We’ve got a couple of casting stories to share this afternoon. First up, Oscar winner Melissa Leo and Rick Yune (Die Another Day) have been added to the cast of the White House actioner Olympus Has Fallen. Not to be confused with the similarly plotted White House Down, which has Roland Emmerich directing and Channing Tatum starring, Olympus Has Fallen has Gerard Butler playing a secret service agent who becomes the country’s only hope when the White House is overrun by terrorists. Antoine Fuqua directs, and Heat Vision reports that Leo will be playing a tough Secretary of State while Yune has landed the film’s villain role. In addition to Die Another Day, Yune played an antagonist in the original The Fast and the Furious. No other details are known regarding his nefarious plot or why he feels the need to break into the President’s home.
Hit the jump for details on a number of additions to the cast of the biopic Jobs.
Today’s cast additions include two White House themed pictures for the price of one:
Hit the jump for more details on each picture.
Some brief casting notes for you here with more details after the jump:
- Angela Bassett (Malcolm X) is set to join Gerard Butler (300) and Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight) in Antoine Fuqua’s Presidential thriller, Olympus Has Fallen.
- Derek Luke (Antwone Fisher) will star opposite Paula Patton (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) in Baggage Claim, from writer/director/producer David Talbert.
- Robert Baker (Out of Time) and Brian Howe (The Pursuit of Happyness) are the most recent additions to the cast of Atom Egoyan’s Devil’s Knot, based on the true life saga of the West Memphis Three.
Hit the jump for more on each picture.
The viral campaign for The Dark Knight Rises has been revving up with newspaper clippings heralding “Harvey Dent Day” in order to honor Aaron Eckhart’s deceased district attorney from The Dark Knight, but it appears the actor is getting back into politics in a big way post-Batman. Variety reports that Eckhart has been tapped to play the President of the United States in director Antoine Fuqua’s thriller Olympus Has Fallen (aka White House Taken). Gerard Butler stars as a Secret Service agent who becomes the country’s only hope when the White House is overrun by terrorists.
The film is in direct competition with Roland Emmerich’s very similarly plotted White House Down, and Eckhart may be taking part in a POTUS-off with Jamie Foxx, who is considering playing the commander-in-chief in Emmerich’s pic. Olympus Has Fallen is moving forward first, with production set to get underway in September. Eckhart will next be seen in The Expatriate, and he recently wrapped the starring role in the Dean Koontz adaptation I, Frankenstein.
It’s been a few months since we last heard anything about Don Cheadle’s exciting biopic about famed musician Miles Davis, but it now appears that the project has a director. During an interview with the Wall Street Journal (via Shadow and Act), Davis Estate heirs Erin Davis and Vince Wilburn Jr. revealed that Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) will be directing the film. We know that this won’t be a cradle to grave biopic, and the film was previously described as more of a gangster pic set in the 1970s.
Fuqua’s a fine if not slightly uninteresting choice, but he’s attached to a number of other projects so it’s unclear if he’ll stick with the project through production. Fuqua is next set to helm the White House thriller Olympus Has Fallen with Gerard Butler, and he’s also attached to Chicagoland, Steel Town and the crime spree pic Storming Las Vegas.
With the Cannes Film Festival officially kicking off today, there is plenty of big, bold movie marketing to be found. For those of you who couldn’t make it to France (including me), we thought we’d bring you some of the sights. Our international correspondent Magdalena (who you can follow on twitter) has been busy snapping some shots of promotional material at the festival. We already brought you the first iteration here, but now we have some more goodies to check out. They include shots of Spring Breakers, Dracula 3D, Brian De Palma’s Passion and Olympus Has Fallen starring Gerard Butler. Hit the jump to check them out.
Antoine Fuqua is adding yet another project to his crowded directorial development slate. Variety reports that the Training Day director is in talks to helm the crime drama Chicagoland for New Line Cinema. Plot details are thin, but the story apparently revolves around some sort of heist. Fuqua has come in and out of a number of projects in the last year, and he’s currently attached to direct Steel Town, the crime spree pic Storming Las Vegas, and the Eminem boxing drama Southpaw. Variety notes that it’s unknown which of these projects is closest to production, so we still don’t know what Fuqua’s next film will be.
