Casting Net: Denzel Washington in talks for 'Magnificent Seven' remake; Plus Judi Dench, Zac Efron, more

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Image Credit: Todd Williamson/AP

• Denzel Washington, about to end a run on Broadway in A Raisin in the Sun, is in talks to star in a remake of the 1960 western The Magnificent Seven for MGM. Washington would once again work with Antoine Fuqua, who directed his Oscar-winning performance in Training Day and the upcoming film The Equalizer. Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt had previously been eyed for the project with drafts of the script written by Nic Pizzolatto (True Detective) and most recently John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side). [The Hollywood Reporter]

• Judi Dench (Philomena) will play The Abbess of St. Ursula’s, a rescuer of orphan children, in Tulip Fever. Directed by Justin Chadwick (Mandela:Long Walk to Freedom), the period piece will also star Matthew Morrison (Glee), Cara Delevinge (Anna Karenina), and Prince Harry’s ex-girlfriend Cressida Bonas. Based on the Deborah Moggach novel of the same name about a married woman who falls in love with the man hired to paint her portrait, Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love) wrote the script for the all-star cast that already includes Alicia Vikander (The Fifth Estate), Dane DeHaan (The Amazing Spider-Man 2), Jack O’Connell (300: Rise of an Empire), Holliday Grainger (Bonnie and Clyde), Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained), and Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover). [THR]

• Zac Efron (Neighbors) is in early talks to play an aspiring young DJ trying to make his first hit track in an untitled project for Working Title from filmmaker Max Joseph, better known as the guy on Catfish: The TV Show who’s not Nev Schulman. Joseph wrote the script with Megan Oppenheimer and plans to begin shooting in Los Angeles next month. [The Wrap]

• Christian Slater (Nymphomanic) has joined James Franco (Palo Alto) and Amber Heard (The Rum Diary) in The Adderall Diaries. Based on Stephen Elliot’s memoir of the same name, Slater will play the man in the middle of the murder trial that fascinates Elliot, played by Franco. Pamela Romanowsky will direct from her own adapted screenplay. [Deadline]

• Writer and actor Ike Barinholtz (The Mindy Project) will play the male lead opposite Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in The Nest. The film written by Paula Pell (Saturday Night Live) reunites the Baby Mama stars as two distant sisters coming together after they have to return home to clean their childhood house before their parents sell it. Barinholtz will play a neighbor and love interest for Poehler. Jason Moore (Pitch Perfect) will direct the film for Universal with a release date already set for Dec. 18, 2015. [THR]

• Miles Teller (The Spectacular Now) and Emma Watson (Noah) may be getting musical. The two are in early talks to star in writer/director Damien Chazelle‘s song and dance romance La La Land. The film follows a pair of aspiring artists and dreamers who fall in love in Los Angeles, the city that then tears them a part. The film would reunite Teller with Chazelle after their critically acclaimed drama Whiplash premiered at Sundance in January. [The Wrap]

• Kaitlyn Dever (Short Term 12) has joined the indie drama The Greens are Gone with Anton Yelchin (Star Trek) and Catherine Keener (Enough Said). The film follows a dysfunctional family as Keener’s matriarch deals with the disappearance of her son. Peer Pedersen will write and direct with production beginning next week in Boston. [Variety]

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