Casting Net: Jude Law to play a literary 'Genius' opposite Colin Firth; Plus Ben Kingsley, Chace Crawford, more

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• Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes) will join Oscar winners Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) and Nicole Kidman (The Hours) in theater director Michael Grandage’s film debut Genius. The film recounts the complex friendship between renowned editor Max Perkins (Firth) and literary giant Thomas Wolfe (Law) and is based on A. Scott Berg’s biography of Perkins, adapted for the screen by John Logan (The Aviator). [Deadline]

• Ben Kingsley (Ender’s Game), James Badge Dale (World War Z), and Charlotte Le Bon (Mood Indigo) may join Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Don Jon) in To Reach the CloudsRobert Zemeckis‘ (Back to the Future) adaptation of Philippe Petit’s memoir, whose story was later recounted in the 2008 Oscar-winning documentary Man on a Wire. Gordon-Levitt is playing Petit, who garnered attention for his high-wire walk between the Twin Towers in 1974. The trio of actors would play Petit’s mentor, friend, and girlfriend, respectively. Filming is set to begin this summer in Montreal. [THR]

• Chace Crawford (Gossip Girl), Eliza Dushku (Dollhouse), Brandon T. Jackson (Tropic Thunder), and P.J. Byrne (The Wolf of Wall Street) will play four friends who get trapped in Eloise, an upcoming psychological thriller from Robert Legato and the name of the defunct insane asylum that it’s set in. Filming begins next month in the now-dormant Eloise Insane Asylum outside Detroit, with a script by Chris Borrelli (The Vatican Tapes). [Deadline]

• D.B. Woodside (24) will join Kevin James (Grown Ups) in the sequel Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. Andy Fickman (Parental Guidance) will direct the comedy, which will be set around the Security Guard Expo in Las Vegas and finds the title character trying to stop a group of art thieves. Molly Shannon (Saturday Night Live) and Nicholas Turturro (Here Comes the Boom) also star in the film, aiming for an April 17, 2015, release. [Variety]

• Victoria’s Secret model Cara Delevingne (Anna Karenina) will join Dane DeHaan (The Amazing Spider-man 2) and Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) in the 17th century-set romance Tulip Fever for director Justin Chadwick (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom). In addition, the British beauty has also landed a small role in Joe Wright‘s Pan, joining Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables), Rooney Mara (Side Effects), Garrett Hedlund (Inside Llewyn Davis), and Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia!). [Deadline]

• Annabelle Wallis (X-Men: First Class) will play a love interest for Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat) in his next film Grimsby. Wallis joins Baron Cohen and Mark Strong (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), who will play long-lost brothers, one a special agent and the other an idiotic English footballer, who must team up in the comedy directed by Louis Leterrier (Now You See Me). [Deadline]

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