Casting Net: Jennifer Connelly joins Ewan McGregor for 'American Pastoral'

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Image Credit: Jim Spellman/WireImage

• Academy Award winner Jennifer Connelly will star opposite Ewan McGregor in the upcoming adaptation of American Pastoral. Phillip Noyce (The Giver) will direct the story based on Phillip Roth’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of Swede Levov, a high school athlete who grows up to inherit his father’s business only to have his perfect life shattered when his daughter commits a deadly act of political terrorism during the Vietnam War. Connelly will play Levov’s wife Dawn. Filming is set to begin in Pittsburgh in March with John Romano (Lincoln Lawyer) adapting the book for film. [The Wrap]

• Taylor Kitsch has reportedly been offered the lead role in the English-language remake of the 2011 Indonesian film The Raid, directed by Gareth EvansThe Friday Night Lights star is also still in contention for one of the leads in the next season of HBO’s True Detective, but a January 2015 shooting schedule would theoretically allow Kitsch to do both. Patrick Hughes (The Expendables 3) will direct the action picture for Screen Gems from a script by Brad Ingelsby (Run All Night). The story is expected to closely follow the plot of the original film about an elite Indonesian SWAT team trapped in a building run by thugs.  [The Wrap]

• Elijah Wood will join Vin Diesel, Michael Caine, and Rose Leslie in the supernatural action film The Last Witch Hunter. Breck Eisner (Sahara) is directing the film about an immortal witch hunter and female witch teaming up to save New York City from a plague. Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama (Gods Of Egypt) are writing. [Deadline]

• Lily James (Downton Abbey), Sam Riley (Maleficent), and Bella Heathcote (Dark Shadows) have all officially signed on for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the long-in-development adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s 2009 smash mash-up novel. James will play Elizabeth Bennett with Riley as Mr. Darcy and Heathcote as Elizabeth’s sister in the feature directed by Burr Steers (Charlie St. Cloud). Oscar nominee David O. Russell (American Hustle) was previously set to direct the screenplay he co-wrote with Steers, but dropped out back in 2010. Jack Huston (Kill Your Darlings) is also in talks for a role in the film that explores the different social classes and human species in 19th century England. [Deadline]

• Before the latest sequel opens in theaters, The Expendables world has already expanded. Producer Avi Lerner revealed that an all-female version, The Expendabelles is already in the works. Production is set to begin early next year with Sigourney Weaver as the only potential cast member currently in consideration. [THR]

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