Casting Net: Hugh Jackman keen on MLK Jr. conspiracy drama. Plus: Selena Gomez, James Franco, Diane Lane

HUGH-JACKMAN

Image Credit: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

• Hugh Jackman is attached to star in Orders to Kill for director Lee Daniels, playing real-life lawyer William Pepper, who has spent his life contending that Martin Luther King, Jr. was not assassinated by James Earl Ray, but by interests keen to silence his opposition to the Vietnam War. The film is based on Pepper's book of the same name. The historic civil rights leader is a significant figure for both men: Daniels just cast True Blood's Nelsan Ellis to play King in The Butler, his biopic about Eugene Allen, who worked in the White House for four decades. And Jackman was previously attached to Daniels' scrapped MLK-related film Selma. [L.A. Times]

• James Franco will face off against Jason Statham in Homefront, a thriller written by (but not starring) Sylvester Stallone about a former DEA agent (Statham) who finds himself battling the head of a meth cartel in his new small town (Franco).  Gary Fleder (Runaway Jury) is directing. Doleful beat poetry is mostly likely not involved. [Variety]

• Selena Gomez will star with Nat Wolff (The Naked Brothers Band) and Austin Stowell (The Secret Life of the American Teenager) in the comedy Parental Guidance Suggested. Based on the Ric Browde novel While I’m Dead, Feed the Dog, the story follows a teenage kid (Wolff) who ends up on a raucous, music-related adventure that involves his high school crush (Gomez). Director Tim Garrick also wrote the screenplay. Dylan McDermott and Cary Elwes costar. [THR]

Diane Lane will star in Every Secret Thing, the feature debut of documentary filmmaker Amy Berg (Deliver Us From EvilWest of Memphis). Based on the Laura Lippman novel, the story follows two 18-year-old girls recently released from prison for killing a baby when they were 11. Lane will play one of the girls’ mothers. Nicole Holofcener (Please Give) penned the script. [Variety]

John Leguizamo has signed up for supporting roles in two wildly different movies. In Kick-Ass 2, he’ll play a protective henchman for Christopher Mintz-Plasse‘s nefarious Red Mist (who refashions his persona into an unprintable new villain). Meanwhile, in Ridley Scott‘s drug world thriller The Counselor, Leguizamo will play a low-level dealer. [Deadline]

• Luke Wilson is nearing a deal to star in Million Dollar Man, an indie comedy about a soda delivery driver who finds himself with the unlikely chance of becoming a kicker for the NFL. Scott Marshall (Keeping Up with the Steins) is directing from a script by producer Alex Schrader. [Variety]

• Demian Bichir (SavagesA Better Life) has joined the Sandra Bullock/Melissa McCarthy cop comedy The Heat, playing an F.B.I. agent. Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) is directing. [Deadline]

• Josh Gad (Broadway’s Book of Mormon) will costar in The Internship opposite Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, as a misanthropic engineer employed at the tech firm that have just hired Vaughn and Wilson’s characters as newbie interns. Shawn Levy is directing from Vaughn’s script. [Deadline]

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