Peter Morgan (The Queen) wrote the script for Chicagoland, and apparently a number of directors were pursuing the gig, including Stephen Gaghan (Syriana). I haven’t been impressed with Fuqua’s recent output so I’m not exactly sure why he won out over a talent like Gaghan, but New Line must have taken a liking to his pitch. Nevertheless, we’ll have to wait and see if this project actually comes to fruition.
The race of the two “White House action-thrillers” is on. Director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) has been offered the Nu Image/Millenium property Olympus Has Fallen, in direct competition with Columbia’s similarly-plotted White House Down, which has Roland Emmerich in talks to direct. Olympus Has Fallen is described as “Die Hard in the White House” and has Gerard Butler attached to play a down-on-his-luck ex-Secret Service agent who becomes America’s only hope when 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is taken over by terrorists. When the White House is compromised, turning to the 300 guy is a sufficiently safe bet.
Heat Vision reports that Fuqua has the offer to direct and is in early talks to come onboard the project. Fuqua has had bad luck developing projects lately, as he recently bowed out of the Tupac Shakur biopic. His recent output (Shooter, Brooklyn’s Finest) hasn’t exactly lived up to the promise of Training Day, and I’m kind of pulling for the Emmerich project to win out. If you’re gonna make a ludicrous movie about the White House, Emmerich is guaranteed to do it up big.
Gerard Butler has signed on to lead Antoine Fuqua’s submarine thriller Hunter Killer. Per Variety, “the story follows an untested submarine captain who must work with a Navy SEAL team to rescue Russia’s president, who’s taken prisoner during a military coup. The two sides team to stop a rogue Russian general from igniting World War III.” Russia really needs to sort out their whole rogue military officer problem. Butler would play the submarine captain, and Sam Worthington is circling the role of Bill Beaman, leader of the Navy SEAL team. I don’t have much faith Fuqua, but Butler really impressed me with his performance in Machine Gun Preacher and I’m always excited to see a new submarine movie.
Butler has been keeping busy as of late. He recently wrapped on the soccer comedy Playing the Field, he’s about to start shooting on Curtis Hanson’s surfing drama Of Men & Mavericks, and he’ll next be seen in Ralph Fiennes modern-day adaptation of Coriolanus and the Peter Farrelly and Charles B. Wessler comedy omnibus. Relativity is aiming for a winter start date for Hunter Killer and plans to release the film on December 21, 2012.
After developing the film for quite some time, it looks like Antoine Fuqua is finally off the Tupac biopic. Apparently the director had trouble finding his star, even after a nationwide talent search, so he’s moved on to the action submarine thriller Hunter Killer. Vulture reports that in Fuqua’s wake, John Singleton is in talks to take over the director’s chair. Singleton actually has some personal connection to the material, as he directed Tupac Shakur in his 1993 film Poetic Justice. The director had also been in the running to direct the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton, but New Line was also considering Footloose director Craig Brewer for that gig, so it makes sense to go ahead and take the project that he’s being offered straight up.
The Tupac biopic was written by Stephen J. Rivele and Chris Wilkinson (Ali), with Brian Tucker handing in the most recent draft. Singleton is coming off of the less-than-stellar performance of the Taylor Lautner action pic Abduction.
Fast becoming the king of directing movies that don’t exist, director Antoine Fuqua may finally have found his next project. The Training Day director is currently in final negotiations to helm Relativity’s international action thriller Hunter Killer. Phillip Noyce (Salt) was previously attached to the submarine-centered project but he dropped out last month, and now it looks like Relativity has found their replacement. Variety reports that Fuqua is in the final stage of neogtiations to take the reins, and the studio is eyeing a production start date this winter. The film centers on an American submarine commander who joins forces with a Navy SEAL team in order to rescue a Russian president from a renegade admiral who’s staging a coup. The coup, naturally, would lead to a global war.
