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Casting Net: John Travolta to star in 'Life on the Line,' Peter Dinklage attached to 'The Thicket;' more

• John Travolta, Kate Bosworth, and Devon Sawa have signed on to star in Life on the LineDavid Hackl is directing the action drama, which tells the story of linemen who fix electric grids on high wires. The group finds it difficult to maintain relationships with the women they love until a storm threatens to destroy their lives. Primo Brown, Dylan Scott, and Peter Horton wrote the script. Marvin Peart and Phillip Glasser are producing. Chad Dubea is executive producing. Production begins next week in Vancouver for six weeks. The budget is about $10 to $12 million. [The Wrap]

• Peter Dinklage is attached to star in The Thicket, an adaptation of Joe Lansdale’s crime thriller. Set in East Texas in the early 20th century, the story follows a young man, Jack, who sets out to rescue his sister from a killer, Cut Throat Bill, and his gang who have kidnapped her. Jack looks to Shorty (Dinklage), an alcoholic gravedigger/bounty hunter, for help. Gianni Nunnari’s production company, Hollywood Gang, is developing the project. Nunnari is producing alongside Dinklage and manager David Ginsberg under their recently formed production company. Shannon Gaulding, who works with Nunnari, is also producing. [Variety]

• Dean O’Gorman (The Hobbit) will play Kirk Douglas in the Dalton Trumbo biopic, Trumbo. Jay Roach is directing the film, which stars Bryan Cranston as the screenwriter who was blacklisted for his connection to Communism. The film also stars David James Elliot as John Wayne, Michael Stuhlbarg as Edward G. Robinson, Diane Lane as Trumbo’s wife, and Helen Mirren as gossip columnist Hedda Hopper. John Goodman, Peter Mackenzie, and Roger Bart are part of the cast as well. Douglas starred and was an executive producer in 1960’s Spartacus. He helped hire Trumbo to write the script for the film when jobs were sparse for him, and later credited Trumbo, an act that arguably contributed to the decline of the Blacklist’s power. Michael London and his Groundswell Productions are producing. The film has U.S. distribution through Bleecker Street and is currently in production in New Orleans. [THR]

• John Gallagher Jr. (The Newsroom) has signed on for Paramount Insurge and Bad Robot’s The Cellar, joining Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Goodman. Dan Trachtenberg will direct the film, and J.J. Abrams will produce for Bad Robot. The story follows a woman who wakes up in a cellar following a serious car accident and fears she’s been taken. Her abductor tells her he saved her and that the outside world is unlivable due to a chemical attack. Despite the potential dangers, she decides she must escape. Josh Campbell and Matthew Stuecken wrote the original draft of the script. Dan Casey wrote the updated version. The film’s budget is about $5 million. [Variety]

• Dree Hemingway (While We’re Young) is joining Keith Stanfield in Happy People. The indie drama, which is being directed by Logan Sandler, tells the story of a couple who goes to a small Caribbean island after suffering a terrible loss. Thymaya Payne is writing and producing. Production kicks off next month. [Variety]

• Indian actor Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi) and actress Kangana Ranaut (Queen) are set to star in Divine Lovers. The film is an Indo-French co-production assembled by the French film commission, Film France. Hoping to qualify under an Indo-French co-production treaty, it is considering a wide release in France. Sai Kabir will direct the film, which explores the lower middle-class in the heartland of India. Leonard Glowinski will produce, as well as Khan alongside Shailesh R Singh. The film is expected to start filming in March across myriad locations in India. [THR]

• Basque actor Unax Ugalde (Lasa and Zabala) will star in the Mexican dramedy Beginners Guide to the Presidency. Salim Nayar will direct from a script he wrote. The film follows a governor who realizes he must become a politician, what he loathes most, in order to achieve the presidency. The film also stars Alec Von Bargen (Law and Order), Spain’s Carla Nieto (Angel o Demonio), and Mexico’s Alejandra Ambrosi (Hidden Moon). The film is the first of many projects under the Sfera Films banner led by Nayar and executive producer Jonathan Treisman in response to the growing demands of Latino markets. Beginners Guide to the Presidency is scheduled to begin shooting in February in and around Mexico City. [Variety]

John Travolta and Kevin Spacey help celebrate at the 'Bollywood Oscars'

The Indian film industry’s top awards show sailed into Tampa Saturday with a pirate-themed opening musical number and celebrities ranging from Slumdog Millionaire star Anil Kapoor to John Travolta and Kevin Spacey.

Before a crowd of some 20,000, the International Indian Film Academy awards started with the entrance of actors aboard a float built like a pirate ship — a nod to Tampa’s love of pirate-themed parties. The show informally known as the “Bollywood Oscars” are being held in the United States for the first time.

