We’ve got a few casting stories to attend to this afternoon. Briefly:
- Helen Mirren is in talks to join Bryan Cranston in the promising biopic Trumbo, which tells the story of blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.
- Jaden Smith and Liev Schreiber are in line to lead the slavery drama The Good Lord Bird.
- Sharon Stone has joined the ensemble cast of the action comedy American Ultra.
Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned projects.
The folks over at Variety report that Helen Mirren is in talks to star in the real-life drama Trumbo. Bryan Cranston is onboard to play blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, whose credits include Roman Holiday and Spartacus. Trumbo refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee and was therefore blacklisted, but he continued to write under pseudonyms and even won two Oscars under different names. Jay Roach (Recount) is set to direct.
Deadline reports that Jaden Smith and Liev Schreiber are in line to star in an adaptation of the 2013 National Book Award Winner The Good Lord Bird, by author James McBride. Smith will play a young slave who links up with radical abolitionist John Brown (Schreiber) in 1865 Kansas and travels along during his historic cross-country campaign with other freedom fighters. A director is not specified in Deadline’s report, but this is certainly a tall order for Smith, who has thus far been relegated to lighter fare like The Karate Kid and After Earth.
Finally, it was announced that Sharon Stone has joined the cast of the action-comedy American Ultra, which is currently in production. From a screenplay by Max Landis (Chronicle), the film stars Jesse Eisenberg as an unmotivated stoner living in a small town with his girlfriend (Kristen Stewart), who suddenly becomes cognizant of the fact that he’s actually a lethal sleeper agent in a government program. Stone will play the woman who created the program. Project X director Nima Nourizadeh takes the helm, and the cast also includes Bill Pullman, Walton Goggins, and Topher Grace.