Casting Net: Jason Statham joins Melissa McCarthy comedy; Plus, Josh Gad, Kevin James, more

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Image Credit: Vera Anderson/WireImage

• Jason Statham is set to team up with Melissa McCarthy in the secret agent comedy Susan Cooper. The action star, best known for roles in high-octane projects like The Transporter and Crank, had been circling the project for some time, but was reportedly weighing other options before committing. Paul Feig, who worked with McCarthy on Bridesmaids and The Heat, is set to direct the pic for 20th Century Fox. Statham will appear next in The Expendables 3 (out Aug. 15). He’s also reprising his role as Ian Shaw in Fast & Furious 7. [Variety]

• Kevin James (Paul Blart: Mall Cop) and Josh Gad (Frozen, Thanks for Sharing) are in early talks to star in Chris Columbus‘ comedy Pixels about a group of arcade experts who must defend the earth from aliens who attack using ’80s video game strategies. [Deadline]

Office vet Rainn Wilson has signed on appear with Elijah Wood in The Boy — a planned trilogy about the youth of an eventual serial killer. David Morse (The Green Mile) and Mike Vogel (Cloverfield) have also joined director Craig MacNeill‘s first installment. [The Wrap]

• Kate Beckinsale (Underworld) will star in the alien comedy Absolutely Everything opposite Simon Pegg, Robin Williams, and the Monty Python cohort of Terry Gilliam, John Cleese, Eric Idle, and Michael Palin. Terry Jones is directing. [Deadline]

Breaking Bad‘s Jonathan Banks (Mike!) will star alongside Vince Vaughn and Hailee Steinfeld in Peter Billingsley‘s crime thriller Term Life. [THR]

• Haley Bennett (Marley & Me) has signed on for Fathers and DaughtersGabriele Muccino‘s ensemble, multi-generational drama starring Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Aaron Paul, Quvenzhané Wallis, and Octavia Spencer. [Deadline]

• Diane Ladd (Wild at Heart) and Eden Brolin (Ruby Sparks) will co-star in I Dream Too Much about a college student who volunteers to care for her great aunt. Katie Cokinos is writing and directing the pic (her debut), and Richard Linklater is executive producing. [Deadline]

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