Rebel Wilson Joins NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 3; Elijah Wood Leads SET FIRE TO THE STARS; James Marsden to Replace Paul Walker in Nicholas Sparks Adaptation

     January 9, 2014

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Here’s a look at the latest casting news from some upcoming films:

  • Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect) is set to join Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan and Ricky Gervais in Shawn Levy’s Night At The Museum 3, opening Christmas Day.
  • Elijah Wood (Sin City) will lead a British cast in the indie 1950s period picture, Set Fire to the Stars, with Andy Goddard co-writing and directing.
  • James Marsden (Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues) has been offered the lead in the Michael Hoffman-directed Nicholas Sparks adaptation, The Best of Me, replacing the late Paul Walker.

Hit the jump for more on each casting announcement.

rebel-wilson-night-at-the-museum-3First up from Deadline is news that Wilson will be joining the third installment in the Night at the Museum franchise.  Scripted by Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant, and David Guion and Michael Handelman, this version sees the action taking place overseas in London.  Wilson is set to play the night guard at the British museum.

Also from Deadline comes word that Marsden has been tapped to replace Walker in The Best of Me.  If negotiations work out, Marsden would star in the lead alongside Michelle Monaghan.  The Sparksian plot centers on “two former high school sweethearts reunited after 20 years apart when they return to their small town for the funeral of the beloved friend. Their bittersweet reunion reignites the sparks, but the forces that drove them apart back then still get in the way.”

Here’s the full press release for Set Fire to the Stars:

Elijah Wood Sets Fire To Dylan Thomas Drama

Elijah Wood will lead a British cast in the independent feature, Set Fire To The Stars co-written & directed by Downton Abbey director, Andy Goddard. Based on true events, the Fifties period feature will tell the story of the turbulent and moving relationship between aspiring poet, John Malcolm Brinnin and his hero, the hellraising Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. Elijah Wood will play Brinnin and the Welsh actor Celyn Jones, who co-wrote the script with Goddard, will play Dylan Thomas.

Wood will next be seen in Grand Piano out in March as well as will begin filming the final season on FXX’s Wilfred.  His production company SPECTREVISION(with partners Daniel Noah and Josh Waller) also produced 2 films: COOTIES (in which Wood stars) and A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT, both premiering next weekend at The SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL.

Set in Fifties America, the film will actually shoot on location in and around Dylan Thomas’s spiritual home of Swansea, Wales, from the end of January. Celyn Jones will be the latest in an illustrious line of actors to play the Welsh poet including Alec Guinness, Matthew Rhys and Tom Hollander. Speaking of Elijah Wood’s attachment as John Brinnin, he commented: “We are very excited to have Elijah in this role. He was the only actor in our minds whilst writing the script and to have him on board with his talent, screen presence and international appeal has elevated the entire project. It’s also exciting to be making this film on Welsh soil for the rest of the world to enjoy.”

Adding to the onscreen talent is Kelly Reilly (Flight, Sherlock Holmes) who will play Dylan’s wife, Caitlin. Also cast are Shirley Henderson (Harry Potter, Bridget Jones) and Steven Mackintosh (Kick Ass 2, Underworld, Lock, Stock…). The film’s casting director is Martin Ware from Hubbards Casting in London. In addition to directing multiple episodes of Downton Abbey, including the season three finale, director Goddard has helmed such series as Doctor Who, Dracula and Once Upon A Time. He is also attached to the Patricia Highsmith feature, The Blunderer being produced by Ted Hope and Killer Films’ Christine Vachon with Sierra/Affinity financing. His debut feature will be produced by up-and-coming producer AJ Riach and co-produced by Andy Evans. Steve Clark-Hall who produced the Sherlock Holmes franchise and Guy Ritchie’s forthcoming The Man From UNCLE will exec produce. In a radical move, Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals will compose the film score.

Wood is repped by WME, Brillstein Partners and Stone, Meyer, Genow, Smelkinson & Binder

Jones is repped by Kate Staddon at Curtis Brown Group. Goddard by Resolution Entertainment and United Agents.

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