More casting news for the upcoming Star Wars Anthology spin-off titled Rogue One, being directed by Gareth Edwards. With shooting starting up soon, they're finalizing casting and so far we've seen them making some excellent choices: Felicity Jones and Riz Ahmed are confirmed. And now Variety can confirm a few others: Diego Luna and Ben Mendelsohn. The plot, revealed at Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim a few months ago, follows a band of resistance fighters on a daring mission to steal the Death Star (plans). Luna will play a lead role alongside Jones and Ahmed, however Mendelsohn is apparently playing the lead antagonist (or "primary villain" as he's being called). Now this new movie is really starting to come together.
If you've been following the career of funky Spanish filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo, this is pretty big for him and I'm already curious to see it. THR is reporting that a Cannes project being sold in the market this year is one titled Colossal, from Nacho Vigalondo (of 7:35 in the Morning, Timecrimes, Extraterrestrial), and it will star Anne Hathaway. The pitch for it is pretty dang cool - check this out: "Described as Godzilla meets Lost in Translation — Hathaway will play Gloria, an ordinary woman who, after losing her job and her fiancé, decides to leave her life in New York to move back to her hometown." I bet you're curious, too.
One of the films we've been supporting ever since it first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival is a little gem called The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Ethan's review), which Sony Pictures Classics is releasing later this year. Well, the director of that film, Marielle Heller (seen left above), is a very talented filmmaker who has already landed her next big directing gig. Deadline reports that Heller is set to direct a project called On The Basis Of Sex for Focus Features, and the exciting news is that she has secured Natalie Portman for the lead role. Whoa! Portman is now (hopefully) going to be working with two of the very best up-and-coming filmmakers out there - Alex Garland and Marielle Heller. I couldn't be happier about this news.
Now this is some great casting we can be excited about! Variety is reporting that an Oscar winning actress is likely going to end up starring in the next sci-fi creation from Alex Garland, a screenwriter turned director whose feature directing debut Ex Machina is playing in theaters now. The project is called Annihilation, an adaptation of the Jeff VanderMeer series of novels, about a biologist who signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition to "Area X" where the laws of nature don’t apply. Paramount is developing and Garland has been talking about it in interviews with the attitude of "let's see if it happens", but it sounds like the project is gaining momentum, especially with a star like Portman. This is very good news for the science fiction genre.
Briefly: Marvel is following up with some big news they've been holding onto, waiting until Avengers: Age of Ultron has opened in theaters. The next movie they're making is Captain America: Civil War, which while is a sequel to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it continues after Age of Ultron and seems to be more of a setup for Infinity War down the line. We've been writing about casting for months (including Martin Freeman this week) but now they've confirmed a complete synopsis and complete cast. And included in the cast is one Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man, along with Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther.
Nygaard is going geeky. It has been officially announced by Marvel Studios at Marvel.com that acclaimed actor Martin Freeman will be taking a role in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War movie, to be directed by brothers Anthony & Joe Russo. This is yet another sequel to Captain America following The Winter Soldier last year, but it also expands the universe by being the first segue into the "Civil War" era. No exact details are specified regarding the character he'll be playing, so unfortunately anything else will have to remain a mystery for the time being. Aside from Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie, the Civil War cast may also include Daniel Brühl, Frank Grillo and Chadwick Boseman. So who is everyone?
Watch out Tim Curry. Over at Variety they're reporting that Cary Fukunaga (of Sin Nombre, Jane Eyre, Beasts of No Nation, "True Detective") has cast the lead in his new It feature, which will be split into two movies. Sources have told them that young actor Will Poulter, currently 22 years old, is "in negotiations" to play Pennywise the evil clown. Poulter last appeared in The Maze Runner as Gally, along with A Plea for Grimsby, Glassland, We're the Millers and Son of Rambow. He's also in the upcoming The Revenant, which we'll all be watching this December. Apparently the audition won over Fukunaga and they couldn't say no.
While we wait to see if Channing Tatum really ends up starring in a spin-off of the forthcoming Ghostbusters reboot with Chris Pratt, the 21 Jump Street and Magic Mike star has become attached to another project, and this one has been gestating for awhile too. The Wrap reports Tatum is attached to lead a big screen adaptation of Joe Haldeman's classic sci-fi novel The Forever War, a project that was picked up by Ridley Scott a few years ago. However, the rights have lapsed, and that's put Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures in a bidding war to pick up the project that has a script from Prometheus writer Jon Spaihts.
Over the past couple years, Justin Bieber has been a pretty big douchebag. It's hard to blame him though, since becoming famous overnight at such a young age has taken a toll on many young celebrities. But since Comedy Central's roast of the pop star, it seems like he's genuinely trying to be less of a jerk, and a big screen role in his future just might help with that. Bieber took to Twitter to reveal that he has some part in Zoolander 2, which has been stacking up the talent lately with the recent additions of "Portlandia" star Fred Armisen and the return of Billy Zane. Of course, this is likely just a cameo and nothing major. Read on!
Following the trend of Harry Potter, The Twilight Saga and The Hunger Games, we already know that The Divergent Series: Allegiant will be split into two films. Allegiant - Part 1 will arrive on March 18th, 2016 and Allegiant - Part 2 will arrive on March 24th, 2017. That meas the entire franchise will have been release in just four years. That would be more impressive if the films had a little more substance (they're not terrible, just underwhelming), but young adult sci-fi is all the rage right now. Anyway, the finale might up the ante as THR reports Dumb & Dumber and "The Newsroom" star Jeff Daniels has joined.
After bringing comedy to the White House Correspondents' Dinner last week, "Saturday Night Live" cast member Cecily Strong is getting ready to start a feature film career as well. The comedienne has a role in the indie comedy The Bronze, but now she's lined up her first studio feature film comedy as Deadline reports Strong is taking a role in Michelle Darnell, the next comedy led by The Heat and Bridesmaids star Melissa McCarthy. As of now there's no indication as to what role Strong has in the film, but her presence is enough to have some hope that this comedy actually turns out better than McCarthy's Tammy.
Even though Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 has been confirmed to bring back Megan Fox as April O'Neil, Will Arnett as Vernon Fenwick and William Fichtner as Eric Saks, it looks like one part of the original cast won't be back. Variety has learned that Paramount is hiring The Wolverine star Brian Tee to play the villain Shredder instead of bringing back Tohoru Masamune, who played the villain in the first film. Considering Shredder was more of an action presence than a defined character in the first film, it makes sense that producers would get someone who has some more experience with acting and action this time.
After being pursued by a terrifying entity in this year's indie horror hit It Follows, actress Maika Monroe will have to deal with aliens this time. Director Roland Emmerich again took to Twitter today to announce that the actress has landed a role in Independence Day 2. Monroe is one among a few new additions to the sequel who were not part of the original 1996 sci-fi blockbuster. Other new cast members include Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games), Jessie Usher, Charlote Gainsbourg, Travis Tope and Joey King. However, at this time, we really don't know what roles these new actors will be playing in the sequel.
Earlier this month, Zac Efron and Adam DeVine landed quite the spectacular companion for their forthcoming comedy Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates set up at 20th Century Fox. Pitch Perfect star Anna Kendrick took the role of one of the wedding dates that the titular dudes find after placing an ad online. But since there's two hard-partying, immature brothers in the title, they need two dates. And today, Variety brings word on that second date with "Parks & Recreation" star Aubrey Plaza playing one of the two women who Mike and Dave surprisingly find out might get wilder and crazier than they do. Read on!