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Tag: Casting Net (1-10 of 539)

Casting Net: Natalie Dormer signs on for 'The Forest,' Patrick Stewart joins 'Green Room;' more

• Natalie Dormer is set to star in Lava Bear Films and Phantom Four’s The Forest, Entertainment Weekly has confirmed. Jason Zada is directing from a script rewritten by Sarah Cornwell and Nick Antosca that was based on an original idea by David S. Goyer. Set in the Aokigahara forest at the base of Mt. Fuji, the supernatural thriller tells the story of a young American woman who goes in pursuit of her missing twin sister. When she wanders off the path, she is met by the undead. Lava Bear is producing along with Goyer under his Phantom Four banner. Tory Metzger, President of Lava Bear, is overseeing the project. Focus Features acquired the North American distribution rights to the film and plans to release it on January 8, 2016.

• Patrick Stewart has been cast in Green Room, Entertainment Weekly has confirmed. The story follows a punk band who, after witnessing a violent crime by white power skinheads, is trapped in a venue by the perpetrators, attempting to eliminate all witnesses. The actor will play Darcy Banker, the leader of the white supremacist group. Jeremy Saulnier is directing from a script he wrote. The film also stars Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Alia Shawkat, Joe Cole, Callum Turner, Mark Webber, Kai Lennox, Eric Edelstein, and Macon Blair. Broad Green Pictures is producing and financing the film. Its Victor Moyers along with Anish Savjani and Neil Kopp of filmscience will produce. Gabriel and Daniel Hammond of Broad Green Pictures and Vincent Savino of filmscience will executive produce. Principal photography began this month in and around Portland, OR. Broad Green Pictures plans to release Green Room in 2015.

• Kim Basinger is re-teaming with L.A. Confidential co-star Russell Crowe for Warner Bros.’ The Nice Guys. With Shane Black at the helm, the film also stars Ryan Gosling, Matt Bomer, Beau Knapp, and Keith David. Set in 1970s Los Angeles, the film tells the story of a private eye (Gosling) and hired leg breaker (Crowe) who pair to solve the case of a missing girl and the death of a porn star. Basinger will play a chief justice with questionable interests. Joel Silver is producing under his Silver Pictures banner along with Waypoint Entertainment’s Ken Kao. Hal Sadoff and Michael Malone are executive producing. [THR]

• Maggie Siff (Sons of Anarchy) and Talitha Bateman (Hart of Dixie) have joined the cast of The 5th Wave, Sony’s adaptation of Rick Yancey‘s YA novel. The film stars Chloe Grace Moretz as Cassie, a survivor of four alien attacks on Earth, who must rescue her younger brother while an eminent fifth attack is on the way. Siff will play Cassie and Sammy’s mother, Lisa, who suffers from a plague released in the third wave. Bateman will take the role of Teacup, a young girl who is in the child army where Sammy is being held. J Blakeston is directing from a script by Susannah Grant. The film also stars Nick Robinson, Alex Roe, Maika Monroe, Liev Schereiber, and Ron Livingston. Tobey Maguire, Graham King, Lynn Harris, and Matthew Plouffe are producing. Denis O’Sullivan and Richard Middleton are executive producing. Andrea Giannetti and Hannah Minghella will oversee for Sony. [THR]

• Michaela Conlin (Bones) has joined Relativity’s The Disappointments Room. DJ Caruso is directing the psychological thriller, written by Wentworth Miller. The  ghost story follows Dana (Kate Beckinsale) and her five-year-old son as they move into a new home, and accidentally unlock horrors in the attic. Conlin will play Jules, one half of a privileged Manhattan couple who doesn’t understand what is happening to Dana. The Disappointments Room is currently filming in North Carolina. [Deadline]

