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, Hugh Jackman has orders to kill, James Franco is on the homefront, Will Farrell gets an internship, Christopher Eccleston will throw down with Thor, Brendan Fraser has to make a split decision, Kristen Stewart will lie down in darkness, and much, much more.

So hit the jump to see who got what gig!

Not only is this another huge casting week, but it provided me with lots of easy opportunities for little plays on words in my intro paragraph. Since I can fully admit I’m no Bill Shakespeare, anytime clever phrases(ok clever is used loosely) are dropped in my lap, I’ll take it. Ok I’m rambling, lets get down to business shall we.

Getting us started this week is Australian actor, and one of the biggest names in Hollywood right now Hugh Jackman. Jackman has will anchor the film “Orders to Kill” which is being directed by Lee Daniels. The film is based on the nonfiction book written by William F. Pepper. A close friend of Martin Luther King Jr., Pepper spent years trying to prove that the confession of King Jr.’s assassin, James Earl Ray was all part of an elaborate conspiracy.

William Pepper describes the book as so:
Here is the myth-shattering expose which reveals the truth behind the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. "Dramatic new evidence confirming the innocence of James Earl Ray and identifying the actual killers of Martin Luther King, Jr". -- Executive Intelligence Review Shocking and controversial revelations from James Earl Ray's attorney On April 4th, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stepped out onto the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, and into his killer's line of fire. One shot ended Dr. King's life and forever changed the course of American history -- setting into motion a massive cover-up that has withstood a quarter-century of scrutiny. Now, after 18 years of intensive investigation, William F. Pepper tears away the veil of subterfuge that has hidden the truth of King's death -- proving the innocence of convicted assassin James Earl Ray and revealing the evil conspiracy behind the murder of our nation's greatest civil rights leader.
Now, I don’t know anything about the history of this book, so I’m not going to even try and touch that. I’ll stick to what I know best, and that’s I almost always love any movie that Jackman is in. He’s one of my favorite actors out there right now, and this should be a really meaty role for him to tackle. The jury is still out on Daniels, since he’s only directed two films so far, but nobody can claim the guy is afraid to tackle tough subjects.

Jackman will play Pepper in the film, and Millennium Films is in charge of production.

Speaking of Millennium Film projects, we have learned that James Franco has joined the cast of their film “Homefront”. Franco will star alongside Jason Statham in the action thriller. The film is being directed by Gary Fleder, and is being drafted by none other than Sly Stallone. The film follows Statham, a retired DEA Agent who retires to a quiet town, only to discover that it is infested with drugs and crime. Statham is forced back into action though, when his loved ones are threatened, and he must save them as well as the town. Franco will play a character named Gator, who is a meth magnate in the town Statham moves to.

I’m really torn with this film. On one hand, I love James Franco. Everything the guy touches seems to turn to gold, and even if the movie isn’t good, I’ve never seen anything he was personally bad in(minus his Oscar hosting gig). Heck, I will argue that he has the chance to be the best actor of his generation the way things are going.

On the flip side of that, I really cant stand Jason Statham. To me, the guy is the definition of a one-trick-pony. He plays the exact same character in every single movie he’s in. If you love that character he plays, more power to you. For me, I can’t even look at his movies and tell one from the other. Still, despite my obvious lack of enthusiasm for Statham, James Franco’s involvement will probably be enough to give this one a chance.

Next up, Will Ferrell has joined the cast of the comedy “The Internship”. The Twentieth Century Fox and New Regency film will also join him with “Wedding Crasher” alums Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson.

Vaughn and Wilson play a couple of unemployed salesmen, who find themselves behind in the new digital age, and take an internship at a large tech company to keep up with the market. Farrell will have a cameo role as Wilson’s brother-in-law, who sells home electronics and doesn’t have a filter when it comes to making inappropriate comments about his attractive customers.

I feel like the general opinion of him has been dying down a little over the past couple of years. I can’t help it though, I almost always laugh at whatever he’s in. Plus, for me personally, I like his cameo roles just as much if not more than a lot of his leading roles in films. I don’t know about you guys, but for me, you can’t go wrong with a character who has no problems making inappropriate comments to people.

The film is being directed by Shawn Levy, and also stars Rose Byrne, John Goodman, Max Minghella, Dylan O'Brien, JoAnna Garcia, Eric Andre, Josh Brener, Tiya Sircar and Tobit Raphael.

