We have a few quick casting stories for you this fine morning (or early afternoon for those on the east coast). First up, Alexandra Maria Lara (Downfall) will star opposite Chris Hemsworth in Ron Howard’s Formula One racing drama Rush. Working from a script by Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon), the story focuses on the real-life rivalry between British driver James Hunt and Austrian F1 champion Niki Lauda. Lauda will be played by Inglourious Basterds‘ Daniel Brühl. It’s interesting that the lead role seems to be Hunt even though Lauda nearly died in a fiery crash in 1976 but returned to the track just six weeks later to race Hunt. Variety has no details on Lara’s character other than to say that she’s the female lead.
Hit the jump for casting news on Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike and Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby.
Steven Soderbergh is continuing to put together the world’s least appealing cast for the stripper drama Magic Mike as The Playlist reports that Cody Horn will play the film’s female lead. That’s not a slam against Horn or even most of the cast. With the exceptions Channing Tatum and Alex Pettyfer, the supporting cast (Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello and Riley Keough) leaves me indifferent (except for Matthew McConaughey, who provides feelings of ambivalence). However, the combination of Tatum and Pettyfer is one of the worst leading duos in recent memory. The plot doesn’t sound much better: The semi-biographical film has Tatum will playing the lead role of “Mike” a dance/stripper teacher who shows Pettyfer’s character (Tatum’s 19 year-old-stripping self) the dance/stripping ropes. Sodebergh is reportedly using Saturday Night Fever as his model. That gives me no comfort.
The Playlist reports that the casting of Biel was erroneous that Horn will play the role of Pettyfer’s sister in the film who has a romance with Tatum’s character. There’s still one major female role left to be cast before the film moves forward.
Finally, The Daily Telegraph reports that veteran Aussie actor Jack Thompson (who will be next seen in theaters this weekend in Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark) has joined Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby. There’s no word on what role Thompson will play in the $150 million 3D film (this could be a total freaking trainwreck). The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire, Isla Fisher, Joel Edgerton, and Jason Clarke. For those who never took high school English (or just can’t remember it), here’s the synopsis:
The exemplary novel of the Jazz Age, F. Scott Fitzgeralds’ third book, The Great Gatsby (1925), stands as the supreme achievement of his career. T. S. Eliot read it three times and saw it as the “first step” American fiction had taken since Henry James; H. L. Mencken praised “the charm and beauty of the writing,” as well as Fitzgerald’s sharp social sense; and Thomas Wolfe hailed it as Fitzgerald’s “best work” thus far. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when, The New York Times remarked, “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s that resonates with the power of myth. A novel of lyrical beauty yet brutal realism, of magic, romance, and mysticism, The Great Gatsby is one of the great classics of twentieth-century literature.