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, Anthony Hopkins goes biblical, Phillip Seymour Hoffman catches fire, Michael Fassbender wants to kill some people, Channing Tatum dares to tackle a legend, “The Wolverine” adds a slew of new cast members, and much more.

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

I really should be careful what I ask for when it comes to doing casting news. The last couple weeks haven’t provided us with a ton of news being around the holidays and all. Well, the day after the 4th of July provided me with enough to do a whole post by itself, but there were still six more days of news to follow that. This will easily be the juiciest Casting Calls post we’ve had so far, so lets not waste anymore time and get to it.

First up this week, director Darren Aronofsky announced via Twitter this week that Anthony Hopkins would be joining the cast of his upcoming biblical epic, “Noah”. This is what Aronofsky had to say via Twitter:

“I'm honored to be working with the great Sir Anthony Hopkins. We just added him to the stellar cast of #Noah; #methuselahlives.”

Hopkins will join an already loaded cast including Russell Crowe (Noah), Jennifer Connelly, Saoirse Ronan, Douglas Booth, Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ray Winstone.

Hopkins is set to play the role of Methuselah, the oldest person ever mentioned in the bible. Now, for those of you who are familiar with the story, the casting of Hopkins may seem a little odd seeing as how Hopkins is about 900 years younger than Methuselah was supposed to be. That’s right folks, he will be playing a 969 year old man. For those of you who have heard the story of Noah, but haven’t heard of Methuselah, that’s probably because people telling the story probably leave him and his age out because the people they’re telling may think its bullshit.

Filming for “Noah” has already begun, and is scheduled to hit theaters March 28, 2014.

Moving right along, “Catching Fire” is starting to add some nice editions to its cast, this week in the way of Academy Award winner Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Hoffman will play the role of Plutarch Heavensbee, Head Gamemaker for The Hunger Games.

“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” is the second film in what has now become a four-part series, after it was just announced that the third book, Mockinjay, would have its final installment broke into two parts, in the same tradition as “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” (deservedly) and “Twilight: Breaking Dawn”. Now I haven’t read the books yet so I don’t know if their only reason for doing this is to squeeze more money out of the franchise as was the case with Twilight, or if there is enough material that it was necessary the way it was with the Harry Potter films. Obviously money is a factor, which I don’t blame them for, lets just hope it’s not the only reason.

Synopsis via IMDB:
“Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark survived the horrors of Hunger Games against all odds, now living what seems to be their new, rich, peaceful lives in district 12's victor village. Katniss struggles with her feelings for Gale and Peeta, as well as severe problems with a new head peacekeeper and his squad. But the government of the Capitol is not pleased with Katniss and her performance as the star-crossed lover, claiming that her behavior in the arena may result in an uprising from the districts and, in turn, a new war, with her being the face of it all.”
Francis Lawrence will direct “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”, with Lionsgate set to release the film on November 22, 2013.

Next up on the docket, we have some video game adaption news. I know what your thinking, video game adaptions, those all suck, why would that news be this high up? What sets this news apart from your everyday video game news is that the actor involved is one of the hottest names in Hollywood right now, Michael Fassbender. Not only will Fassbender star in the film, he will co-produce the project as well.

The original game revolves around a man named Desmond Miles, who finds out he is the descendant of an ancient group of assassins when he is captured by a secret organization. The group sends Miles back in time into the bodies of his ancestors to retrieve valuable historical artifacts. It is assumed that Fassbender would play Miles, although that news has not been officially confirmed.

There isn’t much more known on the Ubisoft project, besides the fact that they have plans for the game to be turned into a franchise. They have yet to find a director or writer for the film.

2012 has been a good year for Channing Tatum. He’s had two big box office hits with “21 Jump Street” and “Magic Mike”. Both films had small budgets, in “Magic Mike’s” case it was minuscule, and both received critical praise, something that has been very rare for the actor up to this point in his career. This really has boiled down to choosing two roles that played to his strengths. Now The Hollywood Reporter has learned that Tatum is in discussions to produce and star in a film about legendary daredevil Evel Knievel.

Born Robert Craig Knievel, the stuntman rose to fame in the 1970’s with his televised motorcycle jumps. His 433 broken bones he suffered over his career earned him a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records as the survivor of the “most broken bones in a lifetime”. Knievel was also known for his showmanship including his sporting of the red, white, and blue colors on his outfits. Knievel attempted over 75 ramp-to-ramp jumps throughout his career. He died in 2007 of a pulmonary disease at the age of 69.

