Casting Net: Michael Fassbender taking on 'Assassin's Creed.' Plus: Anthony Hopkins, Chris Cooper, James Woods

MICHAEL-FASSBENDER

Image Credit: Thomas Samson/Getty Images

• Normally, covering up any part of Michael Fassbender's face is a bad call, but in this case, we can make an exception: The multilingual actor has signed up to star and co-produce a feature film adaptation of the blockbuster videogame Assassin's Creed. The story follows a seemingly regular guy who learns his ancestors were leaders of the shadowy brotherhood of Assassins, known for their hooded cloaks and sworn to battle the famed (and, in this iteration, nefarious) Knights Templar. Game publisher Ubisoft is developing the project independently, though it had previously been in talks with Sony Pictures. No writer or director has yet been attached. [Variety]

• Anthony Hopkins has joined the cast of Noah, director Darren Aronofsky‘s feature film of the Biblical epic tale, starring Russell Crowe as the title ark builder. (Jennifer Connelly, Emma WatsonLogan Lerman, Douglas Booth, and Ray Winstone costar.) “I’m honored to be working with the great Sir Anthony Hopkins,” Aronofsky tweeted this morning, with the hashtag #methuselahlives — likely indicating Hopkins is playing Noah’s extremely long-lived grandfather Methuselah. That, or Aronofsky is just referencing a really old meme. [@DarrenAronofsky]

Chris Cooper is in talks to star opposite Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts in the feature film adaptation of Tracy Letts‘ Tony-award winning play August: Osage County, playing Roberts’ uncle and Streep’s brother-in-law. Letts also penned the screenplay, and John Wells (The Company Men) is directing. [Variety]

• The rival “President Taken Hostage” movies White House Down and Olympus Has Fallen have both cast actors better known as bad guys in seemingly heroic roles. James Woods will play the head of the president’s Secret Service detail in White House Down — this is the one with Channing Tatum as a Secret Service agent tasked with saving the president (Jamie Foxx) when a paramilitary group takes the White House. In Olympus Has FallenCole Hauser has signed on to play a fellow Secret Service agent to Gerard Butler‘s lead hero, tasked with saving the president (Aaron Eckhart) when North Korean terrorists takes the White House. Got all that? [Variety/THR]

• Recent Tony winner Nina Arianda has landed the highly coveted role of famed ’60s singer Janis Joplin in Joplin, a biopic covering the final six months of the singer’s life to be directed by Martha Marcy May Marlene helmer Sean Durkin. The production has exclusive rights to 21 of Joplin’s songs, and Arianda, who also recently appeared in Midnight in Paris and Win Win, will sing with her own voice in the role. [Deadline]

• Arrested Development‘s Tony Hale will be, ahem, arrested by Melissa McCarthy‘s Boston cop in the untitled comedy co-starring Sandra Bullock as an F.B.I. agent. Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) is directing. [Variety]

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