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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]

Katie Holmes to make directorial debut with 'All We Had'

Katie Holmes has her sights on the directors chair. The Dawson’s Creek alum is set to direct and star in an adaptation of Annie Weatherwax’s debut novel All We Had, which tells the story of a poverty-stricken mother and daughter who find a home and comfort in a quirky small town.

Josh Boone, who directed The Fault in Our Stars and wrote and directed Stuck in Love, will pen the adaptation of the novel, which was released on Aug. 5, and Jane Rosenthal (About A Boy) has signed on to produce. READ FULL STORY

Katie Holmes options Annie Weatherwax's 'All We Had'

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Katie Holmes might be planning a producing gig, as EW has confirmed that the Dawson’s Creek and Batman Begins actress has optioned the rights to artist Annie Weatherwax’s debut novel All We Had.

The novel is described as a portrait of a “gritty” mother and and her 13-year-old daughter, who live together on the edge of poverty. After being kicked out of their home and scrambling to find a place to live, the pair ends up in small town where a collection of quirky characters helps them out.

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Casting Net: Katie Holmes boards 'The Woman in Gold'; Plus, 'Insurgent' news, more

• Katie Holmes will join Helen Mirren, Daniel Bruhl, and Ryan Reynolds in The Woman in Gold, a drama about a Holocaust survivor who is suing the Swiss government in hopes of reclaiming pieces of art that the Nazis stole from her family. Orphan Black‘s Tatiana Maslany plays a younger version of Mirren in the pic. Simon Curtis (My Week With Marilyn) is on board to direct. Holmes can be seen in theaters next in Phillip Noyce’s adaptation of Lois Lowry’s The Giver (out Aug. 15). [Deadline] READ FULL STORY

'The Giver' character posters: The eyes have it

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All right, I’ll admit it: I spoke too soon.

You may recall the outcry that erupted when the first trailer for The Giver, a long-gestating film adaptation of Lois Lowry’s seminal middle-grade dystopian novel, hit the internet in March. The main gripe from fans: The entire trailer was in bright, lurid color, even though The Giver takes place in a world ruled by “sameness” — there’s no real free will, no real individuality, and, most importantly, no color besides shades of gray, at least until the story’s protagonist begins to learn more about the world as it used to be.

A featurette released a few weeks later, however, revealed that at least some parts of the film were shot in black and white — and a new set of character posters appear mostly without color, minus a small strip that runs through the center of each image. The message: “We hear you, Giver fans.” Think this means they might reconsider that random spaceship too?

Check below for the full set of posters, featuring eight of the film’s major characters — including those played by Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, and, yes, Taylor Swift. READ FULL STORY

Tribeca 2014: Katie Holmes, Robin Williams, and Patrick Stewart headline world premieres

The 13th Tribeca Film Festival has announced its complete lineup for next month’s New York celebration, which runs April 16-27. Culled from more than 6,000 submissions, Tribeca 2014 includes 55 world premieres, 37 first-time filmmakers, and 22 female directors. Half the slate had been announced on Tuesday, with Spotlight, Midnight, and Storyscapes films unveiled today, as well as special screenings. “Spotlight and special screenings are an especially dynamic aspect of this year’s program, both in range of styles and stories,” said Genna Terranova, Tribeca’s director of programming. “Many films feature real-life personalities who’ve accomplished extraordinary feats, while in other films we see personal relationships at pivotal moments of transition. We look forward to sharing these engaging stories with audiences.”

Highlights in the Spotlight section include Jon Favreau’s Chef, which co-stars Robert Downey Jr., Dustin Hoffman, and Scarlett Johansson; Courteney Cox’s directorial debut, the comedy Just Before I Go; and Katie Holmes playing a schoolteacher who’s not as dainty as she appears in Miss Meadows.

The Midnight section will open with the feature film Preservation, the frightening story of a hunting trip gone awry. But let’s all agree that this category starts and ends with Zombeavers. “Whether they made us laugh, squirm, or plain scared the heck out of us, each of the seven films in this year’s Midnight section never failed to genuinely surprise us with wildly original and unexpected reimaginings of classic genre stories,” said Cara Cusumano, a Tribeca programmer. “From ghost stories to creature features, and even an underdog sports comedy, we’re proud to present an eclectic and adventurous slate of films that we believe represent the year’s most interesting new voices in genre filmmaking.”

Time Is Illmatic, a documentary about the making of Nas’ 1994 album Illmatic, will kick off the Tribeca Film Festival this year on April 16. A performance by Nas himself will follow the world premiere.

Click below for the Tribeca movies, with credits and descriptions courtesy of TFF. READ FULL STORY

Casting Net: 'Fruitvale Station' star Michael B. Jordan in talks for 'Independence Day' sequel; Plus, Christoph Waltz, more

• Michael B. Jordan, who broke out this year with his role in the critical favorite Fruitvale Station, is reportedly being eyed for a role in the sequel to 1996’s Independence Day, ID Forever Part 1which takes place 20 years after the first film. Currently on the schedule for a July 3, 2015 release, the Roland Emmerich-directed sequel will likely find Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman reprising their roles from the original. [The Wrap]

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Casting Net: Emma Stone in talks to team up with Woody Allen; Plus Jennifer Garner, more

• Has Woody Allen found a new muse? Emma Stone is in talks to appear in his next film that will reportedly shoot in the south of France. The Amazing Spider-Man actress has a number of enviable projects coming up, including a film for Cameron Crowe, Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak, of course the Spider-Man sequel. With her quick delivery and deft comedic timing, Stone seems a natural fit for an Allen film. Thankfully, Allen has been taking himself out of the leading romantic man equation in his more recent projects. Now we’d just like to know who her co-stars might be, the plot, the title of the film, and how we can score a set visit. [Deadline]

• Armie Hammer can’t get enough of classic television remakes. The Lone Ranger star is set to join Tom Cruise in the Guy Ritchie-directed update to The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The Social Network actor will play the role originated by fellow blondie David McCallum. In addition to his role in The Lone Ranger (in theaters July 3), Hammer is also about to start work on the thriller By Virtue Fall with Kerry Washington and Connie Britton. [Deadline]

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Katie Holmes' 'Don't Be Afraid of the Dark' gets release date

Dont-Be-Afraid-of-the-DarkImage Credit: IMJust when you thought it was safe to go back in the basement … FilmDistrict and Miramax have announced a partnership for the U.S. distribution of Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, set for theatrical release on August 12.

The release date for the horror remake, produced and co-written by Guillermo Del Toro, had been delayed in October, when Disney was in the process of unloading Miramax. READ FULL STORY

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