June 13, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
Angelina Jolie has began searching for the right young actor to play the lead in her adaptation of the incredible true story of Louis Zamperini, and Deadline reports Dane DeHaan, Jack O’Connell and Alexander Dreymom will test for the role in “Unbroken”, based on the best-selling book by Laura Hillenbrand.
Born in 1917 to Italian immigrant parents, Zamperini was picked on in school for his lack of English skills, but a troubled youth was turned around when he got involved in his high school’s track team. He went on to qualify for the 1936 Olympics in the 5000 metres race. He finished 8th in the race at the Olympics, but a fast finish time garnered him a personal meeting with Adolf Hiter. And that’s just the beginning of Zamperini’s epic journey as he then enlisted in the army in 1941 and was caught in a plane crash, landing in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with two other soldiers, managing to survive for 47 days, before they were found and then immediately captured by the Japanese Navy. As a POW, Zamperini and pilot and fellow survivor Russel Allen “Phil” Phillips were beaten and starved for over three years before being discovered alive. Suffice to say, this is a juicy role and could be career-making for the right young actor. Deadline cautions Jolie, who has already met with an extensive list of young actors, may be testing others beyond the three reported here.
DeHaan is the most recognizable here and the one whose career seems to be absolutely on fire these days, currently on screen in Derek Cianfrance’s “The Place Beyond the Pines” opposite Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper and currently shooting the Harry Osborn role in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2″ opposite Andrew Garfield. O’Connell is known for UK series “Skins”, to which he returns as Cook for a special season 7, which catches up on past fan favorite characters, also featuring Kaya Scodelario’s return as Effy. He gave up the male led role in “Beautiful Creatures”, but landed one of the leads of “300: Rise of an Empire” instead. Not much is known about newcomer Dreymon, but he was born in 1983, making him the oldest contender here, and his credits include “Resistance” opposite Andrea Riseborough and the upcoming “Blood Ransom.”
June 13, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
British actor Eddie Redmayne has become increasingly in demand thanks to his breakout role as Marius in Tom Hooper’s “Les Miserables.” Deadline reports Redmayne has landed the role of genius physicist Stephen Hawking in biopic “Theory of Everything”, which James Marsh is set to direct. Deadline also reports Redmayne is also being sought for Thomas Vinterberg’s adaptation of “Far From the Madding Crowd” opposite Carey Mulligan and Matthias Schoenaerts, but believes Redmayne’s priority will be the Hawking biopic.
Filming is set to begin in early fall with Redmayne as the British physicist who grew up in a financially strapped but highly intelligent family. Hawking did not succeed at school as a young boy but always showed an aptitude for science, earning the nickname “Einstein.” He started Oxford at age 17, where he felt isolated for being younger than his classmates and finding the work “ridiculously easy.” After being diagnosed with motor neurone disease at age 21, Hawking fell into depression and only found something to continue living for upon falling in love with Jane Wilde, a friend of his sister’s. They were engaged in 1964 and the film is expected to focus on their relationship.
In “Far From the Madding Crowd”, Mulligan plays a headstrong young woman named Bathsheba and her three suitors: Gabriel, a shepherd (Schoenaerts); William, a rich older farmer; and Troy, a handsome young soldier, through a number of years and dramatic episodes as she grows up and learns what is truly valuable in life. Presumably Redmayne is being sought for the role of Troy, which had once also been linked to Matthew Goode. But “Crowd” also films this fall, so Redmayne’s ability to commit to both films is in question.
Redmayne was one of our Breakout Stars of 2012 thanks to his revelatory and heartbreaking turn as student revolutionary Marius in Tom Hooper’s adaptation of hit musical “Les Miserables”, Oscar nominated for Best Picture last year. He’s already tackled Hardy in BBC miniseries “Tess of the D’Ubervilles” opposite Gemma Arterton, and was the best part of Simon Curtis’ “My Week with Marilyn” opposite Michelle Williams. Redmayne is currently filming the Wachowskis’ sci-fi epic “Jupiter Ascending” with Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis.