Our next bit of news would’ve been referenced on the homepage, but I was in play-on-word mode and didn’t want to mess up my flow. Fresh off his final role in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy(you may have heard of it), Christian Bale has begun negotiations to star in “The Creed of Violence”. The film is being directed by Todd Fields, and is based on Boston Teran’s novel. Synopsis:
Mexico, 1910. The landscape pulses with the force of the upcoming revolution, an atmosphere rich in opportunity for a criminal such as Rawbone. His fortune arrives across the haze of the Sierra Blanca in the form of a truck loaded with weapons, an easy sell to those financing a bloodletting.But Rawbone’s plan spins against him, and he soon finds himself at the Mexican-American border and in the hands of the Bureau of Investigation. 
He is offered a chance for immunity, but only if he agrees to proceed with his scheme to deliver the truck and its goods to the Mexican oil fields while under the command of Agent John Lourdes. Rawbone sees no other option and agrees to the deal—but he fails to recognize the true identity of Agent Lourdes, a man from deep within his past. 
As they work to expose the criminal network at the core of the revolution, it is clear their journey into the tarred desert is a push toward a certain ruin, and the history lurking between the criminal and agent may seal their fates.
There’s no word yet on which character Bale would play, but one would assume that Agent John Lourdes sounds like the most likely bet. The films producers hope to begin filming in early 2013. Moving right along, we got word this week that “Thor: The Dark World” has found its villain. Christopher Eccleston has secured the role of Malekith the Accursed.

Malekith, who at first was only rumored to make a brief appearance, is the leader of the Dark Elves from Svartalfheim, one of Asgard's Nine Realms. I was surprised at how little I’d seen Eccleston in because he looked like such a familiar face. Some of his better known roles include “The Others”, “28 Days Later”, and playing the ninth doctor on the TV show “Dr. Who”. From what I’ve seen him in, I’ve always liked his roles, and nothing comes to mind that would make me think this is a bad choice. Personally I like it when villains aren’t big name actors. They always seem to come off more natural. 

Now I just will have to wait for those first images, or footage.He joins the cast already including Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, and Stellan Skarsgard. A couple months back, I wrote an article about 5 Actors/Actresses I’d like to see make a comeback. 

The next bit of news involves one of those very actors, Brendan Fraser. Fraser has signed on to star in and produce the action/thriller “Split Decision”. 

The film opens with two children(Holly Deveaux and Christian Martin) witnessing a murder take place while on a camping trip with a family friend(Daniel Kash). When the two killer brothers(Dominic Purcell and Ethan Suplee) set out to silence the two witnesses, the two kids father(Fraser) sets out to rescue them. Amy Price-Francis will play the mother in the film.

Now going back to what I thought Fraser needed to do to make a comeback, I don’t think this film will garner the type of attention that is gonna throw him back to being a huge star, but I like the type of film it is. Fraser’s biggest movie to date are the Mummy films which were action/thriller/comedies. Now nothing I’ve seen about the film has led me to believe that this will be a comedy, which I’m grateful for. We know Fraser can do comedy, but for this film I’m hoping for more grit. Really if we can get that hard R, I’d be stoked.   

The film is being directed by Damian Lee, and shooting is set to begin soon in Ontario.

For our next piece of news, we learned this week that Kristen Stewart has taking the leading role in “Lie Down In Darkness”. That seems like an appropriate title for her right now as we recently learned how she also likes to lie down with her directors, WHAMMY!!! Come on, that was funny. 

The film is an adaption of the William Styron’s 1951 novel, and is being directed by Scott Cooper. The novel is officially described as:
"Lie Down in Darkness" centers on the Loftis family — Milton and Helen and their daughters, Peyton and Maudie. The story, told through a series of flashbacks on the day of Peyton’s funeral, is a powerful depiction of a family doomed by its failure to forget and its inability to love.”
Well this sounds like a really depressing movie, so if Stewart ever had a chance to win an Oscar, this is probably it. Ok, we all know that’s not gonna happen, but we all know Stewart doesn’t like to smile in anything, so any movie about death should be right up her alley. Stewart will play Peyton in the film, but there is yet to be an announced start date for production. 

Our next actor in the spotlight this week, and a personal favorite of mine for smaller roles, is John Leguizamo. Leguizamo has added 2 films to his repertoire this week, “The Counselor” and “Kick-Ass 2”.
For the first film “The Counselor”, Leguizamo will play a low level drug dealer. The film is being written by Cormac McCarthy. The film already has a stellar cast including Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Penelope Cruz, and Cameron Diaz.

Not a lot is known about the plot of the film. It centers around a lawyer who finds himself in over his head when he gets involved in drug trafficking. While I don’t like movies about people just getting high on drugs, I really have always enjoyed films that look into the drug trade. It doesn’t hurt that this film has one of the best casts I’ve seen in a long time.

The film is set to be released sometime in 2013. The second film “Kick-Ass 2” will have Leguizamo playing Javier, the bodyguard in charge of protecting Red Mist. Christopher Mintz-Plasse will reprise his role as Red Mist, although I believe the character has given himself the new name of “Mother F*%cker”. Aaron Johnson will also reprise his role as Kick-Ass, and most importantly, Chloe Moretz will be returning as Hit Girl.

