Casting Call: Paul Dano on Board FOR ELLEN, Gerard Butler Is a MACHINE GUN PREACHER, Johnny Depp and Salma Hayek in WILD ROSES, TENDER ROSES

     January 18, 2010


We have three pieces of casting news for you today in one handy article.  Variety reports that Paul Dano has signed on to co-star with Jon Heder in the upcoming indie drama For Ellen. Written and directed by So Young Kim (In Between Days), the film “centers on a struggling indie rocker who, after nearly wrecking his car during an overnight long-distance drive, arrives in a small Midwestern town to deal with his impending divorce.”  Dano will next be seen starring along side Kevin Kline in The Extra Man, which will debut at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Hit the jump to learn about Gerard Butler in Machine Gun Preacher and Johnny Depp and Salma Hayek in Wild Roses, Tender Roses.

gerard_butler_01.jpgDeadline confirmed today FirstShowing’s report from back in December that Gerard Butler has signed on to star in the drama with an action-packed name, Machine Gun Preacher, which Marc Forster is attached to direct.  Butler would play Sam Childers, author of the memoir, Another Man’s War: The True Story of One Man’s Battle to Save Children in the Sudan. What makes this a good story and Butler a good fit for the role is that Childers was an ex-biker and drug dealer who found God (that’s where the “Preacher” part comes in), then founded an orphanage for 200 Sudanese children, and then formed a militia to protect them, recover kidnapped kids, and bring the pain to their captors (that’s where the “Machine Gun” part comes in).

Screenwriter Jason Keller recently turned in the script for the 1960s Ford-Ferrari rivalry film Race to the Death.  Butler has also signed on to star in Ralph Fiennes’ adaptation of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus.  As for Forster, he’s signed on to the zombie flick World War Z, the action film Angelology, and as we reported last week, the adaptation of Robert Ludlum’s The Chancellor Manuscript.

Finally, Screen Daily confirms that Johnny Depp and Salma Hayek will star in Emir Kusturica’s Pancho Villa biopic Wild Roses, Tender Roses, which was formerly titled Seven Friends of Pancho Villa and the Woman with Six Fingers. The film is set to shoot in Spain in February 2011.  Kusturica describes the film as “an epic in the style of Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns and Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch.”  You’ve certainly got my attention.

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