KONG: SKULL ISLAND Adds J.K. Simmons; Steven Spielberg’s THE BFG Finds Its Lead In Newcomer Ruby Barnhill; David Oyelowo Moves Into AMERICANAH

     December 16, 2014

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We’ve got three new casting stories worthy of your attention. In short:

  • J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) will now appear alongside Tom Hiddleston in director Jordan Vogt-Roberts‘ recently retitled Kong: Skull Island.
  • Steven Spielberg‘s upcoming Roald Dahl adaptation The BFG has cast newcomer Ruby Barnhill in the lead role.
  • David Oyelowo (Selma) will join Lupita Nyong’o in Americanah for Brad Pitt‘s production company Plan B.

Hit the jump for more details on this casting news.

king kong skull islandWe’ll start with J.K. Simmons in Kong: Skull Island.  Deadline broke the news of his involvement, though we’re not entirely sure what role he’ll be playing, but so far he’s the only confirmed cast member other that Tom Hiddleston so one assumes it will be a significant one.  Simmons is also hot from Whiplash so I doubt he’d take on a marginal character while his bargaining power is high.  The film was retitled (from simply Skull Island) last week in addition to being pushed back a few months to March 10th, 2017.  So they’ve got plenty of time to get their ducks in a row.

the-bfg-sliceSteven Spielberg’s take on The BFG has been gestating for quite some time, searching for the perfect lead to accompany Mark Rylance, who is set to voice the titular character.  And now they’ve found her in newcomer Ruby Barnhill, who will be making her feature debut in the film, which is being written by E.T. scribe Melissa Mathison.  Luke Kelly, Managing Director of the Roald Dahl Literary Estate and Roald Dahl’s grandson, said:

“The character of Sophie is one of the most endearing young heroes in Roald Dahl’s stories. She is as brave as she is curious and has an innate sense of wonder. Many congratulations to Ruby on landing the role. We hope that making ‘The BFG’ proves an utterly magical adventure for her.”

Last but not least, David Oyelowo, who is having a great year not only with Selma but Interstellar as well, will join Lupita Nyong’o in Americana (per Variety).  The film is currently in the unusual position (for an indie, at least) of casting even though they are still actively searching for both a writer and director for the material. 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.

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