Lets keep chugging along. Fresh off her Oscar winning role in last years film “The Help”, Octavia Spencer has joined the cast of David Tolbert’s film “Baggage Claim”. 

The film is based on the directors own 2005 novel. It follows thirty something, Montana Moore. Tired of being single, Moore sets out on a 30 day, 30,000 mile cross country trip to hopefully find Mr. Right. She meets many people along her trip including a politician, a tycoon, and a preacher. 

Normally, this movie would never be something that I would be too interested in, but I loved Spence in “The Help” and I love movie about traveling. So if this film adds enough names that I like, I may be more open to the film. Two names attached to the film right now Paula Patton and Derek Luke. No start date has been announced.

Our next piece of news this week, was that we learned that comedy legend Bill Murray has begun talks to headline the Ted Melfi film “St. Vincent de Van Nuys”. Along with directing the film, Melfi has written the screenplay for the 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment film. 

Synopsis via Black List:

“When a twelve year old boy in need of a babysitter moves in next door to a misanthropic aging retiree whose life mainly consists of gambling, hookers, and drinking, the elder becomes an unlikely mentor to the boy.”
Murray is also set to appear in “Hyde Park on the Hudson” later in the year.

“The Spectacular Now” has added four new names to its cast this week. Andre Royo, Bob Odenkirk, Kyle Chandler, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead have all joined the cast of James Ponsoldt's upcoming film. The film is based on the Tim Tharp novel, and is described as the following:
“Sutter Keely. He's the guy you want at your party. He'll get everyone dancing. He'll get everyone in your parents' pool. Okay, so he's not exactly a shining academic star. He has no plans for college and will probably end up folding men's shirts for a living. But there are plenty of ladies in town, and with the help of Dean Martin and Seagram's V.O., life's pretty fabuloso, actually. 

Until the morning he wakes up on a random front lawn, and he meets Aimee. Aimee's clueless. Aimee is a social disaster. Aimee needs help, and it's up to the Sutterman to show Aimee a splendiferous time and then let her go forth and prosper. But Aimee's not like other girls, and before long he's in way over his head. For the first time in his life, he has the power to make a difference in someone else's life—or ruin it forever.”
The cast for the film already includes Kaitlyn Dever, Masam Holden, Brie Larson, Dayo Okeniyi, Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley.

Ok, well that was quite a bit to take in. Now lets move onto some of the less prominent roles these week, and a couple roles that aren’t necessarily small, but have almost no news to report.

-Emma Stone has been cast as one of the leads in the next Cameron Crowe film. Like I said, Stone being cast in a film is certainly worthy of being towards the top of the news, but there just isn’t anything else to report on the film. No other names are attached, along with no plot details being known yet. The film doesn’t even have a name. Still, Stone is one of the hottest names in Hollywood at the moment, so we’ll probably revisit this news when we find out more.

-Demian Bichir has joined the cast of the upcoming Paul Feig buddy cop comedy “The Heat”. Bichir joins the cast already including Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. Bullock and McCarthy play the unlikely partners, while Bichir will be playing an FBI agent.

I feel like I need to start devoting a special section of these posts just for “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and “The Wolf of Wall Street”, seeing as how I can’t go a week without someone new being added to these films. 
-Starting with Catching Fire, Lynn Cohen has joined the cast for the mega franchise based on the Suzanne Collins series of novels. Lynn has been cast as the role of Mags. Mags is an 80 year-old former Hunger Games victor from District 4, and was mentor to Finnick Odair.

-Joining the cast of “The Wolf of Wall Street” this week is Matthew McConaughey. McConaughey will play Mark Hanna, an early boss of Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Jordan Belfort.

-Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) has joined the cast of the film “Can A Song Save A Life”. The film is directed by John Carney. The film follows the trials and tribulations of a music hopeful trying to achieve her dreams in New York. Bey will play a business partner to a music producer in the film.

The cast also includes Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Hailee Steinfeld, Adam Levine, Catherine Keener and Cee Lo Green.

-Paz Vega has joined the cast of “Grace of Monaco”. Vega will play the role of opera singer Maria Callas. The film stars Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly, and is being directed by Olivier Dahan.

-Another film that’s been wracking up a lot of names is “Saving Mr. Banks”. Joining the cast this week is B.J. Novak. Novak will play songwriter Robert Sherman. The film is based on the life of P.L. Travers, the author of Mary Poppins.

-Russell Brand has been choosen as the leading man for Warner Bros. upcoming romantic comedy “Cupid”. The film is a modern day film that has Cupid tasked with creating the perfect romance. 

-Well folks, its been a long journey but were finally at our last bit of news. Thanks for sticking around. And what is your reward for reading all the way to the end...Lindsay Lohan has joined the cast of “Scary Movie 5”! Just to throw a cherry on top, Charlie Sheen has joined the cast as well.
You’ll forgive me if I don’t give a detailed break down of what the plot of the film is going to be.

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?