This seems like a stretch for him. Knievel was more of a hero to the blue collar people of the world and Channing Tatum is, for lack of a better word, a pretty boy. Don’t get me wrong, I have been impressed with his last couple of roles, and don’t think he is a complete waste of an actor anymore, but I think he’s pushing it with this one. I can’t imagine that too many Knievel fans would choose Tatum as the guy that they would want playing him. Who knows, maybe he’ll surprise us.

Tatum would produce the film with his Iron Horse Entertainment partner, Reid Carolin, who will write the screenplay for the film as well. Mike De Luca and Dana Brunetti will produce the movie as well.

Next up, we had quite a few names added to “The Wolverine”, the next installment in the X-Men line of films. I’ve lost track of where this one would fall in the timeline. Hugh Jackman is reprising his role as Logan, and the actors and actresses that were announced this week all have to do with the section of the film that will find Logan in Japan.

Hiroyuki Sanada ("Lost," “Rush Hour 3”, “The Last Samurai”) will play the role of Shingen; Hal Yamanouchi (“The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou”, “Push”, “Sinbad of the Seven Seas”) will play Yashida, and relatively unknown actors Tao Okamoto and Rila Fukushima will star as Mariko and Yukio. The studio is staying tight-lipped about the specific details of these roles and the plot in general, although we have learned that the film is inspired by the celebrated Marvel comic book arc by Chris Claremont & Frank Miller.

Almost hours after those four names were announced, we learned that two more names had been added to the film. Will Yun Lee and Brian Tee have joined the cast as well. Lee is slated to play Kenuichio Harada, the man who, in the comics, is known as the Silver Samurai. Tee will be playing Noburo Mori, a corrupt minister of justice who is slated to marry Mariko Yashida(Okamoto), the daughter of a Yakuza crime lord who falls for Logan when he comes to Japan.

Most of the production and filming will take place in Australia, but a portion of the film is scheduled to be shot in Japan. The film will hit theaters on July 26, 2013.

Well that takes care of all of the big stories this week, as I said, this is probably the heaviest week of casting we’ve seen since this post began. Now as always, we’ll do a quick round up of some of the less prominent roles that were announced during the week.

-After wrapping up filming on Lifetime’s film “Liz & Dick”,
Lindsay Lohan is in talks to star in Dimension Films' upcoming film “Scary Movie 5”. Lohan would star opposite Ashley Tisdale in the long running horror spoof series. Filming will begin this summer, with a release date set for April 19, 2013. Source: The Wrap

-Ed Helms is in negotiations to star in New Line’s “Vacation”. Is it just me, or does it feel like Ed Helms has been in almost every one of these posts? Anyway, Helms would play Rusty Griswald, who was the son of Clark Griswald (Chevy Chase) in the classic comedy movies. The film would follow Rusty, now with a family of his own, as he experiences his own disaster-filled vacation.

Filming for the project is slated for a spring start after Helms finishes filming “The Hangover 3”. Source: Variety

-Dimension Films also announced this week that Keri Russell will star in the Scott Stewart directed supernatural thriller “Dark Skies”. The film takes place around a suburban couple who have an alien presence enters their home every night to terrorize their children. With no help from their neighbors and friends who don’t believe them, the must take on the presence themselves in order to save their family.

Production will begin this summer, but no release date has been set.

-Ken Jeong has signed on to continue his role as Mr. Chow in “The Hangover: Part III” and will have a much bigger role this time around. Seeing as how the second film was a complete pile of gargabe, I think that’s all the time we need to spend on that bit of news.

We’ll end the week with news that Daniel Radcliffe (sorry, I couldn’t find a film he was involved in) has signed on to star in the upcoming supernatural thriller “Horns”. The film is based on the Joe Hill novel, and will be directed by Alexandre Aja.

The story centers around a 26-year old man who is the main suspect in the rape and death of his girlfriend. After blacking out from drinking, he wakes up to find that horns have begun to grow on his head. He discovers that the horns somehow influence people to confess their sins and give into their impulses, which comes in handy as he tries to find out what really happened to his girlfriend.

This is the second film for Radcliffe after the conclusion of the Harry Potter series, the first being “The Woman In Black”, which came out at the beginning of the year. I was a fan of the film, and I think it will be nice to see him tackle the thriller genre again. And while I liked “The Woman In Black”, I thought it was actually a pretty straight forward role as far as horror/thrillers go. My hope with this role is that its more edgy, and dark.

Shooting for the film will begin this fall.

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?