Casting Tidbits: Jennifer Hudson, Craig Ferguson & Eric Dane
by Ethan Anderton
November 18, 2009
You can't handle the Casting Tidbits! First, Variety reports Jennifer Hudson has been cast in Winnie, a biopic of the former wife of South Africa’s first black president, Nelson Mandela. Directed by veteran South African filmmaker Darrell J. Roodt (who also co-wrote the script with Andre Pieterse and Paul L. Johnson) the story will tell the whole story, good and bad. Focus ranges from her image as a mother, wife and steadfast supporter of her activist husband, to campaigning for his release from jail and fight against apartheid and her condemned association with a bodyguard who murdered a 14-year old alleged informer.
Next, THR has reported that Mexican actor Demian Bichir has signed on for two upcoming projects. First, he is set to star in Hidalgo-Moliere the Antonio Serrano directed film about the father of the Mexican independence movement following his early years in the theater and his rise to leading the Mexican War of Independence in the early 1800's. Second, he has joined the tentatively titled drama Lady Scarface about a young Colombian woman who rises to power as the leader of a South Florida gang, Los Curramberos. Ernest Dickerson (HBO's "The Wire") will direct from a screenplay by Tony Puryear and Susannah Grant with Bichir in talks to play Pedro, the gang leader who takes this woman as his girlfriend without realizing the scope of her ambition.
Via their Twitter page, Production Weekly has noted that three actors will be lending their voice to the upcoming Winnie the Pooh adaptation based on five of the original stories from author A.A. Milne. As the voice acting veteran has done for years, Jim Cummings will be back as the voices of the honey-loving bear Winnie the Pooh as well as the bouncy feline Tigger. In addition Tom Kenny (better known as "Spongebob Squarepants" and also recently featured as the voice of Wheelie/Skids in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) will take on the voice of Rabbit and late night talk show host Craig Ferguson will voice the Owl.
Finally, THR reports Eric Dane (of ABC's "Grey's Anatomy") will be joining Christina Aguilera, Kristen Bell, Cher, Stanley Tucci and Cam Gigandet in the Steve Antin-directed musical Burlesque about an ambitious small-town girl (Aguilera) with a big-town voice who finds love and success in a Los Angeles neo-burlesque club, reminiscent of the nightclub in Bob Fosse's Cabaret. Dane will play a charming, highly successful businessman who offers to buy out of the burlesque club from Cher and vies for Aguilera's heart.
That's all for this edition of Casting Tidbits! Be sure to stay tuned for more casting news on the way!