Casting Net: Gal Gadot in talks for 'Ben-Hur;' more

• Gal Gadot is in talks for the female lead in Ben-Hur. Timbur Bekmambetov is directing. The work is a remake of the 1959 film of the same name, as well as an adaptation of the Lew Wallace novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. The film follows Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), the Jewish prince who is betrayed into slavery by Messala (Toby Kebbell). Morgan Freeman will play the man who teaches Ben-Hur the art of chariot-racing. If Gadot signs on, she will play Esther, a slave and the love interest of Ben-Hur. Keith Clarke penned the script with a rewrite by John Ridley. Mark Burnett, Sean Daniel, and Joni Levin are producing. Roma Downey, Ridley, Clarke, and Jason F. Brown are executive producing. The film will begin filming in Europe early next year. It is considering a February 2016 release date. [THR]

• David Krumholtz, Josh Pais, James DuMont, and Wrenn Schmidt have joined the cast of I Saw the Light. The Hank Williams biopic stars Tom Hiddleston as the musician with Elizabeth Olsen as Williams’ wife, Audrey Mae Williams. Marc Abraham is directing the film. He also adapted Colin Escott‘s biography for the screen. The film will tell the life of the famed country singer who quickly rose to fame but later struggled with drug and alcohol abuse. Krumholtz will play James Dolan, a journalist who interviews Williams. Pais will play Dore Schary, a one-time production president of MGM who tries to talk Williams into acting. DuMont will play WB Nolan, a music promoter and small-town mayor who forces a performance out of the singer. Schmidt will play Bobbie Jett, one of many women in Williams’ life and the mother of his daughter. RatPac’s Brett Ratner and Bron Studios’ Aaron L. Gilbert are producing along with G. Marq Roswell and Mark Abraham. James Packer is executive producing for RatPac. Patty Long is the line producer/executive producer. The film kicks off production this week in Louisiana. [THR]

• Briana Evigan (Step Up 5) and Emily Osment (Hannah Montana) have signed on for Love Is All You Need. Kim Rocco Shields is directing. She and David Tillman co-wrote the indie indie drama, which is set in a world where being gay is the norm and being straight is cause for bullying. The film is based on Shields’ 2011 short film of the same name. Evignan will play a star college quarterback, Jude, who begins a romance with a male journalist. Osment will play Jude’s girlfriend, Kelly. Kyla Kennedy (The Walking Dead) also stars as an 11-year-old girl who is bullied for a crush she has on a male classmate. Filming kicks off this week under Love Is All You Need, LLC. [Deadline]

Casting Net: Ariana Grande joins 'Underdogs,' Lizzy Caplan in talks for 'Now You See Me 2'

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• Ariana Grande, Katie Homes, Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Matthew Morrison (Glee), John Leguizamo (Chef), Eugenio Derbez (Instructions Not Included), Taran Killam (12 Years a Slave), Bobby Moynihan (Saturday Night Live), and Chazz Palminteri (Rizzoli & Isles) have signed on to voice The Weinstein Company’s Underdogs, EW has confirmed. The film, from Argentinian director Juan Jose Campanella, is being re-voiced in English by TWC with a script that has been reworked for domestic audiences. The story follows football player Jake (Morrison) and his love interest, Laura (Grande). With Laura’s support, Jake beats the town bully, Ace (Hoult), in a foosball game. Later, Ace becomes the world’s best soccer player and returns to the wreck havoc on the village and kidnap Laura. When Jake’s foosball table comes to life, he and the players set out to save the town and Laura. Underdogs will be released in 2D and 3D on April 10, 2015.

• Lizzy Caplan is in talks for the female lead in Now You See Me 2. From director Jon M. Chu, the magic-themed sequel will see the return of its original stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Mark Ruffalo. Daniel Radcliffe is a new addition to the cast. Caplan’s role is unknown at this time. Ed Solomon returned to pen the script with Pete Chiarelli. Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, and Bobby Cohen are producing. Lionsgate/Summit will release the film on June 10, 2016. [The Wrap]

