Casting Bits: Virginia Madsen, Jeremy Irons & Thomas Lennon
by Ethan Anderton
July 7, 2010
My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the Armies of the North, Gen. of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my Casting Tidbits, in this life or the next. First up, Variety reports Virgina Madsen has joined the cast of Red Riding Hood, the supernatural thriller take on the classic story. Madsen will play Red Hiding Hood's (Amanda Seyfried) mother in the Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight) directed story which sees a small village haunted by a werewolf. Gary Oldman, Lukas Haas and Julie Christie also star. Read on!
Second, Deadline reports yet another fantastic addition to an already amazing cast as Jeremy Irons has signed on to star in Margin Call. The ensemble drama follows eight people at a prominent investment bank in a tumultuous 24-hour period during the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis as the characters struggle to position themselves ahead of the coming storm. Irons will play the chief executive of a financial firm alongside the likes of Kevin Spacey, Demi Moore, Zachary Quinto, Paul Bettany, Simon Baker, Stanley Tucci and Mary McDonnell in a film that will mark the feature directorial debut of J.C. Chandor who also wrote the script.
Next, THR reports the hilarious writer/comedian Thomas Lennon has lined up roles in two different forthcoming comedies. The first will see him involved with plenty of shenanigans alongside John Cho and Kal Penn in the holiday comedy sequel A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas. Lennon will play a suburban dad and neighbor of Harold's who gets caught up in the duo's crazy chaos. The second role will see him as one of a plethora of ex-boyfriends in What's Your Number?, a romantic comedy starring Anna Faris. Lennon is just one of many boyfriends who Faris reconnects with in her search for the one that may have gotten away.
Also, Heat Vision reports Megan Park (Charlie Bartlett, "The Secret Life of the American Teenager") had joined the cast of Guns, Girls and Gambling, the crazy indie crime thriller starring Christian Slater, Gary Oldman and Dane Cook. The story focuses on the search for a priceless American Indian artifact stolen during a poker game at an Indian casino, with Elvis impersonators (Slater, Oldman), a 6-foot-tall blond assassin, a frat boy, a corrupt sheriff (Cook) and a prostitute in pursuit. Though it's not specifically mentioned, can we assume that Park will be playing the prostitute? I'm sure we'll find out sooner or later.
Next, THR reports Danny Glover, Gina Gershon and Robert Patrick have all signed on to star in the indie drama Five Minarets in New York, the English-language debut of Turkish writer/director Mahsun Kirmizigul. The film tells the story of Maria (Gershon), the wife of a Turkish scholar who is arrested by federal authorities after being wrongfully accused of a crime. No word on the roles Patrick and Glover take on in the film, but this is an interesting assembly of talent working with an established foreign director, so this will be one to look out for at festivals and such.
In addition, Wednesday's Korner (via Cinema Blend) reports Roger L. Jackson, the voice behind the infamous Ghostface killer in the Scream franchise, will reprise his role on the other side of the phone for Scream 4. Jackson said, "It's a lot of fun, I love the work! It's going to be a great horror sequel.” I wonder if he said that before all the supposed script changes we've been hearing about that seems to have pissed off the rest of the cast. At least Jackson is another familiar element of the original franchise that is being brought back for the sequel. Hopefully the rest come together well enough to overcome the bad word of mouth from the set.
Also, Risky Biz reports Elisabeth Röhm ("Heroes") has joined the cast of Abduction, the Taylor Lautner led action thriller from director John Singleton. Röhm is replacing Emily Mortimer as Lautner's biological mother in the story of a young man who goes on the run after discovering that his parents aren’t his own when he sees his baby picture on a missing persons website. This will be a project to watch simply to find out if Taylor Lautner's awful acting is merely a result of The Twilight Saga's melodrama, or because his only talent seems to be inexplicable appearances with his shirt off.
Finally, Deadline reports James Fox (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sherlock Holmes) and his son Laurence Fox have both signed on to star in Madonna's period picture W.E. (as in Wallis and Edward). The story is similar to Julie & Julia in that it flashes between the past and present as a young married New Yorker (Abbie Cornish) in 1998, finds herself obsessed with what she perceives as the ultimate romantic love story: Edward VIII’s abdication for his love of Wallis Simpson. The elder Fox will play King George V while the young plays Bertie, the unwilling heir to the throne. I'm not sure what to expect since Ewan McGregor and Vera Farmiga took themselves away from the project, but it sounds somewhat interesting.
Well, that's all for this edition of Casting Tidbits. Be sure to stay tuned for more casting updates on the way.