Casting Call: Ashley Judd and Robert Forster Board OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN, Iko Uwais Joins MAN OF TAI CHI, and Bradley Whitford in Talks for SAVING MR. BANKS

     July 12, 2012

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We’ve got a few casting stories to share this afternoon.  Briefly:

  • Ashley Judd and Robert Forster are the latest additions to the Gerard Butler-fronted White House actioner Olympus Has Fallen.
  • The Raid star Iwo Uwais has joined the cast of Keanu Reeves’ directorial debut Man of Tai Chi.
  • Bradley Whitford is in early talks to join Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson in Saving Mr. Banks.

Hit the jump for details on these casting additions.

ashley-judd-olympus-has-fallenProduction begins this week on director Antoine Fuqua’s thriller Olympus Has Fallen, and it looks like Ashley Judd and Robert Forster have been added to the cast just under the wire.  Butler stars as a secret service agent who becomes the country’s only hope when the White House is overrun by terrorists.  Per Heat Vision, Judd will be playing the first lady while Forster is set as “a high-ranking general who is forced to deal with the nuke-loving terrorists.”  Aaron Eckhart is onboard as the President, while Rick Yune (Die Another Day) was just cast as the film’s villain.

Additionally, coming off of the fantastic reaction to Gareth Evans’ foreign actioner The Raid, star Iko Uwais has been tapped to join Keanu Reeves’ directorial effort Man of Tai Chi.  Reeves also co-stars in the film, which takes place in modern Beijing and “follows the spiritual journey of a young martial artist (Tiger Chen) whose skills present him with both exciting opportunities and painful choices.  Variety doesn’t specify what character Uwais will be playing, but their report notes that he’ll fight Chen in one of the film’s main fight sequences.  Uwais is also attached to star in Evans’ The Raid sequel, Berendal.

Finally, The West Wing standout and The Cabin in the Woods scene-stealer Bradley Whitford may be joining Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks.  The pic stars Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and tells the true story of the visionary’s 14-year courtship of Australian author P.L. Travers for the rights to the Mary Poppins character.  Emma Thompson plays Travers, who was wary to sell the rights to the studio as the Mary Poppins story was highly personal and reflected hardships in her own life as well as her relationship with her father.

Variety reports that Whitford has been offered the role of Don DaGradi, the co-screenwriter of the feature film iteration of Mary Poppins.  Whitford’s dry wit and overall charm makes for some wonderfully memorable characters, so hopefully his schedule works out so that he can sign on to Saving Mr. Banks.

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