Kevin Costner in CRIMINAL Negotiations; John Cusack & Adrien Brody Join DRAGON’S BLADE; Kevin Kline & Mamie Gummer Negotiate for RICKI AND THE FLASH

     June 17, 2014

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Here’s today’s latest casting news:

  • Kevin Costner is in negotiations to star in Ariel Vroman’s Criminal, an interesting genre film with a character who’s part ruthless killer and part experimental brain-swapping subject.
  • John Cusack and Adrien Brody have joined Jackie Chan in Daniel Lee’s epic Dragon’s Blade, which sees the Roman and Chinese civilizations clashing together on screen.
  • Kevin Kline and Mamie Gummer are in negotiations to join Meryl Streep in Jonathan Demme’s Ricki and the Flash.

Hit the jump for more on each casting story.

kevin-kline-ricki-and-the-flashFirst up from Variety is word that Costner is in negotiations to star in Criminal.  The poorly written report says the crux of the story is as follows: “The story revolves around a ruthless killer who, rather than spending the rest of his life in jail, is used in a scientific experiment, planting the brain of a recently murdered field operative.” So, either the killer plants the dead man’s brain and waits for it to grow into a human, or the killer chooses to have the brain of said deceased field operative implanted into his own body rather than serve a life sentence. If it’s the latter idea (and I certainly hope it is), then I’m on board.  Costner would likely get to play a bit of a psychotic Jekyll and Hyde character, since I’m assuming the story will be an internal battle of those two personalities.  Perhaps screenwriters Douglas Cook and David Weisberg can clear that up before too long.

Variety also reports that Cusack and Brody will star as Romans in Dragon’s Blade, already one of China’s three most expensive films with a reported budget of $65 million.  The period action film has a pretty cool premise as it will see two of the history’s greatest civilizations clashing on the field of battle.  Cusack stars as the Roman general Lucius, who leads his legion of soldiers into battle, only to be pursued by the power-hungry Tiberius (Brody) and his 100,000 warriors.  Chan’s character commands the western regions’ protectorate and teams up with Lucius to defend China’s sovereignty.  Dragon’s Blade is currently in production and will next move to location shoots in the Gobi Desert.

Finally from The Wrap is news that Kline and Gummer are in negotiations to join Ricki and the Flash.  Scripted by Diablo Cody, “Streep stars as a rock ‘n’ roll-loving woman who chased her dreams at the cost of her family, but gets a chance to put things right.”  Kline would play Pete, Ricki’s forgiving ex-husband.  Gummer, who last starred with Streep (her mother) in the 1986 film Heartburn, would channel that real-life relationship as Ricki’s confrontational daughter, Julie, who is in need of her mother’s support after divorcing her own cheating husband.

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