Fuqua was set to make the Eminem-starred boxing flick Southpaw his next pic, but DreamWorks pulled the plug last month, forcing Fuqua and Co. to seek funding elsewhere. He’s also got his long-in-gestation Tupac biopic that he plans to shoot sometime, but that film is still without a lead. And because he likes attaching his name to things, he’s also set to direct an adaptation of the non-fiction book Storming Las Vegas. However, Relativity seems intent on getting Hunter Killer moving soon, so all signs point to the submarine pic being Fuqua’s next directorial effort.
by Jason Barr Posted: August 11th, 2011 at 2:44 pm
Back in June, we told you about director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) leaving his long-gestating Tupac Shakur project in favor of a boxing drama entitled Southpaw. Written by Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter, Southpaw was picked up by DreamWorks as a pitch with Eminem attached to lead the pic in his first performance since 2002′s 8 Mile. Fast-forward to the present and DreamWorks has essentially given the film back to Fuqua and co. to market to other potential takers. Sutter’s Southpaw script would see Eminem play a welterweight boxing champion who crashes hard following an unspecified tragedy. As a result, the heart of the film will see him make a comeback for the ages so as to supplement he and his young daughter.
No specific reasons are being cited for DreamWorks’ move, but Deadline purports that Southpaw‘s budget (rumored to be around $30 million) could be the culprit. The general theory is that a budget closer to the one utilized by The Fighter (in the low $20 million range) would be more enticing in a market that is fighter-heavy already (i.e. The Fighter and Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy’s upcoming Warrior). All this in mind, given the talent behind Southpaw, I would guess that we’ll be hearing about the project landing on its feet somewhere sooner rather than later.
Summit Entertainment has acquired the rights to John Huddy’s too crazy to be fiction true crime tome Storming Las Vegas, and Deadline reports that the studio has attached Antoine Fuqua (Brooklyn’s Finest) to direct. The book tells the story of Jose Vigoa, a Cuban-born commando veteran of the Soviet Army who went on a violent 16-month crimes spree in Las Vegas targeting some of the Strip’s most famous institutions.
Vigoa’s stint occurred in the late 1990s, at a time when the city was attempting to re-brand itself as a family-friendly vacation destination. A 23-year veteran of the police force was charged with finding and capturing the men responsible for the spree, without letting news of the robberies affect the city’s image. Fuqua is currently also (kind of) attached to the Tupac biopic, though that production’s gone through a number of starts and stops. No word on who’s scripting Storming Las Vegas or how soon the film might go into production. Hit the jump for a synopsis of the novel.
Few men lived with the cinematic flare of Tupac, but it’s been a struggle to capture his life on screen. Morgan Creek Productions, director Antoine Fuqua, and Shakur’s mother Afeni agreed on a deal in the winter after years of back-and-forth. The pact faltered last week when Fuqua signed on to Southpaw, a boxing drama led by Eminem. That may have delayed a lesser studio another couple years to find another director that meets the standards of Afeni Shakur. But Morgan Creek has one more card to play. The studio upped Fuqua’s contract to “pay-or-play,” so Fuqua gets paid even if Morgan Creek makes the movie without him. It sounds like a vote of confidence more than anything else, but one that makes a significant step toward the reality of a Tupac biopic. 24 Frames suggests that Fuqua may be able to direct both Southpaw and Tupac — depending on how the next couple of months proceed, Tupac may even come first.
Hit the jump for details on the approach to casting.
If you were holding your breath for Antoine Fuqua’s (Training Day) Tupac Shakur biopic, you may want to go ahead and exhale because it looks as if its going to be awhile. 24 Frames reports that Fuqua has not only left the biopic which was slated to begin shooting this summer, but is now in talks to helm a boxing drama starring Eminem instead. Per the report, Fuqua’s latest squeeze is entitled Southpaw and comes from the pen of Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter. The film centers on a left-handed welterweight (Eminem) whose rise to the title is riddled with numerous trials/tribulations. The pic is currently set up at DreamWorks.
The report makes no mention regarding the reasoning behind Fuqua’s apparent departure from the Tupac biopic and is quick to point out that no formal announcement regarding Southpaw has been released as of yet. Nevertheless, a Fuqua-less biopic seems somewhat of a long shot given its long road through development and the director’s apparent proximity to the material. As for Southpaw, the film would be Eminem/Marshall Mathers’ first film since Curtis Hanson’s 8 Mile and potentially Fuqua’s first output since 2010′s Brooklyn’s Finest. Finally, in spite of the uncertainty of his biopic, Shakur may still have a presence on the silver screen in the form of his recently acquired screenplay Live 2 Tell which focuses on a teenage drug lord’s attempt to ditch his life of crime.