June 7, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
Watch out, Evan Peters, a new Quicksilver may be coming to town. By now we all know of the struggle between Fox and Marvel in their dueling bids to use twin mutants Pietro and Wanda Maximoff in “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and “The Avengers 2″, with Fox and director Bryan Singer throwing the first gauntlet with the casting of Peters. Today the duel got a little more real, with The Wrap reporting Aaron Johnson has emerged as the top choice for the role in Marvel and Joss Whedon’s superhero team-up sequel.
In the comics, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch (Wanda’s superhero alias) were the children of Magneto and are born mutants. With Fox and Marvel splitting rights on these two characters who began life as foes of the X-Men but eventually joined the Avengers, Whedon would not be able to call them by their superhero names, and would not be able to allude to their mutant bloodline or their famous father. On the Fox side, Singer will be able to call them by their code names, but not Pietro or Wanda. Oh what a tangled web rival film studios weave. The Wrap further cautions that Johnson is simply a frontrunner at this point, and no negotiating has begun. There’s also no word yet on who may play Wanda for Whedon, but Soairse Ronan has expressed interest after learning she was the “prototype” of the character in script form.
Johnson is already a big screen comic book hero, having originated and then recently reprised the titular “Kick-Ass” opposite Chloe Moretz and (coincidentally) Peters. This summer’s “Kick Ass 2″ promo tour should be fun! Johnson broke out in 2008′s “Nowhere Boy” and recently played Count Vronsky opposite Keira Knightley in Joe Wright’s “Anna Karenina.” He’s currently filming “Godzilla” for director Gareth Edwards opposite Elizabeth Olsen.
June 5, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
UPDATE June 12th: Mulligan has passed on the role, according to THR.
Well, this came out of left field! According to THR, a frontrunner has already emerged to play Hilary Rodham Clinton in “Rodham”, James Ponsoldt’s biopic of the future Secretary of State as a young lawyer, and it’s British actress Carey Mulligan. UPDATE from The Wrap indicates Mulligan has been the favorite for weeks, and her only competition was Jennifer Lawrence, whose very full schedule prevented the filmmakers – who want the film ready for release by the 2016 Presidential elections – from choosing her.
Young Il Kim’s Black List script centers on Hilary as a young Yale Law graduate working her way up the Washington, DC ladder, juggling the demands of a career on the hill and life as the girlfriend of an aspiring Arkansan politician whose presence was exceeded only by his ambitions. Though Mulligan was not on our wishlist of potential onscreen Hilarys, the resemblance between the young Brit and the woman who may still become President one day is rather striking and Mulligan certainly has impressed in every single role she takes on, so this is not a bad choice at all to this writer. THR cautions there is no official deal in place yet and Mulligan and Ponsoldt still have to take a meeting, and other actresses are still in the mix.
Oscar-nominated for her breakout role in “An Education”, Mulligan wowed Cannes last month with dueling roles as Daisy Buchanan in Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby” (another role she beat out just about every comparable actress her age for) and opposite Oscar Isaac in the Coens’ folk music drama “Inside Llewyn Davis”, which is already earning Oscar buzz. Next up is a new adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s classic “Far From the Madding Crowd”, in which she’ll play the lead and Matthias Schoenaerts one of the three men vying for her affection.
May 23, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
Well, this just got interesting. It appears Fox may not be quite as happy as the internet is about the possibility of X-Men characters Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch appearing in Marvel Studios’ “The Avengers 2.” Today “X-Men: Days of Future Past” director Bryan Singer tweeted out another casting announcement that caught at least this writer off guard. “American Horror Story” star Evan Peters is joining the cast playing none other than Pietro Maximoff, aka Quicksilver.
