CASTING NEWS

Rooney Mara, Felicity Jones & More Testing for 'Star Wars' Spin-Off

Rooney Mara / Felicity Jones

We've still got 11 months until Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18th, but with the first Star Wars spin-off film slated to arrive one year after that, it's almost time for production to get into gear, and that means casting is getting underway as writer Gary Whitta departed the project after turning in a first draft. THR has word that Disney is in the process of testing females leads for the first standalone film set in the Star Wars universe that will be directed by Godzilla helmer Gareth Edwards. As of now, the names that have surfaced include Girl with the Dragon Tattoo star Rooney Mara, recent Oscar nominee Felicity Jones from The Theory of Everything and "Oprhan Black" star Tatiana Maslany.

 Posted January 20 in Casting, Development, Movie News, Star Wars | Comments

Ian McKellen & Patrick Stewart Are Not Part of 'X-Men: Apocalypse'

Patrick Stewart & Ian McKellen

Last year X-Men: Days of Future Past brought together the casts of X-Men: First Class and the original X-Men trilogy with a time travel storyline that took place in the distant future and also the groovy 70s. With X-Men: Apocalypse, we already know the story takes place in the 80s, but that didn't mean time travel wouldn't come back into play. However, it doesn't look like there will be anything happening in the future timeline this time as Patrick Stewart (Professor X) sat down with an interview Larry King (via Yahoo Movies) and confirmed that neither he nor Ian McKellen (Magneto) will be appearing in the 2016 sequel.

 Posted January 19 in Casting, Development, Movie News | Comments

Francis Lawrence to Direct Jennifer Lawrence in Cameron's 'The Dive'

Jennifer Lawrence & Francis Lawrence

Back in 2012, we heard about a project called The Dive that was going to be produced by James Cameron. The film was said to tell the fascinating true story of Francisco Ferreras and his wife, Audrey Mestre, a free-diving couple who achieved world records in reaching crazy depths with only the breath in their lungs. Mestre died in a tragic accident when she hit 557 feet and couldn't return to the surface in time. At the time Martin Campbell was slated to direct the film, but has since fallen away, and now The Hunger Games: Catching Fire director Francis Lawrence will direct the film instead and Jennifer Lawrence will star.

 Posted January 19 in Casting, Development, Movie News | Comments

'The Huntsman' Loses Director Frank Darabont, Gains Emily Blunt

Emily Blunt

Last summer, a press release from Universal Pictures confirmed that Frank Darabont would be at the helm of The Huntsman, a spin-off from Snow White and the Huntsman that would focus on Chris Hemsworth's title character from the fantasy update. Kristen Stewart isn't coming back for the follow-up, and now Darabont won't be along for the ride after all either as The Wrap reports he left the project due to creative differences. However, Universal is in the process of gaining a new talent for the film as Into the Woods and Edge of Tomorrow star Emily Blunt is now in talks for the villain role in the new adventure.

 Posted January 18 in Casting, Development, Movie News | Comments

Paramount Sets Italian Actress to Lead 'The Ring' Franchise Reboot

The Ring / Matilda Lutz

Last summer brought news that Paramount Pictures was ready to circle back around to their horror franchise that began with The Ring back in 2002 and spawned a single sequel to the remake of a popular Japanese horror film. While there were rumblings that this would merely be The Ring 3, The Wrap has word that Paramount is actually a reboot and it's been given the title of Rings. Director F. Javier Gutierrez, who is no longer helming the reboot of The Crow, will direct the film that still features the creepy well-dwelling girl Samara and the deadly tape that kills viewers seven days after watching it, but there's a whole new cast.

 Posted January 16 in Casting, Development, Horror, Movie News | Comments

No Surprise: Scarlett Johansson Back in 'Captain America: Civil War'

Scarlett Johansson

Even though Captain America: Civil War is still over a year away, directors Anthony & Joe Russo have been working on the film since Captain America: The Winter Soldier debuted last April. Production is actually gearing up to begin this spring, and we already know a decent amount about the film. Despite a lack of specifics, the title tells us that Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) will come to blows with Tony Stark, with Robert Downey Jr. playing a major role in the film. And we'll also see the introduction of Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther as well. And now the Russo brothers confirm Scarlett Johansson is back.

 Posted January 16 in Casting, Development, Marvel, Movie News | Comments

Tom Hardy Leaves 'Suicide Squad,' Jake Gyllenhaal May Step Up

Tom Hardy / Jake Gyllenhaal

Will Smith, Tom Hardy, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney and Cara Delevingne were all ready for the Suicide Squad in the Warner Bros. Pictures production of the DC Comics property. However, THR reports that the film has lost one of those key players with The Dark Knight Rises villain Tom Hardy dropping out of the project that will be directed by David Ayer. However, the studio isn't wasting any time finding a replacement as they already have their eyes on Jake Gyllenhaal to take the now vacant role of Rick Flagg, the leader of this group of villains forced by the government to carry out dangerous missions. Read on!

