Casting Net: Russell Brand could play 'Cupid.' Plus: William Hurt, Margo Martindale, Adam Driver

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• Russell Brand is attached to produce and star in Cupid, a pitch from director Joe Nussbaum (Prom) that is set up for development at Warner Bros. (Translation: No greenlight yet.) Brand would play a disenchanted version of the Roman god of love whose compelled to create the perfect romance. [Variety]

• William Hurt will join Colin FarrellJessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey), Will Smith, and Russell Crowe in the rare mid-budget literary fable Winter’s Tale. Oscar-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) is making his directorial debut with his adaptation of the Mark Helprin novel, about a young woman (Findlay) who falls for a thief (Farrell) after he tries to rob from her vast Manhattan mansion. Hurt will play her father. Smith and Crowe have supporting roles. [Deadline]

• Girls‘s breakout Adam Driver (i.e. Lena Dunham’s oft-shirtless quasi-boyfriend) has joined the indie romantic comedy The F Word, playing the cocksure best friend to Daniel Radcliffe‘s character as he attempts to maneuver his way through being friends with a major crush (Zoe Kazan), who inconveniently has a long-term boyfriend. Michael Dowse (Goon) is directing from Elan Mastai‘s adaptation of the stage play by Michael Rinaldi and T.J. Dawe. [Variety]

• Margo Martindale‘s long deserved post-Emmy career boost continues, with the Justified actress joining the weighty cast of August: Osage County as the more-complex-than-she-seems sister of Meryl Streep‘s domineering family matriarch. Costars include Julia Roberts, Abigail BreslinJuliette Lewis, and Chris Cooper as Martindale’s husband. John Wells is directing, and Tracy Letts adapted his Pulitzer Prize-winning play for the screen. [Deadline]

• B.J. Novak (The Office) has joined Saving Mr. Banks, the true story about how Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) spent years cajoling Mary Poppins creator P.L. Travers for the rights to her literary creation. Novak will play Robert Sherman, who with his brother Richard (Jason Schwartzman), wrote the eventual Disney musical’s iconic songs. So basically he’s going to have “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” running through his head for months on end. John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side) is directing. [THR]

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