Category Archives: Casting

How to Cast: Taylor Lautner

In anything, apparently. This hotter than hot young Twilight lad has got Hollywood clamoring for him. The latest scuttlebutt from Variety is that Lionsgate has paid big bucks for Lautner’s next gig, Abduction, a thriller about a young man who discovers his own baby picture on a missing persons website. There was apparently a heated bidding war over the spec script from writer Shawn Christensen, with Lionsgate shelling out the most cash. Lautner’s recently developed production company Tailor Made Prods. (get it?) will also be co-producing. Enjoy it, Taylor and be smart. LEARN. Because it can all end if you make bad movies.

In other casting news: Seann William Scott and director/writer Kevin Smith are teaming up for Hit Somebody, Cinematical reports. It’s about a hockey player who’s better at slamming guys than playing the game (hmmm, sounds a little like Tooth Fairy). But since Smith is passionate about the sport, it could be a natural fit for him. God knows he needs more of those. There’s also talk Scott might reprise his defining role as Stifler, from the American Pie series. He told Coming Soon, “I’ve been talking to them about it and there’s a possibility. We came up with an awesome idea and I’m kind of at the point where I’m already known as that character forever anyways. As much as I want to do a part like Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds, I did American Pie three times and then versions of that in ten other movies. If it makes sense and if it makes people laugh than maybe.” Good luck with that.

Cutie Jeffery Dean Morgan of Watchmen fame is set to do a film with Sam Worthington of Avatar fame called The Fields. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Morgan will star as a detective transplanted from New York, while Worthington will portray a local investigator probing a series of unsolved murders in industrial wastelands surrounding Gulf Coast refineries, where as many as 70 bodies have turned up over the past two decades. Together they wage a war against the unknown assailants. Ahhhh, tense.

And finally, Al Pacino and Channing Tatum will go toe-to-toe in Son of No One about a young cop, who is assigned to a precinct in the working class neighborhood where he grew up, with an old secret surfacing and threatening to destroy his life and family, says the Reporter. Sounds all-too familiar to me, but I’ll see hunky Tatum in just about anything.

How to Cast: Miley Cyrus

I just mentioned in my Dear John review how Miley Cyrus will be making her film debut without the Hannah Montana wig in The Last Song (ANOTHER Nicholas Sparks’ adaptation) – and now it seems she’s eying the film L.O.L.: Laughing Out Loud, also starring Demi Moore. According to Variety, it’s a remake of a French film and focuses on a 15-year-old girl who, after being dumped by her boyfriend who wants to have sex, decides to go after his best friend. Meanwhile, the girl’s divorced mother is having a tough time moving on. As Variety puts it, “The fraught relationship between mother and daughter provides the film with its narrative backbone, along with the younger generation’s obsession with instant messaging.” Oh boy, sounds like a load of LMAO fun. I’m kidding, it really doesn’t.

In more casting news, Reese Witherspoon is teaming up with the hotter than hot Bradley Cooper in director McG’s action-comedy This Means War. Two best friends, who also happen to be spies, fall for the same woman (Witherspoon), and things quickly turn ugly when they start to fight for her. I’m feeling this one a little more than L.O.L., and can I just say McG is a really dumb name?

How to Create a New “Spider-Man” Experience

First, hire a new director. Just to reiterate: Director Sam Raimi and Spidey star Tobey Maguire are NOT, I repeat, NOT going to do another Spider-Man movie. That’s it. They are kaput. So, Sony has decided to reboot the franchise, put Peter Parker back in high school – and hire Marc Webb, whose work includes the critically acclaimed hit romance (500) Days of Summer, to helm the proceedings. OK, not a bad start, but the real buzz will begin when they start casting. Will they go with unknowns to play Peter, Mary Jane Watson and Harry Osborn? And will they resemble Maguire, Kristen Dunst and James Franco at all? Inquiring minds want to know.

In other movie news: Now that Robert Downey Jr. has his Golden Globe as Sherlock Holmes and a sequel is well on its way, the actor had to drop out of the weirdly intriguing Cowboys & Aliens, directed by Jon Favreau. Don’t worry, though – Daniel Craig may stepped up to the plate to take over, since the next James Bond flick isn’t going to start for awhile, according to As you may recall, the story is about Apache Indians and Western settlers who are forced to work together when an alien spaceship crash lands in their town. I could see Craig in chaps and a six-shooter.