 Posted January 15 in Casting, DC, Development, Movie News | Comments

Michael Keaton to Lead McDonald's Empire Drama 'The Founder'

Michael Keaton

After picking up a much-deserved Best Actor nomination for his performance in Birdman today, Michael Keaton is now in talks for his next project. THR reports the former Batman star is negotiating for a lead role in The Founder, a film focusing on Ray Kroc (who Keaton would play in the film), a salesman from Illinois, who founded the fast food empire that pretty much everyone in the world knows as McDonald's. Back in December, The Blind Side director John Lee Hancock boarded the film which is described as having flares of both The Social Network and There Will Be Blood. Sounds like a juicy role for Keaton. Read on!

 Posted January 15 in Casting, Development, Movie News | Comments

Jason Bateman to Lead Joel Edgerton's Directorial Debut 'Weirdo'

Jason Bateman

Though Joel Edgerton is a very accomplished actor who has starred in smaller films like Animal Kingdom to big flashy numbers like The Great Gatsby, he's looking to get behind the camera next. Deadline has word that Edgerton is set to make his directorial debut with an indie drama tentatively known around Hollywood as Weirdo (though it remains untitled) that will be produced by Blumhouse Productions, the same company behind horror hits like The Purge and Paranormal Activity. In addition, Edgerton has lined up a surprising lead actor with Jason Bateman taking the lead role alongside Rebecca Hall. More below!

 Posted January 15 in Casting, Development, Movie News | Comments

John Krasinski to Lead Michael Bay's Benghazi Drama '13 Hours'

John Krasinski

Since director Michael Bay is seemingly done with the Transformers franchise, he's ready to move onto some real drama with 13 Hours, a political drama focusing on the September 11th, 2012 terrorist attack against the U.S. State Department Special Mission Compound in Benghazi. But rather than focusing on all the controversy surrounding Benghazi that has been all over cable news networks, this movie would follow six members of a security team that valiantly fought to defend the many Americans stationed there. Now THR and Variety report John Krasinski has joined the film, but character details are unclear. Read on!

 Posted January 15 in Casting, Development, Movie News | Comments

Tom Cruise & 'Edge of Tomorrow' Director Reteaming for 'Mena'

Doug Liman & Tom Cruise

If you haven't gone out of your way to check out the highly entertaining and surprisingly funny sci-fi action flick Edge of Tomorrow (or Live Die Repeat as it's been retitled on home video), then you should remedy that immediately. And it sounds like star Tom Cruise loved the experience of working with director Doug Liman since THR has word that the two are going to reteam for Mena, an 80s set drug trafficking thriller set up at Universal Pictures. Nearly a year ago, Ron Howard was attached to direct when Universal Pictures won the script in a heated auction by paying $1 million for the story written by Gary Spinelli. More below!

 Posted January 14 in Casting, Development, Movie News | Comments

Steve Carell Joining the Impressive Cast of Adam McKay's 'Big Short'

Steve Carell

Hot on the heels of yesterday's news that Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling and Christian Bale would star in a financial drama from Step Brothers director Adam McKay, a more familiar face from the filmmaker's previous efforts is now entering the mix. THR has word that Steve Carell, who has garnered plenty of awards buzz for his role in Foxcatcher, is now in talks for a role in The Big Short, an adaptation of the non-fiction book from Moneyball author Michael Lewis about the most recent collapse of the financial industry, focusing on unregulatedĀ bond and real estate derivative markets and the traders behind them.

 Posted January 14 in Casting, Development, Movie News | Comments

Selena Gomez Joining Paul Rudd in 'Fundamentals of Caregiving'

Selena Gomes & Paul Rudd

Following the release of the Ant-Man teaser trailer from Marvel Studios, it was announced that Paul Rudd would lead an adaptation of The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, based on Jonathan Evison's novel of the same name. The story follows the touching friendship of Ben Benjamin (Rudd) and a young adult stricken with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. And now one of the supporting stars has been cast, as Deadline reports Selena Gomez has landed the female lead in the film, but it's not the young adult with a disease. Instead, she's playing Dot, a sassy young woman who hitches a ride with the pair during a road trip.

 Posted January 14 in Casting, Development, Movie News | Comments

Rodrigo Santoro is Going from Xerxes in '300' to Jesus in 'Ben-Hur'

Rodrigo Santoro

Paramount Pictures and MGM have had the leads for their remake of Ben-Hur set since last year with Jack Huston playing the titular Jewish prince who is betrayed into slavery by his onetime friend Messala, played by Toby Kebbell (of the Fantastic Four reboot and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes). The rest of the cast includes Morgan Freeman as Ben-Hur's chariot trainer as well as Olivia Cooke and Ayelet Zurer. Now THR has word on another pivotal cast member with 300 franchise villain and Love Actually co-star Rodrigo Santoro playing another Biblical figure, albeit less evil, as the son of God himself, Jesus Christ. Read on!

 Posted January 13 in Casting, Development, Movie News | Comments

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