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Casting Tidbits: John Michael Higgins, Brendan Fraser & Tina Fey

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January 11, 2011

Higgins / Fraser / Fey

You have part of my attention -- you have the minimum amount. The rest of my attention is back at the offices of Facebook, where my colleagues and I are doing things that no one in this room, including and especially your Casting Tidbits, are intellectually or creatively capable of doing. First, THR reports John Michael Higgins (A Mighty Wind) got a role in Cameron Crowe's adaptation of We Bought a Zoo, a memoir from Benjamin Mee, following a man (Matt Damon) and his family who move into a mansion that includes the 30-acre Dartmoor Wildlife Park, home to over 200 animals. Higgins will play a zoo inspector.

Second, Deadline reports Brendan Fraser and Kristen Scott Thomas (Nowhere Boy) are set to star in Seconds of Pleasure, a new drama from write/director Neil LaBute (In the Company of Men). Colin Firth and Ed Harris also currently have offers on the table, but they haven't signed yet. Though details are scarce, LaBute has a short story with that title, but a collection of short stories that contains that very shorty also goes by that title. So either LaBute is adapating his short story into a feature length film, or he's putting together a series of vignettes based on a few of the stories inside the aforementioned collection of short stories. We'll keep you posted.

Next, The Wrap reports Tina Fey will star in Admission, an adaptation of Jean Hanff Korelitz's novel of the same name. Paul Weitz (In Good Company, American Pie) is set to direct the film which follows an admissions officer at Princeton and her relationship with a prospective student who may not be Ivy League material. Apparently this casting news comes fairly early since the project is still in the early stages of development, but Fey has already met with Weitz and they are discussing a deal now.

Also, EW has word that Michelle Pfeiffer rounds out the cast of Alex Kurtzman's directorial debut Welcome to People. The Star Trek writer has garnered quite the cast already with Chris Pine The story playing a businessman who returns home after his estranged father’s death and discovers that he has an alcoholic sister (Elzabeth Banks) with a 12-year-old son. Olivia Wilde will play Pine's girlfriend in the film and now Pfeiffer will play Pine's widowed mother. Should be interesting to see a big budget, blockbuster writer like Kurtzman settle down with a family drama.

Finally, Variety reports John Hawkes (Winter's Bone) and Molly Parker (The Road) have signed on to star in The Playroom, an indie drama from writer Gretchen Dyer and director Julia Dyer (they're sisters).The film follows suburban parents of four in 1975 where their volatile teenage daughter (Olivia Harris) acts as surrogate mother to the younger children, who have created a make-believe world in their attic hideaway while the parents act out a sordid story below. Sound a bit peculiar, but with John Hawkes involved, I'm definitely interested.

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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