• Alexi Knapp, Bar Paly, Chris Geere, and Nick Thune have singed on for indie thriller Urge, which stars Pierce Brosnan and Ashley Greene. Film producer Aaron Kaufman (Chef) will direct, making his directorial debut. Urge follows a group of friends who discover a new drug on an island during a destination weekend—the drug takes away the ability to control ones urges. Skipp Williamson and Mark Neveldine are producing through their Blackmrkt Incorporated banner. Tim Smith, Alastair Burlingham, Lee Vandermolen, Yoram Barzilai, Frank Martinez, Anthony Gudas, Clay Pecorin, Russell Geyser, Gerald Fruchtman, and Peter Fruchtman are executive producing. Urge begins production in New York in October. [THR]

• Odeya Rush (The Giver) is joining action-thriller Hunter’s Prayer. Jonathan Mostow is at the helm of the U.S.-U.K. co-production, formerly known as For The Dogs. Based on the Kevin Wignall novel, the film follows Ella (Rush), a young girl who pairs with the hit man hired to kill her family in order to find out who’s behind it all. Sam Worthington will play the contracted killer, Lucas. Paul Leyden, Oren Moverman, John Brancato, and Michael Ferris are adapting the novel for the screen. Navid McIlhargey and Anthony Rhulen are producing for Film Engine, Chris Milburn for Midsummer Films, John and Michael Schwartz and Worthington for Full Clip.  Paul Rock, Jimmy Costas, and Leyden are also producing. Filming begins next month in the UK. [Deadline]

• Jack Davenport and Kelli Garner have signed on for Americana. The film, a Hollywood noir being made by the film group Flies Collective, stars David Call with Frank Mosley and Peter Coyote. Zachary Shedd is writing and directing. The story follows alcoholic film editor (Call)  as he pieces together  his movie star sister’s (Garner) murder. Davenport will play Calib, the producer behind the actress’ last film. Matthew Petock and Daniel Patrick Carbone are producing. Filming begins later this month in San Francisco. [THR]

Casting Net: Joaquim de Almeida and Zoe Kazan join Sandra Bullock in 'Our Brand Is Crisis;' more

• Joaquim de Almeida (Fast Five) has signed on to play the male lead opposite Sandra Bullock in David Gordon Green’s Our Brand Is Crisis. Zoe Kazan (What If) has also signed on for the political dramedy. In addition to Bullock, they’re joining Scoot McNairy, Billy Bob Thornton, Anthony Mackie, and Ann Dowd. The film is based on Rachel Boynton’s 2005 documentary of the same name, which explored American political campaign strategies in Bolivia. Green’s film stars Bullock as “Calamity” Jane Bodine, a retired American political consultant, with de Almeida as Castillo, the former president of Bolivia who is running for office again. Kazan will play a young woman who uncovers the secrets of political candidates. Peter Straughan wrote the script. Smokehouse partners George Clooney and Grant Heslov are producing. Bullock is executive producing. Warner Bros. executives Courtenay Valenti and Racheline Benveniste will supervise the project for the studio. Our Brand Is Crisis kicks off production this fall. [The Wrap]

• Anson Mount (Hell on Wheels) is heading to Mr. Right. Paco Cabezas is directing from a script by Max Landis. The action romance tells the story of a girl (Anna Kendrick) who finally lands her dream guy (Sam Rockwell); problem is he’s a hit man. Mount will play New Jersey crime syndicate member Richard Cartigan. Michael Eklund (Bates Motel) also joins the cast as thug Johnny Howl, and Katie Nehra (Alex of Venice) joins as Kendrick’s nerdy roommate, Martha. Michael Helfant, Bradley Gallo, Lawrence Mattis, and Rick Jacobs are producing the Amasia Entertainment and Circle of Confusion film. Stephen Emery and Landis are executive producing. [Deadline]

