Casting Tidbits: Emily Deschanel, Rashida Jones & Jon Hamm
by Ethan Anderton
May 4, 2010
Take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the Casting Tidbits go. First up, Screen Daily reports Alice Braga (I Am Legend), Ciarán Hinds (The Eclipse) and Toby Jones (Infamous) have all joined the cast of Swedish director Mikael Hafstrom's adaptation of The Rite based on the non-fiction novel by Matt Baglio. The film follows a disillusioned American seminary student attending an exorcism school at the Vatican who finds his faith through encounters with demonic forces. Anthony Hopkins is already on-board to play a priest who is an expert in exorcisms and whose methods are a bit unorthodox.
Next, Variety reports that the comedy The Big Year which already has Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson attached has just gained a whole slew of actors as Rashida Jones, Anjelica Huston, Jim Parsons, Rosamund Pike, JoBeth Williams, Brian Dennehy, Dianne Wiest, Anthony Anderson and Tim Blake Nelson have all signed on to star. The film tells the story of three men (Black, Martin and Wilson) who try to outdo each other in a bird-watching competition to spot the rarest birds in North America. The rivalry is an allegory for the challenges each faces in his own life. And if the aforementioned plethora of actors wasn't enough, Kevin Pollak and Joel McHale are also in talks to join the cast, which by itself is a pretty damn good reason to be interested in the flick.
Also, the still untitled wedding themed comedy starring and written by Kristen Wiig from producer Judd Apatow and director Paul Feig is still steadily gaining an impressive cast as Production Weekly updates that Jon Hamm, Dianne Wiest and Matt Lucas are in talks to join the story of a maid of honor (Wiig) begrudgingly competing with a bridesmaid (Rose Byrne) for the bride's attention. The cast already includes Maya Rudolph and Chris O'Dowd, and with the talent attached both in front of and behind the camera, this might be a wedding comedy actually worth seeing.
In addition, Variety reports Emily Deschanel ("Bones") will star opposite Kathleen Turner for the Anne Renton directed independent flick The Perfect Family, a story which follows a devoutly Catholic wife and mother (Turner) who has been nominated for one of the church's top awards. She goes about trying to prove that she has the "perfect" family, refusing to accept them for who they are. Deschanel plays the daughter, a successful lawyer who is a lesbian, five months pregnant, and struggles when it comes time to telling her mother the truth. Jason Ritter also stars as the son who has just left his wife for an older woman, while Turner's husband (Michael McGrady) is a recovering alcoholic. Wait that's not the perfect fa- OH! I get it!
Next, Variety reports that Dominic Purcell ("Prison Break") has joined the independent action-thriller The Killer Elite, which already has Clive Owen and Jason Statham on board. Based on a novel called The Feather Men by Ranulph Fiennes, first published in 1991, Irish director Gary McKendry will make his feature debut with this story about a group of former British special forces members being hunted by a team of assassins led by Statham's character, a former Navy Seal. No word on the specifics of Purcell's role, but we can assume he'll play one of the former British special forces members.
Finally, THR reports Brendan Gleeson (Green Zone, In Bruges) has joined the cast of The Cup. He will play legendary Irish horse trainer Dermot Weld in a film about the 2002 Melbourne Cup horse race, which begins filming this summer in Australia. Simon Wincer, who directed one of my favorite guilty pleasures, The Phantom, is helming the project. Obviously this is loads different than a campy comic book adaptation, but it'll be interesting to see how he approaches the material.
Well, that's all for this edition of Casting Tidbits. Be sure to stay tuned for more casting updates on the way.