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There are many reasons to love and appreciate composer Hans Zimmer and not just for film score nerds like us. The most recent being the fact that while doing research for music to incorporate into the "Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows" score, he was exposed to the human rights abuses and infringements being inflicted upon the Roma people, a minority population (also known as gypsies) in Central and Eastern Europe.

For those who know anything about "Game of Shadows," you might recall that new addition Noomi Rapace's character is described as a gypsy. Zimmer recently told MTV News that he wanted the music for Rapace's character and a few other assorted scenes to be authentic so in an effort to understand the culture of the Roma people better he pitched a "road trip" to director Guy Ritchie and brought along his daughter Zoe Zimmer who is a fashion photographer. Their experience led to a moving collection of photos taken by Zoe and put on display in a "Deserve Dignity" photo exhibit celebrating International Human Rights Day.

MTV News caught up with Zimmer recently to get his take on the experience and bringing attention to a group of people who are being denied equal rights as citizens.

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Rock of Ages

Get a load of that "Rock Of Ages" trailer, will ya. Holy power ballads, big hair, leather pants and bad decisions. There's Julianne Hough being Julianne Hough, Russell Brand being Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin being Alec Baldwin in that he's scene-stealing up a storm, Catherine Zeta Jones likely killing it as a very uptight mom/PTA president type and Tom Cruise. A long-haired, shirtless, sort-of singing Tom Cruise.

MTV News was lucky enough to snag a few moments of director Adam Shankman's time to chat about the trailer, what he plans to tease out over the next six months and why Cruise was a kid in a candy store on set.

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Although Robert Downey Jr. has been all about the superhero action star spectacle films recently, we can't forget that his body of work pre-"Iron Man" involved a virtual smorgasbord of characters in a lot of quieter think pieces, TV dramedies and quirky indies.

Therefore when the news broke earlier this year that Downey Jr. and director Paul Thomas Anderson might be working together on a big screen adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's "Inherent Vice," it seemed like a perfect fit for moviemaking magic.

Anyway, when MTV News caught up with the man in question at the press day for "Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows" recently, we asked him if the report about "Inherent Vice" was fact or fiction.

"Anything to do with Paul Thomas Anderson and I doing a movie together is probably true," Downey Jr. said. "We tend to talk about a variety of potential projects, and Thomas Pynchon's 'Inherent Vice' could be great, we'll see."

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Let's face it, any news about "Dark Shadows" is good news. Even if it just involves the stars gushing about the project.

Piggy-backing off last week's most excellent chat with Helena Bonham Carter, who admitted that while she loved her character, she thinks the film might be a tough sell, we recently had another "Dark Shadows" cast member encounter with star Michelle Pfeiffer, who had nothing but positive remarks for her time spent on set, director Tim Burton and her hope for "Shadows" sequels.

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Anyone who saw "Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes" this summer knows that one of the best parts of the film was Andy Serkis' incredible performance as sentient and revolutionary chimpanzee, Caesar. There has even been early talk of Serkis deserving Academy recognition for his work. Heck, even the stars of the film said the reason to see the film is Serkis and the rest of the apes.

The DVD and Blu-ray powers that be must have been paying attention to all the Serkis buzz because they've created an all-Serkis featurette for the "Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes" DVD and Blu-ray, out Dec. 13, and we've got your exclusive first look right here. Check out the video below to see "The Genius Of Andy Serkis."

"He really brought a lot of depth to the character," says writer/producer Richard Jaffa, over awesome footage of Serkis' acting in a side-by-side comparison of his raw performance and the finished film. "Once he's in it, he's in it and goes through this incredible transformation."

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Fassbender Bale

It looks like Christian Bale's busy post-"Batman" schedule has forced him to bow out of Darren Aronofsky's "Noah." According to Variety, Bale has passed on the leading role in Aronofsky's long-developing biblical epic, opening the door for 2011 "It Man" Michael Fassbender to step in and replace him.

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FROM MTV MOVIES: Ever since the trailer arrived for Kristen Stewart's next likely blockbuster, "Snow White and the Huntsman" -- a.k.a. her first big post-"Twilight" movie -- we've been chomping at the bit for more info about the film.

Luckily, MTV News had a fun-filled chat recently with Stewart's "Huntsman" co-star Charlize Theron, during which the South African-born beauty revealed that she and Stewart are about to shoot the film's climactic battle sequence.

"I'm still shooting ['Huntsman'], I'm going back in two days," Theron told us as she promoted the comedy "Young Adult." "I haven't really worked with [Kristen]. I've done some small things with her, but we're about to shoot our big showdown, and fingers crossed for me. It's the big battle. I'm just really, really, really hoping I get to kill her," she said with a smile. "That is how the story ends up, right?"

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FROM MTV MOVIES: After our nods to rising stars Elizabeth Olsen, Michael Fassbender and Tom Hiddleston, MTV Movies' Thankful Week continues with — drum roll, please — the actor we're most thankful for in 2011: Daniel Radcliffe.

Really, what's not to like about this talented young man? He's dazzled audiences for more than a decade as "the boy who lived" in eight "Harry Potter" films and has most recently been the talk of the Great White Way with his critically acclaimed work in the musical "How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying." We feel pretty confident in saying that the future looks bright for this guy.

Daniel Radcliffe discusses his fantastic year!

MTV News recently caught up with Radcliffe to get a sense of how he's feeling post-Potter and where he wants to be in 10 years.

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Billy CrystalFROM MTV MOVIES: Another day, another headline-making story surrounding the already-turbulent 2012 Oscars. This time, the story has a more safe and familiar ring to it: Billy Crystal has officially signed on to host the show.

Crystal spilled the beans via Twitter on Thursday afternoon (November 10).

"Am doing the Oscars so the young woman in the pharmacy will stop asking my name when I pick up my prescriptions," he wrote. "Looking forward to the show."

Following Crystal's tweet, the Academy released a statement confirming the hosting news. "Some of the best moments of my career have happened on the Oscar stage," Crystal said in the statement. "I am thrilled to be back there."

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FROM MTV MOVIES: In a move that falls right in line with the old adage "actions speak louder than words," director Brett Ratner has stepped down as producer of the 2012 Academy Awards.

Ratner submitted his resignation to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization in charge of the Oscars, on Tuesday (November 8), according to a statement posted on Oscars.org. The "Tower Heist" director has been making headlines over the past few days — first, due to his comments about a sexual relationship with Olivia Munn, then at a screening of "Heist," where he used a gay slur, claiming that "rehearsal is for f--s."

"He did the right thing for the Academy and for himself," Academy President Tom Sherak said in the statement. "Words have meaning, and they have consequences. Brett is a good person, but his comments were unacceptable. We all hope this will be an opportunity to raise awareness about the harm that is caused by reckless and insensitive remarks, regardless of the intent."

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