• Olivia Thirlby (Juno) and Nelsan Ellis (True Blood) have been cast in The Stanford Prison Experiment. With Kyle Alvarez at the helm, the film tells the story of the 1971 psychological exercise that divided students into prisoners and prison guards. The film stars Ezra Miller, Michael Angarano, and Billy Crudup as Dr. Philip Zimbardo, the Stanford professor who later wrote a psychology book on good and evil behavior. Thrilby will play Zimbardo’s wife, Christina, also an academic. Ellis will play Jesse Fletcher. Other castings include: Tye Sheridan as prisoner Peter Mitchell, James Frecheville as guard Townshend, Johnny Simmons as prisoner Jeff Jansen, and Ki Hong Lee as prisoner Gavin Chan. Tim Talbott wrote the script. Sandbar Pictures and Abandon Features financed the film. Coup d’Etat Films’ Brent Emery is producing alongside Lizzie Friedman, Greg Little, Brian Geraghty, and Lauren Bratman. [Deadline]

Casting Net: Tom Welling and more complete cast of Nicholas Sparks' 'The Choice'

• The final pieces have been put in place in order to make The Choice, the latest Nicholas Sparks novel to be adapted to the screen. Tom Welling, Alexandra Daddario (True Detective) and Maggie Grace (Taken 2) have completed the cast that already includes Benjamin Walker, Teresa Palmer and Tom Wilkinson. Ross Katz is directing the story adapted by Bryan Sipe about a love affair between neighbors Travis (Walker) and Gabby (Palmer). Welling will play Ryan, Gabby’s boyfriend who complicates the relationship and forces her to make a choice between the two. [THR]

• Instructions Not Included star Eugenio Derbez has joined Gerard Butler in the sci-fi adventure film Geostorm. The film chronicles what happens when the world’s climate-controlling satellites malfunction and a stubborn satellite designer (Butler) is forced to work with his estranged brother in order to save the world. Dean Devlin, the writer behind Independence Day, will make his feature directorial debut in the film he also wrote currently scheduled for release on March 25, 2016. [THR]

• Lyriq Bent (Saw) has been cast in the supernatural thriller Pay the GhostNicolas Cage stars as a New York English professor whose son goes missing from a Halloween parade. Bent will play Detective Reynolds in the film directed by Uli Edel (The Baader Meinhof Complex) and written by Dan Kay (Timber Falls) based on Tim Lebbon’s short story of the same name. The Walking Dead‘s Sarah Wayne Callies also stars. [The Wrap]

• Matador star Gabriel Luna has joined the ensemble of the indie police drama FreeheldEllen Page, Julianne Moore and Steve Carell have already signed on for the film about a New Jersey car mechanic and her police detective girlfriend battling for their pension benefits when the cop is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Luna will play a fellow detective on the police force who testifies on the couple’s behalf against the local government. Pete Stollett (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) is directing from a script by Ron Nyswaner (Philadelphia). [Variety]

PREVIOUSLY: Bryan Cranston to star in The InfiltratorBill Nighy, Catherine Zeta-Jones, more set for Dad’s Army

Casting Net: Casey Affleck to star in Boston Marathon drama

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• Oscar nominee Casey Affleck will return to his native Massachusetts to star in and produce a film based on the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. The script written by Eric Johnson and Paul Tamasy (The Fighter) is based on the book “Boston Strong” by Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge and chronicles the massive manhunt to find the two men believed responsible for the bombings and the city’s response to the horrific events. [Variety]

• Steve Carell will continue his trend of taking on less comedic roles in an untitled thriller from director Gore Verbinski (The Lone Ranger). The film will be the third straight Verbinski shoots for New Regency after the horror picture A Cure For Wellness and the large-scale action comedy PassengersSteve Conrad, who wrote the script for Passengers as well as the adaptation of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, will once again collaborate with Verbinski on this project. [Deadline]

Flight of the ConchordsJermaine Clement is teaming with James C. Strouse for People Places Things. Strouse just finished principal photography, and is directing from a script he wrote. The indie feature stars Clement as a freshly single, struggling graphic novelist attempting to raise his young twin daughters while also moving on from the woman who left him. Other cast members include Regina Hall, Stephanie Allynne, and Jessica Williams. Michael B. Clark and Alex Turtletaub are producing for Beachside. Beachside’s Tim Foley is executive producing with Summer Shelton. [Deadline]

