Casting Calls

Sorry 3we didn't get to this on our regularly scheduled Monday, but 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, Johnny Depp checks into “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, Jeremy Renner takes over the movie formerly known as “American Bullsh*t”, Vin Diesel is a “Machine”, Cap 2 adds another superhero, and much, much more.

So hit the jump to see all the details on who got what gig!
Well make that two weeks in a row where Hollywood is cranking out casting news left and right. This week is even bigger than last week, and most of these are prominent roles.

Kicking things off this week, we got word that Johnny Depp, arguably the biggest name in Hollywood today, has been chosen as the leading man in Wes Anderson’s next project “The Grand Budapest Hotel”. This will be Depp’s follow up project to Disney’s “The Lone Ranger”.

This represents a pretty significant change of pace for the type of roles Depp has gravitated to as of late. For quite a few years now, Depp has pretty much stuck to doing films that would be categorized as blockbusters. Now that undoubtedly has to do with the fact that Depp is such a huge box office draw at this point in his career, so even with films like “The Rum Diary” where you wouldn’t normally think of that as a big release, it still feels like a big movie because Depp is attached to it. With Wes Anderson though, “blockbuster” has never been a word associated with any of his films. For me personally, I’ve never cared for Anderson’s films, but to see Depp take a role in a film like this is pretty intriguing for me. Despite the fact that we don’t really know anything about the plot, it will be a nice change of pace to what Depp has been doing as of late. The fact that it’s not another Tim Burton film will probably have a lot of people thankful, since I feel like those two are really starting to feel stale.

Now while Depp is the only cast member of the film to be confirmed, he was just one of several A-List actors said to be in talks for a role in the film, including Owen Wilson (although I feel like it would be more notable if he wasn’t in a Wes Anderson film), Bill Murray, Jude Law, Edward Norton, Jeff Goldblum, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe and Angela Lansbury. Be sure to keep checking back in future posts to see if any of those names become confirmed.

Our next bit of news has to do with one of Hollywood’s most rapidly rising stars, Jeremy Renner. Since turning in his Oscar nominated performance in “The Hurt Locker”, its safe to say that Renner has blown up(pun intended). The guy is landing roles in major franchise, after major franchise.
The news this week is that Renner has replaced Christian Bale in the David O. Russel film “American Bullsh*t”, although we’ve also learned that the title of the film will be changed to something else before it’s released.

The following day we also learned that Amy Adams has signed on for the film as well. This will be the second film Adams has worked on with Russel, the first being “The Fighter”.

The drama follows a con artist who partners with the FBI to solve a corruption case. The film takes place in Atlantic City and Washington D.C. The film is being written by Eric Singer.

Next up on the docket, Vin Diesel has signed on to produce and star in the Peter Segal film “The Machine”. The film was announced last year, and is set to be re-written by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar.

Official Synopsis:
“A human-like machine [was] created in secrecy by the Pentagon as the world's first true ultimate weapon. Twenty years after the project was buried and decommissioned for reasons unknown, The Machine is discovered by a kid who befriends him. When the government learns it has been reactivated, the Machine must protect the family harboring him.”
While I have never though Diesel has really fit well with kids movies, this plot bares a striking resemblance to one of his most well received films, “The Iron Giant”.

Diesel will start filming “The Machine” after filming wraps on the 6th installment of the Fast and the Furious franchise.

Our next bit of news is for all you superhero fans out there. You would think with Comic-Con just ending we would’ve seen all the superhero news we were going to get for awhile. Well for those of you who haven’t had your fill, we got word that Anthony Mackie (another “The Hurt Locker” alum) is in talks for the role of Sam Wilson aka The Falcon in the 2014 film “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”.

Created in 1969 by Stan Lee and Gene Colan, Sam Wilson has the distinction of being Marvel’s first African American superhero. Sam received the ability to telepathically communicate with birds from the Cosmic Cube. Falcon is an ally of Captain America who in the comics helps Cap defeat Red Skull.

There hasn’t really been any confirmed plot details, but based on the title of the film, it’s pretty much guaranteed that the film will follow the Ed Brubaker's Winter Soldier storyline. The story also gives us the actual fate of Bucky Barnes from what took place in the first Captain America film.

