Toby Kebbell in Talks for BEN-HUR, Andie MacDowell Joins MAGIC MIKE XXL, and Anthony Mackie Set for OUR BRAND IS CRISIS

     September 18, 2014

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A few casting stories have surfaced this afternoon.  Briefly:

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes star Toby Kebbell is in early talks to take on the villain role in the Ben-Hur remake.
  • The lovely Andie MacDowell will bring some femininity to the sequel Magic Mike XXL.
  • Anthony Mackie is in talks to join Sandra Bullock in the excellent-sounding political drama Our Brand Is Crisis.

Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned casting.

toby-kebbell-ben-hur-remakeJust after casting Boardwalk Empire alum Jack Huston in the titular lead role, Variety reports that MGM and Paramount have entered talks with Toby Kebbell to play the villainous Messala in the Ben-Hur remake.  Kebbell wowed audiences this summer as Koba in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and most recently wrapped the antagonist role of Dr. Doom in The Fantastic FourTimur Bekmambetov is onboard to direct Ben-Hur in anticipation of a February 26, 2016 release date with a script by 12 Years a Slave scribe John Ridley.

Also per Variety, Andie MacDowell has joined the cast of the Channing Tatum-fronted sequel Magic Mike XXL.  Details regarding her role are unknown at this time, but Steven Soderbergh’s first film was 2012’s pleasant surprise, and it appears that producers are continuing to think outside the box when it comes to the follow-up.  Gregory Jacobs steps into the director’s chair this time around with Soderbergh acting as camera operator and editor.  Alex Pettyfer, Matt Bomer, and Joe Manganiello are reprising their roles from the first film, but Matthew McConaughey will not be returning.  The film opens in theaters next summer.

Finally, while Anthony Mackie made his superhero debut in this spring’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the actor isn’t completely forsaking serious dramas.  THR reports that Mackie is in talks to join director David Gordon Green’s (Prince Avalanche) political dramedy Our Brand Is Crisis.  The film also stars Sandra Bullock and Scoot McNairy and revolves around the use of U.S. political campaign strategies in South America.  George Clooney is producing, and while Billy Bob Thornton entered talks to join the cast last week, his deal didn’t materialize.

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