Emma Watson and Miles Teller May Go Musical for LA LA LAND; Lupita Nyong’o to Lead AMERICANAH; Ike Barinholtz Joins THE NEST

     June 5, 2014

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A couple of interesting casting announcements have surfaced.  First up, director Damien Chazelle—whose dark music-centric drama Whiplash drew raves at Sundance earlier this year—is putting together his next project.  Whiplash, a film about the relationship between aspiring jazz drummer (Miles Teller) and his ruthless instructor (J.K. Simmons), marked Chazelle’s feature debut, and it appears that he wants to stay in the music realm for his follow-up.  The Wrap reports that Miles Teller is in early talks to reteam with Chazelle on the musical La La Land, with Emma Watson in talks to tackle the female lead.  The story follows a lonely, aspiring actress and a cocky, charismatic jazz pianist who fall in love in Los Angeles.  However, they are soon faced with the stiff challenge of navigating a relationship in the cutthroat climate of L.A.

Hit the jump for more on La La Land and news regarding a new Lupita Nyong’o project and a Neighbors standout landing the lead in the new Tina Fey/Amy Poehler film.

emma-watson-la-la-landPer The Wrap, La La Land is described as a song-and-dance romance about “big dreams, the big city, and the kind of love that makes life feel like a musical.”  Lionsgate is producing the pic, which was also written by Chazelle.  The contemporary musical, which almost feels reminiscent of (500) Days of Summer, is certainly an ambitious project, but Chazelle is coming off big buzz from Whiplash, which opens in theaters on October 10th.  Teller is currently filming The Fantastic Four, while Watson is in production on the thriller Regression.  La La Land isn’t expected to start production until February 2015.

Additionally, fresh off of winning the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for 12 Years a Slave and landing a role in Star Wars: Episode VII, Lupita Nyong’o is putting together an adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Americanah, which she will produce and star in.  The book tells the epic love story of two young Nigerians while exploring the cruelties and humor of both the modern immigrant experience and the difficulty of finding your way home.  She will partner with Plan B, Brad Pitt’s production company, on the project.

Finally, THR reports that Neighbors scene-stealer and The Mindy Project star Ike Bariholtz has landed the coveted male lead role in the comedy The Nest.  Written by Paula Pell, the film stars Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as two estranged sisters who reunite to clean out their childhood home before their parents sell the family house, during which they decide to throw one final blow-out party.  Pitch Perfect helmer Jason Moore is directing the film, which is slated for release opposite Star Wars on December 18, 2015.

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