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Chris Cooper set to play J.D. Salinger in 'Coming Through the Rye'

Chris Cooper is set to take on the role of author J.D. Salinger in the upcoming feature film Coming Through the Rye. According a press release, the film, which is already in production, is written and directed by Jim Sadwith and will tell “a coming-of age drama set in 1969 involving two teenagers, Alex Wolff and Stefania Owen, as they search for J. D. Salinger.”

The story is based on Sadwith’s own quest to find the reclusive author, as well as his personal encounters with Salinger. The press release continued: “The story is about a sensitive boy, a quirky girl and the road they travel to find not only Salinger but also friendship and the truth about themselves.”

There’s no word yet on when the film will be released.

'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' has cast the new Norman Osborn

You probably thought that, since the Amazing Spider-Man sequel started filming a couple weeks ago, we were probably done with internet-imploding casting announcements. Well, you were wrong…dead wrong! EW has confirmed the news, originally reported by The Hollywood Reporter, that Chris Cooper has joined the cast of 2 Amazing 2 Spider-Man as Norman Osborn, the father of Peter’s best friend Harry, who is destined to become Spider-verse uber-baddy the Green Goblin. Cooper is stepping into a role that was previously played by Willem Dafoe, who unfortunately had to spend half of 2002’s Spider-Man in a green exoskeleton that made him look like Lord Zedd‘s lame step-brother. READ FULL STORY

Casting Net: Michael Fassbender taking on 'Assassin's Creed.' Plus: Anthony Hopkins, Chris Cooper, James Woods

• Anthony Hopkins has joined the cast of Noah, director Darren Aronofsky‘s feature film of the Biblical epic tale, starring Russell Crowe as the title ark builder. (Jennifer Connelly, Emma WatsonLogan Lerman, Douglas Booth, and Ray Winstone costar.) “I’m honored to be working with the great Sir Anthony Hopkins,” Aronofsky tweeted this morning, with the hashtag #methuselahlives — likely indicating Hopkins is playing Noah’s extremely long-lived grandfather Methuselah. That, or Aronofsky is just referencing a really old meme. [@DarrenAronofsky]

Chris Cooper is in talks to star opposite Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts in the feature film adaptation of Tracy Letts‘ Tony-award winning play August: Osage County, playing Roberts’ uncle and Streep’s brother-in-law. Letts also penned the screenplay, and John Wells (The Company Men) is directing. [Variety]

• The rival “President Taken Hostage” movies White House Down and Olympus Has Fallen have both cast actors better known as bad guys in seemingly heroic roles. James Woods will play the head of the president’s Secret Service detail in White House Down — this is the one with Channing Tatum as a Secret Service agent tasked with saving the president (Jamie Foxx) when a paramilitary group takes the White House. In Olympus Has FallenCole Hauser has signed on to play a fellow Secret Service agent to Gerard Butler‘s lead hero, tasked with saving the president (Aaron Eckhart) when North Korean terrorists takes the White House. Got all that? [Variety/THR]

• Recent Tony winner Nina Arianda has landed the highly coveted role of famed ’60s singer Janis Joplin in Joplin, a biopic covering the final six months of the singer’s life to be directed by Martha Marcy May Marlene helmer Sean Durkin. The production has exclusive rights to 21 of Joplin’s songs, and Arianda, who also recently appeared in Midnight in Paris and Win Win, will sing with her own voice in the role. [Deadline]

• Arrested Development‘s Tony Hale will be, ahem, arrested by Melissa McCarthy‘s Boston cop in the untitled comedy co-starring Sandra Bullock as an F.B.I. agent. Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) is directing. [Variety]

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