• Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games) and Brit Marling have joined The Green Blade Rises, a biopic about U.S. President Abraham Lincoln’s early years, including his father’s abandonment of him in the wilderness, according to a press release. Pegged as “the untold story of America’s greatest hero,” the movie will star Bentley as Lincoln’s first teacher, with Marling as Lincoln’s biological mother. Terrence Malick is producing from a script by AJ Edwards, who makes his directorial debut. The film also stars Diane Kruger and Jason Clarke as Lincoln’s step-mother and father.
• Judi Dench and Steve Coogan are set to star in in Philomena, based on the real-life story of a Irish woman searching for the son she put up for adoption in America as an unwed mother in the 1950s, adapted from journalist Martin Sixsmith’s book The Lost Child of Philomena Lee: A Mother, Her Son and a 50 Year Search. Dench will play Philomena Lee, and Coogan will play Sixsmith. Stephen Frears (The Queen) is directing from a screenplay co-written by Jeff Pope and Coogan. [Variety]
• The Hobbit star Martin Freeman, plus Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan, and Rosamund Pike, have joined the cast of the Simon Pegg and Nick Frost comedy The World’s End, according to a press release from Focus Features, which will distribute the film in North America. The film teams director Edgar Wright again with Pegg and Frost, following their pairing up in Wright’s 2004 comic zombie romp Shaun of the Dead and 2007′s Hot Fuzz. Wright co-wrote the script with Pegg. The movie centers on five childhood friends who reunite for a marathon pub crawl they attempted 20 years earlier, but also grapple with the future of humankind.
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