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Casting Tidbits: Maya Rudolph, Fred Armisen and Anna Friel

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April 5, 2010

Maya Rudolph, Fred Armisen, Anna Friel

Welcome to Casting Tidbits, home of the Casting Tidbits, can I take your order? First up, Production Weekly reports via their Twitter stream that the formerly untitled Kristen Wiig wedding comedy from producers Judd Apatow and Paul Feig ("The Office") has now been titled simply Bridesmaids and has also gained another "Saturday Night Live" alum in Maya Rudolph. The comedienne will play Lilian, the bride-to-be in the story of two women battling to plan their friend's wedding. Wiig also co-wrote the screenplay, and you can be sure that there are plenty more casting bits featuring SNL players coming further down the pipeline.

Next, in a press release from Columbia and Sony Pictures Animation we have word that Fred Armisen ("Saturday Night Live," Cop Out) and Anton Yelchin (Star Trek, Terminator Salvation) have joined the cast of The Smurfs. Armisen will play Brainy Smurf and Yelchin will play Clumsy Smurf in a story that finds the tiny blue characters right in the middle of New York City after the evil wizard Gargamel chases they out of the village in their magical world and right into ours. The Smurfs must find away to get back to their village before Gargamel tracks them down. I hope he wins so we don't have to see a sequel.

In addition, Deadline reports Winona Ryder has joined Ron Howard's formerly untitled infidelity comedy now called Cheaters starring Vince Vaughn and Kevin James. The story follows a man who learns that his friend's wife is cheating and must then navigate treacherous waters to decide what do with that knowledge. James and Vaughn play business partners and best friends while Ryder plays James' adulterous spouse.

Also, another casting update comes from Twitter as actress Kaya Scoledario updated her own feed to reveal she has been cast as Catherine Earnshaw, the female lead in Wuthering Heights the adaptation of Emily Bronte's classic all-encompassing and passionate, yet thwarted, love story between her and Heathcliff and how this unresolved passion eventually destroys them and many people around them. The actress has starred in the sexually charged British series "Skins," not to mention having a small role as Peshet (whoever that is) in Louis Letterier's Clash of the Titans remake and a brief appearance as Sam Rockwell's daughter in Moon. Andrea Arnold (Fish Tank) will be directing from Olivia Hetreed's script.

Finally, THR reports that Anna Friel ("Pushing Daisies," Land of the Lost) is negotiating to join Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro and Abbie Cornish in Dark Fields, the Neil Burger directed thriller focusing on a down-and-out writer (Cooper) who gets his hands on a top-secret pharmaceutical drug that makes one smarter. He experiences sudden financial and social success but soon discovers that the drug has lethal and lasting side effects, including "trip-switching," a phenomenon in which time moves with a stop-motion quality. Before long, mysterious antagonists are pursuing him. Friel will play Cooper's ex-wife.

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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