• Tom Wilkinson will join Benjamin Walker (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) and Teresa Palmer (Warm Bodies) in the adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel The ChoiceRoss Katz (Adult Beginners) is directing the film about the unexpected relationship of a young couple who meet as neighbors in a small coastal town, The script was written for the screen by Bryan Sipe. [Variety]

Tim Roth (Pulp Fiction) has been added to the rom-com action flick Mr. RightAnna Kendrick will star as a woman who thinks her unlucky streak in love has come to an end when she meets the perfect guy played by Sam Rockwell, who just happens to be a hitman. Wu-Tang rapper/producer RZA is on board to play Shotgun Steve, a marksman who works for a rival gangster. Filming begins next week in New Orleans with director Paco Cabezas (Neon Flesh) at the helm from a script by Max Landis (Chronicle). [Deadline]

• That ’70s Show star Danny Masterson will play a cutthroat yet lonely hedge fund tycoon who takes a group of friends on a mysterious island getaway in the thriller UrgePierce Brosnan is starring as the island gatekeeper and a designer drug dealer with Twilight star Ashley Greene playing one of Masterson’s friends. The film will be the directorial debut for producer Aaron Kaufman (Chef). [Deadline]

• Michael Gambon and Imelda Staunton have been added to the voice cast of the mixed live action/CGI animated movie PaddingtonBen Whishaw is providing the voice of the curious Peruvian bear in the film written and directed by Paul King and Gambon and Staunton will play his Uncle Pastuzo and Aunt Lucy, respectively. The movie also stars Nicole Kidman, Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bonneville, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, and Julie Walters in their natural human forms. [Deadline]

Casting Net: Jeff Daniels in talks for Ridley Scott's 'The Martian'

• Another big name has been launched into consideration for Ridley Scott’s sci-fi film The Martian. Emmy winner Jeff Daniels is the latest actor in talks to join Matt Damon in the movie about a stranded astronaut struggling to survive. Daniels would play the NASA director dealing with the crisis back on Earth. Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig and Kate Mara may also star in the film written by Drew Goddard (World War Z) and adapted from the self-published book of the same name by Andy Weir. [THR]

• Aubrey Plaza, Molly Shannon, Fred Armisen, Ron Livingston, and Clea DuVall have signed on for Fresno, joining its stars Judy Greer and Natasha Lyonne. The comedy, from Jamie Babbit, follows two sisters who work as hotel maids in Fresno. Gamechanger Films is financing in association with Leeden Media, Lakeview Productions, and TALU Productions. Mynette Louie, Julie Parker Benello, Dan Cogan, Geralyn Dreyfous, and Wendy Ettinger are executive producing. [Variety]

• Game of Thrones actor Richard Madden will face off against Idris Elba in the action-thriller Bastille Day. Written by Andrew Baldwin, the film follows a rogue U.S. CIA operative forced to make a young American man “disappear” after he becomes the prime suspect in an attack on the Paris metro. James Watkins (The Woman in Black) is directing for Focus Features. [Variety]

• Nikki Reed (Twilight), Bonnie Wright (Harry Potter), Gustaf Skarsgård (Vikings), and Joe Jonas will all star in The Highway is for Gamblers. Wright will play Heidi, who uncovers dark secrets and violence while searching for her missing friend, rodeo queen Jane (Reed). Writer/director Alexandra McGuiness (Lotus Eaters) is at the helm on the project going into production next month in California. [Deadline]

• Actor and musician Tyson Ritter has signed on for the dramedy Miss You Already opposite Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette. The All-American Rejects frontman and Parenthood actor will play a young love interest to one of the ladies in the film about two best friends struggling to balance their everyday lives with each other. Dominic CooperPaddy Considine and Jacqueline Bisset will also star in the film directed by Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight) from a script written by Morwenna Banks. [Deadline]

