Film Latest - - by Rob Wallis

Casting news you might have missed…

Casting news you might have missed…

In 2009, upwards of 600 films were made each year in Hollywood alone. That’s a lot of directors, writers, producers, actors, cast and crew of all sorts, moving from one project to the next. There’s only so much we can report on. Here are a few casting announcements that may have passed us by.

  • Daniel Radcliffe is now attached to star in You Shall Know Our Velocity, Peter Sollett’s adaptation of Dave Egger’s best-selling book. Radcliffe will presumably play Will, the protagonist, who, following the death of a friend, decides to travel round the world giving out money to those in need. Understandably, he and his companion, Hands, encounter some trouble along the way. The film is set to begin shooting early next year.
  • Anthony Mackie will play the legendary Jimi Hendrix in Ol Parker’s Jimi, previously called Crosstown Traffic when Paul Greengrass was set to direct. Mackie joins Parker’s wife, Thandie Newton, with Noomi Rapace in discussion to appear as Hendrix’s ex-girlfriend and part-time muse, Kathy Etchingham. A rival biopic, John Ridley’s Jimi: All By My Side – starring actor-musician Andre Benjamin – is due out on August 8th.
  • Emilia Clarke and Nicholas Hoult will play infamous outlaw couple Bonnie & Clyde in Michael Sucsy’s take on their real-life exploits, based on Jeff Tome’s revisionist novel Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde. Clarke is taking over the role of Sarah Connor in series reboot Terminator: Genesis while Hoult is busy with half a dozen other productions, including Tom Hardy-starrer Mad Max: Fury Road.
  • The Campaign stars Will Ferrell and Zack Galifianakis are reteaming with Richard Linklater for Larry’s Kidney, based on the comic memoir by Daniel Asa Road. It follows the author and his eponymous cousin on their trip to China where Larry hopes to secure a kidney transplant. Ferrell is currently shooting prison comedy Get Hard while Galfianakis will appear alongside Julianne Moore and Ellen Page in gay rights drama Freeheld.
  • Bradley Cooper is joining up with Hangover scribe Todd Phillips for Arms & The Dudes, based on a 2011 Rolling Stone article about two “American kids” who became major weapons dealers for the US government. Jonah Hill has been involved in table reads of the script – currently undergoing rewrites by Phillips – but is not yet formally attached.
  • Rachel McAdams and recent Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o may join Jake Gyllenhaal for boxing comeback drama Southpaw. Training Day’s Anton Fuqua will direct the film and Sons of Anarchy’s Kurt Sutter wrote the original script. Forest Whitaker is in talks to appear as Gyllenhaal’s one-eyed trainer.
  • Tom Hardy will work with The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow on True American, portraying the attempted murder of Bangladeshi immigrant Raisuddin Bhuiyan by Mark Stroman, Islamaphobe and self-proclaimed “American Terrorist”, shortly after the tragedy of 9/11. Bhuiyan survived and went on, amazingly, to challenge Stroman’s death penalty conviction. Hardy’s got a busy schedule with biopics already, playing real-life figures as diverse as Elton John and the Kray Twins.
  • Boardwalk Empire’s Jack Huston will co-star alongside Nicolas Cage in The Trust, about two corrupt cops seeking to unlock a mysterious case. The film marks the debut of music video directors Ben and Alex Brewer.
  • Jeremy Irons and Sienna Miller have climbed aboard Ben Wheatley’s adaptation of J. G. Ballard’s novel High Rise. Tom Hiddleston stars in the dystopian tale of a block of flats that goes totally Lord of the Flies. Irons will appear as the building’s architect and Miller will play Hiddleston’s paramour. The film is due to begin shooting in Belfast this July.
  • Carlos’ Edgar Ramirez will take over from Gerard Butler in Ericson Core’s Point Break remake. Ray Winstone has also joined the cast as FBI Agent Angelo Pappas, partner to Johnny Utah, here played by Luke Bracey.
  • Having left Point Break, Gerard Butler has joined Christian Gudegast’s heist movie Den of Thieves as a daring bank robber who plans to take down the Federal Reserve. Gudegast co-wrote the script with Prison Break’s Paul Scheuring but has only recently taken over the director’s chair from Peter Berg. How this fits in with Butler’s schedule on Anton Fuqua’s London Has Fallen remains to be seen.
  • As well as Jimi, Anthony Mackie is also in advanced talks to star with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen in a comedy about three friends who reunite for their annual Christmas blow-out. Gordon-Levitt and Rogen previously appeared together in 2011’s 50/50.
  • Bad Neighbour’s star Dave Franco is now set for Sony’s The Intern’s Handbook, based on a recent novel by Shane Kuhn, the first in a planned trilogy. Franco will play John Lago, the number one hitman at assassination firm HR, Inc., who goes undercover at a law firm only to discover his target is under surveillance by a female FBI agent. Oren Uziel, who worked with Franco on the soon-to-be-released 22 Jump Street, will direct. Producer Neal Moritz has called Franco “the next star”.
  • Patrick Wilson, Jessica Biel, Toby Jones, and Imogen Poots will form the cast of Andy Goddard’s The Blunderer. An adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith novel, the film will follow Wilson as a successful lawyer who becomes obsessed with a murder, drawing the attention of a murder (Jones), while putting his marriage to Biel in jeopardy through his infatuation with another woman (Poots). The film will begin shooting later this year.
  • Oscar winning actress Octavia Spencer has joined Insurgent, the sequel to Divergent, as Johanna, leader of the Amity faction from Veronica Roth’s book series. RED’s Robert Schwetke will replace Neil Burger as director with Brian Duffield and Akiva Goldsman on scripting duties.
  • Wrestlers Dave Bautista and MMA star Georges St-Pierre have both joined Stephen Fung’s Kickboxer alongside stunt man Alain Moussi, making his acting debut. Bautista will play Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy while St-Pierre previously played a villain, Batroc the Leaper, in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
  • Ed Westwick, Phoebe Tonkin, Dominic Sherwood, and Jeremy Sumpter are all slated to appear in Jim Gillespie’s Takedown, which follows a bunch of spoiled rich kids abandoned on an island to learn survival skills who must team up to save themselves from a group of high-tech kidnappers.

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Rob Wallis is a graduate of the London Film School and a recent member of the Online Film Critics Society. He also keeps a rarely updated, bare-bones blog, Of All the Film Blogs, (www.ofallthefilmblogs.blogspot.com). You can follow him on Twitter @robertmwallis.

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