Casting Calls

Thanks for checking out Casting Calls, a weekly roundup of all the notable roles that actors and actresses have scored for upcoming films. As always, we will try to avoid rumors, and stick to roles that have been locked down or are in the negotiation stage.

In this weeks edition, Aaron Eckhart and Charlie Sheen get elected President, Reese Witherspoon stars in another film being adapted from a popular book, “The Wolf of Wall Street” continues to add actors, a slew of Hollywood’s up-and-coming stars snag roles, and more.

So hit the jump to get all the details on who got what gig!

I’ll start off by saying right now that the overall hype for these roles isn’t as what we had last week. Still there are a couple of big name stars who signed on for what are at the very least, entertaining choices. We'll start with the two presidential roles that were announced this week.

First off, Aaron Eckhart has signed on to play The President of The United States in the action thriller “Olympus Has Fallen”. The film is being directed by Antoine Fuqua, and also stars Gerard Butler, who plays an ex-Secret Service agent who must defend the White House when it is attacked by terrorists.

This is definitely the most notable casting news this week. I love this type of situation in films and TV shows, and the fact that Eckhart and Butler both happen to be actors that I love doesn’t hurt the film. I have yet to see a role that Eckhart can’t play and this shouldn’t be any different. I can definitely see him approaching the role of the President in similar way to how Harrison Ford did in “Air Force One” or Bill Pullman did in “Independence Day”, that sort of younger President who has some fight in them. Gerard Butler’s involvement in this movie makes me even more excited for it.Butler is always at his best when he is in the action genre, so I’m glad to see he’s mixing it up and getting back to what made him famous.

In our second role involving a President being cast, and what is definitely a stark contrast to the tone of the first film mentioned, we will get Charlie Sheen playing the P.O.T.U.S. for the upcoming Robert Rodriguez directed action film “Machete Kills”, the sequel to the 2010 film “Machete”.

Production for the film is underway in Austin, TX and Rodriguez has been Tweeting casting news and behind-the-scenes shots from his Twitter feed. Rodriguez tweeted the photo (left) of himself and Sheen while breaking the news about casting Sheen as the President along with saying:

“Who better?”

Sheen joins what is already a pretty loaded cast, that includes Danny Trejo returning in the title role. Along with Trejo and Sheen we have the likes of Jessica Alba, Mel Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez, Demian Bichir, Amber Heard, and Zoe Saldana.

I saw “Machete” when it first came out but I don’t really remember anything about it, although I may or may not have been a little drunk when I saw it. While I’m sure Sheen will be fun to see playing that role, it doesn’t really get me all that excited. Nope, what really gets me excited is Mel Gibson’s involvement in the film. Lets hope this film helps him get back into the spotlight, I think its time to for everyone to get over all that stuff that went on a couple of years back.

Next up, Reese Witherspoon has taking a role in the film “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” based on the book of the same name. This is the second film Lionsgate’s Summit is adapting from a best-selling self help novel, the previous film being “What To Expect When You’re Expecting”. The film is being directed by Bryan Buckley who up until now, has only directed commercials.

This was a description taken from the author of the book, John Gray’s official website:
"This book is the essential tool for couples who want to develop more satisfying relationships with their partners. Throughout the book, he provides a practical and proven way for men and women to communicate better by acknowledging the differences between them. Based on years of counseling couples and research, he gives advice on how to counteract these differences in communication styles, emotional needs and modes of behavior to promote a greater understanding between partners."
I’ve gotta say, this one is about as low as it can get on my anticipation scale. Not that it won’t be good, and other people won’t like it, I’m just not a fan of Reese Witherspoon, and am not in a relationship (hint, hint ladies), so this really isn’t even marketed towards me.

The film is set to begin production in January of 2013, and Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan are attached to adapt the non-fiction tome into a narrative.

“The Wolf of Wall Street” also keeps the momentum going with its casting of Rob Reiner and Jon Bernthal. The movie chronicles the rise and fall on Wall Street of Jordan Belfort. Reiner, who is much better known for his directing (“This Is Spinal Tap”, “Stand By Me”) than acting, will be playing the father of Jordan Belfort, who is being played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Bernthal (“The Walking Dead”) will be playing a drug dealer and money launderer.

The film is set to begin production in New York in August.

Another film that added two names to its cast this week is Robert Luketic's “Paranoia”. Joining the cast that already includes the likes of Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, and Liam Hemsworth are Amber Heard (“The Rum Diary”) and Julian McMahon (“Fantastic Four”).
The film follows a young man who gets caught by his boss using company money to throw an expensive retirement party for one of his co-workers. To avoid prosecution for embezzlement, the man makes an agreement with his boss to infiltrate a rival company and spy on them and to steal information on a highly secret project.

The project has been in development for quite a while, and is being adapted from a novel by Joseph Finder. All that we know so far is that Heard is set to play the female lead, while McMahon is set to play a character named Meechum.

Next up, we’ll switch over to some voice-over roles. DreamWorks Animation announced that Emmy and Golden Globe winner Jim Parsons and singer/actress Rihanna will headline the animated film “Happy Smekday!” which is based on the popular book “The True Meaning of Smekday”.

Plot Synopsis via: DreamWorks Animation
“In “Happy Smekday!” an alien race invades Earth and uses it as a hideout from their mortal enemy. When one lowly alien accidentally notifies the enemies of his whereabouts, he is forced to go on the run with a teenage girl. The two become unlikely buddies and embark on a comical globe-trotting adventure to right his wrongs, in which our alien hero learns what it really means to be human.”
The studio’s plan is to release the film in late 2014.

Alright that wraps up all the big news for this week. Now we’ll go quickly go through the rest of the semi-notable roles that were announced this week.

-Alex Pettyfer (“I Am Number Four”) is will appear in Lee Daniels’ film “The Butler”. The film tells the real life story of Eugen Allen who worked at The White House for 34 years.

-Ed Helms (“The Hangover”) has signed on for David Wain's upcoming film “They Came Together”. The film will be a parody of the romantic comedy genre, and is also starring Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler.
-Cam Gigandet (“Easy A”) is joining the cast the Catherine Hardwicke film “Plush”. Gigandet will star opposite Emily Browning (“Sucker Punch”).

And we’ll finish out the week with Cobie Smulders, fresh off her role in “The Avengers” has scored two new roles. The first film is yet another Nicholas Sparks adaption “Safe Haven”. She will also star in “They Came Together” as I just mentioned with Ed Helms.

Well that wraps up this week's edition of Casting Calls. Be sure to check back every Monday for all the latest casting news and notes! Any of this news spark your attention? Do you think any of these seem like bad choices?