Samuel L. Jackson to Lead BLACK PHANTOM, Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon Team for BIG LITTLE LIES, Casey Affleck Set in FINEST HOURS, and Trio Join SCRIPTURE

     August 6, 2014


We’ve got a number of casting stories to attend to this evening.  Briefly:

  • Samuel L. Jackson is in talks to replace Jamie Foxx in the action comedy The Black Phantom.
  • Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon are teaming up to develop to star in the dark comedy Big Little Lies.
  • Casey Affleck is in talks to join Disney’s period Coast Guard rescue film The Finest Hours.
  • Eric Bana, Theo James, and Jack Reynor are in negotiations to join director Jim Sheridan’s adaptation of The Secret Scripture.

Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned casting news.

nicole-kidman-big-little-liesFirstly, Deadline reports that Samuel L. Jackson is in line to lead the “inappropriate comedy” The Black Phantom.  The pic will be directed by Ride Along helmer Tim Story and Kevin Hart is set to play a clever double-crossed mob hitman who ends up teaming up with the notorious hitman (Jackson) who has been hired to kill him.  Jackson replaces Jamie Foxx in the Screen Gems pic, who was forced to drop out due to scheduling conflicts.

Also per Deadline, Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon are joining forces on an adaptation of the Liane Moriarty novel Big Little Lies.  The duo will produce and develop the film as a starring vehicle for themselves, telling the comic tale of three mothers of kindergartners whose perfect lives “unravel to the point of murder.”  Kidman is currently filming the Jason Bateman-directed The Family Fang, which she also produced, and Witherspoon produced the upcoming Gone Girl from David Fincher as well as Wild, which she stars in for Dallas Buyers Club director Jean-Marc Valle.

Additionally, Casey Affleck has his sights set on a studio moving for one of his upcoming projects.  Deadline reports that the Out of the Furnace actor is in talks to join Chris Pine in The Finest Hours for Disney, which tells the story of a Coast Guard rescue attempt in 1952 when two oil tankers collide off the coast of Cape Cod.  Million Dollar Arm helmer Craig Gillespie will direct.  Affleck is also developing another directorial vehicle of his own, a biopic about troubled baseball star Josh Hamilton.

Finally, Variety reports that a trio of actors has joined In America director Jim Sheridan’s new film.  Eric Bana, Divergent star Theo James, and Transformers: Age of Extinction newcomer Jack Reynor are in talks to join Rooney Mara, Jeremy Irons, and Vanessa Redgrave in The Secret Scripture.  Based on the novel by Sebastian Barry, the story revolves around a woman’s extended stay in a mental hospital.  Bana will play a rebellious doctor in charge of Mara’s character’s case, James will play the local catholic priest, and Reynor will play the film’s love interest, a member of the British army.  Filming will begin soon, as James is set to report to the production immediately after he wraps The Divergent Series: Insurgent.


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