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is being directed by Anthony and Joe Russo.

Also in the news this week, a couple of guys who I feel like we haven’t seen a whole lot of news from in recent years. First up, Robin Williams has landed the role of Dwight D. Eisenhower in Lee Daniels film “The Butler”. This will be the first film for Williams in over three years, his last film being “Old Dogs”.

The film is based on the true story of Eugene Allen and the 34 years he served at the White House. Allen worked under eight presidents, starting with Harry Truman in 1952 and ending in 1986 with Ronald Reagan.

The cast of the film is already filled with prominent names including Forest Whitaker, John Cusack, Alan Rickman, Oprah Winfrey, Cuba Gooding Jr, Jane Fonda, and Terrance Howard.

The other actor who hasn’t been in the spotlight in quite some time is Kevin Kline, who has taken a role in “Last Vegas. Kline joins a cast that including Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, and Michael Douglas.

“Last Vegas” is a comedy about four long time friends who throw a bachelor party in Las Vegas for the only on of the four of them who has stayed single. I know what you’re all thinking, old guy “The Hangover”. Well since I always thought “The Hangover” was overrated, and the second film was just plain garbage, I’m actually pretty excited to see this. All of the actors listed there are legends of the business, so anytime you get a cast like that, no matter what the circumstances, you’re pretty much bound to end up with something good.

Our next bit of news, and for the second week in a row, finds Daniel Radcliffe scoring another role. Radcliffe has joined the cast of the upcoming romantic comedy “The F Word”. We also learned that Zoey Kazan will starring opposite Radcliffe in the film.

Plot Synopsis: via ComingSoon

“The script, from Elan Mastai, revolves around a young man who falls for a young woman but hides his attraction for her until she can admit to reciprocal feelings. The titular "F" word refers to Radcliffe's character being thought of as just a friend. The romantic comedy is based on the play "Cigars and Toothpaste" by T.J. Dawe and Michael Rinaldi.”
Now, maybe I’m biased seeing as how I love Radcliffe from the Harry Potter series so much, but I think he is really making smart choices with his roles so far. He seems to be avoiding stereotypical casting choices that most of these actors who were child stars make. Granted he was an adult by the time his series was over, but still, I like the variety he’s showing with his choices; and even though it’s a romantic comedy, the source material sounds like it has more to offer than what you generally see from this genre.

Well, I think now is as good of time to jump into our speed round for the week, although a lot of these roles still are pretty interesting to me.

-Kristen Bell has signed to play the lead role in the upcoming indie drama “The Lifeguard”. The film follows a New York reporter, who after turning 30, returns to her small hometown, takes up her former job as a lifeguard, and starts a relationship with a teenager. While the plot doesn’t make sense to me, I really like Kristen Bell as an actress, so I’ll keep an open mind. Source: Deadline

-It wouldn’t be Casting Calls without another person being cast in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”. This week it’s Amanda Plummer. The actress has been cast as the role of Wiress.

-Sam Claflin has taken a role in Antonio Negret's film “Overdrive”. Karl Urban was said to be attached to the role but the actor has since said that was just a rumor. The film features two brothers who find a bit more trouble than they were looking for while in France. Source: Variety

-Jackie Earle Haley has taken a role in Jose Padilha's upcoming film “RoboCop”. Haley will play the role of Maddux who is responsible for training Alex Murphy after his injuries. Source: ComingSoon

-Kenneth Branagh who is directing the upcoming untitled Jack Ryan film, will also play the villain as well. Chris Pine will play the Ryan, who is a character based off the Tom Clancy books. Here is a quote from TheHollywoodReporter:
"Branagh is in negotiations to play the movie’s villain, Viktor Stazov, a financial wiz who, with the help of the Russian government, masterminds a plot to devalue American currency and thus destroy the U.S. economy."
-Neal McDonough has begun talks to play a role in “Red 2”, the sequel to the 2010 film “Red”. McDonough would join the cast already starring Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Helen Mirren, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Byung-Hun Lee and Karl Urban. Source: Variety

Well that wraps up this weeks edition of Casting Calls, short and sweet. 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?