We’ve got a couple of casting stories to share this evening. First up, The Hunger Games star Josh Hutcherson is in negotiations to star opposite Benicio Del Toro in the Pablo Escobar drama Paradise Lost. Per Deadline, Hutcherson will play the lead character of Nick, “a young Irish surfer who visits his brother in Colombia” where he meets the love of his life and her uncle Pablo. Actor Andrea Di Stefano (Life of Pi) is making his directorial debut on the project, with production set to get underway in March in Panama. Hutcherson is currently filming the sequel The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in Hawaii.
Hit the jump for news concerning Jackie Chan joining the cast of The Expendables 3.
A few casting notices:
- Benicio del Toro is in final negotiations to play Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar in Paradise Lost, which is not exactly a Pablo Escobar biopic.
- Scoot McNairy booked two roles. He will star opposite Michael Fassbender in Frank, and joins Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson in The Rover.
- The full cast list for Reach Me features Tom Berenger, Kevin Connolly, Thomas Jane, Sylvester Stallone, Kyra Sedgwick, Kelsey Grammer, Nelly, Terry Crews, Ryan Kwanten, and more.
Details on each project after the jump.
In the climate of budget conscious studios hesitant to gamble money on anything that doesn’t have a “2” in the title, more and more ambitious projects are having trouble crossing the finish line. Universal passed on Guillermo del Toro’s At the Mountains of Madness, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are struggling to get their blended, multi-part film/TV adaptation of The Dark Tower off the ground, and most recently we saw Warner Bros. put their fantasy pic Arthur & Lancelot on hold in order to work out budget issues.
Now you can add Paradise Lost to the list of blue balled titles, as Legendary has pulled the plug. The ambitious adaptation of John Milton’s classic epic poem was to begin shooting in January, but Legendary decided in December to push production back in order to reduce the budget. Now the studio has scrapped the project all together. Hit the jump for more, including why Legendary backed out.
One of the best films I saw at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was writer-director Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal‘s first feature, The Words. The film stars Bradley Cooper as a writer who, after discovering an extraordinary lost manuscript, passes the work off as his own and receives overwhelming critical acclaim. Jeremy Irons plays the man who originally wrote the manuscript, and the film weaves multiple narratives to tell the story. The Words also stars Zoe Saldana, Dennis Quaid, Olivia Wilde, Ben Barnes, and JK Simmons. CBS Films bought the film after its first screening and they plan to release it later this year. It’s definitely a film you should be excited to see. For more on The Words, here’s Matt’s review.
Shortly after seeing the film, I did an extended interview with Bradley Cooper and co-writer-director Brian Klugman. We talked about being at Sundance, how the project came together and how it changed along the way, deleted scenes, how the two of them became friends (they’ve known each other for decades), karaoke, film versus digital, and a lot more. In addition, Klugman talked about his early draft of Tron: Legacy, and Cooper talked about what it was like to work on director Derek Cianfrance‘s The Place Beyond the Pines, and the status of Paradise Lost (it’s hopefully filming this June). Hit the jump to watch.
We were just starting to get excited about Paradise Lost. Neat concept art. A solid cast in Benjamin Walker, Bradley Cooper, Casey Affleck, and Dijmon Hounsou. A great pitch from director Alex Proyas:
“It’s not just armies battling in an epic war. This is an adventure about the origins of good and evil after Lucifer’s rebellion gets him cast out of Heaven and leads to a struggle with his brother archangel over the soul of mankind, starting with Adam and Eve.”
Alas, we must wait to see the adaptation of John Milton’s classic work come to fruition. It was announced tonight that Legendary Pictures is putting plans for a January start date on hold, because all the cool elements of this project add up to too much money. Details after the jump.
