A bit of a casting switcheroo is taking place on Robert Luketic’s (21) diamond heist-thriller Brilliant. Variety reports that Gerard Butler is replacing Eric Bana as the star of the film, as Bana apparently bowed out after previously entering negotiations last fall. The story involves a small-time criminal who joins up with polished thieves in order to attempt a diamond heist. The logline isn’t exactly thrilling and Luketic’s filmography includes Legally Blonde and The Ugly Truth, so Bana may have been on to something when he vacated the project. The film may have a more intriguing hook that they’re keeping close to the vest, but its success will probably hinge on who they cast to team up with Butler. Producers are currently looking for a female lead and I sincerely hope Luketic doesn’t feel compelled to pair Butler with Katherine Heigl once again.
The 300 actor has quite a few films on the horizon. He’s already completed the surfing pic Of Men and Mavericks and the romantic sports comedy Playing the Field, and he’s poised to star in Antoine Fuqua’s Hunter Killer, the 3D motion-capture war movie Thunder Run, and a fact-based mercenary pic for director Ridley Scott.
It’s not often that romantic comedies and jewel heists occupy the same space in an article, but that’s where our casting news has taken us. First up is Jacki Weaver, nominated for an Oscar for her role in last year’s Animal Kingdom. Weaver is in negotiations to join the David O. Russell (The Fighter) adaptation, The Silver Linings Playbook. The film stars Bradley Cooper as a former high school teacher returning home from a four year stint in a mental institution to live with his mother, played by Weaver. Cast also includes Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro.
Eric Bana (Hanna) is looking to join director Robert Luketic’s (21) heist-thriller, Brilliant. In a first time writing credit by Gillian Gorfil, who was a producer on Blood Diamond, the script involves a low-level criminal who joins up with polished thieves to attempt a diamond heist. Hit the jump for more on both of these projects.
Robert Luketic (Killers) has signed on to direct Brilliant, which tells the story of “a small-time criminal who joins accomplished thieves in a diamond heist.” Variety reports that the script is by newbie screenwriters Elizabeth Shorten and Gillian Gorfil (produer on Blood Diamond), so it’s got that going for it; new female voices are always welcome in the trade. But based on past performance, the chances are slim to none that Luketic directs Brilliant brilliantly. Here’s hoping Luketic finds grace with Brilliant, because there’s nothing sweeter than a solid heist flick.
Gorfil will produce alongside Sidney Kimmel (Adventureland), Gary Lucchesi and Tom Rosenberg (Gamer). Casting is underway, but no start date has been set for the Lakeshore Entertainment film.