Matt Damon is getting some company in the sci-fi survival film The Martian. The Wrap reports that Halt and Catch Fire star Mackenzie Davis is in talks to join director Ridley Scott’s next film in a “small but crucial role”. Scripted by Drew Goddard based on an e-book by Andy Weir, Damon stars as an astronaut who gets stranded on Mars and must figure out how to return home. Jessica Chastain is set to co-star in the pic in another unspecified role, but one imagines Damon will hold most of the screentime by himself. Davis has proven to be a formidable talent to watch in films like Breathe In and most recently the romantic comedy What If, and The Martian is certainly her highest profile role to date.
In addition to The Martian, The Wrap notes that Davis is currently filming Anna Axster’s indie A Country Called Home and is set to star in Sophia Takal’s psychological thriller Always Shine. She’s also set to return for season two of AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire, so her schedule is filling up quite nicely. Hit the jump to find out who landed the lead role in MGM’s Ben-Hur remake.
Additionally, Deadline reports that Boardwalk Empire star Jack Huston has been tapped the play the titular hero in MGM and Paramount’s upcoming Ben-Hur remake. Wanted and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter director Timur Bekmambetov is set to helm, and Morgan Freeman recently signed on as the first actor to join the project, playing the man who trains Ben-Hur to become a champion chariot racer.
Huston has found himself on many shortlists for a number of high-profile gigs as Boardwalk Empire was winding down, so it was only a matter of time before he landed a major leading role. Now Bekmambetov and the producers will turn their attention to casting the film’s antagonist, Messala, in anticipation of the pic’s February 26, 2016 release date.