The show was recorded and will be broadcast in June. IIFA says some 800 million people worldwide are expected to watch the event.

Co-hosts Shahid Kapoor and Farhan Akhtar, dressed in swashbuckling outfits, demanded the key to Tampa from Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who was sitting in the front row at the city’s NFL stadium. READ FULL STORY

Casting Net: Tilda Swinton may join Judd Apatow project; Plus, John Travolta, more

Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton) is in talks to board Judd Apatow‘s Trainwreck. The details of the comedy are being kept under wraps, but it stars Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson, and Colin Quinn. Swinton would be joining as Schumer’s boss. Saturday Night Live’s Vanessa Bayer and Ezra Miller (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) also recently boarded the movie, set to hit theaters on July 24, 2015. Swinton is currently starring in Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. She can be seen next opposite Tom Hiddleston in Jim Jarmusch’s vampire pic Only Lovers Left Alive (out April 11). [The Wrap; THR] READ FULL STORY

John Travolta on Idina Menzel goof: 'I've been beating myself up all day'

 After John Travolta introduced Frozen singer Idina Menzel as “Adela Dazeem” during Sunday night’s Oscars telecast, the actor didn’t say anything about the incident for almost two days. Now he’s speaking out — and this time, he’s not leaving any room for a slip of the tongue. READ FULL STORY

Casting Net: Andrew Garfield teams up with Scorsese; Plus James Franco joins 3-D Wim Wenders drama, more

• Martin Scorsese has found a new leading man in Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man) for his feature Silence, based on Shusaku Endo’s 1966 Japanese-language novel. The fictional story follows a 17th century Portuguese Jesuit missionary to Japan. Ken Watanabe (Inception) also stars in the film, which will be largely shot in Japanese. At one point, Daniel Day-Lewis and Benicio del Toro were going to star in the film. [Variety]

• James Franco is set to join Paris, Texas director Wim Wenders’  upcoming drama Everything Will Be Fine, about a writer who kills a child accidentally. The story will follow Thomas (Franco) for 12 years after the accident as he attempts to live a normal life. Sarah Polley (Splice) also stars. Wenders plans to make the film in 3-D — his second using the format. His first was the 2011 Oscar-nominated documentary Pina. [THR]


Quentin Tarantino Blu-ray trailer: That's a BINGO!!! -- VIDEO

The holidays are coming early this year for the discerning cinephile in your life.

Arriving Nov. 20, Tarantino XX contains eight films chosen by Quentin Tarantino to illustrate the first 20 years of his career. The Blu-ray set includes Reservoir Dogs, True Romance, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill Vol. 1, Kill Bill Vol. 2, Death Proof, and Inglourious Basterds. Yes, yes, True Romance was directed by Tony Scott, but Tarantino wrote the script.

Tarantino XX will also feature two bonus discs with five hours of all-new material, highlighted by a critics’ retrospective and interviews with stars and other masters of cinema.

Check out the promotional trailer below. Remember: Shoot first, ask questions later. READ FULL STORY

John Travolta, Steven Spielberg light up Foreign Press lunch

Steven Spielberg talked movies with Harvey Weinstein. John Travolta chatted with Bradley Cooper. Dustin Hoffman and Jack Black shared cellphone photos.

Those stars, along with Kerry Washington, Jennifer Lawrence, Kelsey Grammer, Christina Hendricks, and others, lit up the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s annual summer luncheon Thursday at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where the group behind the Golden Globe Awards presented grants and introduced its officers for the coming year. READ FULL STORY

'Savages': Taylor Kitsch on Oliver Stone's drug thriller, and Blake Lively's unusual role -- TRAILER

Finishing out the Taylor Kitsch high-wire hat trick of 2012, Oliver Stone’s Savages promises no rickety airships, no alien hordes, no massive CG nautical warfare. Instead, the hard-edged thriller, adapted from Don Winslow’s novel of the same name, focuses on a much more earth-bound type of pyrotechnics, with Kitsch and Aaron Johnson (Kick Ass) playing pot dealers who take on a lethal Mexican drug cartel.

“We’re this boutique-y kind of beyond A-grade marijuana dealers that have a low profile, more or less, and keep it that way on purpose,” Kitsch tells EW. “[The cartel] is basically Walmart. They come in, and they’re like, ‘Hey, we want your business.’ I don’t want to give it up. And Johnson, who plays this Buddhist, he wants to give it up — basically, [the] last thing he wants is anything violent to go down. And the first thing I want is to engage.”

Engage, they do. Check out the trailer, and Kitsch’s thoughts on the special romantic arrangement between Kitsch, Johnson, and Blake Lively’s characters, below:  READ FULL STORY

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