Casting Net: James Franco to step behind and in front of the camera for 'Tabloid.' Plus: Dwayne Johnson, Ray Liotta

• James Franco is in the early stages of preparing to direct and star in an adaptation of James Ellroy’s 1995 novel American Tabloid, about three members of law enforcement in the years leading up to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Nothing, however, is close to a firm deal. If you’re about to say, “Hey, wait a minute, didn’t Franco also recently line up Beautiful People, a biopic about famed hair stylist Jay Sebring, as his next acting-directing venture,” we’re waaaaay ahead of you. [MTV]

• Dwayne Johnson will produce and possibly star in film with the working title of Teddy Bear, about a courageous stuffed animal who defends its owner from all manner of monsters. The project is based on an illustration by Alex Panagopoulous of that very thing — and it’s pretty effing cool — but no writer or director are yet attached. [THR]

• Speaking of adorable creatures from childhood, Ray Liotta has joined the cast to the sequel of 2011’s The Muppets, in an undisclosed role. He’ll join Ricky GervaisTina Fey, and Ty BurrellJames Bobin is returning to direct the film, penned by Bobin and Nicholas Stoller. [Variety]

Read more:
Casting Net: Charlie Hunnam aiming to join Emma Stone in ‘Crimson Peak.’ Plus: Michael Gambon and Alfred Molina to play a couple
Casting Net: James Franco to direct and star in biopic ‘Beautiful People.’ Plus: Liam Neeson lands action pic, Paul Dano to play Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson
Casting Net: Al Pacino and Brian De Palma to tell Penn State coach Joe Paterno’s story. Plus: Patrick Stewart, Carla Gugino, Dylan McDermott

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