Emerging as one of Hollywood most sought-after young actors, 16-year-old Aussie Callan McAuliffe is currently preparing to start his work as Young Jay Gatsby in Baz Luhrmann’s 3D telling of the classic American story The Great Gatsby, due out in theaters on Christmas Day 2012, amidst sword fighting training, martial arts and ballet work for his role as archangel Uriel in Paradise Lost, adapted from the epic Biblical poem and shooting in January 2012 for a scheduled 2013 release.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, from Australia where he is going to shoot both films, Callan McAuliffe talked about what appealed to him about both projects, some changes in The Great Gatsby that could surprise audiences but that he thinks they will appreciate, that even though he’s playing a younger version of Leonardo DiCaprio he doesn’t think he looks like him at all, and what he thinks the 3D will add to the experience for audiences. He also talked about how he’s relying on director Alex Proyas’ vision for Paradise Lost when it comes to playing an archangel, that he’s looking forward to his scenes with Djimon Hounsou, and how he’d like to model his character after Johnny Depp, playing more alternative types of characters. Check out what he had to say after the jump:
We’ve got a couple of casting stories to report this afternoon. First up, Rufus Sewell (The Tourist) has joined the cast of Alex Proyas’s big-budget adaptation of John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Legendary Pictures announced that Sewell will take on the role of Sammael opposite Bradley Cooper as Lucifer and Benjamin Walker as Michael. This isn’t Sewell’s first film for Proyas, as he previously starred in the director’s 1998 sci-fi film Dark City. For those unfamiliar, Paradise Lost centers on the battle between the two archangels when the banished Lucifer takes on the forces of Heaven. The 3D pic will feature epic action that includes “aerial warfare”. The cast for the film also includes Casey Affleck as the angel Gabriel and Dijmon Hounsou as the Angel of Death, Camilla Belle as Eve, Sam Reid as Raphael, Callan McAuliffe as Uriel, and Dominic Purcell as Moloch. Paradise Lost is being eyed for a 2013 release.
Hit the jump for the casting news of Keira Knightley in the competing Effie Gray film Untouched.
I am a Tyler Perry apologist around these parts, an admirer of his work ethic and devout fanbase. However, I have a hard time defending his latest casting choice. Perry has cast Kim Kardashian in The Marriage Counselor, an adaptation of Perry’s tenth play, which began touring in 2008. The story centers on an Ivy League-educated marriage counselor whose marriage starts to fall apart when her husband’s parents move in: “The marriage counselor, Judith, stops practicing what she preaches when she rekindles a relationship with an old college flame.” According to THR, Kardashian will play Judith’s co-worker. I don’t see any other casting for The Marriage Counselor, but production is scheduled for late October on Perry’s lucky 13th collaboration with Lionsgate.
Hit the jump for news on Sam Reid‘s role in Paradise Lost.
Director Alex Proyas is filling out the cast for his big-budget adaptation of John Milton’s Paradise Lost, and it looks as though he’s found his Adam. Variety reports that Diego Boneta (Pretty Little Liars) is in final negotiations to play the first man on Earth. Bradley Cooper and Ben Walker star as archangels Lucifer and Michael respectively. For those unfamiliar, the story centers on the ultimate battle between good and evil when a banished Lucifer mounts an army against the forces of Heaven. Boneta recently wrapped a role in Adam Shankman’s musical Rock of Ages, which stars Tom Cruise.
The fairly impressive cast for Paradise Lost includes Casey Affleck as the angel Gabriel and Dijmon Hounsou as the Angel of Death, as well as Callan McAuliffe and Dominic Purcell. The script has gone through a number of writers, as Byron Willinger and Philip de Blasi wrote the first draft, followed by a draft by Stuart Hazeldine (Exam), which was then polished by Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back). Ryan Condal wrote the most recent draft. Legendary Pictures is looking to release the 3D film towards the end of 2013.
In what is shaping up to be an epic cast (which is good since it’s an epic poem), Paradise Lost has added yet another minion to the legions of dark angels. Dominic Purcell (Prison Break) will play Jerahmeel, an angel who is rechristened as Moloch when he falls in step with Lucifer’s rebellion against Heaven. Alex Proyas (I, Robot) is directing the Warner Bros.’ project as an action-oriented adaptation of John Milton’s classic poem. The Legendary Pictures production also stars Bradley Cooper as Lucifer, Benjamin Walker as Michael and Casey Affleck as Gabriel. Since this tale has a lot of moving parts and a lot more cast, hit the jump for a break down.
