Casting Net: Joel McHale's 'Friggin' Christmas Miracle'; Plus Peter Dinklage, Kathy Bates, and more

JOEL-MCHALE

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• Joel McHale, Robin Williams, and Lauren Graham have signed on star in the new holiday comedy A Friggin’ Christmas Miracle. Lorelai Gilmore and Jeff Winger will play a married couple forced to spend Christmas with their crazy extended family. On Christmas Eve, Boyd (McHale) realizes he forgot to bring his son’s gifts and embarks on an eight-hour road trip with his father (Williams) to retrieve them before his son wakes up. British director Tristram Shapeero, best known for directing television shows like Community and New Girl, will make his feature film debut directing the project. [THR]

Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage is set to star in A Long Way Home, described as an “epic adventure about friendship, courage, magic, adventure and the lengths one boy will go to reunite his family.” Production designer Paki Smith (set decorator on The Dark Knight Rises and Batman Begins) will direct the project. [Variety]

• Jessica Alba is in talks to star in Weightless as an astronaut who causes a motorcycle accident and flees. Plagued by guilt, she seeks out his family and ends up falling for his brother. Monster’s Ball writer Milo Addica is making his directorial debut with this film. Alba can be seen in Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills this September. [Variety]

• Katherine Paterson’s Newbery Medal-winning novel The Great Gilly Hopkins is being adapted for the big screen, and Kathy Bates and Danny Glover are set to star. Stephen Herek (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure) will direct the adaptation of the 1978 novel, about a rambunctious girl and her foster mother (Bates). [Deadline]

 Up-and-comer Douglas Booth has joined the cast of Lana and Andy Wachowski’s Jupiter Ascending. The 21-year-old actor can be seen next year in Darren Aronofsky’s Noah with Russell Crowe and Emma Watson. He’ll also play Romeo in the upcoming Carlo Carlei (Fluke) adaptation of Romeo and Juliet (with a Julian Fellowes screenplay), starring Hailee Steinfeld, Damian Lewis, and Paul Giamatti.

 Eccentric British landscape painter and water-colorist J.M.W. Turner is getting the biopic treatment. Mike Leigh (Topsy-Turvy) will direct Timothy Spall (The King’s Speech) in the project. [Variety]

PREVIOUSLY: Bradley Cooper moving forward with ‘American Sniper’ biopicQuvenzhané Wallis in talks for ‘Annie’

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