We’ve got a few casting stories to share this afternoon. Briefly:
- Kevin Hart is joining Kevin James in the comedy Valet Guys.
- Alexander Ludwig (The Hunger Games) joins the cast of Grown Ups 2.
- SNL cast member Taran Killam has joined Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender in Twelve Years a Slave.
- Chris Diamantopoulos has been added to Empire State alongside Dwayne Johnson and Liam Hemsworth.
Hit the jump for more on each casting addition.
First up, comedian Kevin Hart is in talks to join Kevin James in Valet Guys. The comedy was initially set up as a starring vehicle for James and Adam Sandler, but Deadline reports that Hart will now taking the part opposite James. The story centers on two valet parking guys who witness a murder and are forced to go on the run. James wrote the script with his writing partner Nick Bakay (Paul Blart: Mall Cop), but a director has yet to be set. Sony is eyeing a late year start in Miami.
Additionally, Alexander Ludwig has been added to the ensemble cast of Grown Ups 2. Ludwig played the baddie Cato in The Hunger Games, but Variety reports that he’ll be portraying David Spade’s son in the follow-up to the 2011 comedy. Ludwig isn’t the only young star newcomer to the series, as Taylor Lautner was recently added for a “fun” role. Dennis Dugan is set to direct, with Cheri Oteri and Nick Swardson joining returning actors Spade, Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock and Rob Schneider. The film is set for release on July 12th, 2013.
Breakout SNL cast member Taran Killam is making a departure from funny business for Shame director Steve McQueen’s period drama Twelve Years a Slave. The film stars Chiwetel Ejiofor and tells the true story of an educated, free black man living in 1853 New York who was kidnapped and forced into slavery in the south. Per Deadline, Killam will play a traveling showman who abducts Ejiofor’s character. The cast also includes Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, and Paul Dano.
Finally, The Three Stooges star Chris Diamantopoulos has joined the cast of director Dito Monteil’s (A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints) indie Empire State. The film is based on the true story of a 1982 NYC armored car company robbery that was thought to be the largest cash heist in U.S. history. Deadline reports that Diamantopoulos will play a mob boss who thinks the two friends might have committed the crime. He stars opposite Liam Hemsworth, Dwayne Johnson, and Emma Roberts.