Casting Net: Meryl Streep in talks to join 'The Giver,' set to reunite with Robert De Niro; Plus more

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You know filmmakers mean business when they cast two Oscar winners to star in their adaptation of a best-seller. Meryl Streep is set to star as Hildy Good, the main character of Ann Leary’s The Good House. Hildy is a grandmother, a real-estate broker, and an alcoholic. The book is set a year after her family tried to intervene, when Hildy starts to immerse herself in the sordid secrets of her Massachusetts town as she befriends, and then tries to protect, a younger transplant named Rebecca, who has yet to be cast. Robert De Niro, who starred with Streep in The Deer Hunter, Falling in Love, and Marvin’s Room, will play Frank, a fellow resident of the town who Hildy reconnects with. Michael Cunningham (The Hours) is writing the adaptation, and there is currently no director attached. [Deadline]

• Streep is also in talks to join Jeff Bridges in the adaptation of The Giver, where she’d play the part of the Chief Elder. Bridges plays The Giver and relative unknown Brenton Thwaites will play Jonas in the big screen take on Lois Lowry’s new classic. Production is expected to begin in South Africa in two months, with Phil Noyce directing. [Deadline]

• In more Giver news, Alexander Skarsgård (The East) and Cameron Monaghan (Click) may be joining the cast as well, as Jonas’ father and best friend, respectively. [The Wrap]

• Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness) has one of the best voices in the business. Deep and resonant, whether he’s dressing down Captain Kirk or creepily telling a young girl to take a bite of a piece of chocolate, he makes you sit up and listen, which is why he’s a terrific choice to play a lead in the DreamWorks Animation Madagascar franchise spinoff The Penguins of Madagascar. He’d play an “animal CIA agent” on the hunt for the villain, voiced by John Malkovich (Red).  [The Wrap]

• Marisa Tomei (Crazy, Stupid, Love.) has joined John Lithgow and Alfred Molina in Ira SachsLove Is Strange, about a gay couple who wed and then are forced to live apart for a time when they lose their apartment. Tomei will play the sister-in-law to Lithgow’s character. [Deadline]

• Rashida Jones (Parks and Recreation) and Matt Bomer (White Collar) are set to lend their voices to B.O.O. (Bureau of Otherworldly Operations), a new DreamWorks Animation movie about a government agency devoted to protecting citizens from ghosts. Melissa McCarthy and Seth Rogen will also voice characters in the pic. [The Wrap]

PREVIOUSLY: ‘Expendables 3′ update: Harrison Ford is in, Bruce Willis may be out, and Sylvester Stallone is cranky

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