Casting Net: Bill Paxton aiming to fight with Tom Cruise in 'All You Need Is Kill.' Plus: Melissa Leo, Gong Li, Taryn Manning

Bill-Paxton

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Bill Paxton is in talks to join Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt in the sci-fi thriller All You Need Is Kill, playing the head of a platoon of soldiers that includes a man (Cruise) who re-lives the day he dies over and over again -- so, Groundhog Day, but with aliens. (Perhaps not surprisingly, it's based on a Japanese graphic novel by Hiroshi Sakurazaka.) Doug Liman (Mr. and Mrs. Smith) is directing from a script by Dante Harper (the upcoming Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters) and Joby Harold (Awake). [Variety]

• Melissa Leo will costar with Hugh Jackman in Prisoners, about a man who struggles to find his kidnapped daughter and best friend in spite of the police’s inability to help. Denis Villeneuve (Incendies) is attached to direct from a script by Aaron Guzikowski (Contraband). [Variety]

• Gong Li (Memoirs of a Geisha) will star in The Last Empress, a U.S.-China co-production about the infamous Empress Dowager Cixi, who ruled China from 1861 through 1908. No director has been announced. [Variety]

• Taryn Manning (Hustle & Flow, FX’s Sons of Anarchy) will star in The Shallows, a thriller about a group of friends who fight to survive in the wilds of the Florida Everglades. Rupert Smith will direct. [Variety]

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