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Casting Net: Abbie Cornish cast to play Fellini's lover. Plus: Josh Holloway, Minnie Driver, Cobie Smulders

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Abbie Cornish, in a swift turn from starring in the upcoming RoboCop remake and Seven Psychopaths, has been cast to play the lead role of Betty, a veterinarian who falls for acclaimed Italian director Federico Fellini, in Fellini Black and White, also starring William H. Macy, Terrence Howard and Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage. Henry Bromell is directing from a script he also wrote. In the film, the Australian beauty falls head over heels for Fellini, played by Brazilian actor Wagner Maura, when he’s in Los Angeles for the 1957 Academy Awards, the year he won for sadly beautiful black-and-white dramedy Nights of Cabiria, about a prostitute with a heart of gold, played by his then wife  Giulietta Masina. Broadway star Nina Arianda is slated to play Masina. [Deadline]

Lost hothead hottie Josh Holloway is in negotiations to join Arnold Schwarzenegger’s action movie Ten, about U.S. Drug Enforcement Agents being murdered one-by-one. David Ayer is directing the thriller, based on Skip Woods’ broad adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel Ten Little Indians. Holloway would play a drug cartel member. [Variety]

Minnie Driver has been cast in the horror musical ensemble Stage Fright, about a musical theater camp stalked by a musicals-hating murderer. Directed by Jerome Sable from his own script and music, with lyrics co-written by Eli Batalion, the movie also includes Kylie Swanson and larger-than-life singer Meat Loaf. Meat Loaf may add some meaty spice playing a camp director-former Broadway producer, similar to his campy, bloody singing role in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. [Variety]

The Avengers and How I Met Your Mother actress Cobie Smulders is in negotiations to join the cast of Vince Vaughn comedy Starbuck, about a guy who learns he’s fathered more than 500 kids as a sperm donor. Smulders will play Vaughn’s pregnant girlfriend. Ken Scott is directing from his own script, based on a French-Canadian comedy he co-wrote and directed, released last year. [THR]

• Jamie Bell and Connie Nielsen will be part of the cast of Danish director Lars Von Trier’s highly pornographic drama Nymphomaniac (this is a case where the film’s title really does say it all). Bell (Billy Elliot) and Neilsen (Boss) join stars Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard and Shia LeBeouf. The film focuses on Gainsbourg, playing a nymphomaniac named Joe who tells her life story, from birth to her first sexual experience on. [THR]

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Casting Net: Adrien Brody in negotiations to play villain in thriller ‘Motor City.’ Plus: Jason Momoa, Chloe Moretz, Benedict Cumberbatch
Casting Net: Berenice Bejo replaces Marion Cotillard in new film from ‘A Separation’ director. Plus: Brad Pitt, and a new baddie for ‘Thor’ 2

Casting Net: Arnold Schwarzenegger gets gritty in 'Ten.' Plus: 'Maleficent' fills out its cast

• Arnold Schwarzenegger continues his streak of gritty action films, signing on to star in the thriller Ten, Open Road Films announced today. David Ayer (Street KingsEnd of Watch) will direct the script by Skip Woods (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, A Good Day to Die Hard), which follows a team of crooked DEA agents who start getting mysteriously executed after a dirty drug raid. Schwarzenegger’s role in the film is unclear, but we’re guessing it’s light on introspective soliloquies.

• Disney’s Maleficent is filling out its cast around Angelina Jolie‘s title sorceress: Harry Potter alums Imelda Staunton and Miranda RichardsonAnother Year‘s Lesley ManvilleControl‘s Sam RileyMade in Dagenham‘s Kenneth Cranham, and The Secret Life of the American Teenager‘s India Eisley (as a younger version of Jolie’s Maleficent) are joining Elle Fanning and Sharlto Copley in the live-action fairy tale, to be helmed by first-time feature director Robert Stromberg. [THR, Variety]

• Brendan Gleeson and Abbie Cornish will star in An Ordinary Man, a drama about a war criminal on the run and his maid. Brad Silberling (Moonlight Mile) will direct. [Deadline]

Juliette Lewis has signed onto The Days of Mary, a remake of the Oscar-winning Federico Fellini film Nights of Cabiria. Producer Brad Michael Gilbert (The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond) will direct the English-language adaptation, which he scripted with Meg McGarry. [Variety]

• Rory Culkin (Scream 4) and Matt Czuchry (CBS’s The Good Wife) will costar in Gabriel, an indie drama about a mentally ill teenager (Culkin) and his older brother (Czuchry). First time feature director Lou Howe will helm the project from his script. [Variety]

• And finally, some non-casting casting news: Jessica Chastain (The Help) announced on her Facebook page that she won’t be starring in Iron Man 3. “My schedule is jammed packed and I can’t fit anything else in,” she wrote. “The press announced my possible attachment far too soon. I know many of you wanted me to be involved, and I’m so sorry to disappoint you. Hopefully there’ll be another Marvel film in my future.” Public service announcement: This is a good reminder that any time you read someone is “attached to” or “in talks for” or “negotiating for” or “eyeing” or “circling” a project — here or anywhere else — it may be a far cry from that actor having signed a contract to take on the role. [Facebook]

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Colin Farrell goes barking mad in 'Seven Psychopaths' -- FIRST LOOK PHOTOS

Photo: Chuck Zlotnick

Do all raging tyrants have an adorable, cuddly, little thing they treasure?

“I know I do!” says writer-director Martin McDonagh, the twisted mind behind the 2009 Colin Farrell-Brendan Gleeson killers-in-hiding thriller In Bruges.

Maybe for him, it’s Farrell.

McDonagh’s latest movie, Seven Psychopaths, reunites him with the actor for another crime story that walks the line between comedy and brutality.

In it, a savage gangster (Woody Harrelson) goes on a rampage after his beloved shih tzu Bonny goes missing, snatched by an out-of-work actor (Sam Rockwell) who pays the bills by helping a professional dognapper (Christopher Walken) pick up pooches and return them for the reward money.

“It’s kind of a cruel thing to do,” McDonagh says. “But these guys are good guys about it. They take care of the dogs, and give them back promptly, and they don’t charge a lot.”

Farrell stars as a struggling screenwriter, working on a script titled Seven Psychopaths, who gets caught up in his pal Rockwell’s troubles… but also finds a lot of great material in the life-and-death conflict playing out over the kidnapped dog. READ FULL STORY

Madonna: Owen and Lisa debate her new movie, the historical music-video romance 'W.E.'

Ah, Madonna. People have been arguing about her ever since that moment in the early ’80s when somebody first blurted out, “She can’t sing — it’s all tricks done in the studio!” and somebody else replied, “She can too sing — I heard her do the entire third verse of ‘Borderline’ a capella in concert, and it was great!” I don’t know if Lisa and my contrasting feelings about W.E., the new movie directed by Madonna, quite rise to that level of mythical debate. Lisa didn’t like the film at all; I didn’t like it…very much (though I thought it showed promise). But you can check out what we had to say about it right here:

 

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