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Casting Tidbits: Julianne Hough, Catherine Zeta-Jones & Chris Pratt

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March 4, 2011

Hough / Zeta-Jones / Pratt

You shouldn't have come back cowboy. They've cracked down hard since you left. More guards, more patrols, you and your Casting Tidbits ain't ever getting out of here now. First up, Variety reports singer and dancer Julianne Hough and R&B artist Mary J. Blige have joined the adaptation of the Broadway musical Rock of Ages. The two join Tom Cruise in the story of a couple that meets at the Sunset Strip club Rock of Ages, falls in love and tries to stay together while living the rock life. Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand and Gwyneth Paltrow have also been mentioned for parts, but they have not yet been confirmed to star.

Second, Deadline has word that Catherine Zeta-Jones is in talks to join the adaptation of Lay the Favorite, the Beth Raymer gambling memoir of the same name. The actress joins Bruce Willis and Rebecca Hall in the story of a woman who teams up with a legendary gambler to clean house in Vegas by working the sportsbook system. Zeta-Jones will play the wife of Willis whose playing the genius gambler. The film is slated to start production in April with Stephen Frears (High Fidelity) set to direct from a script by D.V. DeVincentis.

Next, The Wrap reports Chris Pratt ("Parks & Recreation") and Rhys Ifans (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I) have joined the romantic comedy Five Year Engagment. The film also recently added Alison Brie into the mix alongside leads Jason Segel and Emily Blunt in a film that brings Forgetting Sarah Marshall director back to the romantic comedy realm. The story follows an engaged couple's relationship over, you guess it, five years of ups and downs. Judd Apatow is producing, and I'm definitely hoping this group of talent can capture just a fraction of the magic that made Forgetting Sarah Marshall so damn good.

Also, Variety reports British actress Eleanor Tomlinson (Alice in Wonderland) has snagged the role of the princess in Bryan Singer's new take on Jack the Giant Killer. The actress will star opposite Nicholas Hoult who recently snagged the titular lead role. She also joins an impress group of talent that includes Ewan McGregor, Bill Nighy, Stanley Tucci and John Kassir. The story follows the kidnapping of a princess, which threatens the long-standing peace between men and giants, and a young farmer who's given an opportunity to lead a dangerous expedition to the giant kingdom to rescue her.

Finally, speaking of Nicholas Hoult, the actor has just landed another role as Summit Entertainment announced his joining Warm Bodies, an adaptation of the upcoming novel by Isaac Marion. The story is described as a romantic comedy with zombies following an unhappy zombie (Hoult) who strikes up a friendship with the girlfriend of one of his victims. Apparently both Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead) and Twilight writer Stephanie Meyer have proclaimed their love for the story if that does anything for you. After hearing about I Love Sarah Jane, another zombie infested romance, it doesn't sound like genre hybrids are stopping anytime soon.

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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