How to Kill “Spider-Man 4”

Basically by ticking Spidey director Sam Raimi off.  Yeah, apparently Raimi told Sony studio execs he couldn’t make the May, 2011 release date for Spider-Man 4 with a script that would reflect the Spider-Man integrity and walked away, taking star Tobey Maguire with him. Sony then in turn announced they’d do a reboot of the franchise, with a new cast and new director for 2012. Wow. Nikke Finke over at Deadline Hollywood got the whole scoop. Fascinating inside story.

I suppose a brand new vision for the comic-book hero wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. In my opinion, it was getting a wee bit old in the third installment. Spider-Man 2 has always been my favorite cause I really like Alfred Molina as the villain. Whatever ends up happening, I’m sure the franchise will still make money hand over fist for Sony — and really, that’s all they care about.

How to Cast: Owen Wilson

In a Farrelly Brothers comedy, of course! According to the Hollywood Reporter, the funnyman is set to star in Hall Pass, a story that centers on a married couple who’ve hit a lackluster patch. Instead of spicing up their own sex lives, though, the wife decides to give her husband a “hall pass” to engage in extramarital activities. That can’t lead to anything good. The Farrellys need to knock this one out of the park, though, since they’ve hit a rough patch themselves. Their last comedy, the 2007 The Heartbreak Kid, didn’t do so hot.

There’s also their long-gestating Three Stooges project at MGM, which could be back in business with news that Sean Penn has re-attached himself to play Larry, says the Reporter. The Boston Herald quoted Bobby Farrelly on Tuesday as saying, “We got him back,” after Penn had dropped the project to work on family issues a year ago or so. We now know that didn’t work out so well for Penn (he and his estranged wife Robin Wright are divorcing), so maybe he’s ready to laugh a little.

In other movie news: Sam Mendes is reportedly in talks to helm the next James Bond flick, or Bond 23, as its called. Sam Mendes? Seriously? The same guy who directed American Beauty, Revolutionary Road and Away We Go? Married to Kate Winslet, that Sam Mendes? Boy, the Bond producers are really enticing a quality bunch of directors with their latest Bond franchise. The last one, Quantum of Solace, was directed by Finding Neverland‘s Marc Forester. Maybe it has something to do with Daniel Craig’s very intense, very smart James Bond. That would be my guess. Production is being fast-tracked and could begin as early as June with an eye toward a 2011 release, according to the Reporter. Can’t wait!

How to Cast: Michelle Williams

michellemarilyn comboLet her play Marilyn Monroe – well, that’s the rumor, anyway. Cinematical reports the Oscar-nominated actress, more known for being the late Heath Ledger’s ex-squeeze and mother of his child, may be in talks to portray the iconic movie star in My Week with Marilyn. The film based on Colin Clark’s memoir of the same title and centers around the making of Laurence Olivier’s The Prince and the Showgirl, a film so arduous to make with Monroe it put Olivier off directing for 13 years. Williams may not be the first person you’d think of to play the buxom blond bombshell, but I definitely think she can handle it. She plays fragile and tragic really well, which was basically Marilyn in a nutshell.

In other casting news: Johnny Depp is ready to sign on as Pancho Villa in the biopic Seven Friends of Pancho Villa and the Woman With Six Fingers, Variety reports. Wow, that’s some title. Based on the biographical novel The Friends of Pancho Villa by James Carlos Blake, the film will focus on how the infamous Mexican guerrilla fighter and his compadres had a great time fighting and robbing the rich, but also dancing, partying and making love. Oh yeah, Depp could do that with his eyes closed.

Then there’s Philip Seymour Hoffman, who’s finding his religion with director Paul Thomas Anderson. Having worked together on films such as Boogie Nights, Magnolia, and Punch Drunk Love, Variety reports that the two are teaming up for a new film, apparently in its infant stages. The premise concerns a charismatic man named “the Master,” who starts a faith-based organization in the 1950s and finds a young twentysomething drifter named Freddie to help him spread the word – until, that is, the kid starts questioning the faith he’s gotten himself involved in. Scientology reference perhaps? Actually, that pretty much fits any cult-like criteria. Variety says: “The drama does not so much scrutinize self-started churches like Scientology or the Mormons, as much as it explores the need to believe in a higher power, the choice of which one to embrace and the point at which a belief system graduates into a religion.” Uh-huh, sure.

And finally, Ben Kingsley goes from Gandhi to Taj. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Oscar-winning actor is set to play the Mogul Emperor Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal between 1632 and 1654 as a memorial to his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal (played by Indian superstar Aishwarya Rai), who died giving birth to their 14th child.  Soon after its completion, Shah Jahan was deposed by his son and imprisoned at the nearby Agra Fort. “With my passion for India and the Taj Mahal now becoming one ben_kingsley_02of the Seven Wonders of the World, I am compelled to ask ‘why’ and ‘how’ this scream of grief frozen in marble came into being,” Kingsley said in the statement.

