Casting News: Jessica Chastain joins THE HELP; Fred Ward in 30 MINUTES OR LESS; Elias Koteas is on for WINNIE

     June 25, 2010

slice Jessica Chastain joins THE HELP; Fred Ward in 30 MINUTES OR LESS; Elias Koteas is on for WINNIEJessica

There’s nothing like starting off your Friday afternoon with a nice big bowl of casting news. For starters, Jessica Chastain (upcoming The Tree of Life, alongside Brad Pitt and Sean Penn) has signed on to The Help. According to THR, the DreamWorks film is adapted from the best-selling novel by Kathryn Stockett and the story will center around “black maids working in white households in the early 1960s in Jackson, Miss.” As we let you know back in April, Viola Davis (Doubt) is already set to star in the film and, since that time, Emma Stone has also joined the cast.

Hit the jump to catch up on the rest of your well-balanced afternoon casting news including Fred Ward joining 30 Minutes or Less and Elias Koteas signing up for the Winnie Mandela biopic, cleverly entitled Winnie.

The Hollywood Reporter also reports that Fred Ward (Road Trip, Joe Dirt) has agreed to play Danny McBride’s father in the upcoming Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) film, 30 Minutes or Less. The film revolves around a couple of criminals who force a junior-high history teacher and a pizza-delivery man to rob a bank by strapping one of them into a bomb vest. While comedy via bomb vest doesn’t usually do much for me, Fleischer and the rest of the cast including Jesse Eisenberg, Michael Pena, and Aziz Ansari look pretty solid on paper.

Finally, Elias Koteas (Shutter Island) has signed on to join both Terrence Howard and Jennifer Hudson in the Winnie Mandela biopic, Winnie.  According to Hollywood Reporter, Koteas will play De Vries, “an overzealous officer in the apartheid police state who rises in power and becomes intent on stopping Winnie and the black anti-apartheid activists from gaining power.” I’m going to go out on a limb and say he is a villain…

Jessica Chastain

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