Casting Tidbits: Laura Linney, Michael Cera, Ricky Gervais and More

May 10, 2011

Linney / Cera / Gervais

I don't give a frog's fat ass who went through what. We need Casting Tidbits! Hey, Russ, wanna look through Aunt Edna's purse? First up, Deadline reports Laura Linney (Love Actually) will join Bill Murray in the Roger Mitchell (Notting Hill) directed adaptation of the British radio play Hyde Park on the Hudson. The story follows a love affair between Franklin D. Roosevelt (Murray) and his distant cousin, Margaret Stuckley, who will be played by Linney This all takes place in June 1939 at Roosevelt's upstate New York cottage during the first-ever visit to the United States by members of the British monarchy. More below!

Second, Variety reports Michael Cera will follow-up Scott Pilgrim vs. the World with an indie thriller called Magic, Magic. Taking a step outside of comedy and quirky romances, Cera is trying something different with this story about a girl vacationing with her friends in a remote area of Chile who slowly starts losing her mental faculties. She tries to get her friends' attention, but they ignore her until it's too late. Presumably Cera is playing of the friends in this scenario. The film, which is still looking for a female lead, will also mark the English language debut of writer director Sebastian Silva.

Next, by way of a press release, it has been revealed that Ricky Gervais will voice a robotic spy dog named Argonaut in the sequel/franchise reboot Spy Kids: All the Time in the World. Gervais says, "Not only am I lending my voice to Spy Kids, but they can keep it.  I’m sick of it." This outage follows Marissa Cortez Wilson (Jessica Alba), a retired secret agent, who is called back into action when the Timekeeper (Jeremy Piven) threatens to take over the planet. But when the mission proves too much for the agent, her competitive kids are called into action with a little help from the original kid spies Carmen (Alexa Vega) and Juni (Daryl Sabara).

Also, another press release has revealed that Alec Baldwin and Rory Culkin have joined the cast of Hick, the adaptation of Andrea Portes' novel of the same name. The story revolves around Luli (Chloe Moretz), a 13-year-old Nebraskan girl and her hard-going life on the road after she runs away from her neglectful parents and home. She’s taken in by Glenda (Blake Lively), a hard-living grifter who takes her under her wing. But the film doesn’t seem to be as gritty as the premise suggests. Lymelife Derick Martini is behind the film, so I'm definitely looking forward to this one.

In addition, we'd already heard the actor was offered a role in the anticipated adaptation, but now we have news from Deadline that Stanley Tucci has officially joined the cast of The Hunger Games from director Gary Ross. Tucci will be playing Caesar Flickerman, the TV host of the deadly Hunger Games, who interviews all of the 24 tributes from the 12 districts and creates drama and sympathy for them among the TV viewing public. Honestly, it seems like a perfect role for the versatile actor who joins a constantly growing cast of plenty of unknowns and other name talent like Jennifer Lawrence, Elizabeth Banks, Josh Hutcherson and more.

Finally, Variety reports Amber Heard (Zombieland) and Shiloh Fernandez (Red Riding Hood) will star in the indie drama Syrup. Based on Max Berry's novel of the same name (the author also co-wrote the script with director Aram Rappaport,) the story follows corporate intrigue, and the ladder-climbing of twentysomethings in the beverage industry. The book is said to lampoon corporate "ethics," sexual politics and the marketing and film industries, but I just hope it tackles the age old question of whether it's called "soda" or "pop" to finally end the debate.

That's all for this edition of Casting Tidbits. Be sure to stay tuned for even more casting news on the way.

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