God, I love Ben Kingsley – but I didn’t always. Quick story: I was a college freshman when Kingsley won the Best Actor Oscar for his Gandhi performance, beating favorite Paul Newman for his turn in The Verdict. I was so pissed at the time because I felt Newman was totally robbed by a guy who, in my opinion, basically did an impersonation. I ranted and raved for WEEKS, driving my new college friends crazy. In fact, I still rant a little about it. Seriously, Newman WAS robbed. They end up giving him the career Oscar a few years later for The Color of Money, but come on. That just left a bitter taste in my mouth.

I digress … Because of that, I held a slight grudge against Kingsley for many years, which is ridiculous, I know, because after awhile, I had to admit the Brit was one hell of a fine actor. I think I finally came around after I saw him in Sexy Beast. Then I got to interview him for his breathtakingly tragic performance in The House of Sand and Fog, a movie that affected me so deeply, I cried for several hours after its viewing. It’s one of those films I can’t watch again (see: my Gorillas in the Mist post). And in talking with Kingsley, I found him simply one of the most eloquent yet down-to-earth men I’ve ever met. So, I forgive you, Ben, for taking the Oscar away from Paul – and I look forward to seeing you play another very different Indian icon.

How to Cast: Ashley Greene

Ashley_Greene_2Get her to go from vampires to ghosts. The cutie Twilight star – who will be reprising her role as the spirited Alice Cullen in the upcoming New Moon – is in talks to star in The Apparition, a supernatural horror film from the production company who did Orphan and Whiteout, according to the Hollywood Reporter. That’s not necessarily an endorsement, I’m afraid. Greene would play one half of a couple who are haunted by a supernatural presence that is unleashed during a college experiment. Hmmm, methinks they want to jump on the Paranormal Activity band wagon.

In other casting news: Isla Fisher is indeed desperate in her next flick. She’ll star in Desperados, a feature comedy described as a female-oriented Hangover, says the Reporter, playing a woman who sends a nasty email to a potential love interest after they have sex, and he goes MIA. She finds out, however, that he’s really in a coma in Mexico and so goes on a mad rush to the country, with a couple of her girlfriends, in hopes to intercept the email before he wakes up and reads it. Oh, hilarity MUST ensue.

Looks like they’ve decided to do a movie about Yogi Bear. FINALLY. I mean, how in the world have we survived so long without the Jellystone Park bear yelling about “pic-cnick baskets” on the big screen? Dan Aykroyd and Anna Faris are in negotiations to star in Yogi Bear, a live-action/animated feature take on the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon, with Faris playing a wildlife filmmaker who follows the antics of a bear in fictional Jellystone Park. Aykroyd will voice Yogi, and Justin Timberlake could supply the voice of Yogi’s constant companion, Boo Boo. I’m scratching my head.

How Robert Pattinson Breaks “Twilight” News

robert-pattinson-b_0By letting all his Twilight fans know that Breaking Dawn, the fourth and final installment in the Twilight saga, could indeed be on its way to the big screen. Or so that’s what he has penciled into his schedule for next fall, he said. This latest tidbit has already been scooped on and, of course, but I was there when he said it today, being one of the cool kids sitting in a four-hour marathon press conference with almost EVERYONE involved in the upcoming New Moon. Yeah, I was in on the “know” (more New Moon coverage to come).

The third installment, Eclipse, just wrapped with a new director, 30 Days of Night‘s David Slade, but there has been speculation on whether Breaking Dawn is going to get made, since it’s the most controversial, and apparently, the goriest of the Twilight series. At this point, Summit Entertainment hasn’t announced any plans, and there is no director attached. Still, if Pattinson has it penciled in, that’s a promising sign, don’t you think?

Young Rob Pat, with the wild hair, the shy smile and self-depreciating demeanor, also talked about a few other projects he’ll be involved in next year, including Unbound Captives, a period Western co-starring Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz and written and directed by actress Madeline Stowe in her debut. I was literally just talking about her with my husband, wondering what she was doing these days, after we watched Unlawful Entry, that creepy thriller she’s in with Kurt Russell and Ray Liotta. And now I know!

