Casting Tidbits: B.J. Novak, Chace Crawford, Steve Coogan and More
by Ethan Anderton
July 13, 2011
As long as there's injustice, whenever a Targathian baby cries out, wherever a Casting Tidbits sounds among the stars, we'll be there. This fine ship, this fine crew. Never give up and never surrender. First up, The Playlist has confirmed that B.J. Novak will take a feature film role while on his hiatus from "The Office" this summer with a bit part in Sacha Baron Cohen's The Dictator. It's not clear what role he'll play as they're all being kept very secret, but he joins quite a cast that includes Cohen in dual roles, not to mention Ben Kingsley, Anna Faris, Megan Fox, John C. Reilly and likely plenty of others we haven't heard about yet.
Second, Lionsgate announced via press release that "Gossip Girl" star Chace Crawford will star opposite Anna Kendrick in the pregnancy-based ensemble romantic comedy What to Expect When You're Expecting. Crawford will play Marco, the ex-boyfriend of Kendrick who reunites with her after their food trucks get into a turf war. Their lives are changed quite drastically after a romantic encounter leads to a surprise pregnancy. They're just two of the couples in the film about four interconnected couples experiencing the thrills and surprises of having a baby. Ed Helms, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Brooklyn Decker and Chris Rock also star in the film from Waking Ned Devine director Kirk Jones.
Next, 24 Frames has word that Steve Coogan, Antonio Banderas, Aasif Mandvi, Elliot Gould, Chris Messina and "True Blood" star Deborah Ann Woll will join Paul Dano and Zoey Kazan in He Loves Me. The comedic drama serves as a bit of a Little Miss Sunshine reunion with Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris reuniting with Dano for the story of a young novelist Calvin (Dano) who achieves success early in his career but begins to face some internal struggles. In an attempt to overcome writer's block, he is told to write the woman he thinks will love him -- and winds up willing her into existence. Kazan (who also wrote the script) will play the imagined woman while Woll will play Dano's ex-girlfriend. Coogan will play Calvin's pompous author rival, Gould will play Calvin's therapist, Messina will play Calvin's brother, Mandvi will play Calvin's agent and Banderas will play the boyfriend of Calvin's mother played by Annette Bening. Sounds like this has the making of another great film for Dayton and Faris.
Finally, Deadline has word that British actress Ruth Wilson, star of the BBC series "Luther" starring Idris Elba, has landed the lead female role in The Lone Ranger starring Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp. Apparently the actress beat out the likes of The Tree of Life star Jessica Chastain and Limitless star Abbie Cornish for quite the coveted role of Rebecca. The film has the making of another franchise for Disney, Depp and director Gore Verbinski who previously turned Pirates of the Caribbean into a billion dollar cash cow. This will surely be a star-making turn for the actress, and we'll see her in many more films down the road.