Casting Net: Oliver Stone confirms Martin Luther King Jr. biopic with Jamie Foxx; Plus, David Oyelowo, more

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 Director Oliver Stone (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps) has confirmed that he and Jamie Foxx are officially moving forward with plans to make an authorized biopic of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life story. Warner Bros. and DreamWorks will distribute the film, which, according to The Wrap, is being produced by Steven Spielberg. [Wall Street Journal]

• David Oyelowo (Lee Daniels’ The Butler) and Kate Mara (House of Cards) will star in BN Films’ upcoming true-life thriller Captive. The plot of the film is based on actual events that took place in Atlanta on March 11, 2005, when Brian Nichols broke out of a courthouse jail and shot and killed the judge assigned to his case, a court reporter, sheriff’s deputy, and an FBI officer. Oyelowo will be playing Nichols, while Mara will play Ashley Smith, a single mother struggling with a meth addiction. In real life, Smith was held captive by Nichols in her own home and used Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life, to reason with her captor. Brian Bird and Reinhard Denke will pen the script, adapted from Ashley Smith’s best-selling book, An Unlikely Angel. [The Hollywood Reporter]

• Channing Tatum (White House Down) and Zoe Saldana (Star Trek Into Darkness) are the latest actors to lend their voices to the Guillermo del Toro-produced Book of Life. Jorge Gutierrez will direct the animated comedy, which tells the story of Manolo, a young man who is conflicted between choosing to fulfill the expectations of his family or following his heart. Diego Luna (Elysium), Christina Applegate (Up All Night), Ice Cube (21 Jump Street), Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy), Cheech Marin (Cheech & Chong), Danny Trejo (Machete), Hector Elizondo (Last Man Standing), and comedian Gabriel Iglesias are among the actors already signed on to the upcoming animated feature film. [The Hollywood Reporter]

 Submarine star Craig Roberts has landed a supporting role in the sequel to 2012’s 21 Jump Street, aptly named 22 Jump Street, which stars returning actors Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. This time around, the duo play undercover cops pretending to be college students. Kurt Russell’s son Wyatt Russell (Cowboys & Aliens) has also landed a supporting role in the Sony comedy. Additionally, Ice Cube will reprise his role as Captain Dickinson in the upcoming sequel, slated to be released sometime in 2014. [The Hollywood Reporter]

• Mike Doyle, who will star in Clint Eastwood’s upcoming film adaption of the Jersey Boys musical, has landed the starring role in Simon Rumley’s The Last Word. The upcoming paranormal thriller is based on true events and follows the strange and tragic story of a wrongly accused young man from Texas who was convicted and executed for the rape and murder of a nun. Doyal will play a juror who sets out to prove the jury convicted the wrong person after he finds out his son is in danger of dying, seemingly due in part to the curse the wrongly convicted man inflicted on all those who ordered him to be executed. Erin Cummings (Bitch Slap) and Sean Patrick Flanery (The Boondock Saints) are also signed on to the film, produced by Peter Facinelli and Rob DeFranco. [ The Hollywood Reporter]

• Tuppence Middleton (Trance) is set to star in David Bruckner’s upcoming thriller Intrusion. Middleton will play a photographer who becomes the target of organized stalkers after moving to her recently inherited grandmother’s home in San Francisco. Lava Bear will produce the project alongside Quadrant Pictures’ Doug Davidson (Oldboy). [The Wrap]

 Newcomer Melissa Bergland (Winners and Losers) has just landed her first North American lead role and will star in an upcoming indie-film adaption of Lesley Crewe’s novel Relative Happiness. The Aussie native will play a Bridget Jones-like character, and the film centers on her character’s interaction with her extended family in Cape Brenton, Nova Scotia. Principal photography is expected to begin at the end of October in Nova Scotia for the film. [The Hollywood Reporter]


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