A bunch of TV stars found their way into the movies and one Hunger Games actor saw the odds turn in his favor. Here’s your big-screen casting round-up:
- Ryan Kwanten (True Blood) will star in independent Canadian comedy Sex and Sunsets.
- Dianna Agron (Glee) will join Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer in Luc Besson’s action-comedy Malavita
- Gillian Jacobs (Community) will co-star in horror-comedy Milo
- The Hunger Games’ Dayo Okeniyi will play in Runner Runner starring Ben Affleck and indie high school drama The Spectacular Now
Hit the jump for more on all four projects.
Sex and Sunsets, which will be adapted from a 1987 Tim Sandlin novel, follows a former writer/current dishwasher whose failures are immortalized on a blog. Seemingly, they’re planning a few changes from the book, whose synopsis reads:
“When twenty-nine-year-old professional dishwasher Kelly Palamino — who hears voices in running water; whose toilet tell him to eat fish; whose Water Pik quotes Ezra Pound — sees the dark-haired bride in full wedding regalia punt a football over the rectory before turning resolutely to walk down the aisle, it’s love at first sight. And Kelly won’t let a little thing like a wedding come between him and the girl of his dreams…”
Either way, sounds like some quirky fun. And Kwanten is a talented guy who should do well with an off-beat role like this. Directed by Jeremiah Chechik and adapted by Megan Martin, this one will get rolling this August in Banff and LA. (per THR)
Meanwhile, Agron joins Malavita as the daughter of De Niro and Pfeiffer’s characters, who are under witness protection in France after De Niro turned rat on his mob associates. Though they try to blend in, their old-neighborhood tactics soon get them back on the mafia’s radar. Tommy Lee Jones is also closing in on the role of De Niro’s FBI handler. Based on the novel Badfellas by Tonino Benacquista, it sees De Niro once again squeezing laughs out of his classic wiseguy persona. The book title and synopsis even directly reference one of his most iconic films. I’m intrigued by this one, even though both director Besson and De Niro have been piling up more misses than hits in recent years. (via THR)
Gillian Jacobs will play wife to Ken Marino (Party Down) in Milo, the story of a man with a demon living in his intestines. In an effort to resolve things peaceably, he tries to work things out with the little critter by attending therapy sessions with Peter Stormare. Has there been a more exciting pairing of cast and synopsis this year? Plus, it’s being produced by mumblecore indie darlings Jay and Mark Duplass (Cyrus), who will oversee the efforts of their sometimes editor Jacob Vaughan in the director’s chair. (via THR)
After portraying one of the more sympathetic non-Katniss combatants in The Hunger Games, Nigerian thesp Dayo Okeniyi will spar alongside Affleck and Justin Timberlake in Runner Runner; directed by Brad Furman, the flick sees a Princeton student (Timberlake) resorting to internet gambling to pay off his debts, eventually getting involved with a seedy billionaire (Affleck) running a racket in Costa Rica. Okeniyi will play a fellow Princeton student, while Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker), Oliver Cooper (Project X), Ben Schwartz (House of Lies) and Gemma Arterton (Prince of Persia) also star.
The Spectacular Now, from director James Ponsoldt (Smashed) involves a popular, hard-partying high school senior charitably dating an unpopular classmate; before long, he realizes that, for the first time, he’s got the potential to “make a difference in someone else’s life—or ruin it forever.” It’s being adapted from the Tim Tharp novel. Okeniyi’s role is unknown, but he’s joining a cast that already includes Shailene Woodley (The Descendants), Miles Teller (Project X) and Brie Larson (21 Jump Street) (via THR).