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Casting Bits: Ethan Hawke, Christina Hendricks & Ving Rhames

by
August 9, 2010

Ethan Hawke, Christina Hendricks, Ving Rhames

Ok, this is me, planting an idea in your mind. I say: don't think about casting. What are you thinking about? Casting Tidbits? Right, but it's not your idea. The dreamer can always remember the genesis of the idea. True inspiration is impossible to fake. First, Variety reports Ethan Hawke (Daybreakers, Training Day) has signed on to star in A Late Quartet, which follows a musical group whose members have performed together for 25 years who must adjust to one of them retiring due to Parkinson's disease. Yaron Zilberman is directing from a script co-written with Seth Grossman. Don't count on any "world's smallest violin" jokes.

Second, THR reports the voluptuous Christina Hendricks has joined the indie drama Detachment, the story of a normally detached substitute teacher (Adrien Brody) who becomes invested in the students and teachers at the troubled school where he works and grows close to a homeless teen working as a prostitute. Lucy Liu & William Petersen have also joined an ensemble cast which already includes Bryan Cranston, James Caan and Marcia Gay Harden as well. Hendricks (who is sadly not playing another prostitute in the film) will play a teacher who urges Brody to commit to teaching full-time, Petersen will play a Vietnam veteran who teaches history and Liu will play a school psychologist who grows frustrated with her students' incompetence. Director Tony Kaye (American History X) is helming the project.

Next, Film School Rejects heard straight from filmmaker Nicholas Winding Refn that Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") will have a part in his adaptation of Drive starring Ryan Gosling. No specifics on his role, but the film will be Refn's first foray into a Hollywood sanctioned film and Goslings first role as an action star. The story follows a Hollywood stunt driver (Gosling) who moonlights as a getaway driver in heists. Though there's been some fluctuation as to his next directing gig, Refn finally chose the adaptation of James Sallis' novel his next project sometime back in June. Definitely looking forward to seeing how this one turns out.

Next, Deadline reports Robin Wright will join recently cast Stellan Skarsgard and lead actor Daniel Craig in the American adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the first installment of The Millennium Trilogy. Wright will play Erika Berger, the publisher of crusading finance magazine Millennium, and the occasional lover of journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Craig). Director David Fincher and producer Scott Rudin are taking their time to find the right lead actress to play Lisbeth Salander (my current favorite choice is Carey Mulligan), but with a supporting cast coming together, once they find their lead female, production should move rather quickly.

Also, ComingSoon noticed that in an appearance on Lopez Tonight, actor Ving Rhames revealed that he will be reprising his role as Luther Stickell in Mission Impossible 4. He's been in all of the franchise's flicks to date. Just recently it was reported that Tom Cruise was only going to be paid scale for the project in order to reduce the overall film's budget and make Paramount Pictures feel a little less uneasy about relying on Cruise's star power which some argue (and I don't agree) has been fading as of late. Tom Cruise wasn't the problem with Knight and Day, it was the script and a tired concept that was played out about 4 other times this year already.

Finally, THR reports Taraji P. Henson (Curious Case of Benjamin Button) has signed on to star in From the Rough, a fictionalized tale inspired by Dr. Catana Starks, the first female head coach of an NCAA Div. 1 men's gold team. Henson will play Cassandra Turner (meant to be Starks) as she moves from a women's wim team to scouring Europe, Australia and Asia for hidden golf talents and a racially diverse team. Sounds like an interesting twist on an inspiring sports ensemble with a female leading the pack this time.

Well, that's all for this edition of Casting Tidbits. Be sure to stay tuned for more casting updates on the way.

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  • Ronster
    "Cruise's star power which some argue (and I don't agree) has been fading as of late." So you think he can open a movie just like in 1995? Given his last flicks, seems the degree of the wane can be argued but not the fact of it. I assume you know his public favorability rating has declined by almost half since the Oprah coach & lecture of Lauer period.
  • @ #1, Ronster, Surely he's not as strong as he was in the mid 90's but I don't think the lackluster performance of a film like Knight & Day is evidence of that. I realize his public image has been tarnished a bit, but I don't think it's reduced his appeal in a film as much as everyone else thinks. When you look at something like Valkyrie, a historical drama which opened around Christmas in 2008, that flick made $200 million worldwide, and that's not an adaptation of established intellectual property like a comic book or TV show (yes, I realize it's still an adaptation). So that's impressive. Like I said, the problem with Knight & Day was a tired concept and a boring script. Mission Impossible 4 will still make a huge amount of bank and Tom Cruise will keep making big movies. Cheers,
  • Ronster
    When we are just talking the very short term it is hard to tell. It's just I'm old enough to have been part of when seeing a Tom Cruise movie was not a question of if but when. Only exception was if your first in friends said it sucked (see Far and Away). I guess the most current example would be like asking a teenager if they are going to see the next Twilight...but this wasn't a franchise, it was a person. Except for those philosophically opposed, my generation will still see a movie with Tom Cruise but only because the movie itself looks like a go. That in part may explain why Knight & Day tracked so poorly...it looked like a kiddie action flick but yet they claimed it was for older audiences (at least they did once the tracking demos came out). And I see no great Cruise love amongst the current movie-going engine room. And he's the age of their parents, so I guess I can understand. Especially since their growing up with him isn't Top Gun or Vampires, but Oprah and the Today Show.
  • Aaron
    Was that the worst picture of Saffron you could find? I think so....
  • The days of people going to see a film based solely on who the top biller is are long gone. I think the director/writer have grown to play a much more important role due to the dawn of the internet revealing the inner workings of the people behind the curtain while the people in front are tarnished by the same media's tabloids and over exaggeration of salaries. You can get a much better idea to the quality of a film based on it's production teams reputation while an actor may just be choosing a role as a studio favor or for the cold hard ca$h.
  • twispious
    that is a horrible picture of hendricks

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