Robertson in COOK; Zurer May Join BEN-HUR; Hammer Goes for BIRTH OF A NATION; Kendrick Circling a Role in THE ACCOUNTANT

     November 12, 2014

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We’ve got a bunch of casting news to report.  Here’s what’s coming at a glance:

  • Britt Robertson joined the cast of Bruce Beresford’s Cook.
  • Ayelet Zurer is in talks to join Timur Bekmambetov’s Ben-Hur.
  • Armie Hammer is confirmed for Nate Parker’s historical drama, Birth of a Nation.
  • Anna Kendrick is circling a role in The Accountant.  J.K. Simmons is in negotiations to join the cast as well.

Hit the jump for more on all four films.

britt-robertson-cookFirst up, we’ve got Robertson in CookDeadline is reporting that the Tomorrowland star is all set to lead alongside Eddie Murphy who’s playing Henry Church, a cook who’s hired by a dying man to prepare meals for his wife and daughter after he passes away, but then winds up being part of their lives for the next 15 years.  Robertson will play the man’s daughter, Charlotte.  Beresford is expected to start filming in LA this month.

Bekmambetov has already got Jack Huston, Toby Kebbell and Morgan Freeman on board for Ben-Hur and now, according to THR, he may add Man of Steel’s Ayelet Zurer to the roster as well.  Huston will lead as the Jewish prince who’s betrayed by his friend Messala (Kebbell) and sold into slavery.  Freeman will play Ildarin, the man who teaches Judah Ben-Hur to chariot race.  Should Zurer’s talks pan out, she’ll step in as Naomi, Ben-Hur’s mother.  There’s no mention of Gal Gadot or Pedro Pascal in the article, so we still don’t know if their negotiations went through or not.

As reported by Variety, Hammer is locked for Parker’s directorial debut, The Birth of a Nation.  Parker also wrote the script and plans to star in the film as well.  It’s a historical drama that covers what happens when Nat Turner and about 70 slaves took part in a deadly slave uprising in Virginia. They were stopped after two days, but not before taking the lives of 55 to 65 people.  Turner managed to survive for more than two months in hiding after the event.

Last up, we’ve got some casting news for Gavin O’Connor’s next project, The Accountant.  According to Variety, Kendrick is currently in early negotiations to join Ben Affleck in the assassin thriller.  He’ll lead as a “mild-mannered accountant who moonlights as a lethal assassin,” but there’s no information regarding the role Kendrick is going for and THR also notes that the “deal still has quite a ways to go and may not stick.”  However, it does seem as though Simmons’ negotiations might be further along.

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