• Universal has bought a pitch from Ice Cube to star and produce in a high-concept, big-idea comedy set in Colorado titled Rocky Mountain High. The Ride Along and Friday star is producing with his longtime manager Jeff Kwatinetz and Beau Flynn and if successful, the new film could turn into yet another franchise for the rapper turned actor. [Deadline]

• Chinese actress Zhang Jingchu has landed a major role opposite Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible 5. No details have been given about the role, but the Rush Hour 3 actress has already begun filming the sequel under the direction of Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher) in London. [Variety]

• The Blind Side‘s Quinton Aaron, Edi Gathegi (Twilight Saga) and Gillian Zinser (90201) will all star in Halfway, the feature directorial debut from British writer Ben Caird. Aaron will star as a recently released convict struggling to balance his urban criminal past as the only black man in a white, conservative Wisconsin farming town. Among the executive producers on the film are Aaron and former NFL star Nnamdi Asomugha, aka Mr. Kerry Washington. [The Wrap]

• Martin Donovan (Weeds) has landed an pivotal yet unidentified role in Marvel’s Ant-ManPeyton Reed (Yes Man) is directing the film starring Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll and John Slattery about con man Scott Lang (Rudd) and his ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength. Gabriel Ferrari, Andrew Barrer and Adam McKay wrote the screenplay for Ant-Man that is scheduled for release on July 17, 2015. [THR]

• Charlie Shotwell, soon to be seen opposite Viggo Mortensen in Captain Fantastic, has been cast as the young son of Shia LaBeouf and Kate Mara‘s characters in Man Down.  Jai Courtney, Gary Oldman and Terrence Howard also star in the film directed by Dito Montiel (A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints) from a screenplay by Adam Simon about an Afghanistan war veteran searching for his family in a post-apocalyptic America. [THR]

• Maddie Hasson (Twisted) has joined the Hank Williams biopic I Saw the Light starring Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen. Hasson will play Williams’ second wife Audrey in the film directed by Marc Abraham (Flash of Genius). [Deadline]

• Smash actor Emory Cohen is heading west in  By Way of Helena. Cohen joins Liam Hemsworth and Woody Harrelson in the picture directed by Kieran Darcy-Smith (Wish You Were Here) about a Texas Ranger in the 1880s sent to an isolated frontier town after a series of unsolved murders. [Deadline]

PREVIOUSLY: Kerry Washington to star in rom-com Is He the One

Casting Net: Catherine Zeta-Jones to play real-life drug kingpin in 'The Godmother'

• Catherine Zeta-Jones will star in the true story crime biopic The Godmotheabout Colombian drug lord Griselda Blanco. Norwegian filmmaker Eva Sørhaug (90 Minutes) is directing the Oscar winner as one of the most fearsome figures in the Miami drug wars of the ’70s and ’80s who was killed in a motorcycle drive-by assassination in 2012 after serving 18 years in prison. Filming will begin early next year with a script by Frank Baldwin. [Deadline]

• Erica Bana has joined the ensemble of Disney’s The Finest Hours directed by Craig Gillespie (Million Dollar Arm). Bana will play Daniel Cluff, the deeply respected Coast Guard warrant officer in the film about the massive rescue mission to save oil tank workers off the coast of Cape Cod in 1952. Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson adapted the best-selling book by Casey Sherman and Michael J. Tougias that will also star the previous announced Chris Pine and Casey Affleck. [Deadline]

• Daniel Radcliffe is taking a step back into the world of magic to play Michael Caine‘s son in Now You See Me 2Jon M. Chu (Justin Bieber: Never Say Never) is directing the sequel with Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Morgan Freeman, Woody Harrelson and Dave Franco all returning. [Deadline]

• Topher Grace and John Benjamin Hickey have been cast in the Dan Rather scandal pic TruthRobert Redford will star as the former CBS newsman in the story behind the 60 Minutes II report on George W. Bush’s preferential treatment that got him out of the Vietnam War. Grace will play researcher Mike Smith while Hickey will play the husband of Mary Mapes, producer of the news report played by Cate Blanchett. Screenwriter James Vanderbilt is making his directorial debut in the film based on Mapes’ 2005 memoir Truth And Duty: The Press, The President And The Priviliege Of Power that also stars Elizabeth Moss and Dennis Quaid. [THR, Deadline]

