Casting Net: Forest Whitaker in talks to play the White House 'Butler'; Woody Allen to star in, but not direct, 'Fading Gigolo'

Forest-Whitaker

Image Credit: Allen Berezovsky/WireImage.com

Forest Whitaker is in talks to take on the title role in The Butler, about real-life White House butler Eugene Allen, who worked at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. from 1952 to 1986. David Oyelowo (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) is circling the role of Allen's son, and Oprah Winfrey has also been in early talks to play Allen's wife. The film, which does not yet have financing, would be director Lee Daniels' follow up to Precious. [Variety]

• In his first acting role in a film he isn’t also directing since 2000′s Picking Up the Pieces, recent Oscar-winner Woody Allen is set to star in director John Turturro‘s Fading Gigolo. Allen and Turturro will play flat broke friends who go into the gigolo business for money, with Allen serving as Turturro’s pimp. Sofia Vergara and Sharon Stone are signing up to play two of Turturro’s prospective clients. Production on the indie begins in April. [Variety]

Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids) and Anna Faris (The House Bunny) have signed onto I Give It a Year, about a couple (Byrne and AnonymousRafe Spall) grappling with their first year of marriage. Faris will join Simon Baker in a supporting role. Frequent Sacha Baron Cohen collaborator Dan Mazer will be making his feature directorial debut with the romantic comedy. Faris also stars in the Mazer-produced The Dictator, opposite Baron Cohen later this spring. [Variety

Lily Collins, Kristen BellLogan Lerman (Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief) and Patrick Schwarzenegger have joined Greg Kinnear and Jennifer Connelly in the indie ensemble romantic comedy Writers. Novelist Stephen King will appear as himself in a cameo. [Variety]

Emily Watson is joining Kristen Bell and Adam Brody in Jennifer Getzinger‘s adaptation of the Neil LaBute play Some Girls. Watson will play a married woman who had an affair with Brody. [THR]

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