Big Casting Tidbits: Robert De Niro, Matt Damon & Many More
by Ethan Anderton
April 22, 2010
Mama always said, "Casting Tidbits was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." First up, Robert De Niro may reunite with Sean Penn for the first time since they worked together on the disastrous comedy We're No Angels. The potential reunion would have them star with Frances McDormand in This Must Be the Place, the next film from writer/director Paolo Sorrentino (of Il Divo). The story follows a retired rock star who decides to track down and kill the ex-Nazi war criminal who executed his father. Though we know De Niro is up for a character named Mordecai Levi, we don't know much else yet.
Next, Pajiba reports Matt Damon and Keira Knightley have both been offered the lead roles in Tender is the Night, a film based on the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel of the same name. The film doesn't sound like anything we haven't seen before in films like Revolutionary Road or American Beauty, as the story is said to focus on the psychological disintegration of a young married American couple, but with the breakdown being set in the French Riviera in the 1920's. Damon would play Dick, a promising young doctor married to Nicole (Knightley), whose wealth gives him a lifestyle that is completely foreign to him. Their casting isn't official yet though, so stay tuned for more confirmation.
Also, Lizzy Caplan (Mean Girls, Hot Tub Time Machine) has slowly been making a name for herself with some strong supporting roles (not to mention some steamy appearances on HBO's "True Blood"), but now it looks like she's found a lead role to sink her teeth into as she has been cast in Queens of Country, a films that has Caplan as a young woman, obsessed with the titular female country singers like Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette, setting off to find the owner of a lost iPod full of songs by those singing idols as she is convinced the stranger might be her true love. I'm not a fan of country music all that much (but I loved Crazy Heart and Walk the Line, so go figure), and yet, there's something charming about this story that has me interested. The film comes from Ryan Page & Chris Pomerenk who are previously responsible for the music-based documentaries The Heart is a Drum Machine and Blood into Wine.
In addition, despite losing Tommy Lee Jones as the film's director, The Lincoln Lawyer has just gained an actress in Marisa Tomei. The actress would star opposite an already cast Matthew McConaughey in the upcoming adaptation of Michael Connolly's 2005 novel of the same name which focuses on low-level criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller who finds himself representing a wealthy client with ties to a previous murder case Haller handled. Tomei would play Haller's ex-wife, prosecuting attorney Maggie McPherson. This should be a good return to a form that McConaughey once inhabited back when he didn't just star in terrible romantic comedies, and showed some serious acting chops in legal thrillers like A Time To Kill. We'll see if he's still got the goods sooner than later hopefully.
Also, THR reports Leslie Mann (Funny People, Knocked Up), Kate Bosworth (Superman Returns, 21), Chris Coy (Greenberg) and Kyle Gallner (Jennifer's Body, the new A Nightmare on Elm Street) are joining the cast of Goodnight Moon, a semi-autobiographical drama from Elgin James which has Juno Temple and AnnaSophia Robb as young girls who find themselves in trouble after they run away to Los Angeles and hook up with skaters and street kids. James himself started a street gang in the Boston area before ending up at Sundance Labs. Mann plays Temple's mom, a woman who works at a secondhand clothing store but whose best years are behind her and Bosworth will play her sister. Meanwhile Coy will play an opportunistic, sociopathic street kid, and Gallner is a skater; both use the girls to run a scam that goes bad.
Next, Heat Vision reports the stunning Teresa Palmer (December Boys, The Sorcerer's Apprentice) has joined I Am Number Four, the D.J. Caruso directed film based on the upcoming young-adult science fiction book of the same name by James Frey and Jobie Hughes. While Alex Pettyfer is already playing the titular Number Four, and Sharlto Copley onboard as his guardian and mentor, Palmer will play Number Six, one of nine aliens who escape their home planet before its annihilation by a rival species and hide out on Earth disguised as human high schoolers. At least we know these aliens become the most prototypical attractive high schoolers to blend in so well.
Finally, Bloody-Disgusting reports that Rose Byrne (28 Weeks Later, Adam) and Patrick Wilson (Watchmen, The A-Team) have joined the cast of Insidious, a horror film from the recent teaming of the guys behind Paranormal Activity and the creators of Saw. Very little is known about the story, but it's said to be "a haunted house movie with all the usual conventions and twisted it on its head." From the guys responsible for two of the most lucrative horror films in the past decade, this could turn out to be another win for the horror genre, and if it's any good, maybe it can go against the current and not become a tired franchise. But we'll have to wait until the film even comes out before we get there.
Well, that's all for this edition of Casting Tidbits. Be sure to stay tuned for more casting updates on the way.