Casting Call: Penelope Cruz in Woody Allen Film, Maggie Grace in TAKEN 2, Thandie Newton in GOOD DEEDS, Jay Baruchel in COSMOPOLIS, Ryan O’Nan in FREELANCERS

     April 6, 2011

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We’ve got quite a few casting stories for you this afternoon. First up, it looks like Penelope Cruz is set to re-team with director Woody Allen. The actress won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her work in Allen’s Vicky Christina Barcelona and now EW reports that she’s set to work with the director again, presumably on his next film that is set in Rome. There are currently no plot details on the flick, which is set to start filming this summer.

Maggie Grace has closed her deal to return in producer Luc Besson’s Taken 2. There was previously some hubbub over whether star Liam Neeson would reprise his role from the first film, but everything was squared away and now Deadline reports that the film is ready to go with director Olivier Megaton (Transporter 3). Hit the jump for the casting news of Thandie Newton starring in Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds, Jay Baruchel joining David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis and Ryan O’Nan nabbing a starring role in Freelancers.

thandie-newton-imageThandie Newton has signed on to star alongside Tyler Perry in his next film Good Deeds. Perry wrote the script and will direct the romantic drama about “a successful entrepreneur who’s about to get married when he suddenly finds himself more interested in a down-on-her-luck single mother than his uptown fiancé.” The Wrap reports that Newton will take on the female lead opposite Perry.

Jay Baruchel is the latest actor to join the cast of David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis. The cast now includes Robert Pattinson, Samantha Morton, Juliette Binoche, Paul Giamatti, Mathieu Amalric and Sarah Gadon. The film tells the story of a newlywed billionaire (Pattinson) who loses his entire fortune (not to mention his blushing new bride) over the course of one really bad day. Deadline reports that Baruchel will play “a shy guy who founded the company, and who acts as the trader’s conscience.”

Finally, Ryan O’Nan has landed a starring role in Freelancers. The film stars Curtis Jackson (otherwise known as “50 Cent”), Forest Whitaker and Robert De Niro. Freelancers tells the story of the son of a murdered NYPD cop who joins the police academy, graduates, and gets recruited by a group of rogue cops led by his father’s old partner (De Niro). Jackson is set to play the son of the murdered cop, with Deadline reporting that O’Nan will play his fellow “newbie” police officer companion throughout the course of the film. Here’s hoping this turns out better than the recent trailers for Jackson’s latest films suggest.

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