Casting Tidbits: Elias Koteas, Jessica Chastain & Fred Ward
by Ethan Anderton
June 25, 2010
You better pray to the god of Casting Tidbits that this wind doesn't pick up, ’cause I'll come over there, and jam an oar up your ass! First up, Risky Biz reports that Elias Koteas, who will forever be known as Casey Jones, has landed a role in the Winnie Mandela biopic (wife of Nelson Mandela) in the aptly titled Winnie. Jennifer Hudson has taken the title role with Terrence Howard attempting to follow in Morgan Freeman's footsteps by portraying Nelson Mandela. Koteas will play De Vries, an overzealous officer in the apartheid police state who rises in power and becomes intent on stopping Winnie and activists from gaining power.
Second, THR reports Jessica Chastain, an up and coming actress with roles in upcoming films like Terrence Malick's Tree of Life and the contemporary Shakespeare adaptation of Coriolanus, has landed a role in The Help. Based on the Kathryn Stockett novel of the same name the story focuses on African-American domestic servants and their wealthy white employers in pre-Civil Rights era Mississippi. The stories are uncovered by a young aspiring writer (Emma Stone) just home from college who returns home with the intention of writing a tell-all book, fueled by the stories of the servants. Chastain is playing Celia Foote, an insecure Southern lady constantly trying to fit in with the high society women who reject her.
Next, THR reports Fred Ward (Tremors, Armored) has joined the cast of Ruben Fleischer's action comedy 30 Minutes or Less which revolves around two criminals who force a junior-high history teacher (Aziz Ansari) and a pizza-delivery man (Jesse Eisenberg) to rob a bank by strapping one of them into a bomb vest. Ward will play The Major, the father of Danny McBride's thug character. Also taking part in the chaos in some capacity will be Michael Pena and Nick Swardson.
Also, Variety reports Jon Tenney ("The Closer") has become a late addition to the cast of DC Comics' adaptation of Green Lantern. Tenney will play Hal Jordan's (Ryan Reynolds) father Martin Jordan in the superhero flick which has been shooting over the past month down in Louisiana. Blake Lively, Mark Strong, Peter Sarsgaard, Tim Robbins, Temuera Morrison and Angela Bassett all star in the film that already has a sequel in development despite having another year before the first is even released.
Finally, Lake Bell has personally updated via Twitter that she has dropped out of Wes Craven's slasher sequel Scream 4. She wrote, "Sucks: Scheduling conflicts with my current gig means I cant do Scream 4! (Hey horror bloggers, I know who the killer is…) #i'llnevertell." Bell was slated to play Deputy Judy Hicks, a police officer who knew Neve Campbell's Sidney from high school. It's unknown who will take her place, but a replacement will likely be announced soon since production starts imminently in Michigan.
Well, that's all for this edition of Casting Tidbits. Be sure to stay tuned for more casting updates on the way.