Monday, August 13, 2012

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, Catching Fire continues to try and assemble the biggest cast ever, Kevin Costner has three days to kill Jack Ryan (I’m pushing it with that line), Jennifer Lawrence will go to the ends of the Earth, Mickey Rourke takes his tough image to two tough cities, and much, much more.

So hit the jump to see who got what gig!

This is the second week in a row where we saw a record number of roles being filled. Unlike last week where it seemed like every bit of news involved a big name, the majority of these roles are going to be minor roles. So while there is still a lot of news, this weeks post will go quicker than last weeks.

We’ll kick things off this week with what I have decided to call the “Catching Fire” section. “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” hasn’t gone a week without announcing a new name for the upcoming film. I haven’t read the book, but I can’t remember a film that I’ve seen so many roles cast that were worthy of it being news. When I said in the intro paragraph to all the news this week that the film was going for the biggest cast ever, I don’t know if that’s necessarily true or not, but with how many names have been announced so far it also doesn’t seem ridiculous. None of the names announced this week are big names, it’s just that they announced 5 new actors this week. So lets get them out of the way right now.

Joining the cast this week are Patrick St. Esprit, Meta Golding, Bruno Gunn, Alan Ritchson, and E. Roger Mitchell.

-St. Esprit has been cast for the role of Romulus Thread, the head Peacekeeper of District 12.

-Golding will play former champion Enobaria from District 2. Her character is known for the brutal way she won her Hunger Games. I don’t know who she is, nor do I know anything about her role, but from looking at her picture, lets just say watching her on screen shouldn’t be to difficult.

-Gunn has locked up the role of Brutus, another former Hunger Games champion from District 2.

-Ritchson has taken the role of Gloss, a former champion from District 1 who will also be competing with his sister Cashmere.

-Finally, Mitchell has been cast as former champion Chaff, who is from District 11. Chaff who will be competing along with all the other Champions in the 75th anniversary of The Hunger Games, won the 45th Hunger Games as well.

Just in case anyone is reading Casting Calls for the first time, or has somehow managed to avoid a plot summary for “Catching Fire”, here it is via IMDB:

“After winning the 74th Hunger Games in the previous novel, Katniss and Peeta return home to District 12, the poorest sector in the country of Panem. Both of them are now rich, famous, and living three houses away from each other in the affluent Victor's Village of the district; however, they have rarely spoken since they won the Games, as Peeta realized that Katniss's emotions towards him were exaggerated at their mentor's, Haymitch Abernathy's, request. Katniss struggles to understand her feelings about Peeta and her best friend, Gale, who kissed Katniss upon her return to District 12. As part of their duties as victors of the Hunger Games, they are preparing to embark on a "Victory Tour" to all districts within Panem. The day Katniss is due to leave, the Capitol's President Snow arrives at her home and sternly warns her that she must convince Panem's citizens that she and Peeta are truly in love; their actions in the Games have sparked unrest across the districts and many believe their attempted suicide was actually a defiant act against the Capitol rather than a sacrifice for love. Snow indirectly threatens both Gale's and Katniss' families. 
As the 75th Hunger Games approach, known as a Quarter Quell, she and Peeta are informed that the tributes for this game will be reaped from the existing pool of victors. Shocked that they once again have to enter the arena of their nightmares, and with even less hope of winning than when they began the first games, they team up with a few other tributes and manage to destroy the arena and escape the Games.”
Our first bit of non Hunger Games news this week has to do with a personal favorite of mine, Kevin Costner. Costner is in talks to play roles in both the Luc Besson-produced action/thriller “Three Days to Kill”, and “Jack Ryan”.

With “Three Days to Kill”, Costner would be playing the role of Ethan Renner, a dying assassin who takes one final job. I should note that McG has shown interest in directing the film, but lets hope that one doesn’t pan out.

For “Jack Ryan”, Costner would play a CIA mentor to Ryan, who is being played by Chris Pine. The film is being directed by Kenneth Branagh.

You can also see Costner play Jonathan Kent in next years “Man of Steel”.


Our next actress making news this week is Jennifer Lawrence. Lawrence has begun talks for one of the lead roles in The Weinstein Company distributed film “The Ends of the Earth”. The screenplay was written by Chris Terrio, but a director has not been choosen.

In the film Lawrence would play the role of Lydie Marland. The film is an epic romance, based on true events, that follows a rich oil tycoon who loses everything after engaging in a love affair with his adopted daughter Lydie. So yeah, that should be interesting.

Harvey Weinstein had this to say in terms of Lawrence being cast in the film:

"I'm not sure that anything resonates more with an audience than a true story. Jennifer Lawrence shows the skill of a seasoned veteran in everything she does, and we're thrilled to work with her again."
Well I’ll agree with him on that. Lawrence is in my opinion, the most talented dramatic young actress out there right now. She has nailed every role she has been in so far. After bursting onto the scene with her powerhouse performance in “Winter’s Bone”, which also earned her an Oscar nomination, she has gone onto land roles in “X-Men: First Class”, and the main role of Katniss in “The Hunger Games” franchise. Even though “To The Ends of the Earth” looks like it could be a weird, and frankly creepy movie, as long as Lawrence is in it, I’ll line up to see it.

Next up, Mickey Rourke has begun talks for roles in two upcoming films. The first is the Albert Hughes directed film “Motor City”. The second film would have Rourke reprising his role of Marv for “Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For”.

The film already has cast Gerard Butler in the lead role. “Motor City” follows the story of an ex convict(Butler) who is tracking down the people who framed him to extract revenge. Gerard Butler and Mickey Rourke in the same movie; can I buy my ticket yet?

“Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For” is a film I, with almost everyone else, thought would never happen. This thing has gone through development hell for years now, but its finally looking like it will happen. Rourke had this to say to Comingsoon.net about his interest in the role and his dislike of the prosthetics:

"It depends on how bad they want me. You feel me?... I did [like the character], but I'm claustrophobic, so the the hours of makeup -- You have to keep it on for about 13 or 14 hours a day. It's latex and glue and that stuff that gets my eyes all red..."
Both films will begin production soon, and “Sin City 2” is shooting for October 4, 2013 as their release date.

Well thats really all the big news we have this week. Now we’ll go through the million bits of news that either featured smaller actors, or roles that we don’t know enough about to feature in the top section.


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Joe Manganiello (“True Blood”) has begun talks to star in “Breacher”. He would star opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington, Terrence Howard and Dawn Olivieri. Source: The Hollywood Reporter

-Julianne Hough has been cast as the lead in the upcoming film “Time and a Half”. In the film, Hough plays a girl who has just graduated college, and winds up crossing paths with a guy who is her sisters ex and someone she also had a one night stand with. The film is being directed by Ol Parker. Source: Variety

-Michael Kenneth Williams has started talks to join “RoboCop”. Williams, if cast, will play Alex Murphy’s partner in the film. Source: The Hollywood Reporter


-Bruce Dern and Will Forte are set to headline the comedy “Nebraska”.

The film follows a father and son on a road trip who get stalled in a small Nebraska town where Dern’s character grew up, and he has a couple old scores to settle. The film is being directed by Alexander Payne, and is the follow-up to his Academy Award-winning film “The Descendants”.

Production for the film is set to begin in October. Source: Deadline



-Reese Witherspoon will headline the upcoming comedy “The Beard”. There aren’t many details on the plot of the film, hence it being put down here, but it will supposedly have Witherspoon pretending to be a girlfriend to several gay men who are trying to cover up the fact that they are gay. Source: The Hollywood Reporter

-Jonathan Rhys Meyers is the latest actor to join the cast of “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones”. Meyers will play Valentine Morgenstern in the film based on the series of young adult fantasy novels. Source: Comingsoon

-Ryan Reynolds is set to headline “Queen of Night”, the upcoming Atom Egoyan directed film. Normally this would be news worthy of being at the top of the post as well, but like the news with Witherspoon, there isn’t really anything known about the plot other than Reynolds will be playing the father of a kidnapped girl. Source: THR



-Malin Akerman has also begun talks to join “Breacher”. There is no word on what role Akerman would play in the film, but after “Rock of Ages”, she is another actress I’ll watch in just about anything. Source: Variety

-Donald Faison has reportedly begun talks to join the cast of “Kick-Ass 2”. Deadline is reporting that Faison would play the role of Doctor Gravity. Doctor Gravity claims to be a physics professor who has invented a weapon called the Gravity Stick, but its really just a baseball bat wrapped in tin foil. This news honestly bums me out a little, as I’ve never been a fan of Faison. I feel the same way about him that fellow writer Alex Schopp feels about Rob Riggle, which is he never comes off as a real person, he’s too goofy.

-Saoirse Ronan has been cast as the lead in the upcoming film “Mary, Queen of Scots”. Mary was crowned Queen of Scotland when she was less than a year old, and was later forced to vacate the crown and was executed at 18 for her alleged involvement in the assassination attempt of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I. No director for the film has been chosen at this point. Source: Deadline


-Mark Margolis becomes the latest actor to join the cast of Darren Aronofsky’s biblical epic “Noah”. We don’t know what role Margolis will be playing, but it should come as a surprise to no one that Margolis was cast since he has been in every film Aronofsky has ever directed. Source: Comingsoon

-Heather Graham will be reprising her role as the loveable stripper from “The Hangover”. Source: Variety

-Rosamund Pike has joined the cast of Edgar Wright’s film “The World’s End”. We don’t know what role Pike will be playing, but we do know that she will star opposite Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost. Here is the synopsis for the film:

20 years after attempting an epic pub crawl, five childhood friends reunite when one of them becomes hellbent on trying the drinking marathon again. They are convinced to stage an encore by mate Gary King, a 40-year old man trapped at the cigarette end of his teens, who drags his reluctant pals to their hometown and once again attempts to reach the fabled pub - The World's End. As they attempt to reconcile the past and present, they realize the real struggle is for the future, not just theirs but humankind's. Reaching The World's End is the least of their worries.

-Keira Knightley has also joined the cast of “Jack Ryan”. She will play the female lead in the film opposite Chris Pine. Source: THR

-Mary Steenburgen has joined the cast of the upcoming comedy “Last Vegas”. She will play a nightclub singer involved in a love triangle with stars Michael Douglas, and Robert De Niro. I wouldn’t mind being involved in a love triangle with her either. I had to throw that in there, I’ve always thought she’s smokin hot. Source: Deadline


-Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning have joined the cast of “Night Moves”. The eco-thriller is about a group of eco-terrorists who plan to blow up a dam. Also attached to star in the film is Peter Sarsgaard. Source: Variety
 
Our last bit of news this week has Shia LaBeouf joining the cast of “Nymphomaniac”. This is the latest film from director Lars Von Trier. Here is the official synopsis for the film:

"Nymphomaniac" is the wild and poetic story of a woman’s erotic journey from birth to the age of 50 as told by the main character, the self-diagnosed nymphomaniac, Joe.

On a cold winter’s evening the old, charming bachelor, Seligman, finds Joe beaten up in an alleyway. He brings her home to his flat where he tends to her wounds while asking her about her life. He listens intently as Joe over the next 8 chapters recounts the lushly branched-out and multi faceted story of her life, rich in associations and interjecting incidents.

Charlotte Gainsbourg will take on the role of Joe and Stellan Skarsgard will play Seligman. We have yet to find out who LaBeouf would play in the film. Production will start this September.

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?