A few casting notices:
- Ellen Page is in negotiations to star as a British spy in the comic book adaptation Queen & Country. Fox sees franchise potential.
- John Leguizamo will play drug kingpin Pablo Escobar in the biopic King of Cocaine, taking over after Oscar Isaac dropped out.
- Lea Thompson joins Nicolas Cage, Chad Michael Murray, and Jordin Sparks in Left Behind, an adaptation of the popular post-apocalyptic Christian books.
Details on each project after the jump.
Page has made three movies—Juno, Whip It, The East—with Fox Searchlight and worked with the mothership studio Fox on the X-Men series. Variety says Fox has long wanted a franchise for Page and believes Queen & Country to be the right opportunity. The comic book by Greg Rucka follows “a British Intelligence agent who tries to stop an international terrorist plot after her identity is compromised and as her personal demons spiral out of control.”
Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer) signed on to direct the Escobar biopic over two years ago. According to Deadline, Furman wanted Leguizamo for the role since the Colombian American actor starred in his feature directorial debut, The Take. However, it was reportedly easier to sell the project abroad with Isaac attached. When Isaac dropped out, Leguizamo seized the opportunity, and filmed a screen test in a fat suit and prosthetic makeup. Furman convinced producer/financier Scott Steindorff to show the tape to Relativity without disclosing Leguizamo’s identity. Relativity was impressed—when they learned it was Leguizamo, they signed on to distribute King of Cocaine and hired the actor to play Escobar. The $25 million production begins shooting in Colombia in January.
Based on the book series by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LeHaye, Left Behind follows a group of survivors after the Rapture that sees millions of people around the world disappear. THR reports Thompson will play Cage’s wife who “warns her family of a coming apocalypse, but ultimately ends up pushing them even further away.” Cassi Thomson, Nicky Whelan, and Quinton Aaron also star.