Now, this announcement could be taken one of two ways. Either Fox is none too pleased about Marvel taking characters who have been central to X-Men lore for decades and are staking ownership first, or Singer and “Avengers” director Joss Whedon reached some sort of compromise to allow Quicksilver and his twin sister the Scarlet Witch to appear in both film canons as played by the same actors, marking a major crossover development in the world of comic book movies. Of course, the likeliest scenario may just be that Peters and whichever actress is cast by Singer will play one version of Pietro and Wanda (with mutant origins as Magneto’s children in tact) and Whedon will cast his own version of the brother-sister duo (with no mention of mutant genetics and Magneto? Who’s that?). Either way, like I said, this just got very, very interesting. We’ll see how things develop from here. Whether Saoirse Ronan is cast as Singer’s Scarlet Witch may be our first clue to how this whole thing will shake out.
Evans, who’s wrapped up filming on indies “Adult World” with Emma Roberts and “Truck Stop” with Juno Temple, is most known for his TV work on Ryan Murphy’s “American Horror Story”, on which he’s appeared in all three standalone seasons. He’s also attached to indie thriller “The Preppie Connection” with Bella Heathcote, expected to film this summer.
May 23, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
By now we’ve all heard the rumblings that Joss Whedon sees Irish actress Saoirse Ronan as a “prototype” for casting Marvel superhero the Scarlet Witch, who is set to join the team in “The Avengers 2″, but does Ronan have any interest in taking the role herself? The Mary Sue recently caught up with the actress and the answer was a resounding “yes.”
Ronan recently heard about the rumors herself and answered enthusiastically when asked if she would like to join the Marvel family: “I have heard about it and yes, I would. Yeah, of course I would. I love Joss and I love those films, and I love his handle on them and how he portrayed these kinds of superheroes. I think it’s very different from what anyone else has done. So yeah, I’d love to be in it.”
Scarlet Witch, aka Wanda Maximoff, is one of the most prominent figures in the Marvel universe, and she and twin brother Pietro aka Quicksilver have taken both heroic and villainous turns within the comic canon throughout the decades. They are also the children of Magneto, who, of course, falls under X-Men canon and is being portrayed by Michael Fassbender in the currently filming Fox film “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”
It’s been speculated that Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver cannot legally be referred to as Magneto’s children or even as mutants, but we’ll let Marvel’s and Fox’s lawyers hammer that one out. The important thing is Whedon is (allegedly) interested, Ronan is definitely interested, how do we make this happen? Ronan should probably make sure her ever crowded schedule is clear for February 2014.
May 19, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
UPDATE: We somehow missed this report from last month, but Britain’s The Daily Mail reports “The Borgias” actress Holliday Grainger is in talks for one of the few female roles in the film, while Emma Watson also met with the director but ultimately couldn’t take a different role. Daily Mail also updates Robert Pattinson has passed on the project.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: The gang’s almost all here. After initial reports of negotiations in March, British actors Sam Claflin (“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”) and Douglas Booth (“Jupiter Ascending”) have now officially joined Max Irons (“The Host”) in Lone Scherfig’s adaptation of Laura Wade’s 2010 play “Posh”, according to THR. Filming begins next month.
Laura Wade’s 2010 hit play of the same name concerned The Riot Club, a fictional version of The Bullingdon Club, an exclusive society at Oxford University to which such prominent British figures as Prime Minister David Cameron belonged. The entire play is set over the course of one evening when the ten members of the club have their termly dinner. As their President, James, considers leaving his post, the other boys jocky for position, leading to tragic consequences.
Claflin is in Cannes promoting “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”, in which he plays fan favorite character Finnick Odair. He previously appeared in “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” and “Snow White and the Huntsman.” Booth will next appear opposite Hailee Steinfeld in Carlo Carlei’s new adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet” and is currently filming the Wachowskis’ sci-fi epic “Jupiter Ascending.”
May 15, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
Too many cooks in the kitchen? Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. There are currently two films heading into production called “Chef” and it’s become a bit of a problem and lawyers are getting involved but while that’s happening, casting is underway on both.
