A few casting notices:
- Benicio del Toro is in final negotiations to play Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar in Paradise Lost, which is not exactly a Pablo Escobar biopic.
- Scoot McNairy booked two roles. He will star opposite Michael Fassbender in Frank, and joins Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson in The Rover.
- The full cast list for Reach Me features Tom Berenger, Kevin Connolly, Thomas Jane, Sylvester Stallone, Kyra Sedgwick, Kelsey Grammer, Nelly, Terry Crews, Ryan Kwanten, and more.
Details on each project after the jump.
Sylvester Stallone has reportedly wrapped on a small role in Reach Me, an indie drama written and directed by Stallone’s Cobra co-star, John Herzfeld. Details on the role of The Expendables star are being kept under wraps, but Variety reports that the story “follows a group of people who all have a connection to a self-help book authored by a reclusive former football coach.” Reach Me also stars Nelly, Omari Hardwick, Elizabeth Henstridge, Danny Aiello and Rebekah Chaney.
Herzfeld most recently directed the indie The Death and Life of Bobby Z starring Paul Walker, Laurence Fishburne and Olivia Wilde. Stallone can next be seen in Walter Hill’s Bullet to the Head, followed by The Tomb with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Grudge Match opposite Robert De Niro.
In visiting the set of Sparkle, the music-centered film set in 1960s Detroit, one of the more interesting conversations took place with Omari Hardwick. The actor plays Levi, a member of the church’s choir and friend to the sisters who start a girl group similar to The Supremes. Hardwick, who’s previously been seen in Kick-Ass, The A-Team, and For Colored Girls, has a fascinating backstory, having almost played for the San Diego Chargers and being an active poet. In my conversation along with other journalists on set in November, Hardwick generously discusses how he prepares as an actor, the challenges in doing press for films, and how he bonded with his fellow cast mates. Speaking before her death, he comments on working with Whitney Houston, giving light to a less-readily seen side of her, while speaking about her with great reverie. Our time spent with Hardwick was quite absorbing; his candor and sense of understanding of the balance between his craft and the industry around him is reflective and unguarded. Hit the jump for the full interview and here’s my set visit.
The first trailer for the remake of Sparkle has gone online. The story was inspired by the legendary female singing group The Supremes and stars Jordin Sparks, Tika Sumpter, and Carmen Ejogo as three sisters who start out singing at their local church, and go on to find great success—and troubles—as a Motown girl group. The film also sadly marks the final onscreen performance of Whitney Houston, as she plays the single mother of Sparks’ lead character. The period and Motown setting is ripe with possibilities, but the songs in this trailer seem a bit too modern to fit. This probably has something to do with the fact that R. Kelly wrote original songs for the film, but the story does show promise so I’ll hold off judgment until we’ve seen more.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Derek Luke, Mike Epps, Cee-Lo Green, and Omari Hardwick. Sparkle opens on August 17th.
On the new TNT series “Dark Blue,” executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer is taking viewers into the complex world of undercover officers. Starring Golden Globe winner Dylan McDermott, along with Omari Hardwick, Logan Marshall-Green and Nicki Aycox, the gritty TV show follows the exploits of a team of cops so covert, many of their own colleagues don’t even know they are involved.
“Dark Blue” takes place in the underbelly of Los Angeles, showing a side of the city rarely seen on television. Criminals roam free and Lt. Carter Shaw (McDermott) and his special undercover task force understand, better than anyone, that to bring down a criminal underworld one must dive into its depths and get on the criminals’ level. Frequently faced with circumstances that blur the line between right and wrong, all that matters is loyalty to one’s fellow officers and to the goal of bringing down the bad guys. Hit the jump to read the interview.