• Twilight‘s Ashley Greene will star opposite Pierce Brosnan in the thriller Urge. Film producer Aaron Kaufman (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For) is directing the indie about a group of friends unable to resist trying a new designer drug while on vacation in a mysterious island. Greene will play Theresa, one of the friends while Brosnan has been taped as the creator and gatekeeper of the drug. [THR]

• Ron Perlman and Keidrich Sellati (The Americans) have completed the cast of Alfonso Pineda Ulloa’s The Jesuit. Perlman will play the villain in the action film written by Paul Schrader about a wrongly imprisoned ex-con embarking on a revenge rampage against the man who murdered his ex-wife and kidnapped his son. Jose Maria Yazpik (I’m So Excited!) will star in the title role with Sellati as his son. Paz Vega (Spanglish), Shannyn Sossamann (One Missed Call) and Tim Roth (Pulp Fiction) also in the cast. [Variety]

• Simon McBruney (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) is in talks to join Mission: Impossible 5Tom Cruise is returning to the franchise along Jeremy Renner and newcomers  Alec Baldwin and Rebecca Ferguson (The White Queen) with Chris McQuarrie (Jack Reacher) directing from a script by Iron Man 3 scribe Drew Pearce. McBruney will reportedly play the boss of Ferguson’s character. [Variety]

PREVIOUSLYSarah Jessica Parker to star in Rome rom-com

Casting Net: William Hurt joins ensemble of Jesse Owens biopic 'Race'

• Oscar winner William Hurt has joined the ensemble of Race, the Jesse Owens biopic starring Stephan James (When the Game Stands Tall) as the legendary track and field star. Hurt will play the president of the Amateur Athletic Union Jeremiah Mahoney, who led efforts to boycott the 1936 Olympics in Berlin against Hitler. Emmy winner Stephen Hopkins (The Life and Death of Peter Sellers) is directing the production currently filming in Montreal and on location at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. In addition to James, Hurt joins Jeremy Irons as future International Olympic Committee president Avery Brundage, Jason Sudeikis as OSU track coach Larry Snyder and Carice van Houten as German director Leni Riefenstahl. The film was written by Anna Waterhouse and Joe Shrapnel (Frankie and Alice) and will be released by Focus Features on April 8, 2016. [The Wrap]

• Teresa Palmer (Warm Bodies) may end up being The Choice opposite Benjamin Walker in the adaptation of the 2007 Nicholas Sparks novel. Ross Katz (Adult Beginners) is directing the film about a small-town couple and the ups and downs of their decade-long relationship, which was adapted for the screen by Bryan Sipe. [THR]

• Mud star Jacob Lofland has landed a pivotal role in the sequel Maze Runner: Scorch Trials. Already in pre-production, Wes Ball will once again direct for Fox with returning stars Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario and Thomas Brodie-Sangster and newcomers to the franchise Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones) and Rosa Salazar (Parenthood). Lofland will play Aris Jones, a character with a significant connection to the maze and the people who built it. [THR]

• Diane Kruger has been cast in two upcoming indie films. First, The Bridge actress will star in Maryland from French director Alice Winocour (Augustine) about a former soldier suffering from PTSD who is hired by a wealthy Lebanese businessman to protect his family while he’s away. Next, Kruger will reunite with her Frankie director Fabienne Berthaud for Sky, playing a woman reawaken on a solitary journey around the world. The film will mark the first English-language collaboration between the two women. [Deadline]

Casting Net: Benjamin Walker lands lead in Nicholas Sparks' 'The Choice'

• Benjamin Walker will part with his presidential past as the male lead in the adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel The Choice. The Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson star will play Travis Parker in the story that spans a decade long love affair in a small coastal town. Bryan Sipe (A Million Miles) wrote the screenplay with no director currently attached. [Deadline] READ FULL STORY

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