The first one we heard about was written by Steve Knight and will be directed by John Wells and stars Bradley Cooper as a disgraced Parisian chef who sobers up and returns to the scene to try to redeem his reputation with a new restaurant. Omar Sy is also linked to the project, and Deadline reports Michelle Williams and Marion Cotillard have come up as potential female leads.
The other “Chef”, a more comedic take on the same genre to be directed by Jon Favreau, was also written by Favreau and stars Favreau as another disgraced chef who stages a comeback, only he does it by opening up a food truck. Robert Downe, Jr. recently agreed to co-star and the project just got even more “Iron Man”-y with the addition of Scarlett Johansson, according to THR.
It’s likely both films will see audiences, but only one will be called “Chef” when they do. Which will it be?
May 9, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
She sang a bit in “My Week with Marilyn” (doing her best breathy whisper-croon) but is Michelle Williams ready to tackle a full scale classic Broadway musical by no less than Rodgers and Hammerstein? British paper The Daily Mail reports Williams has been offered the lead role of Nellie Forbush in a planned big screen adaptation of “South Pacific.”
Set during World War II on a South Pacific island and thematically revolving around issues of race, Williams is being eyed for the role of a young and Naive American nurse who arrives to care for American soldiers but finds herself falling for an older French plantation owner. Their love is tested by her racial prejudices and inability to accept his mixed race children from a prior marriage. Meanwhile, young American soldier Lt. Joseph Cable finds love with a Polynesian girl, but also rejects her knowing his conservative family would never allow an interracial marriage. Michael Mayer is attached to direct from a script by Lynn Grossman, but the film is still in the early stages and has no official green light yet. A commitment from Williams would certainly help, and Daily Mail furthers that someone like Justin Timberlake is being eyed for the role of Cable, adding more starpower to the cast.
Williams graduated “Dawson’s Creek” to become a three-time Oscar nominee (for “Brokeback Mountain”, “Blue Valentine” and “My Week with Marilyn”) and was recently seen in her first major studio blockbuster, “Oz the Great and Powerful.” While “South Pacific” finds its footing, Williams is attached to another WWII romance, “Suite Francaise” opposite Belgian breakout star Matthias Schoenarts, as well as an English-language remake of Italian thriller “The Double Hour.”
May 4, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
In a pleasantly surprising twist, it seems director Rob Marshall is not chasing super A-Listers for his next big screen musical adaptation. The Daily Mail first reported that Broadway star Jamie Corden was meeting with Marshall about potentially taking a role in his upcoming “Into the Woods”, and now Showbiz 411 corroborates that the role he would take is the male lead of the Baker. Not only that, but fellow relative unknown Nina Arianda is up for the role of the Baker’s Wife, one of the female leads for the story. Marshall’s film is not without super A-Listers though, as Meryl Streep will play the Witch and Johnny Depp will cameo as the Wolf.
Corden and Arianda took part in a reading of Marshall’s screenplay of the Stephen Sondheim musical back in October, but there was no guarantee (and there still isn’t, presumably) that they would end up in the actual film. But it appears they might be cast after all, which leaves me back to hoping Anna Kendrick will land the role of Cinderella, which she read at the reading. There’s obviously plenty of casting still to go, and no official start date yet, though Streep herself has mentioned October as a possibility.
Corden won a Tony for his role as Francis Henshall in “One Man, Two Guvnors”, which he originated in Britain and followed to Broadway. Like many fellow rising Broadway stars, he’s started landing film roles, most recently opposite Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley in “Can a Song Save Your Life?” and “One Chance”, the biopic of Paul Potts, whom Corden plays. Arianda is on a similar trajectory after winning a Tony for her first Broadway play out of drama school, “Venus in Fur.” After supporting roles last year in “Win Win” and especially memorably in “Midnight in Paris”, Arianda will have her first shot at headlining a film with Sean Durkin’s “Joplin”, in which she’ll do her own singing of the late rock legend’s songs.