We have a couple of quick casting stories to report this morning. First up, THR reports that Tom Everett Scott has joined the family comedy Us & Them. Billy Crystal and Bette Midler will play “old school grandparents who have a hard time finding a middle ground with their three modernized grandchildren.” Marisa Tomei will play their daughter Alice whose rocky relationship with her parents is healed by watching them interact with her children despite their conflicting approaches to parenting. Scott will play Alice’s husband. Andy Fickman (The Game Plan) will begin shooting the comedy this fall in Atlanta.
Hit the jump for casting news for Alex Proyas’ adaptation of Paradise Lost.
Though it was Ben Affleck who played the fallen angel in Dogma, Casey Affleck always seemed the more angelic of the two brothers. Finally cinema will reattain balance now that, per Variety, the younger Affleck is in negotiations to play the angel Gabriel in Paradise Lost. Based on the John Milton epic poem, the story center on an epic battle of good and evil between Michael (Benjamin Walker) and Lucifer (Bradley Cooper), who mounts an army after after he is cast out of heaven. Dijmon Hounsou also stars as Abdiel, the angel of death, in the adaptation directed by Alex Proyas (Knowing). The casting is shaping up really well. Affleck, who will next be seen in Tower Heist on November 4, is a nice addition.
Legendary Pictures is eying the end of 2013 for the 3D release. For all our coverage on Paradise Lost, including casting, quotes from Proyas, and a report from the Comic-Con panel, click here.
We’ve got a couple of casting stories for you this afternoon. First up, Djimon Hounsou has joined the cast of Alex Proyas’ adaptation of John Milton’s classic epic poem Paradise Lost. The film has Bradley Cooper and Benjamin Walker (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) set to star as Lucifer and the archangel Michael, respectively. Variety reports that Hounsou will take on the role of Abdiel, the angel of death. The story revolves around the epic battle between Michael and Lucifer and Proyas will be utilizing motion capture and 3D in the adaptation. Paradise Lost is targeting a late 2013 release.
Additionally, Tom Wilkinson is in talks to join the cast of Alejandro Monteverde’s (Bella) historical drama Little Boy. The WWII-set story revolves around an 8-year-old boy with developmental problems who is left vulnerable to the cruelty of his classmates when his father, his only friend, leaves to go to war. Variety reports that Wilkinson will join a cast that includes Ben Chaplin, Emily Watson, David Henrie and possibly Kevin James (yes, that Kevin James), though his name is conspicuously absent from the trade’s report. Nevertheless, Little Boy is currently filming in Baja California.
Benjamin Walker, the man who will be Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, is in negotiations with Legendary Pictures to star in Alex Proyas’ adaptation of Paradise Lost. Walker is up for the role of Michael, the archangel engaged in an epic battle of good and evil with Lucifer (Bradley Cooper), who mounts an army after after he is cast out of heaven. Proyas is striving for a distinct and magnificent aesthetic with cutting-edge visual effects. Hunter was very impressed with what he saw at the Comic-Con panel, suggesting “this movie could be one of the most visually breathtaking things ever projected on the silver screen.” To give us a taste, Legendary released this enigmatic piece of concept art.
Production will begin in January in Sidney, which allows Cooper to shoot The Silver Linings Playbook in the fall. Legendary is eying the end of 2013 for the 3D release. Hit the jump to hear how Proyas describes his vision for the film.
Legendary Pictures has released the first concept art for Lucifer in Alex Proyas’ adaptation of John Milton’s Paradise Lost. The film was part of Legendary Pictures’ pre-production panel at Comic-Con and while I was unable to attend, Hunter called it the most impressive film on the panel and if it lives up to the concept art they were shown, “this movie could be one of the most visually breathtaking things ever projected on the silver screen.” Hopefully, Legendary will release more concept art for the film in the coming weeks.
Milton’s epic poem chronicles Lucifer’s fall from Heaven and his role in leading Adam and Eve to original sin. Proyas says the adaptation will be “an incredible epic film about the Devil’s fall from grace and the Archangel Michael. Adam and Eve play heavily in it as well. This film couldn’t have been made a few years ago. In fact, we’re not even sure we can make it now. But we’re gonna try.” Hit the jump to check out the concept art. The film stars Bradley Cooper, will use motion capture, and is set for a late 2013 release.