Casting News: John Cusack to Lead CELL and DUE PROCESS; Benedict Cumberbatch Will Star in Biopic of Beatles Manager Brian Epstein

     October 31, 2012


We have a couple of casting stories for you today.  First up, Screen Daily [via The Playlist] reports that John Cusack will star in the horror film Cell based on the Stephen King novel of the same name.  The story takes place in a world where cell phones emit a signal that turns people into aggressive killers.  I have no idea how this will differ from the great 2007 film The Signal other than famous people are attached to Cell.  King will co-write the script with Adam Alleca (Last House On The Left remake).  The project is still looking to attach a director.

Before doing Cell, Cusack will star in the financial thriller Due Process.  The film, written by Anthony Derrico and directed by Paul Currie (One Perfect Day), centers on a farmer (Cusack) who goes up against some big city bankers who have come to foreclose on his farm.  I’m having trouble envision a farm thriller that doesn’t involve murderous children, but we’ll see how it goes.  Filming begins in January.  Hit the jump for some Benedict Cumberbatch casting news.

benedict-cumberbatchBenedict Cumberbatch’s career has blown up in a big way since Sherlock, and rightfully so.  The actor is playing the still-unnamed-for-no-good-reason villain in Star Trek Into Darkness, voicing Smaug in The Hobbit, he’s co-starring with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt, and Michael Fassbender in Steve McQueen‘s Twelve Years a Slave, and playing a role in the drama August: Osage County with Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts.

Now he has yet another project on his slate.  According to THR, Cumberbatch will play The Beatles manager Brian Epstein.  As we reported back in 2009, the untitled film—formerly called A Life in the Day—the story is about Epstein rather than a look at the Beatles through Epstein’s eyes.  Epstein discovered the Fab Four and managed them from 1961 to 1967 before dying at the young age of 32 from a drug overdose.  Per THR, “The producers describe the project as the story of ‘the man who threw the biggest party of the 1960’s, but ultimately forgot to invite himself.'”  I’m pretty sure the person who throws the party is inherently invited.

The biopic will re-team Cumberbatch with director Paul McGuigan, who has helmed four of the six episodes of Sherlock.  Speaking of the hit BBC series, Cumberbatch will also have to find time in his busy schedule to reprise his role as the anti-social detective since the series is reportedly due back next year.


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