy. But then a stranger (Jamie Bell) washes ashore with news of an airborne toxin ravaging Europe. Sounds interesting.

Gloria Stuart: 1910-2010

Following an illness, leading lady of the 30s Gloria Stuart passed away this week aged 100. She appeared in the James Wale classics The Invisible Man and The Old Dark House.

Irish Independent