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Casting Net: Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess, and more in talks for 'Geostorm'

• Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess, Abbie Cornish, and Andy Garcia are currently in negotiations to join the sci-fi adventure film Geostorm. Gerard Butler has already been tapped to star as a stubborn satellite designer who must work with his estranged brother to save the world after climate-controlling satellites malfunction. (There’s also a plot to assassinate the president for good measure.) Sturgess is in talks to play Butler’s brother with Cornish as Sturgess’ girlfriend, a Secret Service agent. Harris and Garcia would play the secretary of state and president, respectively. Dean Devlin, who co-wrote the script to Independence Day, will direct the feature based on his original draft that has since been updated by Kieran and Michele Mulroney (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows). [THR]

• Trophy Wife star Malin Akerman has joined the cast of the indie drama The Ticket starring Downton Abbey‘s Dan Stevens. Currently filming in upstate New York, Akerman will play the ex-wife of Stevens’ character, a blind man who regains his vision only to lose his sight, metaphorically, when he becomes obsessed with trivialities. Israeli filmmaker Ido Fluk is at the helm directing his own script. [Deadline]

• Ty Simpkins (Insidious) joins Olivia Wilde, Luke Wilson, and Elisabeth Moss in the psychological drama Meadowland. The young actor who will appear in next summer’s Jurassic World has been cast as Adam, a special-needs child at the school where Wilde’s character works. Cinematographer Reed Morano will make his feature debut directing the film. [Deadline]

• Katie Aselton (The League) will dive into Milk director Gus Van Sant‘s drama Sea of Trees. Matthew McConaughey and Ken Watanabe star as two desperate men who meet in Japan’s infamous “Suicide Forest” and embark on a reflective journey together. Naomi Watts has already been cast as McConaughey’s wife in the film written by Chris Sparling (Buried) while Aselton will play a woman who has an affair with McConaughey’s character. [THR]

• WWE star Jonathan Good, better known by his stage name Dean Ambrose, will headline the film Lockdown from WWE Studios. The action picture directed by Stephen Reynolds (Tomb Raider: Ascension) and written by Nathan Brooks and Bobby Lee Darby (See No Evil 2) follows a police officer being pursued by crooked cops. [Variety]

• Devious Maids actress Edy Ganem has landed the title role in the indie feature Ana Maria, about a receptionist who suddenly finds herself in the TV world of her favorite telenovela. Georgina Riedel (How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer) is directing the movie, which she co-wrote with Jose Marquez. [Deadline]

• Charlie Carver joins the cast of the drama Michael starring James Franco in the title role, a gay activist who is “saved” from his homosexuality by God and becomes a Christian pastor. Carver, most recently seen on TV as one of the twins in The Leftovers, will play Tyler, a young gay man heartbroken by Michael’s rejection of his sexuality. Zachary Quinto and Emma Roberts also star in the film being executive produced by Gus van Sant and directed by Justin Kelly from a script he co-wrote with Stacey Miller. [Deadline]

• Alicia Coppola (Jericho) has been cast in the drama We Are Your Friends from director Max Joseph starring Zac Efron as a young DJ who falls in love with his damaged mentor’s much younger girlfriend (Gone Girl‘s Emily Ratajkowski). [Deadline]

• JAG star David James Elliott has been cast as Hollywood legend John Wayne in Trumbo, the biopic starring Bryan Cranston about blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter and accused communist Dalton Trumbo.
 Peter Mackenzie (Hart of Dixie) and Roger Bart (The Producers) have also joined the all-star cast of the indie directed by Jay Roach (Meet the Parents). Mackenzie will play liberal defense attorney Robert Kenny, and Bart has been cast as producer Buddy Ross. The three men join previously announced stars Diane Lane as Trumbo’s wife, Helen Mirren as gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, Michael Stuhlbarg as actor Edward G. Robinson and John Goodman as producer Frank King. [THR]

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

ABBIE-CORNISH.jpg

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]

Read more:
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]

Read more:
Casting Net: Joseph Gordon-Levitt developing new ‘Little Shop of Horrors.’ Plus: Sharlto Copley, Nick Frost, Amber Heard
Casting Net: Julia Louis-Dreyfus angling to crush on James Gandolfini. Plus: Elijah Wood, Jon Favreau, Demian Bechir
Casting Net: Michelle Rodriguez back for ‘Fast and Furious’ 6 and ‘Machete Kills.’ Plus: Pierce Brosnan, Steve Coogan, Sharlto Copley

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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