Casting Net: Naomi Watts in talks to join Matthew McConaughey in 'Sea of Trees'; Plus, Dave Franco, more

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Image Credit: Michelle Watson/WireImage

• Naomi Watts (The Impossible) is in talks to join Matthew McConaughey and Ken Watanabe in Gus Van Sant‘s Sea of Trees. Van Sant teased her potential casting at Cannes, where he hopes to shop the film. The drama follows an American ex-pat intent on taking his life in Japan’s Suicide Forest (or, the Sea of Trees) until he runs into Watanabe’s character — a fellow lost soul — and they both decide to find a way out of the forest together. Watts would play McConaughey’s wife in segments told in flashback. She currently has three movies in post including Birdman, St. Vincent De Van Nuys with Melissa McCarthy and Bill Murray, and Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young, with Ben Stiller and Adam Driver. [THR]

Sony has acquired the rights to author Shane Kuhn‘s The Intern’s Handbook: A Thriller as a starring vehicle for Dave Franco (Neighbors, brother of James). It’s about an elite network of assassins out to kill corporate execs and posing as interns to do so. Oren Uziel (22 Jump Street) will pen the script. [THR]

Bachelorette director Leslye Headland has added Amanda Peet (The Way Way Back), Jason Mantzoukas (The League), and Natasha Lyonne (Orange Is the New Black) to her comedy Sleeping With Other People, about a womanizer (Jason Sudeikis) and a cheater (Alison Brie) who decide to try being in a platonic relationship. [Deadline]

• Halle Berry will play a mother desperate to get her son back in Kidnap. Luis Prieto (Pusher) is directing. [Deadline]

• Nicolas Cage will play an NYU professor whose son disappears from a Halloween parade in the supernatural thriller Pay the Ghost from director Uli Edel (The Baader Meinhof Complex). [Variety]

The Raid star Yayan Ruhian will join Takashi Miike‘s Yakuza Apocalypse: The Great War of the Underworld, which the report calls “the world’s first Yakuza vampire movie.” [Screen Daily]

• Zoey Deutch (Vampire Academy) will lead up the rom-com Cover Girl about a Queens girl who heads to Cambridge Business School. Sue Kramer (Gray Matters) is directing. [Deadline]

PREVIOUSLY: Kathryn Bigelow to direct Tom Hardy in True American


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