Casting Tidbits: Dame Judi Dench, Bill Nighy & Aaron Eckhart
by Ethan Anderton
November 5, 2010
Over?! Did you say "over"? Casting Tidbits isn't over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no! First up, Daily Mail reports (via The Playlist) that Dame Judi Dench will have a small role in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides within an opening escape sequence involving Johnny Depp's swashbuckling schemer Capt Jack Sparrow. Apparently Sparrow will find himself making a getaway by jumping into a carriage belonging to a noblewoman played by the actress. Sparrow supposedly uses his irresistible charms to ravish her whilst taking the time to rob her ever so indiscreetly.
Second, Deadline reports Aaron Eckhart is attached to play the lead role in The Expatriate, a drama following a former CIA agent who hopes to make a fresh start with his estranged 15-year old daughter. He takes a job in Belgium as a security expert for a multinational corporation and arrives one day to find the corporation no longer exists, his coworkers are gone, and his assistant is really a trained operative out to kill him and his daughter. Just your average day at the office. The two must go on the run while learning to trust each, but the daughter has difficulties excepting the truth about the father's dark past. Philipp Stölzl is directing from a script by new writer A.E. Amel.
Next, Variety reports Bill Nighy (Love Actually, Shaun of the Dead) and Jackson Rathbone (The Twilight Saga) are negotiating to star in a 3D adaptation of of Peter Straub's novel Shadowland. The story follows two young boys who spend a summer with a famous magician, who teaches them more than just harmless tricks but real sorcery.With a relatively small budget of $20 million, the film will shoot overseas in Ireland and the UK. Erik Canuel is directing the film, and it sounds like Larry Leahy is writing the adaptation as well as producing with Benjamin Straub.
Finally, we've already heard that Val Kilmer is leading Francis Ford Coppola's newest film Twixt Now and Sunrise which he's been shooting very quietly. Now The New York Times has also found out the cast also includes Joanne Whalley (44 Inch Chest), Ben Chaplin (Me and Orson Welles), Don Novello (famous for being Father Gudio Sarducci), David Paymer (Ocean's 13) and Alden Erenreich who led Coppola's last film Tetro. They join Elle Fanning (Super 8) and Bruce Dern ("Big Love") who were already previously announced. The story is a thriller with horror elements based on a shorty story Coppola wrote after a nightmare he had while sleeping.
Well, that's all for this edition of Casting Tidbits. Be sure to stay tuned for more casting updates on the way.