Casting Call: Alan Arkin Joins Ben Affleck’s ARGO, James Badge Dale Up for WORLD WAR Z, Elodie Yung in Talks for G.I. JOE: COBRA STRIKES

     June 10, 2011


We’ve got a couple of casting stories for you this afternoon. First up, Ben Affleck has tapped Alan Arkin to star in his Tehran hostage crisis flick Argo. Affleck is poised to direct the film, which is based on a Wired magazine article entitled “How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans from Tehran.” The true story tells how the CIA and the Canadian government teamed up to rescue six U.S. diplimats who had been taken hostage by Iranians in 1979. The CIA developed a ruse that involved convincing the Iranians that the diplomats were a Hollywood film crew scouting locations for a movie called “Argo.” Variety reports that Arkin will play a Hollywood producer who’s an O.S.S. veteran and is described as “equal parts bookie and rabbi.” George Clooney and Grant Heslov are producing.

Additionally, James Badge Dale (The Pacific) is in negotiations to join Brad Pitt in Marc Forster’s World War Z. The film is based on the book of the same name which details the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse from the perspective of survivors as varied as mercenaries, US government officials, and impoverished Palestinians. Showblitz reports that Dale will play an American soldier trying to convince the authorities of the danger the zombies pose, and he joins Mireille Enos (The Killing) and possibly Anthony Mackie in the flick which starts production this summer. Hit the jump for the casting news of Elodie Yung in G.I. Joe 2. and a synopsis of the book World War Z.

Finally, Elodie Yung is in negotiations to star in Paramount’s G.I. Joe sequel, now titled G.I. Joe: Cobra Strikes. Directed by Jon Chu, Dwayne Johnson is in talks to join the cast as Roadblock and Channing Tatum is expected to return as Duke. Heat Vision reports that Yung will play Jinx. Yung knows her way around fight scenes, as she recently starred in the parkour action flick District 13: Ultimatum. As we previously reported Duke, Storm Shadows (Lee Byung-hun), and Snake Eyes (Ray Park) will be the only returning characters from the first film. G.I. Joe: Cobra Strikes hits theaters on August 10th, 2012.

world-war-z-book-cover-01Here’s the synopsis for World War Z:

“The end was near.” —Voices from the Zombie War

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.

Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.

Most of all, the book captures with haunting immediacy the human dimension of this epochal event. Facing the often raw and vivid nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of the reader, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction, “By excluding the human factor, aren’t we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn’t the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as ‘the living dead’?” [Amazon]


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