Casting Net: Javier Bardem eyes Cortés role in 'Montezuma'; Plus, Mo'Nique, more

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Image Credit: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

• Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) is reportedly interested in portraying Spanish explorer Hernando Cortés in Montezuma, a nearly 50-year old Dalton Trumbo (Spartacus) script that Oscar-winner Steve Zaillian (Schindler’s List) is updating. Steven Spielberg may have his sights on directing the project for DreamWorks, who currently owns the rights. Trumbo had apparently written the original script (one draft was 205 pages long!) for Kirk Douglas and director Martin Ritt. [Deadline]

• Mo’Nique, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance in Precious, is starring alongside Isaiah Washington in Blackbird, an adaptation of Larry Duplechan’s novel about a young singer coming to terms with his own sexuality in a Southern Baptist town. Patrik-Ian Polk (The Skinny) wrote and directed the pic, which, it should be noted, is different from director Gina Prince-Blythewood’s upcoming drama Blackbird, starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw as a pop star on the verge of a nervous breakdown. [Deadline]

• William Hurt (Broadcast News) will play a present-day Gregg Allman in Midnight Rider, a multi-decade biopic of the successful musical duo (Duane Allman died in 1971) based on Gregg’s biography My Cross To Bear. All American Rejects frontman Tyson Ritter is playing a young Allman, and writing team Randall Miller and Jody Savin are directing.

Short Term 12 breakout Keith Stanfield has signed on to star in The Purge 2, the sequel to 2013′s violent summer hit, which grossed over $64 million domestically on a budget of $3 million. The sequel’s plot is being kept under wraps at this stage, but James DeMonaco is returning to write and direct the pic. The new cast includes Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights), Michael K. Williams (Boardwalk Empire), and Frank Grillo (End of Watch). [The Wrap]

Parenthood’s Max Burkholder (The Purge) and Danièle Watts (Django Unchained) are currently filming an untitled indie about a romance between a teenage boy and his babysitter. Morgan Krantz (who played Mac on Switched at Birth) wrote and is directing the pic. According to Variety, the project is tonally similar to The Ice Storm and The Squid and the Whale. [Variety]

• Noah Lomax (Safe Haven) will play Andrew Garfield’s son in 99 Homes, Ramin Bahrani’s drama about the lengths Garfield’s unemployed contractor character goes to in order to support his family — including working for the realtor (Michael Shannon) who evicted him and working in the foreclosure business. Laura Dern co-stars as Garfield’s character’s mother. [The Wrap]

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