Anyway, Rob told us a little about the plot: “I play a kid who was kidnapped by Comanches when he was 4-years-old and brought up by them and then his mother spends her entire life trying to find him and his sister. And when she finds us, we don’t know who she is or anything about the Western culture she grew up in. I speak in Comanche the whole movie … It was just a cool script. It reminds me in a lot of ways of Giant … You can’t really be more different from Edward.”
True enough, but I think fans still want as much Edward as they can get — at least to see the saga through to its conclusion.

How to Cast: The New “Mad Max”

charlize_tom comboAre we really begging for another action movie franchise to be jump started? Apparently so. According to the Hollywood Reporter, looks like Brit Tom Hardy (memorable as Handsome Bob in Guy Ritchie’s RocknRolla) is in negotiations to play the new and improved Mad Max in Fury Road. He’ll replace Mel Gibson, since, well, the actor is a little too long in the tooth to play him now. Charlize Theron is also in talks to take the female lead, while original Max writer-director George Miller has already come on board. There aren’t too many details about the plot, just that it takes place shortly after the end of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, as Max, after blowing up pig shite in Bartertown, watches the busload of kids ride off into the sunset. Can’t imagine what other mischief that wily Max could get into.

In other casting news: Reese Witherspoon is gonna help the ADD cause in her next flick, while Jessica Biel is going to have a lot of sex in her next one. According to the Reporter, Witherspoon will star in Rule #1 as a New York woman who befriends a Puerto Rican girl with attention deficit disorder, and Biel is attached to F***ing Engaged, a raunchy comedy about a couple who make a pact to have sex every day leading to their wedding so they don’t turn into their crusty old parents. Which one do YOU think sounds like more fun? Yeah, me too. ADD ROCKS!

On a more classical note, Gerald Butler is joining Ralph Fiennes in a contemporary version of Shakespeare’s political and family drama Coriolanus, playing Tullus Aufidius, commander of the Volscian army. Other cast members include, William Hurt, Eddie Marsan, Jessica Chastain and Vanessa Redgrave. Although this is one of Shakespeare’s lesser known history plays, I see some symmetry in Fiennes making this his directorial debut. Good luck, Ralph and may I suggest you talk to Kenneth Branagh?

How to Cast: Johnny Depp as Frank Sinatra?

johnny-deppOr how about Leonardo DiCaprio? George Clooney? Apparently, all three are eying Martin Scorsese’s biopic about the crooner. Hmmm, I might have to agree with Cinematical’s Elisabeth Rappe about going with an unknown in the role. It’d be tough for such A-listers as those three to embody an icon like Sinatra. I mean, someone like Ray Liotta can play him in the HBO movie The Rat Pack and that works. But Johnny Depp? It would be hard to see Old Blue Eyes played by Capt. Jack Sparrow. Or Howard Hughes. Or, well, George Clooney. Keep looking, Marty.

In other casting news: Steve Carell is going to get his golf swing in order. He’s set to star in Missing Links, a golf comedy based on a novel by ESPN’s Ricky Reilly, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Carrell would play the leader of a small band of amateur players who are tired of their rundown municipal golf course and scheme to get into the nearby elite club. Reilly, who has been a columnist for both Sports Illustrated and now ESPN magazine, also wrote Leatherheads. Guess the guy knows his sports.

Variety reports Matt Damon and Josh Brolin are both in talks to star in the Coen brothers’ remake of True Grit, with Jeff Bridges already approached to play the gruff U.S. marshal Rooster Cogburn, originally played by John Wayne, who won an Oscar for his role in the 1969 film. The story concerns a 14-year-old girl traveling into dangerous territory with Cogburn and a Texas Ranger (Damon) in search of the man who murdered her father (Brolin). At least we know the Coens can do Westerns.

Anne Hathaway, Neil Patrick Harris and Rodrigo Santoro could possibly lend their voices to the next Blue Sky Studios/Fox Animation movie called Rio. According to the Reporter, it’s about a nerdy macaw who escapes his small-town Minnesota cage and goes on an adventure to Rio de Janeiro for the Summer Olympics. Madcap fun, no doubt.

january diane comboAnd finally, Mad Men‘s January Jones and Inglourious Basterds‘ Diane Kruger have joined Liam Neeson in the thriller Unknown White Male. Neeson plays a man who wakes from a coma to realize his identity have been taken by someone else – and no one BELIEVES him. Jones will play Neeson’s wife, who gets caught up in a conspiracy regarding her husband. Kruger will play a Berlin taxi driver and Neeson’s unexpected ally. Oh man, I don’t think you want to piss Neeson off. Have you seen Taken? That guy kicks major ass.