Casting Net: John Belushi biopic casting rumors; Plus, Alice Eve, more

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Image Credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

• A host of young actors are reportedly circling the long-gestating John Belushi biopic. The Weather Man scribe Steve Conrad is set to write and direct and has reportedly met with Emile Hirsch (Prince Avalanche) and Workaholics lead Adam Devine about playing the famed comedian who died of a drug overdose at the age of 33. According to the report, Joaquin Phoenix‘s (The Master) name has also been thrown around. Conrad is also on the hunt for an actor to portray Belushi’s friend and Blues Brothers co-star Dan Aykroyd, and has reportedly met with New Girl vet Nelson Franklin as a possible contender. The Hangover’s Todd Phillips was originally slated to direct the project for Warner Bros., but Conrad will now both write and direct. Shooting is planned to begin in early 2014. [THR]

• Alice Eve (Star Trek Into Darkness) is set to star opposite Chris Evans (Captain America: The First Avenger) in his directorial debut 1:30 Train, about a chance encounter between two strangers who decide to spend the night together before the woman’s train departs. It’s a little darker than a Before Sunrise-type story – 1:30 Train starts with a mugging. Ronald Bass (My Best Friend’s Wedding) wrote the script. Eve can be seen next in the noir crime thriller Cold Comes the Night with Bryan Cranston (out Jan. 14) and is also at work on Neil LaBute’s Dirty Weekend with Matthew Broderick. [The Wrap]

Tony-nominated actor Stephen Lang is set to reprise his role as Col. Miles Quaritch in director James Cameron’s sequel to Avatar. [Deadline]

• Seann William Scott (Role Models) will join Jackie Chan and Fan Bingbing in Skiptrance, a live-action pic for Paranorman director Sam Fell about an American gambler who is a desperate cop’s only hope to save his niece from the wrath of an unhappy crime syndicate. [THR]

• Michelle Monaghan (Source Code) has signed on to star in an adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ The Best of Me about high school sweethearts who reconnect years later in their hometown. Michael Hoffman (One Fine Day, Gambit) is set to direct. [THR]

• Gabriel Basso (The Kings of Summer) has boarded Barely Lethal Kyle Newman’s comedy about a teenage assassin (Hailee Steinfeld) who fakes her own death to try to lead a normal life. Jessica Alba, Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones), and Samuel L. Jackson also star in the indie comedy. [The Wrap]

• Teddy Sears (Masters of Sex) will terrorize Julianne Hough (Safe Haven) in the new Blumhouse horror Curve about a young woman who crashes her car to try to escape his hitchhiker character. Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) will direct. [The Wrap]

• Another Blumhouse property, Incarnate, has switched up its lead. Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace) will now star opposite Aaron Eckhart in the supernatural thriller for director Brad PeytonRosario Dawson was originally set to star in the exorcism tale, but reportedly left the project due to scheduling conflicts. [THR]

• Mike Starr (Goodfellas), Neal Huff (Moonrise Kingdom), Slaine (The Town), David Zayas (Dexter), and Vincenzo Amato (Golden Door) will join Patricia Arquette and Michael Imperioli in the Martin Scorsese-producted Wannabe about a guy in the 1990s who tries to fix the trial of John Gotti.

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