We have a bit of casting and anti-casting news for you this morning. First up in anti-casting, Daniel Craig has unexpectedly dropped out of the courtroom drama The Whole Truth slightly a week before filming was set to begin. Although plot details are scarce, Craig was set to play a district attorney and star alongside Renee Zellweger and Gabriel Basso (Super 8). Danny Huston and other actors were in talks to co-star, but according to THR, Craig’s exit has put these negotiations in limbo. The production is now scrambling to find a replacement, and the start date might be pushed back three weeks. Courtney Hunt (Frozen River) is set to direct a script by Nicholas Kazan (Fallen). It will be interesting to find out why Craig exited the project so close to the start date.
Hit the jump for news on Charlize Theron possibly joining Sean Penn‘s new film.
Here’s a look at today’s latest casting news:
- Uma Thurman in negotiations to join Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart in Nima Nourizadeh’s American Ultra.
- Martin Sheen will join Warren Beatty’s untitled Howard Hughes project, starring Alden Ehrenreich and Lily Collins.
- Renee Zellweger is in talks to star opposite Daniel Craig in Courtney Hunt’s The Whole Truth.
- Thomas Kretschmann joins Zachary Quinto and Rupert Friend in Aleksander Bach’s Hitman movie, Agent 47.
Hit the jump for more on each film.
Renee Zellweger is looking to try her hand at directing. Variety reports that Zellweger will make her directorial debut with 4 ½ Minutes, a comedy that takes place in the New York City stand-up world. The actress would also star in the pic opposite Johnny Knoxville, who will play “a commitment-phobic, train-wreck of a comedian whose life is falling apart when he takes a job looking after the genius son of single mom P.J. Andersen (Zellweger).” The script by Anthony Tambakis (Warrior) is based on the life of comedian Dov Davidoff.
Zellweger hasn’t exactly been prolific as of late, with her last feature film being 2010’s My Own Love Song. I can’t say the prospect of Zellweger taking on the stand-up comedy world is incredibly enticing, but it’d be nice to see a pleasantly surprising directorial debut from the Oscar-winning actress. Production on 4 ½ Minutes is set to get underway in NYC in February.
It’s always a fun treat when a now-famous actor pops up in a small role in an older movie you haven’t re-watched in a while. We previously posted a “Before They Were Famous” supercut, but now someone has edited together a montage of actors in their very first feature film roles. While you’re most likely aware of the majority of these appearances, I’m willing to bet you’ll find at least a few surprises in this video. I had no idea Jon Hamm was in Clint Eastwood’s “old guys can be astronauts too” movie Space Cowboys, but I now feel compelled to move the pic to the top of my Netflix queue.
Watch Jack Nicholson, Woody Allen, Emma Thompson, Zach Braff and many more make their feature debut after the jump.
I’m not sure if we need a third Bridget Jones Diary movie, but if it’s going to happen, I wouldn’t argue against having Bridesmaids director Paul Feig at the helm. Daily Mail reports that Feig is in “early stages of discussions” to direct Bridget Jones Diary 3 because he’s “beyond keen” to make a movie in London. However, the state of the sequel is still fragile because no deals with leads Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, and Hugh Grant have been made. Further difficulties arise due to scheduling and whether the script is strong enough to lure the actors back.
Author and screenwriter Helen Fielding has centered the third film around Bridget trying to get pregnant but once again torn between the charming-but-unreliable Daniel (Hugh Grant) and the stoic-but-loving Mark (Firth) even though she seems to end up with Mark every time. Are we really doing this love triangle again? Despite the tired story, the sequel could remain stuck in development hell since Feig and Firth have plenty of options since the success of Bridesmaids and The King’s Speech, respectively.
Fresh off an unsurprisingly stellar season four of AMC’s hit show Mad Men, creator/head writer/director/all-knowing-Oz Matthew Weiner is currently busy casting his feature film debut, the romantic dramedy You Are Here. Pajiba reports that Jack Black, Matt Dillon, and Renée Zellweger are currently attached to star, and with an offer out to Rachel McAdams to join the cast as well.
Last year, we reported that Weiner was looking to cast Jennifer Aniston, Bradley Cooper, and Zach Galifianakis in the project. However, when the film didn’t materialize as fast as Weiner was hoping, filming was pushed back to this year in lieu of scheduling issues with the filming of Mad Men. It looks like Weiner has chosen the current hiatus between seasons four and five to get the project back on track. For more on the film, including a plot description and which characters each actor will play, hit the jump.
The trailer for Case 39 has gone online and it’s of that wonderful variety that shows the entire freaking movie. Of course, I suppose there are folks who are happy it’s been shown at all after sitting on the shelf for such a long time. How long? It was originally slated to come out on August 8th, 2008. Now it’s being rushed out into theaters and I’m a little surprised it’s not going directly to DVD.
Case 39 centers on a social worker (Renée Zellweger) who takes in an abused girl. That could make for an uplifting drama. But it turns out that the girl’s parents were cruel to her for a reason: the child—while not evil herself—brings on supernatural horrors to those around her. So the message of the movie is apparently, “Don’t help kids.” Hit the jump to check out the trailer and the official synopsis. Case 39 opens on October 1st.
Being a fan of both boxing and Ron Howard, I saw this movie a few years back when it first hit theaters. At the time, I found it enjoyable but wasn’t entirely impressed, which made watching it on the new blu-ray format that much more enjoyable. The film again showcases how talented Russell Crowe is an actor as well as Howard’s innate ability to tell a story. Though not a perfect film, its one of those stories that you find yourself truly engaged in, rooting for the characters, and truly hating the antagonist.
The film is based on the true story of James Braddock, a 1930′s boxer who is forced into an early retirement after a hand injury proves serious enough to end his career. Because boxers back then didn’t make the millions that they do now, he had to return to some sort of work to provide for his wife (played wonderfully by Renee Zellweger) and his four kids. Since this was during the great depression, it proved even harder for him to find steady work and come up with the money needed for rent and food. Howard does an amazing job here detailing the hardships and struggles that the average American faced during these times and you really do begin to feel for this family.