Casting Net: Ricky Gervais in talks to star in 'The Muppets' sequel. Plus: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, Eddie Redmayne, Berenice Bejo

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Ricky Gervais, sure to lend his feisty brand of British snark, is in talks to star alongside Kermit, Miss Piggy and the rest of the Muppets gang in the sequel to 2011’s The Muppets, EW can confirm. Gervais would play off of Modern Family Ty Burrell‘s Interpol inspector in the Europe-set comedy. James Bobin, who helmed the previous Muppets film, is back to direct from a script he co-wrote with Nicholas Stoller. Stoller co-wrote The Muppets with Jason Segel, and directed him in this year’s The Five-Year Engagement. The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.

Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises) and Noomi Rapace (Prometheus) are in talks to headline Animal Rescue, directed by  Michael R. Roskam from a script by Dennis Lehane based on his own short story. The film circles around the story of a bartender in Boston who saves a dog and is targeted by the dog’s former owner, while a mob-related crime plot also plays out. Given Hardy and Rapace’s equal ability to take on intense, physical parts, their pairing would create amazing friction, alongside direction by Oscar-nominated Bullhead helmer Roskam. [Variety

• Exciting sci-fi news! Eddie Redmayne (Les Miserables) is in talks to join Andy and Lana Wachowski’s Jupiter Rising, with details under wraps save for Channing Tatum attached to play a bounty hunter named Django Wise who targets, then falls in love with, Mila Kunis. Kunis will play Russian immigrant Jupiter, hated by the alien Queen of the Universe. The movie sounds appropriately complex, following the Wachowskis’ epic jaunt Cloud Atlas. [Variety]

Berenice Bejo (The Artist) is in negotiations to play a woman who becomes pregnant after a rape in French language drama The Choice. Italian director Michele Placido is directing and writing the film, inspired by a novel by  Luigi Pirandello. [Variety]

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