We’ve got a few casting stories to share this afternoon. Briefly:
- Jon Hamm will be lending his voice to one of the lead roles opposite Sandra Bullock in Illumination Entertainment’s spinoff Minions.
- Fresh off her turn in Oblivion, actress Olga Kurylenko has joined the cast of director Mark Waters’ (Mean Girls) YA adaptation Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters.
- Andy Garcia and Ray Romano are joining the cast of the crime drama Rob the Mob.
Hit the jump for more details.
Following the success (commercially, that is) of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, director Rob Marshall was mulling a couple of projects as his follow-up. After his remake of The Thin Man with Johnny Depp was put on hold, the Chicago director set his sights on returning to the world of song and dance for his next film. Marshall is prepping an adaptation of the fairy tale-themed musical Into the Woods for Disney, and he recently held a star-studded screenplay read that included the likes of Anna Kendrick, Patrick Wilson, Allison Janney, and many more. Additionally, it sounds like he may have settled on Meryl Streep for the lead role of the Witch.
Hit the jump for more, including the full list of actors who were in attendance for the screenplay reading.
A biopic of famed rock icon Janis Joplin is moving forward, and Martha Marcy May Marlene director Sean Durkin has been tapped to helm. Deadline reports that Durkin will direct Joplin, a feature that looks back on the final six months of the 1960s singer’s life. The film will include cradle-to-grave elements, as we’ll see bits of Joplin’s early career through flashbacks. Tony-winner Nina Arianda has been tapped to tackle the lead in the $20 million pic, which is schedule to start production early next year.
Arianda recently won the Best Actress Tony for her work in the play Venus In Fur, and has drawn considerable attention for her talent on the stage. Producer Peter Newman and his partners have been trying to get Joplin going for over a decade. Durkin is certainly an intriguing choice to take the helm, and his involvement makes this project one to keep an eye on. His drama Martha Marcy May Marlene took Sundance by storm last year, and he recently signed on to spearhead a TV series adaptation of The Exorcist. I’m sure we’ll hear more casting news concerning Joplin soon.
As late as this past September, it looked like Joel Edgerton would star in Kathryn Bigelow‘s hunt for Osama Bin Laden film (tentatively titled Kill Bin Laden). However, Deadline is now reporting Edgerton’s The Great Gatsby co-star Jason Clarke (The Chicago Code) is “the first actor set” for the movie, and makes no mention of his fellow Australian actor. I’m not exactly sure what happened to Edgerton, but maybe the start date for Bin Laden getting pushed back caused a scheduling conflict (Edgerton began talks to star in the 300 sequel last week). But I have no problem with Clarke, who will reportedly play “a terrorist hunter in service of the U.S. efforts to hunt Bin Laden.”
Deadline also reports that Bigelow is also looking at Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises), Jennifer Ehle (Contagion), Guy Pearce (who starred in Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker), Idris Elba (Thor), Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), and Nina Arianda (Midnight In Paris) as possible co-stars. That’s a whole lot of talent, and it’s not surprising that Bigelow can put together a high-caliber cast after the success of The Hurt Locker. Production on Kill Bin Laden (written by Hurt Locker screenwriter Mark Boal) is set to begin early next year.
Director Brett Ratner’s upcoming film Tower Heist is attracting quite a few names. Variety is reporting the latest addition to the already large ensemble cast is none other than actress Téa Leoni, who will join Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy and Dave Chappelle in the film. Leoni’s arrival comes hot on the heels of Murphy’s, who joined the Universal comedy last week.
Leoni was last seen in 2009’s The Smell of Success, and more famously in 2005’s Fun with Dick and Jane alongside Jim Carrey. Newcomer Nina Arianda, who can be seen in the upcoming Woody Allen film Midnight in Paris, is set to join the cast as well. With the two actresses locked, production is set to begin in November for a 2011 release. Hit the jump for more.
In a rare move, Woody Allen has revealed details on his upcoming film, Midnight in Paris. Allen usually remains secretive on his projects until they’re in the can, but today he announced [via Variety] that Midnight in Paris is “a romantic comedy that follows a family traveling to the city for business, including a young engaged couple that has their lives transformed throughout the journey. The film celebrates a young man’s great love for Paris, and simultaneously explores the illusion people have that a life different from their own is better.”
The film has a diverse cast of actors including Owen Wilson, Marion Cotillard, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates, Carla Bruni, Michael Sheen, Nina Arianda, Tom Hiddleston, Corey Stoll, Mimi Kennedy, and Kurt Fuller. Filming is set to begin this summer in Paris. Allen’s new film, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, will debut out of competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. It will be released domestically this fall.