Casting Net: Ewan McGregor to star in heist thriller 'Son of a Gun.' Plus: Penelope Cruz, Ryan Reynolds, Jason Schwartzman, James Franco

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Ewan McGregor is set to star in the Australian heist thriller Son of a Gun, playing Australia’s public enemy no. 1, who takes on a protege. Up-and-coming director Julius Avery is helming the project from his own original screenplay. The movie is being touted as a cross between gritty Australian crime drama Animal Kingdom and Michael Mann’s bank robbery opus Heat. McGregor has already been reaping critical accolades for his role as a father and husband in the upcoming tsunami drama The Impossible with Naomi Watts. [THR]

Penelope Cruz is in talks to star in a film titled Gucci, about the Italian family at the core of the iconic fashion brand. The movie is being directed by Ridley Scott’s daughter Jordan Scott, and has apparently gone through several iterations already, with Ridley Scott himself at first on board as director in 2006, with a script by Andrea Berloff, and other writers brought in since then. The brand’s founder’s grandson, Maurizio Gucci, was shot to death in 1995, and his ex-wife Patrizia Reggiani was later imprisoned for the murder. [TheWrap.com]

Ryan Reynolds is attached to headline Battle for Bonneville, with Jon Favreau set to direct. The film, written by Dan Gilroy, who co-wrote The Bourne Legacy, is about real-life half-brothers and race-track rivals Art and Walt Arfons, who joined forces to set world speed records. The ever-busy Favreau is also currently in pre-production on a film adaptation of the musical Jersey Boys, about the Four Seasons. [Deadline]

• Jason Schwartzman has confirmed he will indeed be in Wes Anderson‘s The Grand Budapest Hotel. No big surprise there, considering Schwartzman has starred in several of Anderson films, including Rushmore and The Darjeeling Limited, plus this year’s Moonrise Kingdom. Details have been murky about Hotel, but we do know that it’s set in Europe, and that Bill Murray, Ralph Fiennes, Owen Wilson, and Jude Law are also attached. Anderson is directing from his own script. [Movies.com]

• James Franco, Glenn Close, and Brit Marling are set to star in The Grace that Keeps This World, an adaptation of Tom Bailey’s novel about a father and his sons prepping for hunting season, and a young cop’s investigation into hunting violations that unearths family differences. Azazel Jacobs will direct from a screenplay by Matthew Aldrich. [Deadline]

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